2005 Subaru Outback LLBean_Bad transmission or fuel pump?

Driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour, my 2005 Subaru Outback stalled out. We had it towed to the local Subaru dealer. After diagnosing it they said it was a bad transmission. We had no symptoms of a bad transmission on our car with 107K miles. This car had every check up and maintenance done at the recommended time. We were low on fuel, 40 miles to empty according to the dashboard. Could it have been the fuel pump instead? The rebuilt trans is going to cost $2800. Thanks for your review and comment.

This one is near impossible to figure because a failed fuel pump and failed transmission are not in the same ballpark when it comes to a diagnosis of which one is bad.

Did they by chance give you a specific reason, or reasons, as to why the transmission has failed?
It would be very odd for a transmission to fail abruptly without some prior warning signs.

Running the tank down very low like that could certainly be problematic as the pool of fuel in the bottom of tank will not be very deep when it gets down to the last 40 miles; assuming the dash indicator is reasonably accurate.

It’s too bad the LLBean version can’t be taken back to LLBean for an exchange. ;=(

Not sure what to think there because the symptoms of a failed fuel pump and the symptoms of a failed transmission are entirely different. If the fuel pump went bad I imagine the car may have lurched or surged a little and then lost engine power and coasted to a stop. The car should now crank over but not start or run. If the transmission went bad, the car also probably lost forward movement and coasted to a stop, but the engine would still be running. You would probably not be able to drive the car but the engine should still start and things like your power steering, air cond, etc would still work.

It sounds like the engine started for the dealer and they are searching for a reason why it was towed in.

Go visit your car and see if you experience the same problem as before. I don’t think that they are fools, the work order may read “vehicle stopped on highway”. Your car may have an additional symptom that would lead them to believe the transmission is failing.

I appreciate your input. The mechanics at the dealership say the error codes they are receiving indicate a internal transmission problem due to timing/speed change (not entirely clear on this).

I am still wondering if the low fuel caused the fuel pump to fail which in turn caused the transmission to get tweaked and fail.

When the car stalled out on the highway, it shuttered abruptly and slowly lost power. It would turn over after we were on the side of the road and stay running for a while, but then stalled completely. It turned over again after letting it sit, but eventually we gave up fearing additional issues. Some smoke could be seen/smelt after the third attempt.

In just talking to the dealership now, they indicate that pressure had built up in the transmission for some reason causing an incorrect gear ratio error code and then the transmission failed.

Sorry to hear about that. That is a uncommon issue and appears it is also going to be very expensive to repair. Hopefully the TCM will be replaced along with the transmission.

The car stalled out and didn’t restart? So in other words, you can’t get it running, even in neutral?