CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2017 Subaru Outback -Transaxle pan

I need someone to check, and probably tighten up, the drain pan on the front transaxle (if that’s the right term) of my 2017 Subaru Outback

Hmm, it might be time for a fluid change, kill two birds with one stone.
Who does your oil changes? They could do it.

This makes no sense.

Sounds like the transmission pan needs to be resealed, not by a lube shop, by a repair shop.

Thanks, guys. This all helps. I think the folks who changed the transmission fluid, etc., mis-tightened the pan. Last night before going to bed, I wiped all fluid off the pan and surrounding parts, cleaned off the white plastic I had placed where the vehicle drips on the garage floor, and will go check it this morning to i.d. the discrete leak spots. No leaks came from the plugs, that I could see. Then I’ll find someone competent to fix the leak.

1 Like

There’s also a chance that “the folks who changed the transmission fluid” buggered up the threads . . .

If that is the case, they should fix it at no charge to you

You might consider going back there and asking them to re-check their work

1 Like

Thanks. The “buggered up threads” possibility is what I fear. I’m not sure I trust the folks who changed the fluids at this point.

1 Like

I would hope the trans fluid level is ok as an automatic can be damaged in minutes, not hours, due to low fluid levels.

The type of gasket used is unknown to me but modern cork gaskets are total garbage as fluid will seep through the cork itself. It almost acts like a sponge. Cellulose fiber is the best. Synthetic cork does not work well in spite of claims to the contrary. Every time I buy a trans filter kit step one is open the box and verify the type of gasket.

Hats off for using the correct transaxle terminology. Most don’t including me. :smile:

This vehicle has a CVT type transmission, isn’t this maintenance a drain and fill?

It is a CVT. I don’t know if the maintenance is just a drain and fill.

Dear Folks:

Took the Subaru in to the dealer. It turns out the mechanic who had previously changed the transaxle fluid/filter had used a more or less traditional gasket on the pan, which apparently is available online and at parts stores (by the way—that mechanic actually specializes in transmissions; he had previously replaced a transmission on a Honda Pilot of ours, at the recommendation of a Honda certified independent mechanic). Having said all that, it turns out that the Subaru transaxle fluid will migrate (as I understand it) through gaskets like the one the transmission mechanic had used. Instead of a preformed gasket, Subaru recommends and uses some kind of a silicone pan sealant that comes in a tube (the dealer told me the name of the product-I’ve forgotten it). A tube of the sealant costs (according to the mechanic at the Subaru dealership) about $500, but they can do several transmission pans out of one tube of the stuff. So the mechanic at the Subaru dealership drained the transaxle, removed the gasket, applied the silicone pan seal, reinstalled the pan, refilled the transmission, and it was good to go. An expensive lesson for me, but not as expensive as it would have been if I had not paid attention to the garage floor beneath my car.

Chrysler has used RTV sealant on transmission/tranaxle pans since at least the early 1980s. Yet every time I bought an aftermarket filter for one, it came with a cork gasket. I always used the RTV except once when out of curiosity I used the cork.

None of them ever leaked, but the newest Chrysler product I owned was a 2004 PT Cruiser.

When my kids first got cars or when I bought "work"cars that I was the only one that drove them and stored everything I used to drive truck in, the most I ever paid for any of these was $300 and they all were slant six Mopars that I interrupted their trip to the junkyard for a few years. Many of them had leaking transmissions due to stripped pan bolts.

I cut the heads and non threaded parts of the longer4 newbolts and put the cut end up in the hole. If it would grab the threads at all, I would put the cut part up in the hole after putting so JB Weld up there first, if the hole was to big, i made a slim rope of steel wool and put it in the hole before the JB Weld. Never had one leak.

A real transmission specialist should have no problem resealing a transmission pan. I performed hundreds of transmission services, resealing the pan with RTV with no problems. We don’t use the aftermaket gaskets, they are not necessary.

Sounds like a synthetic cork gasket was used. That is what I referred to earlier as not working very well and absorbing fluid like a sponge. Even with a gasket like that off and wiped off one can squeeze the cork and cause ATF to ooze out of it.

A cellulose gasket will not leak.