1998 Legacy L diff/at-transaxle "wheel hop" prob - urgent help please

gengrogengro Member Posts: 2
edited August 2014 in Subaru
Hi, I just purchased a 1998 Subaru Legacy L 2.2 sedan in "mint" condition with 210,000km on it and when I had it in a parkade I really noticed bad "wheel hop" when turning tight on dry pavement (I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada so it's not very noticable generally on wet/sanded/snow covered roads). I took it in to a local service shop I know and they checked the front end, diff, and trans. They replaced the front diff fluid (said it was dry) and the trans fluid (twice) to see if that would correct the problem. From what I've read here, the right things to do. Not sure yet if it worked. My question is this: I can still purchase an aftermarket power train (plus seals and gaskets) warranty (within the next week) for 1 to 3 yrs. from the dealer I bought the car from with a price of $650 1 yr, $880 2 yr, $1100 3 yr. Since it's strictly a second (wifes) car (I have a '04 Toyota Sienna AWD van as our main vehicle) and I'll only be putting about 5 to 10k kms, mostly city driving, a year on it, should I gamble on the car or buy the warranty? Overall the car works great and my wife and I both love the "feel" and handling of the car. Your opinions would be most welcome (I can't do "repair work" myself, so needed repairs can get expensive), thank you.


  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    A 1998 car is a 12 year old car. I'm not sure that anyone offers a warranty on a car that old. My guess is that it's either the front diffy, or the center diffy causing the problem.

    The problem could also be as "simple" as a new axle or CV joint but I don't think so. An easy way to test if it's the center or the front diffy, is to insert the FWD fuse and re-test. If when in FWD it doesn't exhibit the issue, then it's a center diffy requiring the transmission to be replaced or at least torn down.

    If in FWD it still exhibits the symptoms, then you can pretty much count on it being the front diffy.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Great idea, mike.

    Go to Google, then images, and search for "Outback FWD fuse".

    I found several helpful pics.

    By the way, paisan is absolutely correct - you INSERT a fuse to disable the AWD.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    We just had to do this on an outback and a forester. On the outback it was the center diffy, on the forester it isn't the center so it *may* be the front diffy, but we are still investigating this.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,160
    If you *can* buy a warranty from this dealer, you need to keep in mind that it is not a "factory" warranty, so whether or not it is honored should problems arise is dependent upon the dealership or company that issued the warranty. There are usually a lot of ifs/ands/buts in this types of warranties, so make sure you know what you are buying ahead of time.

    I have a few friends who have purchased this type of warranty and every single one of them says it has done them no good when they needed it. :sick:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • gengrogengro Member Posts: 2
    Thank you all for your replys... It seems that adding front diff fluid and double flushing the trany fluid, plus adding some power steering fluid (it was low too) seems to have pretty much solved the problem although I haven't had it on dry pavement yet... I've bought aftermarket warranties before and must say that I've had very good luck with them, 2 transmission rebuilds and a ceased axle/differential on two different vehicles with 2 different warranty companies... However in this case, being that I'm only going to be putting on about 5k kms a year on the car and plan on driving it into the ground, I think I'll save my "warranty money" for use as things come up down the road as they say... The car really is a "creampuff" so no rust (rustproofed when new I'm thinking) and virtually no signs of wear anywhere on the car's interior shows me that the car was pretty well maintained until the last year or so when it hit the used car lot(s)... For the price, $3400.00, if I keep the car for a long time it's still gonna be pretty cheap transportation that will do everything I need it to do even if it costs me a few bucks in maint along the way... Thanks again everyone...
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