Some 2007-08 Subaru Legacy models with four-speed automatic transmissions may produce a fluid leak from the rear differential. Subaru says the leakage only occurs on vehicles without stability control, and is due to insufficient clearance between the rear differential cover and gasket.
The lack of clearance creates an air space in the cover, which allows fluid pressure to build and eventually escape through the differential vent. Removing the differential cover, replacing the gasket and repositioning the gasket in relation to the cover should eliminate the venting of fluid.
Here's how to go about it:
- Start by getting the car on a lift.
- Next, remove the rear differential cover and discard the gasket. Now position the new gasket and rear cover on the differential case and install the cover bolts finger tight.
- Using the illustration for reference, move the gasket upward with one hand while using the other hand to push the cover downward against the bolts. This will eliminate the air space. While holding the gasket and cover in this position, have a fellow tech tighten the cover bolts for you.
- Now install the drain plug using a new gasket
To complete the fix, add differential fluid to the bottom of the fill hole and install the filler plug.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via email at [email protected].