View Full Version : Back to Back seals in auto trans on 99 Outback sedan

04-18-2009, 05:39 PM
99 Outback (Ok so it's not really an Outback, it's technically a 99 SUS but you get the idea) with 152k miles on it.

Anyway, driving from Northern NJ to Northern PA stopped in Milford, all was fine. Drove from there on the highway about 30 minutes to home, pulled in the garage, noticed smoke coming out from under hood. Backed out of garage and lifted hood, a bit of smoke but also found wet spots of tranny fluid plugs grit on garage floor. Got under it, found bottom area near where you check diff fluid damp. Took to dealer, they say it's the back to back seals (no idea what those are but they're on some tube allegedly?) are starting to leak. Major surgery, quoted $1,500 and said it's not really worth it, keep eye on level and shifting (drives fine).

Any thoughts on this? I plan to have the car for at least another year or more. Talked to a local garage who does tranny work and he said he could take a look, and yes it's expensive but didn't sound like he thought it should be THAT expensive. I just recently had valve cover gaskets, plug inner gaskets, trans harness o ring and a few other seals done at the dealer for about $500.

Thanks for any input.

04-18-2009, 09:11 PM
Yeah, it sounds like your tranny and front diff are swaping fluids. See there is a tube the has a seal on both sides of it that seals the front diff and tranny fluids from one another, the tube allows the input shaft from the tranny to go through the front diff and connect with the torque converter. The problem with running it like that is it will take out the front diff because tranny fluid is not thick enough to properly lubricate it. You will be ok for awhile but I recomend fixing it. With only 150k that car will last you a lot longer. I have seen them with over 350K and still running strong. Hope this helps.

04-20-2009, 11:54 AM
Thanks for the info and explanation. Does $1,500 sound out of whack for pricing (I've never had to have trans work done so I have no ball park).

What's interesting is that I drove it home from the dealer garage Friday nite (about 30 - 35 minutes, mostly highway) and thought I saw a BIT of smoke when parked but nothing dripping under car.... I don't suppose they can seal themselves enough to not make it a huge emergency.

04-20-2009, 09:10 PM
yeah the smoke would be typical, when you are driving especially at highway speeds the wind blows the oil on your exhaust and burns so you will see smoke rather than oil on the ground. As far as the price I would say they are about right really, it is allot of work, to fix the problem you have to remove the tranny, then take the front diff off the tranny, install the new tube with the seals on it, then put the diff back on the tranny and set up the diff, as in make sure all clearances are correct and put the tranny back in. It is a pretty big job really. Sorry man, that sucks but like I said before I would recommend getting it fixed, if you wait too long that $1500 will jump up to $3000 in a hurry. Good luck.