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Big Transmission fluid leak ... Urgent repair needed.

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Hey there,


I'm low on funds and have a friend with the know how that will do the work for a very very good deal but I'm gathering any helpful information before I move forward with this repair...


I have a 1995 Legacy LS AWD automatic 4spd 2.2L 4cyl.


The transmission is leaking 1-2 qts of oil a day.. When I add a fresh 2 qts the car returns to normal shifting (I think 3rd and 4th gear are gone now though)


What I've done so far: Tried several different brands of Stop leak, and transmission sealers (the latest one being BlueDevil). No change with these added....


I had a friend take a look underneath and he believes its the rear seal that needs to be replaced. (Smoke rises from the fluid leaking onto the hot catalytic converter)


Couple concerns here... is buying the seal and the transmission is actually leaking from a different seal...or maybe its not a seal issue at all and if not what else could it be?


Are all seals the transmission could be leaking from the same? So If I purchase one seal will it work for all seals?


Drive shaft seal

Transmission pan seal

Input shaft seal

Valve body seal


Unfortunately I have had to drive the car with 0 fluid going 10mph in 1st gear when the fluid has run out over night and I didn't have more on hand.


anyways, yea this subaru is old but I'm attached and would rather repair this than give up on it.


ANY feed back what so ever is greatly appreciated. Opinions, options. what to do or not to do. etc.



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you need to find the leak.

add the ATF,

and let the car idle in the drive way or parking lot.

put a catch pan under the rear of the trans where the drife shaft connects.

if it is leaking there you will see it.

you may see the ''loose'' seal on the end of the drive shaft.

you have to remove the drive shaft to replace the rear seal.


the other place to look for the leak is up front, just below the battery.

there are 2 rubber AFT hoses that connect to the side of the radiator.

look for them from below, and follow them back towards the trans.



now for the bad news.

if you drive this car with little or no fluid in the trans,

you will kill it.

but you will not know until you fix the leak.


my rear seal blew out on the hiway, with a severe shudder.

when i pulled over and let it idle,

there was a huge puddle coming out from under the car.

i paid a shop $220 to replace my rear seal the same day it blew.

the dumb ass did not add any ATF.

so i drove the rest of the day several qts low.

by dinner time i had lost reverse.

i added 4 qts of atf , but i never got reverse back.

i drove that way for several months until i found a good used trans.


look for parts here:



sort by distance, zip code, to see what is close to home.

shipping is expensive. ~$150

a u-pull-it parts yard is really cheap.

but i doubt you have the know how to harvest a trans.

generally speaking you can be back on the road with a used trans installed for under $1000, less if you do the work.

sounds expensive,

but it is cheaper than another car with unknown issues.


good luck.

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It's alittle time consuming and a bit dirty of a job to relace the trans, but it's doable by someone with moderate mechanical abilty.

I found it easier to do than swapping out the gas tank!


A friend of mine told me to use a cherry picker to lift the trans from the front top mount through the engine bay instead of a tranny jack. It worked slick!


Take your time with the electrical connectors on the wiring harness or you may break off the locking tabs.


I dont know if it is true or not but one should not let the tourque converter come off of the input shaft of the trans. something about not being able to get it back in? Perhaps someone more knowlegable on this will chime in. ( Johnegg? )


good luck!

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