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George H.
George H., Subaru Certified Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 18668
Experience:  ASE Master Tech 15 + Years
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Subaru Outback 2.5I: I have a 2002 Subaru that, according to

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I have a 2002 Subaru that, according to the dealer mechanics, has a bad pinion bearing. What is the approximate cost of repairing this? Is it a good idea with a car that has 165,000 miles on it or is it time to move on?

Hello I will help you with your question,

Is this a manual or automatic transmission and is the bad bearing on the front or the rear of this vehicle?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Automatic. Not sure if front or rear.

There are two pinions on this vehicle, one in the transmission and one in the rear differential assembly. I am assuming that you are hearing a whining or grinding noise and that was the basis for the mechanic to look over the vehicle?

How it the overall condition and would it be a burden to put $2000 into this vehicle or would you rather put that towards another car?

Let me know what you can and your thoughts on this so I can fill in the grey areas and help you make this decision


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A whining noise that keeps getting louder. Quoted $1400 but no guarantee if that is all there is to the problem. Would spend 2,000 if fairly certain that was the end of it.

Is the whining from the transmission under the center of the vehicle or from the rear of the vehicle?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


OK, I think you could get this repaired and that would be the end of the problem. $1400 without a guarantee is not a good deal so I would have a transmission shop listen to it.

You should be able to have the transmission completely rebuilt for that amount with at least a years warranty.

I advise to go ahead and have it repaired if you can get a warranty. It is not time to send this to the boneyard yet. If the rest of the car is in fairly good shape you can expect to get 250 - 300,000 miles out of it. There will be expenses along the way like headgaskets and timing belts and maybe the rear end but these are normal over the life of the vehicle and should be considered in the maintenance expense expectations. You will have one of the biggest expenses out of the way once the transmission is rebuilt.

Often the differential in the transmission (has the pinion bearing and gear in it) is damaged by someone incorrectly servicing the fluids. There is a transmission drain and a differential drain and separate fill points and they take different fluids but they are all contained in the same case so often mistakes are made refilling or the differential gets drained but not refilled.

Please let me know how I can help you with this

Thank you

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