CVT blown in friend’s 2016 Lagacy, 125,000 miles, Lynchburg VA area

Dealer is quoting my veteran friend $8500 to replace the dead CVT. Can anyone recommend an independent shop
for a 2nd opinion/better/less expensive fix in Lynchburg, VA?

Yes, that price sounds about right for a new CVT replacement and I doubt you’ll find anything much less. I wouldn’t have the dealership do it though due to their extremely high shop rates. Consider a solid independent shop or chain and ask them to find a used CVT from a wreckage that has low miles. They should be be able to find a decent one to where total costs are no more than $6,000, but that will mostly depend on just how low the miles on it are.

My Story: I don’t own a Legacy but can share my experience with the CVT in my Outback 3.6R.
I removed the transmission plug which only allowed me to do a partial fluid change. The car ran fine going straight but when, for example – starting off from a stop sign or traffic light and turning onto a different street, the car would give a harsh buck of sorts. I thought an air bubble had gotten in there and didn’t allow me to put enough fluid back in or something. This probably went on for about 4 months before I finally got tired of it and decided to take it to an unnamed but well-known service center to have a full fluid change done on the transmission. They did what I asked without any questions – the car drive fine for the test drive immediately after, but by the end of the next day after driving 100 or so miles, the car wasn’t moving well at all. In fact, a test drive around the block in the neighborhood almost ended up with me walking back home. RPM’s would raise but no movement in either Drive or Reverse.

I called the shop but they declined having any responsibility, so I logged online and left a glaring negative review. The company contacted me, offered 25% but I got them to accept 50% of the cost ofr a total CVT replacement. I was okay with 50% because by now I knew the part I played in damaging the CVT, but the shop should also have denied the fluid change since I couldn’t produce records showing regular change intervals. In other words, either continue to change fluid often and regularly or leave it alone.

I had it towed to AAMCO Transmission who quoted me over $8K to replace it with a new one. Another option was to source a used one with low miles so I went that route. Giving me several options based on what they found, I went with a low mileage CVT replacement for just a little over $4,000. It did come with a warranty but I forget what it is. The car drives as good as the day I bought it so I have zero regrets.

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