Leaking fluid/oil from near differential/CVT?

You guys were right! The dealer tech says they’re not cracks, but rather casting defects, visual only, and should not impact integrity of the diff housing. They’re not common, but he says he has seen it before. He did a visual inspection of the housing, the gaskets/seals, and checked the torque on all the bolts and thought everything looked good, so in the absence of any oil leaks (see next paragraph), he couldn’t justify any more intensive diagnostics.

So as for the oil leaks I was seeing, his conclusion is that it’s just residue from the factory. He thinks it’s higher volume than usual – it’s been very slowly dripping for at least a month, but I also have not driven it much, only 150miles so far. His explanation on the drips is that someone probably spilled some oil/fluid on the diff/CVT during assembly/fluid fill and didn’t wipe it up, resulting in the residual surface oil slowly pooling up at the bottom after I took delivery of the vehicle and started driving it around. He did wipe down all the surfaces where the oil could have come from, and idled the engine for an hour without seeing any leaks, so if his theory is correct, there should be no more oil dripping down. He advised me to keep an eye on it and report in if I see leaks again, and it seems like a reasonable approach for now.

QUESTION – back to the casting defects, as much as I should trust the tech, I know I’m not going to be able to put my mind at ease until I can somehow verify this a bit more. I read online that one way to confirm whether casting defects are surface/visual only is to sand or file down a thin layer of the external material where the defect is, and if the resulting surface is smooth metal, then the defect can be confirmed to be just visual. Before I do anything like this, does anyone know if doing something like this might void the warranty? Am I getting too paranoid about this?


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