Red FWD light


Asked by Oct 14, 2016 at 03:48 PM about the 1996 Subaru Legacy 4 Dr L AWD Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

1 Answer


Someone shorted the FWD fuseholder contacts...probably with a spare fuse, in order to tow on two wheels or disable the rear part of the AWD because either the AWD transfer case part of the transmission is shot (more likely) or the driveshaft/universal is shot (less likely...but it IS damned old, eh?). Remove the fuse/wire/coin in that slot and road test. Noises and/or rear scuffing and crabbing may result if you're unlucky. If all okay you'll now have AWD as designed...but be sure your tires are reasonable clones (same diameter) as too-large rear tires will exacerbate AWD transfer case bushing wear. After you've determined that the tires are reasonable clones (if slightly mismatched just put the TALLER two up least for now), test drive again. If chattering when turning figure-8s continues drain and refill the trans with 3.5-4qts ATF, followed by a small bottle of TransX posi-trac conditioner (even though the bottle'directions state that it's NOT for ATs!). Drive in circles and 8's again and you may get lucky and get those bushings slippery again and restore AWD. If it doesn't work after awhile you'll need to replace the transfer case...or simply avoid tight turns and parallel parking! Good luck. RSVP after all the above.

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