So, my 05 WRX that I got in December is sitting at the dealership right now needing a center diff replacement. I trust that this is the problem as I'd been having the standard locking/grinding problem when doing tight turns at low speeds. The only reason I haven't given them the ok to fix it yet is because they're quoting me $1500, and I was trying to find a way to get it done cheaper, but am having no luck so far. (I know little about car maintenance - I can do oil changes and smaller jobs, but am not comfortable doing transmission work.)
The weird thing is this car only has about 51k miles on it. It was a single owner before me, and she was selling the car because her family was moving in with her and she needed a larger vehicle. Her maintenance record was almost perfect, and I had the dealer she got it from inspect the vehicle before buying it, and everything was fine.
Sucks that it's not under warranty anymore. I've called the original dealer asking them for a repair quote even though they're an hour away, but they're not getting back to me so I'm probably going to lose patience and ok the work be done some time tomorrow.
This is my first manual, so I expected to wear the clutch out some, but I'm paranoid I did something to break the center diff, as it shouldn't have gone out this soon. I haven't been doing donuts, and the car hasn't been towed any. Is there anything else I could have done to cause damage like this? Only thing I can think of is during the winter we had a large snow, and I didn't really clear out my parking spot all the way, so maybe I had the front/back tires spinning at different rates pulling in and out, and caused the damage. If that could be it, then that's a pretty expensive lesson on caring for a 4WD car, but one I won't forget.
Maybe I'm just really unlucky. I got this car because my 1996 corolla had a series of problems related to Pep Boys screwing up an axle replacement and I needed something more reliable. Any insight will be helpful though.