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Subaru Legacy/Outback Transmission Problems



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you still had it I'd suggest trying to coast in neutral to see if the problem persisted. That takes the trans out of the equation.

    I'm also guessing it's not the trans, but rather one of the diffs.
  • sergeiisergeii Posts: 2
    Hello! I'm new owner of 2008 subaru legacy SE(4h) I've purchased my car from a fleet auction. it's got 44.000 on it. I have this problem , that drives me crazy..

    Everytime i come to a stop, you can feel a jerk forward when the transmission downshifts from 2nd to 1st gear, especially after the car has warmed up. Sometimes you can play around with the brake and avoid this thump, but it is very annoying. Shift's up with/out any problems really smooth.
    I still have powertrain warranty on it.. may be i should take it to the dealer..
    Does legacy has adaptive transmition? If it does what can i do to reset it..
    Please ANY help.. what can it be?? what can i do about it? thank you.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    It does have an adaptive transmission. You can rule that out by disconnecting the battery for ten or fifteen minutes, then reconnecting. That should reset the memory.

    But, a fleet car with that many miles, there is no telling how it was driven in its short life or by how many drivers.
  • kenjckenjc Posts: 8
    i reset my adaptive transmission for a very similar problem after deciding i couldn't stand it anymore. it got much better and that problem is now gone. also, could it possibly be a braking issue instead? i.e. i need to get my brakes done soon because the car is jerking several times to a stop as i apply the brakes instead of braking smoothly. the discs need sanding and smoothing apparently
  • sergeiisergeii Posts: 2
    did you just disconnect the battery and problem was gone?Or you have had to take to the dealer?
  • pgithakapgithaka Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 legacy, 2.0 auto transmission. Sweet vehicle to drive. However, when I load the gear, it gives a whistling sound, which isnt there when the engine runs on P or N. As I increase speed,the whistle becomes louder, till it shifts to the next gear where the whistling reduces but then does the same. On high speeds (around 80kph and above) the whistle is nearly unnoticeable. In addition, on very low speed like 5-10 kph, there seems to be some light knocking sound around the inner driveshaft, and when reversing. However the gears shift okay while in motion. What could be the problem?
  • ken37ken37 Posts: 1
    I want to drain and refill 2001 outback automatic transmission. The dealer said a drain and refill would only result in a 4 quart replacement, since approx. 5 quarts left in the torque converter will not drain out. Subaru dealer wants $9 per quart. The manual calls for Dexron III. I can get this locally (Valvoline) for about $3 per quart. Any one know if mixing two types of ATF would create problems? Thanks.
  • hhmaxhhmax Posts: 44
    New to the forum and subaru. Thinking of buying a 2000-2001 outback H6. Are there any major items/problems (like the 2.5 HG) that I should be watching for? In general what are the cost of ownership compared with the likes of accord/camry? I would expect to be higher but how much? Appreciate your feedback.
  • My Outback Wagon, with almost 126,000 miles, was at the dealer for maintenance. The work summary says "Tech noticed transmission leaking. The transmission harness is leaking by the O-ring." Per the service manager this harness is made of white plastic and when it gets old it easily cracks. He said my leak is spraying back onto the exhaust when I drive. They want over $500 to replace it. The car is running great and I saw no drips on the driveway. How urgent is this, are there options, is this price reasonable in CT? Thanks.
  • ksal17ksal17 Posts: 1
    I have a 99' Subaru Legacy GT Sedan that will randomly stop being able to shift into Drive or any of the lower gears. It will rev like its in Neutral. Very rarely when I touch the gas it will suddenly pop into drive and I'm fine. When I do get it into drive it shifts fluidly and it goes until I park and need to shift into drive again. The Fluid is topped off and it still shifts into reverse. Any Ideas?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess it could be a very slow leak that had just started. Not even a drop?

    Funny thing is the price actually sounds sort of low for a bad seal. They'll have to replace all the ATF when they are done.
  • I have a 2000 with the same problem have you had any luck solving this issue?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    While it seems to be far more rare for other model years, I have read many instances of this exact problem in the '99 models. I am not sure if it was a (temporary) change in design or what, but there is a definite trend.

    I think the problem is that the internal seals in the transmission are wearing out. Basically, the transmission is leaking inside and is having difficulty building up the proper operating pressure to shift into gear. Unfortunately, transmissions with this issue are headed for a rebuild....
  • Background info:
    I bought a 2007 Subaru outback 2.5i with automatic with about 78,000 miles on it on 9/9/09. the test drive was perfect (though i was excited so i may have missed something) but later that same night, my car was dead so it had to be started using jumper cables and it happened again the next morning. I though i had a dud, but it turns out that stupid parking light switch on the steering column was turned on and had been on for some time (i didn't even know it existed until i called the dealer). I have a new battery and that problem is solved. but now, i have a new one. I don't know if this was occurring before the battery problem or not, but now when i'm driving most shifts feel perfect but every so often it feel like i ran over a speed bump when there is nothing there. it happens a lot on the highways and in the mountains but doesn't necessarily happen every time it shifts or for a certain gear but seems to happen most when i'm accelerating or decelerating. Any ideas?

    I'm getting the ATF changed this week and will reset the computer to make sure it's not one of these "learned" behaviors.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It isn't necessarly the trans. Could be a bad wheel bearing or something, anything creating artificial resistance while it's moving.

    I say wheel bearings because those are a common failure at that high mileage.
  • The dealer said he replaced the back ones. i guess maybe the front ones should be done next?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They can inspect the front to see if they're bad. There would be some "play" in the wheels.
  • ok, so i was driving my new-used 2007 Subaru outback 2.5i a good deal this past weekend and tried to localize whatever is going on with it a bit more. I had the ATF changed at the Subaru dealer here in asheville but the problem is still occurring. it seems to occur most at higher speeds (between 60-70 mph) and not necessarily during a shift but more when i'm changing speeds. and it feels like i'm driving over one of those strips along the road meant to wake you up if you fall asleep. it only lasts about a second and goes away. it also seems to happen more during inclines. oh and the ball bearings are all fine. any ideas?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's a mystery because I would have guess wheel bearings next, and you say those are OK.

    I would look at the front diff fluid and the rear diff fluid. Maybe drain and fill, and check the magnetic drain plug to see if any metal shavings came off. Basically looking for other symptoms.

    Can you tell from which side of the car the noise is coming? Try to narrow it down to front vs. back, or the side.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    it only lasts about a second and goes away. it also seems to happen more during inclines. oh and the ball bearings are all fine. any ideas?

    Is there anything loose under the car that could touch the drive shaft? exhaust pipe, muffler heat shield? Also anything that could touch a wheel...brake line, etc.

    Could it be the cooling fan or something driven by the serpentine belt?
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