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Subaru Legacy/Outback Transmission Problems

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Comments

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,401
    What year is the car again? On the 95-99 models, you only need to remove the glove box and then have very easy access to the blower. I would expect the same in the following generation (00-04), but after that there is an optional cabin filtration system, so that may have caused the blower to be relocated.
  • cmccartcmccart Posts: 9
    It is a 1995. Since we don't have to pull the dash, my husband could probably fix it, which is great!

    Thanks so much for your responses! I really appreciate it. :)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,401
    Yes, it is incredibly simple to do and takes very little time. Mine (on a '96) went out when the temps were around zero (F), and I would estimate it took me about an hour total (not counting the aggravation and wasted time due to the parts store selling me the wrong unit the first time around). I purchased my replacement unit at NAPA; it was about $135 if I remember correctly. I would have to check my records to know for sure.
  • jeh6jeh6 Posts: 1
    This might be similar to an earlier posting but unfortunately there wasn't any reply postings to their problem. 110K miles. Problem is the transmission/AWD system feels like it grabbing like the front end on a manual 4wd will do when you are making a tight turn. Just had the CV joints and axles replaced on both front wheels, one boot had been torn, thinking that was causing the problem. Problem continues but doesn't show up until the vehicle is at operating temperature. Have taken the vehicle to the best transmission shop in our area and they can't find the problem. The only other thing different is I had the new set of tires "sipped"(cuts made into the tire) when we replaced them last November. Would the extra traction be causing the problem? Thanks for any advice as the major player tire and repair business where the vehicle sits now doesn't have any ideas.
  • cmccartcmccart Posts: 9
    Thanks! We got a quote of $80 for the part and we will repair at home now that we know we can go through the glove box to get to it. :)
  • heelsheels Posts: 2
    Bondryan,
    What was the outcome of your issues? If you did "swap" out your car, I may now have your old one! I have an 08' OB 2.5XT that has 8K miles on it and it shifts hard between 2nd and 3rd. I just purchased it used from the dealer............they said the previous owner had a problem with a "clunking" noise when shifting from 2nd to 3rd and that the dealer could never duplicate the problem. I test drove it and it was fine, now it has the problem, I may take the car back.................Does anyone else have this problem?
  • bondryanbondryan Posts: 4
    Heels,
    I sold the car to Subaru of Santa Cruz. Where did you purchase the vehicle from? I originally bought it at Cypress Coast Subaru in Seaside and that car started to have a "HARD" shift b/w 2nd into 3rd gear. I fought with Seaside for over 3 months to get them to fix the problem, but they said that it was operating normal, BS! I then got referred to a Subaru Field Rep, Mike Pelky, who was suppose to represent Subaru Corp and handle the issue, but he told me the same garbage as the dealership, "it's operating under normal condition". I even thought about taking this to court by I don't have that kind of money. I then wrote a letter to Subaru Corparte (with a very frustrated tone) and worked with a sweet lady and her name is Jodi Cullen from Subaru Corp. After 3 more months of dealing with her, SUbaru Santa Cruz said that they could "sell the car" and I said fine just get me a new one! The new car DOES NOT have this problem. I could NOT stand the damn hard shift b/w 2nd into 3rd and trust me if you've only had the car a few weeks or so, it can get worse at times! Also, the car makes makes a weird noise up by the left windshield (like a clicking noise) when you make soft turns. Sorry I would contact Subaru Corporate, Jodi Cullen and tell her of this problem (trust me she will remember my case, since I dealt with her for over 3 months) her number is 856-488-3290. Also, talk with Bruce or Evan at Santa Cruz b/c they know that I had issues with the car but they were willing to make the trade.
  • heelsheels Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply! That was your old car that I HAD from Subaru of Santa Cruz! I took it back yesterday and canceled the whole deal, I only had the car for one night. They are selling the car under the pretense that it was brought in with a shifting problem but the dealers could not duplicate it. The car test drove fine but after bringing it home the shift was very hard, just as you mentioned. From comments made by Andreas at Subaru of Santa Cruz it was apparent that they are resetting the computer and putting the car back on the lot for sale. The sales manger told me that he, nor anyone from subaru thought there was anything wrong with the car....which was obviously garbage. Needles to say I am back in the market for an outback, thanks for the information and the insight. I can't believe Subaru would put that car back on the lot............I believe that is a dishonest move on their part. Thanks again Ryan.
  • bondryanbondryan Posts: 4
    Man I am I relieved to hear you say that you were able to return the car! That's great. In fact, now that we've had this conversation on Edmunds, I hope the next potential customer will see this blog and NOT purchase this car. Good move on your part to see what was out there on the web regarding "subaru shifting problems". Good luck on your OB purchase.
  • slapproslappro Posts: 1
    I recently bought the 1996 subaru legacy outback.
    I had auto transmission work done on it to replace the timing mechanism that engages the clutch (it looks kind of like a wagon wheel... can't remember what it's called). The transmission light is still on, according to the mechanic, because of an electrical issue not effecting the performance of the transmission. I'm not sure I believe him. Also I at the same time had some brake work done because the ABS light was on.

    The problem is that this car is getting 14 mpgs! I have no idea why. It should be getting 20 mpgs city and it is not even close.

    I have run fuel system cleaner through with no results.
    Help!
  • rspositorsposito Posts: 1
    My 96 subaru legacy is not getting a charge to one of the fuel injectors. we have tested the injector, tested as much wiring we could, and put in a different ECU to try
    and isolate the problem. It seems to be in the wires, but we cant find a short. the car still ran before we tore it apart...although rather poorly....and on three cylinders....
    any ideas?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Check the continuity of the fuel injector wiring? Thats all that is left to do.

    -mike
  • hi; the problem that you are getting with the grabbing, is comming from end of the transmission where it joins to the rear propeller shaft going to the rear wheels, depending on the year or model, if its an auto, you would have to change the rear extension housing, check first to see if it has a ball bearing that can be replaced,
  • hi; first you should clear the error codes from the ecu . go to" www.legacy central.org". then click on, "the library", then under the heading marked "tech doc", click on "ecu error code instruction and glossary", it should read, "how to read trouble codes from the ecu" print it out, study it you can do it yourself, subarus are nice, but you have to learn to tweek them yourself.
  • robertm583robertm583 Posts: 1
    I have a 99 with manual and had similar issues. Replaced both front shafts. Finally figured out with subaru support that the center differential was bad.
  • jabotelhojabotelho Posts: 2
    I have an intermittent problem with a 1999 SUS w/82000 miles. After driving at 60 MPH on a highway for several miles it starts to feel that I'm driving on rough pavement. Vibration and noise increases. The intensity can vary to the point it feels like I'm driving on the highway rumble strips. Sometimes the problem just disappears. It seems related to the locking of the torque converter. As soon as I exit the highway or slow down sufficiently for the torque converter to unlock, the ride becomes smooth. I can drive at lower speeds (i.e. 40 MPH) and never experience the problem. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    its is very possible that the torque is your problem i would not hesitate to replace it otherwise if the torque fails so does the transmission
  • nornetnornet Posts: 24
    I had a very similar issue that was a tire/rim problem on a FWD vehicle. It was very difficult to diagnose even for the tire shop.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Try putting the FWD fuse in under the hood. That will have the car run in FWD mode and this may help you narrow down where the problem is (center diffy, front or rear diffy)

    -mike
  • jabotelhojabotelho Posts: 2
    The behavior is the same whether forced into FWD (fuse in FWD fixture) or running in AWD.
  • donbaradonbara Posts: 2
    Hello all,
    I am new to the forum and am looking at a 96 Outback with 142k on it. I plan on replacing the timing belt and head gasket (If it already hasn't been done). Anyone out there info on doing this? Maybe an online repair manual? I have replaced timing belts and head gaskets on my other vehicles but have never owned a subaru. Any other things to look for when test driving. Thanks in advance for all your help. Don
  • donbaradonbara Posts: 2
    Forgot to mention 2.5 Litre auto. Thanks
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    1 Remove V-belt cover, V-belt and air conditioning compressor drive belt tensioner
    2 Remove pulley bolt. To lock crankshaft, use ST. ST 499977000 CRANKSHAFT PULLEY WRENCH
    3 Remove crankshaft pulley
    4 Remove left-hand belt cover
    5 Remove right-hand belt cover
    6 Remove front belt cover
    step 2 timing belt
    1 If alignment mark and/or arrow mark (which indicates rotation direction) on timing belt fade away, put new marks before removing timing belt as follows:::::Turn crankshaft using ST, and align alignment marks on crankshaft sprocket, left-hand intake camshaft sprocket, left-hand exhaust camshaft sprocket, right-hand intake camshaft sprocket and right hand exhaust camshaft sprocket with notches of belt cover and cylinder block. ST 499987500 CRANKSHAFT SOCKET
    2 Using white paint put alignment and/or arrow marks on timing belts in relation to the sprockets
    3 Loosen tensioner adjuster mounting bolts
    4 Remove belt idler
    5 Remove timing belt
    CAUTION: After timing belt has been removed, never rotate intake and exhaust, camshaft sprocket.
    If camshaft sprocket is rotated, the intake and exhaust valve heads strike together and valve stems are bent.">
  • simplecj wrote ...

    "We plugged everything in and decided to see if it would fire up. When we reconnected the battery we noticed that the parking lights as well as the dash lights were blinking, 30 times, pause, 30 times... and so on with or without the key in the ignition. The engine did turn over but it would not fire so we decided to check for spark and fuel. We discovered that the car is not getting any fuel and there is no spark either. Thinking maybe the computer needs to be reset?"

    I have a '96 outback in the garage that got left over the winter and now I need to get it moved out to sell. I was running the car once a week or so but we hit a patch of bad weather and I wasn't able to drive it for several weeks. The next time I went to run the car it needed a jump. No problem. After that I started disconnecting the battery between runs. The next time I went to start up it worked fine. But the next time after that I started getting the blinking lights problem exactly as described by simplecj. The first time this happened I was able to jump and run the car but the battery died while sitting in the drive for an hour or so (due to the constant flashing even with key removed from the ignition). I jumped again and ran it and disconnected the battery as before. But the last time I tried to jump (connected to a '02 outback with engine idling) it would crank for less than 1 sec but never started. I let the running car charge the dead battery for 15-20mins but could not jump.

    So, how do I get this car back to a running condition? Does it just need more cranking power? Should I put a charger on the battery? Or replace the battery? Or is the computer in such a state that it simply will not let the engine run without devine intervention?

    And what procedure will stop the lights from flashing all the time?
  • kerrypkerryp Posts: 4
    I'm a little old lady driver of a '98 Subaru Outback wagon with 80K miles. For about a year, the tachometer on my wagon goes crazy when I'm between 65-70 mph on the freeway. I'm not accelerating any more, but suddenly it sounds like my engine has popped into overdrive. The tach is around 2800/rpm around 65 mph, and it will suddenly go to around 4500 rpm. I feel that I don't have control of my vehicle at this point and I'm becoming afraid to drive on the freeway, which is impossible where I live. My local dealer charged me $475 and wrote "Found temp sensor reading incorrectly and oil leak at trans. wiring harness. Replace "O" ring for harness and temp sensor." This did nothing but empty my pocket. Any ideas? I hate to put out more money until I can figure out what's really wrong. Thanks! Kerry
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I am assuming it's an automatic transmission, if so, it could be low fluid and/or your transmission starting to fail.

    :(

    -mike
  • kerrypkerryp Posts: 4
    Thanks Mike. I guess after 80K miles, I would have to expect something big to start going wrong. Is it worth it to replace the transmission, or should I start thinking about my next car? Thanks for the help! Kerry
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If you have a trusted mechanic in the area, you could have them get a junk-yard transmission from a similar Year Outback and put that in, should run about $500-700 for the trans and another $400-500 to have it installed.

    If you are in a position to be buying a new or newo to you car, then you may want to look that route. Fixing the trans however is not a suggestion I'd make as it can get very costly.

    -mike
  • kerrypkerryp Posts: 4
    Thanks for the advice Mike. Yes, I hate to start nickle and dimeing the thing to death since the car is already 10 years old. Do you think it's safe to continue driving it for a while? What would happen if the transmission blew while I was on the freeway? Sorry to keep asking you questions!
    Regards,
    Kerry
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    No problem on the questions. I love to spread the Subie Love and help fellow owners.

    Its safe to drive it for now, basically I'd check the fluid level in the AT, and maybe add in some Lucas AT conditioner fluid. That will help it last longer. It will not most likely catastrophically fail on you, the slipping will become more frequent until it finally dies on yah. Although after filling the trans and putting in the lucas you might want to trade it in on a new car before it dies completely.

    -mike
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