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subaru transmission problems

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Comments

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    if for some reason the transmission is very low on fluid, that could affect shifting.

    That was my primary thought as well.
  • wolfdougwolfdoug Posts: 4
    I have a '99 Forester that I purchased recently. Lately I find that the automatic transmission has been shifting harshly (mostly from second to third) . The trans pulls fine and downshifts O.K. too. The car doesn't have this problem always - or maybe it's less @ times.

    Any advice?
  • wolfdougwolfdoug Posts: 4
    The transmission is full, though I don't know when It was changed. Could old fliud do that? Also the owner's manual says to use Dextron III fluid but I see postings that say to use another type of fluid ( Castrol Transmax J ). Will that help?
  • lonnys1lonnys1 Posts: 3
    93 Subaru Impreza automatic transmission will not shift from 1st to 2nd when cold. Will shift fine when engine warms up. What could be causing this? Fluid level is fine and no leaks.
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    While not Subaru-specific my experience is that when this occurs it is because of the trans filter needing replacing. As the filter gets "used" and partially restrictive the hydraulic pressure to initiate the shift is lacking. As the fluid gets hot it flows better through the filter. In my opinion changing the fluid and filter would be a good first step. The key to it most likely not being something else is the fact that it works fine when warmed up.
  • frbock1frbock1 Posts: 1
    Same thing happened to me at 105k. My 4 speed auto started making noise when shifting from 2nd to 3rd.
    The cure is to replace the transmission.
    2004 Forester XT.
  • Mine's not making noise - just shifting a little hard (when cold,mostly). I will try a transmission service first. - Soon.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... this occurs it is because of the trans filter needing replacing. As the filter gets "used" and partially restrictive the hydraulic pressure to initiate the shift is lacking..."

    This does not help his 2007 Forester, but Subaru eliminated the transmission filter on the 2008 models, beginning in mid-year 2007. For 2008 they blanked off the filter opening with a wide threaded plug, and for 2009 the opening was cast closed.

    It does seem amazing that the transmission could generate enough debris to clog the big filter and affect shifting. Now there is no filtering at all. Since the AT filter was "lifetime", perhaps there is really too little stuff to be worth filtering, too little stuff to ever clog the filter, and no real need for the filter.

    I guess between Jiffy Lube mistaking the AT filter for the oil filter, and the shifting problems you attribute to the AT filter, Subaru decided it only caused trouble.
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    That's interesting. I wonder if they went to an internal filter as other manufacturers? I have pulled down many trans pans (not Subaru) and every one of them had lots of crap in the bottom and on the filter/screen. They weren't all high mileage either.

    The friction caused by clutches and bands causes a lot of stuff to sluff off into the fluid. The passages and orifices for the hydraulic fluid are quite small and it doesn't take much to cause issues. A single fiber between a check-ball and its seat would cause problems. I find it really hard to believe that they wouldn't use SOME filter somewhere, and Subaru should not be immune to the reality of wear and the issues it causes.
  • > ... I wonder if they went to an internal filter as other manufacturers?
    > I have pulled down many trans pans (not Subaru) and every one of them
    > had lots of crap in the bottom and on the filter/screen.

    No doubt the Subaru transmission always has had an internal screen like other cars. But the unique discontinued external pleated paper filter was much finer.
  • I have a 2001 forester and seems to be stuck in gear. The shirfter still moves like it should but when it is in neutral the trans. is still in gear. It acts like it is in 3rd gear or higher. When I shift to reverse it won't move at all. Does anyone know what the problem is?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The linkage is mechanical so something must have broken.

    I had a short shift kit installed on my 98 Forester so I was able to get a good look at it. It is the 13th item shown on this page, for reference:

    http://subaruproparts.com/index.php?cPath=1_24_37_48
  • I had an interesting thing happen when I was going to pull the transmission. Since it was stuck in 3rd gear I drove it off the trailer in my shop. While driving it off the trailer it popped out of gear, so I put it in 1st and drove it on in. I dropped the oil hoping to find something stuck to the magnet in the drain plug. I found nothing so I put the Amzoil severe gear oil back in it and drove it up and down the road with no problems. So it either had nothing wrong or will do it again after some time. I don't know. I will be glad if I don't have to pull the transmission though.
  • 'Had a similar thing happen some years ago to a different brand and it turned out to be a bad synchronizer. 'Hope you have better luck
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's hope it was suspended in the oil and came out when you drained it.
  • A syncro is a large machined brass or bronze cone, so could not come out in the oil. Syncros fail by becoming worn, which puts microscopic particles or even flakes in the oil, which appear in the drain oil as a golden sheen. However, draining the oil with this material in it does not get it all out, or make the worn syncros work better.

    The OP did not report any material in his drain oil, which he put back in. That and the fact that his transmission spontaneously began to into gear again point away from syncros and more toward either external linkage or internal gear shims, bushings, etc.
  • mcm62mcm62 Posts: 4
    Hello. I am about to change my Impreza for a new Forester XT 2010… I am undecided between the manual and the automatic.
    I have heard the manual does not take good advantage of the torque available while the automatic does. But also heard the 4 speed automatic it’s an outdated transmission and does not offer good power ratios specially downhill.
    Any recommendations?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For 2009+ the XT only comes with a manual. So I guess your decision is easy.

    You can get an X base or Premium with a 5 speed manual, though, but that's not the turbo.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    For 2009+ the XT only comes with a manual. So I guess your decision is easy.

    Correct that to read "For 2009+ the XT only comes with an automatic." ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ha ha, fingers faster than my brains today, good catch. ;)
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