Subaru Baja Transmission Troubles

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
edited July 2014 in Subaru
Discuss transmission issues with your Baja here.


  • nm06122nm06122 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I just joined this forum tonight hoping to find other owners in the same predicament. I'm the original owner of a 2004 Baja Turbo automatic. I really enjoy driving it, but in early 2005, a grinding sound became evident between the 2nd and 3rd gears. It happens in both auto and manual modes and usually occurs under normal acceleration (not jack-rabbit starts) but is more noticeable after driving on the highway for several minutes and then starting again after a stop. :confuse:
    It took several trips to the dealership from April-November 2005 to convince the service manager that there was a problem, but finally after 3 technicians rode with me, the dealership ordered another tranny from Peru and installed it in early 2006. :sick:
    Guess what? The grinding noise was still there. :cry:
    Too much time was wasted with that dealership in Pennsylvania, so when I found myself in Kansas City late this summer, I took it to a Missouri dealership. They too decided to replace the tranny and did so, but guess what? The symptoms have become worse. :mad: Now, when first driving it, the tranny 'clunks' from 2nd to 3rd and after it warms up a bit, it grinds between the same two gears.
    Question: have any of you experienced similar problems or heard of a grinding noise?
    I am now set to meet with the district manager on 27-Sep-06 as a next step. I hope I don't have a :lemon: !
    Thank you,
  • pagrispagris Member Posts: 10
    Todd: I would suggest that you consider posting your inquiry at, which, despite its name, covers all Subaru models and frankly gets more attention from Baja owners than this Edmunds forum. There are also several forums related to maintenance and mechanical areas for Subarus.

    Good luck!
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Member Posts: 1,640
    also you might check the Forester XT and Outback XT forums. I think the lack of response here is simply that none of us have heard of the turbo-automatic having a gear grinding problem as an issue. It is likely a one-time, although to have it repeat is VERY peculiar.


  • subarubajasubarubaja Member Posts: 2
    Purchased the car new in 03. All started when I noticed some clicking/clucking sound when the weels were turned completly to the right or to the left (going into a parking stall).
    I noticed he front right CV joint boot was cut.
    I brought the vehicle to the dealer to replace the boot.
    They replaced the front right axle.
    After replacing the front axle (part cost $488 + labor = about $600) the clicking/clucking noise was still there.
    I brought the vehicle back to the dealer, it seems now the noise comes from the transmission.

    FYI I had to change a front right bearing at 30000 miles under warranty, but the front right axle was replaced at 78 000 miles? Coincidence or miss-diagnose? The dealer passes the ball to Subaru, Subaru passes the ball to the Dealer!

    Transmission problem at 78000 miles it is unbelievable! Otherwise the car drives fine, no problem. Only when the wheels are turned full way there is clucking sound like if gears do not catch correctly. Sound comes mainly from the front right side. Turning into a parking stall is when the sound can be noticed really well. Could it really be the transmission? I have to pay $550 just to put down the transmission and check what is going on. Any idea if it can really be a transmission problem?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Front axles are about $75 wholesale :(

    Anyways, I would say it's probably the front diffy, not the transmission, the front diff however is inside the trans :(

  • subarubajasubarubaja Member Posts: 2
    Thanks Mike,

    At least I understand why they have to drop the transmission, it seems logical.

    On the pother hand, $75 wholesale for the front axle and I paid $488 :(

    I am waiting for them to tell me what is the exact problem. But is seems to explain why the sound is heard only when the wheels were turned all the way. This is low mileage to have a bad front differencial.

    What could have caused that?
  • dpatriarcodpatriarco Member Posts: 1
    Also a 2004 Baja turbo owner. For several years I too have experienced a grinding transmission noise when shifting from 2nd to 3rd in auto. Problem is only noticed when car has run 20 min. or more. Finally heard by dealer after several visits. Their finall diagnosis...a rusted heat shield! I never believed it . Now a recently dicovered cracked and rusted sub frame which I believe was the problem all along....trouble is... now out of warranrty at 81000mi. ALSO have to replace A THIRD turbo...this time not covered under warranty!
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