Subaru Impreza Transmission Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
Discuss Impreza transmission issues here.
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  • 2006rex2006rex Posts: 3
    Hi all:

    I have a brand new 2006 WRX sedan Ltd. (bone stock) with around 1800 miles on it. I have noticed that shifting from 1st to 2nd and again from 3rd to 4th at high RPM (greater than 5000 RPM), is not really smooth or quick. I have to be really deliberate with my shifts and have to find the exact angle, else it just doesn't fall into place. I don't see this problem when shifting in less spirited driving and also, shifting to 3rd is always smooth and quick.

    Has anyone else noticed this problem? I was a really good boy during the break-in period of 1000 miles so I don't think that should be the problem.

    Many thanks in advance for your suggestions.
  • silversolarasilversolara Posts: 113
    i haven't noticed this in my bone stock 05 Rex sedan. Do you have a stock shifter or, as in my case, the short throw shifter?
  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    My 03 wagon w/ sti short shift is/has done fine.
  • 2006rex2006rex Posts: 3
    I don't have the short throw shifter. Should I just ask the dealer to install that for me? BTW - I have read many a horror story on other forums about exactly the same kind of thing leading to the Tranny getting trashed. Whats more, apparently Subaru is quick to dismiss these problems as those caused by abuse. But, this is all hearsay at this point...

    I have most certainly not abused my car by any stretch of the imagination! Looks like I need to take it to the dealer and see what he says....

    Thanks.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 5,955
    I don't have the short throw shifter. Should I just ask the dealer to install that for me?

    YES. YES, YES. It's a great thing. You need a bit more force when shifting, especially low gears, but boy, is it worth it! I have 50K on mine and love every ride!

    2018 430i Gran Coupe

  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    If you like the length of the stock shift throw but want a 'tighter' feel you can replace the shifter bushings.
    I have a shortened short shifter and bushings...maybe I went too far.
  • pwk78pwk78 Posts: 2
    i have a 98 impreza outback sport wagon that is locked in PARK. when i press on the brake pedal and try to move the gearshift, i hear a clicking sound on the underside of the steering column and the gearshift will not budge. if anyone has any suggestions or input i would love to hear them.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    My son had that same problem with his old '96 Impreza Outback. It was a real pain. He had to keep playing with it, and eventually it would shift.

    Not sure what the problem was? Dirty electric connections (in his case he spilled soda near the gearshift)? Once it warmed up a little it seemed to work.

    Bob
  • pwk78pwk78 Posts: 2
    yeah, it seemed to work after warming up and some wiggling of the gearshift last week, but now it won't move. thanks for the reply.
    patrick
  • bcainbcain Posts: 1
    I have a knocking/rattle kinda sound from the transmission area someplace. It is louder when accelerating and fades away when you back off on the gas. I have changed both drive shafts, and wheel bearings, as I was told this was the problem. This made no difference. The car seems to drive OK. No one can tell me what this could be.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    try motor mounts and trans mount, before that try checking the exhaust brackets, sounds like the exhaust flexing and hitting the frame.

    -mike
  • 2006 impreza here 34000 miles. i've noticed lately that trying to downshift from 5th to 4th is grinding a tad on entry into 4th gear. if i shift slow it doesn't happen. if i engage clutch fully and just pull straight from 5th to 4th, i notice the grind.

    is this a transmission problem?

    i need to get this sorted out quick before my warranty is up.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,721
    Have you tried changing the gear oil in your transmission? I noticed a significant improvement in shifting when I changed the stock oil with Amsoil synthetic. After reading about MTs in Imprezas a bit, it looked like Red-Line 75W90 provided among the best shift characteristics, while "royal purple" should be avoided. I have never used either, so I cannot say for sure if this is accurate.

    I was having some cold weather issues and occasional grinding from 3 to 2, both of which were cleared up after the oil change.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can check the gear oil. It's a yellow plug on top of the transmission tunnel. On my Forester is was accessible from the passenger side, WAY down there.

    Check the oil level and condition. I'd change it regardless. You will probably need a long tube and a funnel to add gear oil after you drain it.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    We actually have Royal Purple in the Legacy Turbo Racecar. So far she has been running well with it. Wouldn't be my first choice but the folks who installed the trans for me put it in. I like Redline and Amsoil synthetics.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,721
    That is good to hear - sounds like any of them will be a good bet, then!

    drivelike, if the gear oil has yet to be changed in the car, perhaps it is just not providing the same level of performance it once did. A fluid change is inexpensive and is probably due anyway. If this does not clear up the problem, then you might start to look at a possible transmission problem.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I have a 1999 Impreza AWD automatic transmission. When I put the car in drive it takes anywhere from 2-8 seconds for the tranny to kick into gear and go forward. Also does in other lower gears. In reverse it kicks in right away. What could the problem be..oh yeah my "check engine" light illumnates on the dash..are they related ?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not likely, but I suppose it's possible.

    Do you access to an ODBII code scanner? They're $99 or so nowadays. Ask around.

    I have one you can borrow if you're in the DC/MD area.
  • What does a ODB11 code scanner do ? Do you have any idea what is causing the transmission to hesitate before kicking into gear ?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    II, as in 2. On-board diagnostics level 2.

    Basically it lets you read the error code to get specific symptoms. It tells you why the check-engine light went on, basically.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,721
    The hesitation is probably due to sticky hydraulics, bad seals, or low fluid. My guess is one of the first two. If it is sticky hydraulics, it may be possible to clear up the problem by having the transmission flushed with a solvent. If it is bad seals, then a transmission rebuild/replacement is in the future. Low fluid is an easy enough one to rule out.... just check the fluid level.

    Seems as though other users have posted about a similar problem with their cars; typically '99s for some reason, if I recall correctly.

    How many miles on the car?
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • It has 130,000 miles on it. The fluid level is fine, I was hoping it was an easy fix. Confused why it only happens in drive....reverse no hesitation.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,721
    I *think* the forward/reverse gears use a different fluid channel, but it has been quite a while since I looked at a diagram of these things and I have never taken one apart. From what others have said with similar symptoms, reverse is not typically the problem - only trying to go forward.

    You might consider looking at cost of a rebuild/replacement transmission to determine if you want to proceed with this car. A solvent flush is, I would guess, about a $300-500 job. If it does not clear up your problem, then there is only the expensive option left. :(

    Search the forum for this problem. I am not sure where you will find other discussions on this, but I would shoot for the "problems and solutions" threads for the various Subaru models (especially Legacy/Outback) as they all used to be lumped in those single threads.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • 30,000 mile maintenance had the gear oil changed.

    so a transmission problem then? this bothers me quite a bit as it's a 2006, and definately not my first manual transmission.

    i'm at 34,700 miles so i've only 1300 left on my warranty if it is a trans issue, and if they don't try to tell me it wont be covered.

    at any rate, car goes into the shop tomorrow.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,721
    Keep us posted. I would rather not speculate any further without additional information.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Warranty is 50,000 miles on the drivetrain, and a MT trans is covered under that :)

    -mike
  • bjordan2bjordan2 Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 subaru impreza 5speed. Just yesterday I can't shift into 5th or reverse. Any ideas of what to look for?
  • nbrokmannbrokman Posts: 1
    I recently took my 1997 outback that has 130,000 miles on it to get new tires. After the work had been done and the car lowered the tire guy couldnt get the car out of park. Their claim is that it is an electrical isse with a short not allowing it to shift gears. I think they snagged the transmission line under the car when they lifted it. If anyone can help me find a diagnosis to this issue I would be very happy.
    :confuse:
  • dobber3dobber3 Posts: 3
    I just put a new JMD Trans and Motor in my 98 impreza 2.5 rs auto. we took it out for a drive and got on here and she will act like she is draging the rear end it torqs the front end all over the place does a jdm trans have a different front end ratio in it the the us model
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yes. First you are going from AT to MT which have completely different gears. Second you are going from an NA to a Turbo trans which also has a different ratio. You would need the rear diffy that came with the JDM trans in order to get it to work. At the very least you'd need a trans that matches the gear ratio which is different.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • dobber3dobber3 Posts: 3
    hay thanks, do u know were i can track down a rear end that went with this trans any web sites or any place to call would be cool thanks
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You might start with the place that sold you the trans.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • lorettsloretts Posts: 21
    Hi,
    I have 1996 Impreza 150,000 miles, AWD. 2.5.
    Lately the automatic gear shifter will not click right away out of park.
    When I grasp the gear shift and try to depress the button, it won't go and there is a clicking sound coming from near the steering column. Sometimes I can get it to move by a subtle shift in pressure on the button, and then it's fine. I have noticed that it has been happening only in the morning after the care has been sitting all night, and now in the cooler am temperatures.

    Any suggestions welcomed.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There was no 2.5 in 1996. 1997 was the first 2.5RS.

    I'd start with replacing the button, seems like a bad connection inside.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • u mite need to replace the elect shifter soleniold in the the shifter i had that same problem and i had to replace the soleniold it just became to weak to pull the pin all the way back to shift
  • lorettsloretts Posts: 21
    whoops... typo... meant 2.2
  • lorettsloretts Posts: 21
    Is that something only a mechanic can do or is it something i can do myself?
  • i had the same problem in my 1993 impreza and i now have it again in my 1999 outback. we tried to fix it in the impreza, but it kept returning. sometimes if you turn the wheel hard to one side or the other, that will losen it up, or if you pump the brake. thanks for the suggestion of checking the solenoid, i'll have to look into that. this problem is a real pain, especially if you shift into park in traffic and then find yourself stuck when it starts moving--what a nightmare!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,721
    Not that this helps address the problem at all, but in traffic, it is probably a better idea to shift into neutral than park. If you get bumped while in park, it could be bad for your transmission.... ;)
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I have 1999 Subaru Impreza Outback (sport) with 200,000 miles. It is a champ. The timing belt has been done twice, and it has an AUTOMATIC reman tranny (80,000 miles). The strangest thing started happening about two years ago. About once a month I would start the car, put it in drive and it would leak a little tranny fluid. At first, it was just a little bit (few drops). After a couple of these incidents I decided to have the transmission pan gasket replaced. This didn't help. So I did the transmission gasket again! No help. By now the leaking is turning into some serious stuff. The key to this is that it doesn't happen every time. It only happens when the car has been sitting for a day or two without use. I talked to a friend who said it might be an issue with a breather hose??? He said that the fluid flows in and out of the torque converter from the tranny and if the breather isn't working right the fluid can gush out if you put the car into gear before the fluid is finished moving. Does anybody have any experience with something like this? Sometimes it leaks so bad that it leaves a 50 yard stripe of fluid on the asphalt when I pull away from my house :cry: . Don't worry, I keep at least three quarts of tranny fluid on hand. I'm tired of the trouble though.
  • penth2openth2o Posts: 2
    Hi, My name is Joel from up north Michigan.
    I have a problem that I hope you guru's can help me out on.
    I have a 2000 stock impreza rs automatic 52K.

    I was told my brake lights were out by a cop a week ago.
    I came home last night and and put it in park. let the foot off the brake and it starting rolling in reverse. It was in reverse (even though the shift lever was in park). I could gas it and go in reverse. I turned the key off but it would not turn all the way off as it was in gear. The lever was in park.

    Played with the shift lever now it locks in park and can only be unlocked manually. If I push the button on the shift lever I can hear a click for every time I push the button. It comes from a realy or switch on the left side of the steering column by the turn signal lever.

    Play some more and the car started up, put it in gear and she rolls in every gear including reverse and park. Play more and it goes to park and won't unlock. you have to manually unlock the shift lever. Once unlocked it still wont start as it thinks it is in gear. The more I mess with it it seems I get a different sympton.

    As of now I have the steering column and shift consule exposed. I will include a pic of the switch that I can feel clicking every time I push the shift button. It is the one with the red and black wires going to it.

    also with the key out I can hear and feel the intergrated module clicking on and off. the little light that is under the automatic shift lever cover that shows which gear you are in blinks in harmony with the clicking of the intergrated module.

    As it sits now it won't go out of park and it won't start and all of the above mentioned.

    Is there anyone that knows about this or what the problem may be. I replaced the stop switch as this is what happened to another car of mine but it did not help this on. Please help. This occurred Jul of 08 and I threw it in the corner of my garage and forgot about it till now.

    Thank you for all your help in advance. Sorry I had to be introduced this way but I'm in a bind as I cant tow it or drag it on a flatbed as it is in gear. Thanks again.

    Joel [email protected]
  • penth2openth2o Posts: 2
  • tufflucktuffluck Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Impreza AWD that keeps to much pressure or gets to hot one and blows the seal out every time I have replaced the seal now for the 3rd time and befor I put it back into car is there anyone that can tell me why it keeps blowing the seal ?????
  • Over the weekend, I stopped my '05 impreza outback at a rest area and when I went to start the car to leave, it wouldn't start. Tried jumping the battery, although I couldn't imagine how it would have died in under 5 minutes. That didn't help. Was advised to try to start in neutral - that worked. I think I tried one more time in park...didn't work. Again in neutral, it worked. Then as soon as I decided to take it back to the dealership and demand a repair...it worked in park, and has the 6 or so starts I've made since. I have had the car less than 2 weeks. Bought it pre-owned, and out of town. I don't know how to replicate the problem at the dealership - but that should be a problem covered under lemon laws, etc, correct? But if I can't make it happen on command...

    advice? the miles are ticking. how much would replacing a neutral safety switch, or adjusting it, on a 2005 impreza outback sport generally cost? And where is the switch actually located on that particular model??
  • lonnys1lonnys1 Posts: 3
  • 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.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see...lemon law definitely no - that only applies to New cars and even then it's usually less than 12 months old or 12,000 miles.

    I would go back to the dealer that sold it to you, or take it to an indy mechanic you trust. The 2010s are out so that car is well past the warranty. Some used cars come with a 30 day warranty from the dealer that sold it, though, if that's the case.
  • I have a 2002 Impresa WRX auto (75,000 miles) with a probable transmission problem. Check engine light on and hesitation between second and third gear. Anyone have a similar experience or know whether there is any likelihood of not needing to replace the transmission?

    I have regularly served the car and the mechanic that looked at the car so far said the transmission fluid didn't look too bad. That mechanic was not comfortable with the car and suggested taking it to a dealer for a diagnostic. I will be doing that unless I can locate a recommended local mechanic before then - Cleveland / Akron area.

    Thanks.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,721
    What were the codes stored in the system? Did the mechanic hook it up to a reader?
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I called the mechanic who didn't write down the code, but told me that it was a "Second gear incorrect ratio"

    Looking online, I found out that this is probably a ECU P0732 - Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio

    Calling the mechanic I usually use in Brooklyn know who's Subaru, he thought it was just a speed senor. Mechanic in Ohio wanted to replace the transmission based on the same info.
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