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Subaru Impreza Transmission Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,717
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....

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 4,517
    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 330i 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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: 10,868
    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.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 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.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,868
    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.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 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: 10,868
    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?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 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: 10,868
    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.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 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: 10,868
    Keep us posted. I would rather not speculate any further without additional information.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 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 :)

  • 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.
  • 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.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
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