Have you recently switched from a gas-powered vehicle to an EV, or vice-versa? A national TV broadcast network would like to speak with you; please reach out to [email protected] by 12/5 for more details.
Are you a current or prospective Tesla customer who is having a change of heart about the brand? A national news reporter would like to speak with you; please reach out to [email protected] by 12/5 for more details.

Subaru Legacy/Outback Transmission Problems

1356712

Comments

  • debbietdebbiet Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2002 Outback with 77 K miles. It was quiet on the test drive, but on the way home it was rattling. It seems to be coming from the dash board or steering column directly in front of the driver's seat. When I use the turn signal it makes a fuuny noise too. Is this indicitive of any common problems? The rattle comes and goes. I wish it go for good.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    The rattling may be a result of a faulty clip (or clips) on the ventilation ducting. Not sure about the turn signal; I have not experienced or heard of any problems with them.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • mike200mike200 Member Posts: 1
    I'm thinking the valve body is the problem' and yes I have the same exact problem as you. Mine works on startup but hesitates after it's warmed up. Did you have any luck finding the actual problem. I can't see this as a seal problem,mine doesn't slip at all and works perfectly once activated, but won't reingage after it's put in park,and reverse always works,so I think it has to be a sticky valve body valve,and shouldn't cost that much to fix. If you have a url that cures this I would much appreciate hearing from you. Thanks: Mike
  • rodney2112rodney2112 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 93 legacy sedan with the automatic trans. Front wheel drive. For a few days now it has been shifting pretty rough. At first I thought it waqs a fuel flow issue, but I put it in cruise control at sixty in some hill country and every shift up and downshift was rough. Not really hesitant, just rough, shaking hard shifting. Any ideas what might cause this? I checked the fluid and it looks fine. I haven't tried changing the filter and fluid yet as I was told it was done a few k ago.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Does easing off the throttle help a bit?

    Crips shifts aren't necessarily bad. I'm sure they don't feel good, but it's better than mushy/hesitant shifts.
  • rodney2112rodney2112 Member Posts: 2
    Both easing off and slightly accelerating seem to help. Also, it doesn't seem to happen as often if I'm in manual shift mode. Could it be a fuel flow issue or is it just transmission slippage occurring? Thanks for the reply.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I don't think it's slipping, in fact it's sort of the opposite, there is no slop so you're feeling the shifts.

    At that age, it's 14 years old, you should count your blessings. Try to be easy on her and keep her running forever!
  • suttonbizsuttonbiz Member Posts: 1
    Was just told by the dealership that we needed to replace the entire transmission in our 2001 Outback AWD because the center differential is shot. Says that Subaru requires them to replace the entire transmission instead of fixing the differential. Doesn't sound right to me. Anyone know about that?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    It is a shared housing, so maybe Subaru is afraid their techs will mess something up when they break into it.... :surprise:

    But honestly, no, I am not sure why they would require a full replacement of the entire assembly.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It's all one unit. Front Diffy, Trans and center diffy. What I would do is get one from a junk yard and have that installed. Price should be about $500-900 for the trans/frontdiffy/centerdiffy and about $400 or so to have it put in.

    -mike
  • hugh5hugh5 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2005 Outback Limited AM (new model) At 40K we noticed a vibration in the steering that when diaganosed by the Subura dealer resulted in a new transmission being installed.

    We had originally thought we would keep this car for at least ten years, but not now. Its going next year way before it hits 80K :(
  • davenmndavenmn Member Posts: 1
    Greetings First time poster I have had problems (transmission) towing my homemade teardrop trailer that weights about 1300# in the mountains with my current 2000 2.5L outback. I want to get a different Suby, like maybe a 2001 VDC 3.0 6 which is rated at a higher towing capacity. The engines are different. What about the transmission?Thanks
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Current published Subie tow ratings:

    Forester: 2400 pounds

    Outback H-4 models, including XT turbo: 2700 pounds
    Outback H-6 model: 3000 pounds

    I'm assuming the same Outback ratings are true for the Legacys, although the tow ratings are no longer published in the brochures.

    I believe the Impreza is limited to 2000 pounds.

    NOTE: Those ratings are with trailer brakes. If you have no trailer brakes, all Subies are limited to 1000 pounds towing. For further info, check the owner's manual.

    Finally, in other markets all these vehicles are rated to tow more than here in the USA. I've been told it's because Subaru of America is very conservative when it comes to their tow ratings. The vehicles are up to towing more, but SoA is concerned about engine cooling, thus keeping the tow numbers down.

    Bob
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    I think I would be more concerned about transmission cooling than engine cooling. I have some friends who drove their 2000 Forester from Maryland to Alaska with a 2000# loaded trailer in tow. About 3 months after arriving, they had to have a new transmission installed (under warranty). I doubt it is coincidence that the failure occurred so soon after completing that 4000 mile trek. ;)
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Yeah, that too. I think the Tribeca, with the tow package, includes a tranny cooler.

    Bob
  • jresjres Member Posts: 69
    Ok here's an odd one. I have a 2000 Legacy GT wagon with a manual transmission and 76K miles.

    Under load such as encountering a hill, while in 5th gear the car will exhibit a slipping behavior. There is a 1000-1500 rpm blip of the engine during which the car doesn't accelerate. It also happens to a lesser extent in 4th and does not happen in 1st through 3rd.

    Any thoughts?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like the clutch to me. I'm surprised you observe it in 4th and 5th and not from a start in 1st. Does the clutch still grab well?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I'm going to 2nd the clutch. I've seen this happen in several occasions. I'd say that you should start looking for a clutch for it. Try the Exedy Sport it's slightly stiffer than stock but still is organic and will last a little longer.

    -mike
  • jresjres Member Posts: 69
    What's bothering me is exactly what juice picked up on, It's pulling fine first through third. I have never heard of a clutch being bad in the upper gears. A shot clutch in my experience will slip under load in the lower gears.

    Has anyone here done a legacy clutch on their own? I would prefer to do it at home if possible.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    We've done several, they are a royal PITA. We send that work out to anther suby shop due to it being such a PITA. One of the hardest parts is to split the trans from the block, can be a real bear at times.

    -mike
  • jresjres Member Posts: 69
    I guess my real question is, can the clutch be done without putting the car on a lift or pulling the engine?

    Paisan, I see we share a particular car passion, I had an '89 240 sx. What a car... I miss it often.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It can be done without a lift. We've done at least 10+ at our place w/o a lift (we've also done about 5+ driveline swaps too w/o a lift). It's just a bit more difficult, you gotta get some big SUV/Truck jack stands and some jacks to get it up nice and high so you can wrestle it off the block and out from under the car. Figure on a 12-14hr day you can swap out the clutch w/o going too too crazy.

    Yeah I picked up the 240sx from my buddy for $1500, 220,000 miles on it now and she is running well. I dropped about 500-600 this year in it (Alternator, Starter, Battery, tie-rods, ball joints, eibach pro-kit springs, GR2 rear shocks, brake lines) but it's a perfect NYC beater car!

    -mike
  • carl34carl34 Member Posts: 1
    Have you taken the plunge yet on the replacement transmission? My girlfriend's 2000 Legacy (100K miles) has a phenomenon during tight turning that is making me think the center diff is having issues. It's like when I leave my truck (no center diff) in 4WD and turn on dry pavement, kind of a hopping sensation. Problem has been sporadic over last year but now is much more frequent. Is this at all similar to your symptoms?
  • starasorisstarasoris Member Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Legacy. I had the rear left bearing replaced and at the same time, the abs ring because it was said to have been broken.
    It then made a loud noise while breaking under 30mph or so. They then replaced some bushes and the noise is still there but it has changed. It sounds like it is coming from the diff area and it now happens when driving slow but not under breaks. It is a kind of CV joint noise and of course knocks quicker with more speed. There is sometimes a small grind of the same type when pulling to a stop.
    Any Ideas, because my expensive mechanic doesn't seem to have a clue.
  • rsttoolersttoole Member Posts: 4
    My ac cycles on and off on my 1997 Subaru Outback. It seems that the hotter the weather the more the AC is OFF. Is there a relay that is easily accesible and replaceable that could be contributing to this problem. I have just added coolant so that should not be the problem.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Why did you add coolant? You shouldn't have to add refrig. unless there is a leak. My guess is that there is a leak somewhere. The cycling is usually due to there being low refrigirant and the compressor will turn off to protect itself.

    -mike
  • jresjres Member Posts: 69
    Just a follow up note, had the clutch done and that took care of the problem. Odd that it was slipping most notably inthe upper gears.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Glad to hear it was resolved, though. :shades:
  • misterbobmisterbob Member Posts: 1
    I've got about 20k on this Subie after a trip through So Dakota to Glacier Natn'l Park in NW Montana. When I set the cruise at 84mph, I figure I was hitting about 80 most of the way. No problem in the flatlands. Once I got to some 4% - 6% inclines and the speed began to slow, the A/T would SLAM into a lower gear - pick up to the set cruise speed and then ease back into high gear.
    To save the transmission from the SLAM on each incline, I tapped the brake pedal to disengage cruise control. This was a hassle for several hundred miles through Montana and Wyoming until I got back to the flatlands.
    Upon returning home, I called the dealer and the service manager says, "Yah, I've heard of this 'sharp acceleration' and there is nothing that can be done." To say the least, I am disappointed with the lame response, too-bad attitude, and lack of technical training. He says wait to 30k to change A/T fluid.
    Am I expecting too much of SoA and this Outback? Do the thousands of Subie owners in Montana have to "just live with this SLAM"? Any thoughts?
    MisterBob
  • tmagee1tmagee1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 auto transmission Subaru Outback. About 3 weeks ago there was a very heavy rain in which I was driving through huge puddles of water. After a while I started to think I wasn't going to make it home. I would have my foot on the gas and the car would be accelerating and then it would just hesitate and sit there or coast a bit and then would accelerate again. I kept waiting for it to die but it never did. Since then when the car has sat for awhile and I start it and accelerate, the same thing happens for about the first block that I drive but then runs fine the rest of the time. If I let the car idle in the garage for a minute or two before leaving I don't have a problem.

    A couple of other things to note: I noticed that when I first back out of the garage and put the car in drive, the car will slowly move forward even though I don't have my foot on the gas and it is an uphill incline. One time I had to push hard on the brake to stop the car because it was moving forward all by itself.

    Another thing that has happened since then is that periodically when I go to start the car, all I'll hear is a click and it can take from 2 - 20 attempts before the engine will turn over. This issue may be resolved (my mechanic thinks so) but I don't feel it has been long enough to confirm it yet so I thought I'd mention it here as well. What the mechanic thinks this was is a corrosion on a cable at the battery. So far so good but it only seemed to happen when it was humid outside or had rained so until we get more rain I won't know for sure.

    My mechanic has replaced spark plugs and plug wires along with the throttle positioning switch in an attempt to resolve the hesitation when accelerating but neither has made a difference. Is there anyone out there who has experienced the same issue or issues and if so, what was the resolution? I can't afford to replace everything in the car to find the problem so would appreciate some good input.

    Thanks! :confuse:
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Hmm, the cruise control is meant to only be used in level areas. I have had the same thing happen on my Armada, my subies, my Isuzus, etc. The AT is not meant to downshift so often, this will cause the fluid to overheat etc.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    No misfire codes, anything like that?

    Next thing for me would be the ignition coil. They're about $80 at wholesalers, and you only need one. That feeds the spark to the wires, which then feeds the plugs.

    It's gotta be spark or fuel.
  • rkeiserrkeiser Member Posts: 1
    My 2006 Subaru Outback LL Bean feels like it is is jumping gears when I accelerate quickly. I practically have to floor the accelerator and then the speed suddenly "jumps" up. It feels like there is something wrong with the transmission and it is not automatically changing gears right. I've taken it to get serviced and they say their computers don't find anything wrong. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • kenjckenjc Member Posts: 8
    Yes, this is my exact problem as well...

    I own 2005 Outback wagon, automatic, bought from dealer with 16,000 miles. Now has 36,000 miles.

    It has had a "hard" shifting thing since I've owned it (which I unfortunately didn't notice on the test drive). Started noticing it soon afterward. Jerky hard shifting when accelerating from stop, and hard (automatic) downshifting when going up a mountain. Not all 05s are like this I've discovered, since I get free loaners from the dealership and they have much smoother gentler gear shifting. Brought it up at the dealership; they said this is normal for AWD and that maybe it needed to break in. It hasn't.

    I've also had sometimes the delayed downshifting when I'm trying to accelerate rapidly at freeway speeds. I press down the accelerator, and it feels like the car is just hanging out and not responding at all for several seconds, then suddenly, it JERKS into action and accelerates rapidly.

    And in the last couple of weeks, I've noticed it worsening. When accelerating from stop, it seems to hesitate in little jerks before finally getting into gear. I'm reading earlier forum questions about transmission seal problems, but it seems way too early for 2005/06!

    Are you going to get yours looked at? Let me know what you come up with!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    Perhaps you should try disconnecting the battery for 20 or 30 minutes, then reconnecting. This will reset the "learned" habits of the transmission/engine and, after a few hundred miles, will learn your driving preferences. If you purchased the car used, the previous owner may have had a far different style of driving than you, resulting in too mellow of a programmed behavior by the car.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    05s had an ECU or TCU reflash TSB to fix this IIRC. I would ask the dealer to reflash the ECU and TCU for you.

    -mike
  • kenjckenjc Member Posts: 8
    thank you for possible leads. not being a car expert, paisan's reply means absolutely zero to me! (sorry!)

    could you please explain in layman's terms so that i can take car to dealer and actually know what i am talking about!

    Thanks!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    The ECU is the Engine Control Unit - a computer that manages and monitors the functions of the engine based on a range of input. The TCU, likewise, is the Transmission Control Unit.

    A TSB is a Technical Service Bulletin - a document that notifies Subaru technicians of a known issue and a method of resolution. It is not a recall; just a service notification to hopefully resolve the "we don't know" issues customers often receive when taking a problem car to a dealership.

    A re-flash basically means that the memory is cleared and a new "map," or series of instructions about how to control the units based on the input received, is loaded.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • kenjckenjc Member Posts: 8
    thank you!
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Sorry about that, was firing off a bunch of posts and didn't have a lot of time. Wes always clarifies my stuff for people :)

    -mike
  • paulmanpaulman Member Posts: 10
    When I try a fairly tight turn at slow speeds, the steering seems to hop or jump. Similar to my Ford 4x4 pickup when the 4x4 is engaged -- but normal for a pickup w/ a unsophisticated 4x4 system. I'm sure Subaru's should not do this.

    Anyone familar w/ this problem in an awd Subaru?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I'm thinking differential or CV joint. Wheel bearing failures were common so maybe that could be it.
  • paulmanpaulman Member Posts: 10
    Thanks. From your response, I'm thinking I may misunderstand awd in Subarus. Unlike my all-time 4x4 truck when hubs are locked, an awd Subaru should not have tacking problems when turning because little, if any power is going to the front wheels. I think this is right. So, I think you've both corrected my misunderstanding and offered some good ideas. Thanks again, Paul
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,130
    Power is still applied to all wheels, but the differentials (front, center, rear) contain clutch packs that absorb the speed differences between the two sides of the car. It is a smooth system, and you should not notice any of the "tire hop" often associated with other 4wd systems in tight turns. The only time I noticed any sort of tire hop with my '96 Outback was when I drove on extremely slick surfaces and had one tire with a *slightly* larger diameter than the others (A defective tire was replaced with about 16K miles on that set, resulting in a slightly larger diameter on the replaced tire). It made the car feel somewhat unstable on slick roads due to the slipping caused when the drive train released the tension every few seconds.

    I agree with juice that your car's problem is likely a differential, or perhaps a (very bad) CV joint on a front half shaft.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • teagan1teagan1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Outback 160K just replaced the Transmission. I keep getting a code 1722. Trany seem to be ok but the speedometer sometimes sticks and the trany temp light comes on. I was told there was an issue with wiring contact under the spare tire that might cacuse the trany to go bad. Anyone have the same problem?
  • paulmanpaulman Member Posts: 10
    When you say differential, is this the front differential? So I use the right terms, there are front and reaar differentials and a center transfer case, right? In any event, what commonly goes wrong w/ a differential that could cause wheel hopping? There is fluid.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Any strange smell on the fluid?

    With manual trans cars it's combined with the gear oil. There is a yellow dip stick on the trans tunnel, which is also where you add gear oil.
  • rondo320rondo320 Member Posts: 10
    Since I had my complete electrical system failure in January, I've replaced the fusible link, most fuses some relays, the alternator, battery, windshield wiper motor, the ignition coil, the ignitor, the heater control, the radio and the instrument cluster. My last problem is the air bag light coming on when there is a high electrical load. What triggers it is pressing the brake pedal. If there is no electrical load like the heater fan and headlights, pressing the brakes isn't enough to turn the light on. After I shut the engine down and start it up again the light will extinguish after the start cycle. Does anybody have a clue as to what is causing this problem?
    Thanks,
    Rondo 320
  • mizmomizmo Member Posts: 1
    i had the same problem a little over a year ago with a 2000 outback. had to have the tranny re-built. now, after just over a year later the re-built tranny locked up and it is in the shop now. subaru has had tranny probles in the past also. i had an '82 gx coupe that had 2 trannies put in it. i like subarus but am alittle annoyed with this problem. it lowers the reliability rating in my book.
  • jckeyjckey Member Posts: 1
    I have a 04 Wagon with a H6, with an automatic transmission, it was jerking and missing, but not all the time. I had it into the dealer a couple times but no codes were showing. It also would start up in the morning and idle high, 2200 rpms and then drop down to 1800 rpms. It would drop down to around 900 rpms soon.
    Well, I took it back to the dealer today and they found a bad throttle positioning sensor. There was a bulletin 11-80-06 on the problem.
Sign In or Register to comment.