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Any Subaru techs on here? Trans problem


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6 replies to this topic

#1 mikedc3

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 12:35 AM

Hi,
I am a mechanic, but I don't do internal auto trans work.
A friend is thinking of buying a 200 Forrester, He brought it buy today to have me look at it. So far it needs a T belt, Belts, tune up, both rear wheel bearings are screaming, struts, tires, and an alignment.

The real problem is with the trans, Sometimes it wont go into drive. It always goes into reverse with no trouble. When it does go into drive, the trans works great! It has all 4 gears, lock up works, the shift points are good, it down shifts fine, and it doesn't slip at all. When it doesn't go into drive, if you tap the gas a few times, the trans does go into drive, However I don't feel that it is a pressure problem. If you don't tap the gas it will sit there all day with the shifter in D and not moving. I get the feeling that this is an electrical problem, rather than a stuck check ball, pressure leak, or anything else mechanical inside the trans. I checked bullitins for this car and found one for the trans. It said that dents in the trans pan could break a wire, or solinoid inside the pan but there are no dents in this pan. There are no trans codes stored. Again, It seems electrical to me because when it does go into drive the trans workes great. This makes me think that some electrical trouble is not telling the trans to go into gear. Can anyone give me some ideas? Is this common? My friend can get this car for about a grand + repairs, so it is a good deal for him. BTW, it's an AWD unit.
Thanks,
MDC

#2 kevinsUBARU

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 08:43 AM

I had the same problem in a Jeep once. As a tempoary solution (90K miles worth of tempoary solution then it was sold), try putting it in reverse and moving back like 1 inch, then put it in Drive.

take care,
Kevin

#3 cookie

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 02:30 PM

or seal failure. This is after you have checked the usual linkage, fluid, filter etc.
Heck if you can get a Forester that cheap you can afford to do a proper tranny job with a used one from Japan or just pull it and have it overhauled.

#4 mikedc3

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 04:21 PM

I don't think it's a pump, seal, or pressure prob because usually with one of these problems it will only occure once. With this car, I can put it in D and the trans won't go in, I then tap the gas and it catches. I then shift to N and back to D and it doesn't catch again, I tap it again and it catches. I can do this over and over a hundred times. If it was a pressure prob, I would think that it would only not catch the first time. Plus it always goes into R without any trouble. I'm thinking there is a either a selector switch, solenoid SP? or wire problem, and rocking the engine\trans is causing the connection to be made. This trans IS electronic right?? I was thinking it was because of the self diag, ability. Wouldn't a pressure problem set codes? I'm thinking that maybe if there is no signal going to the trans telling it that the shifter is in D, the comp wouldn't even know that there is a problem, and therefore wouldn't set a trouble code. But as I said, I don't really know too mutch about AT's. and was hoping this was something common with these or someone here has seen this before. I would hate to have him spend $2000.00 for a trans only to find it was wiring all along.
Thanks for the help.
MDC

#5 cookie

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 04:30 PM

It depended on the weather and how fresh the fluid was. I reckon the pump or a seal was weak and I would just drop it in drive and wait a bit.She would pump up and take and off we would go. Several years later she finally failed to shift to second on the San Mateo bridge but she still drove me off the bridge very slowly. Many people were not pleased with my speed in first gear and let me know it.
When it was cold it took longer to pump up and right after a fluid change it acted more normal for a few months.

#6 cookie

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 04:47 PM

without all the fancy bits. a lot of times the pump is the first thing on the outside of a case and the torque converter slides right off. There are some seals in Subarus that seem to be famous for failure. You still have to pull the engine or tranny to do much about seals though.
You might do a search on this boards archives to get an idea of waht others have done.
I have not worked on an automatic myself for at least 10 years so I am more than out of date.
It sounds like yours does exactly what my 85 did though.

#7 color-blind

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 07:31 PM

This is a common complaint on Subaru vehicles. You have a seal that is failing. Most Subaru dealerships do not rebuild transmissions, they simply install a rebuilt unit. You can try flushing the transmission and installing an additive of your choice. Though I am not too fond of band-aids in a can. Basically your transmission is starting to fail.




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