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99 Forester AT, odd behavior?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Fairtax4me

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 12:38 PM

99 Forester, 162,xxx miles.
Belongs to a friend of mine, has the usual delayed forward engagement, which inplan to address with some fresh fluid, a new spin-on, and some fresh Trans-X.
But she's told me about another issue she's had with it recently.

Apparently when going downhill at speeds over 55mph it will sometimes downshift into 3rd on its own. It doesn't seem to be slipping when it does this. It Just downshifts. Then when she hits the gas to accelerate or maintain speed at the bottom of the hill it will shift back into 4th and keep going just fine. When it happens, if she shifts to 3rd with the selector, then puts it back to drive, it goes back into 4th and stays there.

I took it for a test drive and it didnt do it. I told her to drive and it didnt do it. Fluid level appears slightly high and has some bubbles, but is otherwise clear and smells fine.

I'm trying to determine if this is normal behavior to downshift to 3rd on its own. I know a lot of European cars will do that, but never heard of a Subaru acting that way.

Any ideas from the auto trans gurus here?

#2 Rooster2

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Posted 09 November 2013 - 01:51 PM

I have a 99 OBW with auto tranny. The down shifting seems odd when going down hill, usually the down shifting is called for when going up a steep hill. Suggest filling and draining the tranny 3 times with short drives between drain and fills. On last fill add Trans-X, but be sure not to over fill. The dip stick for the tranny measures only a pint from the low to the high mark, so it is very easy to over fill. Try this first before doing anything else to the tranny.

 

I wrote the original post on using Trans-X some 4 years ago. The product still works fine for me. I have to do the drain and fill routine once a year to keep the delayed forward engagement gremlin at bay, but it is a lot cheaper then replacing the tranny. Otherwise, my tranny works just fine.



#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 08:16 AM

A 3x drain + fill is in order.
I did some digging and didnt come up with much. It seems to me the down shifting is not normal, but she said its been doing that for some time, several months apparently, but not on a consistent basis. Sometimes it will do it, sometimes it won't.
I asked her if there was any place that it seemed to do it most often, she said it will sometimes do it coming down Afton mountain, which is about a 30 minute drive out. Neither of us had an hour to devote to that drive at the time.

#4 Fairtax4me

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:31 PM

New filter (Subaru) and 12qts of fresh dex3 ATF plus a quart of TransX on the last fill.
Old fluid was in good shape. Filter was some aftermarket turd though. Hopefully this fixes the leak.
Can't say it made any difference with the delay or the other problem. Have to wait until its cold tomorrow morning to find out.


Question about TransX. Last time I bought it I swear it was in a metal caa and it was only a pint. Now thy have quart size plastic bottles (like an oil bottle) and a pint sized plastic bottle of a "high mileage" formulation? I got the quart size (blue lable) since it looked more like what I have bought before. I'm hoping that was the correct one.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 16 November 2013 - 07:36 PM.


#5 grossgary

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:37 AM

"it comes in pints!"

 

shifting sounds erratic to me. 

 

since it's you post, i assume there's no check engine light or damaged transmission pan...

 

lazy TPS?

 

hmm, i don't recall what the last bottle/can/size was that i used was.



#6 Rooster2

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 01:23 PM

"it comes in pints!"

 

shifting sounds erratic to me. 

 

since it's you post, i assume there's no check engine light or damaged transmission pan...

 

lazy TPS?

 

hmm, i don't recall what the last bottle/can/size was that i used was.

Pretty sure my last can was 15 oz. in a plastic bottle.



#7 uniberp

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:43 PM

99 Forester, 162,xxx miles.
Belongs to a friend of mine, has the usual delayed forward engagement, which inplan to address with some fresh fluid, a new spin-on, and some fresh Trans-X.
But she's told me about another issue she's had with it recently.

Apparently when going downhill at speeds over 55mph it will sometimes downshift into 3rd on its own. It doesn't seem to be slipping when it does this. It Just downshifts. Then when she hits the gas to accelerate or maintain speed at the bottom of the hill it will shift back into 4th and keep going just fine. When it happens, if she shifts to 3rd with the selector, then puts it back to drive, it goes back into 4th and stays there.

I took it for a test drive and it didnt do it. I told her to drive and it didnt do it. Fluid level appears slightly high and has some bubbles, but is otherwise clear and smells fine.

I'm trying to determine if this is normal behavior to downshift to 3rd on its own. I know a lot of European cars will do that, but never heard of a Subaru acting that way.

Any ideas from the auto trans gurus here?

 

Is it possibly a shifter cable position adjustment issue?



#8 Fairtax4me

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:45 PM

Nope. I thought that might be an issue as well so I checked it and adjustment was fine.


She described one issue in a bit more detail when I went to pick it up Saturday morning. There's a spot going down a slight hill not far from her house where she has to slow down to 15-20mph (25 zone) for a curve then accelerate up the hill on the other side. She says when she starts to accelerate the engine speed will go up but the car doesnt, then will "kick" and it will start going up the hill. I take this to mean that its between gears and isn't downshifting to second right away. Of course this being a 4eat, it could even be trying to go into 1st.
This is on the way to her sitters house so she usually only takes this route in the early morning, and being only 1/4 mile from her house the car is nowhere near warm when she's going past this spot.

We couldn't duplicate it driving by there saturday when I picked it up because the car was already warm.

She had some trouble with the transmission leaking a few years ago when she bought it. It was first diagnosed as an oil leak. When it got low on fluid and started slipping she took it to a shop where they resealed the trans pan and replaced the spin-on filter with an aftermarket. They left the filter loose so it leaked more, then they finally almost got it tight enough to stop, but it was leaking a bit when I checked it.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 17 November 2013 - 07:36 PM.


#9 Fairtax4me

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 09:31 PM

Fluid and filter change and transX seems to have cured this one, at least for now. She says it has been going into drive right away in the mornings, and hasn't shifted erratically or slipped/ slopped between gears.

Now it needs struts and an alignment, and steering rack boots.

#10 Rooster2

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 11:05 PM

Fluid and filter change and transX seems to have cured this one, at least for now. She says it has been going into drive right away in the mornings, and hasn't shifted erratically or slipped/ slopped between gears.

Now it needs struts and an alignment, and steering rack boots.

Good to hear that the tranny is performing better. Thanx for letting us know.






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