Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

99 Forester Automatic Transmission won't go above first

Transmission first gear 99 forester automatic transmission

  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#1 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 10:18 AM

I bought a '99 Forester at an auto auction. Ran great and in great condition but when I went to drive it home it won't go above first gear. It is an automatic transmission that shifts into drive and reverse fine but just won't shift past first gear. It just reves up.

Any thoughts? This is my first Subaru. I checked transmission fluid and level is fine, didn't smell bad.



#2 Fairtax4me

Fairtax4me

    Sooberoo

  • Members
  • 9,764 posts
  • Charlottesburg, VA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:10 AM

Trans could just be shot.

Does the AT temp light blink 16 times at startup?
Is the transmission pan dented?

Which dipstick did you check? The short one on the right side of the trans is front differential gear oil.
ATF is the long dipstick on the left by the starter.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 10 February 2014 - 11:12 AM.


#3 Rooster2

Rooster2

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 3,868 posts
  • Indianapolis

Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:18 AM

If tranny is diagnosed as bad, the advise I have continually read on this forum, is that it is better to replace the tranny with one from a wrecking yard, rather then have the existing tranny repaired. Used trannys from a yard can be bought for not much money.

 

I hope your auction buy, got you the car on "the cheap," so you can afford repairs on the deal.



#4 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 11:51 AM

I got it for $1700 bid but paid $2400 with all the taxes and fees. We bought it for a family car, I hope the trannys not shot.

 

I checked the dipstick on the right, I couldn't find the dipstick on the left. The owners manual says the one on the right is the ATF. They could have recently filled the fluid at the auction. I also had to replace the battery and will have to replace the radiator.

 

A couple of people have suggested that it may a solenoid that is bad or even a relay switch. Does that sound familiar?

 

The AT temp light does not blink at start up, the check engine light came on when I first drove it.


Edited by Bfats25, 10 February 2014 - 11:53 AM.


#5 Rooster2

Rooster2

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 3,868 posts
  • Indianapolis

Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:42 PM

Replacing the radiator is an easy do it yourself job, if you are half way handy with a wrench.  You can buy a radiator on line for about $125. Ask us if you need advise on installing a replacement radiator. Lots of people here to help you.

 

I drive an Outback, so not familiar with a Forester. Still, the tranny dip stick will be found up near the firewall. Hope that is where you found it.



#6 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:59 PM

Replacing the radiator is an easy do it yourself job, if you are half way handy with a wrench.  You can buy a radiator on line for about $125. Ask us if you need advise on installing a replacement radiator. Lots of people here to help you.

 

I drive an Outback, so not familiar with a Forester. Still, the tranny dip stick will be found up near the firewall. Hope that is where you found it.

Actually the tranny dipstick was missing when I bought it but I was able to find one and replace it. I was not able to find the front differental gear dipsick (I looked where the manual says it should be, left up by the firewall). The radiator will be an easy fix but before I replace that I need to diagnose the tranny problem.



#7 Olnick

Olnick

    Ol' Subaru Guy

  • Members
  • 2,707 posts
  • Honolulu HI

Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:10 PM

Just to clarify--directions on a vehicle are properly given from the point of view of the driver sitting behind the wheel.  So in a U.S. car "left" means the driver's side and "right" means passenger's side!

 

Good luck.  Keep asking questions here--hopefully the solution is something simple.



#8 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:33 PM

Just to clarify--directions on a vehicle are properly given from the point of view of the driver sitting behind the wheel.  So in a U.S. car "left" means the driver's side and "right" means passenger's side!

 

Good luck.  Keep asking questions here--hopefully the solution is something simple.

Ah, Ok, thanks for the clarification. I was referencing it from the front of the vehicle.  I sure hope it is a simple fix. I'm excited to get it fixed and rolling.



#9 Fairtax4me

Fairtax4me

    Sooberoo

  • Members
  • 9,764 posts
  • Charlottesburg, VA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:51 PM

It sounds like you may have added ATF to the front differential. This is bad, you'll need to drain the front diff and replace with 80w-90 gear oil.

ATF dipstick is hidden under some hoses a few inches to the left of the starter.

#10 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:18 PM

It sounds like you may have added ATF to the front differential. This is bad, you'll need to drain the front diff and replace with 80w-90 gear oil.

ATF dipstick is hidden under some hoses a few inches to the left of the starter.

No, I was just confused on the reference point. I was referencing from the front of the car. The front differential is the one I have not been able to locate or check.



#11 Fairtax4me

Fairtax4me

    Sooberoo

  • Members
  • 9,764 posts
  • Charlottesburg, VA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 10:29 PM

Front diff is usually the easy one to find. Just above the axle cup on the passenger side. Short, maybe 8" in length and ridgid.

ATF dipstick is about 15" length and flexible.

#12 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,830 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 10 February 2014 - 10:55 PM

Does the spedo work?



#13 tirod

tirod

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 49 posts
  • Carl Junction, MO

Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:34 AM

Is it too soon to suggest he read the transmission codes?

 

http://www.subaruout...codes-dtcs.html

 

IF there are any CEL codes note them as input from the engine sensors is needed for the transmission computer. Check the two connectors on the passenger side behind the bell housing are plugged in, and look to see a ground wire is connected at the bellhousing strut rod. Simple things like that mess up the computer. 

 

Second stage, check the wiring harness on the transmission has continuity on each wire. They can be unplugged and done more easily out of the car, plus the connectors cleaned and sealed with dielectric grease. 

 

Good luck, Subaru automatic transmissions are complex and not much is known about them. I bought one recently for the same money and have replaced the engine already, the transmission is getting finished up today. Subarus with over 200,000 miles aren't economically justified to repair by normal standards. 

 

Just ask my wife. :(



#14 Bushwick

Bushwick

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 593 posts
  • Ohio Akronish

Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:29 AM

Auction cars a grab bag. Often they are bank repos. Very RARELY will they get worked on before going to auction. More than likely, it belonged to somebody that may or may not have been driving it. It might have been parked for awhile, repo'd, and now you are finding out why it was parked. 

 

It's way cheaper to find a used trans than rebuild, assuming the failure is mechanical. A rebuild will need the trans pulled anyways, plus parts and labor to rebuild which can easily surpass $1000 depending on what's wrong, whereas a used trans in good shape just needs swapped in. 

 

Sounds like you have some troubleshooting ahead of you.



#15 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,830 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:57 AM

 

 

Good luck, Subaru automatic transmissions are complex and not much is known about them. I bought one recently for the same money and have replaced the engine already, the transmission is getting finished up today. Subarus with over 200,000 miles aren't economically justified to repair by normal standards. 

 

Just ask my wife. :(

 

 

Mysterious?  Since when? They are very straight forward as far as automatic transmissions go.  Phase 1 4eats you can still pull the codes on. Not terribly expensive to get a used one and put it in. Not often that they have a problem that doesnt fall into the catagories of - dirty/low fluid; Torque Bind; Shift delay; or failure.  Those are catagories not in order of incidents.

 

I do agree whoever that there was a reason that car was in an auction. 

 

CHeck fluid condition (look smell) and go from there, Is it being held in 1st gear or when it upsifts does it slip? What happens when you shift it manually?



#16 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:47 PM

Does the spedo work?

Yes



#17 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:53 PM

Is it too soon to suggest he read the transmission codes?

 

http://www.subaruout...codes-dtcs.html

 

IF there are any CEL codes note them as input from the engine sensors is needed for the transmission computer. Check the two connectors on the passenger side behind the bell housing are plugged in, and look to see a ground wire is connected at the bellhousing strut rod. Simple things like that mess up the computer. 

 

Second stage, check the wiring harness on the transmission has continuity on each wire. They can be unplugged and done more easily out of the car, plus the connectors cleaned and sealed with dielectric grease. 

 

Good luck, Subaru automatic transmissions are complex and not much is known about them. I bought one recently for the same money and have replaced the engine already, the transmission is getting finished up today. Subarus with over 200,000 miles aren't economically justified to repair by normal standards. 

 

Just ask my wife. :(

Thanks, that is my next step, to check the codes.



#18 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 11 February 2014 - 02:57 PM

Mysterious?  Since when? They are very straight forward as far as automatic transmissions go.  Phase 1 4eats you can still pull the codes on. Not terribly expensive to get a used one and put it in. Not often that they have a problem that doesnt fall into the catagories of - dirty/low fluid; Torque Bind; Shift delay; or failure.  Those are catagories not in order of incidents.

 

I do agree whoever that there was a reason that car was in an auction. 

 

CHeck fluid condition (look smell) and go from there, Is it being held in 1st gear or when it upsifts does it slip? What happens when you shift it manually?

It is being held in first and doesn't try to upshift. No slipping just reving and it just seems to stay in first when shifted manually.



#19 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,830 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 11 February 2014 - 04:17 PM

Alas, this is not boding well.

 

Could be a puter issue, rare but it happens.

 

There are a few ways these things die that arent worth repairing (as there is an ample supply)

- Loss of Reverse - Clutch is cooked

- Loss of 4th (will ever slip or wont upshift) Eventually third will be lost too.- cooked clutch pack

- Will not upshift from 1st - Pump can not make enough pressure to upshift. 

 

On some years there is a shuft dealy from R to D but that is solvable.

 

The next step would be if you wanted confirmation is to have a real tranny shop look at it and take some pressure readings. You may luck out and have it be a valve body issue. 

 

You can also try disconnecting the transmission harness plug that is under the hood (I have to look to see which one it is, its a large one) that forces the transmission to go into limp mode and shift purely mechanically.  That totally rules out anything computer related

 

Did this happen suddenly or has it been acting oddly for a while.


Edited by nipper, 11 February 2014 - 04:21 PM.


#20 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:28 PM

Alas, this is not boding well.

 

Could be a puter issue, rare but it happens.

 

There are a few ways these things die that arent worth repairing (as there is an ample supply)

- Loss of Reverse - Clutch is cooked

- Loss of 4th (will ever slip or wont upshift) Eventually third will be lost too.- cooked clutch pack

- Will not upshift from 1st - Pump can not make enough pressure to upshift. 

 

On some years there is a shuft dealy from R to D but that is solvable.

 

The next step would be if you wanted confirmation is to have a real tranny shop look at it and take some pressure readings. You may luck out and have it be a valve body issue. 

 

You can also try disconnecting the transmission harness plug that is under the hood (I have to look to see which one it is, its a large one) that forces the transmission to go into limp mode and shift purely mechanically.  That totally rules out anything computer related

 

Did this happen suddenly or has it been acting oddly for a while.

I got it from an auto auction so I'm not sure what happened. There are no problems with reverse or drive, no delay, it's just when I get up to about 20mph it won't shift.



#21 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,830 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:34 PM

Well now we know why it was in the auction.



#22 lneulicht

lneulicht

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • Charlotte, NC

Posted 11 February 2014 - 06:44 PM

Odd that the AT temp light is not flashing on start up. Doesn't that indicate that there is no transmission code (or that the bulb is burned out)?

 

I wonder if the OBDII code will provide any useful information.


Edited by lneulicht, 11 February 2014 - 06:45 PM.


#23 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,830 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:45 PM

Codes are ONLY A TOOL.

 

They will not tell you if a clutch in the transmission is cooked, if a pump failed, if a shaft has snapped. All they will tel you is that some electronic doodad is out of spec and maybe if you are lucky why it is out of spec or not working.

 

OBDII is ONLY for the engine , and that is for things emission related. Being a auction car who knows what lurks in there.



#24 johnceggleston

johnceggleston

    Lite Master of the Subaru

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 6,469 posts
  • Virginia

Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:41 PM

what happens if you manually shift it into 2 ?



#25 Bfats25

Bfats25

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts
  • Molena, GA

Posted 15 February 2014 - 01:00 PM

I borrowed a Genesis machine from a friend to check the codes. This is the main code I got for the tranny.

 

P0732A  Gear 2 incorrect ratio.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Transmission, first gear, 99 forester, automatic transmission

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users