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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Shop time for transmission replacement

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3 replies to this topic

#1 upnorthguy


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 03:26 PM

I have a friend that lives in the San Fran area that is having transmission trouble with a 99 Impreza.  She was quoted $2k for parts/labor to replace her tranny with a used one.  This seems high based on what I think the tranny cost should be, but I don't know now much shop time is involved for the swap.  (I also don't know if she has a manual and the quote includes a new clutch).


Does anyone have an idea on what the book time for a transmission replacement should be?  



#2 Mr.Atlantis


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:09 PM

I would say anywhere between 4 and 4 1/2 hours shop time.  Assuming that it will just be a clean swap.  If a rebuild is necessary, you may be looking at around 10 hours and much more $$$.  $2000 for parts and labor sounds about right, also assuming that the $2000 includes the used tranny.

I got all the above times from my AllDataDIY.com account.  The car referenced was for my 08 Outback Legacy.  Labor time should be around the same.  New transmissions could be in excess of $4000.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Mr.Atlantis, 06 August 2014 - 06:13 PM.

#3 Forester09



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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:43 PM

I am in Australia and am currently looking into this for my Forester 2009.  A guy from another Forum gave me a link which might interest you as it is in the U.S.




FYI I have posted seeking help on this Forum and the NASIOC Forum.


My post is:


Update on repair cost breakdown: Australian Dollars

Issue is that the casing has been worn away, not just simple replacement of centre bearing.

$2,600 gear box, repaired and ready to go
back straight back into car. All bearings are being replaced, even ones
that don't look damaged, to prevent further issues down track;

$600 labour costs (includes removal and refitting)

$600 clutch kit - heavy duty clutch recommended

$110 fly wheel machine for clutch

$77 gear box oil

Total $3,987 Australian Dollars



Thanks for responding. Certainly no U.S. blood in me, in fact, I was
just going to wear the cost when they told me it was going to be
ballpark A$2K. Once the transmission was pulled down and the damage
assessed I received the $4K quotation and was told that it was a common
fault and I should take a look on Google to satisfy my queries and the

If it was a common fault I was then going to Subaru to ask for assistance, perhaps parts.

It seems that 5 responses say it is not a common fault. Hardly a large cross-section of the Universe!

What the tranmission "expert" said to me yesterday was: "This
differential gets replaced in alot in Subarus - failure is not uncommon.
He said he has seen one at 86,000km and many at 150 - 200,000km.
(Remember guys we deal in kilometers not miles).

He said the circlip has come off the centre differential and because of
this the gear box has been damaged with fragments and although some of
the bearings look fine, they all need to be replaced otherwise I might
end up with the same problem again. He did not recommend the use of
secondhand parts for the reasons outlined above.

I appreciate being sent the link to the US$500 part and will email that
to the guy. I will also get him to detail the costs for each part.

I also appreciate your input. I have not ever spent this amount on a
car repair in my life and it hurts! I used to drive an Alfa Romeo and
that didn't cause me one problem (despite everyone telling me it would).
This Subaru is supposed to be bullet proof. Seems not.

Again, thanks for your considered input. You will appreciate that when
having the car towed and taken to a "transmission expert" alot of the
decision making was out of my hands. I am just trying to make a more
informed decision by contacting the Forum.

Any further input would be greatly appreciated, bearing in mind that
every day I procrastinate, is another day I am without a vehicle and
using a loan car. And yes, if I have to wear it. I have to wear it.



#4 johnceggleston


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:15 PM

back in 06, the book time for installing an auto trans in a 95 lego sedan was 3.5 hours.

add another 50%? for removal of the old trans, you get 5.25 hours, less than a day.


but here's the deal.

the shop has not interest in buying the cheapest trans out here.

on the contrary, if they are marking up the price,

they want a more expensive trans.

plus, the higher the used swap price, the more attractive the rebuild price is.


but even if they are not making money on the trans,

they want a trans that is going to be trouble free.

so they may in fact pay a premium for a trans with a warranty.

and some parts yards include the labor to R&R in their warranty.

you pay more but you get more, if you need it.


but even if they charge a full days labor (8 hr @ $100?)

you can buy a used auto trans for less than 1200$, way less.


but if you want a trouble free trans swap, with a warranty, $2000 is not a bad price.

i know some one who paid $1800 10 years ago.

the rebuild price was $2800.


since she , nor you, can install the trans yourself,

you are stuck with using a shop.


but look at it this way,

$2000 for a replacement trans,

if you drive the car for 20k miles, ~2 years?

the repair has cost you 10 cents a mile.

if you drive it 4 years, the price comes down to 5 cents a mile.


plus, how much would she have to spend to replace the car, more than $2000?

more than $3000?


one thing you might consider,

ask how much to install if you provide the trans?

then find one you like at www.car-part.com

sort by zip code, to see what is close.


if this shop will not do this, try another.

but understand, you are assuming some of the risk.

but these trans are pretty hardy and a good used trans is a pretty safe bet.


the 99 impreza, also 00, auto trans is compatible with the 99- 00 lego auto trans.

but not compatible with the outback, GT, forester, or any high end impreza like a WRX.

Edited by johnceggleston, 06 August 2014 - 07:27 PM.

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