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90 Legacy Auto shifting issues


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22 replies to this topic

#1 rweddy

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 02:37 PM

I just picked the car out for my brother, got a sweet deal. 90 L wagon AWD auto with 135k, new timing, water, seals etc.

All was fine here for a few weeks, then he drove back to school in AZ.

The car is shifting strange. If you press the manual button and shift through manually all is good. If you put it in drive 1-2 is ok but he says it boughs down from 2-3. 3-4 is fine. He says is acts like it looses power from 2-3.

Are these trannies computer controlled? Any way to pull codes on them?
Any ideas what could cause this? I have never owned an auto subaru.
I have told him to drive manually for now, but need to get this solved for him.

Thanks

#2 jcniest5

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 04:04 PM

Maybe a transmission fluid flush complete with new filters (one internally inside the fluid pan and one externally on the left side just under the coolant reservoir) might help. Also check tranny fluid level.

#3 nipper

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 06:10 PM

I just picked the car out for my brother, got a sweet deal. 90 L wagon AWD auto with 135k, new timing, water, seals etc.

All was fine here for a few weeks, then he drove back to school in AZ.

The car is shifting strange. If you press the manual button and shift through manually all is good. If you put it in drive 1-2 is ok but he says it boughs down from 2-3. 3-4 is fine. He says is acts like it looses power from 2-3.

Are these trannies computer controlled? Any way to pull codes on them?
Any ideas what could cause this? I have never owned an auto subaru.
I have told him to drive manually for now, but need to get this solved for him.

Thanks


Well you can take some solice in the fact that the car shifts fine manually.
Can you explaine this a bit better "If you put it in drive 1-2 is ok but he says it boughs down from 2-3. 3-4 is fine. He says is acts like it looses power from 2-3. ".
Does the car have a tach? What happens to engine rpm, does it go up, or as the car starts to feel like it looses power, do the rpms go down, amd he has to press the gas harder to maintain speed. Which gear doe he feel like hes loosing power in 2nd or 3rd. Does the car do this when its cold as well as hot?

What happens if at that point he switches to manual mode where he feels like he is loosing power.
Manual mode overrides the computer.

nipper

#4 rweddy

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 09:56 PM

Maybe a transmission fluid flush complete with new filters (one internally inside the fluid pan and one externally on the left side just under the coolant reservoir) might help. Also check tranny fluid level.

Fluid is nearly brand new, belive the filters are good also. But I do not see how this could cause any issues being it works fine in manual mode?

#5 rweddy

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:00 PM

Well you can take some solice in the fact that the car shifts fine manually.
Can you explaine this a bit better "If you put it in drive 1-2 is ok but he says it boughs down from 2-3. 3-4 is fine. He says is acts like it looses power from 2-3. ".
Does the car have a tach? What happens to engine rpm, does it go up, or as the car starts to feel like it looses power, do the rpms go down, amd he has to press the gas harder to maintain speed. Which gear doe he feel like hes loosing power in 2nd or 3rd. Does the car do this when its cold as well as hot?

What happens if at that point he switches to manual mode where he feels like he is loosing power.
Manual mode overrides the computer.

nipper

It does have a tach, I will ask him about a few more specifics, he is not mechanically inclined at all so I have to try to get some of this out of him.
He says the motor looses power from the 2-3 shift, but will need to quarry him about rpm's and throttle position. And I will have him switch to power mode when this happens and report back.

Is the computer on these external? Can it be replaced independently from the rest of the transmission?

#6 nipper

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:46 PM

yes, but i wouldnt go that far yet. the tranny puters are fairly robust, and it can be something else like a throttle position sensor or a sped sensor.


Lets see what info he comes back with first.


nipper

#7 Legacy777

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 04:06 PM

You can pull the trans codes from the info on my site

www.surrealmirage.com/subaru/trans.html

The manual button doesn't do squat to make the trans shift "manually".

More then likely it's just the age of the transmission. Maybe the brake band needs adjusting, but I don't think it's going to make things feel brand new again.

#8 Log1call

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 04:49 AM

the brake band is the first thing you should check. If it's too tight or too loose it gives different problems, sometimes changes from first to second, sometimes from second to third and if it's really badly adjusted it can shift straight into top gear. Get it adjusted by someone who knows what they are doing!

#9 rweddy

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:03 AM

Well you can take some solice in the fact that the car shifts fine manually.
Can you explaine this a bit better "If you put it in drive 1-2 is ok but he says it boughs down from 2-3. 3-4 is fine. He says is acts like it looses power from 2-3. ".
Does the car have a tach? What happens to engine rpm, does it go up, or as the car starts to feel like it looses power, do the rpms go down, amd he has to press the gas harder to maintain speed. Which gear doe he feel like hes loosing power in 2nd or 3rd. Does the car do this when its cold as well as hot?

What happens if at that point he switches to manual mode where he feels like he is loosing power.
Manual mode overrides the computer.

nipper

OK more information on this. With the car in Drive, when the car shifts from 2 to 3 the rpms do not spike, but the car act like it is going up a hill and to get it to continue to accelerate you have to nearly floor it.

In this same scenario if you while in drive from the 2nd to 3rd gear shift when the car bogs down if he hit the manual mode it clears it up.

#10 nipper

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:29 AM

Well at least we know the mechanics of the transmission are in good shape ( no slipping, al the gears work). For some reason it sounds like in in auto mode its shiftng 1-3-4. Since he can get 2 manually, we know 2 works. if the upshifts feel like they are happening where they are supposed to happen, we can rule out a failed govenor. i'm begining to lean towards a TCU is bad, but i dont want to say so and have him get one and be wrong, unless he can get a cheap one from a junk yard. The only other thing i can think of is a failed 2nd gear solenoid in the transmission. The manual over ride switch, im going to guess, disables the TCU puter, or disconnnects it from the tranny, and allows the manual linkage to do its work. The manual shifting is purely mechanical and does not rely on electrics. The more i think about it, the more im thinking a failed solenoid.

Anyone else?


nipper

#11 rweddy

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 12:06 PM

Well at least we know the mechanics of the transmission are in good shape ( no slipping, al the gears work). For some reason it sounds like in in auto mode its shiftng 1-3-4. Since he can get 2 manually, we know 2 works. if the upshifts feel like they are happening where they are supposed to happen, we can rule out a failed govenor. i'm begining to lean towards a TCU is bad, but i dont want to say so and have him get one and be wrong, unless he can get a cheap one from a junk yard. The only other thing i can think of is a failed 2nd gear solenoid in the transmission. The manual over ride switch, im going to guess, disables the TCU puter, or disconnnects it from the tranny, and allows the manual linkage to do its work. The manual shifting is purely mechanical and does not rely on electrics. The more i think about it, the more im thinking a failed solenoid.

Anyone else?


nipper

2nd gear if fine the shift issue is when it changes from 2nd to 3rd gear, 3rd to 4th is fine. So manybe a 3rd gear soleniod?

#12 nipper

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 01:56 PM

2nd gear if fine the shift issue is when it changes from 2nd to 3rd gear, 3rd to 4th is fine. So manybe a 3rd gear soleniod?


ok i wasnt sure by the description ... but yes.

nipper

#13 Legacy777

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 07:15 PM

For the eleven billionth time....the manual switch does NOTHING to affect manually shifting the transmission.

From my site

Manual Button

The manual button has some controversy as two what its function is. But I'm here to disavow any of those rumors. Firstly, the automatic transmission normally runs a power split of 90% front 10% rear. This is under normal driving conditions. Secondly, the manual button ONLY works when the shift lever indicator is in the positions "3" or "2".

Ok, so you're ready to hear what this thingy does. It is a very primitive version of traction control. When the shift lever is either 3 or 2, and the manual button is depressed, it will keep the transmission from going into first gear. By doing this, you have less torque, more evenly distributed power, and a less chance to slip and slide around.

So to recap, when the shift lever is in the 2 position the transmission stays in 2nd gear. When the shift lever is in the 3 position the transmission chooses between 2nd and 3rd gear. If the shift lever is any other position then the two above, the manual button does absolutely positively nothing.



#14 rweddy

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 09:07 PM

For the eleven billionth time....the manual switch does NOTHING to affect manually shifting the transmission.

From my site

Manual Button

The manual button has some controversy as two what its function is. But I'm here to disavow any of those rumors. Firstly, the automatic transmission normally runs a power split of 90% front 10% rear. This is under normal driving conditions. Secondly, the manual button ONLY works when the shift lever indicator is in the positions "3" or "2".

Ok, so you're ready to hear what this thingy does. It is a very primitive version of traction control. When the shift lever is either 3 or 2, and the manual button is depressed, it will keep the transmission from going into first gear. By doing this, you have less torque, more evenly distributed power, and a less chance to slip and slide around.

So to recap, when the shift lever is in the 2 position the transmission stays in 2nd gear. When the shift lever is in the 3 position the transmission chooses between 2nd and 3rd gear. If the shift lever is any other position then the two above, the manual button does absolutely positively nothing.

I know nothing about autos, I have never owned anything but stick subarus.
But if this is the case how does this button fix his issues?
If he shifts in manual mode and all is fine.
Help me here!!

#15 nipper

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 09:32 PM

For the eleven billionth time....the manual switch does NOTHING to affect manually shifting the transmission.

From my site



Manual Button


The manual button has some controversy as two what its function is. But I'm here to disavow any of those rumors. Firstly, the automatic transmission normally runs a power split of 90% front 10% rear. This is under normal driving conditions. Secondly, the manual button ONLY works when the shift lever indicator is in the positions "3" or "2".

Ok, so you're ready to hear what this thingy does. It is a very primitive version of traction control. When the shift lever is either 3 or 2, and the manual button is depressed, it will keep the transmission from going into first gear. By doing this, you have less torque, more evenly distributed power, and a less chance to slip and slide around.

So to recap, when the shift lever is in the 2 position the transmission stays in 2nd gear. When the shift lever is in the 3 position the transmission chooses between 2nd and 3rd gear. If the shift lever is any other position then the two above, the manual button does absolutely positively nothing.




Damn no reson to be so testy about it :brow: ... not all of us own subarus with that button, some of us have to make educated guesses.
So all your saying is that the manual button locks out 1st gear. Thats not hard to say. The button does what starting off in D2 does in other transmissions.

Now hearing this, instead of recaping what a button does, i am getting the feeling that the transmission computer has an issue. Since engaging this button, all works fine, and this button is electrical, and has no effect on the manual operation of the transmission, but seems to have an effect on the computer. i would still get my hands on a manual first, and take an ohm meter and make sure all the solenoids work. If they all work then i would replace the TCU.

nipper

#16 Log1call

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 12:35 AM

One small correction about the manual button... when in third manual it stays in third manual even if you come to a stop... it takes off in third manual and will only ever change up if you get near six and a half thousand revs and it doesn't change down at all. If you are in second manual then it starts in second and stays there unless you get to the rev limit again when it will change up a gear to prevent engine damage.

#17 Legacy777

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 06:33 PM

One small correction about the manual button... when in third manual it stays in third manual even if you come to a stop... it takes off in third manual and will only ever change up if you get near six and a half thousand revs and it doesn't change down at all. If you are in second manual then it starts in second and stays there unless you get to the rev limit again when it will change up a gear to prevent engine damage.


This is incorrect. It shifts between 2nd and 3rd. If you come to a stop, the transmission will take off in 2nd gear.

Try it. Go to an open stretch of road, come to a stop, floor it, and keep flooring it. It will shift into 3rd gear around 70-80 mph, depending on your final drive ratio.

#18 Legacy777

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 06:35 PM

Damn no reson to be so testy about it :brow: ... not all of us own subarus with that button, some of us have to make educated guesses.
So all your saying is that the manual button locks out 1st gear. Thats not hard to say. The button does what starting off in D2 does in other transmissions.
nipper


Sorry for getting snippy. I've posted info about the manual button lots of times, and no matter how many times I post it, I continue to see misinformation about it.

#19 mountainchef

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 07:56 PM

Sorry for getting snippy. I've posted info about the manual button lots of times, and no matter how many times I post it, I continue to see misinformation about it.


People should really read their owner's manuals before opening their mouths and making themselves sound dumb.:lol:

#20 nipper

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 08:13 PM

People should really read their owner's manuals before opening their mouths and making themselves sound dumb.:lol:


*bites tounge*

#21 rweddy

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:44 PM

People should really read their owner's manuals before opening their mouths and making themselves sound dumb.:lol:

Better to be silent and let people think you might be dumb, then speak and prove you are.

#22 nickolai

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 03:37 PM

The car is shifting strange. If you press the manual button and shift through manually all is good. If you put it in drive 1-2 is ok but he says it boughs down from 2-3. 3-4 is fine. He says is acts like it looses power from 2-3.


Just a thought: My dad had a 97 Outback, auto, that I was sure was developing tranny issues. At random times, especially at the bottom of hills, it would bog down and loose nearly all power but not stall. It acted exactly like what I would expect from an auto car trying to climb a steep hill in 4th gear at 15mph. I was pretty sure it was a downshift solenoid not working.

My dad took it to the local Subaru mechanic who did a complete tune-up on it, and it ran great after that. I think he said it was a bad spark plug wire. I never would have guessed that from the symptoms.

#23 nipper

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 06:29 PM

Just a thought: My dad had a 97 Outback, auto, that I was sure was developing tranny issues. At random times, especially at the bottom of hills, it would bog down and loose nearly all power but not stall. It acted exactly like what I would expect from an auto car trying to climb a steep hill in 4th gear at 15mph. I was pretty sure it was a downshift solenoid not working.

My dad took it to the local Subaru mechanic who did a complete tune-up on it, and it ran great after that. I think he said it was a bad spark plug wire. I never would have guessed that from the symptoms.


Thats been true for ages, a poorly running engine will screw up a tranny shift points.




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