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99 Outback Auto Tranny Problems


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15 replies to this topic

#1 tforce

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 08:56 PM

Almost 2 months ago my AT Oil Temp light started flashing and the tranny started shifting really hard/abruptly and only after reving the engine up quite a bit. I was also experiencing power surges like you get when you're having a fuel delivery problem.

99 Outback Wagon Ltd
125,000 miles
Tranny ID# TZ1A2ZJEBA
Salvage title
3 wrecks...1 or 2 totals before I bought it and I got sideswiped in the driver front tire a couple years ago.

As long as I've owned it there has been a slight delay in the tranny when downshifting if I didn't come to a complete stop at intersections, etc. I've had the AT Oil Temp light come on (solid, not flashing) once a year at random on the old tranny and changed the fluid/filter once. The tranny always seems just a little "off".

I got a 105K tranny from a wrecking yard and intsalled it. I replaced the filter and all fluids and flushed the cooler system. The new tranny immediately showed the exact same problems. I drove it around and it seemed to work out the problems on its own. Over the next couple weeks the problems came and went several times. Hard shifting up and down, power loss, AT Oil Temp light flashing, hard shifting when manually shifting from D to 3. When it's working right it drives like a dream. The fluid is full and does not appear or smell burnt.

I've been driving it and troubleshooting and it is getting progressively better but today it started having power surges again and then started shifting hard. The AT Oil Temp Light hasn't come back on now for over 5 days despite occassionaly reoccurences. I also notice a buzzing sound coming from the tranny at times. It sounds like a solenoid...doing what I'm not sure. It seems to happend mostly when I first put it in gear after being in park. It buzzes for 5-15 seconds and stops. If I press on the brake and then let off the buzzing comes back for 5-15 secs.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I need to make a 8hr road trip this weekend so I'm up for suggestions. The cooling system isn't clogged...the fluid flows fine and the radiator is only 2 years old. I'm wondering if my control module may be bad since this tranny is doing the same stuff the old one did. Or maybe I've just got a random wiring problem. All in all this tranny seems to be in better condition than my old one. Shifts smoother when it's working properly and is more responsive.

Thanks for any help.
T4

#2 ShawnW

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 09:23 PM

You need to take it to a shop that has a select monitor. Independent subaru specialists and Dealers have them. They can pull the trans code and diagnose it.

#3 nipper

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 11:58 PM

Almost 2 months ago my AT Oil Temp light started flashing and the tranny started shifting really hard/abruptly and only after reving the engine up quite a bit. I was also experiencing power surges like you get when you're having a fuel delivery problem.

99 Outback Wagon Ltd
125,000 miles
Tranny ID# TZ1A2ZJEBA
Salvage title
3 wrecks...1 or 2 totals before I bought it and I got sideswiped in the driver front tire a couple years ago.

As long as I've owned it there has been a slight delay in the tranny when downshifting if I didn't come to a complete stop at intersections, etc. I've had the AT Oil Temp light come on (solid, not flashing) once a year at random on the old tranny and changed the fluid/filter once. The tranny always seems just a little "off".

I got a 105K tranny from a wrecking yard and intsalled it. I replaced the filter and all fluids and flushed the cooler system. The new tranny immediately showed the exact same problems. I drove it around and it seemed to work out the problems on its own. Over the next couple weeks the problems came and went several times. Hard shifting up and down, power loss, AT Oil Temp light flashing, hard shifting when manually shifting from D to 3. When it's working right it drives like a dream. The fluid is full and does not appear or smell burnt.

I've been driving it and troubleshooting and it is getting progressively better but today it started having power surges again and then started shifting hard. The AT Oil Temp Light hasn't come back on now for over 5 days despite occassionaly reoccurences. I also notice a buzzing sound coming from the tranny at times. It sounds like a solenoid...doing what I'm not sure. It seems to happend mostly when I first put it in gear after being in park. It buzzes for 5-15 seconds and stops. If I press on the brake and then let off the buzzing comes back for 5-15 secs.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I need to make a 8hr road trip this weekend so I'm up for suggestions. The cooling system isn't clogged...the fluid flows fine and the radiator is only 2 years old. I'm wondering if my control module may be bad since this tranny is doing the same stuff the old one did. Or maybe I've just got a random wiring problem. All in all this tranny seems to be in better condition than my old one. Shifts smoother when it's working properly and is more responsive.

Thanks for any help.
T4


buzzing - heat sheild
hard shifting - burned out dropping reisitor. That resistor is part of the car not part of the tranny. Will give you hard shifting

nipper

#4 tforce

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:55 AM

heat shield? as in the exhaust shroud? cuz the buzzing is coming from inside the tranny.

#5 nipper

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 07:48 AM

heat shield? as in the exhaust shroud? cuz the buzzing is coming from inside the tranny.


are you sure? The solenoids are in the tranny fairly deep and you should not be able to hear them. Are you hearing the buzzy from inside the car, or when you have a stetha scope on the tranny, or when your head is under the car next to the tranny

#6 tforce

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:26 AM

are you sure? The solenoids are in the tranny fairly deep and you should not be able to hear them. Are you hearing the buzzy from inside the car, or when you have a stetha scope on the tranny, or when your head is under the car next to the tranny


I can hear it from the driver seat with the window down. If you get under the car you can tell it's coming from the tranny. It's not a rattly sound. It sounds electrical...kinda like a starter when your battery is dead. And it's caused by specific things...not just at random. I'm doing all this work under the guidence of my buddy and his shop crew. Very good shop....they fix a lot of things that dealerships can't figure out. They all say it sounds like a solenoid.

Will the dropping resistor cause power loss and the flashing AT Oil Temp light?

#7 nipper

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:05 PM

I can hear it from the driver seat with the window down. If you get under the car you can tell it's coming from the tranny. It's not a rattly sound. It sounds electrical...kinda like a starter when your battery is dead. And it's caused by specific things...not just at random. I'm doing all this work under the guidence of my buddy and his shop crew. Very good shop....they fix a lot of things that dealerships can't figure out. They all say it sounds like a solenoid.

Will the dropping resistor cause power loss and the flashing AT Oil Temp light?


it will cause the hard shifting. It will trip the fault light. It may even be upsetting the solenoid.

nipper

#8 sea#3

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:58 PM

Try this to pull codes , Tell us what you get , it is most likely the Drop resistor, don't worry about the buzzing

hope this helps

SEA#3

#9 tforce

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 11:35 AM

Try this to pull codes , Tell us what you get , it is most likely the Drop resistor, don't worry about the buzzing

hope this helps

SEA#3



Thanks for the info. I've got a TCM coming today from a wrecking yard. If that doesn't do it then I'll be looking into the Drop resistor for sure. Where is that located by the way?

I talked to my buddy at the shop and he said nothing popped up when they last used the select monitor....except a code that shows up if you turn the key on while the Mass Air Flow Sensor is unplugged. I'm pretty sure that happened when I was replacing the tranny.

#10 tforce

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 05:10 PM

Nothing came up on the Select Monitor except a MAF sensor code and an Evap system code. I replaced the TCM and things are 95% better. I still occasionally get problems though. Intermittent power loss(similar to a fuel delivery problem) followed by harding shifting. Slight binding when turning sharp at low speed on loose surfaces followed by hard shifting....in AWD and FWD. Buzzing from tranny is now louder and constant.

The hard shifting comes in the form of the engine reving way high before shifting and then slamming into the next gear and the opposite with down shifting.

Every issue can be instantly fixed by either stopping and shifting into neutral and then back into drive, or shifting into reverse and backing up 20-40ft.

When it's not acting up it works perfect. Shifts smooth, shifts when it's suppossed to, no problems with manual shifting. I have not had the AT Oil Temp light come back on since replacing the TCM.

Is the Dropping resistor my next move? Where is that thing located anyhow? Should I take the tranny back?

Thanks,
Tforce

#11 Manarius

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 05:16 PM

The intermittent powerloss problem - just what my car did when the MAF was fried. I speak from experience: when my MAF was fried my car was just weird overall. I'd highly suggest looking into that.

#12 grossgary

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 10:59 PM

i unplug my transmission dropping resistor because i like the way it shifts better without it. drives much better that way and it causes the trans indicator light to blink on start up (16 times or whatever it is indicating a "fault").

you may try unplugging it just to see if how things change. it only takes 6 seconds to unplug it and doesn't hurt anything. it could be argued that it actually helps the transmission to not have this thing....quicker shifts, less heat build up as the clutches are engaged quicker so less slipping and heat build up. i know it's a stretch, but all that to say it definitely doesn't hurt anything.

i'd swap out a TCU (TCM) as well to see.

has anyone traced the lines from trans to TCU? with all the accidents it's been in i'd wonder if there's a wire issue somewhere (hence the buzzing as well and the problem carrying over to the new trans). was the transmission ever replaced before, i'd also be curious is if it's possible a different trans was installed and the TCM isn't quite the exact right one. being all 4EAT's, they are all close and semi-compatible, but being a little off could cause issues?

#13 tforce

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 02:15 PM

i unplug my transmission dropping resistor because i like the way it shifts better without it. drives much better that way and it causes the trans indicator light to blink on start up (16 times or whatever it is indicating a "fault").

you may try unplugging it just to see if how things change. it only takes 6 seconds to unplug it and doesn't hurt anything. it could be argued that it actually helps the transmission to not have this thing....quicker shifts, less heat build up as the clutches are engaged quicker so less slipping and heat build up. i know it's a stretch, but all that to say it definitely doesn't hurt anything.

i'd swap out a TCU (TCM) as well to see.

has anyone traced the lines from trans to TCU? with all the accidents it's been in i'd wonder if there's a wire issue somewhere (hence the buzzing as well and the problem carrying over to the new trans). was the transmission ever replaced before, i'd also be curious is if it's possible a different trans was installed and the TCM isn't quite the exact right one. being all 4EAT's, they are all close and semi-compatible, but being a little off could cause issues?


I replaced the TCM already. It helped a lot. I haven't done a full trace of the lines to the TCM. I've been trying to find a good schematic so I know where everything is. I checked out the part numbers thoroughly so I know the TCM and tranny or compatible.

As far as the dropping resistor goes, I wanna look into that next but I have no idea what it looks like or where it is. If someone could shed some light on that I would really appreciate it.

Thanks

#14 sea#3

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:26 PM

This should help you find the resistor (#2 on page 4 and 5)

SEA#3

#15 tforce

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:34 PM

This should help you find the resistor (#2 on page 4 and 5)

SEA#3



Thanks for the diagrams. That helps a ton.

Did some more troubleshooting today. Getting a TPS code (tranny trouble code #31). I think that it may be the cause of all my problems...including the MAF code that keeps popping up. The Throttle Sensor checked out fine on the Select Monitor so I'm checking all the wiring next.

#16 tforce

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 12:23 PM

I've been going through the Subaru wire testing proceedure for a TPS code. When testing the #1 pin on the TCM harness (power pin) you're supposed to get more than 1 Mohm of resistance when grounded to the chassis and I get .80. Then with all the harnesses plugged in (TCM, TPS, ECM) and the key on (engine off) I have no power at the power pins of all 3.

Would the low impedence cause a power loss? The buzzing I've been hearing from the pan is caused by the throttle. So it's a normal thing when the car is on (or car is off, key is on) and the throttle is engaged. However, the buzzing is happening with the key on, engine off, tranny in P....which shouldn't be happening.

I'm sure all of this points to something obvious but I'm at a loss for what.




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