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Auto trannys/are they reliable


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Petersubaru

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 07:42 PM

I just bought a 2001 outback,40k with auto tranny and was wondering if I should get the extra warranty to cover the just in case tranny repair...I read on planet subaru, it could be up into the thousands of dollars for repairs

#2 ericem

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 08:03 PM

well they are very reliable overall, just check the fluid and see if its full, and if it smells burnt, if all is good, i doubt u would need the warrenty but how much is the warrenty? i mean if the tranny breaks u could just swap it.

#3 porcupine73

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Posted 23 November 2006 - 10:49 PM

How much for the extra warranty and exactly what does it cover and for how long? Best bet for the money would be change out the ATF to the best stuff you can find (i.e. synthetic like schaeffer, redline, amsoil, mobil1, or specialty formulations). And maybe put on a cooler. I would do that before spending money on some warranty.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 12:23 AM

personal preference, do whatever fits your lifestyle. the 4EAT is a great transmission as far as automatics go. unless it's really cheap and good i would not pay for any kind of transmission insurance. "could be up to thousands in repairs"...that's a blanket statement that really doesn't mean anything. lots of issues can result in thousands of dollars of repairs. those costs can typically be averted or done for far less though. rebuilding an automatic transmission is a really bad idea on a Subaru with a 4EAT, they are easy to find and reliable enough that installing a low mileage used unit is an excellent and inexpensive option should yours ever fail.

if you're the type that doesn't have the time to spend on any issues that may occur and you like to be ahead of the curve on everything and have someone else deal with it should it happen...then get the insurance.

#5 jon38iowa

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 12:29 AM

I just bought a 2001 outback,40k with auto tranny and was wondering if I should get the extra warranty to cover the just in case tranny repair...I read on planet subaru, it could be up into the thousands of dollars for repairs


My Forester has 140K(hard use with preveous owner) with nary a 4EAT problem; The rest of the car has been another story.
Cheep insurance to me is changing the fluid and external transmission filter every thirty thousand miles.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 12:35 AM

forgot to mention that...if you do any kind of driving that puts more than average load on the trans, like driving up steep inclines, frequent shifting, acceleratiung, hauling heavy loads, towing...etc, then get an automatic transmission cooler. technically you should check your average ATF temps and get a cooler if you need it. but not many are equipped or ready to do that. i install an aftermarket cooler on all of my vehicles just because the stock through the radiator side tank set up annoys me. you only need the smallest cooler they sell at the auto parts stores - they run $30-$40 and are well worth it. some automatic transmission rebuild shops install them with new transmissions....for good reason!

#7 BruceyWV

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 01:07 AM

The 95 Legacy I've got for the time being has a 4EAT with 215k on the odometer. Dont know if its original though, but "repairs in the thousands of dollars" is hi-larious. You can get a performance WRX Drag racing-cant-be-killed 4EAT for under 4.

I have 75 On the 2000, and the transmission hasnt been an issue. I've done my share of beating on it too.

#8 gbhrps

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 07:19 AM

Say you put $600 into a tranny warranty, and a week later some idiot runs a stop sign, broadsides you, and your car is written off. What happens to your warranty money? You're better off taking the $600 and putting it into a separate bank account for repairs down the road if you're worried about it. Almost all extended warranties are a money grab full of fine print and headaches for you when you try to collect.

#9 porcupine73

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 08:25 AM

Also being an '01 you would have the 4eat phase II which had some improvements I think over the phase I with hardened steel in some critical areas or something. If you really want insurance you could consider a bypass or hydraulic filter on the ATF to get really fine particles like down to 2 or 1 micron. I don't know how fine the external OE filter goes but my guess would be maybe 20 micron. Anyway, I saw on another board about this taxi company in canada that installed these kinds of filters on all their vehicle and saw a dramatic drop in transmission issues.

#10 fishy

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 10:13 AM

These 4eat boxes can't be TOOO bad. My buddy's 94 turbo with 4eat went to about 470,000kms before the tranny let go. I'm pretty sure nothing was ever done to it either. poor thing. :banana:

#11 Dr. RX

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 10:31 AM

With a 2001 model year it should be just fine, the only problems that I know about with 4EAT were when they were first introduced at the end on the 80's, but I believe they had all the bugs out by the 90's.

#12 grossgary

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 10:38 AM

the only problems that I know about with 4EAT were when they were first introduced at the end on the 80's, but I believe they had all the bugs out by the 90's.

really?? they never have the torque bind issues prevalent in the mid-late 90's 4EAT's. i've never seen one torque bind issue in person or on the older gen forum on the older 4EAT's. they are good transmissions...this is of course assuming they're taken care of, fluid changes, matching tires and proper towing for any AWD transmission.

#13 iluvdrt

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 10:59 AM

170,000mi on mine with a 2.5 and shes holding up fine....better than the engine. it does shift kind of hard into second.


What I hate though is no "sport mode" (its very slow to downshift, and cannot keep up with spirited driving sescions). and it deffinatly needs an O/D.

Not sure about: It feels like there are more gears when climbing hills, it half downshifts.

#14 ron917

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 01:46 PM

Not sure about: It feels like there are more gears when climbing hills, it half downshifts.


You're probably feeling the torque converter unlocking. If you pay attention, you'll feel it lock and see the RPMs drop when you're up to speed and running on a level surface. Makes it feel like there are five gears.

BTW, the torque converter will sometimes lock when in 3rd gear as well. It's annoying on one particular hill I climb every day on my commute, it's a long one at 35MPH.

#15 porcupine73

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 03:18 PM

Yah that TC lockup in third freaked me out the first couple times it did it, I thought it was slipping. It takes a while for it to do it. I'd guess it's an effort to keep the ATF temp down and/or increase mileage on long hill climbs and/or towing.

#16 mikeshoup

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 03:39 PM

really?? they never have the torque bind issues prevalent in the mid-late 90's 4EAT's. i've never seen one torque bind issue in person or on the older gen forum on the older 4EAT's. they are good transmissions...this is of course assuming they're taken care of, fluid changes, matching tires and proper towing for any AWD transmission.

This could be because the 4EAT was rare in the EA gen. They only made it a few years before they went back to the 3AT for the Loyale. XT6 is the only vehicle that its common on.

#17 avk

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 10:28 PM

The 4EAT transmission has also been used by Nissan and Mazda, with whom it was jointly developed. But the transfer clutch probably wasn't shared.




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