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Guest Message by DevFuse

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1996 Legacy Outback-- AT jolts from 1st to 2nd

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8 replies to this topic

#1 healyme


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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:11 PM

Bought this car a couple days ago with 185k on it. When it goes from first to second it jolts and has a very slight delay then surge. I've read about some newer Outbacks having similar problems, any advice or speculations as what could be wrong? It's my first car and I love it so far, just hoping the jolt isn't serious! Thanks so much!

#2 idosubaru


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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:46 PM

usually not a good sign, but let's start simple.

do all of your tires match? meaning the size, tread depth, and tire pressure properly set?

check the fluid level, color and smell. have someone familiar with the color and smell of ATF check that for you to see if it's old or burnt. follow the directions in the owners manual to check the level.

it probably needs the transmission fluid changed, but i can't say whether that will fix your problem or now. have it flushed and filled with fresh ATF. a drain and fill isn't enough...you need at least 3 of those to actually get a significant amount of fluid out based on the design of an AT.

for most folks just paying a shop $70 to flush it is the best bet.

the only problem is i can't gaurantee it will fix anything, but at this point it needs to be done due to age and mileage.

#3 healyme


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Posted 17 May 2009 - 10:25 PM

Thanks for the advice! I appreciate the help. I just checked and the tires are all the same. I'll have someone check the ATF with me tomorrow. Is it normal if all that is needed is a flush that it would be jolting from first to second, but not going into other gears?


#4 johnceggleston


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:24 AM

these subaru auto trans have a hard 1-2 shift, especially if accelerating hard. and maybe harder cold than warm, but i'm not sure, i'm used to how mine shifts.

does it 'jolt' when the trans is warm and you are just driving away from a stop?

the delay and surge is worrisome, is that in the 1-2 shift or the 2-3 shift?

a 2-3 shift problem can be caused by a dirty tps? i think.

changing the fluid can't hurt and is good insurance for the long haul, but if there is internal damage or exsessive wear, it may not help.

#5 porcupine73


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 07:42 AM

I haven't seen it posted too much lately, but there used to be some saying that if the line pressure solenoid dropping resistor on that bracket at the RH strut tower burned out, it could cause harder shifting?

#6 wtdash


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:53 AM

I have a hard 1>>2 shift, also ('96 Legacy Brighton).

This LINK and this LINK describe and show the 4EAT 'dropping resistor' as well as discusses the Duty Solenoids. Looks like a Duty A or B could also cause the issue as they control shifting?


Edited by wtdash, 18 May 2009 - 12:29 PM.
fixed links

#7 porcupine73


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:57 AM

Interesting.....I also have a '96 Legacy Brighton I got in '03 and it has always had a kind of harsh 1-2 shift as well.

Here are the links LINK LINK for some reason is prepended usmb.org onto the front of the ones up last post ^^^

#8 Bucky92


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 01:00 PM

My 95 shifts hard between first and second...mainly cold and on harder acceleration...If I go slow it is alot smoother. But thats hard for me to do since I usually drive 5speeds. I know as a fact the tranny that is in my Lego ( which is a used one from a friends car) hads always shifted a bit hard. fluid has been changed etc. It is my understanding that it is very common.

#9 nipper


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:13 PM

When my 97 does it i know its time to do a fill and drain in the tranny :).

Soobys are known for hard 1-2 shifts, it can be startling at times. But a hard shift is always vetter then a long slipping shift.

Change the fluid and you should be fine.

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