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PLEASE HELP! My faithful "Rodney" has a problem. (Rodney is my nickname for my 2000 Outback) While I was driving 10 miles to the doctor today, the automatic transmission started "slipping"; revving and not engaging. I pulled in to a "mega" gas station (no mechs anywhere), bought gas. When trying to pull away, my poor baby Rodney wouldn't move. No forward gears at all. Surprisingly, REVERSE works fine. So I backed up around all the pumps to an area I could park. 

 

Transmission fluid level fine, tip top. Discovered a wire with female plug hanging down, found its mate coming out of some conduit shielding in engine compartment. Fished up the hanger, and sure enough they were a perfect fit... but connecting them didn't solve anything. Could the pins be wet? 

 

Why does reverse work but not forward? What am I in for? Please help. Thanks.

 

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Just something to consider but don't go tunnel vision on the transmission. Front CV axle failure/stripped splines on one of the axle could produce the same no-movement problem.

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Lets hope it is not what i think it is. It is unusual to just loose all forward motion without a hint of trouble beforehand. The reverse mechanical are used less then  the forward ones, and reverse uses a higher internal pressure then drive, so you can have a blown transmission and still be able to back up. Will it move when the car is cold as opposed to warm.The inhibitor switch has 12 pins (3 x 4). Looking at the FSM with new style wiring diagrams under the transmission section I see nothing that describes that connector. It doesnt even match an O2 sensor pinout. What color is it, and what numbers are on the connector. Also see if you can find the mating harness/plug anywhere.

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if there were no problems, noises, issues before hand and zero engagement - i would wonder if it's simply not actually going into gear - the inhibitor switch (passengers side of trans, easy fix).  though i've never heard of those failing in that way i'd search and see if it can happen.

 

or could the shifter linkage even be bad - so it'll shift to reverse/neutral but nothing else - i'd look at the passengers side of trans at the inhibitor switch and see if it's moving through all the gears as the lever in the cabin is being moved.  can be seen from under the car or through the engine bay on passengers side just behind where the axle connects to the trans.

 

this is a big issue so some important questions:

 

1.  no symptoms at all prior to this?
2.  check engine light on?

3.  is the AT light blinking 16 times at start up?

4.  any major work done on the vehicle?

5.  how many miles?

6.  how many miles have you put on the vehicle?

 

#3 & #4, reading the codes will tell you the codes/issues. 

check engine light can be read by any OBDII scanner, parts stores do it for free or buy one cheap off ebay for $35 and do it yourself.  AT light is trickier to do.

 

like nip said, real odd for it to not do anything and all of a sudden give up the ghost.

Edited by grossgary

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the 00 auto trans is one that has the ''slow to engage problem'', right?

perhaps this is the first symptom.

doubtful i know but maybe.

so after you try everything else, ty a bottle of Trans-X.

 

have you tried shifting to 2, or 1 to see if it will move.?

and nippers question, have you tried when it is cold.?

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the 00 auto trans is one that has the ''slow to engage problem'', right?

perhaps this is the first symptom.

doubtful i know but maybe.

so after you try everything else, ty a bottle of Trans-X.

 

have you tried shifting to 2, or 1 to see if it will move.?

and nippers question, have you tried when it is cold.?

First symptom is a delay going from reverse to drive. The next symptom is a delay between pressing the gas and the car actually moving at a traffic light. This is neither of these. This is more akin to finding someone cold and pale as a symptom of death (get me my poking stick). If this isnt a linkage failure, a disconnected harness, it is a dead transmission. The delay gives lots and lots of warning and engagement lag before it quits.

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Did you check the trans fluid with the engine running?

Did you check the correct dipstick? The short one on the right (passenger side) is front differential gear oil. Longer dipstick on the left (driver side) is ATF. It can be hard to see because its under some hoses.

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Forward cluch pack I bett have a rolled 02 outback came in yesterday good trans in it. Also that conector you show is front o2 not trans but should help runability

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if there were no problems, noises, issues before hand and zero engagement - i would wonder if it's simply not actually going into gear - the inhibitor switch (passengers side of trans, easy fix).  though i've never heard of those failing in that way i'd search and see if it can happen.

 

or could the shifter linkage even be bad - so it'll shift to reverse/neutral but nothing else - i'd look at the passengers side of trans at the inhibitor switch and see if it's moving through all the gears as the lever in the cabin is being moved.  can be seen from under the car or through the engine bay on passengers side just behind where the axle connects to the trans.

 

this is a big issue so some important questions:

 

1.  no symptoms at all prior to this?

2.  check engine light on?

3.  is the AT light blinking 16 times at start up?

4.  any major work done on the vehicle?

5.  how many miles?

6.  how many miles have you put on the vehicle?

 

#3 & #4, reading the codes will tell you the codes/issues. 

check engine light can be read by any OBDII scanner, parts stores do it for free or buy one cheap off ebay for $35 and do it yourself.  AT light is trickier to do.

 

like nip said, real odd for it to not do anything and all of a sudden give up the ghost.

THANKS EVERYBODY for your replies, keep 'em coming! I'm not a car-fix guy (I'm an Apple wizard tho). Will share all your responses with my friend the Master Engine Rebuilder. Please do keep your ideas coming, and thanks.

1- does the same thing when it's cold (zero engagement in Drive or any of the numbers) but reverse works fine. I had to move the car out of the gas station I was stranded in, so I reversed 200m down to my doctor's office parking lot. I have the AAA long-towing option sO I'm going to tow my sweet Subaru to where I got it at the Master Engine guy's place.

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check engine light - read the codes and see if there's anything relevant

 

AT light blinking 16 times at start up means there's a code stored in the TCU telling you something is flaky with the transmission circuits.

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Are we over thinking this and could it be as simple as a stretched out cable or broken cable bracket.

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Are we over thinking this and could it be as simple as a stretched out cable or broken cable bracket.

 

Dear God that would be great. Having my wizard looking at it as soon as I can get it towed to him sometime next week.

 

Keep you ideas coming guys, I really appreciate it. Your guys RULE!!!

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Are we over thinking this and could it be as simple as a stretched out cable or broken cable bracket.

 

i think that was my first suggestion, if we're talking about the same thing?:

 

could the shifter linkage even be bad - so it'll shift to reverse/neutral but nothing else - i'd look at the passengers side of trans at the inhibitor switch and see if it's moving through all the gears as the lever in the cabin is being moved.  can be seen from under the car or through the engine bay on passengers side just behind where the axle connects to the trans.

 

on one hand i'm inclined to think this since it happened so suddently with no warning/issues/prior history/symptoms - which as someone said is really weird for a transmission to do.  on the other hand it's not very common...let's hope.

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Hey guys, I was checking the differential fluid dipstick. Where is the transmission fluid dipstick? A friend told me I should but in Lucas fluid- and it fills through the dipstick hole. Thanks again!

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Couple posts up ^^^

Did you check the trans fluid with the engine running?

Did you check the correct dipstick? The short one on the right (passenger side) is front differential gear oil. Longer dipstick on the left (driver side) is ATF. It can be hard to see because its under some hoses.

Look around near the starter. Dipstick handle is yellow but usually covered in grime.

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If indeed there is low fluid, being low enough for the car to not move may take a gallon o fluid to bring it back up. Make sure it's full, then inspect for leaks. Likely place is on the framerail under the hood on the driver side where the cooling lines join the radiator. 

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