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It shifts poorly when cold and have been advised to sell, not to do a flush or pay for adjusting or rebuild. Is this a notorious problem? Would a flush and adjustment extend life? A complication is that the former owner reamed out the Catalytic Converter and this will need replacing before it will pass California Smog testing. We paid $6000 less than a year ago and it only has 185K miles on it. Any suggestions? Thank You

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A little more detail on the problem would be helpful.

 

The 4EAT transmission is known to have harsh shifting when cold, especially the 1-2, and 2-3 shifts. They often stay in first gear for a prolonged time (engine may rev to 3,500-4,000 rpm before shifting), then shift roughly on the first two or three shifts.

 

A fluid and filter change won't hurt.

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I like to add a half bottle of trans x before a change and drive it bout 50 miles. i dont use the whole bottle because it has ether in it to revitalize the seals. if they over swell they can fail so only half bottle then fluid change.

also if the trans pan has been bumped or bottomed out you may have a dent in it causing restriction to filter inlet. this happened on my 97 impreza.

i fixed the pan and changed the fluid and problems went away

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I recommend draining and filling the tranny 3 times with short drives between drains. Add some Lucas tranny additive. The reason for all the draining and filling is because only about half the ATF can be drained from the tranny at one time. The remaining ATF stays in the torque converter and won't drain out.

 

Reaming out the cat converter will cause a check engine light to appear. Is that how you learned about the cat problem?? My guess is that the previous owner did not tell you anything about this. Not ethical to do this, or sell you a car with this problem. I have heard that a California cat converter is expensive. Previous owner has not done you any favors, particularly at a cost of $6,000 for a '96. Unsure Forester was built in '96, Maybe a typo, and car is actually a 2006 model?? Since you have owned for less then a year, any chance you can get previous owner to pay for a new cat converter to do right by you?

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