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I have a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback. The AWD appears to not kick in immediately. Once the front wheels have had a chance to spin to a certain speed the back wheels will kick in. I also have a 1995 Subaru. When I jack all four wheels up on the 1995, put the car in drive a let my foot off the brake all four wheels spin immediately. When I do the same with the 1999, the back wheels don't spin until the front wheels reach 10-20 mph. Is the AWD system not designed to work below a certain speed or do I have an problem? If I have a problem any thoughts on how to test or what may need repair.

 

Thanks

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bummer! sorry to hear-

this is not normal, nor is it going to get better.. in fact.. the more you drive it the more broke it will become! I have heard many stories about people that just keep going on them, hoping the problem will go away, but eventually they will find themselves faced with a problem of having a "no-wheel-drive" subaru! and one big towing bill :banghead:

 

 

sounds like a 4EAT typical problem.. you will need new transfer clutches, and the transfer clutch duty solenoid from the sounds of it.. but the most typical repair, is a MT swap! :banana: or getting a nice reman/low milage junkyard tranny replacement!

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I have a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback. The AWD appears to not kick in immediately. Once the front wheels have had a chance to spin to a certain speed the back wheels will kick in. I also have a 1995 Subaru. When I jack all four wheels up on the 1995, put the car in drive a let my foot off the brake all four wheels spin immediately. When I do the same with the 1999, the back wheels don't spin until the front wheels reach 10-20 mph. Is the AWD system not designed to work below a certain speed or do I have an problem? If I have a problem any thoughts on how to test or what may need repair.

 

Thanks

 

Interesting, my 99 Forester AT does the SAME thing. It always has, even when brand new. My Forester now has 177,000 miles on the clock, so I won't be too worried about it. Here in South Carolina, snow is rare. I am aware of only two times in the seven years that I have owned the car that the AWD "kicked in". Once the AWD kicked in, the car easily climbed the very steep icey driveway. True, I don't live in snowy Vermont, but I'm not going to worry very much about the minor AWD delay on my car.

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I don't have much experience with an automatic, but the only rental car with an auto I drove did something similar.

If I recall it would approch something slippery and just start to spin. Then the rear wheel drive would kick it and it went like a tank.This was a new rental Legacy with less than 10,000 miles.

I hope MT Smiths see this one because I think he has automatics and a steep and slippery driveway.

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Both our Subies are AT versions, and both have a teeny "lag" (for lack of a better word) before the "full" AWD kicks in. As I read the Subie literature, it seems that the clutching system for the AWD waits until wheelspin happens on the front wheels prior to engaging the rear wheels fully.

 

This is different from the manny-tranny versions, where the AWD system is engaged "all the time." I don't think it's valid to compare AWD behaviour between AT and MT versions.

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AT trasmissions will transfer power electronically by means of the Duty C solenoid (common issue with the 4EAT) so there is always power lag or "tranny lag" as its being called.....though it sounds funny...i dont spin out at all...especially when i got my 5MT :brow:

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