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I am reposting this question because it's getting more serious and I need to find out what's wrong with my car. It is a 1991 Legacy with 2.2L AWD with non-turbo engine.

 

Here is the problem: As soon as the engine reaches operating temperature, it has shifting problem going 1st to 2nd gear. From a stop and go situation, I have to rev the engine up to 3,500-4,000 RPM before it shifts. Also, the speed has to reach 20 MPH before shifting occurs. This is based on moderate to mild (or vice versa) acceleration. If I press the pedal very soft and let the vehicle reaches 20 MPH very slowly, it shifts fine. But in traffic situation, I just don't want the person behind honking his horn because I just couldn't keep up with the traffic ahead of me.

 

From driving the vehicle and making a wild guess, I think it has something to do with the speed and/or speed cable not being registered correctly with the CPU. This car has never been involved in any racing activity or wreckless driving. It just started having this weird behavior beginning this summer '03. I don't remember having this problem in the past prior to this summer.

 

Once speed is above 20 MPH, no problem with shifting and there is no problem with 2nd gear up. Someone has suggested resetting the CPU or ECU (whatever) on my other posted (on the former forum) but I can't find fuse 16 as stated.

 

I hope I make sense here as I am really in need of finding out what's wrong (if anything at all). My hope is that it is not as serious or bad as I think it is.

 

Thanks in advance!

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To reset the ECU, disconnect the battery for at least 45 minutes. Not sure that this will affect the transmission, though, only the engine.

 

I think you should start with replacing the transmission oil and filter. Sounds like you have low oil pressure, and this could be due to tired oil. Make sure you get the quality recommended by the handbook. If you don't do the work yourself, make sure that the TRANSMISSION oil and filter are replaced. A lot of mechanics will confuse the engine oil drain plug with the one for the transmission, because they are not used to Subarus.

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When it shifts from second to third does it slip at all? Do the RPMs rise a bit before going down for the taller gear? The biggest problem with the automatics is the seal for the pump in the trans. The seal gets worn and it can't build the pressure. Higher RPM means higher pressure so you have to rev it more to get it to shift and also it won't shift "hard" enough and it slips. This sounds like it would make sense for what you're describing.

 

Keith

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ECU reset: Pull "Eng Ign" fuse for 45 min or more like Setright said. TCU reset: Pull "TCU" fuse at the same time. Easier than disconnecting battery and does not wipe out radio preferences, etc. Use transmission flush AFTER filter change if you decide you need to do that also. Have fun!

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Hello, Form Oregon....

 

I have had 2 cars with exactly your condition come to me from the dealership here locally....

 

try this......

 

Get a timing light....stick it on # 1 Plug wire.....With someone holding the brakes for you, put the car in gear and Romp the throttle short and Quickly.....

 

The last Car I had do this was bad enough I could do it with it in park....

Run throttle up hard like under acceleration.....and it will cut out really bad but very gentle, and it runs ok....

 

My Money says if you Do this on all 4 plug wires, you'll find 1-2 or 3-4 missfiring under Load.......

 

Coil Pack is on its Way out....

 

Here is whats happening.....

 

At idle, there is Little Load on the Coil....it sparks just fine...

 

on hard Accelleration, it has to work harder to get the Bang happening....So if it is breaking down, your electrical system can't produce enough amperage to do the job proper...

 

above about 1800-2000rpm's, the Alternator kicks in and gives it the juice it needs, therefore smoothing out the missfire....and fixing al shifting issues.....

 

I haven't run into this with a stick shifted car, but both Auto's I did had 1-2 Coil missfireing at Low end.....

 

Coil Pack runs about $100.00 at the Dealer, and I would Suggest Buying it there...Takes all of about 12 mins to install......:)

 

Let me know if this ends up being your Issue, And Let me know if I was wrong.....:D

 

Hope it works, John in Oregon.....

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I have no idea. I did a bunch of research and test drove a bunch of Automatics for my Aunt a year ago. Other than that I can't say. I've never owned one or worked on one. From what I understand it's not that hard. Best bet is to call your local friendly dealer service department and ask. That's what I did and where I got my info from.

 

Keith

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First of all, thanks to all that read and reply. I will try resetting the ECU tomorrow after work and see if it makes any difference. BTW, when it shifts from 2nd and up, there is no slips at all. It's all smooth after the 1st gear. One other thing is that it shifts smoothly from 1st gear up when the engine is cold. It only has this problem when it's at operating temperature. Also, the tranny filter and fluid was replaced last year. I don't believe it has anything to do with shifting problem.

 

I will keep you guys posted after tomorrow.

 

Thanks all again!

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Guys, just an update to this problem that I'm having. I attempt to or did reset the ECU with a wishful thought that it would do the trick and fix the problem. However, it didn't make any different to the problem at all. I guess I may end up needing an expensive repair if nothing else would work.

 

I really wish someone out there have solution so that I won't end up with lots of $$$ fixing this problem.

 

Please, anybody with a different hint I should try?

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I don't think dirty tranny/tranny fluid has anything to do with the the problem I'm having as I just did a complete flush with new filter last year.

 

On another note, I just read something about Vehicle Speed Sensors. Could they have something to do with the problem I'm having?

 

On an experimental testing, if I let go of the gas pedal to let the RPM come down when the speed reaches about 18-20 MPH, and press the gas pedal again, the gear shifts. Although it doesn't everytime, it does help in a way.

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And what about the TPS? Can it make the tranny behave the way it does on mine? I loosened the two screws and rotate the TPS all the way to the rear. I will know how it works tomorrow during normal traffic driving.

 

Looks like nobody has anything to offer anymore. Could this be possible that nobody has anything?

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If you don't have the Money to go buy a New Coil-Pack, Go see what one runs out of a junk yard....????

 

My Money says New Coil will cure your Problem......????

 

Just my outlook on it....

 

John in Oregon.....

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Well, I haven't swapped out the coil yet. I surely hope it is the problem as rotating the TPS back doesn't help. I will look into swapping the coil or doing some wire test to verify that it is the problem. Do auto parts stores stock this coil? I hope they do cuz it's cheaper buying it from them instead of the dealer.

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75$ for a OEM coil for your car at

1stSubbaruParts

No, I'm not working for them but find their prices extremely good.

Most of the parts are cheaper through them (with Can dollor exchange, taxes, shipping and custom fees) than bought here in Canada.

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What is the exact name for this coil? Searching for "Coil" returned too many items, not sure which is which.

 

I'm going to try the junk yard first, though, hopefully to get it for $5-$10 bucks.

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Well, just found out earlier tonight that it's not the problem with the coil as hoped. Replaced the suspected one with a used one but was disappointed that it's still doing it afterward. I'm fearing the worst: the tranny. I guess I will just to drive it until it dies and then junk it. It's time to get a new SUV anyway.

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