Last post on Jan 24, 2011 at 8:16 PM
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Subaru Forester, Transmission, Wagon
#53 of 124 2004 Forester with a "shift flare"
Apr 13, 2009 (9:38 pm)
Our 2004 Forester 2.5x has recently developed a "shift flare" when you first drive it after it's been parked overnight; the car will hit about 2,800 RPMs in second gear and then jump to more than 3,000 RPMs before shifting into third. It only does it for the first two or three minutes and doesn't do it in any of the other gears.
Our local dealer wasn't able to duplicate the problem, and they gave us a Subaru technical bulletin that says the shift flare is a "unique characteristic" of our automatic transmission. But we've had the car for more than two years and it never did this until a few weeks ago. It started shifting awkwardly in the cold weather--and now it does it pretty much every morning.
So is this just a harmless quirk in our transmission? Or are we looking at a serious--and expensive--problem? And what, exactly, should I have the dealer look at the next time I bring it into the shop?
The car has less than 28,000 miles on it, so I'm a little concerned/peeved that I may need a new transmission already. Any input would be greatly appreciated...
#54 of 124 rough idle, rpm drop, stalling
Apr 14, 2009 (1:39 pm)
I'm currently in the process of deciding whether or not I want to purchase a '99 Forester AWD with an automatic transmission from my aunt. She's been letting me use the car over the past 6 weeks, so I can get a feel for it before I decide to buy it.
Over the past 3 weeks I've been noticing a few problems that I've previously never had with any car. *Please keep in mind I'm not that mechanically inclined so some of my descriptions of what's happening might not make perfect sense.
So here's whats happening: Occasionally when stopped at a light or stop sign, the idle gets rough, and the rpm's dip- sometimes this corrects itself and idling smooths out at the regular rpm, but sometimes the rpms just keep falling until the car stalls. At this point, I should mention there doesn't seem to be any loss of power like with alternator problems, and there are no problem restarting.
Another issue that seems like it might be related is that the car seems "jumpy" from time to time, like the rpms spike and then fall off a few times in a row. It's done this when accelerating and decelerating and generally seems to happen around 15-20 kmph.
These problems don't seem to coincide with a hot or cold engine- it's done it on both. Also no indicator lights come on.
The car had major engine work 2 months ago, and has since been back in the shop for issues with the fuel injection.
A friend of mine said it could be something related to fuel injection, torque converter, vacuum issues or something as simple as a dirty fuel filter.
Any hints as to what might need to be checked?? I'm reluctant to purchase the car as I'm scared it might end up being something expensive.
#55 of 124 Re: rough idle, rpm drop, stalling [charitym]
Apr 15, 2009 (8:55 am)
I think it's more likely to be the ignition coil or spark plugs/wires.
No check-engine light?
#56 of 124 Re: rough idle, rpm drop, stalling [ateixeira]
Apr 15, 2009 (10:10 am)
Nope- no check engine light... no indicator lights at all.
Thanks for your suggestions!
#57 of 124 Re: rough idle, rpm drop, stalling [charitym]
Apr 15, 2009 (11:21 am)
That's odd. Usually a stumbling implies a misfire, then you get oxygen in the exhaust, and the O2 sensor would pick that up.
#58 of 124 Re: 2004 Forester with a "shift flare" [60640subaru]
May 14, 2009 (1:01 pm)
I have some problems with same 'shift flare' too.
I have 05 Outback XT auto (41,500 miles) and same problem especially cold weather, but not all the time. Mine's hit even more 3500 RPM then I have to get off from pedal and it goes away.
Also I have 'Click' noise from 2 gear to 1 gearbox. Someone said it's release/lock for gearbox. Maybe it's true.
One more.. when I stop on D shift, there's pretty low RPm such as less than 700RPM. Dealer said that's normal..
Anyway I went dealer to check those problems then they changed transmission oil and something for $200, but still have same problem.
Maybe it is the way it is...
#59 of 124 replaced transmission fluid
May 14, 2009 (6:23 pm)
My husband just replaced the transmission fluid in my 07 forester. It will not shift gears. Why?
#60 of 124 Re: replaced transmission fluid [reginas2]
May 15, 2009 (9:17 am)
What kind of fluid did he put in it? Did he put in enough? Are you able to select gears without trouble, but the car will simply not engage?
#61 of 124 Re: replaced transmission fluid [reginas2]
May 16, 2009 (6:05 pm)
"My husband just replaced the transmission fluid in my 07 forester. It will not shift gears. Why? "
It is not likely that he replaced all the fluid. If he drained and then refilled with the amount that came out, then 3.75 quarts was replaced out of the total capacity of 10 quarts. To replace all the fluid at one time requires flushing equipment that only a dealer or transmission shop has.
To function properly, the transmission requires one of the fluids listed on Page 11-21 of the Owners Manual, which states:
"Genuine Subaru Automatic Transmission Fluid Type-HP.
IDEMITSU ATF HP.
Castrol Transmax J.
If the recommended automatic transmission
fluid is unavailable, Dexron III
may be temporarily used. If the Dexron
III is used continuously there will be a
noticeable increase in the vibration and
noise from the automatic transmission."
However, putting in 3.75 quarts of the wrong fluid would not prevent shifting of gears. But if for some reason the transmission is very low on fluid, that could affect shifting.
#62 of 124 Re: replaced transmission fluid [aatherton]
May 17, 2009 (12:41 pm)
if for some reason the transmission is very low on fluid, that could affect shifting.
That was my primary thought as well.