Subaru Transmission Problems Symptoms: Top 05 Serious Issues With Solutions

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Have you detected some Subaru transmission problems symptoms?

Many users begin to despair when they detect some symptoms of problems in the transmission of their vehicles.

If this happens in your vehicle, a complete guide can be handy in these stressful situations.

No matter if you are a beginner in using a Subaru, you will be able to know all the necessary information to deal with these problems.

Undoubtedly, the following information will allow you to save money when facing this type of problem.

05 Common Subaru Transmission Problems Symptoms with Solutions

A vast majority of Subaru models are chosen for being some of today’s most reliable and durable vehicles.

Still, there are some symptoms to consider regarding Subaru transmission problems.

And here we have gathered some of the most common symptoms to avoid significant problems and breakdowns.

01. Check Engine Light

One of the most important symptoms, when there are problems with the transmission or other parts of the vehicle, is the check engine light.

When the vehicle’s onboard computer detects a malfunction, this is an essential light. It should also be noted that the check engine light is general.

When this light comes on, it does not mean that the transmission is the only part that is faulty and malfunctioning.

However, when it is a transmission malfunction, this symptom is evident and can be complemented by analyzing the rest of the symptoms mentioned below.

02. Delayed engagement

As strange as the name of this symptom maybe, this is another of the other drawbacks to consider when it comes to a Subaru with a worn-out lifespan after several years of use.

This drawback refers to the pause between starting the vehicle and getting it moving.

If there is such a pause in your vehicle, it is a clear symptom of a fault. Any user will notice a jerk when trying to move the vehicle.

What happens is that the acceleration in the engine occurs when the user wants it to.

However, there is a pause of a few seconds after this acceleration without movement. After this pause, the vehicle moves after a soft or hard jerk.

03. Slipping

When we are talking about the symptom of slipping in the transmission, it is not a problem found in vehicles with manual transmission.

In this case, it is a problem and symptom that is most often found in vehicles with automatic transmissions.

This symptom can be detected with relative ease. Simply put, transmission shifts happen when they should not.

Those who pay attention to the engine’s sound will be able to detect this symptom easily.

It is also possible to detect a somewhat high-pitched noise coming from the engine.

In addition to all that, some users may notice a slight or considerable lack of power, depending on the severity of the symptom.

04. Gear shift problems

Some symptoms may be difficult to detect, while others are obvious such as difficult gear shifting.

In this case, it is a problem found in both manual transmission vehicles and those that include automatic transmission technology.

There are certain situations in which it is impossible to change gears.

One of the most specific causes is a gear lock-up solenoid, although the problem can be more serious when the gear change simply cannot be performed.

Under normal conditions, this problem does not appear from one second to the next. So, you may notice a more difficult gear shift as time goes on.

05. Burning smell

Of course, the smell of burning is always one of the most apparent symptoms when detecting a breakdown or leak in the vehicle.

In this case, the smell of burning can be very evident when it comes to inconvenience in the vehicle’s transmission.

When the burning smell is too present, the driver should stop immediately.

A too excessive temperature can cause this symptom that can appear at any time.

This also represents a serious situation since the transmission fluid may have leaked through some fault in the transmission.

Under no circumstances is it recommended that the driver continue to drive the vehicle if he/she smells a burning odor.

What should I do If Subaru Transmission Facing Any Problems?

If you encounter any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is always advisable to stop using your vehicle.

Specifically, this is important if you have a burning smell from one moment to the next.

Towing your vehicle to a garage or your own home can prevent the burning odor problem from getting worse.

If you find it impossible or very difficult to change gears, towing your vehicle can also be very helpful.

Sometimes, the inability to shift gears in your vehicle can be dangerous, and this problem could cause you to go too fast or slow in the wrong place.

When the delayed engagement problem is detected, it is not a very serious problem.

However, it is essential to check the transmission fluid and the rest of the vehicle’s fluids. All that can be a first step to detecting where the problem is in this situation.

Finally, if you encounter the slipping symptom in a Subaru with automatic transmission, this can also be dangerous.

A gear shift can occur in the transmission at the least expected moment, which can be dangerous.

The vehicle’s transmission should be checked to avoid such a dangerous situation.

Subaru Transmission Problems: Top 05 Serious Issues

To better deal with the Subaru transmission problems symptoms, you should also pay attention to the problems that cause those symptoms.

There are at least five common problems that commonly occur throughout the life of a Subaru.

Catching some of these problems early can allow the vehicle user to save some money on even more expensive repairs.

01. Engine Speed Problems

Some users may notice that several Subaru models include the Lineartronic transmission.

This transmission can present problems when the user reaches a high speed, as is often the case on any highway.

In this problem specifically, it is possible to notice variations in the revolutions per minute.

Without the need for the vehicle driver to interfere, it is possible to notice a decrease or an increase in engine speed.

Usually, this problem occurs in tr580 or tr690 transmissions.

It will also be possible to check the code stored in the onboard computer and notice the check engine light coming on.

02. Strange noises on acceleration

As mentioned above, some Subaru problems can occur with the type of transmission we have mentioned.

So, it is not only possible to encounter variations in speed. Some users may notice strange noises during engine acceleration, such as constant or intermittent growling.

When this problem appears, it may be an isolated problem. So, it is an inconvenience that may only be noticed during acceleration.

Even warning lights and other symptoms may not be present when these strange noises appear.

03. Different types of stalling

Along with some transmission types specific to various Subaru models, certain problems can result in engine stalling.

So, the transmission can be damaged so that it will choke the vehicle’s engine when the user decides to stop.

Usually, this could happen when the user performs hard braking.

Specifically, this problem is more likely to appear precisely after a long-distance trip. Usually, the vehicle can start and run after it stalls completely.

04. Transmission Temperature

Overheating can occur with some types of automatic transmissions, such as those found in some Subaru cars.

In these situations, the flashing light may notice the transmission temperature warning.

In turn, this can happen during vehicle start-up or operation.

05. Shuddering due to slipping at start-up

Among the most common inconveniences that can occur is a malfunction during start-up.

When accelerating from a transmission, the user may notice shaking or slipping of some kind, and the jerking level can indicate the transmission malfunction’s severity.

Quick Solutions for the Subaru Transmission Problems

Some straightforward solutions can be implemented to prevent the above problems from worsening.

Many of these solutions can save you money on even more costly repairs.

  • Engine Speed Problems: some of the solutions that can be implemented are replacing the solenoids or the wiring between the TCU and the solenoid.
  • Strange noises on acceleration: nowadays, it is possible to find parts kits to replace the main pulley bearing and the secondary pulley bearing.

This is because the problem can be found in either of these two parts.

  • Different types of stalling: the correct transmission fluid must be used, and the thrust washer must be replaced.

Precisely, this part is located inside the converter because its purpose is to block the release of the clutch. This may require a Torrington bearing.

So, the most important thing is to check the transmission fluid for leaks or blockages.

  • Shuddering due to slipping at start-up: installing a fuse allows detecting if the automatic transmission has a problem if the installation is on the front-wheel-drive switch.

Crucial FAQs about Subaru Transmission Problems Symptoms

What is the first symptom of transmission malfunction?

One of the first symptoms to be considered is related to the jerks produced when the vehicle starts.

However, no single symptom appears first on all occasions—the life of the transmission and the problems that may appear depending on various factors.

It is also essential to consider the smell of burning or strange noises when starting or accelerating the vehicle.

All these symptoms usually appear first when there is some sort of Subaru transmission failure.

What is the worst year for the Subaru transmission?

Some Subaru models have presented more transmission problems than others.

The 2014 to 2015 Subaru Forester which includes a 2.0 or 2.5 L engine is among the models that users want to avoid because of transmission problems.

Some drawbacks have also been found in the 2014 and 2015 Subaru CrossTrek Hybrid and 2013 to 2015 CrossTrek.

All these models are those with some additional transmission problems, although this can be avoided with proper maintenance at the right time.

How to avoid a Subaru transmission problem?

As it is known to many users, some Subaru models may present different transmission drawbacks.

One of the most problematic vehicles is the Subaru Legacy from 2010 to 2015.

There are some essential tips to avoid most of the transmission problems of this and other models.

Any manufacturer or expert recommends constantly checking the transmission fluid and detecting leaks and other fluids as soon as possible.

It is also advisable to perform a complete diagnosis of the vehicle and replace the transmission parts once they reach their useful life.

What are the primary transmission problems?

According to the experience of most Subaru vehicle users, some problems are the most common.

Among them are transmission warning lights, rough gear shifting, transmission fluid leakage, burning smell, or even strange noises when shifting gears in the transmission.

What does slipping transmission feel like?

Transmission slipping is one of the most common inconveniences, as it occurs when the transmission simply slips.

When faced with this specific situation, it is possible to notice a change in pitch when the user needs to change the vehicle’s gear.

Certain strange noises or a lower level of performance than a Subaru can offer may also appear.

Which Subaru model do users avoid?

According to experts and fans of Subaru vehicles, the 2009 to 2014 Subaru Impreza WRX STI and WRX need to be avoided.

Many people encountered a wide variety of breakdowns and overheating in this 2.5L turbocharged, high-performance engine.


Once the user knows the Subaru transmission problems symptoms with great precision, he will have the possibility to deal better with these situations.

Catching one or more of these symptoms early can prevent many serious problems.

Any transmission symptom can develop into more severe and costly problems with enough time.

That is why it is always recommended to implement proper maintenance and always drive the vehicle smoothly and responsibly.

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