My 1996 Subaru Legacy Wagon with 2.2 motor, AWD, and AT has taken a turn for the worse. It runs fine under full power for the first 20 minutes, but as soon as I hit stop-and-go traffic it starts to lose power, starts make a whining noise, and then won't move at all. After a 5 minute break with the car off it will move again, but the problem will come back. The longer it sits, the longer it will run before the problem resurfaces. Any clues? I'm being told I have to replace the transmission, want to make sure this is the case.
Country: United StatesMake: SubaruModel: Legacy WagonYear: 1996Engine: 2.2
I've had my mechanic replace the torque converter and the probelm still persists.
Sounds like once the trans warms up, you have some major internal fluid leakage. It could be a weak trans pump. I am sorry to say that it sounds like slipping clutches. If you pull the trans dipstick, what color is the fluid and does it smell burnt? With the symptoms you listed, if the fluid is brown or dark in color then it indicates burnt fluid due to slipping trans clutches. Meaning transmission needs rebuilt or replaced. Also pull off the transmission pan and look for chunks of clutch material and thick dark material in the pan. Let me know what you find.
The trasmission fluid is normal, and has been changed less than 2 weeks ago. The pan was dropped too, no chunks of metal. It is currently at the transmission shop, they think it might be the solenoid as the problem persists in 1st and 2nd gear only.
If all other gears are ok, than the solenoid may be the issue. How was the fluid that was changed? If it also looked ok, than the clutches my be ok. The issue you are having could be caused by a few things. The solenoid you speak of, worn clutches, or bad seals. If it is the solenoid, than change it and it will be good. If that doesn't fix it, than either the clutches are worn our the seals are worn. If the solenoid is not the problem, then the trans will most likely need replaced. Any thing else would cause the problem in all gears.
Master auto mechanic. 20 plus years experience.