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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have an 06 OB with the 4AT shifter getting a little temperamental. Car sometimes won't start, has buzzing sound, and I need to jiggle the AT shifter (buzz disappears) while in the Park position.

So far jiggle workaround is ok but want to fix it permanently before it leaves me sit. What part am I looking for? Anyone do this job before? Any help at all? Thanks!
 

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Car sometimes won't start, has buzzing sound, and I need to jiggle the AT shifter (buzz disappears) while in the Park position.
Any problem moving the shifter out of P?

If not, any problem starting if the shift lever is moved to N?

Where is the buzzing sound coming from?

The FSM wiring diagram shows a "P range switch" in the console below the shift lever. I'm not sure about the impact that switch has; so far, I believe it relates to the shift lock control -- the system that prevents the shift lever from moving out of P, or into P, if the brake pedal isn't pressed down -- and the key lock system, which prevents the key from being removed unless the shifter is in P. I haven't found any clear relationship between the switch and the starting function. However, because the P range switch is connected to the Body Integrated Unit, and that, in turn, is connected to the Engine Control Module which does control starting, some type of interaction can't be discounted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Any problem moving the shifter out of P?

If not, any problem starting if the shift lever is moved to N?

Where is the buzzing sound coming from?

The FSM wiring diagram shows a "P range switch" in the console below the shift lever. I'm not sure about the impact that switch has; so far, I believe it relates to the shift lock control -- the system that prevents the shift lever from moving out of P, or into P, if the brake pedal isn't pressed down -- and the key lock system, which prevents the key from being removed unless the shifter is in P. I haven't found any clear relationship between the switch and the starting function. However, because the P range switch is connected to the Body Integrated Unit, and that, in turn, is connected to the Engine Control Module which does control starting, some type of interaction can't be discounted.
Good questions. The buzzing I'm pretty sure I saw coming from the starter. Right side of engine compartment.

As for starting in neutral I will have to try that next time it buzzes/won't start prior to jiggling the shifter. It's an intermittent problem.

Thanks.
 

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With the ignition switch at On but engine not running, there's two sources of buzz type sounds. One is the throttle plate stepping motor; the other could be one or more solenoids in the 4AT transmission. When standing in front of the car facing the engine compartment with the hood up, either of these could sound as if they're from the starter area. This doesn't mean the sound could not be from the starter, but if it were, it would indicate a different problem because when the ignition switch is not at Start there should be no power getting to the starter solenoid switch or the starter motor itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With the ignition switch at On but engine not running, there's two sources of buzz type sounds. One is the throttle plate stepping motor; the other could be one or more solenoids in the 4AT transmission. When standing in front of the car facing the engine compartment with the hood up, either of these could sound as if they're from the starter area. This doesn't mean the sound could not be from the starter, but if it were, it would indicate a different problem because when the ignition switch is not at Start there should be no power getting to the starter solenoid switch or the starter motor itself.
Good info, thanks a lot. Of these two possibilities, which might prevent starting (when buzzing) or allow starting after jiggling the shifter and buzzing stops?
 

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Can't comment on the buzzing sound, but the jiggling of the shifter curing the no-start may indicate that the switch just needs adjustment. Hd this smae issue ( without the buzzing) on on of my OBs a while back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can't comment on the buzzing sound, but the jiggling of the shifter curing the no-start may indicate that the switch just needs adjustment. Hd this smae issue ( without the buzzing) on on of my OBs a while back.
Ok. So there is a switch in there. I had assumed there was a switch that made sure it was in park before starting.
 

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Good info, thanks a lot. Of these two possibilities, which might prevent starting (when buzzing) or allow starting after jiggling the shifter and buzzing stops?
Neither.

Perhaps the next time it won't crank, before jiggling the shifter open the hood and see if you can better locate the source of the buzzing.
 

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For reference, there is no "Park/Neutral" switch inside the shifter mechanism in the console (there are a pair of microswitches for the manumatic mode). The Park/Neutral switch is on the side of the transmission, connected to the shifter by a cable.

Next time this happens, check to see if the "P" indicator is lit on the instrument cluster. If not, the ECU/TCU believes the transmission is not in "Park" position and will try to energize a few of the solenoids in the transmission. This usually is the loud "buzzing" sound (like power wires overhead).

Try moving from Park to neutral, then vigorously move back to Park. If that works, check the shifter cable clevis bushing that connects the cable to the shifter lever. It's underneath the car, between the transmission tunnel and the driveshaft. It's not very easy to access (or see, if the exhaust heat shield is in the way). It has a plastic sleeve that likes to deteriorate and allow slop in the cable.

Also double check the cable bushing at the Park/Neutral switch. RH side of the transmission, can be seen pretty easily from underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
For reference, there is no "Park/Neutral" switch inside the shifter mechanism in the console (there are a pair of microswitches for the manumatic mode). The Park/Neutral switch is on the side of the transmission, connected to the shifter by a cable.

Next time this happens, check to see if the "P" indicator is lit on the instrument cluster. If not, the ECU/TCU believes the transmission is not in "Park" position and will try to energize a few of the solenoids in the transmission. This usually is the loud "buzzing" sound (like power wires overhead).

Try moving from Park to neutral, then vigorously move back to Park. If that works, check the shifter cable clevis bushing that connects the cable to the shifter lever. It's underneath the car, between the transmission tunnel and the driveshaft. It's not very easy to access (or see, if the exhaust heat shield is in the way). It has a plastic sleeve that likes to deteriorate and allow slop in the cable.

Also double check the cable bushing at the Park/Neutral switch. RH side of the transmission, can be seen pretty easily from underneath.
Good info and Will do. Thanks!
 

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For reference, there is no "Park/Neutral" switch inside the shifter mechanism in the console (there are a pair of microswitches for the manumatic mode). The Park/Neutral switch is on the side of the transmission, connected to the shifter by a cable.
The role of the Inhibitor Switch on the side of the 4AT is understood. But do you know what the "P range switch" is for? It's attached to connector B116 in the shifter console, is shown in the wiring diagrams (e.g., attached), and is connected to the BIU.
 

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I believe that's the actual interlock solenoid. It's built like a relay (and the only thing that has a physical pull-in circuit). It's not very well named....

The solenoid is also be built with a small "ramp" at the end of the locking pin to allow one-way movement in the event power is lost and is shifted into park.
 

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plain OM & RoughDiamond, been reading many posts on the 4AT "inhibitor switch", keep seeing your names popping up!

Just bought an 09 2.5i / 4AT w/ 140k miles last week so just beginning to learn - new to Soobs but not DIY. Carfax report has extensive dealer service history, and says shift cable was replaced 4 yrs ago at 98k and again 2 yrs ago at 122k. Hmmm...

We experienced a "won't start" scenario and noticed the intermittent buzzing described by the OP, and thanks to a "guardian angel" bystander we learned that shifting out of and back into Park solved the problem (temporarily anyway). Now we're in triage mode, getting ready to buy parts and fix it before it becomes a regular occurrence. Have been able to recreate the problem by shifting into Park ever-so-gently (which results in "not-in-Park" as far as the switch is concerned), which points to shift cable wear/adjustment or inhibitor switch position adjustment.

Looking around from top-side, noticed a few things:
1. plastic surrounding the two adjusting bolts on the switch feels like the plastic loop has split open, but yet bolts and switch itself feel rock solid - pics of aftermarket switch online show a metal "grommet" lining the elongated holes, maybe that's why it's still tight despite the broken plastic?
2. rubber boot over cable seems in good shape FWIW, though I did not yet get close enough to eyeball the cable bracket mounting screws or the cable end itself - is there anything adjustable on the cable or cable mount, or is the switch the only adjustable thing?
3. actuating lever on the shaft feels like it's rusted up pretty good - if we end up replacing the switch, any tricks to getting the lever off without damaging the shaft or the inner workings of the tranny?
 

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When it doesn't start while in P, does it start in N?

When it's in P and not starting (e.g., after recreating the problem by moving to P very slowly), what gear does the instrument panel indicate? (There's lights for P, R, N, and D, and the P should be lit.)

See attached
 

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I don't think we tried starting it in neutral. But I did notice that when moving gently into P (and being careful to not let the detent grab the selector and pull it forward quickly), with the key in the run position, we would hear the buzzing AND the "P" indicator light on the dash was not lit. If I then pushed forward gently on the shift selector, I could get the "P" indicator light to light up and the buzzing would stop and we could start the car. I repeated this a few times to make sure it was repeatable, but stopped experimenting once we understood how to work around the problem when it happens.

Thx for the switch writeup. Sounds like cable is adjustable; do you have CS-32 for that also? I'm betting I'm going to have to disconnect it to replace the switch; might as well put it back together correctly!

Also does the stopper pin need to be anything special? I'm assuming a properly sized punch or drill bit will do.

Are the aftermarket switches any good or is this a part that would be better purchased from Subaru? Seems simple enough that aftermarket should be OK, but one never knows...

I'm guessing that there's nothing broken with the cable; it's only 2 yrs/20k miles old. But I suspect that the shop that worked on it was attempting to fix this problem (twice in fairly rapid succession) when maybe the issue all along was/is the broken switch mounts that allowed it to sneak out of adjustment.

Thanks again!

Dave
 

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The 2009 (and some 2008s) uses a different Inhibitor Switch than earlier years, and a different remove/install procedure. I'm not familiar with it, other than what's in the FSM.

Generally, it's rare for the Inhibitor switch itself to fail internally -- I don't recall any cases here. But the linkage adjustment could be slightly off; perhaps check that first.

I've attached the complete Select Cable remove/install/adjust section.

Hope you will let us know how it works out . ..
 

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thx for all the helpful info... planning to tackle this weekend while we're replacing the y-pipe and rusted out mufflers. Assuming (hoping) that the shift cable itself is fine (since it's only 2 yr/20k old) but worst case out of adjustment, and that the real culprit all along has been the busted switch mounts. Going to have both on hand though just in case...
 
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