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2004 Outback Sedan VDC H63.0
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello I have a 2004 Outback sedan vdc with 88K on it currently. Lately the transmission has really had me worried.. It has always been jerky shifting in medium throttle often times jumping back from 2nd to 3rd not always knowing what gear it sould be in. I can see this just being the typical rough transmission that these cars are cursed with but lately its getting worse. For the past two weeks when i have the car in reverse it makes the strangest squeaking sounds from the transmission very similar to the sound old bed springs make when jumping up and down. I know it is from the transmission because if i have the car in neutral rolling backwards it is silent but as soon it is clicked into reverse the squeaking and squealing starts. Now i notice it if the car is held in first gear manually reving up to 3k. If i keep the car in 1st manually bring up the revs it squeaks very rapidly and sometimes when i let off of the throttle it does not slowly rev down, the revs will just drop like i placed the car into neutral. The shifts have gotten much rougher and i notice now when crusing around 60, there is a slight rattle coming from the transmission. Im almost positive it is not any heat shields.

This being said, is there anyone who may know what these issues may be? If i need a new transmissin does anybody know the average cost i can expect a dealer to charge? Or if can be fixed with a transmission rebuild is that any cheaper?? I would absolutely LOVE to swap this transmission out for a 5 speed manual, but im pretty sure i cannot get a dealer to do this, at least at a reasonable price..

If anyone could shed some light that would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks, Matt
 

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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
Find a reliable and trustworthy transmission shop in your area that can check it. Ask around or look up reviews online.

A rebuild on these transmissions can run 2500 - 3500 depending on the condition of the hard parts. If it needs to be done, have the shop install the updated kit in the valve body, new version seals and a extra cooler for the fluid. Bypass the radiator all together.

Other than the transmission, you may want to check the center driveshaft carrier bushing/bearing. It will squeak and sits right under the passenger compartment. It's replaced with the driveshaft if its worn.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
First thing you should have done a long time ago is check the fluid level and condition. Check the transmission fluid level and the front differential fluid level (integrated transaxle with front diff and transmission as one unit).

Have the fluids ever been changed?

They "chirp" when they're low on fluid....and that is horrible for a transmission.

Most economical repair is to buy a used transmission and have a shop install it, not the dealer. Dealers are too expensive for something like this and new/rebuilt is over priced.

Although VDC transmissions are a bit pricey - $1,000 - $1,500 is low end. But even still you can get it done for $2,000 or less maybe rather than $4,000 replacement/rebuild.
 

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Premium Member
'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
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3,109 Posts
My H2 can't decide what gear to be in at the same speeds. It's part of the funky nature the tranny has. OB's , at least mine, will coast down a hill for a coupla hundred yards before it realizes that it has overdrive. I believe this tranny is snow &sleet designed and employs engine brake whenever it can. Maybe it's the off road ready package. I dunno. Just stick the shifter in 3rd until the offensive section of road goes away when it can't decide. No VDC on mine
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
My H2 can't decide what gear to be in at the same speeds. It's part of the funky nature the tranny has. OB's , at least mine, will coast down a hill for a coupla hundred yards before it realizes that it has overdrive. I believe this tranny is snow &sleet designed and employs engine brake whenever it can. Maybe it's the off road ready package. I dunno. Just stick the shifter in 3rd until the offensive section of road goes away when it can't decide. No VDC on mine
some H6's are known to have TPS issues causing erratic shifting, may want to look into that if it annoys you.
 

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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
My H2 can't decide what gear to be in at the same speeds. It's part of the funky nature the tranny has. OB's , at least mine, will coast down a hill for a coupla hundred yards before it realizes that it has overdrive. I believe this tranny is snow &sleet designed and employs engine brake whenever it can. Maybe it's the off road ready package. I dunno. Just stick the shifter in 3rd until the offensive section of road goes away when it can't decide. No VDC on mine
VDC or not, the H6 is programmed to utilize engine torque and transmission gearing during stopping or panic stops. The TCM knows if you are off the throttle and maintaining or increasing in speed, so it will hold a gear depending on the speed of travel. If its doing this at highway speeds, clean the throttle body, check the trans fluid level/condition. If you decide to flush it, you may want to remove the spin on filter under the driver fender, behind the fog light, and check it for debris that may be slowing fluid flow. If you find any debris, flush the trans cooler lines in the radiator out also.

The 4EAT is tempermental to fluid temperature and seals tend to shrink causing pressure loss.
 

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2004 Outback Sedan VDC H63.0
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I had all of the fluids in the differentials changed and the transmission fluid flushed a year ago... If the car was on an extreme angle, would it be possible for some of the fluid to leak out? I did get stuck a month ago facing downward at a 60 degree angle needing a truck to tow me out. Im going to bring the car in soon to have it looked at either way. Wish it was a MT!!
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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672 Posts
I'd think the only way it would leak based on an extreme angle would be if the angle was the most extreme... UPSIDE DOWN. If its low, you either have a leak or it wasn't properly filled when the fluid was changed.
 

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2009 Legacy SE
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87 Posts
mine has 161,000 on it and its in the shop right now since the transmission was slipping from 1st to 2ed they called and told me it could be the ECU glitching out. im not shore if this helps you jest letting you know.
 
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