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2008 Outback XT
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is my first attempt at a post, I have read everything I can find related to the 5EAT problems on this forum and thought I would see if anybody can help me with my issue. The car is a 2008 OBXT Limited with the 5EAT. The original symptom was that the transmission would not down shift out of 3rd gear when coming to a stop and then stall (similar to leaving a manual trans in 3rd and pushing the brakes without pushing the clutch thus killing the engine.) I took it to the local Subaru dealership and they found code P0741, performed a transmission re-learn, reflashed the TCM and noted that the turbine speed sensor harness plug had some damage. I elected to NOT replace the sensor harness at that time and drove off. The transmission acted normal through town and out onto the highway but within 40 or 50 miles (I am 70 miles from the closest dealership) the code kicked on again and the car went into safe mode. At this time, however, the torque converter didn't stay locked when I came to a halt. I called the dealership when I got home, cleared the code P0741 with Free SSM, and it drove fine for another 50 miles before going into limp mode again. This time, I decided to replace the entire sensor harness (the harness has all three speed sensors on the outside of the transmission, and connects to the valve body inside the pan). I also drained and refilled with 8 quarts of Valvoline Max Life ATF (I know many of you don't like this ATF so please let me know if this is part of my problem) and put in a new battery. After the new sensor harness, new battery and new ATF I took three test drives on 3 consecutive days. Day 1: 5 miles mixed driving without problem and normal shifting. Day 2: 10 miles mixed driving, slight rev between shift 2-3, got home added 1 quart of ATF since dip stick showed low. Day 3: 30 miles mostly highway driving with normal shifting, then the car stalled at a stop sign. I limped into a parking lot and the car died every time I tried to engage reverse or drive. The engine began to idle very rough when I started it a couple of times and after 10 minutes of Start-shift to R-stall, Start-shift to R-stall, Start-shift to R-stall, it finally stayed running and I was able to drive home. I made it into the garage, checked the ATF level - it was good, checked for codes - there were none. Waited for 1 hour and took it for another drive around the neighborhood and it acted totally normal. Now I am scared as @$%! to drive it anywhere because I don't know if it is going to die at an intersection when I stop. It seems to me that it is acting up when the ATF finally gets hot, after 30 or more miles of driving. I do have Free SSM but have limited knowledge of what to check for - any advice would be awesome!
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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26,200 Posts
I would not even start that car without a whole load of subaru HP ATF fluid (or its amszoil equivalent) sitting right there to put in it.

as what you got there is plain jane stuff, that is not made for the 5EAT. and although it may not be part of your original torque converter issue,

it is surely going to grind itself to grenaded bits as time goes by.

@traildogck you have a new XT 5EAT friend, ...to bad in MN as opposed to denver though.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
Reset your tcu, and you ecu using FreeSSm

Next...the quart low is quite low, did you do a drain and fill or was this a 10 qt dry fill? The valvoline ATF is fine (providing it's full synthetic-yes?) but I do use the Subaru HP or the Idemitsu ATF. But fluid doesn't seem like the problem, unless it's the wrong fluid type.


Download Romraider...

Follow the getting started instructions. RR is similar to FreeSsm except it allow you to log data. Lest make sure the rest of the car is running like it should.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
Valvoline ML is a direct replacement for Subaru ATF-HP. I used it in Frankie for a few drain and fills until I realized I could get the Subi HP for $3 cheaper a qt...Then I wised up.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
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26,200 Posts
Valvoline ML is a direct replacement for Subaru ATF-HP. I used it in Frankie for a few drain and fills until I realized I could get the Subi HP for $3 cheaper a qt...Then I wised up.
I stand corrected....until someone else types something else.



red bottle valvoline maxlife full synthetic for both regular subaru ATF and subaru HP ATF:
https://sharena21.springcm.com/Public/Document/18452/9e447451-fe75-e711-9c10-ac162d889bd3/0c5d0ab2-1976-e711-9c10-ac162d889bd3

a little thicker:

blue bottle "import" valvoline full synthetic for subaru HP ATF only:
https://sharena21.springcm.com/Public/Document/18452/66447451-fe75-e711-9c10-ac162d889bd3/a384b89f-1976-e711-9c10-ac162d889bd3
 

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Registered
2008 Outback XT
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
OK, yes the Valvoline Maxlife ATF is full synthetic but I plan to order a case of the Subaru ATF-HP tonight and will do a series of drain & fills once that gets here. When I replaced the sensor harness I had to remove the pan so I did a drain, measured what came out and then removed the pan so I could access the harness connectors on the valve body. I assume the extra quart was from what was in the pan and what dripped out while the pan was off. BTW, the pan was quite clean. I have read many differences in opinion when it comes to what types of ATF are suitable for this transmission, which is why I first went with the Valvoline Maxlife ATF product and it was readily available at the local WM. I don't want this to turn into a ATF -vs ATF-HP thread because I am next to certain that it isn't the issue and my plan is to change it out to the Subaru stuff as soon as I get it anyway. This seems like more of an electrical or temperature issue. The original code P0741 indicates "T/C clutch circuit performance or stuck off". I did not get a CEL since I installed the new harness, just similar symptoms with the stalling at a stop sign. I can get a case of the Subaru ATF-HP tax-free and free shipping online so that will be my first step and I will eat my words if that fixes the problem. I did have the battery negative disconnected for about a week while I worked on it and installed a new battery before the test drives- is that sufficient to reset the TCU and ECU or should I still do a hard reset with Free SSM? Thanx Traildogck and Eagleeye. Also, this car is originally from Denver so I've enjoyed working on it - totally rust free. It's a world of difference compared to anything that has spent a lifetime of winters in my state.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
Colorado XTs are choice. T makes them easier to work on, since you usually have to...lol.

I think a ecu and tcu reset through FreeSSm can't hurt. It also can't hurt to unplug and replug all connectors associated with the trans harness. It also can't hurt to unplug and replug the ecu.

I like to to this "plug-check" with the battery disconnected.

BTW...drain and fill is 4qts...bet on it. 1/2 the time I don't even check the dipstick...
 

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2008 Outback XT
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I probably should've mentioned that mine sat, unstarted, for 2 months before I did the initial drain and then I let it drain into a container for a day. It emptied 7 quarts after sitting so long and another quart over night- no kidding! It's measuring right between the cold and hot lines now when I run it for 15 mins or more.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
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16,120 Posts
I probably should've mentioned that mine sat, unstarted, for 2 months before I did the initial drain and then I let it drain into a container for a day. It emptied 7 quarts after sitting so long and another quart over night- no kidding! It's measuring right between the cold and hot lines now when I run it for 15 mins or more.
A warm drain and fill, draining 2 hours will yield about 4 qts every time...I usually do a trans drain and fill every other oil change.
 

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2005 Outback H6 3.0 LL Bean
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1,204 Posts
If you already have a couple gallons of fresh MaxLife in there, I do not believe that draining and filling with ATF-HP will change anything. I have been using MaxLife in two Subarus (5EAT and newer 4EAT) that call for ATF-HP for several years now. It seems to work well in these JATCO boxes. I agree that this sounds like an electrical issue.
 

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Registered
2008 Outback XT
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thought I would update this as my problems seem to be solved. As stated above, I replaced the transmission harness assembly related to the turbine speed sensor, front and rear wheel sensors (3 new sensors included). Upon inspection of the old harness, there was a cracked plug on the turbine speed sensor end that was exposing a bare wire. I also did a complete ATF drain and fill with Valvoline Max Life ATF (red bottle). After the new harness & drain and fill, I had a bit of a tc lock-up issue that I am pretty sure was a combination of the trans re-learn process along with a sticky valve possibly. After that little hiccup, I have had no further issues in 1500 miles of driving. My next trans drain and fill will be with the Subaru ATF-HP and I will report on any differences I experience with shifting but all is well currently.
 
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