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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys last time it was the engine this time its the trans

3 days ago i was driving home when out of nowhere the trans began struggling to go in and out of the drive gears. got it home parked in the drive way and since it was 2 am i figured i had all day tomorrow to worry about it. i came out to a check engine light and found that the car will no longer engage reverse, or able to shift (while driving) past 2nd. checked the fluid and noticed it was awfully high (about an inch and a half past the highest hot mark) . once i drained some the fluid i noticed that it was coming out nearly black rather than red. (ive only owned the car for 2 months and check all levels daily and this after it got a full tune up the week before i had checked as a result of finals week.) so after noticing this i flushed the trans with a friend of mine thinking that the ATF just was never done.

so we got 2002 outback sedan h6-3.0 VDC auto
-check engine light but sadly no code reader
-reverse wont engage
-cant shift past 2nd in Drive
-1 and 2nd work on the gear lever
-3rd slips
-cold start is at 1.5k
-flushed with Dextron III as the manual called for
-Mileage 187k

I really appreciate any help i can get and honestly am not the best with the wrench but im learning as fast as i can and anything i can do on my own id like to do

On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
27,165 Posts
you can get a inexpensive code reader at any auotparts store, ... or borrow one maybe with a deposit.

trans shop might charge $120-140 to hook that up to a suction machine and clean it out.

DIY people do repeat drains /and fills with a drive cycle in between to clean out the black fluid / black solids. as a typical drain will only get half the fluid out,...(the total volume is about 2 gallons). and that may have to happen 5-6 times. (but I wonder if this is beyond a DIY).

a pro trans shop may also try to talk you into a rebuild,...which may not be necessary vs. putting in a 2001-2004 VDC trans. (2004 may have a some odd electrical twist in it). JDM 4EAT used for EZ30D should work to as they were VDC/VTD. (importers exist in north jersey, and queens).

and add a subaru OEM ATF filter to the list of things to do before its buttoned up again. (aftermarkets do not work like the OEM,. and may only cause more problems). $24 buys one from a subaru dealer on amazon.

in the future:

I use a $20 wifi / bluetooth dongle and a $5 app for a android phone (=troque pro).

specifically I use for subarus a windows laptop with a $11 VAG cable. such works with free programs for subaru "FreeSSM"
and free "rom-raider" both these should be able to read the ECU and TCU in your car. (as they both work on my similar wagon).

OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
12,385 Posts
1. check the differential fluid level and color immediately- dipstick is on the passengers side roughly where the ATF dipstick is on the drivers side.
2. check the transmission pan - is it damaged at all? there's very little clearance between the pan and solenoids and pick up screen. if the transmission pay was used in anyway for support/manuevering during the engine issues you mentioned - the pan is often dented at that time.
3. is the AT light flashing 16 times at first start up?
4. was the engine pulled during the engine issues you mentioned?

do what he said to read codes. or advane, autozone, napa and national chains everywhere read them for free.
give us the exact number code - not an interpretation or description.
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