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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5i auto
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For the last week, my 1999 Outback has been difficult to turn. It's tough to turn one direction (i.e. right) until I force it. Then, it will make those direction turns easily (right). Then, I turn the other direction (left) and it's stiff in that direction, until I force it. Then, that direction turns (left) are easy. It just alternates back and forth with whatever direction turn I made last being the easier to make.

I figured it was the power steering pump and was putting off replacing it.

Today, driving it to work and back, it seems to have a transmission issue. I drive on country roads (55 mph speed limit) with my speedometer at a pretty constant 60 mph without Cruise Control. The engine sits at about 2200 rpm while I do this. Occasionally, however, it now will jump to around 3500 rpm and the only thing I was able to do to correct it was to slow down drastically and speed back up to 60 mph and there were times that didn't even work.

I'm thinking the two issues may be related, but am unsure. Automatic transmission. Trans fluid seems full and power steering fluid is full. Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Gallery Ninja, ,
2004 Outback "Bluebaru" & 2005 Outback XT
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5,195 Posts
Check your power steering fluid level. If it's still at the proper level and there is no air in the system, I'd suspect the power steering unit more than the pump.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
yes step one is check PS fluid. next would be to get the front end on stands and see how it feels with no load. At this age you can also have ball joint issues or tie rod ends which can cause the same thing. This is not the usual failure mode for a rack, as they usually leak or show no boost when cold.

Now, I wonder ...

Lets do a test. Go to a parking lot. Cut a tight circle at idle speed and tell us what you feel and what happens. use no throttle or very little throttle.

Lets start there.
 

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Registered
1999 Legacy Outback 2.5i auto
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
When I left the parking lot at my work, I tried what you said and at idle with the wheel cut to the left (the direction I needed to go to leave), it jerked/lurched through the turn. Hope that helps, and thanks so much for your reply.
 

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Registered
2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
When I left the parking lot at my work, I tried what you said and at idle with the wheel cut to the left (the direction I needed to go to leave), it jerked/lurched through the turn. Hope that helps, and thanks so much for your reply.

It does but your not going to like it....
 

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Registered
2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
Do you have any flashing dash lights on startup?
Any lights on on the dashboard?

Do your tires all match?
Are they all properly inflated?
Are the tires equally worn?

What condition is the fluid in?
 

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Registered
1999 Legacy Outback 2.5i auto
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
No flashing lights on startup. No lights on the dashboard. I think all the tires are fine and match. Fluid seems fine as far as I can tell.
 

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Registered
1999 Legacy Outback 2.5i auto
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It says 147,500. I bought it wit 142,000 in October and the used car dealership said there is a mileage discrepancy and it probably had more like 200,000 when I bought it.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
irts thing to do is a full transmission flush after physically chacking the tires to make sure they all match and are equally worn and inflated
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo no no no stop stop stop!


I hate transmission shops they are pure evil! this is something you can do yourself! the only thing a trany shop knows how to do is scam you for 3000 bucks for a transmission! Would rather see you go to subaru
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5i auto
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I just got back. Don't worry, I'm only having them look at/diagnose it. If they say it needs a rebuild, I can buy another car for that much instead, so it's not happening.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
Typically first thing to try is a fluid flush, then after that you replace the clutch pack @ about 900 bucks (dealer price) then your good to go.
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5i auto
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Transmission shop thinks the transmission issue is a throttle position sensor or some other control system problem, and is going to take my car to a friend of his that specializes in computers.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
sounds like they dont know what they are looking at ... beware of what evil lurks
 

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Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,788 Posts
sounds like they dont know what they are looking at ... beware of what evil lurks
DITO. A throttle position sensor would effect drivability between shifts and also engine performance. It would NOT effect it only in turns.

If his "computer guy" isn't familiar with Subaru, or he doesn't have the correct information, you just donated your car to science as they will be experimenting and hunting for a while.
 

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2005 Outback XT Limited 5MT
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104 Posts
You could have two different problems here. Is it hard to turn while not moving? The steering shaft u-joints could be seizing, one of the cv joints in the front axles could be starting to seize or it could be torque bind from the tranny. Try putting a fuse in the fwd fuse holder under the hood.
 
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