Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Subaru Jedi Masters !
I am back after 3 years - looking for advice from the experts again. I have a 2009 Subaru Outback MT 2.5I - It has had its ups and downs but all in all, I still love this old car ! I bought the car new, have reasonably well maintained it - especially have been scrupulous with oil changes. In early 2016 , at about 91K , my local dealer replaced my engine in concert with Subaru N/A with a rebuild and while we were at it, they did a clutch replace as well while the engine was out of the way. The throwout bearing was whining and the timing worked out. There were some issues here and there with this dealer and a few other Subi dealers in Cincy - where I wasn't sure they were familiar with how to work on my older MT car. With the exception of some minor issues, and typical maintenance/ age related stuff ( E.G., Fuel pump, brakes, CV Boots/ Axels, some minor exhaust work, blower motor for HVAC, and front ball joints) things have been pretty good with this vehicle.
I am still driving the car - There just isn't a replacement for a MT that I can find so I am keeping it alive ! I have a little neighborhood shop with a great reputation that I have been taking the car to for more basic things - brakes, steering , ball joints, oil and fluid changes etc.

So -getting to the point - the reason for my post -- a few days ago, this past Tuesday-in the cool morning, I noticed my shifter seemed a little stiff - I attributed it to the temperature, it was about 35 degrees when I set off- and since the issue subsided when the car warmed up a few miles up the road, I didn't think about it anymore---- until that evening. I had my giant Yeti of a dog in the car and went to pick up my son, and in traffic --- the shifter became extremely stiff- I had to have the car rolling to be able to muscle it into gear. I am sure I didn't do the clutch any favors, but it was impossible for me to get off the road. I drove it that way- alternately praying and cursing for maybe 3 miles . I made it to my destination, where I was able to get the car into neutral and park it to be able tot get a tow to the shop that has been doing work on the car for the last year or so with good results.

So here are symptoms / what happened:
-This was sudden- no issues that I noticed before
-Clutch pedal didn't feel particularly weird or spongy or sink to the floor
  • I couldn't get the car in gear running or not running - it became impossible either way
  • Was able to push/ roll the car in position easily from neutral to get onto the flat bed tow truck
  • Engine seems fine - no weird noise, vibrations , grinding prior to the " stiffening"
  • The shop I took the car too says "there is plenty of fluid" and "the hydraulics all seem fine " they think "something- like a spring etc could be stuck".
The local shop owners I mention above have been fair and reasonable in my experience and have a loyal following in town. They are suggesting that the clutch needs to be replaced - as I said above it was suggested that maybe something had gotten into the gears I think he may have said - I am thinking that on this site I have heard that called the shifting linkage maybe ? My knowledge of the correct terms is limited so be gentle please.

I saw a post on this site from, January 2018 from SirEdwardtheFourth https://www.subaruoutback.org/threads/manual-transmission-issues-please-help.470065/
he said his dealer ultimately found that there was gravel in the shifting linkage and it was an easy ( and inexpensive) fix ...

Thank you for your patience- I am finally getting to my questions:
--Is there a possibility that I don' t need a new clutch here ( I just did that about 50K miles ago - I'm not mean to my car- and don't off-road etc so am puzzled)?
--Could there be another ( more cost effective and less time consuming ) way to solve it ? I don't think my mechanics are dishonest in any way,- ,maybe they just don't see this very often and I wonder if I should drag the car to the dealer ?

--The clutch quote is $ 1,400 which doesn't seem extreme to me , but, I need to get the scoop in terms of what is included in the quote - flywheel .,etc. From what they told me $900 of the price is labor as its tricky to work on - which is in agreement with what the dealer conveyed back in 2016 when they replaced the original at about 91K mileage. Does this seem reasonable to you all ?


Thank you for any advice you can provide - and thank you for your past postings that I have been reading over the years I have owned this car - I cant tell you all how helpful this community has been !
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
And.... I have another question ( always questions) after nosing around on this site - could this be a clutch fork? I am trying to understand what that actually is -- thank you !
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hello Subaru Jedi Masters !
I am back after 3 years - looking for advice from the experts again. I have a 2009 Subaru Outback MT 2.5I - It has had its ups and downs but all in all, I still love this old car ! I bought the car new, have reasonably well maintained it - especially have been scrupulous with oil changes. In early 2016 , at about 91K , my local dealer replaced my engine in concert with Subaru N/A with a rebuild and while we were at it, they did a clutch replace as well while the engine was out of the way. The throwout bearing was whining and the timing worked out. There were some issues here and there with this dealer and a few other Subi dealers in Cincy - where I wasn't sure they were familiar with how to work on my older MT car. With the exception of some minor issues, and typical maintenance/ age related stuff ( E.G., Fuel pump, brakes, CV Boots/ Axels, some minor exhaust work, blower motor for HVAC, and front ball joints) things have been pretty good with this vehicle.
I am still driving the car - There just isn't a replacement for a MT that I can find so I am keeping it alive ! I have a little neighborhood shop with a great reputation that I have been taking the car to for more basic things - brakes, steering , ball joints, oil and fluid changes etc.

So -getting to the point - the reason for my post -- a few days ago, this past Tuesday-in the cool morning, I noticed my shifter seemed a little stiff - I attributed it to the temperature, it was about 35 degrees when I set off- and since the issue subsided when the car warmed up a few miles up the road, I didn't think about it anymore---- until that evening. I had my giant Yeti of a dog in the car and went to pick up my son, and in traffic --- the shifter became extremely stiff- I had to have the car rolling to be able to muscle it into gear. I am sure I didn't do the clutch any favors, but it was impossible for me to get off the road. I drove it that way- alternately praying and cursing for maybe 3 miles . I made it to my destination, where I was able to get the car into neutral and park it to be able tot get a tow to the shop that has been doing work on the car for the last year or so with good results.

So here are symptoms / what happened:
-This was sudden- no issues that I noticed before
-Clutch pedal didn't feel particularly weird or spongy or sink to the floor
  • I couldn't get the car in gear running or not running - it became impossible either way
  • Was able to push/ roll the car in position easily from neutral to get onto the flat bed tow truck
  • Engine seems fine - no weird noise, vibrations , grinding prior to the " stiffening"
  • The shop I took the car too says "there is plenty of fluid" and "the hydraulics all seem fine " they think "something- like a spring etc could be stuck".
The local shop owners I mention above have been fair and reasonable in my experience and have a loyal following in town. They are suggesting that the clutch needs to be replaced - as I said above it was suggested that maybe something had gotten into the gears I think he may have said - I am thinking that on this site I have heard that called the shifting linkage maybe ? My knowledge of the correct terms is limited so be gentle please.

I saw a post on this site from, January 2018 from SirEdwardtheFourth https://www.subaruoutback.org/threads/manual-transmission-issues-please-help.470065/
he said his dealer ultimately found that there was gravel in the shifting linkage and it was an easy ( and inexpensive) fix ...

Thank you for your patience- I am finally getting to my questions:
--Is there a possibility that I don' t need a new clutch here ( I just did that about 50K miles ago - I'm not mean to my car- and don't off-road etc so am puzzled)?
--Could there be another ( more cost effective and less time consuming ) way to solve it ? I don't think my mechanics are dishonest in any way,- ,maybe they just don't see this very often and I wonder if I should drag the car to the dealer ?

--The clutch quote is $ 1,400 which doesn't seem extreme to me , but, I need to get the scoop in terms of what is included in the quote - flywheel .,etc. From what they told me $900 of the price is labor as its tricky to work on - which is in agreement with what the dealer conveyed back in 2016 when they replaced the original at about 91K mileage. Does this seem reasonable to you all ?


Thank you for any advice you can provide - and thank you for your past postings that I have been reading over the years I have owned this car - I cant tell you all how helpful this community has been !
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
12,456 Posts
Is there noise associated with clutch pedal application? Is there noise with your foot off the clutch pedal?

Possibilities that I have come to mind are the release bearing coming apart, pressure plate tong(s) broken and bent or broken shift fork in the transmission, which would require a tear down.
 

·
Registered
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
Joined
·
1,736 Posts
Need way more info.

When you say that the shifter was stiff, are you saying that it was hard to move throughout its range of travel? Or was it free for a short part of the stroke and then became really hard to get the gear to engage?

If you have the car in a gear and then push the clutch pedal, can the car be rolled - like pushed by hand or rolling on its own while on an incline?

For more diagnosis, try disengaging the shifter linkage from the transmission. If it is still stiff, the shifter is the culprit.

If you can get it in gear, and with the clutch pedal fully depressed, and the car be rolled, the clutch is fine.

If the shifter test shows that everything moves easily, and the car can be rolled while in gear with the pedal depressed, the problem lies internally in the transmission. It could be that the transmission is extremely low in oil and not lubricating the syncronizers correctly. Also, if the oil in it has never been changed, it could be burnt enough to cause the same syncronizer problem.

If the clutch is not disengaging, check the fluids and have someone watch the movement of the clutch linkage at the transmission to see if the clutch slave cylinder and its lever is moving when the pedal is being moved. If it doesn't move you have either a bad master cylinder or a bad slave cylinder. If it does move with the clutch pedal movement, something is wrong internally - most likely the throwout bearing has disintigrated or the lever itself hs gone bad.
 

·
Registered
05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
Joined
·
348 Posts
Oh sounds like the tranny is stuck between gears. I'm guessing you have a internal issue in the 5mt.

With the engine off, any manual transmission you will be able to move the shifter into any gear.
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hi Max Capacity -
The weird thing is - with the engine off or on - cant move the
. thank you!
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Is there noise associated with clutch pedal application? Is there noise with your foot off the clutch pedal?

Possibilities that I have come to mind are the release bearing coming apart, pressure plate tong(s) broken and bent or broken shift fork in the transmission, which would require a tear down.
Hey Cardoc-
No noise at all- on or off the clutch -- it just is almost impossible to shift - in all gears - whether the car is running or not..
Thanks for the reply !
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Need way more info.

When you say that the shifter was stiff, are you saying that it was hard to move throughout its range of travel? Or was it free for a short part of the stroke and then became really hard to get the gear to engage?

If you have the car in a gear and then push the clutch pedal, can the car be rolled - like pushed by hand or rolling on its own while on an incline?

For more diagnosis, try disengaging the shifter linkage from the transmission. If it is still stiff, the shifter is the culprit.

If you can get it in gear, and with the clutch pedal fully depressed, and the car be rolled, the clutch is fine.

If the shifter test shows that everything moves easily, and the car can be rolled while in gear with the pedal depressed, the problem lies internally in the transmission. It could be that the transmission is extremely low in oil and not lubricating the syncronizers correctly. Also, if the oil in it has never been changed, it could be burnt enough to cause the same syncronizer problem.

If the clutch is not disengaging, check the fluids and have someone watch the movement of the clutch linkage at the transmission to see if the clutch slave cylinder and its lever is moving when the pedal is being moved. If it doesn't move you have either a bad master cylinder or a bad slave cylinder. If it does move with the clutch pedal movement, something is wrong internally - most likely the throwout bearing has disintigrated or the lever itself hs gone bad.
Hi Richard -
Q: When you say that the shifter was stiff, are you saying that it was hard to move throughout its range of travel? Or was it free for a short part of the stroke and then became really hard to get the gear to engage?
A: I think I get what you are asking - it was really hard to get the shifter in the gear, but it did get a little easier as it "seated" It was almost impossible to move at all from one gear to the other- at first could shift but with some difficulty when the car was moving . It didn't seem to matter what gear while i was driving - they were all difficult- so I think what you are asking is if there was a change in the shifting process in terms of it becoming easier - once I kind of rammed it in gear, it went into gear, and came out ...
t. Once I reached my destination - I put the car in neutral, I did manage to get the car into 2nd gear weirdly one last time - but could not manage to get it into any other. I probably sound dumb- I have been driving a manual since I started driving, and I am old - but am not familiar with the right terms.

Thanks again so much for your input !



Q- If you have the car in a gear and then push the clutch pedal, can the car be rolled - like pushed by hand or rolling on its own while on an incline?
A: I think so -- I kind of rolled along in traffic with the clutch pushed in - trying to shift as little as possible while trying to get pulled over.

Q: For more diagnosis, try disengaging the shifter linkage from the transmission. If it is still stiff, the shifter is the culprit.
A: I will see if that is what the mechanic plans to do - thank you
!


Q: If the clutch is not disengaging, check the fluids and have someone watch the movement of the clutch linkage at the transmission to see if the clutch slave cylinder and its lever is moving when the pedal is being moved. If it doesn't move you have either a bad master cylinder or a bad slave cylinder. If it does move with the clutch pedal movement, something is wrong internally - most likely the throwout bearing has disintigrated or the lever itself has gone bad.
A: I am told that the "hydraulics seem fine " that there is fluid- I will follow up with further questions. I had the clutch redone just a little over 3 years ago - in fact the issue than at 90K was the throwout bearing-- the mechanic that is looking at it seems to think it may be something is wrong internally as you suggest could be the culprit.
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Richard-

Sorry - I missed the second part of the question - I have had the transmission fluid changed - idk maybe a year ago..wil check my service records and make sure that is the case -I think that was a part . with my last service - but that wasnt mentioned. I will follow that up - thanks again
 

·
Registered
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
Joined
·
1,736 Posts
OK - Some progress.

if you could roll the car while in a gear and the clutch depressed, the clutch is disengaging, meaning that the hydraulics are working fine.

Also, the fact that you could push in the clutch to disengage it while rolling tells me that the clutch and its hydraulics are all working, and if you didn't hear any grumbling noise while depressing the clutch pedal, the throw out bearing is OK.

With a manual transmission, you can actually shift, while moving, up or down a gear or 2 just by putting pressure on the shifter and playing with the throttle to match the revs - when the revs are matched, it will slip right into gear easily.

My advice is to look at the shifter itself before diving into the transmission.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,800 Posts
Just wondering if the shift linkage bushing could be seizing.

Can the shift lever be moved sideways (in the neutral slot) without difficulty?

I had a MT some time ago that had a similar linkage. After a while, moving the shift lever toward the front or back was increasingly difficult, but sideways was no problem. Turned out to be the bushing at the bottom of the shift lever (circled in diagram below).
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
OK - Some progress.

if you could roll the car while in a gear and the clutch depressed, the clutch is disengaging, meaning that the hydraulics are working fine.

Also, the fact that you could push in the clutch to disengage it while rolling tells me that the clutch and its hydraulics are all working, and if you didn't hear any grumbling noise while depressing the clutch pedal, the throw out bearing is OK.

With a manual transmission, you can actually shift, while moving, up or down a gear or 2 just by putting pressure on the shifter and playing with the throttle to match the revs - when the revs are matched, it will slip right into gear easily.

My advice is to look at the shifter itself before diving into the transmission.
Thank you , Richard !
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Just wondering if the shift linkage bushing could be seizing.

Can the shift lever be moved sideways (in the neutral slot) without difficulty?

I had a MT some time ago that had a similar linkage. After a while, moving the shift lever toward the front or back was increasingly difficult, but sideways was no problem. Turned out to be the bushing at the bottom of the shift lever (circled in diagram below).
Hi again plain OM !
Thank you for the diagram - I am thinking I was able to kind of move the shifter from side to side from neutral- and as you say, couldn't get it to go into gear which would require the up/down motion - especially for reverse -- I will check this out.
Thank you again so much for the help!
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, yarrg - I saw that another post and wondered if that could be the problem - I'll look into that too - I didnt even know that was a thing until now so will need to do a little homework !
 

·
Registered
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
4,827 Posts
The weird thing is - with the engine off or on - cant move the [gear shift? - guessing here].
If this is the case, I think you can eliminate any clutch issues. With the engine off you ought to be able to move the shifter into or out of any gear, clutch in or clutch out, doesn't matter. Have you checked the fluid level in the transmission?
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Hi Johnre-
I have not - but will ask if that has been done yet -the small shop that took a look at it indicated it needs a a new clutch - and I am no expert - but it isn’t acting like a bad clutch . I’ll phone them this morning and make sure they checked. I also called the dealer and they opine only by phone as they haven’t looked at the car yet -as others on this site have that this could be maybe shifter - linkage related or transmission.
I know the shop I took it to checked the clutch hydraulic parts but not sure if they really looked beyond that. Let us hope it’s fluid - although then there’s the issue of why the fluid is out -

I did think about an additional tidbit of information that may or may not be relevant - about a month ago - I had one of the front axles and a torn cv boot replaced by the same nice shop that has the car now .. doubt that’s relevant though?
 

·
Registered
2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i MT
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Hi again- it has been suggested to me by my original dealer - who hasn’t seen the car yet - like here , that my issue doesn’t seem clutch related - either shifter linkage or ..gasp - transmission . I’ll make sure the independent shop and/or dealer checked /check the transmission fluid too -
I did think about an additional tidbit of information that may or may not be relevant - about a month ago - I had one of the front axles and a torn cv boot replaced by the same nice independent shop that has the car now .. doubt that’s relevant - but wonder could it be a seal or something like that though? I really probably shouldn’t even guess - as I don’t have the requisite known how here !

Thanks so much for the help !
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
·
25,495 Posts
Hi Max Capacity -
The weird thing is - with the engine off or on - cant move the
. thank you!
merged threads, one thread per issue on one car.
(and you can see how people read others posts and give you better answers,...if that is in more than one place they don't do that for all posts, and give you worse answers.)
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top