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2012 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, looking for some of your thoughts here...

I have a 2012 Subaru Outback 2.5 limited, manual transmission. 120,000km.

A problem started this past weekend: When I shift the gear into reverse and start to apply gas, it immediately pops back out of reverse. Several attempts, same thing. On one occasion, where I really had no choice but to reverse the car, I held the stick in reverse and managed to keep it in reverse and back up, but then had a hard time getting the stick to shift out of reverse. There appear to be no issues with any of the other gears 1 through 6.

I currently have the car at Subaru in Kingston, ON for diagnosis. They have confirmed it is not a simple issue external to the transmission and say the next step is to take the transmission out and apart to diagnose further ~6hrs labour, just to take a peek, then about the same to replace. I have no reason to believe this is not the case, but I recognize this is a significant problem (and frustratingly beyond warranty but at a very early age in the cars life).

I am not handy enough to work on this myself, and this is my family's one car, so time is NOT on my side. I need to get it fixed.

Has anyone had this problem and resolved it? If so, what was the issue? What was the $damage to get it fixed? What are opinions on getting this serviced by Subaru versus going to someone like Mister Transmission? Both apparently offer 20km, 1yr warranty on tranny once fixed (or replaced, ugh). Mister Transmission is likely to be cheaper, but reliable? I don't know.

Thoughts?
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Convenience
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Since you state in this case you don't have time/tools (transmissions are quite specialized), I'd get quote at the dealer and one at a transmission shop and see what you want to do. Both should have an idea on what it may be and time involved in opening a trans/diff unit. Check out reviews on the shops too.

I'd also look for a used transmission and see the cost. Compare all. The bonus of getting another trans is you would have another for parts down the road should something come up.
 

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@fish_kc79 apparently i cant edit once posted for a while.... Anyways, forgot to mention the above is what i would do. Knowing myself, I'd lean towards buying a used part route and tinker with the existing one to learn. I have never dealt with Mr Trans, so no advice from me on them though the good part is you have a manual trans so they should be OK with it. CVTs are a whole other beast!
 

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2012 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback mjohnson. While I certainly have the interest in tinkering with a transmission, I don't have the tools or space. At this point, I will leave it with Subaru to address the problem and I'll let everyone know, out of interest, what the findings were.

Symptoms:
- Seems to only partly shift into Reverse, then pops out when gas is applied. Can hear it mildly grinding/buzzing after this when the revs are dropping back off.
- When forced to stay in reverse, by holding the stick, it will go in reverse. However, shifting back to neutral after this was difficult.

We'll see how it goes... My wallet is on standby. *sniff*
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Convenience
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Thanks for the feedback mjohnson. While I certainly have the interest in tinkering with a transmission, I don't have the tools or space. At this point, I will leave it with Subaru to address the problem and I'll let everyone know, out of interest, what the findings were.

Symptoms:
- Seems to only partly shift into Reverse, then pops out when gas is applied. Can hear it mildly grinding/buzzing after this when the revs are dropping back off.
- When forced to stay in reverse, by holding the stick, it will go in reverse. However, shifting back to neutral after this was difficult.

We'll see how it goes... My wallet is on standby. *sniff*
Sometimes you have no choice than to take it. It's the cost of ownership.

They eliminated all external linkages? Engine and transmission mounts? That's really it for visual stuff. Next step is dropping the transmission, maybe the input shaft bushing is faulty. Then it seems to get into the guts as something is outside the tolerance.....

If the shop rates in Kingston are as steep as here in NS, I hear ya on your last comment!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hear you about the cost of ownership. I've quite liked all the Subaru's I have owned in the past, mainly due to the particularly confident ride in winter conditions, but we'll see how this experience goes. My last Outback died an early (10yr old, 220km) death due to timing belt failure (the second belt). If this problem incurs a major cost at 120km for transmission (which in my mind is something that shouldn't fail, esp. on a manual), my next vehicle experience will probably be with a different manufacturer. Subaru's used to have a reputation of "going forever". That has not been my experience.

Subaru is double checking those things you mention before they commit to tearing into the transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just an Update

So, took the car to Subaru. They were unable to recreate the problem. I.e. they had no issues reversing the car out of the spot I left it in nor during any other tests. Suggested in might be 'user error'. Now I don't take any offense to this suggestion, however, I have been driving about 6-8 standard transmission vehicles over my near 30years of driving and never had a problem like this one with any of my previous Sube's nor other manufacturer vehicles. I don't get it. So, thankfully, we have been driving it around the last few days with no issues, but still wonder when it will happen again.

To those who may know: Is there any possibility of ice buildup or something like that preventing the temporary full shifting into gear? There was a lot of snow and cold where we were the previous week, and I suppose through driving and freezing, the snow/ice could have kicked up somewhere underneath? I think this is a longshot, but thought I would ask and see if this is even a remote possibility. The problem did first happen however after 3hrs of highway driving, so the car would have been fully heated.

So, so far good news I guess... no expense. Ticking timebomb? I wonder.
 
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