Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
2007 Outback 2.5i Automatic
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

My car is having hard time starting. Will only work if i jiggle park shifter back and forth or in neutral. Car just came out of shop and it happened on their lot first. Never had time to put in back in. Mechanic said its some sort of bushing and mentioned something about melting it out? Unsure, didn't have time to talk more about it. I did some searching here and found mention of clevis bushing on cable. But can't seem to find that part on FSM or parts lookup. There is also mention of a switch, could it be that or for sure the bushing?

Anybody have experience with this and know how to repair it or the part number? Is it involved, should i get shop to do it?


Thanks
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
Joined
·
557 Posts
Sounds like it could be the switch, also check the adjustment of the cables as well.
 

·
Registered
2007 Outback 2.5i Automatic
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So it could be the switch, the mechanic seemed to think a bushing. Though to be fair it happened on the way out the door sort of speak. I do not have a code reader, though i did order a vag kkl 409 cable about two weeks ago. It probably has another month before arrival. I have tried the procedure of reading code from the car dash, only got it to work once long time ago. Tried again today, cannot seem to get that procedure to work for me at all. Maybe i am not fast enough, unsure.

The car will not light the P on the dash either until its in the right place. Seems to be getting worst on the jiggle and soon may only start in neutral. What is the procedure for checking the adjustment on the cable, any documentation on this? Can the switch be tested?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,189 Posts
The car will not light the P on the dash either until its in the right place.
The gear shift lever in the car is connected by a bicycle type (coaxial) cable to a multi-position switch (Inhibitor Switch) on the right side of the transmission . The cable moves a lever that moves the switch, makeing electrical contact at each position corresponding P,R,N,D. If the P light does not work, and starting is problematic, it could be that the lever is not being moved fully into the P position. It has to be in the P position for the starter to run.

Corrosion, dirt, and in winter, ice, can affect the movement of the lever. Also, the cable has an outer sleeve that has to be firmly mounted at each end, with only the center part able to move when the gear shift lever is moved. If the outer sleeve is not secure, that too can lead to imprecise movement of the lever at the switch.

This means the cable and lever system at the Inhibitor Switch should be inspected for mounting and full range of movement.

Car just came out of shop and it happened on their lot first.
Did the problem with starting and the "P" not lighting appear only after the car was in the shop? If so, why was the car in the shop? What work was done?

Mechanic said its some sort of bushing
Is the shop a Subaru dealer or Subaru specialist? Is the mechanic familiar with the 2007 Subaru Outback gear select system?
 

·
Registered
2007 Outback 2.5i Automatic
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The gear shift lever in the car is connected by a bicycle type (coaxial) cable to a multi-position switch......................
Awesome, that was great explanation. Appreciate that.


Did the problem with starting and the "P" not lighting appear only after the car was in the shop? If so, why was the car in the shop? What work was done?
Yes, but to be fair its most likely not their fault. The car had been siting for sometime prior to repair. It was towed there. It was hard shift into neutral the day of flat bed tow. A lot of work was performed. But the main reason was the head gasket.

Is the shop a Subaru dealer or Subaru specialist? Is the mechanic familiar with the 2007 Subaru Outback gear select system?
Specialist and yes the owner would be familiar with the gear system. I belive it wasn't on the radar until i was leaving the shop. Unsure if the owner, was aware of the issue at any point. Once two of his mechanics showed me it could start in neutral I left after briefly discussing what could be the issue. I left Due to time, safety assurance and cost already incurred at this point. Decided to leave any possible fix it myself or have some time to figure out the cost involved. Hence all these questions :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,189 Posts
Decided to leave any possible fix it myself or have some time to figure out the cost involved.
Let us know if there's more questions. Also, the FSM has instructions for R&R the cable, and adjusting its position. (The official 2007 FSM, and lots of other related documentation is available for download, at a modest cost, at https://techinfo.subaru.com/stis/#/login )
 

·
Registered
2007 Outback 2.5i Automatic
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Let us know if there's more questions. Also, the FSM has instructions for R&R the cable, and adjusting its position. (The official 2007 FSM, and lots of other related documentation is available for download, at a modest cost, at https://techinfo.subaru.com/stis/#/login )
I have the FSM ( factory service manual) for the 2008, considering its the same Generation i consider it a good resource. I have read about adjusting the select cable on page CS-31 and the inhibitor switch on 4AT-47. Both mention removal of the exhaust. If this is the case it may be more involved than i can do myself with only cold outdoor access at this time of year. It would be nice to confirm it is indeed the switch or the cable so that i can source the parts before placing it in the garage. Parts take time to arrive here and i like to have them before hand do to that and pricing.

Do you think i would be able to confirm problem from beneath the car without exhaust removal? I know the inhibitor switch needs to be check for continuity for proper testing, but cable adjustment? If its not the cable adjustment, i may just order the switch for the garage to be sure and replace it anyhow since i am in a major salt belt.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,189 Posts
Do you think i would be able to confirm problem from beneath the car without exhaust removal?
The inhibitor switch and levers are partly visible from above, looking down on the right (passenger) side of the engine, and following back to the transmission. Might be easier to see if the air intake duct between the engine air filter and the air box is removed.

The switch area should also be visible to some extent from underneath, at an angle, without removing the exhaust.

So it might well be possible to inspect the linkage at that end, especially the two interlocked levers, for dirt and corrosion, and to see how they move as the gear select lever is moved through its positions, and especially in and out of Park.

To actually work on the switch or linkage, it would be far easier with the exhaust out of the way; I;m not sure if they can be accessed by reaching around the exhaust. Access to the adjusting nut at the bottom of the gear select lever is above a heat shield and that would require, at least, removal of the shield.

It would be nice to confirm it is indeed the switch or the cable
I think it's rare for the Inhibitor Switch itself to go bad; more likely the linkage, i.e., the cable or the two interconnected levers at the switch.

I have the FSM ( factory service manual) for the 2008, considering its the same Generation i consider it a good resource.
Tangential, but I want to mention that Subaru does not carry over everything from year to year in a "generation". There are differences between years, and that applies to the 2008 and 2007. Perhaps not in the transmission linkage cable, but other areas. A very apparent example is the interior lighting wiring. The map lights on the 2008 come on when a door is opened, but not on the 2007. Different wiring.
 

·
Registered
2007 Outback 2.5i Automatic
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The inhibitor switch and levers are partly visible from above.........................................
Excellent, you have been huge help Plain OM. Greatly appreciate all the information you have provided.

You are right, I could certainly see it from under the hood. Though I could not see it completely without removal of the intake, but there was enough room to fit in the digital eye. Attached you will see that photo. A lot of corrosion, I hate seeing it. The shifter is parked (P) in this picture. Nobody around today to shift it for me while i watch the cable action in daylight. Hopefully get that chance before evening in next few days.

I was thinking of spraying some PB Blaster around the linkages and corroded nut in the interim to see if it loosen it up bit. That white corrosion on the cable, is that aluminum corrosion? I hate looking at this, hate rust and corrosion. Adjustments to the select cable appear to happen near the universal joint in the 2008 FSM. I actually find the manual a little confusing on this manner. It also has Adjustment procedure for inhibitor, which involved removing the three screws holding it in place with the shifter in neutral and then reteaching it without seemingly any adjustment, utilizing a stopper tool.



479655



Tangential, but I want to mention that Subaru does not carry over everything from year to year in a "generation". There are differences between years, and that applies to the 2008 and 2007. Perhaps not in the transmission linkage cable, but other areas. A very apparent example is the interior lighting wiring. The map lights on the 2008 come on when a door is opened, but not on the 2007. Different wiring.
duly noted, will definitely order correct FSM.
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
Joined
·
557 Posts
You can find the fsm free online. I think it's on si.net or similar named site. That is quite a bit of rust, don't spray the cable itself with pb, as that will attract dirt inside the shielding. Spraying a silicone, none dust collecting spray would be best. Just anything that wont allow things to stick to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,189 Posts
I was thinking of spraying some PB Blaster around the linkages and corroded nut in the interim to see if it loosen it up bit.
As eagleeye noted, don't want to get lube inside the rubber accordian-like cover. (Although the cover does appear to be intact.) There's two areas I would focus on that I've circled in the photo. The first is where the cable attaches to the transmission lever (with the washer and cotter pin). The fitting on the cable could be seized on the lever's pin. The other is where the pin on the upper part of the transmission lever goes into the slot on the inhibitor switch.

Gen3.2007.Subaru.Outback-Inhibitor.Switch_Select.Cable1.jpg

That white corrosion on the cable, is that aluminum corrosion?
Can't quite tell. Depends on the consistency. Could be the remnant of some grease that was applied in the past.

I managed to get a photo of the same area on my 07 and put the two together. In mine, we can see there's a line between the fitting on the end of the cable and the lever, suggesting they're separate and that the fitting can rotate on the pin as the lever swings. On yours, the rust is hiding any apparent separation. Also, although the camera angles are slightly different, it appears as if less of the inhibitor lever slot is visible in your photo, suggesting the swtich lever might not be as far back as it should be in Park. As jiggling the gear select lever in the car seems to make a difference, it might take only a mm. or so of additional movement at the lever to make a difference inside the switch, and that could be caused by the cable being seized on the transmission lever pin.

compare.jpeg

Adjustments to the select cable appear to happen near the universal joint in the 2008 FSM. I actually find the manual a little confusing on this manner. It also has Adjustment procedure for inhibitor, which involved removing the three screws holding it in place with the shifter in neutral and then reteaching it without seemingly any adjustment, utilizing a stopper tool.
Yes, the main adjustment of the cable is at the bottom end of the cabin gear select lever, and that is above the propeller shaft and a heat shield (if it's still in place). In the photo of my switch look at the upper bolt holding it to the transmission. The hole in the switch is slightly elongated, allowing for some small adjustment. That's positioning the switch in relation to the transmission lever. The cable adjustment adjusts the relationship between the gear select lever and the transmission lever.

I seem to recall reading a thread, or viewing a video, related to the cable being seized on the transmission lever, and it being quite an "interesting" task to restore the joint. I haven't been able to find it again, but if some lube doesn't resolve (dissolve?) the problem, perhaps do some searching here and over on YouTube.

Please do let us know how it goes . . .
 

·
Registered
2007 Outback 2.5i Automatic
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
SwitchPNW... You are correct that PB Blaster may not be the best choice due to rubber boot and attractant, but figured with right angle i could avoid the boot and maybe free the linkages without much harm. But you post got me thinking to try silicone first before taking such measures may be the wiser move.

PlainOM... Thanks for the pictures, definitely see the difference in separation as you say. Today i sprayed 3 in 1 silicone in the areas you had highlighted. I could do this best from underneath the car on the passenger side. After the first attempt i found that the gear shifter definitely felt easier to move, but the "P" light was still not coming on. The second attempt it seemed to have freed it enough to make it so that the light would come on as if normal. So then i decided to spray it one more time for good measure and then left the car for many hours. Now when I returned the car will only light the "P" if i push the lever forward with gusto. That is still better than before as the jiggling has become less and less reliable in the last few days. I can get the "P" light to come on with a little bit of persuasion. My guess would be that it's not working as good as the second coat due to the silcone drying with time. Tomorrow we are calling for snow, so i will be unable to try anything. This problem so far has taught me one thing for sure, the cable ajustments are slight as we are talking less than a mm from what i can tell that triggers it from being on or off. I think due to rust i will need some penatrate, then clean it away and apply some silicone. I think it just needs some freeing and maybe little to no adjustment. I will update in time as i figure out the right combination.

Thanks for helping pinpoint the issue, taking an photo and helping me come to resolve. I believe because of you and the other that have helped that i am on the right path. Have a good night all.
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
Joined
·
557 Posts
You can use pb just avoid getting it directly on the cable. Basically you dont want a sort attracting lubricant on the cable, as that can allow debris to enter and slowly damage the cable over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,189 Posts
The second attempt it seemed to have freed it enough to make it so that the light would come on as if normal.
Confirming that with the wet spray the transmission and switch levers will move that extra mm. Go with the penetrant as SwitchPNW suggested. Include the slot area and add the pivot point of the switch lever. Get all the moving parts well covered, and try it again. Let us know . . .
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top