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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 Outback wagon with the H6 and I feel that there is an issue with the transmission. I posted about it in the gen 2 forum but it got nowhere but I have more information anyway. When the car goes to over 55 the torque converter locks up. My first question is if it is supposed to unlock upon deceleration or does it stay locked. When I lift my foot off the gas pedal the RPMs hold, the torque converter stays locked as the car coasts. I feel bumping as I slow down, like the transmission is downshifting. I am not sure if all this is normal or not, nor do I know what is wrong with it if it isn't normal. When the torque converter doesn't unlock and I take my foot off of the gas pedal the RPM's immediately drop off. I am wondering if the torque converter is not unlocking properly. If someone could explain to me how the car is supposed to act I could get a better hold on the situation.
 

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On my 07, when I'm cruising and I release the accelerator pedal, the engine rpm does not drop down -- it goes down slowly as the car decelerates.

I can't say with certainty if this is due to the torque converter remaining locked up, but that's a possibility.

It's been that way from new. However, the far greater use of electronic engine and transmission management in my 3rd generation OB could make comparison problematic. Best to compare with another of the same generation, and better still, same engine/transmission combination.

There are ways to log the transmission control signal to see what's happening, or at least, what the transmission control module is intending. Some of us have done this in regard to the AWD control system, but data on the torque converter lock-up control should also be accessible. Have a look at http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...426-freessm-complete-access-your-ecm-tcu.html. It's a long thread, but perhaps useful reading. The RomRaider Logger program that is discussed and used more extensively later on in the thread is probably best for recording and then examining (e.g. graphing) the data. The FreeSSM program doesn't record, but can be used, for example, if someone else is driving while you watch the signals from the TCM on the computer.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,966 Posts
I have a 2002 Outback wagon with the H6 and I feel that there is an issue with the transmission. I posted about it in the gen 2 forum but it got nowhere but I have more information anyway. When the car goes to over 55 the torque converter locks up. My first question is if it is supposed to unlock upon deceleration or does it stay locked. When I lift my foot off the gas pedal the RPMs hold, the torque converter stays locked as the car coasts. I feel bumping as I slow down, like the transmission is downshifting. I am not sure if all this is normal or not, nor do I know what is wrong with it if it isn't normal. When the torque converter doesn't unlock and I take my foot off of the gas pedal the RPM's immediately drop off. I am wondering if the torque converter is not unlocking properly. If someone could explain to me how the car is supposed to act I could get a better hold on the situation.
On my '03 ****** the converter stays locked as I decel, not sure if it unlocks when the car downshifts while coasting down, but it doesn't downshift while coasting until the revs get down to idle speed. Doesn't clunk while coasting down, though.

Wasn't the weird trans problem I had, but if the throttle position sensor is getting wonky the trans doesn't know what to do, and that is a known 'wear item' on these cars.

It can be checked with an ohmmeter or just replaced without too much effort.

I do know the TCU seems to benefit from disconnecting the battery and clearing all the learning once in awhile.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I wish I had a Subaru scan tool or that program to see what's up with it. I think that after Dave's comment the trans isn't acting that different. I'm going to try flushing it out and putting dex vi in it and seeing what that does. If it isn't better my money is on one of the solenoids acting up. I checked the tps pretty good with my scan tool and while I know they commonly go bad I think mines ok. Any one else who can explain how this car and trans act on decel and braking please do so.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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the TPS can be bad enough that it's flaky but good enough the computer doesn't know you aren't stomping on the gas.

Unless the scan tool is actually giving you a numerical readout you can see changing smoothly from no gas to full throttle, I'd measure it with an ohmmeter.
 

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1995 2.2 Auto Legacy Sedan
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142 Posts
Would it not give you a light on the dash if something is wrong?
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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The self-diagnostic capability is limited, the TPS needs to be very bad before the computer can detect the problem.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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298 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not sure about the TPS being bad as I don't have any common symptoms I believe. What would they be?
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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+1 TPS needs to be checked out. they can fail without giving a check engine light.

the ECU only looks at certain parameters, if the sensor fails in another way that doesn't fall within those predetermined monitoring routines, erroneous information is used by the ECU with no check engine light.

that scenario is more probable on some vehicles than others - and actually you are driving the era and engine that it is most likely to happen on in terms of the TPS. so from an experienced perspective this is sounding like a slam dunk...but those go awry sometimes too.
 
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