When it comes to reliable vehicles, you can't go wrong with Subaru. If you happen to own a newer model, however, you may experience transmission issues along the way.
In 2014, Subaru switched most models to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This type of transmission differs from the 4-speed automatic in that it uses pulleys - rather than gears - to maintain engine speed.
Signs of a Transmission Problem
Perhaps the most obvious signs of transmission troubles include your check engine light coming on and unfamiliar sounds coming from your vehicle's front end. This is regardless of whether you have a Subaru with a CVT or a traditional 4-speed automatic transmission.
Depending on what type of transmission your Subaru has, there are some noticeable differences in the types of issues you may experience.
4-speed Transmission (The model Year 2013 or earlier)
One issue you'll likely face with this type of transmission is slipping. You'll notice this as you try to accelerate. If you experience this, you'll probably need a solenoid replacement. Another potential culprit is a malfunctioning front-wheel drive switch, which would require a new fuse.
Another issue this type of transmission experiences is overheating. The "transmission temperature" warning light will come on in this case. The likely causes of this issue are either a broken pressure control solenoid or a clogged transmission fluid tube.
CVT (2014 or later)
A common issue facing the CVT is stalling. This can be remedied by replacing a thrust washer or using a transmission fluid made specifically for CVTs.
Another common issue is what may seem like a mysterious growling noise. This will often happen when you try to accelerate. Usually, the culprit is an issue with one of the pulleys that operate the CVT.
One other issue your CVT may experience is abnormal changes in engine speed. This is a common problem for newer models, which is made apparent when your vehicle's engine speed fluctuates up and down without you pressing the gas pedal. In this case, you will need to have a transmission solenoid replaced.
Repairing a Transmission
Because the transmission is intricately designed and built with many moving parts, repairing one can be difficult. If you're not a mechanic yourself, it is heavily advised that you bring your vehicle into a shop.
Once your vehicle is in the care of a trusted mechanic, they'll first change the transmission fluid. While this won't likely solve the issue, it's a good place to start to ensure your vehicle's engine is running correctly. Next, they'll use a device called an OBD-II scanner, which is used to check for error codes. This is a crucial step as it helps to narrow down the list of potential issues your transmission is experiencing by zeroing in on what's exactly causing them.
Next, they'll test and inspect the vehicle. It's important for the mechanic to know that your vehicle's computer is working correctly before they’re able to start any repairs. Finally, they’ll disassemble the transmission. At this point, all transmission components—including tubes, bearings, and solenoids—will be checked thoroughly to ensure which ones are at fault. Once they are found, they are replaced with brand-new parts.
Timewise, the entire process can differ based on the exact issue. Whatever the case, you can expect to be without your car for anywhere between a couple of days to a few weeks, so you'll want to plan accordingly.
The Cost of Transmission Repair
Whatever the issue winds up being, any transmission repairs do not come cheap. It’s entirely normal to expect to pay anywhere between $1,800 and $3,400. This depends on what Subaru you own, the type of transmission it has, your location, and the shop you use.
If you live in the Salt Lake area and are experiencing transmission issues with your Subaru, reach out to us at Aposhian Garage. We're here to answer any questions you may have and are ready to tackle whatever issues your car may face
When using Aposhian Garage, you have not only had your Subaru properly maintained, but you have also found your Subaru repair “home.”
We look forward to getting to know you and your vehicle!