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Old 10-22-2003, 05:40 PM   #1
arcsound
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 10603
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Richmond
Vehicle:
2014 CrossTrek XV
Khaki

Default Auto Trans Binding Fix

I've had a binding problem with my '96 OB Auto since about 150K miles (now have 230K...), which had gotten progressively worse. (Problem is characterized by "bucking" when trying to turn sharply at low speed, e.g. pulling into parking space) Finally decided to do something about it, and changed the trans fluid for the first time. Got about 4 quarts out, and replaced them with Mobil 1 synthetic AT fluid. It's been about a month, and no more binding. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but so far, so good. Hope this helps someone else that didn't believe in AT preventative maintence....
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Old 10-22-2003, 08:46 PM   #2
iceNine
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 12170
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Laurel, MD USA
Vehicle:
2002 WRX Sedan
Platnum Silver Metallic

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Excuse me but are you saying that the ATF has not been changed for over 200,000 miles? No wonder you were having problems. I forgot to change the fluid in my MR2 for almost 100,000 miles and it came out like thick black crude oil . I have less than 30K on my WRX and have changed the ATF three times already (probably too often but I wasn't satisfied with the Amsoil ATF that I was using.

Dale
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Old 10-24-2003, 01:14 PM   #3
arcsound
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Member#: 10603
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Richmond
Vehicle:
2014 CrossTrek XV
Khaki

Default Overdue AT Fluid Change

Actually, the old fluid was unremarkable; didn't look much different than the new fluid. Although I never changed it, I have checked the level periodically, and the fluid on the dip stick was always clear and free of any burning odor, and, of course, at the correct level. I went to have the fluid changed at around 100K miles, but the AT service center suggested that if I hadn't done any maintenance so far, that I was asking for trouble to start now, suggesting that changing fluid after so many miles would cause more problems than it would prevent, so I never had it done.

The fact that the clutch pack seems to have responded positively to my finally changing (a portion) of the AT fluid would suggest that there is some property (perhaps lubrication?) that was absent in the OEM fluid after so many miles. And, so far, none of the problems alluded to by the AT shop have come to pass.
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Old 10-24-2003, 02:05 PM   #4
Legacy777
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Member#: 4800
Join Date: Mar 2001
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Houston, Tx
Vehicle:
1990 Legacy & 97 OBS
AWD 6MT EJ22T AWIC Swap

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The shop's wisdom about not changing the fluid has a little bit of merit.....but on our cars it's not so much true. heat is what kills these AT's. The fluid is what disperses the heat, and if your fluid breaks down, gets contaminated, or looses its lubrication properties....then yeah you need new stuff.

The fact that the subaru AWD system gets finicky if you don't change the fluid regularly is where the shops thinking is off....they probably don't get too many AWD trannys.
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Old 10-26-2003, 12:07 AM   #5
SubaruImpreza_power
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Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Greenwich, CT
Vehicle:
2005 Legacy GT
blue

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I have never felt or heard of this "binding" in the AWD 4EAT... They said it happens at low speeds when your turning... I tried a number of times and I still don't hear anything becides some pumpish sound. But Both my cars make the same sound if you turn the wheel 90 degrees.
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Old 10-26-2003, 10:19 PM   #6
arcsound
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Richmond
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2014 CrossTrek XV
Khaki

Default Low Speed Binding Well Documented

Others have written about the problem, both here and in newsgroups, so I knew I wasn't alone. The service manager at the local dealership was familiar with the problem, but he said I needed to replace my "clutchpacks". If you don't have the problem, that's great. It only started on my 4EAT after about 150K miles.... Then again, it sounds like if I had changed my AT fluid, it may never have occured.
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