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Old 05-06-2013, 06:18 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 314681
Join Date: Mar 2012
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Illinois
2002 WRX Wagon
pearl black

Default 1997 Legacy OutB. Limited had hard 1-2 shifts.

So Yesterday I replaced both O2 sensors to help with the fuel mileage which is a little lower than I like 21/27. There were no codes or obvious drivability issues. They just seemed a bit sluggish in their reaction to throttle input on the scan tool, not uncommon for that high mileage.
However the car's automatic transmission at 230k miles shifted 80% of the time considerable harder from first to second, interestingly enough always when I tried to drive regular or slow. On full throttle it shifted just fine. I replaced filter and fluid with a fancy machine that pumps out the fluid and replaces it at the same time to ensure all fluid even the stuff in the cooler and the converter gets replaced, but that didn't change much. So I figured something internally on the transmission was just worn and planned to fix it when it gets worse or when I'm done with most of the other stuff I want to do with the car.
Guess how big my surprise was when the hard shifting was gone after replacing the O2 sensors? First I thought it was a fluke, but today I drove deliberately trough town from one stop sign to the next and it shifts as smooth as butter.

I told my co-worker who's wife has a 2006 Impreza 2.5i that with ~140k miles seems to have a similar issue. And he went right ahead and ordered a set of O2 sensors. He said he had the car in and out of the dealership to no avail, and $120 shipped is well worth a try.

I can't seem to find any information that has linked O2 sensors with transmission behavior short of an imminent malfunction causing hesitations and/or check engine lights.

Any thoughts?
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