How To Solve A Subaru Transmission Failure

Subaru cars have gained a reputation for their reliability and durability. However, like any mechanical component, transmissions can sometimes fail, causing frustration and inconvenience for Subaru owners. In this article, we will explore the common causes of Subaru transmission failure and provide practical solutions to address these issues. Whether you’re a Subaru enthusiast or a concerned owner, understanding how to tackle transmission problems can save you time, money, and headaches.

Common Causes of Subaru Transmission Failure

Lack of Proper Maintenance

Regular maintenance is vital for the health and longevity of any vehicle, including Subarus. Neglecting transmission fluid changes and filter replacements can lead to a buildup of debris and contaminants, reducing the efficiency of the transmission system. Over time, this can contribute to premature wear and eventual failure.


Excessive heat is a major enemy of transmission systems. Subaru cars, especially those used for towing or driving in extreme conditions, may experience increased heat levels, putting extra strain on the transmission. Heat can degrade the fluid’s properties, leading to inadequate lubrication and increased friction, which can result in transmission failure.

Manufacturing Defects

While Subaru vehicles generally have a solid reputation, occasional manufacturing defects can affect some models. Certain transmission components may be prone to premature wear or failure, requiring attention from the manufacturer or an authorized dealership. Staying informed about recalls or technical service bulletins issued by Subaru can help address potential defects promptly.

Identifying Subaru Transmission Failure

Recognizing the early signs of transmission failure is crucial to prevent further damage and costly repairs. Here are some symptoms that may indicate a transmission problem in your Subaru:

  • Delayed or rough gear shifting
  • Unusual noises, such as grinding, whining, or clunking
  • Slipping gears, where the engine revs but the car doesn’t accelerate accordingly
  • Leaking transmission fluid or a burning smell
  • Dashboard warning lights, such as the check engine light or the transmission temperature warning

Solving Subaru Transmission Failure

When faced with transmission failure, there are several steps you can take to address the issue and potentially avoid a complete transmission replacement:

Check and Replace Transmission Fluid

Begin by inspecting the transmission fluid level and condition. If the fluid is low or has a burnt smell, it may indicate a problem. Consult your Subaru owner’s manual or a qualified technician for the correct fluid type and the recommended interval for fluid changes. Regular fluid replacements can significantly extend the lifespan of your transmission.

Cooling System Maintenance

To combat overheating, ensure your Subaru’s cooling system is in good working order. Regularly check coolant levels, radiator hoses, and the radiator itself for any signs of leaks or blockages. Keeping the cooling system functioning optimally will help prevent transmission damage due to excessive heat.

Addressing Manufacturing Defects

If you suspect a manufacturing defect is causing your transmission failure, contact your local Subaru dealership. They can provide guidance on recalls, warranties, and any necessary repairs or replacements. Staying proactive in addressing potential defects can save you from costly repairs down the line.

Seek Professional Help

If your Subaru’s transmission problems persist or worsen, it’s advisable to consult a reputable automotive technician who specializes in Subaru vehicles. They have the expertise and diagnostic tools to accurately identify and repair transmission issues. Working with a qualified professional can ensure the problem is resolved effectively and prevent further damage.

While Subaru transmission failure can be a frustrating experience, understanding the common causes and solutions empowers owners to take proactive measures. Regular maintenance, addressing manufacturing defects, and timely repairs can help maintain the longevity and reliability of your Subaru’s transmission.

Don’t let Subaru transmission failure catch you off guard. Take proactive steps to maintain your vehicle’s transmission health. Schedule regular maintenance and address any potential issues promptly. By doing so, you can extend the lifespan of your Subaru and ensure a worry-free driving experience.