Tag Archives: transmission

Subaru Repair: How to Change Your Transmission

Subaru Repair: How to Change Your Transmission

One of the most common Subaru repair needs is to replace the transmission. The first step of replacement, removal, is also necessary when you want to rebuild the transmission or need to switch out your clutch – so keep in mind those additional applications as you walk through the steps to change the part.


The full process to replace the transmission is simple and proceeds in the same general manner as with other cars. However, since the transmission from this carmaker weighs more than average, it is wise to work with a second person for this Subaru repair, allowing you to safely raise it in and out of the vehicle.


Steps to remove & replace your Subaru transmission


1.) Use the jack to raise your Subaru, and keep it propped up on jack stands.


2.) Before you move the component, let all the transmission gear oil drain out of it. Insert a 1/2-inch drive ratchet into the drain plug of your transmission. Take out the plug. You do not want transmission fluid to get all over the place when you remove the component.


3.) Neither the exhaust pipe nor the drive shaft should be connected when making a Subaru repair that involves transmission removal. Four bolts, used to connect the component to the drive shaft, can easily be removed with a wrench. A ratchet and extensions can be used to disconnect the exhaust.


4.) A ratchet or wrench can be used to disconnect the transmission mount. Located at the top of the transmission, this mount is bolted to the firewall.


5.) Take off any wires that lead into the transmission, taking note of where they are located.


6.) Separate the transmission from the two drive axles. The transmission and axles will be connected together with pins. To disconnect the axles, you will need to drive out the pins with a punch and hammer.


7.) Take out the seven or eight bolts connecting the transmission and engine block, using your ratchet. To keep your transmission from falling, put a transmission lift beneath your transmission and bring it down. (A jack with a transmission attachment can also work if you are conducting this Subaru repair without a transmission lift.)


8.) Move the transmission back and forth to test it, and you should be able to bring it straight down to the jack. Bring the part back so that the input shaft does not experience undue force. Bring your transmission all the way to the floor.


9.) Bring the new transmission into position with the jack.


10.) Guide the input shaft through the flywheel hole. Use bolts to secure the connection.


11.) Using your hands, push the axles into the transmission to install them. Also, manually put in the pins, driving them into the axle with a punch and hammer.


12.) Doing the opposite of the steps you used to take out the component, hook back up the wiring, exhaust, and drive shaft.


13.) Reconnect the transmission mount (on the firewall) and the transmission with your ratchet.


14.) Take a breather. You are finished.


One pointer for this Subaru repair job comes from Sayrgo Barazi of It Still Runs. Barazi explains that it can be tricky to achieve proper alignment of the shaft splines within the clutch. If you are having that difficulty, “spin the output shaft with your hand,” he says. “This will reposition the input shaft and allow you to inset it into the clutch.”


Notes of caution: First, your Subaru transmission weighs approximately 150 pounds; so it it not a good idea to lift one if you are not very physically fit. Second, be sure that you protect your eyes with safety goggles.


Subaru News & Information


Now that you know how to fix your car (or what your mechanic needs to do), here are a few other items of general interest in the news related to Subaru:


  • Subaru Ascent 3-row SUV is a top 2018 tech car
  • First North American RA the costliest Subaru ever


Subaru Ascent 3-row SUV is a top 2018 tech car


Technology news blog ExtremeTech released its top 10 list of tech cars for 2018. One of the vehicles to make the list was the Subaru Ascent. There has not been a midsize SUV/crossover of at least 190 inches, and with the capacity to hold passengers in three rows, in the Subaru lineup since the Tribeca was pulled in 2014. A midsize sedan measuring 199 inches, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is very close in length to the Ford Explorer and new Volkswagen Atlas.


If you buy an Ascent, you have the option to seat seven or eight people. As is typical with the Subaru brand, all-wheel-drive comes standard. The engine is a turbocharged boxer (a flat-lying V4 engine). This model, only available to US consumers, is manufactured in Indiana. The demand for Subaru repair will assumedly rise in the coming years with growth of the brand; sales will eclipse 700,000 if the Ascent meets expectations, particularly since the carmaker also comes out with a new compact crossover in 2018.


First North American RA the costliest Subaru ever


The 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA does not cost $50,000; it’s $145 shy. At $49,855, the car is the most expensive one that the carmaker has on the market. Since that’s the case, the central premise of Jonny Lieberman’s test-drive for Motor Trend is rather simple: a determination of whether the car is worth its price-tag, top within the Subaru catalog.


The RA is a car based on the automaker’s efforts to outdo a global speed record. It actually stands for Record Attempt. Using the FIA World Speed Endurance Record as its goal, Subaru initially produced the 1989 Legacy RA; that car did successfully establish a new FIA record. The tradition continues, with pro rally driver Mark Higgins recently setting a new Nürburgring Nordschleife record for a four-door production car behind the wheel of a modified STI Type RA.


RA limited-edition models have typically been exclusive to Japan; this model pivots to an exclusive North American release. Just 500 of the car will be made for United States customers, while only 75 will be produced for sale in Canada; that is the total global number that will be made. This VIP, exclusive aspect to the car is underscored by a plaque in front of the shifter that gives you your manufacturing number. There are three colors; black is the rarest, with blue and white more common.


In Lieberman’s test-drive of the car, he notes that this version of the Subaru WRX is an advancement to a truly superior car, with its additional horsepower, enhancement of the steering, and modified suspension. The reviewer realized that the car was “great” while on a professional test track (the Thermal Club’s 1.4-mile Desert Circuit) and while driving it on the open road. The biggest critique was that extreme curves in the road made an issue that the STI has with understeer more apparent. Despite that flaw, the performance was high-grade.


Lieberman set out in his review to answer the question, Is this car worth the asking price of nearly $50k? The critic’s final answer is yes – noting that he would probably buy it if he were shopping for a new sports car. After pondering how he would consider the car in that scenario, he adds, “[t]he combination of its rarity and how much better it drives than the standard STI would be enough for me to pull the trigger.”


Moving forward with Subaru repair


The Subaru brand continues to impress, but sometimes you need a fix – and often repairs are best left to experienced professionals.


Are you seeking an honest Subaru transmission mechanic in Boulder? We started Independent Motors because we felt our city needed an auto repair shop that was more in line with our local community’s values – and we have expert skills at maintaining Subaru cars. See our Subaru repair philosophy.

Is Your Vehicle Not Handling Like It Used to? Here Are the Possible Causes

Vehicle Handling

Every vehicle owner is familiar with the feeling that something is a bit off with their vehicle’s handling. It happens to every car, sports utility vehicle, or truck eventually. One of the most common reasons why someone inquires about auto repair services is because they feel like their steering is off. Perhaps the vehicle doesn’t seem as responsive as it used to. Maybe it drifts. You could even feel like your vehicle requires more forceful steering wheel turns in order to get the desired motion. Whatever the specifics are, something seems wrong with how the vehicle is handling.


This is such a common problem that you’d think you could give a definitive answer to what was going wrong right away. Unfortunately, that’s not the case when it comes to vehicle handling issues. For those who aren’t so keen on doing their own auto repairs, think of it this way. Have you ever been sick and Googled your symptoms? You’d think a sore throat means strep or a cold. But it turns out that a sore throat is actually a symptom of a dozen different illnesses. Without going to a doctor, you’d never be able to properly figure out what is actually wrong. While you can guess, only a professional has the tools to give the proper diagnosis. It’s not too different when talking about your car or truck. Sure, you may have an idea of what’s going wrong, but a mechanic can properly identify where the issue with your vehicle’s handling is actually occurring.


The truth is that different parts of your vehicle could be causing that sensation of your vehicle not handling properly. If you’ve reached a point where your vehicle is behaving that way, it’s probably well past time to bring it into a mechanic to check out, anyway. It could be something that would have been caught during a routine maintenance visit several months ago. It’s good to have a general sense of what the issue could be before your appointment, however. While you may not be able to make the determination yourself about what is wrong, you won’t be so surprised when the mechanic comes back from inspecting your vehicle and lets you know what needs to be done. Here are some of the most common reasons why a vehicle can suddenly feel like it’s handling poorly.


Transmission Issues


Getting your transmission looked at is something you need to do a few times (probably) during the life of your vehicle if you keep it for many years. Alternatively, it’s something you need to do if you drive it long distances with regularity. You should at least get your transmission fluid changed when appropriate. It’s hard to give hard numbers on when you should, so consult your owner’s manual. However, keep in mind if you drive under stressful conditions (hard stops, stop and go traffic) often, then your transmission needs to get checked more frequently.


Now, unfortunately, transmission issues can be behind your vehicle’s odd performance. Generally, one of the most feared phrases one can hear come out of a mechanic’s mouth is “It’s the transmission” because it’s often a costly fix. As is usually the case, early intervention when it comes to transmission issues can keep repair costs down.


If it’s just your transmission fluid that’s old, getting it changed may be just the fix you need. However, if the fluid is so old and dirty that it’s causing noticeable performance issues, it could be that there’s damage already from particles in the fluid. If the gear teeth get worn down or break, a vehicle can slip out of gear, causing the handling issue you’re experiencing.


Tire Problem


If it’s not the transmission, and hopefully it isn’t, there’s a good chance that it’s something to do with your tires. In fact, this is probably the most common reason as many people tend to not take care of their tires as often as they should. To be fair, life is busy. Who is going to remember to do the penny test on their treads when the kids have three different practices to get to after school?


A variety of things could be going on with your tires that are causing the vehicle to handle oddly. The first thing you want to check is your air pressure. Whether it’s too low or too high, you’ll feel it. Low tires control poorly and you may hear screeching when making turns. Too much air makes you feel every bump in the road and can even cause a blowout.


Tires can also be misaligned or not secured. If you changed your tire yourself recently, make sure that it’s set firmly against the back disc. If the nuts on the tire aren’t secure, you’ll definitely feel a vibration while you drive. If you notice that one front tire is wearing down faster than the other, that usually signals an alignment issue.


Suspension Is Off


If the issue isn’t the tires themselves, it could be something very close nearby. It could either be something wrong with your suspension or an axle. When something happens to the suspension, the telltale signs are usually obvious. One thing to look for is a dramatic pulling to one side while driving. You may notice a sensation of bouncing up and down when coming to a stop. The vehicle doesn’t just settle into position anymore. An axle can get bent relatively easily. It takes some force, but it can certainly happen if you’re in an accident or hit a particularly deep pothole. A bent axle can alter a vehicle’s handling.


Brakes Need to Get Checked


Another common reason for poor handling is that there is something wrong with the brakes. Brake fixes are one of the most typical kinds of auto repair because often issues aren’t investigated until there are serious problems. There are many indicators that something is amiss with your brakes. You can hear them squeal or grind, feel them grinding, and in some instances even smell them. If it is your brakes that are causing your vehicle to handle oddly, it’s going to be while you’re trying to stop. If you’re just driving along and feeling yourself drift, that’s not going to be your brakes. But, if you’re feeling a pull when braking, you might have your culprit right there. Hopefully, it’s as simple a fix as getting your brake pads replaced. Of course, if you’ve been driving on damaged brake pads for a significant amount of time, you’ve increased the chances of causing damage to the discs or drums. If there are issues at that level, you could be looking at more serious repairs.




No matter what specifically is causing your vehicle to handle poorly, it’s important you get it fixed as soon as possible. It’s dangerous to drive for long with a vehicle that doesn’t respond properly to your control. Depending on the root cause, you could be driving on what’s shaping up to be a major repair. Come get it fixed before it turns into one. Contact us today to schedule a time to bring your vehicle in. At Independent Motors, we’re dedicated to doing right by our customers. We’ll be honest about the work your vehicle needs and we’ll provide the service at a fair price.