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99 Forester
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i have a 99 forester with an AT. The other day i went on a long drive about 300km before i stoped. as i came off the hyw and slowed down i noticed the "AT oil temp" light was flashing and as i stoped at the sign, and went to start again it seemed that the AT did not shift into 1st grear and wanted to start out of 2nd. as i let off the gas i felt a clunk through the driveline and the car droped into first grear and away i went. as i pulled off the road i truned the car off for about five minutes and started it again the "AT oil temp" light reset and the transmission seemed fine. i drove another 200km and again as soon as i slowed down to come off the hwy the light came back on and the transmission was having difficulty down shifting as i drove through town?. so now that i am back in my home town the problem seems to be more apparent. this morning was -13C and i warmed the car for 5 min in the driveway and as soon as i put the shifter in reverse the warning light cam on again? i know that the transmission could have been overheated in that short time and with the cold temp. I have checked the fluid in the AT and it smells fine and looks clear pink, also the levels are right. if any body as had this problem in the past and can give me some advise as to what is hapening that would be great thanks.
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,827 Posts
First and foremost welcome.
I don't have any solution other than having the AT fluid flushed and filter changed ASAP.
A couple of questions first, don't be offended, it could help someone else offer a suggestion or experience,. How long have you had the car? Are you towing anything like a snowmobile? That can easily overheat a transmission in your terrain. Subaru recommends Dexron 2 or Dexron 3 type fluids for their transmissions and problems can happen with 'other' types. Some garages aren't even aware of the filter or stock the proper transmission filter, so there is a possibility that if you have had the transmission fluid changed that the filter was never replaced. That can cause some of the new fluid displacing some crap into the valve bodies of the transmission.
Are you checking the level when hot or cold? My mechanic has said the preferred method is when the car has been driven a few kilometers and is up to operating temperatures. Idling the car does nothing to warm up the transmission.
Are you checking the right dipstick? The dipstick for the transmisson is on the drivers side closest to the firewall. Also check the front differential fluid, that is on the passenger side closest and lower to the firewall for peice of mind.
When the AT light flashes it's as you've already noted a overheating condition. I don't think any codes are logged that could be read when this happens. I'm at a loss for any solution other than taking it to a reputable garage that is familiar with Subaru, hopefully an Albertan in your area might be able to recommend someone.

Please keep us informed as to the solution you find. Good luck
 
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