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Has anyone experienced major problems with the 2010 Forester manual transmission that have required a transmission rebuild or replacement?

I have been taking care of my 2010 Forester for the past 4 1/2 years and have 105,000 miles on it. Last weekend while driving on the highway I suddenly lost 3rd and 4th gears. The next day all the gears were not functioning. I was prepared to call a tow truck when I got 1st, 2nd, 5th and reverse gears back. I then drove the car to the mechanic using only 1st, 2nd and 5th gears.

The mechanic explained that I need a complete transmission rebuild or replacement.

I have been searching around the internet for posts about drivers with similar issues, but I haven't found anything.

Has anyone here had similar experiences with their manual transmissions? I am surprised that this transmission would need replacing or rebuilding at only 105,000 miles.
 

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Was the fluid checked monthly and replaced every 30k? There is a dipstick for the transmission above the CV axle on the passenger side behind the engine. The procedure is detailed in the owners manual. I have a 2010 with a stick shift as well so I am curious.
 

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The owners manual calls for "inspecting" it every 30k, and never lists replacement on the normal service schedule. The severe service schedule does call for replacement every 30k, and most people technically fall under that.

At 32k when I did mine, the dipstick was covered with clean fluid. Though when I drained it, it came out pretty dirty. Evidently the trans doesn't mix fluid enough to tell by the dipstick if it has contamination, so I'm not sure how one can "inspect" it properly. Someone more knowledgeable could chime in, but I'm pretty sure the fluid can't do it's job for the life of the vehicle with the manufacturing debris floating around in there abrading the internals. With the reputation of the 5mt, I wouldn't risk not changing it.
 

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The transmission/differential fluid has been checked every 7,500 miles and replaced every 30,000 miles up until the failure at 105,000 miles.
 

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I don't know the exact gear oil that the Subaru dealer used for the 30,000 mile interval transmission/differential fluid changes.

I don't rest my hand on the shift lever while driving or ride the clutch.

I may have just been really lucky with not having any maintenance problems with the manual transmissions in my previous cars and incorrectly assumed that I would have the same experience with the Forester.

I wish that I could point to something specific that caused the 3rd and 4th gear synchros to be ruined, something like obvious user error, lack of maintenance or problems that appeared earlier in the car's life. But no problems appeared until immediately before the synchros broke. The only thing that I can think of is that I put a lot of miles on the car in a short period of time (105,000 mi in 4 1/2 years), but I can't imagine that that would cause the failure.

I am driving the Forester with the refurbished transmission now. The shifting was initially vague/squishy but is now good after a few hundred break-in miles.
 

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Glad to hear you're back on the road. You mentioned that the synchros broke in the other trans. Was there a teardown by the shop to confirm the failure point? It may come in handy for others in the future if there was a design flaw or bad batch of parts, and this failure becomes more common.
 

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Manual transmission problems

My 2010 forester manual transmission just went out at 75,000 miles, along with the flywheel. I have always driven a stick shift, and my other CRV lasted over 150,000 miles. I cannot believe this only lasted one half that time. There was only a week's warning, with the clutch pedal starting to fade. What gives, Subaru?
 

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I proactively replaced my 05's 5MT at about 135k due to a noise that was attributed to a bearing failure (input shaft, I think?).

Interesting part is that I had no mechanical issues whatsoever, just a noise that got progressively louder over about a month. It shifted flawlessly. I had the fluid changed first to rule that out, since I had no evidence of it ever being done, but it made no impact whatsoever to noise, and barely any to shifting. I had my regular indy mechanic, a transmission shop, and finally a dealer inspect it, and all agreed failure was imminent, so I bit the bullet on my terms instead of waiting for it to go out when I least expected it.

Sorry to hear yours went out. Hope your new one lasts you the life of the vehicle.
 

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2011 5 spd problem

Bought car used from dealer with service record, maintained properly.
Shortly after 60K mi service, started popping out of 5th gear while on freeway.
Back to dealer after phone calls & 500 miles, and dealer discovered "no oil" on
trans/front diff dipstick. Who's a Dipstick !
So, at this point, what can I expect, stonewalling and my having to buy a new gearbox?
Are these sturdy enough to hold up to this sort of "use" or is this a totally hosed trans now?
Was residual lube enough to prevent major damage ?

Took about 100 fwy miles for the first occurrence, and subsequently, about 10 min of fwy driving to re-occur. at the least, I can picture a scored shaft developing a burr that needs polishing off.

Anyway, that's my sad tale on our 5 spd
 

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I proactively replaced my 05's 5MT at about 135k due to a noise that was attributed to a bearing failure (input shaft, I think)...
"... The Subaru transmission is fairly unique. It's got 3 shafts. The input shaft contains 1st, 2nd, and Reverse machined onto it. 3rd and 4th are idlers on the input shaft. The output shaft is a little funky, it's 2-pieces. One runs inside the other. The inner shaft is the pinion shaft. The pinion shaft is what drives the front differential from the center differential. The outer shaft (the output shaft) contains 1st and 2nd gear idlers, and a 3rd/4th cluster (machined as one piece) is pressed on (held from spinning with a woodruff key). First gear is very, very unique. There is NO bearing. First gear rides, solely, on a thin film of gear oil. This is a major reason that Subaru's require GL-5 and NOT GL-4. In addition to this, there are a handful of bearings in the tranny, including some thrust surfaces that, again, rely on a thin film of oil...."
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/first-gear-grind-kind-24613/index2.html#post284043
 

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same boat

Was looking around the web in the aftermath of a visit to the local shop for an oil change and a look into a clutch related noise.
(a whirring sound with clutch out, disappearing when depressed) No other symptoms, still shifting perfectly.

According to the shop, theres likely a bearing loose somewhere in the transmission (they noted sediment in the fluid) and i'll now need a rebuilt or replacement transmission in my 5mt 2010 with 106k.

add to that i need the drive belts replaced. im gonna be digging deep for this bill.

I am taking the car to another shop that seems more reputable given reviews and the phone conversation - but I doubt the outcome will be that much different. Their labor rates are a fair amount cheaper though, so there is that. The guy said they dont rebuild, instead get refurb'd ones from Japan.

I bought this car used in 2015 from a family who took pretty great care of it, but I dont have the service records, so I dont know what was done to it.
When I purchased it, it had right around 90k, and I havent driven it all that much given most of my commutes tend to be on bike. I am not exactly the slowest guy on the road, so there may be a lesson there. Had MT cars all my driving years and i dont ride clutch or rest hand on the lever.
@zance789 - if you are still around on the forum - any updates or advice you might have for someone with a nearly identical issue? (i havent lost gears, but i'm puckered up on the road in fear that is next)
 

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I would recommend a transmission from a wrecked car/salvage supply. Manual transmissions should last the life of the vehicle and I wouldn't be scared of a used one, especially if it is offered with some warranty. There should be several models that interchange with yours.
 

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RyanT - thanks - I have been learning a bit more and understand that there are used transmissions out there that would cost much less than a rebuild.


The whirring sound that changes when the clutch is depressed is the throw out bearing most likely, as they wear out and exhibit those exact symptoms.

I'd like to see the fluid and what they are calling "sediment" the less reputable shop pointed out. Bearings don't "come loose" so I would go somewhere else.
this gives me some peace of mind because exactly what my previous mechanic (i just moved) of 10 years told me over the phone. He said that the bearings are trapped in a race and may, over time, get a flat or otherwise and give that noise, but that they wont come loose He said that he would recommend changing the transmission fluid and likely that would likely be a sufficient fix.

Now - about the shop i visited - I was recommended to visit this shop - so I did. I was not impressed when I visited, but I went through with the oil change and inspection nonetheless as I am not equipped at home to do it myself.

I dont think they were taking advantage, but I have already scheduled another, highly recommended import shop to have a look next week.

I was struck by how my old mechanic doubted it was as big a deal.
 

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I had an '09 MT that was really making noise at 4,000 RPM ( and not much above or below this ), as well as it was popping out of 1st gear, which made parking annoying. Took it in before the drive train warranty was up and the dealer replaced two forks in the transmission, and maybe 2nd gear, I can pull the paperwork on it.

I've just changed my front diff/mt oil, threw in Motomaster 75w90 ( GPL 5 or whatever the spec ) supposedly supplied by Shell so we shall see how it lasts.
 
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