('09-'13) Manual Transmission Problems - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Car Year: 2010
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5-speed Manual
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Unhappy Manual Transmission Problems

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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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 08:54 AM
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Location: Austin, Texas
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Car Year: 2010
Car Model: Forester & Outback
Transmission: 5mt and CVT
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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.


2011 FXT

2012 Outback CVT

2010 5mt- RIP '17
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2015, 12:57 PM
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Why replace every 30K? I know lots of folks do but the OM doesn't request this.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 07:23 AM
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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.

2011 FXT

2012 Outback CVT

2010 5mt- RIP '17
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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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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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 04:12 PM
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Wow that's really unusual. Please report back with the diagnosis from the transmission shop when they find out what failed.

2011 FXT

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2010 5mt- RIP '17
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-26-2015, 08:37 AM
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What gear oil was used to service your transmission?
Do you rest your hand on the gear shift lever while driving?

TrailAngel
2010 2.5X 5MT
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 08:01 AM
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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.

2011 FXT

2012 Outback CVT

2010 5mt- RIP '17
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 09:59 AM
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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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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 11:19 AM
dpm
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so clutch, not transmission?

2015 SJ XCdiesel CVT
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 11:40 AM
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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.

17 Taco TRD OR 6MT(Mine) 16 XV(Hers)
14 FXT & 05 Baja XT 5MT w/ VF39+(Sold)
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 10:41 PM
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Location: Mendocieno County, CA
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Car Year: 2011
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: 5 sp stick
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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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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 11:55 PM
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Isn't it obvious ....? Whoever serviced your trans last didn't put oil in it. Make them pay.
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2010 2.5X 5MT
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 03:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athens Turbaru View Post
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...."
https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...tml#post284043
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