2006 Forester transmission "kick when cold"

We have a 2006 Subaru Forester with approximately 118000 miles. My wife is the sole driver of this vehicle, we purcahsed it used a little over two years ago. When the engine is cold (only when it is cold) a loud “kick” sound comes from what sounds like the rear of the car when and only when switching from second to third gear. The dealership flushed and calibrated the transmission but the problem persists (albeit less). There does not seem to be a whole lot of information pertaining to this problem so if you have any potentially helpful informaiton, please help!


If you use your parking brake and can safely park the car by leaving it in gear, and using the chocks if needed, try that. It might be a sticking parking brake problem.

…or it could be an issue relating to the u-joints on the driveshaft.

Thanks for the tips! I’ll be sure to look into the parking break suggestion. VDC, could you elaborate?

As far as the parking brake goes, some times the cable is released, but the brakes do not, and when they do it can be a a giant clunk. I am assuming this is one clunk per drive. If this is not the case please elaborate.

“VDC, could you elaborate?”

If nobody has checked the condition of the universal joints on the driveshaft and/or the splined shaft, then this is something that should be done. When a u-joint is badly worn, one of the symptoms is a “clunk” when accelerating. If this is ignored, you can wind up dropping the driveshaft, and if that happens at high speed, let’s just say that…it would definitely ruin your day.