Cheapskates Transmission

2000 Legacy Wagon, automatic, 84,000 miles. Car drops out of gear while driving or will not engage at a standing start. Mechanic I trust sent me to independent TX guy who said total rebuild and $2,600. Since the problem only happens now and then (I eventually get going) I am playing the cheapskate and living with it…for now. Since I will be getting a rebuild anyway and my miles are around town (AAA tow covered) should I be concerned? Is their other damage I can get if the TX decides to do a major blow-out. And yes I make sure I am in gear on left turns into on-coming.

I am hoping that somebody in this story has verified that the fluid level is where it is supposed to be. If you have been told you will soon need a new transmission, no damage can come from burning up the old one first, as long as it doesn’t cause an accident.

Yes it’s full. I have faithfully had it checked at oil changes ever since it was new. Always full, clean on the kleenix, new color and no burn smell. If it’s full and clean all the time, did I miss an important boat by not doing a change-out awhile back? Thanks for heads-up on the safety issue. That left-turn bit is pushing my luck.

If you keep driving it until it fails completely, I’m sure you can run the repair cost up to over $4 grand…

Try asking this question to a bunch of Subaru junkies, some of whom really know their stuff. See and click on the link. You have to “join” but it’s free.

did I miss an important boat by not doing a change-out awhile back?

If you’re asking this question, and you are the original owner of the car, then the answer is YES. You should most likely need to change the automatic transmission fluid every 30k to 50k miles, depending on how you drive the car.

In fact, you might luck out and with a fluid change (NOT a flush), get the transmission to act properly again.


As long as the fluid is full, you can drive it until it goes all together. The only problem is when is it going to go. They never seem to go at just the right time. I guess if you are prepared to deal with it when the trans finally decides not to work any more then see how many more miles you can get out of it.