Sporadic Automatic Transmission Problem

2000 Subaru. Maybe its in gear. Maybe not.

Sometimes not in gear when first go in morning. Sometimes it drops out when I coast to stop sign. Tranny guys say total replacement and $2,500.00. I’m cheap and a hopeful dreamer. Can this be anything else? When it does drop out I need to feather the gas until it catches. Sometimes that’s a big BANG.

I am going to guess that this transmission did not have its fluid changed at 3 yrs/30k miles, 6 yrs/60k miles, 9 yr/90k miles. Am I correct?

If that is the case, then it is entirely reasonable to believe that your transmission is failing on this 9 year old car.

However, it is important to know who gave you the verdict of a need for a new trans.
If it was AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, or any other chain, then there might be better news from a more reputable source. Take the car to an independent trans shop that has been in business for at least 3 years, and you will get a more honest assessment (and probably a lower price quote) than the chain operations are giving you.

Transmissions are a prime example of how timely maintenance is invariably cheaper than the repairs that result from lack of maintenance.

You are correct about failure to maintain. Always checked fluid level though and was told on each occasion it was clean. Has 86k. The transmission place who quoted the price specifically said total REBUILD and $2,500. He put it on the rack and did a free 30 minute diagnotic. He is an independent and came recommended by a mechanic whom I have known and trusted for years. This mechanic was never involved with servicing the car. He handles everything but routine maintenance. I took it to the Subaru dealer for another opinion and they just said replace with new and $4,200. No questions and no look-see from them. Looks like all the arrows point to the independent. Thanks for the come back.