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Subaru Slow Shift

We recently landed on Maui and purchased a Maui cruiser. For those you not familiar with the lingo, a Maui cruiser is a car that anywhere else in the states would be a pile of junk. This one is a 1994 Subaru Legacy Wagon (FWD) with 160,000 miles on it and actually runs pretty good. There’s one problem that has me stumped. The transmission seems to do all of the shifts just perfectly except that once in a while, when I am first starting up, I can put the car in drive and it will just sit there. Now when this happens, I can get the car going by doing one of two things. I can feed a lot of gas and it will get going within a second or two, or I can put it is Drive 1 (the number one on the gearshift knob) and it will take right off. Thereafter, everything is fine. I can shift into drive and it will do all of the shifting just fine. If I stop and start again in drive, everything is OK. Any ideas about what is wrong?

Just a wild guess here…

The shifter is somewhat misalligned/borderline in D (due to wear in the shift linkage) with what it says on the shift display.

Check your automatic transmission fluid level.

Yes, Andrew is 100% correct…I forgot about the most basic thing !!

Check the fluid level first and foremost.
If you’re unfamiliar with this procedure, please read about it first in the Owner’s Manual. It’s a bit more involved than just pulling the dipstick out.

And, if the trans fluid level is normal, then it is reasonable to suspect that the 16 year old transmission is about to fail. Start thinking about how much money you are willing to invest in order to repair this old car.