Car pops out of fifth gear
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This is a discussion on Car pops out of fifth gear within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; tl;dr - Car started popping out of fifth gear and I'm trying to decide if it's safe to drive to ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Car pops out of fifth gear

    tl;dr - Car started popping out of fifth gear and I'm trying to decide if it's safe to drive to a dealer 800 miles away.

    After a lot of forum lurking, it's unfortunate that my first post is in the 'Troubleshooting' section, but here it goes:

    A month ago I bought a 2011 WRX with 15000 miles. After putting about 500 trouble free miles, I decided it was safe to do a road trip to see family in Oregon over the holidays. On hwy 95 in Nevada (truly the middle of nowhere), the car suddenly popped out of fifth gear. It then proceeded to do so for the next 200 miles, at a frequency of every 2-30 miles.

    It only happens in fifth gear, and nothing specific seems to reproduce it. Happens while in and out of cruise control at speeds between 65 and 75, and not only when decelerating or going over bumps. I haven't found anything to consistently reproduce the issue.

    Now, I'm wondering if this is something that I need to get fixed by a dealer in Oregon immediately (which presents great logistical challenges not worth getting into, mainly because I'm far away from any Subaru dealer), or if it won't damage the car and transmission further to drive back to California and visit a dealer there. The car is still under warranty.

    Based on what I've read on the forums, the root cause of the issue can be the engine mounts, transmission fluids being low(?), problems with shifter bushings, sequentials, or other worse transmission problems. I'm having a mechanic put it on a lift tomorrow to check for the engine mount issue; is there anything else I should look for? Thanks for any advice.

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  3. #2
    Cheeky Bastage! spirited09wrx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Dirty Jerz
    Thinking back on responses to similar "is it safe to drive/still under warranty" threads, try to have the dealership tow the car back. edit: flat bed only, otherwise your car will be trash.

    Other than that, as annoying as it may be, can you drive back in 4th gear on highways, your MPG may go down, but if the problem is only with 5th gear, then stay out of it.

    If you were to drive it back, I would definitely call the dealership beforehand and make sure that they know about the issue, that you are going to drive it straight there, and more importantly, that you are DRIVING it there. They may have other options for you to consider.

    Good luck
    Teh Intern @ WTF Tuning, LLC

    2009 WRB Subaru Wrx Sedan: Torqued Performance Stg2
    Stink eye Mob #287
    N.E.R.D. #43252003274489856000 (the total number of configurations of the Rubik cube)
    "It's not turbo-lag, it's foreplay"

  4. #3
    Registered User 11blackwrx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Akron, OH
    I Support ClubWRX
    sounds like it could be a clutch issue. i had an 86 mustang that used to do the same thing. i had the clutch cable too tight and when i readjusted it i fixed the issue. it usually only popped out under harder throttle, if i eased into it i could keep it in gear.
    2011 Subaru WRX Premium
    1988 Ford Mustang GT
    2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ

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