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Discussion Starter #1
09 Impreza 2.5GT, (basically an 08 WRX with a 4eat). I had it at Cobbs Stage 2 since 1000 miles, now its at 76k. It's been a blast to drive. Loads of TQ and near instant spool.

Well, despite having a tranny cooler and changing out the ATF every 15k, it seems my 4eat is dying. I haven't really beaten on the car, most of the 76k were highway miles since I have a 100 miles commute every day. But I do drive it spiritedly occasionally.

A few days ago I noticed the transmission began shifting a little slow and choppy, especially from park to R in the morning. So I tried changing out the ATF again (always with oem ATF-HP). Afterwards the transmission suddenly started making a loud whirling sound -like there’s a giant fan under the hood. It only happens in P and N, and goes away when in gear. I say it's from the transmission b/c I went underneath the car, and that's where the noise was the loudest. ATF level is fine. Tried adding a little more (1/2 qt) anyway and it didn't help.

Things seem to be getting progressively worse. It's sometimes really hard to get into reverse (never happened before), and the tranny is making more noise while in R. Once the ATF temp light flashed when I started the car. I turned off the car a re-started, and it went away. Didn't happen since. No codes from OBD port, but I heard these trannies have a TCU port underneath, with its own plug and set of codes.

I am hoping that it's something simple like a bad solenoid or sensor in the 4eat, but I really don't know how to approach the problem. I know a few good aftermarket shops, but they are not Subaru 4eat experts. I doubt they can even pull the TCU codes.

I hate to ask the dealership to do this, but this one is over my head. Any advice is appreciated.

This is my only means to get to work at the Navy base in DC every day. Need to solve it ASAP.
 

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Pro Manscaper
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Only thing I'm wondering, is why the heck you are changing your fluid so much???

You don't even change a manual transmission's fluid near that soon between...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I left the factory fill until 40k, then did 15k changes after that. Drain and refilling the pan is a lot easier than flushing, but it only replaces 40% of the fluid so I do it a little more frequently.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey, I ended up getting a new transmission. I guess I did too many brake torque launches because I didn't do that with my 2nd transmission, and it was happy until I traded the car in at 200k (for a slower 2017 CVT WRX).

Anyway, I digress. The mechanic speculated that it might be something called the forward/reverse brake, based on the way that the grinding noise occurs only in P and N.
 

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I Drink & I Know Things
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Hey, I ended up getting a new transmission. I guess I did too many brake torque launches because I didn't do that with my 2nd transmission, and it was happy until I traded the car in at 200k (for a slower 2017 CVT WRX).

Anyway, I digress. The mechanic speculated that it might be something called the forward/reverse brake, based on the way that the grinding noise occurs only in P and N.
It IS SLOWER, isn’t it?! I had a 4EAT too. Simple intake and protune. It launched off the line. Stage 2+ CVT & it still feels sluggish. I wish the CVT had a launch gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The 2.5 liters in the 2008-2010 4eats was a big help. I had a 2002 4eat with 2.0L and that thing couldn't launch either. That extra 0.5 liters that came later made a big difference.

Well, I think there are deliberate safeguards in the tune to prevent launching the CVT. But in defense of the CVT, it does quite well without a launch and makes up well for lost time. From a roll, it would be a close race between my stage 1 CVT and my old stage 2 Impreza GT. The CVT traps 1-2 mph higher, so it may even win.
 
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