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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so i recently purchased a 2012 WRX hatch. Great car but noticed from day one that the shifting in this car is pathetic. So after reading many forums like clubwrx.net everyone recommended new bushings and shifter. I have the SPT shifter already so i went ahead and purchased the front and rear stay bushings and a kart boy SS. Now, before i installed them, i had a pretty consistent issue of being unable to down shift from 5th to 4th. Push in the clutch, move the lever out of 5th and down into 4th and nothing, i would be stuck in neutral like the linkage is caught on something. I have to move the shifter around or release and depress the clutch to get it into 4th. Keep in mind, you don't rev match until you are going to release the clutch while in gear so it has nothing to do with that. I found though that moving the shifter very slowly and deliberately i can get into 4th no problem. Again, the only issue is 5th to 4th, no other gear changing is an issue.

Fast forward to after putting in the bushings and shifter. Shifting is improved alot. Better feel and shorter shifts. Cold shift from 5th to 4th - still an issue. However, now it's happening when the engine is full warmed up, not just cold. This is unbelievably frustrating and unacceptable. to the point that I want to get rid of the car. Being unable to shift in a manual transmission vehicle is a big deal and a safety concern considering every time it happens i'm distracted from the road and having to have my attention pulled away from the road and figure out wtf is wrong.

Has anyone else had this issue? I cannot be the only one to ever have this issue with a 3G WRX.
 

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The Fruit
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The spt shifter was probably port installed. Any shifting issues will be amplified with changing the bushings.

Either way the car is VERY new and this issue should be handled by your dealer. It has a warranty for a reason. You paid for that warranty in the cost of the car, use it while you have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The spt shifter was probably port installed. Any shifting issues will be amplified with changing the bushings.

Either way the car is VERY new and this issue should be handled by your dealer. It has a warranty for a reason. You paid for that warranty in the cost of the car, use it while you have it.
Well, before i put the bushings in, i did take it to the dealer. They couldn't duplicate. Plus, since it's 'random' and i can't make it do it consistently, the dealer will keep blowing me off. On top of that, since i now have installed aftermarket parts, they can just blame them. So before I can bring it back to the dealer, i have to take the bushings and shifter back out. FUN!!!
 

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The Fruit
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NO.. they cannot, you have an established complaint before the bushing change and changed them to possibly relieve the issue. If they try to blow you off again you go straight to soa and state your case.

exactly how fast are you trying to get into 4th? Either way 5-4 downshift should be like butter at any legal or slightly illegal speed.

Has it done it since you bought it or did it develop the issue later on?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
NO.. they cannot, you have an established complaint before the bushing change and changed them to possibly relieve the issue. If they try to blow you off again you go straight to soa and state your case.

exactly how fast are you trying to get into 4th? Either way 5-4 downshift should be like butter at any legal or slightly illegal speed.

Has it done it since you bought it or did it develop the issue later on?
I agree with you but it's still something they can do.

Normal shift from 5th to 4th. Not fast or aggressive. I drive like a grandma most of the time anyway. If I move it very slowly and deliberately then its fine but it's not a natural way to shift. I've been driving a stick for 16 years and yes, normally in all cars, 5th to 4th is the easiest and smoothest shift.

It did it from day one but only when cold. Just recently is it doing it now when warm.
 

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The Fruit
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hmm.. I'm curious if changing the fluid might help. If it was a physical problem it would do it all the time and be repeatable. Rev matching from 5-4 really shouldn't be necessary because they're pretty close in ratio....

dunno man I'd start with the fluid and throw a good synthetic in there. Its common stuff, the requirement is GL5 or better rated gear oil.

For a while mine was a little finicky between 1st and 2nd if I came out of first at higher rpm.. after the fluid change it was silky smooth. Its inexpensive so may as well try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
In a lot of transmissions, ATF Mercon V was used. Its fairly thin. Is that something that can work in Subaru transmissions? Or does is need to be a 75w90 type gear oil?
 

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The Fruit
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It Has to be GL5 equivilient .. thats 75-90 gear oil. ATF would destroy one of these transmissions.. they were never designed to run something that light. Just run a good synthetic 75-90 ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It Has to be GL5 equivilient .. thats 75-90 gear oil. ATF would destroy one of these transmissions.. they were never designed to run something that light. Just run a good synthetic 75-90 ;)
I called the dealer and can get Subaru Extra-S in 75w90 for $11qt (I have to bring my own container). Is the Extra-S better than what's in the WRX tranny now? I've read through a lot of fluid threads with a lot of conflicting info. If it is something as simple as a fluid change I'll be happy as a clam.
 

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I agree with the consensus. As the primary option, keep taking it to the dealer until it's fixed. Research local lemon laws. Call SOA for advice if nothing else. If all that fails and you still want to keep the car, then I might try different tranny fluid. If that still doesn't help, give up.

I don't see any (good) reason why 5->4th should be any problem whatsoever.
 

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The Fruit
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I'd try fluid first before ruffling feathers. Sometimes its easier to just try the simple stuff first.

Extra S is highly recommended. $11/qt not bad price either.

OH and I have a more in-depth explanation to why you cannot/should not use atf in our transmissions. Our trans also house the front and center diff as well as the transmission parts, all three share the same fluid. diff's and ATF do not mix well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'd try fluid first before ruffling feathers. Sometimes its easier to just try the simple stuff first.

Extra S is highly recommended. $11/qt not bad price either.

OH and I have a more in-depth explanation to why you cannot/should not use atf in our transmissions. Our trans also house the front and center diff as well as the transmission parts, all three share the same fluid. diff's and ATF do not mix well.
I didn't know that. Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So all day yesterday no problems shifting from 5th to 4th. I go out to lunch today and it happened constantly.

If it was a synchro issue, would it not eventually go in once the gears get lined up? No matter how long i hold the lever it won't go in. If i release a little bit of pressure on the shifter lever then push it back into 4th it will slide right in. To me, that doesn't sound like a shifter issue but more of a linkage problem. However I'm not an expert on transmissions.

I also noticed that it happens more if i move the shifter quickly vs. more slowly/deliberately. This again could be from the synchro or linkage. I hate to armchair diagnose but this is driving me nuts and I won't be able to replace the tranny fluid or get under the car until next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I wanted to update this thread. So I drained the old fluid and put in Extra-S. Problem still exists. I'm now able to at a complete stop with the engine off, quickly downshift from 5th to 4th and something catches that keeps me from moving the lever into 4th gear. It's not all the time. Since the engine is off and the car is not moving, I doubt it is the synchro or anything to do with the internals of the transmission, but more a linkage issue.

I did get back under there and double check that when I swapped the bushings I had every thing torqued to spec and nothing came loose, still good and all is tight.

I'm stumped and frustrated.

I also realized i overfilled the transmission because I had the car on ramps and filled it while the car was still on the ramps. causing the fluid to move to the back of the tranny and when i checked the dipstick to get it to the full marker, it technically was reading low. So my fun job for tonight is to try and drain 'some' of the fluid and not make a mess haha.

I also noticed when i pulled the tranny drain plug, there were metal shavings all around the magnetic core. Very fine and not much, almost like metal dust, but I'm glad I got them out of there.

I never had a problem shifting into the other gears but the Extra-S does seem to make the shifts a little smoother. I just wish I knew why i was having this down shifting issue.
 

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I wanted to update this thread. So I drained the old fluid and put in Extra-S. Problem still exists. I'm now able to at a complete stop with the engine off, quickly downshift from 5th to 4th and something catches that keeps me from moving the lever into 4th gear. It's not all the time. Since the engine is off and the car is not moving, I doubt it is the synchro or anything to do with the internals of the transmission, but more a linkage issue.

I did get back under there and double check that when I swapped the bushings I had every thing torqued to spec and nothing came loose, still good and all is tight.

I'm stumped and frustrated.

I also realized i overfilled the transmission because I had the car on ramps and filled it while the car was still on the ramps. causing the fluid to move to the back of the tranny and when i checked the dipstick to get it to the full marker, it technically was reading low. So my fun job for tonight is to try and drain 'some' of the fluid and not make a mess haha.

I also noticed when i pulled the tranny drain plug, there were metal shavings all around the magnetic core. Very fine and not much, almost like metal dust, but I'm glad I got them out of there.

I never had a problem shifting into the other gears but the Extra-S does seem to make the shifts a little smoother. I just wish I knew why i was having this down shifting issue.
I wonder if you could have somebody shift while you're under the car to watch the movement of the linkage. Maybe it's hanging up on something that's not easy to identify without seeing it move. :dontknow:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I wonder if you could have somebody shift while you're under the car to watch the movement of the linkage. Maybe it's hanging up on something that's not easy to identify without seeing it move. :dontknow:
I agree. But unfortunately I don't have anyone. :(

So I was bored last night and decided to take the shifter and bushings out. I also double checked my trans fluid after swapping in the Extra-S. Fluid level was perfect. Put the stock front/rear bushings in and the stock shifter (blech). Same issue, so I know it's not the aftermarket parts. I really think somethings up with the linkage. I double checked that the SPT linkage that would have been installed at port was secure and snug. All looked good.

The inability to shift from 5th to 4th happens more if I shift briskly. Like i'm moving the lever too quickly. However, if i take it out of 5th and just for the briefest of moments let the lever pause in neutral before moving to 4th, it goes in silky smooth. But if its a continuous movement from 5th right to 4th, 1 out of 10 shifts will hang.

Best example i can give. I'm driving in 5th, come to a stop, push in clutch, move lever from 5th directly to 4th, and the lever stops. Like something is blocking me from moving the lever. I can put as much force as i want, it won't go. Take a little pressure off the lever, then apply pressure again and then it goes right in to gear. Shifts into all the other gears are perfect, even reverse.

I just can't believe out of all the cars out there i'm the only one with this issue.
 

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I think you are hitting the gate that keeps you from shifting into reverse from 5th. It isn't like 3-2 downshift in pattern - you have to take it a bit slower and make sure you come across far enough in N to release that trap.
 

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i have a problem w/ my 4th gear as well-mine is a slight "grind" or "clunk" when warmed up. I am bringing it in on Thursday and will let you know the situation.
 
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