1996 Outback 4dr Impreza wagon
By RN on
1996 Subaru Impreza Outback 4dr Wagon AWD
Bought this subie for $1700.00 with 175,000 miles. The car now has 204,000 miles. Winter force tires and this car will out run any 4wd truck in the snow. I've done brake work, timing belt, some rust is showing over the rear tires and needs repair. This Impreza now needs two new rear struts (cost 500) and the transmission has a bearing going, cost 1000 with a new clutch kit. I might do the repair, I hate car payments. To tell if a (manual) transmission bearing is on its way out, start the car, put the trany in neutral, push in the clutch, if the motor at idle is quiet with the clutch engaged compared too the idle being noisy with the clutch disengaged, you might have a bearing starting to go.
I've had an awful lot of std transmissions since I was 15 years old. (Almost 60 now) and I agree this way to tell if a std trans is starting to experience a worn main bearing is indeed accurate. But I would certainly not judge the transmission as needing attention merely because it makes a bit of noise using this "test".
All I would do is thicken the trans oil a bit (depending on if it used in Phoenix or a mountain top in Colorado or California.
If it's not broke, why fix it, and a hum in neutral while the clutch is engaged isn't the failure mode I would use to determine how many more years it has left.
On the other hand, if it actually "roars" using this test, or, it makes similar sounds while driving that change a great deal depending on if it is under an abrupt acceleration or a hard decceleration, nowthis is the only time I would worry about it.
BTW: if a std trans driver were just to refrain from "downshifting" into 2nd or 1st it would enable pretty much any std trans made to last indefinatly.
Saving brakes using this kind of downshifting is not smart. And replacing a std tran just because it hums a bit at idle when in neutral
and the clutch is engaged is just not necessary.
When Honda (years ago) decided to sqweeze a 1/2 mpg on the EPA CAFE test using thin oil in their std trans it was not real bright. Thicker oil, after the car has 150k usually enables the trans to last another 10 years.
IF the driver doesnt downshift into 2nd and 1st that is.
Love these Subi's! Never wanted to like them so much but when an old cheap awd car outdoes a Jeep or any big 4wd in deep snow, and when the cheap car doesnt seem to break down very often, and when it is e-z to fix when it does need attention, then it's got my attention!
I love the fact that the Legacy-Outback has more American made parts (85% USA made content vs 65% in the Ford and Chevy Pickups) than the supposed "American Made" red-white-and blue 4wd's. Hard to believe but true. As an American wholikes to drive American made cars; I'll stick with Subaru!