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2002 SF Forester autobox query


Bimble 7116
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Hi Guys,

Just wondering whether anyone has any knowledge or experience of these possibly connected - possibly not - issues with my 02 Forester? The car came to me last year as the previous owner was advised the rear subframe was rusty enough to fail an MOT. I stashed the car in a barn for the winter and now in the process of sorting it out. I’ve changed the rotten rear subframe and done a service. I’ve noticed that whilst the automatic gearbox works absolutely fine - car has 107,000 miles - I have the ‘power’ light flashing continuously no matter what position the selector switch is in - and there’s a slight clicking/tapping/whirring type noise coming from the gearbox itself. 

This is not loud or alarming - but it is audible from underneath the car when the engine is running - very much less so from inside the car, though my ear is tuned to it! I’ve changed the autobox fluid and the filter - both very well overdue, the old fluid was pretty brown and the filter clearly hadn’t been changed in a long time - but no change. Wondering whether the power light flashing and the clicking/whirring noise may be linked...?

Any ideas fellas?

With best regards

Andy H

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Firstly there may/should be a code so if you have a code reader that an access TCM that will point to the likely suspect. Secondly, how much fresh tranny fluid have you used in the change thus far? A simple drain and fill only gets a portion of it. Thirdly, I assume the fluid level is OK?

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Hi Greenmamba,

Thank you for your response👍 I’ve put an OBD code reader on it - but no fault codes are recorded (apart from a knock sensor code which it records now and then - changing the sensor is on the do list). The gearbox has taken 5 litres and is showing just under full - I used Dextron III fluid and a genuine Subaru gearbox filter. The fluid now looks clean and bright red, but then the car has only done a few miles since the servicing work. 

Thoughts...?

Best regards

Andy H

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OK. Standard OBD code readers generally read engine codes but not necessarily transmission codes. I use Freessm which does TCM codes as well. I assume the tranny is a 4EAT which likely takes when full nearer to 10 litres if it's got a transmission cooler. Assume you're checking levels with engine running in neutral?

Maybe someone else with more experience on Foresters can chime in.

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