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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,875 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Subaru Impreza transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments

problem #4

Nov 142005

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 25,000 miles


On July 4, 2005, I got a grinding sound while trying to shift into 2nd gear after pulling away from a light. I thought it was just me missing the shift. Several days later it happened again. I started to delay my shifts into 2nd gear. This same scenario started repeating itself several more times. Then the same problem started while trying to downshift into 4th gear. On November 14, 2005, I took the car to the Subaru dealer. I told them that I thought the synchronizers were bad in 2nd and 4th gears. The next day, the dealer called and told me the synchronizers were bad, as well as the 2nd and 4th gear sets, and the cost would be $2,900 to repair it. He said that they had determined that the damage was due to "driver abuse", and was not covered under the warranty. He told me that he would contact the manufacturer and see what could be done. Two days later, Subaru said they would repair the transmission with no charge as a good will gesture, but not as an item covered under the warranty. They did the repair. I have found that my situation is not unique in the 2002 thru 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX and sti. Subaru dealers are denying warranty repairs for these two Subaru models, claiming "driver abuse". this problem needs to be investigated. My theory is that when turning the cars and shifting, there is twisting in the drivetrain that is bringing the synchronizers in contact with the transmission case causing the initial damage. The sensor's will then not align the gears properly and then the grinding starts. The more the car is driven, the more the sensor's are damaged, and, thus, the more the gears grind. The point is that all subsequent damage caused by the damaged sensors, due to faulty design, should be covered by the warranty. Subaru needs to be investigated concerning this problem. Subaru has put redesigned, stronger synchronizers in the manual transmissions of their 2006 WRX and WRX sti models.

- Dunedin, FL, USA

problem #3

Aug 292004

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 2,000 miles
I have had a first gear grind ever since the day I bought the car. Made several attempts to have dealer correct the problem. First technician even said it was internal. Finally got the fluid changed to correct ths issue at 14K miles, helped but did not fix. At 26000 miles I take it to another dealership and they also confirm there is a problem. Dealership say they will not work on it due to an aftermarket exhaust. I explained it is a prexisting condition and the exhaust would have no affect on this particular scenario. Dealership stonewalls me on this issue but promises to still fix the seat (since it has nnot been modified) I asked for the technical explanation of why the tranny was not covered under warranty, they refused to issue either verbally or in writing.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #2

Aug 122004

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 13,000 miles
Failed transmission for manual drive 2004 Subaru WRX manufacturer denied the claim

- Connelly Springs, NC, USA

problem #1

May 112004

Impreza 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 3,500 miles
Was at the local track on run what you brung night. Lined up against an srt-4. light turned green. I accelerated trying to get a holeshot. I heard a loud banging noise. Sounded like the transmission/clutch giving up. The srt-4 was way ahead of me. I shifted through the gears and was not able to catch up. That srt-4 was fast. The lack of power in my sti really dishonored my family. It forced me to be humiliated. I took the car to the dealer and was told that the car was normal and to expect to be outmatched by cars like the Dodge srt-4. they never did tell me anything about the transmission/clutch noise.

- Shrewsbury, MA, USA

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