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2012 Tribeca
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Long time Subaru enthusiast, Subaru Ambassador, first Tribeca. I always thought they were the weird uncle of the model lineup, then they grew on me. So much so I picked up a ‘12 Touring edition with a history of transmission issues… When I first saw and drove “Beca,” she seemed totally fine! I had a Subaru dealership check her out, before purchasing, they alerted me that their dealership had actually recommended a new transmission, during a previous service.

I bought the Tribeca in late October, fast forward to colder weather, she started having delayed engagement. Mind you, most of my experience with Subaru’s have either been with the 5 speed manual, or 4eat, and I never experienced delayed engagement, in any vehicle. So I decide to do a drain and fill with OEM fluid, then go to dealer for a trans relearn, which appeared successful. Though, for good measure and cleaner fluid, I did another drain and fill. Now, the delayed engagement seems to be worse. Though, it only happens at the first cold start up of the day, once, going into drive.

My question is, did the second drain and fill AFTER the dealer relearn undo the benefits?? Or, has the trans suffered enough damage before my ownership, the newer fluid had made the clutch and/ or band wear more apparent.

I have tried to warm up the Tribeca for 5+ minutes, shift from reverse, to neutral, wait, then go into drive and it will still bang into drive.

I’ve benefited greatly from other forums over the years and I’m hoping you all might have some more insight. I’ve been reading into a product called Trans-x. A lot of people with delayed engagement have used it with good results.

All comments welcome, thanks!

Kevin
 

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2008 Tribeca
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48 Posts
Whatever damage that is done to your transmission is already done. It can't hurt to put in a additive to try and make it work better. Delayed engagement can be caused by seals, bands, shift solenoids, pump, worn clutches. An additive can prolong the life of your transmission, so why not try it. Worse that can happen is it doesn't help and you are out a few bucks.
 

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V6er Version 2
Facelift (EZ36D, 5EAT TG5D), MY2008, 7seat Limited (no DVD, no NAVI)
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prolonged engagement, I am massaging crystal ball, might be fluid pressure to low - if that is the issue, most probably because of bad oil pump and/or friction discs waaay to thin... waiting for miracles might just kill whatever is left from transmission.

btw, did you change filter/s too or just fluid?

p.s. adaptations need to be performed after fluid change. trying to be smarter than engineers have never ended succesfully(afaik) :D
p.p.s. I simply "adore" dealership attitude - "something is wrong in this big box - just change it at clients expense" :))) considering remanufactured transmission was around 4k5..5k USD... is it worth it? :)
 

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2012 Tribeca
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Whatever damage that is done to your transmission is already done. It can't hurt to put in a additive to try and make it work better. Delayed engagement can be caused by seals, bands, shift solenoids, pump, worn clutches. An additive can prolong the life of your transmission, so why not try it. Worse that can happen is it doesn't help and you are out a few bucks.
Thanks for your comment. As much as it sucks to acknowledge, something is wrong. I was hoping a couple drain and fills could bring back the notoriously stout 5eat. I bought some trans x, I’ll report back with my experience.
 

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2012 Tribeca
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
prolonged engagement, I am massaging crystal ball, might be fluid pressure to low - if that is the issue, most probably because of bad oil pump and/or friction discs waaay to thin... waiting for miracles might just kill whatever is left from transmission.

btw, did you change filter/s too or just fluid?

p.s. adaptations need to be performed after fluid change. trying to be smarter than engineers have never ended succesfully(afaik) :D
p.p.s. I simply "adore" dealership attitude - "something is wrong in this big box - just change it at clients expense" :))) considering remanufactured transmission was around 4k5..5k USD... is it worth it? :)
Agreed, I feel like I need to do something, rather than wait. Though, I’ve never had transmission issues in a vehicle, and this doesn’t seem life threatening. I’m hoping this Tran x additive, will come to the rescue.

I don’t believe the 2012 has an external filter and while I’ve been tempted to drop the pan, I almost don’t want to. Maybe I should, a filter would be cheap, though, it seems the damage has been done.

Thanks for commenting!
 

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Facelift (EZ36D, 5EAT TG5D), MY2008, 7seat Limited (no DVD, no NAVI)
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is gear switch delay the same in "sports" mode?
to do something properly would be diagnosis, which means disassembly, I think ;)
 

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2007 Tribeca Limited Special Edition
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68 Posts
Agreed, I feel like I need to do something, rather than wait. Though, I’ve never had transmission issues in a vehicle, and this doesn’t seem life threatening. I’m hoping this Tran x additive, will come to the rescue.

I don’t believe the 2012 has an external filter and while I’ve been tempted to drop the pan, I almost don’t want to. Maybe I should, a filter would be cheap, though, it seems the damage has been done.

Thanks for commenting!
You 5 speed auto has a small replaceable filter can behind the wheelwell covering. I would be careful to not use any old ATF. Use the specified product as the viscosity is different in each brand and our transmission is very sensitive to this ATF viscosity change.
 

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@apex1, external filter was on prefacelift and few first years on facelifts(not sure of exact date when it was omitted).
 

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2007 Tribeca Limited Special Edition
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Sorry I missed your model date 2012, correct. I have seen articules of how some ATF manufactures can really screw up our 5 speed auto transmissions valves and pressure sensors. The viscosity is very critical component of the ATF, not over or under. Its not worth the price difference from OEM ATF to generic to have to change the tranny for a few dollars, including some additives.
 

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2012 Tribeca
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey everyone, as an update, I did another drain and fill with OEM fluid and the Trans X High Mileage additive. I think it has helped, and with letting the Tribeca warm up for at least 5 minutes (at least two bars on the coolant gauge) it will gently shift into Drive. Though, if I do not wait as long, it will bang into gear, only from a COLD start.

I have several thoughts: another bottle of trans x, as there is only 16 ounces of additive in 10 quarts of fluid, and getting a cable to do another trans reset myself, and hoping that the trans would learn the new fluid cocktail. I also just read something about “bleeding” air from the transmission lines?

Prior to buying the car, it had transmission “issues,” which I rationalized because of a trans line leak. I don’t know how long leak went unfixed, or if, or how much air may have gotten in the system. I have noticed air bubbles, not many, though noticeable on the dipstick.

What do you all think? Could the TCU reset I had done at the dealer be overshadowed by 2 additional drain and fills and the addition of Trans X?
 

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Facelift (EZ36D, 5EAT TG5D), MY2008, 7seat Limited (no DVD, no NAVI)
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1) what cable you do have? except dealership iDenso - FreeSSM or alikes (to my knowledge) can just clear those adaptations, but they DO NOT perform adaptations. adaptations can be done on your own just on prefacelift tribecas (up to 2007) on my, facelift, 5eat (2008MY) adaptations didn't "appear" even after driving 500miles. but visit to dealership - helped a LOT :) (ok-ok, my transmission has tuned valve body).
2) again, adaptations need to be performed after fluid change, especially if you use some kind of "thickener" - Trans-X
3) endleslly pouring thickener into atf - is a pretttttty stupid idea :)))
 

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2012 Tribeca
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don’t have a cable yet, for use of FreeSSM. Do you have a recommendation?

I agree, if I could have done it all over, I would have done all of the fluid changes, THEN went to the dealership for the relearn.

While I can appreciate your @V6er caution of endlessly pouring, one bottle treats up to 9 quarts, and I am still having delayed engagement. Have you used Trans X? I’ve tried to read all the reviews I could, only once did I see someone mention adding a second bottle, though, they did have good results.

The additive is advertised as a cleaner, and maybe I dislodged some gunk by way of fluid changes. The hope would be that the additive would help clean whatever might need it.




1) what cable you do have? except dealership iDenso - FreeSSM or alikes (to my knowledge) can just clear those adaptations, but they DO NOT perform adaptations. adaptations can be done on your own just on prefacelift tribecas (up to 2007) on my, facelift, 5eat (2008MY) adaptations didn't "appear" even after driving 500miles. but visit to dealership - helped a LOT :) (ok-ok, my transmission has tuned valve body).
2) again, adaptations need to be performed after fluid change, especially if you use some kind of "thickener" - Trans-X
3) endleslly pouring thickener into atf - is a pretttttty stupid idea :)))
 

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2008 Tribeca
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48 Posts
Whatever damage that is done to your transmission is done. Adding more additive, which is basically just a friction modifier with some additives, isn't going to hurt anything.
 

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Facelift (EZ36D, 5EAT TG5D), MY2008, 7seat Limited (no DVD, no NAVI)
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370 Posts
@Snobaru,
you don't understand how it works, right? when transmission is abused for LONG time without fluid and filter changes - that fluid is FULL of crap. all shit that comes off the abrasive plates, steel discs etc etc... it works as sandpaper on your internals. all distances are fucked up, but because of that amount of crap inside fluid - it still works. transmission has adapted over time...
then you flush the system... and ooooopsie daisie... clean fluid cannot work at those bigger distances(gaps) between elements.
that's where transX and others come in - they THICKEN fluid, making it work.
it doesn't clean. at least - https://www.crcindustries.com/produ...atic-transmission-treatment-16-fl-oz-811.html - has no word on cleaning.

as @89sandman is saying - damage has been done, you might as well try that second bottle. but let's play out both outcomes of situation:
1) you don't add second bottle - transmission feels better than before trans X, but seeing simple success - you want MORE success, right? :D
2) you add second bottle - it becomes better
3) you add second bottle - transmission dies

now - is 3rd option worth the risk? :D

personally - I haven't used transX, since I don't really have delayed engagdement (I had before adaptation was done).

About cable - FreeSSM, I believe, works even with cheap-ass "KKL VAG-COM 409.1 "(approx 15bucks from amazon/aliexpress/ebay). I have that VAG KKL, Tactrix(original is about 200, aliexpress knockoffs about 20) and ELM adapters(less than 20bucks). Tactrix is used for RomRaider/EcuFlash (hint-hint :D
 
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