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97 Outback - 4eat Problems


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Hi everyone,


I've been dealing with this issue for awhile now and have tried reading through the service manuals to no avail.


My car is a 97 Outback with an auto-trans and 160k on the clock.

In the past couple years I've had alot of things replaced on this including (but not limited to :rolleyes: ) New heads, injectors, brakes, axles, plugs/wires, timing belt and multiple pulleys after the dealership didnt have the belt aligned properly after the new head install.


But the problem I've been having for a bit is an occasional jerking from the trans and hard shifts. I replaced a bit of the trans fluid with lucas stop slip and it helped soften and smooth it out a bit. But the wierd jerk happens randomly and only when there isnt a load on the engine, like while maintaining speed or slowing down while still on the gas. When it does it and you go to get back on the gas theres no response for a second or two then kicks back in violently. I believe the rpms dont drop when it happens.


Most of the time the car drives perfectly normal and smooth through the gears, then all the sudden it will have a fit and do this for a couple minutes then stop after I either put it in neutral then back in drive or turn the car off then back on. Personally is sounds like some type of electrical issue and not mechanical since it only does it randomly and not very often and usually wont do if after a restart. Possibly some solenoid or fuse? maybe Tcm? The car does have the check engine light on right now for the Catalytic Converters, but i don't know if that could be related.


Not really sure but I really need some help diagnosing this issue. Any tips or ideas are appreciated and if anyone needs more information on the car or problem just let me know.


Thank you for your time,




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You may have a "sticky something" in the valve body. Don't throw things like Lucas Stop Slip at the problem.

When did you last change the transmission fluid completely?

I would do this. Drain the ATF, drop the pan and have a look. See how dirty it is, change the tranny filter while you are at it (unless I am mistaken there is a strainer installed in the pan). Then put fresh fluid in it, whatever OEM calls for. I believe it's Dexron III, if that's the case then you can probably find a cheaper and better alternative at any parts store as long as it meets that spec.

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Yea i did drain the fluid and filter and i replaced most of the fluid in there with oe stuff then the rest with lucas which really smoothed things out alot. Its this random intermitent hesitation when you let off the throttle and get back on that happens only occationally and for a minute or so that im worried about.
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