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Subaru Impreza Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Subaru Impreza Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Today, we will discuss our research of its transmissions used across five generations launched until now. Thus, let us jump straight to our topic of discussion without further ado.

Throughout its evolution, the Subaru Impreza has used automatic and manual transmissions, along with CVT. To be more precise, it has 4- and 5-speed automatic and 5- and 6-speed manual transmissions. Besides, it has used different models of CVT.

It is essential to understand that the above description is not comprehensive enough to learn about the Subaru Impreza transmissions. It is meant to offer a summary. Hence, we will find out different models of transmissions in detail. We will unveil how much it costs to replace them and how long they last. Moreover, we will see the problems that commonly pop up during the lifespan of those transmissions. After discussing the common problems, we will go through the differences between transmissions. So, let us begin to demystify the mystery.

Also read: Subaru Impreza Towing Capacity: Can It Tow A Trailer, Boat, Or Jet Ski?

What Transmissions Has The Subaru Impreza Used?

Let us see below what transmissions were installed within each generation of the Subaru Impreza.

First Generation (1992–2000)

  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed manual

Second Generation (2000–2007)

  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed TY856WH3MA/TY856WH4MA/TY856WW6MA manual

Third Generation (2007–2011)

  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed 5EAT automatic
  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed TY856UB1KA manual

Fourth Generation (2011–2016)

  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual
  • CVT TR690

Fifth Generation (2016–Present)

  • 5-speed manual
  • CVT

Also read: Absolute Best Years Of The Subaru Impreza

How Long Does A Subaru Impreza Transmission Last?

Undoubtedly, it depends on the kind of transmission that ultimately decides how long a particular transmission would last. When it comes to Impreza transmission, it lasts, on average, somewhere between 150,000 and 180,000 miles before starving replacement. To guarantee the smooth running of the transmission, you need to fix any problems right away and keep fluid levels topped up.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Subaru Impreza Last? (Answered) & How Many Miles Can A Subaru WRX Last? (Answered)

How Much Does A Subaru Impreza Transmission Cost?

It is necessary to explore the costs of several transmissions when one wants to replace them. Therefore, we have mentioned them below that are used in the production span of the Subaru Impreza. The prices mentioned below are taken from online marketplaces.

  • 6-speed TY856WH3MA manual: $3,350.00 (eBay)
  • 6-speed TY856UB1KA manual: $3,500.00 (eBay)
  • 5-speed 5EAT automatic: $4,313.46 (GoPowertrain)
  • CVT TR690: $2,160.00 (Maktrans)

Also read: The Exact Bolt Pattern Of A Subaru Impreza

Common Subaru Impreza Transmission Problems

Let us discuss a few common problems that drivers with the Subaru Impreza transmissions face while driving. So, here we dive straight into it.


  • The problem commonly associated with the TY856WH3MA transmission is gear crunching or gear selection while upshifting. It happens as a consequence of worn components, such as dog teeth wear and gear slider. The entire predicament also allows the wearing out of shifting fork pads.
  • Gear breakage may happen, but chances are rare. It is because the transmission is overall robust.
  • Besides, the gear selection may spin out of gear. It transpires by component wear generally. On some occasions, it is associated with gear set alignment when it occurs after overhaul. Remember, setting up gear selector alignment demands specialized tools.
  • The DCCD (Driver’s Control Centre Differential) units and viscous coupling center differentials undergo center differential binding when the components wear out.


  • A driver may feel a sensation when the 5EAT transmission makes the switch. However, a likewise sensation does not occur at any other shift point.
  • There may need a rough shifting when changing second gear into third gear.
  • Plus, it can start shaking and shuddering when a driver accelerates from a halt.
  • The transmission can also overheat. By glancing at a warning light, a driver can usually notice the problem.


  • The TR690 transmission can compel the car to a rough stop while driving. Afterward, a driver faces enormous difficulty in restarting the vehicle.
  • Moreover, the fluid leak can occur at the junction of transmission and engine. In that event, a driver first prepares a new seal for HTC and removes the transmission to replace it.
  • Another common problem is regarding engine speed. The issue shows up at highways when it runs up and down with no input from a driver.
  • A car can suddenly start hesitating when a driver presses the gas pedal. It is often the result of CVT malfunctioning.
  • There are also complaints that it begins swallowing excessive oil after every 3,000 miles.
  • The list of problems doesn’t stop here. Another common problem is that a car irregularly fails to respond when a driver hits the accelerator. Frighteningly, it can cause a safety issue. It may create a situation of hitting when a driver attempts to merge into traffic.
  • There may be a need for repeated replacement of the rear-wheel bearing.
  • Sometimes, the transmission starts emitting a whining sound out of the blue. After 45-60 mph, the sound starts getting louder.

Differences Between Transmissions

The TY856WH3MA is a 6-speed manual transmission. Subaru introduced it on its New Age Impreza, a second generation of the Subaru Impreza. Because its gear design was robust, it became popular among car enthusiasts.

The 5EAT is considered a 5-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission. It incorporates the torque converter and an external spin-on filter. For the record, these filters catch clutch material shredding before they obstruct the cooler. It is a significant component in terms of avoiding overheating.

The TR690 is a pulley-based and metal chain continuously variable transmission. Since it incorporates a robust metal chain and a simple pulley system, it is considered a reliable transmission. Its pulley system is also quieter than other CVT designs. To get the engine connected to the transmission, it uses a modified torque converter.

Transmission Fluids And The Subaru Impreza

The transmission of the Subaru Impreza lasts long and functions seamlessly, provided that you ensure good care of your car. When it comes to changing transmission fluid, several car manufacturers recommend doing it every 45,000 miles. However, one should note that separate transmissions need different types of transmission fluid. Here we offer you a source of transmission fluids that go well with various transmissions of the Subaru Impreza.


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