2004 Subaru outback with Cali 259 Engine Automatic transmission feels like it pops into neutral sometimes

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Aug 13, 2009
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148
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nj
2004 Subaru outback with automatic transmission and the California four-cylinder that has a whole bunch of extra oxygen sensors.

Car is running fine no issues and then wife was driving it and she said she lost power going to town and couldn’t go forward or reverse shut the car off then turned it on worked fine?

The E brake handle warning light popped on but that does not seem to be causing any issues ebrake still works and release as normal

I drove it to work the next day going down the highway it felt like it popped into neutral the car lost momentum going forward and I let off the gas pedal which drop down to idle while doing 70mph .
Every time I stepped on the gas pedal to try and continue driving the RPMs would rev up but it felt like it just dragged the car down in speed.

I coasted to the shoulder Check engine light was on . I tried driving forward then reverse and then back to forward. It just wouldn’t go engine was still running . I shut the car off for like three seconds turned it back on check engine light was gone and car worked fine.
 

BigRich954

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Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
148
Location
nj
5k miles ago I change Engine oil transmission fluid and filter diff oil. Brake fluid check brakes really at a loss on this one
 

BigRich954

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Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
148
Location
nj
I’ll check again transmission fluid level again looks good everything’s is in the right spot . One of the issue is once I restarted it the code went away so I couldn’t get anything on my code reader. I now keep it in my car so when it does it again I will get the code .

I’ll try to find the type of trans fluid but a synthetic one I think it was Valvoline. But it meets the spec for the transmission
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
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2,098
If it was Valvoline Maxlife you used I would dump it and refill with the correct fluid. Many of us have had terrible experiences with Valvoline Maxlife.

When you say if feels like it “pops into neutral sometimes” that is exactly what happened to me the few times I used it. I’d be driving along on the highway and for whatever reason the RPM would go up for no reason at all, then slam back into gear a few seconds later. I have not had any issues since going back to using manufacturer approved fluids.
 
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