Question about 1997 Subaru Legacy

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Car wont roll forward or back even in neutral

1997 Legacy, standard transmission, will no longer roll forward or backward, even when in neutral. Car starts and runs fine but when you put it in gear and let the clutch out nothing happens.

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  • krisabaliz Jul 31, 2009

    I should add that the reason my son pulled the car over was because the speedometer died while he was driving. He called me and when he resarted the car and tried to drive it home is when he discovered it would no longer go into gear. Also, there is some weird grinding noise while the car is idling but not when you push in the clutch. I fear it's the transmission...

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  • 534 Answers

I assume it's a manual transmission.
If the car will not roll backward or forward in neutral (with or without the clutch engaged) the transmission is most likely locked in two gears at the same time.
This may happen if gear selectors are excessively worn. If you are able to examine the gear selection levers external to the gearbox, ensure they are in the 'neutral' (no gear selected) position when the gear lever is in Neutral. If not in correct position, you may be able to manually reset the levers to correct neutral position and thereby unlock the gearbox.
In any case, if it's happened once, it will happen again, so get the gearbox and gear selection mechanism checked for wear or breakage.


Posted on Jul 31, 2009

  • John Bloomfield Aug 01, 2009

    From your additional comments / description of the problem, I also think that the transmission has suffered a major internal failure.

    A replacement transmission will most likely be required.

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