How to Read the Numbers on Your Subaru Transmission: A Complete Guide

Subaru vehicles are known for their reliability and durability, but like any car, they can experience transmission issues. A key component of diagnosing and fixing these issues is being able to read the numbers on the transmission correctly. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to read the numbers on your Subaru transmission, why it is important, and common transmission issues and how to troubleshoot them.

Why Is Reading Subaru Transmission Numbers Important?

Subaru transmissions have a series of numbers etched onto the casing. These numbers are essential for identifying the type of transmission that is installed in your vehicle. Without this information, it will be challenging to diagnose transmission issues and determine the appropriate course of action for repair.

By understanding how to read the numbers on a Subaru transmission, you can access crucial information about your car and the transmission. This information includes the transmission type, gear ratio, and production date. Armed with this knowledge, a mechanic can provide you with more accurate diagnoses and repairs.

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Steps for Reading the Numbers on Your Subaru Transmission

Reading the numbers on a Subaru transmission requires no special tools, just a little bit of inspection of the transmission casing. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to read these numbers:

Step 1: Locate the Transmission Casing

The transmission casing can be found underneath your vehicle and is generally situated between the engine and the driveshaft. You will want to look for a rectangular-shaped metal case.

Step 2: Wipe the Casing Clean

Before you can read the numbers on the transmission casing, you will need to clean it off first. Wipe off any dirt, oil, or debris from the casing using a clean cloth.

Step 3: Find the Identification Tag

Located somewhere on the transmission casing, there will be an identification tag that has a series of numbers and letters on it. This tag is typically bolted onto the casing using two bolts.

Step 4: Decode the Numbers on the Tag

The tag has a series of numbers and letters that identifies the transmission type, gear ratio, and production date. Some of the codes may be separated by dashes or dots. Here is what each code indicates:

  • The first set of numbers identifies the transmission type.
  • The second set of numbers is the gear ratio.
  • The third set of numbers identifies the production date, with the first two digits indicating the year and the second two digits indicating the month.

Common Transmission Issues and How to Troubleshoot Them

Reading the numbers on your Subaru transmission is an important step in identifying and diagnosing transmission issues. Here are some common transmission issues and how to troubleshoot them:

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Issue 1: Transmission Slipping

If you feel your vehicle hesitate or jerk when shifting gears, your Subaru may be experiencing transmission slipping. This occurs when the transmission is not staying in gear, leading to a delay in acceleration.

Potential causes of transmission slipping include low transmission fluid levels, dirty or clogged filters, or transmission pump issues.

Troubleshooting Transmission Slipping

To troubleshoot transmission slipping, start by checking the transmission fluid levels. If they are low, add more fluid until the levels are within the proper range. If the filters are dirty or clogged, they may need to be replaced. While most of these tasks can be accomplished by a do-it-yourselfer, it is recommended that you bring your vehicle to a mechanic for transmission pump repairs.

Issue 2: Transmission Leaks

If you notice a puddle of fluid underneath your Subaru, it may have a transmission leak. Transmission fluid is essential to maintaining adequate pressure within the transmission system. When fluid levels become too low, severe damage can occur.

Potential causes of transmission leaks include worn gaskets, a damaged sealing o-ring, or a faulty torque converter.

Troubleshooting Transmission Leaks

To troubleshoot a transmission leak, check the transmission fluid levels and check for any visible signs of fluid leaking. If you suspect there is a transmission leak, it is important to have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic as soon as possible.


Q: What type of Subaru transmissions have identifying tags on the casing?

A: Identifying tags can be found on most Subaru transmissions, although it can vary depending on the year and model of your vehicle.

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Q: Will reading the numbers on my Subaru transmission give me an indication of wear and tear?

A: No, reading the numbers on your transmission will provide you with valuable information about the type of transmission and gearing, but it will not give you an indication of the wear and tear of your transmission.

Q: Can I repair a transmission leak myself?

A: While some transmission leak repairs can be a do-it-yourself job, in most cases, it is recommended that you bring your vehicle to a mechanic for repairs. Transmission leak repairs often require specialized knowledge and tools.


Knowing how to read the numbers on your Subaru transmission is important for diagnosing and resolving transmission issues that may arise. By following our step-by-step guide and troubleshooting tips, you can be better equipped to identify and resolve transmission problems. Remember, if you suspect your vehicle has transmission issues, it is best to have it inspected by a professional mechanic.

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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