Clunk on Acceleration | Subaru Outback Forums

Hi everyone, so recently picked up a 2001 H6 with 230k miles for $700 that needs a new rack and pinion among other consumables like tires, windshield, muffler, battery etc. and trying to figure out whether to fix it and keep it or resell it and get my money back before putting any major money into the car. There is something with the transmission that concerns me a little. When accelerating, not always but about 50% of the time when the car is cold and maybe 20% of the time when the car is warmed up, when pushing down on the accelerator pedal a bit more than a teensy little bit there is an audible clunk from the rear of the car. It sounds like the exact same clunk when putting the car in reverse from park. Also, when I was driving it home on the highway and going between Drive to Drive 3 then back to Drive (testing it) all of the sudden the transmission started to slip like mad in Drive. I then put it back to drive 3 and it was fine. Shortly after the transmission worked great. I even went from like 20 miles an hour to 80 miles an hour up a fairly steep hill and the transmission didn’t skip a beat. The shifts are not super “precise” anymore but good enough for a vehicle with this mileage. 100 miles since that one time slip with some hard driving and hard acceleration I didn’t notice any more slipping whatsosever. The car goes into reverse fine just makes that “clunk”. However that “clunk” is still present sometimes when pushing down on the accelerator pedal.

When transmission is fully warmed up after driving the dipstick shows it about the “cold max” or “hot min” level so it’s not super low on fluid I think (though sometimes it’s hard to gauge, once I checked when the car was warm and there was only fluid on the tip of the dipstick and when the car was completely cold the level was quite a bit above hot max so the level seems to fluctuate). Don’t notice any fluid leaks. Fluid seems to be a little used as in not perfectly red but doesn’t look burnt and still has that sweet smell, color just that it needs to be changed.

Should I be worried about the transmission? Because if so that’s a dealbreaker for this $700 car that needs a steering rack and other consumables lol

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