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Have you checked your transmission oil level? Low oil level could cause your symptoms. Whilst checking your oil level is there any water contamination? Coolant can get into trans fluid from the trans-oil cooler. You need to let your vehicle repairer carry out an examination of its transmission.


The most likely cause is that your clutch is slipping. Either because the mechanism isn't working properly (rare but possible) or the clutch is worn (very likely).


While a manual transmission in the Subarus seem to run high at highway speeds (according to this website, 3200 @ 70mph is normal ... this to me who runs a vehicle which maintains ~1800-2000rpm at 70mph seems high, but nothing like what you are experiencing), running over 3500rpm at 50mph seems quite a bit excessive. This could be the cause of your heating ...


Is there a MIL (check engine light)?. To me, it sounds like the car is in failsafe / limp home mode. In limp home mode, speed and RPM are both drastically reduced to... you guessed it... limp home in the event of a serious car malfunction. I have seen the SRS (aka airbag) light cause this as well, but in that instance it was after the airbags had deployed.

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