Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Okinawa Japan, Montana, Delaware, North Dakota
Car Year: 2015
Car Model: Premium XT
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
15 XT Engine/CVT Bucking/Kicking while driving up hill
15 XT: Engine/CVT Bucking/Kicking violently while driving up hills
Hey Everyone, Just finished a 1000 mile road trip through the Black hills in South Dakota. Right before breaking 70,000 miles on Saturday I experienced a jolting, kicking CVT symptom while driving uphill that reoccurred intermittently all the way home.
First, some Background about the car and situation:
2015 Forester XT 70,000 miles
Vehicle packed with camping gear, 1 additional passenger and a tiny dog. The car was not excessively weighted. (It drives me CRAZY seeing people with bottomed out rear suspension on road trips so I am very picky about what I bring with me) that being said, it is worth mentioning it was under some increased load.
2016 ECM recall was performed before I purchased the vehicle and is documented in "My Subaru.com" - WQW58 - "WQW58 '14-'15 Forester DIT Pre-Ign Service Program"
Slightly rough idle at start has existed all winter, engine hiccups, shakes for about 30 seconds before smoothing out (or smooths out with gentle throttle input) hadn't thought much of it since it was -50 degrees here in North Dakota and attributed it to the cold. But now after this weekend it seems worse at start.
Paddle shifters were used the morning prior to the issue starting to downshift to 3rd, sometimes to 2nd to save the brakes on steep descents
Bucking Problem: The black hills have some awesome roads, and some are pretty steep. I spent most of the weekend in Sport or Sport# because it felt like the engine was under less stress during the climbs. Saturday While in Sport mode and driving uphill there was a jerk/ kicking feeling at around 60 mph. So bad that my wife looked over at me funny. It jerked and kicked forward violently several times, as if the CVT were unable to decide what gear to be in, or the engine was misfiring. It felt like someone kicking the back of my seat hard and the car jolted forward roughly and would not accelerate smoothly. This problem continued intermittently all day, always while going uphill.
The more steep the hill, the worse the kicking. We drove about 500 miles home that night across North Dakota, the jolting seemed to stop if you went 80mph and used cruise control, but it still happened a few times while going up gradual inclines (cruise control off) also, keep in mind North Dakota is almost totally flat so its much less noticeable.
-bucking while accelerating or maintaining speed uphill
-It happens in "I" mode but is less violent
-Happened first while in "S" Mode
-Most violent kicking is in in S# Mode, so I avoided it the rest of the day
-engine braking with paddle shifters was used to descend hills the morning prior to, and leading up to the issue starting
-91 premium fuel only
Stupid Question: Does anyone else use paddle shifters to downshift a gear or 2 on steep declines? Is this ok/not ok to do?
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