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Old 10-27-2007, 03:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default lurching ride

My 2004 (manual transmission) Forester has the worst ride of any car I've driven (the last 3 of which were Subaru's). When I take my foot off of gas, vehicle reacts with lurching motion. I have complained about this numerous times & finally, at my 30,000 mi service, the technition did duplicate my complaint in both my vehicle & another (as a test). He determined that this lurching is just the nature of the beast. Has anybody else had a prob with this?

Thanks
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Since no-one has replied to this, let me first say welcome to the forum.

I suspect no-one has replied because they can't figure out what you mean by a lurching ride. Certainly it doesn't relate in any way to the ride of our Forester.
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I notice it occasionally in my 2004 FXT, but it's very subtle. My wife's 2006 OBS is a different story though. When you let off the gas in gear (especially 2nd & 3rd gears), there's an abrupt drag on the drivetrain. Also, when you step back on the accelerator, it lurches again...it's not a smooth transition between accelerating and coasting. I tend to agree that it's "normal", but it can be rather annoying.

Do you have a turbo? I'm thinking it may be more prevalent in the non-turbo cars, at least in my experience. I'll have to drive my friend's Forester X and see if she has the same issue.
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not positive if it is "lurching", but my '06 5MT has a very annoying hesitation or stumbling that occurs at small throttle openings. If I am going down a hill and maintaining a small throttle opening, the car will behave like I am opening and closing the throttle randomly. The feeling could be described as lurching.

I've complained to my dealership and posted on this forum, but haven't found a solution.

I get the feeling that the Forester design was optimized for an automatic transmission, not the manual. There are a number of dissapointing characteristics of the manual - poor shifter feel (vague/notchy), poor brake pedal feel (difficult to heel-and-toe), and the "lurching".
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Have it in mine too

Gmikos-

I have it in my 2001 L MT (110k miles) as well, fwiw. It's worse when the engine is cold.

When first starting up in the morning, the first few pull-aways from stop signs the car shudders. After the coolant warms up it improves a little but it's still present. After about 10mins of highway driving it goes away...but the clutch is still touchy. I had my clutch replaced with a Subaru dealer clutch and the issue is still there. I believe the issue is described as "clutch judder", try a search on this and see if yours fits the symptoms.

When driving on the highway, say I'm cruising in 5th at 70mph and want to downshift to 4th, I have to blip the throttle or I get a loud clunk from underneath the car when I release the pedal after engaging 4th.

A couple of months ago I had this lurching/shaking regardless of engine temperature. My car threw a CEL and it indicated the knock sensor was bad...I replaced the sensor and the lurching/shaking went away at warm temperatures (but it's still there at colder temperatures).

Hope this helps.

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Old 10-30-2007, 02:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback and my welcome to this site. I have found it hard to describe my vehicles' annoying trait. A lurching sensation or "herkey jerkey" ride are two descriptions that have come to mind. Though my complaint was duplicated by my Subaru tech, no fix was offered. Quite frustrating. As far as other details, I do not have a turbo and do believe it happens more when it is cold.
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Yahoo Its Bucking

MY 1st Subaru i thought there was something wrong, its bucking ,Awd play between all the driveline and mounts, just feather the clutch and gas with a little finesse, i have noticed it going downhill as mentioned especially when cold ,my 01 isn't as bad as my 98s,Just my 2Cents.
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, clutch is not a strong point of the car. I think some of the roughness comes with the territory in having an AWD. How long have you had the car? It gets better with experience.

Also, I had a failed master clutch cylinder that gave me a really stiff clutch pedal. The clutch pedal shouldn't be too difficult to engage. From what I understand on my model, master clutch cylinder failures were somewhat common.

I had a Camry before my Subaru, and my wife had a Civic. Those clutches were super-easy to work. The way I see it, if I can drive the Subaru clutch then I should be able to drive anything. My buddy let me drive his Maserati, no problems with that clutch! Now if I could only get him to let me try the 512TR
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think what you are referring to is the gas pedal being very sensitive at low speep/low RPM. For example in traffic, going from no gas to light pressure, the car can tend to "jump" ahead a bit or slow down abruptly.

Before the Forester (an 04 5MT too), I owned a '97 Impreza 5MT, and it was similar if I recall. I think I am just so used to it by now I don't notice it anymore... you just have to be gentle with cluthc & gas in the transition.
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Old 10-31-2007, 06:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe the throttle cable is sticking and needs replacing.
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Old 10-31-2007, 07:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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gmikos: I would bet that this is just a cold start/driving issue. Things that you can pay attention to while it occurs can be helpful to anyone trying to diagnose your problem.
When does it happen? Cold or hot? First drive of the day? Morning, afternoon, night?
When you first start it do you immediately start driving it? If so, that is probably your answer right there. Do you have any codes thrown?

This helps when starting in cold weather AND to prevent cold misfire codes.
1) Turn key to "ON".
2) Wait for fuel pump to finish priming (<3 seconds).
3) Start car.

If you start the car and then immediately drive it while the ECU is in its cold start mode (water temp < about 160* IIRC) it is a closed loop operation and dumping more fuel. Its not necessariy bad to drive it when its really cold BUT you will get lurching and jerking during the warm up operation.
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Old 10-31-2007, 07:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahrexion View Post
If you start the car and then immediately drive it while the ECU is in its cold start mode (water temp < about 160* IIRC) it is a closed loop operation and dumping more fuel. Its not necessariy bad to drive it when its really cold BUT you will get lurching and jerking during the warm up operation.
When it is started from cold it is in open, not closed, loop mode. That means it isn't using the feedback from the sensors, it is running off a builtin map.

The engine will transition to closed loop mode when it has warmed up enough for the sensors to be giving meaningful readings. Waiting a few seconds between turning on the ignition and starting it will have no effect on this whatever.

It is definitely better to drive it when it is cold and get it warmed up quickly than to just let it sit and idle. There's no intrinsic reason why it should be jerky when running in closed loop mode, even when cold, but the idle speed will be higher so you just need to adjust your use of the clutch.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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sounds like the clutch shudder problem that plagues a lot of GC8s. try look around on rs25.com and see if you can find something on it there. my GC8 had a bit of shudder untill the car was fully warmed up too. gotta be gentle the first few stops and then it goes away. only way i remember to ix it is to replace the clutch and it doesn't always go away. GL
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
When it is started from cold it is in open, not closed, loop mode. That means it isn't using the feedback from the sensors, it is running off a builtin map.

The engine will transition to closed loop mode when it has warmed up enough for the sensors to be giving meaningful readings. Waiting a few seconds between turning on the ignition and starting it will have no effect on this whatever.

It is definitely better to drive it when it is cold and get it warmed up quickly than to just let it sit and idle. There's no intrinsic reason why it should be jerky when running in closed loop mode, even when cold, but the idle speed will be higher so you just need to adjust your use of the clutch.

Graham you are right I confused open and closed, the idea is right though. As for waiting a few seconds you can bet it does help. Many 2.0 and some older 2.5's have had lots of CEL issues from cold misfire codes. I only mentioned is in case this was part of the problem.

I agree that driving while cold is a decent idea; but when doing so when the car is in open loop you can and often do get a jerky feeling. Many cars are plagued with this "warm-up driving shudder". not just Subaru's. My 03' WRX had a very slight issue when driving first thing in the morning (open loop) as it was very touchy and sensitive to the pedal inputs/jerky at times.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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My wife and I have noticed the lurching in our new 2007. We prefer standards (here in Canada it seems like most new vehicles are autos) and have had a couple of 5spd Celica's (I have also driven a variety of manual transmission pickup trucks on my fathers farm and at work that range in year from 1946 to mid 1990's) over the years and have never noticed the same type of symptom. In addition we were in the Azores last summer and I drove 3 different manuals from three different manufacturers (Opel, Ford, Fiat) and did not have the same problem. I guess what I am trying to say is that we are experienced with manual transmissions and the Forester is the first manual transmission vehicle where we really have to try hard to make sure shifting is smooth and we avoid the jerky motion that you and others have described, especially when letting off the gas in 2nd and 3rd.

Recently we tried a higher octane level of gasoline and moved from a Husky gas station (Regular 87 octane) to Petro Canada (Premium Octane 91 or 92 I think). Both my wife and I seem to feel that the vehicle runs more smoothly and the jerky transition when shifting or letting your foot off the gas in 2nd or 3rd has been greatly reduced.
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