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2005 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a FX with 4EAT. No issues prior to bringing the car in for service. Went in for 30k service 2.5 weeks ago. Got it back from the dealer, and noticed when I backed out of my garage or out of a parking spot, the car would shudder, esp from the rear. Informed the dealer, they took another look at the car back and they told me that this was a result of a unequal tread depth on a tire I had replaced 6 mos ago. Told that this was not a big deal, and could only be remedied with replacing all four tires. Dealer wanted $450 for the complete replacement. I opted to order some Falken Ziex 912 from DiscountTire. Replaced all four tires last week and I still have the problem. I read about the FWD fuse trick, and placed the 10amp fuse in the socket. AWD light went on, but the shudder went away.

I'm thinking I've got more serious issues with my drivetrain. It's most pronounced when I do slow figure eights in an empty parking lot. I've got no better way to describe this other than "shuddering" I felt like my dealer kinda brushed off my problem. Should I go to the other dealer in town? What do I tell the dealer? Do I mention I did the FWD trick? Am I looking at an expensive repair? Thanks in advance.
 

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99 Forester
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205 Posts
It sounds like a Center Diff Problem. The FWD disables it and is shouldn't cause a problem to drive like that, except that the AWD won't work. The dealer may blame it on uneven tire's because it's hard on the Diff. The circumference of all for tires needs to be the same or there is constant slipage in the diff as you are driving straight. Hard to say if that's the actual cause of the problem. A Ctr diff replacement is fairly pricey, not sure what the current amount is.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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112 Posts
Your tread height would need to be way off for it to cause any damage. I am talking inches and it would take forever to cause the damage. I would verify that the transmission has enough fluid first because your problem sounds like differential chatter which is caused by incorrect lubricant or low lubricant in the transfer/transmission case.
 

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2005 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Should I continue going to my current dealer then? After all, the first time they told me nothing was wrong. The second time, they said it was just my tires causing all the problems.
 

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2001 SOLD!
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1,413 Posts
When you start the car, does the A/T oil temp light flash?

When you put the FWD fuse (15 amp)in the socket on the passenger side shock tower, do you still get that shudder???

If you do, its the transfer duty solenoid that crapped out. What happens is, when it stops working, it goes into a failsafe mode which lets 100% oil pressure to the clutches.

The dealer is probably denying it so they don't have to cover it under warranty. Go to another dealer and get it diagnosed there.

Read this http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/4EAatPh2Win04.pdf Go to last page, it states what the tranny does in failsafe mode.
 

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2005 Forester
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The A/T Oil temp light does not flash on start up.

Not sure about the FWD socket on the passenger side shock tower. Do you mean the FWD socket in the engine compartment fuse box? I have the fuse in place now and the shudder is gone. Is placing the fuse in the FWD socket a no-no as far as warranty goes?
 

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2020 Forester Premium and 2019 Impreza Hatch
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389 Posts
My old Forester 2005 developed binding at around 8K miles, The dealer replaced lots of parts in the tail end of the transmission. The tires were always rotated on time but the problem came back around 24K miles- At this point, I needed a slightly bigger vehicle for my family- So I traded it in like that.
 

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06 Forester x luxury
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46 Posts
Hi, I had this problem (or at least sounds like it) in my old automatic legacy, I can not remember the exact explanation from the mechanic. I do remember the remedy though!

Do 20 tight circles to the right and then the same to the left (in a carpark) - problem was fixed.

It may be too much to hope that this really simple and cheap solution fixes your problem but good luck.
 

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Premium Member
2007 Sport XT
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1,130 Posts
When you replaced the tyre, how worn were the others, and how many miles have you done in the six months since the new tyre was fitted? It is quite possible that you have damaged the transmission as a result of this, which is nominally not covered by warranty. If that is the case, then whoever sold you the single tyre might (I repeat might) be held responsible. (The moral of this story would be to read your owner's manual and take note of the warnings about replacing tyres before you make a mistake.)

It is also possible that you have a failure unrelated to the tyre difference, in which case if you are still within your warranty period and miles, it should be covered.

I would not recommend leaving it with the FWD fuse in, and I would suggest you take it to the other dealer for an opinion. How much you tell them is up to you.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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112 Posts
I would change the rear diff fluid and put new fluid in with the correct clutch pack additive from subaru. You have diff chatter which happens when the clutch pack is grabbing on and off causing a jerking/chattering affect. The reason the dealer service dept told the other person who posted to go around in circles each direction was to get the fluid between the clutch plates. Low fluid or worn out additive will cause this.
 

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2005 Forester X
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121 Posts
Hi, I had this problem (or at least sounds like it) in my old automatic legacy, I can not remember the exact explanation from the mechanic. I do remember the remedy though!

Do 20 tight circles to the right and then the same to the left (in a carpark) - problem was fixed.

It may be too much to hope that this really simple and cheap solution fixes your problem but good luck.
I did follow up this and my Forester stop the vibration entirely. Thanks for that comment. :woohoo:
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
I'm reading a lot of misinformation on this thread, and find it necessary to correct it.

From what I've researched and confirmed with trust worthy Subaru techs......If there is torque bind on a 4EAT, it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the clutch packs. The fact that the rear is getting power means that the clutch packs are working. The problem is with the transfer duty solenoid, which is responsible for pumping fluid to transfer power to the rear diff via the clutch packs. (Clutch packs are engaged/disengaged by the transfer duty solenoid). When the solenoid fails or is malfunctioning, it locks the power transfer 50/50 front/rear, and you get the bind. The transfer duty solenoid is replaceable on it's own........IF that is the only issue. There could also be blockages in the transmission, or something else could be wearing/broken to cause the transfer solenoid to fail.........but most cases, it's just the solenoid. This is also why the binding goes away when you plug in the FWD fuse, because you turn the solenoid either completely on/off (don't remember which), and it keeps the power on the front. When the solenoid fails, it fails in a 50/50 mode.

Now, by contrast, if it was the clutch pack (center diff) going out, that means hardly any power would be getting to the rear, if any power at all. There wouldn't be any binding at all with a worn out clutch pack, you just slowly loose power to the rear.

Now, this isn't just and either/or situation, nor it is absolute. But I've heard of a few people replacing the clutch pack due to binding when all they needed to replace was the transfer duty solenoid.

Hope this helps.
 

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2000 s mt
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1,660 Posts
Just curious how do you change the clutch packs if they are failing.

2003 X pacifica blue pearl UEL Headers SPT Sent on my Samsung Intercept.
 

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Premium Member
2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
It is not a typical DIY job, but it can be done from the rear of the trans. You'll need an fsm or step-by-step instructions from a trans parts supplier for this though.
 

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2007 2.5X 5mt
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943 Posts
Why bother if 20 tight circles to the left then 20 tight circles to the right fixes the problem?
 

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2003 Forester XS MY04 Auto
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23 Posts
Just thought I'd share my recent experience with my MY04 XS auto. I had the same symptoms...binding when making slow turns (particularly when parking or pulling into the driveway).
Bluefox is correct...it was the transfer duty solenoid...although I was advised to replace the clutch packs also, given the amount of wear.
The fuse trick worked and the car drove perfectly in FWD.
All up it cost me $700 for the parts and labour..which also included a full transmission service.

A note of warning...the thing I believe caused this on my car (132000kms) was the mismatch of tyres. Even though they had similar amount of wear, different brands with a different profile were on the back and front. It's very important to replace all 4 tyres together.
cheers
 

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2003 Forester XS Manual
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74 Posts
Bring this thread back because I have torque binding on my 03 XS mt with 177k miles on it. It has been happening for about a year or so, and hasn't been a huge nuisance as it only happens after extended driving (1hr+). Now before i bought this car I had a 98 fozzy AUTOMATIC and had this issue, I saw this thread, ordered the transfer duty solenoid from the dealer, pulled off the extension housing and replaced the solenoid - fixed the problem 100%!

Now my question is, does the MANUAL transmission have the same solenoid? I would assume so otherwise how else does it transfer power to the rear? I am under the impression the extension housing is separate from the trans and acts as a "transfer case" like in a 4wd truck. That's how it looked like it worked when I pulled the one off my auto trans. Could someone give me some insight on my assumptions, and has anyone with a MT experienced this and also resolved the issue? If so how?
Thanks
 

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2001 Forester S
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1 Posts
Do 20 tight circles to the right and then the same to the left (in a carpark) - problem was fixed.
I have been noticing torque bind like this for several weeks and tried the 20/20 tight circles trick tonight. To my jaw dropping amazement, it worked perfectly.
Cheers.
 

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2006 Impreza 5-spd Manual
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17 Posts
Bring this thread back because I have torque binding on my 03 XS mt with 177k miles on it. It has been happening for about a year or so, and hasn't been a huge nuisance as it only happens after extended driving (1hr+). Now before i bought this car I had a 98 fozzy AUTOMATIC and had this issue, I saw this thread, ordered the transfer duty solenoid from the dealer, pulled off the extension housing and replaced the solenoid - fixed the problem 100%!

Now my question is, does the MANUAL transmission have the same solenoid? I would assume so otherwise how else does it transfer power to the rear? I am under the impression the extension housing is separate from the trans and acts as a "transfer case" like in a 4wd truck. That's how it looked like it worked when I pulled the one off my auto trans. Could someone give me some insight on my assumptions, and has anyone with a MT experienced this and also resolved the issue? If so how?
Thanks
The manual transmissions do not have a solenoid like the autos. There is a viscous coupler in the center diff that transfers power to the rear. If the fluid in the viscous coupler overheats too much, the result will cause binding in slow tight turns. I believe that less and less power will go to the rear as the viscous coupler goes bad. The viscous coupler unit must be replaced as a unit as I don't believe it is servicable.
 
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