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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my 2016 Forester in for service at 50,000 miles and asked the Subaru technician to look into a shuddering/jerking I was feeling in the gas pedal and throughout the body of the car (it's relatively faint but can be felt enough to make a passenger feel car sick at times) at low RPMs (~1200-1800 RPM). The shuddering stops at 2,000 RPMs. There is no check engine light, and when the Subaru technician performed diagnostics, they found nothing wrong with the engine or transmission. Yet when my service manager took the car out for a drive, he said he felt it and admitted it was enough to make him feel car sick. He said the car was "hunting." I presume that means hunting for gear, but without a diagnosed problem, my local Subaru service said they could not do anything about it and sent my case to Subaru "Techline" for a recommendation. Without knowing what Techline would say, my local Subaru said they could try a transmission re-learn (usually this is done at 60,000 miles), but they did not know if this would fix it.

Now it has been weeks, and I do not have an answer or update from Techline. My local Subaru says they will keep calling Techline for an update.

Does anyone know what this problem might be? Should I take it to another shop for diagnostics? I hesitate to spend $ for another shop to tell me there's no issue to fix without a diagnosis/check engine light. But my car is still under extended warranty, and it frustrates me to have an obvious problem that I can feel every time I drive. If there's a problem with the engine or transmission, I want to fix it now while under warranty! I'd also love to not make my passengers feel car sick :)

Any advice is appreciated.
 

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2020 Forester Sport
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Do you have the CVT in your forester? I believe this is a pretty common thing with the CVT transmission. I have experienced this in my 2020 sport in the same rpm range always upon light acceleration, and usually on a slight incline. I would describe my feeling as more of a pulsing vs a shudder. It almost feels as if the trans is slipping

There was actually a thread just posted about this last that sounds the same. One of the members answered with a very knowledgeable response that sounded spot on. It was on a 2019+ model. May be worth a search to find. Explained a lot for me.

Good luck
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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@emilyg4523 welcome to the forum from Oregon!

Please complete your "Public Profile"! Not completing your Public Profile could result in your thread(s) being closed... locked or your thread post(s) being deleted!
Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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My 2018 6MT does it too at lower RPMs. Looks like I'm new to driving a manual sometimes!
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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This happens to me as well on my '17 XT. I've noticed it only occurs when it's extremely hot outside (90°F +) with the A/C on upon acceleration from a stop. My guess is the engine is heat soaked....feels exactly like the "friction zone" on a clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you have the CVT in your forester? I believe this is a pretty common thing with the CVT transmission. I have experienced this in my 2020 sport in the same rpm range always upon light acceleration, and usually on a slight incline. I would describe my feeling as more of a pulsing vs a shudder. It almost feels as if the trans is slipping

There was actually a thread just posted about this last that sounds the same. One of the members answered with a very knowledgeable response that sounded spot on. It was on a 2019+ model. May be worth a search to find. Explained a lot for me.

Good luck
Yes, I have a CVT. Your issue sounds exactly like mine - slight acceleration, more notable on slight incline. A pulsing sounds like a good description; although mine can really bump me around, even on flats. Definitely feels like a slipping. My dealer admits that it is "not normal" but I have not heard anything from them or Subaru of America Techline on how to fix it. How did you fix yours?

I found a number of posts on this but all seem to have different outcomes/solutions (or no solution at all). Would you be able to send a link to the knowledgeable post you're referring to? I'd greatly appreciate it! Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This happens to me as well on my '17 XT. I've noticed it only occurs when it's extremely hot outside (90°F +) with the A/C on upon acceleration from a stop. My guess is the engine is heat soaked....feels exactly like the "friction zone" on a clutch.
Unfortunately I don't think heat is an issue with mine - I live in Seattle, and this happens in all weather. I have seen a number of posts on higher temps jerking/shuddering/etc. with some good info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My 2018 6MT does it too at lower RPMs. Looks like I'm new to driving a manual sometimes!
It totally does! I learned how to drive on a manual - slight bucking in low gears / on an incline! After this problem, I'm seriously considering going back to manual... automatic should be smooth, no? It makes me think these transmissions are no good.
 

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2015 Forester XT premium Auto
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This happens to me as well on my '17 XT. I've noticed it only occurs when it's extremely hot outside (90°F +) with the A/C on upon acceleration from a stop. My guess is the engine is heat soaked....feels exactly like the "friction zone" on a clutch.
My 15 XT had this problem on extremely hot days above 100F. It would cut power to the engine and jerk, just the engines way of protecting itself, but did it a wee bit too aggressively. Subaru has a fix for this, they updated the computer and now it runs fine / smoother on hot days.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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Any advice is appreciated.
At 50K you are out of the standard 3yr/36K but you are still covered (maybe) under the 5 year/60K powertrain warranty.
You may also (or not) be covered under the 10 year / 100K CVT warranty.
Be sure you get your issue documented in any case. People often report shudder behavior that is followed by failure of their CVT.
Good luck.
 

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2020 Forester Sport
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Yes, I have a CVT. Your issue sounds exactly like mine - slight acceleration, more notable on slight incline. A pulsing sounds like a good description; although mine can really bump me around, even on flats. Definitely feels like a slipping. My dealer admits that it is "not normal" but I have not heard anything from them or Subaru of America Techline on how to fix it. How did you fix yours?

I found a number of posts on this but all seem to have different outcomes/solutions (or no solution at all). Would you be able to send a link to the knowledgeable post you're referring to? I'd greatly appreciate it! Thank you
I have not fixed mine. It is irregular, happening at random. The dealer has not been able to replicate it.

Thread I was referring to is "2019-car shudders at low speeds" rereading it it seems the opposite as our problem.

I did have the drive shaft replaced about 4k miles ago because the centering bearing was bad. Didn't notice the pulsing after that for a while. But it has happened since until recently. I'm wondering if the 2 are related.

Mine definitely doesn't seem as bad as yours though from how you describe it.

I know a lot of people say not to do a trans flush cause it's a closed unit but I'm wondering if that would help this situation.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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It totally does! I learned how to drive on a manual - slight bucking in low gears / on an incline! After this problem, I'm seriously considering going back to manual... automatic should be smooth, no? It makes me think these transmissions are no good.
I don't think it's a problem with the manual transmission itself so much as programming or a sensor that's getting confused.
 

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2020 Forester Sport
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I don't think it's a problem with the manual transmission itself so much as programming or a sensor that's getting confused.
I was wondering this myself. It almost feels like the car is confused on thinking whether it should change gear or not and kinda bounces back a forth between gears for a bit before finally choosing.

Its annoying to say the least but has never never prevented me from driving normal, or on my soft road adventures thus far.

Would a system reflash maybe be helpful in your mind?
 
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