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2018 Forester 2.5i cvt
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello

I have a 2018 forester 2.5i cvt with 10k miles. It is 5 degrees (F) up here in maine today. I let my car warm up for 15 minutes when its single digits here, and my cvt is having a hard time all of a sudden. Even after 20 minutes of driving and letting it warm up, it revs really high and you can't drive much more than 40 mph at 3-4k rpm. This vehicle did not do this last winter and all of this winter up until 2 days ago. I have read about the fluid needing to warm up but don't you think this is a bit excessive? Its not like its -30 or something.

after about 15 miles the rpms go down and all is normal again.
 

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2017 Forester XT Premium
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552 Posts
My 17 cvt acts funny in temps below 5 degrees as well but after some driving its ok, and all of a sudden my mpg went from 28/29 to 16.. has to be the cold temps. I let it warm up until the blue light goes out and by that time oil temp is like 119 degrees.. slow easy driving until everything is warm
 

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2018 2.0 FXT-Touring CVT
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2,986 Posts
My 17 cvt acts funny in temps below 5 degrees as well but after some driving its ok, and all of a sudden my mpg went from 28/29 to 16.. has to be the cold temps. I let it warm up until the blue light goes out and by that time oil temp is like 119 degrees.. slow easy driving until everything is warm
No issues with the CVT, you guys parking outside overnight?

The MPG does suffer... Especially on Turbo models.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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449 Posts
What you are describing doesn't really sound like a CVT problem. It sounds like the ECU is commanding the CVT to rev high to get either the engine temperature up or the catalytic converter temperature up. Could be a sensor having an issue. Or maybe it's just colder than last year.

You aren't doing the engine or transmissions any favors by warming up for 15 minutes. Now, you maybe are doing that so that it won't be so cold for you. But everything mechanical is pretty much ready to go right after you start up the engine. Drive easy while the blue light is on. This is covered in the owner's manual.
 

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2018 Touring CVT
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173 Posts
I notice the same behavior on my 2018 with 5000 km on it. Once it warms up to 72 to 73 degrees C for the oil temp everything returns to normal idle. Pretty sure it is designed that way as are other makes. As for the cvt as has been mentioned, idling isn't going to warm it up as fast as actually driving the car, like one person said just take it easy until the blue light is off. I put the oil temp on the triple gauge in the middle and it is very consistent.... once it warms up everything is normal:)
 

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2018 LTD w/eyesight
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72 Posts
My '18 non turbo also acts similarly.
On initial driving with ambient temps below -10C my CVT maintains a very low rpm while driving (1000 rpm at 30 mph).
As soon as the blue light goes out, the cruising rpm at that same 30 mph jumps to 2000 rpm.
All goes back to normal once my oil temp reaches 70C.
 

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2014 Forester XT
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109 Posts
Your CVT oil does not really warm up if you are in park. Just your coolant and engine oil. You're better off driving away and taking it easy.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i cvt
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE

it is 16 degrees (F) in maine today and this morning I let the car warm up for 5 minutes before I took off. It did not rev high at all on my way to work today. Does the high rev only happen when the outside temp is below a certain degree? It is interesting because 16 degrees is still cold.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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2,020 Posts
So what do you do if it's cold and you have to get on the highway "and you can't drive much more than 40 mph"?
Drive around town until your car warms up?
Sounds very convenient....

It may be "normal" but dang.

Maybe a CVT heater/block heater for extreme climates...
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i cvt
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So what do you do if it's cold and you have to get on the highway "and you can't drive much more than 40 mph"?
Drive around town until your car warms up?
Sounds very convenient....

It may be "normal" but dang.

Maybe a CVT heater/block heater for extreme climates...
I agree

I know I will probably get roasted for saying this... I have come to the conclusion (in my opinion) that subaru doesn't make a very good cold weather northeast vehicle. The heater doesn't work very well and this thing with having to run at 3-4k rpm for 20-30 minutes is kind of crazy in a modern vehicle. It makes me feel as if I am driving a yugo or something when people look at me funny when my car is singing loudly at 4k rpm hardly moving. I don't like comparing apples and oranges but this has truly been an odd experience with this forester comparing it to other cars I have owned. Not all bad its a good car and has plenty of positive features. It just not designed or tested well enough for super cold weather use.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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2,020 Posts
@davin622
I am not a fan of the CVT, and it sounds like that is the problem in the cold.
Unfortunately Subaru no longer provides an alternative in the Forester.
I'm still thinking that a CVT heater might help, and provided there is an entry point (drain plug?) how hard could it be....
Oops - warranty violation.
It might be cheaper to build a garage than replace an out of warranty CVT.

I'd call SoA and/or file a complaint that the car has cold running issues.

How could it hurt?

As far as getting "roasted" - Realize that a fan-boy can't handle any criticism of their car-idol, regardless of its merit, so consider the source.

If you have an issue, you have an issue.
If people attack you for that send a note to the admins.
Personal attacks are not supposed to be tolerated.
 

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2018 Touring CVT
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173 Posts
I live in a cold weather area, and yes the car does rev higher until it is warmed up but, my drive to work is typically 10 to 15 minutes @50 to 60 km/hr or 30 to 40 mile/hr by the time I reach work the car if fully warmed up and the oil temp is close to 70+- degrees C and yes when I'm driving, the rpms are around 2000 until it is warm. I do start out from a garage so to be fair the car isn't as cold as parking outside but the car does sit outside at work all day so the ride home is similar to what others experience. What I do find is that this occurs only at certain air temps (yet to be determined exactly) so some days are "better" than others. I will say it is better than back in the day of the carburetor when fast idle would kick in and you would stop at a light on ice and the back wheels are spinning because the car is idling at 1500 rpm or you have to shift to neutral to avoid it lol.

My Jeep doesn't rev quite as high but then it kicks into 4wd at 40 degree F whether you want it or not.... so I don't think there is the "perfect" vehicle out there for cold weather.
 

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2019 Forester Touring CVT
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62 Posts
Has anyone with paddle shifters gone to manual, does it show a higher gear available?
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,405 Posts
Has anyone with paddle shifters gone to manual, does it show a higher gear available?
Good point. It might be possible to shift to get the revs down...but apparently subaru wants the reves higher. I know that in 15F with very little warmup the rpms (car not in a heated garage are maybe 700 or 800 rpms above "normal" so that puts it like 2200rpm at around 35 mph.

Does the NA Engine have the S# that shows gears?..just asking.

I think there is a problem(to say the least) with those that are saying it takes 20 minutes to be able the car 40+ mph
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i cvt
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Good point. It might be possible to shift to get the revs down...but apparently subaru wants the reves higher. I know that in 15F with very little warmup the rpms (car not in a heated garage are maybe 700 or 800 rpms above "normal" so that puts it like 2200rpm at around 35 mph.

Does the NA Engine have the S# that shows gears?..just asking.

I think there is a problem(to say the least) with those that are saying it takes 20 minutes to be able the car 40+ mph

I have a base model 2.5i. It does not have the paddle shifters so I can't manually shift it unfortunately
 
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