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2018 Forrester XT
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We experienced problems with the car soon after routine servicing. Symptoms included stalling at traffic light, slow and hesitant/erratic uncontrolled acceleration. Took it back to the dealer. They did some data retrieval and found a mass airflow event. They cleaned the air filter, test drove and returned the car to us. The problems remained but this time the car did not stall. We took it back to the dealer. Also filed NHTSA complaint 11420905.

The dealer confirmed the concern. Per bulletin, 16-95-15R monitored TCM data during test drive and found at below 45MPH at wide-open throttle there was a rise/fluctuation in primary pulley speed and secondary pulley speed indicating CVT chain slip. They replaced the transmission with a remanufactured one. Test drive by the dealer and stated normal operation. There was no charge to us but the cost was estimated to be $11,000.

The problem has not gone away. The car still hesitates when the pedal is even gradually pressed and the shifting when it does happen is very jerky and abrupt. The availability of power when needed is questionable. The car drove perfectly well until this problem surfaced, so this is extremely disappointing. Not sure why a remanufactured CVT was installed in lieu of a new one? The problems appear mainly at speeds below 45 and highway driving while at speed seem normal.

We will be taking it back again but not sure what else we need to do and if others have faced the same issue for the 2018 XT.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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2,816 Posts
Just curious if they touched your CVT during the "routine servicing"?
 

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2017 Foz 2.5i CVT
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2,162 Posts
No car manufacturer will replace a transmission with a completely new unit unless it's a brand new model with no rebuild cores available. Subaru should hold their reman stuff to a high standard and I remember hearing that because of the individual attention the units get, they are actually less likely to have problems than a new unit. All wear parts and seals/gaskets are supposed to be replaced and all static parts are checked.

It looks like you have a lot of the original powertrain warranty left even if you do not have an extended warranty of any kind. Good luck getting it resolved; it may take time, but be persistent and ask for a loaner car. Subaru corporate may have to get involved, as they are not likely to let the dealer have another transmission if they're not sure that is the problem.

I will insert the info that I got a reman Chrysler transmission in my Grand Caravan last year under warranty, at right about 40k miles. The front seal was leaking but apparently the front bearing had ground itself up and spread shrapnel thru the transmission so they replaced the unit, the cooler, and all the lines. I would hope that your Subaru dealer would have done the same.
 

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2018 Forrester XT
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No car manufacturer will replace a transmission with a completely new unit unless it's a brand new model with no rebuild cores available. Subaru should hold their reman stuff to a high standard and I remember hearing that because of the individual attention the units get, they are actually less likely to have problems than a new unit. All wear parts and seals/gaskets are supposed to be replaced and all static parts are checked.

It looks like you have a lot of the original powertrain warranty left even if you do not have an extended warranty of any kind. Good luck getting it resolved; it may take time, but be persistent and ask for a loaner car. Subaru corporate may have to get involved, as they are not likely to let the dealer have another transmission if they're not sure that is the problem.

I will insert the info that I got a reman Chrysler transmission in my Grand Caravan last year under warranty, at right about 40k miles. The front seal was leaking but apparently the front bearing had ground itself up and spread shrapnel thru the transmission so they replaced the unit, the cooler, and all the lines. I would hope that your Subaru dealer would have done the same.
Good information. Yes, I have a few years on the powertrain warranty (2025). Hope to resolve the issue. The car was running great until it wasn't!
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,791 Posts
Remanufactured can be better than new. ALL wear parts are replaced and the unit is tested more thoroughly than a new one. (my understanding). I had a remanufactured auto tranny tranny in my Nisson. 170K miles later the car was wrecked. Tranny never missed a beat.
 

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2018 Forester
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164 Posts
My CVT was replaced I'm guessing with a remanufactured one. I have no problems.
The reason it was changed was not the CVT itself but the front differential built in so they have to switch the whole thing.
i heard that them remanufactured transmissions have the latest updates parts.
that is a good thing. My replaced CVT and front Differential has no problems.
 

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2018 Forrester XT
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The car was taken back to the dealership. It has been there for a week now and they haven't been able to figure out the problem. They have told me that there is another XT having the same issue and they are troubleshooting that one first and hoping to use that solution on my car. Not instilling a lot of confidence. I may have to escalate to Subaru Corp.
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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2,788 Posts
While this is in no way a suggested issue or problem, I can say that in my 1994 Chrysler Town & Country van that had the (then) relatively new Ultradrive A604 transaxle, I had more issues than others... it always went back to the same (selling) dealer for repairs/replacements... But on a road trip, when it was acting up and was towed to another dealer in another state, they found a reversed engine mount that had been putting the engine & transaxle assembly at a slight twist from new, causing additional wear on the transaxles. The engine and transaxle (and mounts) were replaced with factory new/crate units and never again had the issues... The replacement was done at just under 70K miles and the T&C (before parked) has over 130K on the clock, 60-ish-k miles since that fix...
 

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‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
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I would contact SoA and open a case with them. They’ll likely refer you back to the dealer to first diagnose the issue, but will intercede if necessary.

When things like this suddenly appear I always think K.I.S.S Keep It Simple Stupid. I wonder if they accidentally damaged the MAF sensor while “cleaning” the filter (Btw, it’s odd that they cleaned the filter instead of charging you for a new one, if it was due). Regardless, cleaning the filter likely did nothing to fix the situation; they instead might have cleaned the MAF sensor, which might have slightly improved the situation. Either that or any improvement after the MAF event “fix” was purely coincidental/placebo effect.

I might have missed it, but do they have you in a rental while they figure this out? If not and they “don’t have one available at this time”, then SoA will help get you one, even if it’s not a loaner (I.e., you might be stuck with whatever rental they give you for the time being).
 

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2018 Forrester XT
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the responses. Yes, will take it to a different dealer if, after this visit, it still has problems with the CVT. I have filed a complaint with NHSTA and will take it up with SOA as well.
 

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2018 Forrester XT
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the responses. Yes, will take it to a different dealer if, after this visit, it still has problems with the CVT. I have filed a complaint with NHSTA and will take it up with SOA as well.
I would contact SoA and open a case with them. They’ll likely refer you back to the dealer to first diagnose the issue, but will intercede if necessary.

When things like this suddenly appear I always think K.I.S.S Keep It Simple Stupid. I wonder if they accidentally damaged the MAF sensor while “cleaning” the filter (Btw, it’s odd that they cleaned the filter instead of charging you for a new one, if it was due). Regardless, cleaning the filter likely did nothing to fix the situation; they instead might have cleaned the MAF sensor, which might have slightly improved the situation. Either that or any improvement after the MAF event “fix” was purely coincidental/placebo effect.

I might have missed it, but do they have you in a rental while they figure this out? If not and they “don’t have one available at this time”, then SoA will help get you one, even if it’s not a loaner (I.e., you might be stuck with whatever rental they give you for the time being).
Is there a specific address or point of contact for SOA relating to this issue? We do have a free loaner.
 

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2018 Forrester XT
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got a call from the service advisor today. They can't figure out the problem. They also have another XT that has a similar issue. The advisor was candid and said the techs were stumped. I did send an email to SOA to open a case. The dealership said a field service engineer from Subaru would be looking into it this week.
 

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‘14 FXTT; '15 Legacy FB25
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1,097 Posts
Boo!
 

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2018 Forrester XT
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks to everyone's input. SOA sent me an email and they have said they will be following up with the dealership from this point on. Hopefully, the field engineer can figure it out. It seems like a lot of mechanics at the dealerships don't have extensive Subaru experience. At least at my dealership.
 

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2018 Forrester XT
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update from the dealership technical advisor today. The field engineer thinks it's a catalytic converter gone bad that is causing this issue although the transmission was also the issue. The part on order. Hopefully, it might fix the problem.
 
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