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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #1
It makes me sick to my stomach to post this, but I think I may be having ANOTHER problem with a Subaru CVT.

I traded in my 2016 Outback Limited with 73K miles that was showing all the signs of an impending CVT failure to buy this car, with the promise that the Subaru CVT challenges were "over." Well that may not be true because my 2019 at 42K is stuttering when I am climbing a grade on the highway at or near 70 MPH while I either maintain speed or accelerate. I normally drive using cruise control, but it does so with or without the cruise and everyone in the car notices the transmission shutter, so it is definitely not normal.

And what really hacks me off is the situation I was put in to buy this car. I wanted to keep my 2016 until it completely wore out or died from old age and use. But that car was one of the cars that had a known issue that prompted Subaru to extend the transmission warranty to 100K. A very nice gesture on the part of Subaru, but I would have rather had a solid CVT and my Outback instead of the expense of trading in a 3 year old car with above average miles and a known transmission issue. That situation cost me $20,000 in value! Since it was a daily driver, I had 73K on it, and the transmission was heating up and melting the pan seals, the dealer convinced me to trade it before it failed FULLY after the warranty at the rate I was putting miles on the car. These these vehicles commuters that I drive to work in the mountains 3,500 ft to 7,000 feet iup the mountain n the morning and then back down after work M-F. The Forester has been just fine until I had my 30K service (at 32K due to dealer scheduling issues) and the transmission has started to feel unsteady ever since.

I love my Subaru's, but I am afraid this situation may end my relationship with Subaru if it is not permanently resolved. We own currently own a Nissan with no CVT issues, nor have our prior Toyota's with, and without, CVT had transmission issues. This is something Subaru needs to address or it could damage the brand like chronic transmission issues damaged Chrysler and GM in years past.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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The Forester has been just fine until I had my 30K service (at 32K due to dealer scheduling issues) and the transmission has started to feel unsteady ever since.
Just curious - did the dealer change the CVT fluid at your 32k service?
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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I hate to ask this question but ... why didn't you get the CVT serviced/repaired under the CVT warranty? Did you buy the extended warranty and did you have them keep up on the transmission?

Judging from your post and you're location, I'm wondering which mountains you're climbing? From Hesperia, I would guess you're going up and over the Cajon grade to head in to Ontario or similar...?

I've got a 2014 Forester with the CVT and have a little bit more mileage than your current Forester (just about 46K) but have driven over the Cajon grade a time or two and many trips up highway 18/Waterman Canyon to get up to Crestline or Big Bear areas and along I-10 from the lows of the Palm Springs area to head towards LA or OC - and not ever noticed an issue beyond the "AT OIL TEMP" light coming on and staying on for a few miles and then going off.

But either way - take the Forester to your dealer and have them check out the CVT under your factory warranty and/or extended warranty. The CVT is covered (at this point) for 5 years, 50K miles, I believe. You're still in there.

With the Outback, at 73000 miles, you were probably out of warranty but it sure would have been much less expensive long run to get the CVT fixed/repaired from whatever is believed to be "impending CVT failure" - whatever that means. Who told you it was going to fail?

There are hundreds of owners here with CVTs (and hundreds of thousands of owners around the world) that do not have any issues with their CVTs. And what is the shutter? I mean, you may feel "gear changes" as the CVT is jumped to another ratio as the power requirements from the engine (and your foot or the cruise control) to maintain your speed.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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But either way - take the Forester to your dealer and have them check out the CVT under your factory warranty and/or extended warranty. The CVT is covered (at this point) for 5 years, 50K miles, I believe. You're still in there.

With the Outback, at 73000 miles, you were probably out of warranty but it sure would have been much less expensive long run to get the CVT fixed/repaired from whatever is believed to be "impending CVT failure" - whatever that means. Who told you it was going to fail?
The OP's 2019 is covered under the factory CVT warranty for 5 years/60k miles. The OP's 2016 Outback was still under the 10 year/100k mile extended factory CVT warranty.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Agreed. I also got the warranty extension from Subaru on my wife’s 2015 Outback Limited ...
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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Yes, the transmission was serviced as part of the 30K maintenance.
Exactly what was done in the 30K service? Are you absolutely positive anything was done other than the “inspection”? What is was listed on the service work order?

Service may mean something different to you than it does the servicing facility...
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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Yes, the transmission was serviced as part of the 30K maintenance.
Hmmm, makes me wonder if the used the wrong fluid or overfilled/underfilled the CVT. Maybe on the Outback too?
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #9
I hate to ask this question but ... why didn't you get the CVT serviced/repaired under the CVT warranty? Did you buy the extended warranty and did you have them keep up on the transmission?

Judging from your post and you're location, I'm wondering which mountains you're climbing? From Hesperia, I would guess you're going up and over the Cajon grade to head in to Ontario or similar...?

I've got a 2014 Forester with the CVT and have a little bit more mileage than your current Forester (just about 46K) but have driven over the Cajon grade a time or two and many trips up highway 18/Waterman Canyon to get up to Crestline or Big Bear areas and along I-10 from the lows of the Palm Springs area to head towards LA or OC - and not ever noticed an issue beyond the "AT OIL TEMP" light coming on and staying on for a few miles and then going off.

But either way - take the Forester to your dealer and have them check out the CVT under your factory warranty and/or extended warranty. The CVT is covered (at this point) for 5 years, 50K miles, I believe. You're still in there.

With the Outback, at 73000 miles, you were probably out of warranty but it sure would have been much less expensive long run to get the CVT fixed/repaired from whatever is believed to be "impending CVT failure" - whatever that means. Who told you it was going to fail?

There are hundreds of owners here with CVTs (and hundreds of thousands of owners around the world) that do not have any issues with their CVTs. And what is the shutter? I mean, you may feel "gear changes" as the CVT is jumped to another ratio as the power requirements from the engine (and your foot or the cruise control) to maintain your speed.
Fozzie,

I drive from Hesperia to Big Bear weekdays. I don't notice the shutter/stutter/uneven drive on those hills for the most part. Now coming up the Cajon Pass at speed, I absolutely feel it - often. My wife and daughter called it out late last month when we were on Interstate 80 between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe on a road trip. All the way up on 99 and on the way back on 395 it was mostly good except on a climb and the shuttering started then went away. I took Subie because I love the adaptive cruise, but in hindsight I should have taken my wife's 2018 Nissan Rogue.

Go back and look at my prior message. I did mention Subaru EXTENDED my 5yr/60k warranty to 10yr/100K for free on vehicles that fell into a certain range of years with the correct engine. That was a formal admission they knew they had a problem with those CVT's.

I promised not say who said to get rid of it. The 10yr/100K would not even cover the profusely leaking tranny pan on my 2016 Outback, even though it was caused by the issue that prompted the warranty extension! I was informed that my transmission was showing the signs of a CVT failure that prompted the voluntary warranty extension from Subaru in the first place. Unfortuantely I was on track for a failure at 120-125k based on the experience that person had with this issue which would be well over 100K. It is nice to have friends in the business is all I will say.

I have never seen a transmission temp warning, but my Outback cooked the seal on the tranny pan to the point that it started leaking in multiple places according to the Subaru dealer's mechanics. The seal on the "maintenance free" transmission. I think they mean customer "maintenance" and not the dealer.

Jon
 

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2018 Forester Limited
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Did by any chance did you get an oil change prior to noticing the stutter? Please take a look at the oil dipstick on level ground and see if it's maybe even slightly over the full mark. If so, drain a bit back until you are at about a 1/4 quart low (3/4 of the way between 1 minus and full, assuming the stick looks like the one on my Outback). It might take a day or two to clear it's throat, but please let us know if there is any improvement.

I had a long talk with the Service Manager at my dealership recently about this. That's their first move when someone complains about stutter/bog and surging.

My 2014 because almost undriveable when overfilled by less than a quart high.
 

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2019 Forester Premium
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This post sounds like what I and many other have experienced, but at a vastly different mileage. Most of what I have seen or read about this type of issue, including my own experiences are during sub 20k miles, if not brand new (like me). I took the car to the deal and explained the issue, after several months they updated my TCM. Sadly that only lowered the issue, not fully fixing it.. 2019 premium.

I haven't gone anywhere with hills really to push things, but i haven't noticed it during my daily driving in a couple months.. That comes from help from another thread in here.

There was a post about changing shifting habits, as in letting the car find each gear before goin to drive instead of just slammin down to drive. This, although may just be placebo, has made a substantial improvement to my driving experience... i haven't felt a shutter at any speeds (up to 90) in a good while since making this change.



EDIT: Here's the thread I am referring to ('19+) - 2019 - transmission...
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #12
Did by any chance did you get an oil change prior to noticing the stutter? Please take a look at the oil dipstick on level ground and see if it's maybe even slightly over the full mark. If so, drain a bit back until you are at about a 1/4 quart low (3/4 of the way between 1 minus and full, assuming the stick looks like the one on my Outback). It might take a day or two to clear it's throat, but please let us know if there is any improvement.

I had a long talk with the Service Manager at my dealership recently about this. That's their first move when someone complains about stutter/bog and surging.

My 2014 because almost undriveable when overfilled by less than a quart high.
Fib,

The CVT transmission on the Outback and the Forster is sealed - there is no dipstick. The only dipsitck I have is for the engine, and that oil has nothing to do with the transmission. If we were talking about my motorcycle, which shares engine oil with the transmission then I would get your point, but this is my 2019 Forester.

Now if this was a Chevy Turbo 350 transmission, then I would be checking tranny fluid levels and the fluid type. But in this case it is a DEALER SERVICED ITEM. As a matter of fact it was a Valvoline Oil Change shop that noticed the CVT was leaking on the Outback and they were very clear, this is something only the dealer can handle. And I could see it was a significant leak when I looked under the car when I got home from the oil change. But it did not leak when the car was stationary because my garage and driveway remained spotless.
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #13
This post sounds like what I and many other have experienced, but at a vastly different mileage. Most of what I have seen or read about this type of issue, including my own experiences are during sub 20k miles, if not brand new (like me). I took the car to the deal and explained the issue, after several months they updated my TCM. Sadly that only lowered the issue, not fully fixing it.. 2019 premium.

I haven't gone anywhere with hills really to push things, but i haven't noticed it during my daily driving in a couple months.. That comes from help from another thread in here.

There was a post about changing shifting habits, as in letting the car find each gear before goin to drive instead of just slammin down to drive. This, although may just be placebo, has made a substantial improvement to my driving experience... i haven't felt a shutter at any speeds (up to 90) in a good while since making this change.



EDIT: Here's the thread I am referring to ('19+) - 2019 - transmission...
I deal with hills daily because I work on a mountain next to a skiing resort. And I live in a desert valley surrounded by mountains. So I have plenty of experience with climbs and such. You really need to get your Subie on a highway with some grades to climb. You may have the same issue I have because it doesn't happen on level ground and it didn't happen before 30K. My car is rock solid on level ground and at times feels like a car running out of gas going up a hill at highway speeds. The tach is steady and the engine sounds perfect, but the car shakes like the transmission is not sure if it wants to keep pulling or not from one moment to the next. No pattern to it, it is purely random when it happens. The only common thread is it is climbing grade at 55 to 75 MPH. And not just a rise in the road, but an actual grade that produces an elevation change of say 500 feet or more.

If maintaining speed on an interstate is a bad driving habit, then I need to change vehicles. I had a 2010 Prius Three and 2013 Prius V before my 2016 Outback, and neither of them had any issues with the EXACT SAME HILLS AND SPEEDS. This is not normal at all because I drive steady. My wife finds the cruise control is more aggressive than I am when it comes to maintaining up hill speeds and she can't tell if I am using cruise or not most of the time. Like I said, I have a very steady foot on the throttle and the tachometer is my witness. Nothing make me nuts more than those guys that gas it, then drop it, then repeat while driving like in a rocking chair. I drive like a limo driver, not a cab driver so there is no driving change required. I am positive I have a sick CVT and anyone that has ever experienced the shutter/stutter/or whatever I should call it, fully agrees after riding in the car and feeling it. And it sure feels like a slipping in the drive-train to me.
 

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2020 Forester Touring Jasper Green
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Was it flushed or inspected at 30k? Guessing inspected as that is the book.

Stutter seems like something else other than CVT. Dirty MAF, bad sensor, something like that.
 

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2014 forester auto
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It makes me sick to my stomach to post this, but I think I may be having ANOTHER problem with a Subaru CVT.

I traded in my 2016 Outback Limited with 73K miles that was showing all the signs of an impending CVT failure to buy this car, with the promise that the Subaru CVT challenges were "over." Well that may not be true because my 2019 at 42K is stuttering when I am climbing a grade on the highway at or near 70 MPH while I either maintain speed or accelerate. I normally drive using cruise control, but it does so with or without the cruise and everyone in the car notices the transmission shutter, so it is definitely not normal.

And what really hacks me off is the situation I was put in to buy this car. I wanted to keep my 2016 until it completely wore out or died from old age and use. But that car was one of the cars that had a known issue that prompted Subaru to extend the transmission warranty to 100K. A very nice gesture on the part of Subaru, but I would have rather had a solid CVT and my Outback instead of the expense of trading in a 3 year old car with above average miles and a known transmission issue. That situation cost me $20,000 in value! Since it was a daily driver, I had 73K on it, and the transmission was heating up and melting the pan seals, the dealer convinced me to trade it before it failed FULLY after the warranty at the rate I was putting miles on the car. These these vehicles commuters that I drive to work in the mountains 3,500 ft to 7,000 feet iup the mountain n the morning and then back down after work M-F. The Forester has been just fine until I had my 30K service (at 32K due to dealer scheduling issues) and the transmission has started to feel unsteady ever since.

I love my Subaru's, but I am afraid this situation may end my relationship with Subaru if it is not permanently resolved. We own currently own a Nissan with no CVT issues, nor have our prior Toyota's with, and without, CVT had transmission issues. This is something Subaru needs to address or it could damage the brand like chronic transmission issues damaged Chrysler and GM in years past.
Bring it into dealer the transmission may need to be reflashed ...
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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@ursharkfuel
It seems like CVTs don't like you... I'm not fan of them myself..
Promises mean absolutely nothing, but especially when it's coming from a car salesman.
There isn't much you can do in regards to disappointment, but you should be able to resolve the issue.

Regardless, as your 2019 is at 42K, the CVT is covered under the 5 years/60k mile power train warranty as @ForesterBill pointed out above.
It seems like the issue you describe is easy to recreate.
Have your wife take a video of the event as it happens.
Take the video to a dealer and tell them you want the problem fixed.
If they tell you their favorite line "we couldn't find a problem", offer to take them for a ride.
Get your problem noted "officially" in writing, because that puts them on the hook for repair even after 60K, as you reported the problem while the car was under warranty.

A call to Subaru might also help to resolve the issue for you, if you get push-back from the dealer.
You can also file complaints with the BBB.
You have a slam dunk case in court with your video evidence, so the words "I'd rather not seek legal recourse, but we can go that route" would likely get their attention.
I doubt you'd need to play that card.

It sounds like the dealer you have been going to is less than effective, and warranty work can be done at any dealership.
If that's an option, take the car to a different dealer..
 

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2018 Forester Limited
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Fib,

The CVT transmission on the Outback and the Forster is sealed - there is no dipstick.
Nope, I did not say ATF or CVT fluid. I said oil, as in ENGINE OIL. It's a known issue with the FB series flat 4 engines. When overfilled, it can mess with engine A/F calibrations and causes driveability issues that are often thought to be CVT problems.

So again, pull your dipstick and take a look.
 

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^^^ - Anything is possible, but it seems odd that the issue would only crop up under heavy load scenarios....
I agree tho - Pretty easy to do an oil check, and a good idea to go over the work order as to what was done to the CVT, if it is indeed a CVT problem....
 

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2019 Forester Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
RESOLVED!
I took my Forester to Subaru of Ontario Saturday and they determined that the CVT was TWO QUARTS LOW on transmission fluid. So that means when Subaru of San Bernardino did my 30K service when ALL the fluids were changed, they did not refill it to the proper level.

After the Ontario service department topped off the fluid, I ran it up the Cajon Pass, one of the steepest grades on the west coast, and at 80 MPH it did not shutter like before a single time. But it did a mild shake a few times. Which pisses me off, because that means my transmission has definitely been harmed by 12K of use without enough fluid thanks to the morons at Subaru of San Bernardino.

So I guess the question now is, how do I handle it? Do I take it up with Subaru, or the dealer that messed up the service?
 
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