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This is my first posting. I got my 2019 Forester in May after driving CR-Vs for a long time. The question that I have relates to the way the Forester shifts at low speeds, up to about 40mph. Seems like a bit of a jerky motion during the shift. The dealer said that due to chain gear shift there would be a jerky motion, and that I would get used to it! Is this correct? Thanks!
 

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2019 Forester Sport Rubber band
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559 Posts
If you let up on the gas a little before a shift you will get a bit of a jerky motion. More noticeable at lower speeds. (20-40mph)
 

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2019 Forester Touring CWP/Brown 2018 Crosstrek Limited White/Gray
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214 Posts
Mine is smooth. But I do notice engine braking when I left up on the gas.
 

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I only notice “shifts” when putting it into sport mode and flooring the gas pedal. Then it’s a bit jerky as CVT is trying emulate the gears. It’s silky smooth in normal driving.
 

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2019 Forester Touring CVT
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558 Posts
This may be semantics, but please note that the Forester does not "shift" in the conventional sense, as it has a CVT transmission. That said, I have found that when I first turn it on and the engine is cold, if I'm driving slowly (typically happens in my parking lot when I leave work), I'll sometimes feel a feeling of wavering power, perhaps a very subtle herky-jerky feeling, as if the CVT is indecisively vacillating across ratios. But this only occurs at very low speeds (under about 25 MPH) and when cold. If this is similar to your case, rest assured it's typical of the CVT design and harmless.

If you are experiencing this at higher speeds, note that Subaru mapped simulated "shifts" in ratios when accelerating harder in order to make the CVT feel more naturally like a conventional automatic transmission. When it does this fake shift, there is a slight loss of torque as the CVT goes out of its peak power band, similar to the slightly herky-jerky feel of a conventional CVT shifting under acceleration. Personally, I'm annoyed by this, as it is actually much less efficient than allowing the CVT to hold its peak torque, but people are so used to the sound and feel of conventional automatics that they complain about the "droning" sound of CVTs holding onto their optimal RPM, so Subaru and many other automakers have programmed these fake shifts into their CVTs' software.

If you're experiencing anything similar to what I described above, you're fine. If your herky-jerky feeling is much more pronounced, you should have your dealer test it.
 

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Regarding shift points with Subaru CVT's, if you have a two way obd2 tool, you can turn on a Subaru mode called "transmission learning". It learns the way you drive for a while, learning where the gears should be, after which it turns itself off.
I don't know how it determines the 'shift points' but it does make a difference:
After we replaced the valve body on a CrossTrek CVT (TR580), it drove ok but just not the way it used to. After we turned 'learning' on, it eventually started driving the way it was driven before.
 

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2020 Forester, Crystal While Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather
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Regarding shift points with Subaru CVT's, if you have a two way obd2 tool, you can turn on a Subaru mode called "transmission learning". It learns the way you drive for a while, learning where the gears should be, after which it turns itself off.
I don't know how it determines the 'shift points' but it does make a difference:
After we replaced the valve body on a CrossTrek CVT (TR580), it drove ok but just not the way it used to. After we turned 'learning' on, it eventually started driving the way it was driven before.
Interesting. Which OBD2 tool do you recommend for this two-way capability. Thanks.
 

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This may be semantics, but please note that the Forester does not "shift" in the conventional sense, as it has a CVT transmission. That said, I have found that when I first turn it on and the engine is cold, if I'm driving slowly (typically happens in my parking lot when I leave work), I'll sometimes feel a feeling of wavering power, perhaps a very subtle herky-jerky feeling, as if the CVT is indecisively vacillating across ratios. But this only occurs at very low speeds (under about 25 MPH) and when cold. If this is similar to your case, rest assured it's typical of the CVT design and harmless.

If you are experiencing this at higher speeds, note that Subaru mapped simulated "shifts" in ratios when accelerating harder in order to make the CVT feel more naturally like a conventional automatic transmission. When it does this fake shift, there is a slight loss of torque as the CVT goes out of its peak power band, similar to the slightly herky-jerky feel of a conventional CVT shifting under acceleration. Personally, I'm annoyed by this, as it is actually much less efficient than allowing the CVT to hold its peak torque, but people are so used to the sound and feel of conventional automatics that they complain about the "droning" sound of CVTs holding onto their optimal RPM, so Subaru and many other automakers have programmed these fake shifts into their CVTs' software.

If you're experiencing anything similar to what I described above, you're fine. If your herky-jerky feeling is much more pronounced, you should have your dealer test it.
 

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We just purchased a 2020 Forester after owning a 2016 for 3 years. The lower speed jerky jerky feel happens usually at deceleration or when just reapplying the throttle lightly. The 2017 did not feel like this. Almost feels like a trailer-hitching sensation. Coasting down an incline towards a stop will usually trigger this jerky feel. Dealer could find nothing abnormal. Anyone else has this issue. Thanks
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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You are describing exactly what my 2019 initially did during the first couple months of ownership, except I don't recall it happening during a prolonged coast, only with very light throttle on and off at around 25 on residential street. There was a very slight downhill slope. The behavior disappeared after a couple months.
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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191 Posts
I have the same situation happening when coasting around 10-25mph. Mostly on level roads. It does jerk a little bit. 10k miles and a year into ownership. Doesn't happen often enough to be an annoyance for myself.
 

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2019 White Forester, Replaced a 2009 Forester
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63 Posts
This is not a cold transmission problem. It happened in my 2019 today in New Orleans with a temperature of 94 degrees F. It gave all the sensations described above.
It happens so often, that it is extreme annoying.
 
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