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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, first post. And my first Subaru.

I bought my Forester in May 2019 and like it a lot. Just recently hit 6k miles. However, immediately after having the first oil change completed at 6k miles a few weeks ago, I was driving home and noticed a couple of times that when accelerating gently up to speed and while at speed, or while keeping up with traffic in town and on the highway/interstate, the car would sort of start to do this shudder/stutter and get a sort of front to back herky jerky feel thing going on, like the transmission can't quite keep up with the increasing revs, or like the feel of something that was "slipping". That seems to be the best way I can describe this sensation.....As if something is slipping. Definitely NOT normal, and certainly not normal for a new car. The car drove smooth as silk in every which way up until 6k miles... I also do not see any correlation between getting the oil changed, and this issue starting. Likely pure coincidence.

This issue happens from time to time, not constant but typically every time I drive the car. It happens with and without the ACC on. Usually happens when the car accelerates slightly or works to maintain speed up a hill or slight inclines. It tends to happen above 30mph. Happens in both "i" and "s" modes. It happens when going up to highway speed, or up to interstate speed - not "flooring it" either...

The car has not shown any warning lights at all. No abnormal sounds or noises. Just this stuttery slipping feeling....

The car is actually in the shop at my local Subaru dealership today to try and determine what this issue is. They drove it a little bit today, but were not able to reproduce this issue. I suspect they did not spend much time driving it based on my conversation with the technician I have been working with. I am told they will drive it more tomorrow to hopefully replicate this issue. Although I fear they will again tell me they didn't notice what I am describing. Anyone else encountering something similar? I may have to take one of their techs along with me for a drive, since this issue is not constant, but intermittent, and so I can point out the problem on the spot.

Aside from this issue, they had to update the radio/touchscreen system since it was super buggy (freezing, locking, rebooting itself, losing presets, etc.) and they also have to replace the driver seat frame due to bad welds which caused the seat to rock back and forth slightly. But the seat frame won't arrive for three days.... They tell me they have seen this seat frame issue frequently.

I am far more concerned with the stuttery/slipping-feeling issue, and hope they can identify something, even though they can not get in to transmission in a traditional manner to explore it visually.

Thankfully and obviously, still under warranty, but I am disappointed with this issue, and after relentlessly searching for similar complaints, I really haven't found much regarding this issue on other forums.

Help!
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i CVT
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70 Posts
Sounds like the electric transmission pump is the problem causing the bang, shudder and stumble.

Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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997 Posts
I also do not see any correlation between getting the oil changed, and this issue starting. Likely pure coincidence.
A few days ago, user @Fate posted the June 2014 Subaru Tech tip
(https://static.oemdtc.com/TechTIPS/2014.06JunTechTIPS.pdf)
describing your cars symptoms as a direct result of oil overfilling. Overfilling happens, even at the dealer.

Here's the full thread https://www.subaruforester.org/threads/2019-oil-capacity.793113/page-2

Below in italics is the text from that Tech Tip.

How much is too much? What can happen if you put too much oil in an engine? If you’ve ever seen
an engine that had way too much oil added, you’d say a lot can happen and all of it is very bad and
expensive. What if it’s just a little over full, say by half a quart? Shouldn’t hurt anything…right?
Excess will just burn off…right? Wrong. What if we told you that an engine just half a quart over full
could result in a drivability concern? It can.

IF YOU ENCOUNTER A CONCERN OF:
• Sluggish operation
• Hesitation
• Continual Surging

You may want to check the engine oil level when the engine is cold. In addition, we have received
reports outlining CVT operational issues listed (but not limited to) the conditions below. These have
also been found to be a result of an over-filled crankcase:

• CVT not “shifting” properly, delayed up-ratio or wrong ratio selected
for the engine load followed by an engine over-rev condition when CVT
ratios down in response to throttle input
• “Grabbing” sensation, CVT operating in a jerking fashion
• Vehicle seems to be lacking power at times or continually

If the engine oil level is over-full, drain the excess oil to the full mark on the dipstick then see if the
conditions are corrected. Conditions like these will generally be most noticeable when accelerating
up a grade. If you are monitoring the ECM using the SSMIII, you may also notice knocking correction
occurring at the same time you experience the surging sensation. We are aware of concerns like
this occurring in the field following both dealer and aftermarket oil changes. If the oil level is found to
be over-filled, always make sure to check the oil level in the front differential to rule out an accidental
draining. Always confirm the engine oil level is correct following any service. What if the car is
new? What if the mileage isn’t near the scheduled service interval? Don’t discount the possibility of
someone adding oil to an engine between services. After all, if it’s down half a quart why not just add
the whole quart. It’s only a little over full. What could it hurt? Now you know. It could hurt drivability.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A few days ago, user @Fate posted the June 2014 Subaru Tech tip
(https://static.oemdtc.com/TechTIPS/2014.06JunTechTIPS.pdf)
describing your cars symptoms as a direct result of oil overfilling. Overfilling happens, even at the dealer.

Here's the full thread https://www.subaruforester.org/threads/2019-oil-capacity.793113/page-2

Below in italics is the text from that Tech Tip.

How much is too much? What can happen if you put too much oil in an engine? If you’ve ever seen
an engine that had way too much oil added, you’d say a lot can happen and all of it is very bad and
expensive. What if it’s just a little over full, say by half a quart? Shouldn’t hurt anything…right?
Excess will just burn off…right? Wrong. What if we told you that an engine just half a quart over full
could result in a drivability concern? It can.

IF YOU ENCOUNTER A CONCERN OF:
• Sluggish operation
• Hesitation
• Continual Surging

You may want to check the engine oil level when the engine is cold. In addition, we have received
reports outlining CVT operational issues listed (but not limited to) the conditions below. These have
also been found to be a result of an over-filled crankcase:

• CVT not “shifting” properly, delayed up-ratio or wrong ratio selected
for the engine load followed by an engine over-rev condition when CVT
ratios down in response to throttle input
• “Grabbing” sensation, CVT operating in a jerking fashion
• Vehicle seems to be lacking power at times or continually

If the engine oil level is over-full, drain the excess oil to the full mark on the dipstick then see if the
conditions are corrected. Conditions like these will generally be most noticeable when accelerating
up a grade. If you are monitoring the ECM using the SSMIII, you may also notice knocking correction
occurring at the same time you experience the surging sensation. We are aware of concerns like
this occurring in the field following both dealer and aftermarket oil changes. If the oil level is found to
be over-filled, always make sure to check the oil level in the front differential to rule out an accidental
draining. Always confirm the engine oil level is correct following any service. What if the car is
new? What if the mileage isn’t near the scheduled service interval? Don’t discount the possibility of
someone adding oil to an engine between services. After all, if it’s down half a quart why not just add
the whole quart. It’s only a little over full. What could it hurt? Now you know. It could hurt drivability.
I hope it is just that! Yeah, slipping, or grabbing..... Definitely going to bring this up when I go to get my Forester back in a couple hours. Many thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hope it is just that! Yeah, slipping, or grabbing..... Definitely going to bring this up when I go to get my Forester back in a couple hours. Many thanks!
So, upon picking up my Forester today, I was immediately told this problem I described is a "known issue" according to one of their senior technicians, and an update is supposed to be coming to fix it. It relates mostly to the cruise control apparently. They did also check my oil level, which was just slightly a bit more than full, but at least they are aware if this "known issue". Just no clue when the update will be ready......if it takes months, then I'm going to get a little testy.....dealt with the shudder on my way home of course. Definitely more when cruise is on, but happens without. Damned car computers!
 

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My 2019 has 9500 miles. Drove first leg of a 6K road trip today, about 750 miles. My CVT decided today to act exactly like the OP described. It shudders at highway speeds occasionally when transitioning from downhill to uphill under light throttle like it's hunting for the right gear. Blah. Hope they have a fix for this soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My 2019 has 9500 miles. Drove first leg of a 6K road trip today, about 750 miles. My CVT decided today to act exactly like the OP described. It shudders at highway speeds occasionally when transitioning from downhill to uphill under light throttle like it's hunting for the right gear. Blah. Hope they have a fix for this soon.
yikes. yeah, it sucks!!! exactly what you described is what i have as well. still no ETA on this supposed update... my issue seems to have chilled out a little bit, but it still happens time to time. and i still have to take mine back to have the driver seat frame replaced next week.......barf. maybe they will have some news on the update then. will report back here if they know anything... thanks for sharing.
 

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yikes. yeah, it sucks!!! exactly what you described is what i have as well. still no ETA on this supposed update... my issue seems to have chilled out a little bit, but it still happens time to time. and i still have to take mine back to have the driver seat frame replaced next week.......barf. maybe they will have some news on the update then. will report back here if they know anything... thanks for sharing.
Thanks let me know.

Today I tried changing the cruise from mode 1 to 2 and it was perfect for the next 200 miles without issue. Then it came back. :(

Also when it starts stuttering, If I move the shift lever to manual, it stops.

It's so random when it happens. Always under light throttle but sometimes just a large gust of wind when passing a tractor trailer will start it stuttering.
 

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Was there a fix to this issue? I have been experiencing the same issue for the past 5k miles or so on my 2019. Definitely worse with cruise control on!
 

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2019 Forester Premium
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For the record, this isn't anything new for me (the shudder).

I have service records of attempts made to fix this issue but even back when i was workin on it (almost a year ago) the dealer said the same as everyone else.. "an update is being worked on". All this time and still nothing..

Was just hoping someone had finally found out ANYTHING... the car is drivable but it def is not as smooth as it should be.
 

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2020 Forester Touring
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On my 2020 I had a singular occurrence at partial/low throttle the car rubber-banded back and forth until the throttle input was changed.
 

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2019 Forester Premium
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so I’ve experienced what I would consider two different instances or types of shudder. Once going up an exit ramp on the highway there was a very hard 3x jerk. Head was bobbin on the head rest.. that’s only happened once after I took it to the the dealer..
The main issue is when driving highway speeds. Just feels like a slight twitch or hesitation around 2500 rpms (65-70) mph. It’s not constant. But I notice it most times I drive..

When I get back to colorado next month I plan on trying yet again with the dealership.

Corporate gave me a 100,000/10yr warranty for free because of the issue when I first reported it. Really no reason for me not to just keep going back to the dealer yeah?
 

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so I’ve experienced what I would consider two different instances or types of shudder. Once going up an exit ramp on the highway there was a very hard 3x jerk. Head was bobbin on the head rest.. that’s only happened once after I took it to the the dealer..
The main issue is when driving highway speeds. Just feels like a slight twitch or hesitation around 2500 rpms (65-70) mph. It’s not constant. But I notice it most times I drive..

When I get back to colorado next month I plan on trying yet again with the dealership.

Corporate gave me a 100,000/10yr warranty for free because of the issue when I first reported it. Really no reason for me not to just keep going back to the dealer yeah?
2019 Forester Sport

Just took it on a 2,800 mile trip to Colorado. Mostly Premium fuel.

Exact same issues. Heavy load uphill jerks. My oil is a little over full from my last change. Going to lower the oil level and see if it's better.

A little afraid to bring it up with the dealer because I do have an AEM Intake. I don't drive much when back home so I may just ride this out till I sell in a few years. It doesn't do this for 90% of my driving.
 

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2020 Forester Base
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To all reading for your transmission jerks and such, I want you to try the one thing that I have started to do for the last few days that made this Forester feel like a comfortable ride. First off, I want to say that this solution was stated somewhere on the internet or on these forums, and I tried it out to see if it worked, and it has made my driving feel almost flawless.

As stated in another thread, we arrived to using "Sport Mode" every time you start the car in order to help stop the jerkyness in the Forester (as seen in this thread ('19+) - 2019 - car shudders at low speeds).

However, one person somewhere on the internet during my month-long search to fix this problem suggested that he drastically reduced (or stopped it completely, I can't remember what he/she said exactly) by realizing that when they were in reverse and backing out of a parking spot/driveway, they would put the car in neutral first, then put the car in drive. I cannot kid you when I say that ever since I started doing this, my CVT has not had a single major shudder. There have been a few slight tugs when putting the pedal to the metal, or when I take a wide turn at high speeds, but it's very small compared to what I felt before with the random jerks.

One thing I added to that poster's method however was putting the car in park, then neutral, then drive, no matter if I was going in reverse or going straight forward from park. The good thing is that you only have to do this method once per time you start the car up -- and I haven't felt anything larger than a slight jerk during the whole ride after I've done it. I've done this for a few days now, and it has worked practically flawlessly for me. I will update you all if this method stops working for me or not.

Until then, if anyone tries this method as well and sees that it works, let everyone else know. Hopefully this isn't a weird fix for only my car, and others can see some help too.

P.S.: All of this sounds tedious, but trust me, it becomes habit eventually (just like turning on Sport Mode for me when I turn the car on).

Quick Edit: I remembered to add this part right after I typed this. To replicate exactly what I did to see if it works, make sure when you go into neutral, you let off the brake (like when you normally do after finishing a shift) so you 100% engage your transmission to neutral, then put your foot back on the brake and shift as normal to drive. I'm pretty sure this is an important part to not forget.
 

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Well I will admit to just slamming down to drive when it’s time to go..

Interesting info and I will make sure to try the method posted above.

also noticed oil was about a half quart over full, went ahead and drained it all and put a futomo valve on.

Thanks for sharing!
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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243 Posts
On my 2020 I had a singular occurrence at partial/low throttle the car rubber-banded back and forth until the throttle input was changed.
I've had had this happen a just couple of times during 17K of ownership. Doesn't happen very often, and it's always light acceleration and low speed (30MPH or so) and a very slight uphill. Only happens for a few seconds. A small increase or decrease in throttle position stops it.
 
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