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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. I recently purchased a new 2021 Forester premium and it's got a couple issues that I've noticed. I am wondering whether anyone can offer me any advice on what might be going on.

First, the steering. I've noticed that when the wheel is turned as far as it can go in any direction, and the car is allowed to idle forward, the wheel is extremely slow (or fails entirely) to try to return to center. So in a tight parking lot, crank the wheel all the way to maneuver around an obstacle, and if I let the car idle forward, it will keep going in that same circle until I manually turn the wheel back. Never drove anything that didnt autocorrect more aggressively, so was surprised when I almost ran a curb expecting the wheel to right itself. It will return under acceleration, but I'm rarely actively accelerating in those situations.

Second, there is an obvious downshift from second to first gear. Happens around 15 mph. Not always. Usually only on the commute home, oddly enough, as if the car is a morning person. But if I gently brake approaching a light, I will often feel a little lag/surge around 15 mph. Nothing crazy, but it makes it feel like the brake goes slack for a moment and is certainly annoying. Any ideas what might be causing this inconsistent downshift?

Trying to figure out if I was unlucky and grabbed a flawed vehicle off the lot or if these are just some quirks of the model I will need to adjust to.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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I've noticed that when the wheel is turned as far as it can go in any direction, and the car is allowed to idle forward, the wheel is extremely slow (or fails entirely) to try to return to center.
Possibly because of the extra tight turning circle.
Second, there is an obvious downshift from second to first gear. Happens around 15 mph.
That is the torque converter unlocking at 15 mph/24 kph. Conventional automatics do the same thing. See: 8. Shift Shock Upon Deceleration I notice it more when stopping on a slope.
 

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2021 Forester Premium CVT
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The 15mph surge you feel is the torque converter, it’s normal. My 2021 does the same thing, it’s a non issue.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Lineartronic® CVT
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Car has electrically assisted power steering. It seems lighter to me and more resistant to roadway feedback to me, the driver.
 

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Neither of these are issues. They are just learning the new car.

But, never hurts to ask. This forum is a wealth of info. The search function is particularly useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Car has electrically assisted power steering. It seems lighter to me and more resistant to roadway feedback to me, the driver.
Neither of these are issues. They are just learning the new car.

But, never hurts to ask. This forum is a wealth of info. The search function is particularly useful.
I appreciate it, for sure. I should have spent more time with the forum specific search feature. Kept getting directed here from google searches that didn't yield what I was looking for, but I will definitely be more diligent I'm the future. 👍

Glad to hear these aren't signs of an underlying issue. Both are new to me, but I'm also coming from a car that was full of anxiety causing issues by the end, so it's entirely possible I am expecting too much and too worried about getting burned again.

Thanks again to all for the replies
 

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Yeah, the torque converter unlocking concerned me at first until I learned that's all it was. It doesn't have that little hiccup feeling when coming to a stop if you're in sport mode.
 

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I just took delivery of a 2021 Premium this week. The steering is very "touchy" or "sensitive". Could it be the new tires with fresh full tread ?
 

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Brand new tires always feel a little 'greasy' to me until they are driven a couple miles. If you just took delivery, have them check the alignment. There have been enough anecdotes of the factory alignment being off to warrant a look.
 

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The steering is very "touchy" or "sensitive". Could it be the new tires with fresh full tread ?
Have you checked the tyre pressures? They leave the factory inflated to around 45 psi and dealers are supposed to reduce this at pre delivery but not all do.

It might also be the lane centering function. It takes getting used to.
 
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