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2009 2.5X Premium/Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was disappointed with my 09 5-speed's AWD over the weekend! I can drive stick just fine, but perhaps I need some off-road pointers from those with more experience.

The situation: I parked at the beach parking lot, rolling my front 2 wheels up a slight sand dune, leaving the back two wheels on asphalt. My buddy's Acrua RDX parked exactly the same next to me.

Well, he reversed out no problem (his is AWD, auto tranny). When I put in reverse, the forester's front wheels spun and spun, then I stalled out twice! Back wheels didn't pull me out. Had to rock forward in first, barely moved but tires spun, then stalled again. Had to rock back/forth 3 times to get unstuck. Advice? Does AWD work in reverse? Need tips for how not to stall when wheels are spinning but car not moving.
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,241 Posts
Was the parking brake off?

AWD works in reverse. Unless you were trying to launch the car in Reverse, it should have pulled out without any issue or incident.
 

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2009 2.5X Premium/Manual
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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
VCD was in default (on) position, I didn't think about turning it off, would that have helped?

@BAC5.2, I agree that's what should have happened and what I expected, but it didn't... I wasn't launching, there was traffic behind me so if anything I may have been going too slow, but regardless the wheels spun and car didn't move.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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Was the parking brake off?

AWD works in reverse. Unless you were trying to launch the car in Reverse, it should have pulled out without any issue or incident.

Yea, sounds like brake is on...maybe something up with ABS and VDC.. or the Hill holder. My Hillholder works while reversing.
 

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Premium Member
2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
Something's not quite right here... :confused:

My '09 Forester w/ MT has the hill holder (HH; "hill start assist") feature, and I just went out to check in on my fairly steep driveway. IIRC, this feature in the '09's and '10's is electronic.

HH on mine works when trying to start up-hill going forward, but will only hold the car for a second or two; it'll then release, and the car will roll backwards. Alternately, selecting reverse to back/coast down the driveway disables HH.

The behavior described by the OP doesn't make sense. The 09/10 VDC feature includes traction control (TC), which is supposed to use the ABS system to "pinch" the brake rotor(s) on a spinning wheel (or wheels) to help transfer torque to wheels with traction.

This anomaly is worth a bit more investigation, and perhaps even a visit to the dealer.

VCD was in default (on) position, I didn't think about turning it off, would that have helped?
My experience (in snow) is that turning off the VDC (and TC along with it) reduces the effectiveness of the properly operating AWD system with VDC/TC.

Just to clarify, the "on" condition means that the VDC indicators turn off shortly after the engine has started. Either light still on or blinking is an abnormal condition. See pages 3-18 in the OM.

Additionally, you may find this earlier VDC discussion to be useful.
HTH,
Jim / crewzer
 
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