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2001 Subaru Outback Automatic
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My daughter recently purchased a used '09 Forester 2.5 X auto with ~142k miles. The engine had just been rebuilt and it runs nice and smooth. She drove it for a few weeks around Massachusetts before driving to visit us in Pittsburgh on July 5, about an 8-9 hour drive.

At about the half-way point of the drive, when she pulled off the highway for gas, she noticed it was very jerky at low speeds. It continued this for the remainder of the drive, whenever she would get off the highway and reduce speed.

When she arrived, I took it out for a drive within 30 minutes. I too noticed what felt like very rough shifting AT. When starting from a stop, the upshifts (especially from 2nd to 3rd) were very abrupt, and you could see the tach briefly jump in RPM immediately after the shift. I checked the ATF and the color and level were fine.

I already had an appointment for 7/8 at a local dealership to have new keys programmed, so I called them and asked them to check this out while it was in. So then it sat for 3 days.

Come Monday the 8th, I drove it to the dealership (about a 40 minute drive) and the transmission was perfectly smooth, exactly the same as it had been initially before the long drive. So I'm surmising that whatever the root cause is, it only occurs when the tranny is warm/hot.

I explained the situation to the dealership and, not surprisingly, they've been unable to reproduce the issue.

Does anyone have a theory that would fit these symptoms? She'll be driving back to Massachusetts on Sunday and isn't thrilled about not having full confidence in the transmission. I've spoken to the dealer who rebuilt the engine and he said he did a full flush & fill, with genuine Subaru ATF, when he worked on it. He buys, fixes, and sells a lot of Subarus and hasn't heard of these particular symptoms before.

I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks.
 
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