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2012 Subaru Forester Transmission Problems

missdevmissdev Posts: 4
edited December 2013 in Subaru
I purchased a 2012 Subaru Forester 2.5X Premium (automatic transmission) in November 2011 with 4 miles on it. Since the get-go it has had issues, but we thought that some of them might work themselves out as we broke the car in (which we were religious about). At the first oil change, we told the dealership about the issues we were experiencing and got the expected "the computer doesn't say anything is wrong" and "we couldn't replicate the problems" excuses. We were told to bring it back if the problems continued. Well, they've gotten worse. Here are what we are experiencing:

- Erratic shifting. I commute from the mountains to the city every day, so I need power from the car. Sometimes, when I'm heading down a hill and I tap the gas slightly to give myself a little boost, the car will suddenly downshift, even though it was sitting at 2500 RPM and didn't need to get any extra power beyond more fuel. Going up the hill is worse, as if you are not actively accelerating (including if you are trying to maintain a constant speed), it will upshift on you and you lose all power, so it will need to downshift to make up for this. It does this constantly for the entire drive home. Everyone who has driven this car in the mountains has experienced this.
- Jerky transmission. When the car shifts, it is super harsh and tends to throw you forward or back. Even when on flat ground it shifts roughly.
- Sluggish acceleration. If I give the car any more gas than I usually do, it hesitates before going anywhere. One day I needed to get over on the highway fast and floored it - it took the car about 2 seconds to respond. Then, yesterday, we were turning on to a highway from a side road and I tried to accelerate (gas about 1/2 way to the floor) and it didn't respond at all for about 5 seconds and the "Check Engine" and the traction control lights started flashing at me. We were on a paved road with no gravel, water, ice, etc and the traction control light began flashing on the straight, not while we were turning. There are also days when it feels like there is an anchor tied to the car and it just doesn't want to give me any umph at all.
- Rough starts. This is the really weird one as there is no rhyme or reason as to when it happens. Some times it takes the car several revolutions to turn over. Oddly, it's never on the really cold (under 20 degrees F) days, but it has happened when it is ~35 degrees and a couple of times when I have started it in the middle of the day to grab lunch and it is ~65 degrees out.
- Running rough. This usually happens after a rough start, but can also happen at other times. It just idles very rough and won't calm down. These are the days I have the worst time with the shifting issues.

I had a 2001 Forester that threw a rod, which forced me to get this car. Everyone who has driven both agrees that the 2001 was quicker, easier to drive, and had more gumption than the 2012. It also had less problems even though I purchased it used in 2005 (until the whole rod-throwing thing, of course).

I really want to love my 2012 Forester, but I am so upset that, for the first time in my life I have a new car, and it runs terribly. Has anyone else had these issues? Any advice for dealing with the dealership? I paid for a new car and all that implies, and I don't feel good that they will have to fix so much stuff on it, essentially giving me nothing better than a re-built used car. I'm just so frustrated. It's also hard to replicate some of the issues unless someone takes the car out on the highway and up the mountain, but they only take it on neighborhood streets. My next appointment is Friday morning, and I don't really know what to say beyond "fix it."

Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    These symptoms didn't show up on your test drive? :confuse:

    Our 2009 is fine, but we have the EJ25 engine, yours is the new FB25.

    My brother has an '11 like yours, minus the automatic, and his has also been fine.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,650
    Definitely problems there. Just the fact that the '01 was "quicker" is a problem, as that wouldn't be the case if the new one was running right.

    The "rough starts" you mention doesn't sound like what I would call a rough start, if it simply takes a few cranks longer to light. That sounds like not waiting for the gauge sweep before attempting to start (e.g., fuel pump not fully primed). That said, all the other stuff isn't right. For some symptoms I might suspect one or more wheel sensors not operating correctly, but, based on the gamut of it, I would surmise an ECU/TCU issue might be the root cause. The dealership could start by flashing it. If you have taken it to them already with no luck, try talking with the service manager and taking that person on a drive in your car as well as a different Forester on the lot. Assuming the other is running right, the difference should be night and day.

    If they still don't take your claim seriously, call SOA directly and relay your concerns about the car and the dealership. With persistence, you'll get resolution.

    It is crappy to have a new car cause you trouble - most certainly don't!
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • Mr. Takeshi Tachimori,

    I am writing in total disappoint and sicking feeing l in my stomach. I absolutely HATE my new 2011 Forester!
    When ever I see that Commercial about telling you(Subaru of America) a story about your very first new car, all I can think about is my very first brand new car with 00 miles on it is my NEW Subaru Forester and how strongly I hate my car. I wish I had never bought it.

    This is what my story would be about my first car..
    Before buying my new car I owned all pre owned cars that NEVER needed repair. They were reliable cars and I never had a worry about problems. First car I had was a Ford escort, I loved it! Got married and sold it for my Toyota., I loved that car. I had it for at least six years. I drove cross-country from Maine to Denver. NEVER had problems going across country. I drove it up and down the mountains for 2 years never had a problem. It was a solid rugged car. Then let me tell you my story about my very first new car. It is a 2011 Subaru Forester with nothing but problems.
    I bought my car for two reasons
    1) I need to get a SAFE car for my job. I am a nanny and I have a family of 3. The most recent problem and disappointment is the middle seat belt is recalled. This means I can't work until the seatbelt gets fixed. When I got hired for the job I told them I was buying it for the safety reasons. Now I am out of work until I can get my seatbelt fixed
    the other reason why I bought my car was because there was such high praise on the performance of a Subaru . I bought because I drive up to the mountains every weekend all seasons. I heard that it is great for driving to the mountains. Well have nothing high to say about it! I have been to my car dealer ship 3 times to get a 1) check engine light, cruise control, and engine check. and anti lock brakes. They would all go off at once while driving. It would stay that way until I had it fixed. It handled very bad after that. Engine wasn’t working well. Speed was off.
    I hate my car! I wished I had never bought it. I believed in your “moto I believed in everything.
    1)the reliability BIG FAT NO
    2) safety another BIG FAT NO

    So my first car experience has been nothing but disappointment.

    Sincerely,
    A more then disappointed Subaru owner

    Ryan,
    I am not sure why you asked
    'between you and I" "Do you not like the car because you didn't want to get it"
    Like I have express many times, I bought the car because of its safety and high performance of your brand.
    I hate my car because it has had more issues then any other car I have owned! It was a brand new car! The performance has been horrible! I was in the market for a new car regardless. I just choose the wrong brand! I should have never bought the brand Subaru. I had never owned one before. When I bought my car it was an investment. From all the great stories I have heard about how long the cars last I thought I would own it for 10+ years. That was the intention! Know I have no faith or trust that it will last that long or even be reliable.
    So between you and I "I hate the brand" " I was in the market for a new car. I need one for safety reason and the reliability or what your brand stands for. I got screwed big time. I am not happy with my cars performance. Buying your brand was the worst mistake I have every made. I was a fool to believe in your brand!
    Please make sure that this email gets forward to the highest management as possible.
    Alison (disappointed owner)

    I have started to look into the Lemon Law. I feel as though I have bought a lemon. Once Groove Subaru tries to "fix" my car, AGAIN. I will take it back up to the mountains and see if it has been fixed. It will have been my 4th attempt with the same issue.
    I am going to be perfectly honest, that I have no faith in my Forester. From now on I will always be waiting to see what will happen next. I will never be able to trust the car I am in. This is way I use the word HATE so strongly. I hate the car I have bought.
    I feel as though I am paying for a car that didn't hold up to their standards.

    Please forward this to the highest management possible. Including all the past communications
  • Mr. Takeshi Tachimori,

    I am writing in total disappoint and sicking feeing l in my stomach. I absolutely HATE my new 2011 Forester!
    When ever I see that Commercial about telling you(Subaru of America) a story about your very first new car, all I can think about is my very first brand new car with 00 miles on it is my NEW Subaru Forester and how strongly I hate my car. I wish I had never bought it.

    This is what my story would be about my first car..
    Before buying my new car I owned all pre owned cars that NEVER needed repair. They were reliable cars and I never had a worry about problems. First car I had was a Ford escort, I loved it! Got married and sold it for my Toyota., I loved that car. I had it for at least six years. I drove cross-country from Maine to Denver. NEVER had problems going across country. I drove it up and down the mountains for 2 years never had a problem. It was a solid rugged car. Then let me tell you my story about my very first new car. It is a 2011 Subaru Forester with nothing but problems.
    I bought my car for two reasons
    1) I need to get a SAFE car for my job. I am a nanny and I have a family of 3. The most recent problem and disappointment is the middle seat belt is recalled. This means I can't work until the seatbelt gets fixed. When I got hired for the job I told them I was buying it for the safety reasons. Now I am out of work until I can get my seatbelt fixed
    the other reason why I bought my car was because there was such high praise on the performance of a Subaru . I bought because I drive up to the mountains every weekend all seasons. I heard that it is great for driving to the mountains. Well have nothing high to say about it! I have been to my car dealer ship 3 times to get a 1) check engine light, cruise control, and engine check. and anti lock brakes. They would all go off at once while driving. It would stay that way until I had it fixed. It handled very bad after that. Engine wasn’t working well. Speed was off.
    I hate my car! I wished I had never bought it. I believed in your “moto I believed in everything.
    1)the reliability BIG FAT NO
    2) safety another BIG FAT NO

    So my first car experience has been nothing but disappointment.

    Sincerely,
    A more then disappointed Subaru owner

    Ryan,
    I am not sure why you asked
    'between you and I" "Do you not like the car because you didn't want to get it"
    Like I have express many times, I bought the car because of its safety and high performance of your brand.
    I hate my car because it has had more issues then any other car I have owned! It was a brand new car! The performance has been horrible! I was in the market for a new car regardless. I just choose the wrong brand! I should have never bought the brand Subaru. I had never owned one before. When I bought my car it was an investment. From all the great stories I have heard about how long the cars last I thought I would own it for 10+ years. That was the intention! Know I have no faith or trust that it will last that long or even be reliable.
    So between you and I "I hate the brand" " I was in the market for a new car. I need one for safety reason and the reliability or what your brand stands for. I got screwed big time. I am not happy with my cars performance. Buying your brand was the worst mistake I have every made. I was a fool to believe in your brand!
    Please make sure that this email gets forward to the highest management as possible.
    Alison (disappointed owner)

    I have started to look into the Lemon Law. I feel as though I have bought a lemon. Once Groove Subaru tries to "fix" my car, AGAIN. I will take it back up to the mountains and see if it has been fixed. It will have been my 4th attempt with the same issue.
    I am going to be perfectly honest, that I have no faith in my Forester. From now on I will always be waiting to see what will happen next. I will never be able to trust the car I am in. This is way I use the word HATE so strongly. I hate the car I have bought.
    I feel as though I am paying for a car that didn't hold up to their standards.

    Please forward this to the highest management possible. Including all the past communications.
  • fnamowiczfnamowicz Posts: 190
    All 2011 Foresters run rough at idle similar to a bunch of bolts in a blender.
    It is embarrassing when your neighbors hear you pulling out of your garage
    The Dealers say this is normal live with it.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    edited April 2012
    Even when it is working properly, the normal characteristics of the automatic transmission are surprising. Read this article at the link given:
    TITLE: Phase 2 4EAT Transmission Characteristics
    SOURCE: Subaru Tech Tips
    APPLIES TO: All models with 4EAT A/T
    http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/15568-trans-noise.ht- - - ml#post149559

    There are some tips on overcoming some of the annoyances.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,650
    Bolts in a blender? I don't think so. The PZEV programming makes the engine (on vehicles so equipped) run a little rough during warmup, but it isn't noisy, just... irregular. Once warmed up, it smooths right out.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • missdevmissdev Posts: 4
    I took several different Foresters out for test drives over the course of looking at cars, but I actually did not test drive this particular Forester. My fault, I suppose, but I ended up wanting a different color than the one I test drove.
  • drew510drew510 Posts: 3
    Because you are travelling a hilly area, you might consider putting the car in "Sport" mode which alters the shift patterns and see if that helps. When you are in "drive" pull the lever to the left and it will go in sport mode. Good luck!
  • I have a 2011 forester 2.5 X Touring (purchased new and it's coming up on 2 years old)
    I've recently experience the same "rough start" problem that you have - my dealership told me the same thing, nothing can be done unless they can replicate the problem. Do you have any updated information on what happened to your car?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You could reset the ECU to give it a clean slate.

    Try at your own risk...disconnect the negative battery terminal, wait 20 minutes, have the keyless handy and reconnect. Lock/unlock a few cycles if the alarm goes off.

    Gas mileage will be poor until the ECU leans out the mixture again.
  • deequedeeque Posts: 2
    My car has been in four times in less than one year for the same issues you describe. My dealership comes up with different reasons each time, to avoid the lemon law. The reasons given for the misfire, which causes blinking lights on panel and the cruise control becomes disabled, are:
    1. Watery gas
    2. Not able to replicate
    3. Subaru said they knew of the issues, but could not fix it, because they needed a software update that had not been written yet. I refused the car, until it was fixed. Two weeks later, I got the car back.
    4. I thought it was fixed, but today, on a flat road, not under any load or incline, it happened again. The dealer said the gas cap wasn't tight enough (which I know it was, as I checked it).

    I am now in the process of securing an attorney.

    Please reply if you have had similar issues.
  • I have had the same issues as [deeque]. I am so tired of going to the dealer to be asked, "did a light come on on the dash?" "No" "Then there's nothing wrong with it." I got the same song and dance about watery gas, a "computer update", etc. The issues just keep getting worse. They treat me like I need a therapist. (not as bad as being told at the Ford dealer "there's change rattling in the cupholder.) I am disappointed in the extremely noisy fuel pump that has a whine like there's something wrong with your audio connection (but it's not the audio), and now this jerky shifting, rough riding, engine gunning, engine noise when backing out of garage, and other things. I am extremely disappointed in the passenger seat being several inches lower and you feel like your sitting in a hole. Who designed that? I didn't think that would bother me as much as it does. Just should have walked away right after that. I bought the Subaru based upon "reliability" and I'm definitely not feeling like it is reliable enough to drive on longer trips away from home. I will not be driving this vehicle more than another year and hope to trade it off.
  • Sorry - I'm the OP, and here's the update:

    I just brought my car in for the 7th time to a Subaru dealership. This was Subaru's "right of final repair" under the lemon law. They said that they took the car out for almost 60 miles and that it is running perfectly. We are still dealing with all of the issues as before - and the lurching between gears has gotten to the point where I have been injured during one such lurch.

    I honestly have no idea where to go from here. I wrote Subaru the letter, they say they can't find anything wrong, so now I'm stuck with a car that doesn't run like a new car and I don't feel safe driving. It is so frustrating and infuriating.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do now? I feel like I've exhausted everything.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hate to say it, but ask if it qualifies for the guaranteed trade-in program.

    They offer above market trade values, the catch is of course you have to buy another Subaru, but still. They can't say your car is worth less since they insist there's nothing wrong with it. So get the over-value on the trade.

    Ask around and the issues are uncommon, odds of getting a 2nd lemon are basically zero.
  • My 11 MT Premium Forrester had same problems. First, they said it was a sensor. The sensor was replaced, and problems persisted. Then they said it was software. My Forrester computer was "reprogrammed" and it has not had any problems since. I have put on about 2k miles with no new problems since reprogramming the onboard computer. Hope this info helps.
  • I have a 2012 forester, it's been reprogrammed twice and then they replaced the valve something or other on the transmission. it ran fine for about 1500 miles then it went back to 20 second delays in acceleration again 6 to 8 thousand rpm and occasionally HARD shifts where the car lurched and it was scary. Yesterday at 22,000 ish miles it started making a awful noise in the morning upon start up and would die when placed in reverse. The dealership states that the transmission needs to be replaced. This car is only 8 month's old. Who ever heard of such a thing? I paid cash for it so it's not like I can just give it back. I don't want a brand new car with an after market tyranny on it unless in addition to the gold warranty I purchased Subaru is willing to cover the transmission for as long as I own it. I contacted corporate (4th complaint call) and stated that I want a different type of Subaru of equal value. I was told i'd get an answer in a few days this was the fifth transmission and 8th visit to service. I hope they will give me a credit but if not I will lemon-law it. Really disappointed! The car is stellar like a tank in the snow but the rest of these problems have got to go!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    22k miles may be too late for lemon law, check the laws for your state because it varies. Usually it's one year, and fewer miles than that.

    Your issue is not common, so why not accept a brand new trans? Most of them are fine.

    My dealer wanted to charge us an arm and a leg to flush the ATF, think of it this way, you're getting fresh fluid for free (along with the new trans).
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,650
    Yeah, I can understand having your confidence shaken, but shoot, that's why you picked up the extended warranty in the first place, right? I'd be heavily annoyed about how long it has taken to get to where you are now, but I would sure feel better about a different transmission than llmping along with the current one. Now, if putting a new tranny in there doesn't solve the issue, THEN I would start getting vocal.

    Subaru doesn't like the fact that their car isn't performing well any better than you do.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • upstatenyownerupstatenyowner Posts: 1
    edited January 2013
    This doesn't sound promising. I have experienced some of these same problems; delayed acceleration, rough start, slow shifting. The rough start I thought was odd because of only having the car 8 months, but it is winter. My old Honda Element never had these problems. I just took the car in for the second reprogramming. This most recent time, they asked to keep the car to run some tests. They told me that Subaru said there has been a small percentage of cars affected by the recall that continue to have problems after the reprogramming. I now have a loaner while they run the tests Subaru has asked them to. My understanding was the test were both to assess performance and to record data to determine if there is commonality among this small percentage of cars that may help them isolate the cause.
  • My 2010 Forester has sluggish acceleration also. Once I went to pass on a highway and I thought I was going to be struck by the car behind me. As I accelerated, my car revved up to 5!! & basically was not moving! I hate the transmission in the Forester. Anytime I pull out on a highway, the car barely moves and again, revs up to 5! Dealer was not helpful; said that's how the car drives! If I had money, I would unload this car tomorrow! no wait, today!!
  • Bought a new 12 MT Forrester Premium last July and have been pleased with just about everything with the car in the 5,900 miles I have driven. Gas mileage has averaged 28 in suburban driving and 31 on the highway, while the AWD has been very helpful with recent snowfalls.

    Unfortunately, the 6 months of trouble-free service I had enjoyed ended last weekend. I was on the interstate 100 miles from home with the cruise on at 65 MPH when the cruise disconnected, the check engine and traction control lights came on, and the cruise light starting blinking. The car was otherwise running fine and I experienced no other problems (other than the cruise being inoperative) in the 200 more miles before I returned home and took it to the dealer.

    Dealer called the next day to say the car had been repaired and was ready for pick-up. The service advisor said that a misfire on cylinder #2 initiated the sequence of events that I observed. To fix it, they replaced the cam sensor air gap and reprogrammed the ECM. Time will tell if this is a permanent fix or something that will continue to happen. Other than that, I really love the car!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's how it is on modern cars, a little sensor goes and the whole on board computer flips out. If you disconnect any tiny emissions related hose it won't even start (ask me how I know).
  • OP again.

    Twice in the last week, the car has had trouble starting. The first time it took two tries to get it to start. I was at work and tried starting it midday. Then, on Sunday, it took my boyfriend three tries to get it to start. I hadn't told him about the other time it had issues - so it wasn't just me projecting my issues on him (seriously - that was suggested).

    I am so frustrated/angry/exhausted. The dealership keeps telling me that my car is perfect. :lemon:
  • Hello ,I am new to the forum and wanted to know if anyone else hates their forester as much as I do? I have read all the problems everyone is having over and over with the various model years and wanted to share my issues with my brand new 2013 forester X .first off it is the worst handling and most unstable car I have ever owned and I have owned a lot cars I my life! The car makes right turns by it self on the highway at highway speeds ,is blown all over the road by the slightest breeze and if I am behind a truck I have to hold on to the steering wheel for dear life for the draft of a truck or a truck passing makes this car act like you are driving a soapbox racer on the highway! The car reacts to every crack and seam on the road in a violent manner and I am always having to correct with the steering try to keep it on the road ,so much for a safe vechicle ! Will I wrote a letter to the CEO of SOA . Asking them to take the car back because of this problem and my wife is afraid to drive it and I am not to crazy about driving it either ,and apply the price of the car to a different model one that is stable on the road and does not move all over the place when a bird flys by and their response was "we have no legal obligation to do that"another words tough s***! Well seeing that the car only has 2000 miles on it and this has been going on since it had 0 miles! So all you folks out there from what I have read here in the forum SOA really could care less about their customer. Thanks for your time.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You should take longer test drives. Why'd you buy a vehicle you feel is the "worst handling"? :confuse:

    New tires often follow the pavement, a phenomenon called tram lining. That lessens as the tires wear.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,650
    Having a car with the same suspension as yours, I'd have to disagree. But, that's not to say your car isn't having some problems. Have you checked the tire pressure? I would think you have after so many miles, but stranger things have happened.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • I have an 06 Subaru Forester that the dealer says needs a new transmission. the car only has 103500 K on it. Is this normal? I thought these cars were built better than this. should I get rid of it or repair it?
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