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2012 Subaru Forester Transmission Problems
- 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."