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Subaru Forester Transmission Questions

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Comments

  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    I'm not a believer in buying extended warranties. The Forester is a well engineered car and if it is well maintained there should not be any problems with it. Any problems that show up after the regular warranty expires could well be a subject of a recall.

    Maybe I've just been lucky so far.
  • bayview6bayview6 Posts: 141
    Take it to another dealer. My 2006 Forester shifts smoothly although I can sense the shift points. Call SoA if the other dealer says it normal. Obviously, the Forester would not be selling like hot cakes if it had the shifting problem you described.
  • I have a 2001 forester that acts like a front wheel drive only in that when the front wheels slip the rear slam in. This happens more frequently when hard accelerating and of course on slippery surfaces.

    HAS ANYONE HAD THIS PROBLEM BEFORE?? AND COULD GIVE ME SOME DIRECTION AS TO IT CAUSE.

    Thanks,
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Make sure the tires have even pressure and wear. Have you been rotating them?

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    AT or MT? with that kicking in problem?

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll bet it's the auto. Some people can actually feel it engage, though most don't.

    The VC on the manuals is pre-engaged, so you don't feel it.

    -juice
  • On my older Forester a/t the transmission would downshift when going down a steep hill at approx 50mph. With my 06 this never happens, even on the same hill. The manual says that it will not downshift if mph is over 48. I don't really care about this, but was wondering if those of you with the a/t have the car downshifting to 3rd on a steep hill.
  • Mine is an automatic with 68K. Yesterday morning we got 4" of snow here in SC and I couldn't get out of the driveway. I opened the door and looked back, the rear wheels wern't turning. I drove the Lumina to work (better tires) and started reading the past threads on the subject. I know the AWD was working properly at this time last year when I had it in the snow in WV. I checked to make sure there wasn't a fuse in the FWD slot in the fusebox. I don't think it could be worn out clutch pack due to the relative low mileage. I read in some threads about failing AWD silenoids or accuators but when I called a couple of dealerships and talked to the techs they didn't know of and couldn't find any part listed by those names. They said that it could possibly be a Valve AY Transfer CL (part # 31942AA103). Can anyone advise? I get by on a very modest salary and would like to try and fix this myself if I can get away with it. I'd rate myself as a moderately competant mechanic. I'm mostly concerned with getting a proper diagnosis. -John
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If that's an L model there's an open rear diff. The back tire on the other side could have been spinning. Were you able to see both sides to make sure it wasn't?

    -juice
  • I may have a similar problem: 160,000 miles, Forester AWD, automatic. Wisconsin/Minnesota sub-zero, snow, icy roads. Driving this AM it started jerking to right and left...but controlable...no noise, just pulling in short jerks either direction...pulled to side of road, stering wheel slight wobble on a off...checked lugs...new axles and boots but slight rip in the boots suggested snow and crap may be in there...none...later, after creeping home 20 miles with flashers it subsided. Seems OK on clean roads...but suspect viscuous differential...drive shaft can be turned by hand while on lift and rear wheels will rotate...What Goes???
  • 1998 Subaru Forester, 160,000 miles. I may have a similar problem: 160,000 miles, Forester AWD, automatic. Wisconsin/Minnesota sub-zero, snow, icy roads. Driving this AM it started jerking to right and left...but controlable...no noise, just pulling in short jerks either direction...pulled to side of road, stering wheel slight wobble on a off...checked lugs...new axles and boots but slight rip in the boots suggested snow and crap may be in there...none...later, after creeping home 20 miles with flashers it subsided. Seems OK on clean roads...but suspect viscuous differential...drive shaft can be turned by hand while on lift and rear wheels will rotate...What Goes???
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Ice/snow buildup on a rim?
    Loose strut top mount?
    tie-rod end?
    Bearing?
    Ball joint?

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If you have a cracked boot on your CV, the grease is or will come out and dirt get in and your CV will be shot in short order. Make sure to get it replaced ASAP.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We had that on our 626. The boot tore, grease leaked. Fix is ASAP, because ours leaked grease that shorted out the O2 sensor. That increased the cost of the repair.

    Also agree about the possibility of ice on the rim. If you can, clean it and wax the rims. If not at least scrape off the ice, and maybe spray a tiny bit of WD40 in the area (not on the tire, though).

    -juice
  • Thanks for input. All joints etc check out OK except boot cracked and needs replacement.

    However, why won't the rear wheels engage in All Wheel Drive, only fronts??
  • morsethmorseth Posts: 10
    Hello everyone,

    I just bought a new '07 Subaru Forester, automatic trans, 5 days ago. It's my first Subaru, so I was pretty excited about that.

    Unfortunately, I've noticed a strange sound while driving. The sound seems to be coming from under the car (wheels, drive train, etc), but I can't tell if it's from the front/rear or left/right. It's hard to explain, but the sound is kind of like a tapping/hammering noise. Almost like the sound of a very loud valve tap.

    It can only be heard at speeds between about 35Mph and 60Mph while accelerating and the RPM is held between 2300 and 3500. If I roll down the window at those speeds to try and pinpoint the noise, the wind washes out the sound.

    This noise is much more pronounced when accelerating up a hill in this RPM range. Letting off the accelerator makes the noise stop, and mashing the pedal to force a downshift makes the noise go away (higher RPMs make it hard to hear or completely gone). As the RPMs increase, the speed of the tapping increases too. While the noise is occuring, if I put the transmission in Neutral and rev the engine to those RPMs, I cannot hear the noise.

    I also noticed yesterday that when this tapping noise is occuring, steering the car affects it. If I steer/swerve quickly to the left, the tapping noise gets much faster and a little bit louder. If I swerve to the right, the tapping noise briefly disappears until I straighten out again. Making a very hard left turn (like at a stop sign) seems to increase the chances of the noise occuring when I hit that 35-60Mph speed range, while making sharp right turns sometimes eliminates the problem for just a little while.

    I'm afraid this could be one of those deals where the dealer service techs either won't hear it since it's intermittent, or will say it's "normal". If I can take it in for service with at least some idea of what the problem might be, that might be helpful. Anyone have any ideas? Wheel bearings, steering rack, differential?

    Thanks,
    Bryan
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    From the first half of your post I was thinking loose heat shield. It might only rattle at certain frequencies.

    For the 2nd half, I was thinking wheel bearing.

    Maybe at the first oil change have them inspect those areas. You can register a "customer says" call with 800-SUBARU3 so that if it ever gets worse you can prove you noticed it while it was still under the full warranty.
  • morsethmorseth Posts: 10
    Thanks for the quick feedback!

    I've owned cars with noisy/rattling heat shields before, and this doesn't sound too similar. I'm not ruling it out, but it doesn't seem like that would be it. It's really not a metallic rattling type sound. It's more of a tap or a knock, like a "piston slap" type noise. It only does it at certain speeds. Driving slowly at 15 Mph between 2300PRM and 3500RPM does not cause the noise.

    The sound is very rhythmic and repeatitive once it kicks in, not at all random in nature, like a baseball card in a bicycle tire. The faster the RPMs are, the faster the tap/knock is. Once it gets to about 3500 RPM, the taps get so fast and close together that I can't hear or perceive them anymore.

    It seems as if the noise is louder as the load on the engine increases. Going up a steep hill, the noise is very pronounced. On a flat stretch of road I can hear it, but the noise is much quieter.

    I think issue of swerving left and right making the sound worse and better is important to the diagnosis, I just haven't figured out the correlation yet.

    Bryan
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Could be a bad CV joint/axle assembly.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,401
    I am definitely leaning toward a wheel bearing, but yes, it could also be as Mike suggested. Increased torque on either of these is going to cause that rhythmic tapping noise if it is only beginning to go bad. The CV tends to be symptomatic only during turns early on, but that does not mean it always has to be this way.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I'm wondering if it's the piston slap problem. My car exhibits this when the temperature goes below 40 degrees. It's a tap, tap, tapping. Above 2K the car noise drowns it out. Below 1500 you can't hear it. In warmer weather it disappears.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm saying CV due to the "clicking" he mentions. A bearing is more a whirrling than a clicking.

    -mike
  • morsethmorseth Posts: 10
    Ken:

    At first, I also thought maybe it was piston slap. But it doesn't make sense to me that the vehicle needs to be in motion to hear it. I would think if it was piston slap, that I would hear it while standing still and reving the engine while cold. It only happens between a very specific speed range and RPM. The engine idles smooth and quiet, even after a cold start first thing in the morning (I'm in PA, and it's still cold here right now).

    I could be wrong, but my gut feeling is that it's not the piston slap problem.

    -Bryan
  • morsethmorseth Posts: 10
    Michael:

    If it were a CV joint problem or bearing problem, does it make sense that shifting into Neutral makes the noise go away? Is this because I am just coasting and no longer delivering torque to the wheels?

    Is it common to have a faulty CV joint or bad wheel bearing right off the showroom floor? The car has less than 200 miles on it!

    Bryan
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,401
    No, your conclusion is correct on this one - if it does not happen while the vehicle is not in motion, then it is further down the system - it is not the engine.

    I agree that a wheel bearing tends to be a "whirring" noise to start. Seems strange to me though that you would hear a CV while driving straight ahead. The sound happening while turning one direction only, though, that is a classic symptom... until it gets very bad, anyway!

    Very rare to have a problem like that "fresh off the showroom floor," but there are ALWAYS some defective parts to leave every assembly line. Always.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Bryan - I don't hear the piston slap until the engine hits a little before 2K. Meaning the noise is not there at idle or start up. Search the Subaru boards for piston slap for more information. Piston slap is *not* heard at idle.

    Piston slap is a distinct tick-tick-ticking, which sounds like it comes from the passenger rear part of the engine compartment underneath.

    Ken
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Could it be something like un-removed packing material from around the struts? I know when the STi first started shipping 99% of the dealers didn't un-pack some of the packing material and it caused issues.

    -mike
  • morsethmorseth Posts: 10
    Ken:

    Thanks very much for the info. It could very well be piston slap that I am hearing. The car is still very new to me, so I'll need a few more hours behind the wheel to help me understand what I am hearing.

    I've gotten some great information from all of you here. I'm going to look at and try some things over the next couple of weeks. I'll report back and let all of you know what I find out.

    Thanks again for everyone that contributed ideas. It's very much appreciated!

    -Bryan
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • ksychksych Posts: 1
    Hi Bryan, I am so glad I cam across your article. I am having the exact same problem you are having and just about to take my car in for first oil change. I too have a 2007 Subaru XT. I much appreciate any information you can provide regarding your experience with the dealer (that is of course assuming you have taken your car in). Did they ever find the cause of the annoying noise?
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