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Subaru Legacy/Outback Transmission Problems



  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 680

    The new 3.6R Outbacks will have the CVT transmission, not the five speed auto with issues. The CVT solves the problems.

  • what about jrb123's CVT tranny issues on his '14 Outback?

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,081
    edited March 25

    @bcampbell001 said: what about jrb123's CVT tranny issues on his '14 Outback?

    Actually, the description by jrb123 sounds like 'normal' cold-temp operation. The CVT will force the engine to stay near 2000 RPM until FULLY warmed up. (purposefully stay in lower gearing) Some folks have reported this CVT behavior continues for some time even after the blue 'cold engine' lite extinguishes.

    I have noticed my subie behaving in this way for many miles of driving after a cold start and am not concerned at all about it. After fully warming up, the CVT shifts to high gear normally.

    Thru experimentation, some Subie CVT drivers have determined that this behavior can be circumvented by moving the lever to 'manual' mode, turning off the blower, or turning the heater down. Some people think the onboard computer is trying to protect the transmission. Other folks think that emission-controls are trying get the engine up-to-temp as fast as possible.

    I know on my manual transmission vehicles, I never EVER use high-gear until the engine-temp guage is fully up to normal operating point. In my mind, the CVT is emulating a properly-driven manual transmission.

    Of course, jrb123 does not describe the specific conditions under which he encounters this CVT behavior so we cannot make conclusive determination if his is a real problem.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269

    Good point, peebles.

    People need to realize that a CVT is not the same device as a TCT (torque converter transmission). They perform the same task, but they do it differently. Expecting a vehicle to behave exactly the same way with both transmission types is like sitting in a car with a manual transmission without a gear selected, hitting the accelerator, and expecting it will go: You're bound for disappointment!

    A problem is most likely present if, after developing expectations through experience, your vehicle behaves differently than it has in the past.

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,985

    Sounds like learning to drive a CVT is a bit akin to learning how to use ABS brakes.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,081

    I am still learning how to drive a CVT. Since the programming leans towards maximizing MPG, I find it tricky to maintain constant roadspeed on undulating roads (virtually every Vermont road). The slightest rise in the road is detected and it downshifts and slows down... then, when the road heads downhill, the speed gets away from me.

    Back in my MANUAL transmission, on the very same roads, (and same engine!), I can maintain roadspeed within 2 MPH without ever looking at the speedometer.

    I think some of it is the SOUND of the engine. Obviously with the manual xmission, it is perfectly linear with roadspeed. With the CVT, the engine-sound has absolutely no correlation to the roadspeed.

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