2011 outback cvt VS forester 4spd in snow - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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2011 outback cvt VS forester 4spd in snow

I spent 4 days in heavy snow with one night dumping 10" of wet snow on the ground. The forester with stock tires had no problem at all moving in forward and reverse, up and down steep hills, up and down banks of creeks though creeks with mud and back up the deep snow covered other side. There is no doubt in my mind the outback would have been stopped many times by the its limiting factor which is the CVT. When I asked the SOA engineer why my car would not back out of a 1 inch snow covered parking spot I was told the computer limits power going to the CVT to protect it from damage. Basically anything that impedes movement of the outback is thought of as resistance by the computer and when it hits the barrier of the CVT it shuts off the engine. Numerous times in nominal conditions my engine just shut power down and the wheels would not move or turn.

You can see the engine shut down WITH VDC OFF in the youtube video I posted. The forester would have spun all 4 tires and climbed the hill the outback just shuts down the engine with the pedal to the floor.

The Forester impresses the **** out of me with its awesome capability. The foresters limiting factor would be torque, tires and ground clearance but not the transmission. If they put a CVT in the new foresters they will be severely limited as compared to the 4spd model in off-road capability.

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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:06 PM
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Crazy, I back through deep snow all the time. Anyone else get stopped in 1 inch of snow?
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Green LTD View Post
Crazy, I back through deep snow all the time. Anyone else get stopped in 1 inch of snow?
Try climbing a steep snow covered hill hill and see if your engine power gets shut off. Is yours a 10 or an 11?

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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:16 PM
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That's an interesting issue. Never heard of that. I have the 3.6R with the 5EAT though, and I have had to back up into 6 inches of loose snow in my cul de sac from my driveway, having to maneuver around a stuck neighbor in the process, in reverse. Not only did I NOT have to take a run at it, I actually went slower than normal (as though the OB doesn't slide, the 6 inches of loose snow (a foot in some spots) and the ice underneath will cause the car to slide around a bit unpredictably and I didn't want to bump off my neighbors car.

Outback never lost traction, ever. It bogged down a little bit but the VDC was left on (though didn't really engage). I easily backed around him, put it in drive, the accelerated away normally. No, I did not help him either. my other neighbor was out shoveling, and I was taking my Son to school (not going to be late because one neighbor is stuck, if not for taking my Son to school though I would have helped him.

Do you have a link to your Youtube video? I"d like to see it.
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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That's an interesting issue. Never heard of that. I have the 3.6R with the 5EAT though, and I have had to back up into 6 inches of loose snow in my cul de sac from my driveway, having to maneuver around a stuck neighbor in the process, in reverse. Not only did I NOT have to take a run at it, I actually went slower than normal (as though the OB doesn't slide, the 6 inches of loose snow (a foot in some spots) and the ice underneath will cause the car to slide around a bit unpredictably and I didn't want to bump off my neighbors car.

Outback never lost traction, ever. It bogged down a little bit but the VDC was left on (though didn't really engage). I easily backed around him, put it in drive, the accelerated away normally. No, I did not help him either. my other neighbor was out shoveling, and I was taking my Son to school (not going to be late because one neighbor is stuck, if not for taking my Son to school though I would have helped him.

Do you have a link to your Youtube video? I"d like to see it.
Yep the CVT is the problem not the car or awd system as I found out in my new forester which dug its way out of 10 inches of mud.

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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:21 PM
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Crazy, I back through deep snow all the time. Anyone else get stopped in 1 inch of snow?
Not me, backed out of 4+ inches of snow this weekend.

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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by problemchild200 View Post
Try climbing a steep snow covered hill hill and see if your engine power gets shut off. Is yours a 10 or an 11?
Previously you said: "When I asked the SOA engineer why my car would not back out of a 1 inch snow covered parking spot I was told the computer limits power going to the CVT to protect it from damage. Basically anything that impedes movement of the outback is thought of as resistance by the computer and when it hits the barrier of the CVT it shuts off the engine. Numerous times in nominal conditions my engine just shut power down and the wheels would not move or turn."

Which one is it, A steep covered snow covered hill or a 1 inch snow covered parking spot? If your car kept "shutting down" that's why Subaru bought it back. Went through way much more snow than that on last year’s SnoBama around DC. Inquiring minds.

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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Green LTD View Post
Crazy, I back through deep snow all the time. Anyone else get stopped in 1 inch of snow?
No, but I run the 3.6, not the CVT.

That said, I have a hard time believing that Subaru would engineer a vehicle with an engine that cannot get through what essentially is a dusting of snow.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 02:37 PM
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I have the 2011. Several stories of steep climbs in the AWD performance of 2010/2011 Outback thread. It is pretty flat around here, but very windy at times.45 mph winds and 3-5 inches of snow today, blizzard tomorrow. I have gone up overpasses in deep snow over icy roads with no problems. and backed through deep drifts with no issue. My understanding of power being cut would be complete loss of traction (VCD controlled) or engine malfunction (see stuck on x-mas eve thread). I have heard of improper reverse mechanism pressure adjustments causing poor reverse capabilities on 1 or 2 cars. This is the first I have heard of power being cut to protect the CVT, hailed by several as "overbuilt".
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by coquioutback View Post
Previously you said: "When I asked the SOA engineer why my car would not back out of a 1 inch snow covered parking spot I was told the computer limits power going to the CVT to protect it from damage. Basically anything that impedes movement of the outback is thought of as resistance by the computer and when it hits the barrier of the CVT it shuts off the engine. Numerous times in nominal conditions my engine just shut power down and the wheels would not move or turn."

Which one is it, A steep covered snow covered hill or a 1 inch snow covered parking spot? If your car kept "shutting down" that's why Subaru bought it back. Went through way much more snow than that on last year’s SnoBama around DC. Inquiring minds.
Ah yes, we have our answer. Of course that's why the 'bought it back'.

Problemchild, tough break for you on your OB for sure. But what you're posting here is wrong. What I mean is, you're posting here is supposed to be taken as "This is normal for what the CVT does" yet clearly it is not. You had a lemon (that happens) but it was bought back so you're not out any coin. You have a Forester now and by all accounts you seem to be happy with. I think that's great and I'm glad you have something good for your money as no one should be saddled with a lemon like your OB clearly was.

But again, this is obviously not indicative of the performance of the CVT OB. As there are many other owners of it who have gone through a lot more severe conditions than you have and the CVT OB has not had a problem whatsoever. In fact, I read that it performs just as well as your Forester does. Mine certainly does (though it's not the CVT) and Green has unfortunately been enduring a hellacious winter so far and I'm sure if he's had any issues whatsoever he'd be reporting it. All I've read from him is how well it's been performing.
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