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Discussion Starter #1
I have a '13 With a potential CVT problem. In my case, the trans seems to have 2 modes of operation. In 'normal' mode, the converter locks up after taking off from a stop, and if going, 30mph or so, sits, locked, around 1200 RPM. In the 'abnormal' mode, the converter seems to lockup as normal, but then feels like it unlocks, and will freely spin to 2000 RPM before transferring any power to the wheels. It is most noticeable at speeds under 40 MPH, but I suspect it may do it at higher speeds also. 'Abnormal' mode really ruins the gas mileage too. This started around 1000 miles, and I've had it to the dealer once, but it wouldn't fail for them, and commented that it is probably a normal mode of operation. I haven't seen anyone else complain about this, so I hope it is an isolated problem. Does anyone else have this issue?

Thanks,
Pat
 

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I have a '13 With a potential CVT problem. In my case, the trans seems to have 2 modes of operation. In 'normal' mode, the converter locks up after taking off from a stop, and if going, 30mph or so, sits, locked, around 1200 RPM. In the 'abnormal' mode, the converter seems to lockup as normal, but then feels like it unlocks, and will freely spin to 2000 RPM before transferring any power to the wheels. It is most noticeable at speeds under 40 MPH, but I suspect it may do it at higher speeds also. 'Abnormal' mode really ruins the gas mileage too. This started around 1000 miles, and I've had it to the dealer once, but it wouldn't fail for them, and commented that it is probably a normal mode of operation. I haven't seen anyone else complain about this, so I hope it is an isolated problem. Does anyone else have this issue?

Thanks,
Pat
Oh, I thought that was normal. I've noticed that 2000rpm and 1200rpm seem to both be points where it would sit. I thought 2000rpm was where it would be until it warmed up, perhaps, and then 1200 was once it had been running awhile. I'll keep a closer eye on it and see if I can spot any patterns of behavior. I didn't notice it as particularly negative or anything - and it didn't feel like it was "freely spinning" or unlocking or anything - just that it was running at a higher speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In my case, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the 'abnormal' mode of operation. On a cold start, the tranny always operates 'normally' for at least a mile. Most of the time, it continues to operate normally. Sometimes it doesn't. I don't think the engine load or throttle position have anything to do with it, as the tranny can operate in either mode on exactly the same piece of road, and under the exact same conditions. And when i say it freely spins up to ~2000 RPM, it's like it is in neutral. That freely. I realize the tranny changes ratios as needed, but not this quickly. It really seems like the converter comes unlocked....at least that's my theory. If it truly is operating normally, I would like to understand the reasoning, and under what conditions it changes 'modes'.
 

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I have a '13 With a potential CVT problem. In my case, the trans seems to have 2 modes of operation. In 'normal' mode, the converter locks up after taking off from a stop, and if going, 30mph or so, sits, locked, around 1200 RPM. In the 'abnormal' mode, the converter seems to lockup as normal, but then feels like it unlocks, and will freely spin to 2000 RPM before transferring any power to the wheels. It is most noticeable at speeds under 40 MPH, but I suspect it may do it at higher speeds also. 'Abnormal' mode really ruins the gas mileage too. This started around 1000 miles, and I've had it to the dealer once, but it wouldn't fail for them, and commented that it is probably a normal mode of operation. I haven't seen anyone else complain about this, so I hope it is an isolated problem. Does anyone else have this issue?

Thanks,
Pat
Normal, the ramp up in RPM is to provide better throttle response. I'll also add that the CVT has a different computer program for when its cold. This was intentionally programmed in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
se7enLC,

Let me know if you notice any similar behavior from your CVT. It may be operating as it should, but I just want to understand why....
 

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On a cold morning with the heater on, my car does this as well. You'll cruise at 30mph at 2-2.2k rpm. However, if you turn the heater off, it goes right back down to normal. So my bet is that it's programmed to behave this way.
I usually just pop it into manual mode and force it into 4 or 5.
 

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I also have a 2013 with almost 11,000 miles on it. I am curious if this happens if you allow the car to warm up for 2 or 3 minutes before driving off or at least until the blue light indicator on the dash goes out. Just a thought.
 

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On a cold morning with the heater on, my car does this as well. You'll cruise at 30mph at 2-2.2k rpm. However, if you turn the heater off, it goes right back down to normal. So my bet is that it's programmed to behave this way.
I usually just pop it into manual mode and force it into 4 or 5.
Just how the heck did you figure that out?! I tried it on my way home and SOB it worked. Not only did it work but once I turned the heater back on I swear the CVT worked better. However today was about 15 degrees warmer than the last few days but I'm going to do more testing once the temps go back below 30. This is the crazy crap that keeps me on the forum!
 

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In my case, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the 'abnormal' mode of operation. On a cold start, the tranny always operates 'normally' for at least a mile. Most of the time, it continues to operate normally. Sometimes it doesn't. I don't think the engine load or throttle position have anything to do with it, as the tranny can operate in either mode on exactly the same piece of road, and under the exact same conditions. And when i say it freely spins up to ~2000 RPM, it's like it is in neutral. That freely. I realize the tranny changes ratios as needed, but not this quickly. It really seems like the converter comes unlocked....at least that's my theory. If it truly is operating normally, I would like to understand the reasoning, and under what conditions it changes 'modes'.
The converter cannot make it feel like it is in neutral. It must be another part of the CVT.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So the tranny is linked to the heater control? that is bizarre...I'll have to check it out. I know I've driven with the heat on, and had it acting normally though...

RobMunach, if you've ever driven an old automatic transmission musclecar with a high stall torque converter, that's where my comparison is coming from. I'm not saying for sure that that is what is happening, but it seems to free rev up to 2000-2200 RPM, and then start transferring power.

If nothing else, at least I don't feel so alone anymore, lol
 

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Just how the heck did you figure that out?! I tried it on my way home and SOB it worked. Not only did it work but once I turned the heater back on I swear the CVT worked better. However today was about 15 degrees warmer than the last few days but I'm going to do more testing once the temps go back below 30. This is the crazy crap that keeps me on the forum!
Sure enough it worked this morning but when I turned the heat back on the RPM's went up. I believe its to try and warm the car up quicker. So you have two options to avoid it, turn the heat off, or switch to manual. I can bump it up to 5th in manual mode at 35-40 to get the same effect if I want.
 

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You know, I wonder if that is the case with the AC as well. Higher engine rpms to keep the compressor working well to cool the cabin. Makes some sense. I know Toyota (not sure about Subaru) has a pressure switch on the power steering hydraulics to sense steering effort, and input from that sensor will increase throttle just a little so that the driver does not sense the engine slowing down, or feel a power loss when turning the wheel at low speed.
It is all magic.
Next thing you know, they will automate the Rendler Spindle.
 

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My '13 OB Prem CVT does the same thing. I thought the control to the trans. was screwed up (maybe it is) as compared to the '10 cvt that I owned before. When cold (under 5 miles from starting) and even w/ the blue light off, the engine would go up past 2000 or 2200 rpm when it should've been around 1500 - 1800. Pulling the + paddle would up shift it to 5th, but it would jump back to 4th in a second or two. Sure enough, switching the fan motor off made it act normal (will hold a higher "gear"). Also, after about a 5 mi. drive from cold start, the cvt acts normal.
Thanks so much for finding this characteristic w/ the fan motor (I would've never found it). I wonder if there will be a fix or reflash to over ride the fan switch? If not, at least I now know how to make it behave :).
The '13 cvt also "downshifts" itself when coasting down a mountain grade, which I really like. Saves me from picking the wrong "gear" in manual.
 

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My '13 OB Prem CVT does the same thing. I thought the control to the trans. was screwed up (maybe it is) as compared to the '10 cvt that I owned before. When cold (under 5 miles from starting) and even w/ the blue light off, the engine would go up past 2000 or 2200 rpm when it should've been around 1500 - 1800. Pulling the + paddle would up shift it to 5th, but it would jump back to 4th in a second or two. Sure enough, switching the fan motor off made it act normal (will hold a higher "gear"). Also, after about a 5 mi. drive from cold start, the cvt acts normal.
Thanks so much for finding this characteristic w/ the fan motor (I would've never found it). I wonder if there will be a fix or reflash to over ride the fan switch? If not, at least I now know how to make it behave :).
The '13 cvt also "downshifts" itself when coasting down a mountain grade, which I really like. Saves me from picking the wrong "gear" in manual.
 

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2013 Outback with same issue

I am glad that I'm not alone with this characteristic on my 2013 Outback. It began at 6k miles when the weather began to get cool (below 50deg for my car). It takes about 10 minutes of driving for the CVT to get back to "normal" shifting. While I appreciate wanting the car to warm more quickly, it is annoying to listen to the engine at 2000rpm while I'm cruising along at 25mph. I didn't notice this trait in the 2012 Outback I rented for two weeks last winter. Going to ask the dealer if this can possibly be programmed out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've been meaning to get back to this thread...You guys are definitely correct about the the fan switch being tied to the CVT. I found if it isn't fully warmed up, it will go in to the higher RPM mode, until (I assume) it is fully warmed up. I also noticed that if you turn the fan on, and it goes into high RPM mode, you can turn the fan off, and turn it back on, and the CVT won't go back into high RPM mode, but just act normally. I'm assuming the reason behind this is to get the coolant up to temp ASAP, but I still don't like it!

Pat
 

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cvt with problem

Hello, I just posted 2 days ago with this same problem, but more so it seems. I have let it idle until the blue indicator light goes off also, but then driven away with the rpm's over 2000 and there is no change until I pop it into manual mode. When I put it back in Auto (engine warm), rpm's go over 2000 again. No rhyme or reason. I have also driven it completely cold after sitting in the driveway overnight at 29 degrees ambient, and had it perform normally until 10 minutes into the drive. I posted 2 days ago under "2013 OB won't change gears" (lack of knowledge of terminology).
 

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I've been meaning to get back to this thread...You guys are definitely correct about the the fan switch being tied to the CVT. I found if it isn't fully warmed up, it will go in to the higher RPM mode, until (I assume) it is fully warmed up. I also noticed that if you turn the fan on, and it goes into high RPM mode, you can turn the fan off, and turn it back on, and the CVT won't go back into high RPM mode, but just act normally. I'm assuming the reason behind this is to get the coolant up to temp ASAP, but I still don't like it!

Pat
It's not quite about getting the coolant up to temp (although it kinda is too). It's about getting the engine hot enough so that it is safe to bleed heat off of it for the cabin.

It isn't just the fan switch that can cause the RPMs to go up, but the heat you select. While I'm not aware of the A/C upping the revs, I do know that having the heater on will do it. A quick example:

- Turn the heat up to max and start the engine. Revs will be high.
- While revs are high, turn the heat down to cold (or even middle of the range) while leaving the fan on. Revs will drop to cruising levels.

Also note that eventually the heater will turn "fully on" and start blasting air much hotter than when the engine was still cool. This means that the programming has decided it is safe to start bleeding larger amounts of heat from the engine. The revs also drop at this point.

It seems a bit weird, but it does make sense that you don't want to bleed too much heat from the engine while cold, and the revs are higher to heat up the engine faster, and to provide excess heat that the heater can bleed off.
 
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