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2017 Outback 2.5 CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I just thought I would post about my situation.

I have a 2017 Outback 2.5 Premium with about 18,000 miles on it.

My outback had been making some odd noises, almost "knocking", when I would shift from P to Drive. The noise was not heard at an idle when the car was parked.

However, the moment you put the car into Drive, and started going the knocking / clicking noise would start.

My wife primarily drives the car, so when she told me and I drove it, I was really concerned.

The next day we took it into the dealership, and THANKFULLY it's still covered by the standard warranty.

The dealer calls the following day and says the CVT transmission needs to be entirely replaced...

Needless to say, both my wife and I are pretty uneasy about keeping our Outback. We are thankful that the tranny replacement is under warranty, but in from a long-term perspective, this isn't a good sign.

I was curious if there were any other folks out that that experienced this or any known issues in 2017 or newer 2.5 Outbacks that had this same problem.

Thanks for any input!
 

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I wouldn’t worry. Maybe if it was a GM or Ford or Mercedes or worse a Volvo where the Auto makers abandon the buyer the second the car leaves the lot.

I bought two more Subarus after my first one because I have seen Subaru fix customer cars where other makes would tell you to go pound sand.

Buying a new car today is more than getting a car. It should come with auto maker support when faulty stuff fails. Regardless of warranty status.
 

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Ask the dealer for an extended warranty on the transmission, had that happen on my wife's Acura had about 3,000 miles on it and had a bad seal, Acura replaced the complete Tranny with a 100K warranty which covered us to 103K, the tranny failed at 102K and they replaced it again this time with only a 36K warranty
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 CVT
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ask the dealer for an extended warranty on the transmission, had that happen on my wife's Acura had about 3,000 miles on it and had a bad seal, Acura replaced the complete Tranny with a 100K warranty which covered us to 103K, the tranny failed at 102K and they replaced it again this time with only a 36K warranty
Great idea, thank you!
 

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2007 2.5 L Obsidian Black Outback XTL
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I wouldn’t worry. Maybe if it was a GM or Ford or Mercedes or worse a Volvo where the Auto makers abandon the buyer the second the car leaves the lot.
Ford did that to me when I purchased a 1984 Ford Bronco II; It had constant problems with CV joints and engine performance. Right before the warranty ran out they had to completely replace the engine. After the warranty expired I asked the mechanic; "ok, you guys are off the hook now, what is really wrong with my car?". He said "oh, everyone knows that the Bronco II was a bad design. The carburetor is completely wrong and there are no screws available to set the fuel/air mix."

I thanked him for (finally) being candid.... ever since then I have never purchased another Ford; that was 30 years ago.

When we get a completely rotten experience with a brand or a dealership we need to (fairly) share the story with others. The only way a manufacturer will prevent those issues is if they feel a financial impact for their unethical behavior. (for that reason too, I will never own another VW, I have owned three Passats and one classic bug over the years).
 

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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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I was curious if there were any other folks out that that experienced this or any known issues in 2017 or newer 2.5 Outbacks that had this same problem.

Thanks for any input!
It's pretty much a one-off. I'm not saying that there haven't been other people who've had issues, but it's not endemic to the vehicle.

And presuming the dealership fixes things right under warranty, I wouldn't worry too much about it. In 6 years here, I've only seen us have to lemon-law a (one) car. And that was a WRX that had a bad 3rd gear that screwed the engine up.
 

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2016 OB 2.5i Limited
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I don't think I would worry too much about it. Their QC is pretty good, but still with as many of these being made as there are, there will be a bunk one every now and again, why they give warranties. Ask nicely for an extended warranty on the replacement, they'll likely throw it in.

I've seen some '15 & '16 cars for sale with 200k and no signs of a replacement trans on the history. Most things point to these transmissions being stout and reliable, you probably just got a fluke. I wouldn't quite entertain the notion of abandoning a brand with a solid record for reliability and longevity over one fairly-isolated instance.

Coming from what I did prior to this, so far Subaru reliability and simplicity is a luxury, especially with the 100k CPO bumper-to-bumper warranty. My previous car was the first one I've been able to own from a brand I've been a fanatic of as long as I can remember. It was at the dealer for almost 4 of the 7 months I had owned it due to botched recall work for a common issue that leads to engine failure. When I got it back I was looking at $1500 in parts alone to rebuild the transfer case that would inevitably fail at some point down the road, and almost a grand to replace the prone-to-failure original thermostat housing. That had some royal wide-spread design flaws. After that, among a few other things, I'm not sure if I even want anything else from them, which is pretty disappointing.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 3.6r with CVT
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Two things about the CVT that I have observed/experienced. First is when I shift from park to drive or reverse and when I am shifting from drive to reverse or reverse to drive I wait about 1-2 seconds for the trans to engage and only shift when completely stopped. I had reservations about a car with a CVT after researching issues that the early generations had. I just hit 10,000 miles this week and have not had a single strange noise out of the transmission or engine for that matter.

Eyesight intervention and pre-collision throttle control have made some acceleration at times somewhat shaky just as you would with a clutch and being not smooth with it and getting the jerkiness. This is a computer problem and not the transmission itself.

Second is that even when it is cold I have pushed the trans on occasion and it has been flawless, and I don't get hard artificial shifts when hot or cold, summer, fall or winter.

Of note is some shuddering around 20 MPH when in heavy traffic and applying very little throttle, this seems to be a combination of all the systems working together to figure out what is happening. When I shut off the eyesight, it goes away completely.

Overall I am pleased with the CVT, and it would appear that you received a faulty unit which is bound to happen in any mass manufacturing operation. Subaru has been great from what I have experienced with concerns and warranty work. I also drive my car pretty hard without regard to if something is going to break. I have 50K on an extended warranty to put the motor and transmission through the paces to ensure that it will last 2-300k since I plan on driving this car until the wheels fall off and a new transmission is in the neighborhood of 7 grand.
 

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2017 Outback Limited, Option 21 package, oem hitch, oem remote starter, Pearl
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I keep reading about people being nervous about the CVT in the 5th Gens and the replacement being 7k and how they need to grab the extended warranty etc, etc.

If the CVT goes caboom outside of factory warranty ie: 60k miles, you wouldn't be putting in a new CVT tranny.

The used, low mile units on eBay are comfortably around $1500 which is pretty reasonable. Swapping it in for a qualified shop, probably about another 1k. So this $7k number that is thrown around so frequently isn't a great analogy, a used one with less miles than the surrounding drive-train would be a good swap for about $2500.

I am not extending on the warranty personally, I see the CVT as the only component that I would be inclined to jump the warranty for, but why, a low mileage unit from a wrecker is quite affordable.
 
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Ford did that to me when I purchased a 1984 Ford Bronco II; It had constant problems with CV joints and engine performance. Right before the warranty ran out they had to completely replace the engine. After the warranty expired I asked the mechanic; "ok, you guys are off the hook now, what is really wrong with my car?". He said "oh, everyone knows that the Bronco II was a bad design. The carburetor is completely wrong and there are no screws available to set the fuel/air mix."

I thanked him for (finally) being candid.... ever since then I have never purchased another Ford; that was 30 years ago.

When we get a completely rotten experience with a brand or a dealership we need to (fairly) share the story with others. The only way a manufacturer will prevent those issues is if they feel a financial impact for their unethical behavior. (for that reason too, I will never own another VW, I have owned three Passats and one classic bug over the years).
ha, my dad bought a detroit diesel blazer in the 70's, had a knock from the factory, took it to several dealers who said it was normal, and finally found a local mechanic who worked on chevy stuff to ask him why it did this.

He said everyone knows those Detroits were made with a poorly designed crank, and it'll develop flat spots/get worse as time goes on. He never bought another one lol
 

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Also yea no car is 100% perfect off the assembly line, some failures will happen as it's designed by humans, and we don't design perfect things all the time.

It's not like a Nissan where the failure rate is horrendous, but I understand that it would suck big time for ME to be the one on the other end of a failure. That said the first thing my Subie dealer told me is that Subaru really sticks by their customers, and they're not afraid to go after warranty claims after the warranty expires.
 

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To chime in with my two cents, I'd also say that it's not a big deal. Subaru has sold millions of these CVT's in the last 9 years in the US, and while there were some growing pains with the Gen 1 (converter, etc.), it seems like a one-off. Bad luck.

I'd also look into the extended warranty.
 

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2022 Outback Touring XT. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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I keep reading about people being nervous about the CVT in the 5th Gens and the replacement being 7k and how they need to grab the extended warranty etc, etc.

If the CVT goes caboom outside of factory warranty ie: 60k miles, you wouldn't be putting in a new CVT tranny.

The used, low mile units on eBay are comfortably around $1500 which is pretty reasonable. Swapping it in for a qualified shop, probably about another 1k. So this $7k number that is thrown around so frequently isn't a great analogy, a used one with less miles than the surrounding drive-train would be a good swap for about $2500.

I am not extending on the warranty personally, I see the CVT as the only component that I would be inclined to jump the warranty for, but why, a low mileage unit from a wrecker is quite affordable.
Electronics failure such as audio/nav unit or eyesight system would be another reason to consider an extended warranty.
 

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2015 Outback Limited 3.6r
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The used, low mile units on eBay are comfortably around $1500 which is pretty reasonable. Swapping it in for a qualified shop, probably about another 1k. So this $7k number that is thrown around so frequently isn't a great analogy, a used one with less miles than the surrounding drive-train would be a good swap for about $2500.
I'd love to see some links to the CVT you are quoting at $1500.
 

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2018 Subaru Outback Limited Eyesight 2001 Honda Cr-V 287k miles 1984 Mercedes 280SL red w/5 speed manual
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Kind of along these lines a question...

Down to what level is the assembly done in the plant in Indiana? Primarily the engine and transmission. Are these shipped to Indiana assembled or do they assemble all the engines and the transmissions in Indiana?

Just curious.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Down to what level is the assembly done in the plant in Indiana? Primarily the engine and transmission.
Someone else may be able to answer more authoritatively, but here is what I know:

The Monroney stickers on both our 2015 Legacy and 2016 Outback state that the "country of origin" for both the engine and transmission is "Japan." I have since heard (unverified) that the 2.5 engines are actually assembled in Lafayette using parts shipped from Japan, while the CVTs are assembled in Japan under clean-room conditions and shipped complete.
 
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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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I have since heard (unverified) that the 2.5 engines are actually assembled in Lafayette using parts shipped from Japan, while the CVTs are assembled in Japan under clean-room conditions and shipped complete.
Verified ...

They put the engine assembly line in back when I still worked there.

And we have our factory in Japan that's dedicated to engine and transmission manufacture. So we make the engines there, ship the part here (which actually makes it easier, since they can more efficiently package them when shipping), then assemble them here.
 

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2018 Outback Limited 3.6r with CVT
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I'd love to see some links to the CVT you are quoting at $1500.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Automatic-...ash=item4677344c0d:g:FfAAAOSw7p5ahZow&vxp=mtr

1594.50 with 17k on it, shipping is 200 bucks so a basically new trans for under 1800 bucks and you would likely be able to find someone to put it in for 1000 or less, had I known this I would not have opted for the extended warranty. That's not bad at all for a replacement should one be needed.
Wow that’s awesome. I found one for a 3.6r too (The “High Torque” CVT) for $1525 with shipping. Not too shabby.
Guess I need to buy that Raptor Supercharger and cross that bridge when I inevitably reach it!
 

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So, I’m not inclided to wprry about the CVTs... While we’ve had two bad engines replaced in the same 2.5L unit, the CVT has been rock solid.

The issue is less about Subaru providing a good replacement, and more about your dealer’s attention to detail, and Subaru’s general lack of listening to customers when the dealer is doing a poor job.

If you’ve got a good dealer to do the work, you dont have an issue.

It might we worth it to get the Gold warranty, online. Then you dont have any issues....
 
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