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'13 2.5i CVT 102XXX miles

As of late I'm hearing a faint/short whine when shifting into reverse from park. The noise will occur during cold starts/sitting over night. This happens maybe 7/10 start ups. For the most part, the CVT performs well but obviously I assume this will only get worse over time and I already see $$$ signs in the future. Anyone experiencing similar problems? Could this be linked to the torque converter issues owners are experiencing? Thanks for any input.
 

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Are you saying it whines when at a stop and the gear lever is moved to engage R before you move or while you are actually moving in R?
Mine is also a '13 2.5 [email protected] 95,000 miles and mine has a reverse gear whine when moving in reverse. Its there when in D too but only when moving at slow speeds, it has gotten noisier as the miles add up but nothing that concerns me, yet!! It does it whether cold or warm. Temps do not affect it. At speeds above 40km/h there are no whines noticeable.
I see you are becoming a little concerned and perhaps nervous about the CVT's longevity eh! same as me! They are not cheap items to replace. I have other issues that show themselves at times when cold concerning some kind of jumpy/jerkiness like an engine misfire but it isn't. That usually disappears after about 10 mins of driving. The dealer says its perfectly alright after checking it twice and running diagnostics and even keeping it overnight.
I can't offer anything else other than I think most CVT's seem to display these whines as they age and these other quirky disconcerting characteristics.

I don't know the answers, as others tell me the only way to fix them is to part with the car!
 

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The torque converter issues are primarily seen in the early model years of the 4th gen, due to a faulty design that was since remediated.

Have you done any drain-and-fills for the CVT fluid? That might help improve your symptoms.
 

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Are you saying it whines when at a stop and the gear lever is moved to engage R before you move or while you are actually moving in R?
Mine is also a '13 2.5 [email protected] 95,000 miles and mine has a reverse gear whine when moving in reverse. Its there when in D too but only when moving at slow speeds, it has gotten noisier as the miles add up but nothing that concerns me, yet!! It does it whether cold or warm. Temps do not affect it. At speeds above 40km/h there are no whines noticeable.
I see you are becoming a little concerned and perhaps nervous about the CVT's longevity eh! same as me! They are not cheap items to replace. I have other issues that show themselves at times when cold concerning some kind of jumpy/jerkiness like an engine misfire but it isn't. That usually disappears after about 10 mins of driving. The dealer says its perfectly alright after checking it twice and running diagnostics and even keeping it overnight.
I can't offer anything else other than I think most CVT's seem to display these whines as they age and these other quirky disconcerting characteristics.

I don't know the answers, as others tell me the only way to fix them is to part with the car!
DUDE! take it to another dealer. It will not get any quieter, and when it does you will be outside of warranty. I'm dealing with the same issue over here at 143k miles. And the dealer says that I am **** outta luck.

For reference, this is what mine sounds like coasting in neutral.
 

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'13 2.5i CVT 102XXX miles

As of late I'm hearing a faint/short whine when shifting into reverse from park. The noise will occur during cold starts/sitting over night. This happens maybe 7/10 start ups. For the most part, the CVT performs well but obviously I assume this will only get worse over time and I already see $$$ signs in the future. Anyone experiencing similar problems? Could this be linked to the torque converter issues owners are experiencing? Thanks for any input.
I'm no Subaru tech, but I think the whine might be due to resistance in the transmission due to a higher than average viscosity of your CVT fluid, likely from age and lack of service or upkeep. This may also contribute to your tranny running hotter than normal, which is not good. Higher temperature/more viscous fluid = more friction = greater wear on components = highway to a failed transmission = $$$. Change your fluid. I just did mine. If you're someone content with going outside the confines of OEM "by the book," I recommend the Castrol Transmax CVT fluid. I just put it into my '10 2.5i, and for ~$36 for 6 quarts on Amazon (a proper drain and fill on a fourth-gen OB with the first-gen lineartronic can require between 5-7 quarts of fluid, not sure about the second gen on the '13 though), you can't go wrong. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself (there are plenty of how-to forum posts if you look, so you could likely handle it), take it to your dealership and have them do it. Upkeep on CVTs is especially important for their longevity. Basically, if you plan on holding on to your car without any major repairs for a couple of years, it's far from a bad idea to get into regular fluid change intervals, and that includes CVT fluid changes. Your car is close to 100k, and assuming the fluid has never been changed, your car would be long past due for a drain and fill. Oh, and btw, if you're already experiencing symptoms of significant wear, it also isn't a bad idea to switch to full-synthetic fluids. Depending on the condition of your fluid (i.e. if it's really bad, burnt, has particulate in it), you may also want to drop the pan, clean the magnets in there, and swap the filter for a new one to minimize the possibility of damage from accumulated media breaking loose and cycling around inside your tranny (causing more wear/damage), though you can probably get away without. There's a good chance your tranny is already gone, and changing your fluid will be a good way to tell. Don't listen to anyone who says it isn't a good idea to change your fluid. If your transmission ends up failing, that's because it was already past the point of failure before it was tended to. Better to find that out sooner rather than later, where you'll at least anticipate it better, control it before any other extra damage can be caused, and prevent any harm to yourself from a potential mechanical failure which might lead to an accident. Best of luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm no Subaru tech, but I think the whine might be due to resistance in the transmission due to a higher than average viscosity of your CVT fluid, likely from age and lack of service or upkeep. This may also contribute to your tranny running hotter than normal, which is not good. Higher temperature/more viscous fluid = more friction = greater wear on components = highway to a failed transmission = $$$. Change your fluid. I just did mine. If you're someone content with going outside the confines of OEM "by the book," I recommend the Castrol Transmax CVT fluid. I just put it into my '10 2.5i, and for ~$36 for 6 quarts on Amazon (a proper drain and fill on a fourth-gen OB with the first-gen lineartronic can require between 5-7 quarts of fluid, not sure about the second gen on the '13 though), you can't go wrong. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself (there are plenty of how-to forum posts if you look, so you could likely handle it), take it to your dealership and have them do it. Upkeep on CVTs is especially important for their longevity. Basically, if you plan on holding on to your car without any major repairs for a couple of years, it's far from a bad idea to get into regular fluid change intervals, and that includes CVT fluid changes. Your car is close to 100k, and assuming the fluid has never been changed, your car would be long past due for a drain and fill. Oh, and btw, if you're already experiencing symptoms of significant wear, it also isn't a bad idea to switch to full-synthetic fluids. Depending on the condition of your fluid (i.e. if it's really bad, burnt, has particulate in it), you may also want to drop the pan, clean the magnets in there, and swap the filter for a new one to minimize the possibility of damage from accumulated media breaking loose and cycling around inside your tranny (causing more wear/damage), though you can probably get away without. There's a good chance your tranny is already gone, and changing your fluid will be a good way to tell. Don't listen to anyone who says it isn't a good idea to change your fluid. If your transmission ends up failing, that's because it was already past the point of failure before it was tended to. Better to find that out sooner rather than later, where you'll at least anticipate it better, control it before any other extra damage can be caused, and prevent any harm to yourself from a potential mechanical failure which might lead to an accident. Best of luck to you!
The fluid was changed when the dealer replaced (I'm assuming) the valve body. That was somewhere around 75xxx miles.
 

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The fluid was changed when the dealer replaced (I'm assuming) the valve body. That was somewhere around 75xxx miles.
"Changing the fluid" in a CVT doesn't actually remove all of the old fluid (usually only about half of it). Because of this, a more frequent fluid interval change is a good idea, especially if there are symptoms. You don't really ever remove the old fluid, but just dilute it. Your vehicle is exhibiting symptoms of spent fluid, so a change is what I'd recommend. Besides, it's really the only cheap and relatively low-effort job you can do yourself on the tranny without dropping it and pulling it apart. Also, if a dealer changed the fluid, it was very likely done with OEM Subaru CVTF and not full-synthetic.
 
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