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2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT
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I didn't think it was much of a big deal because its been there since day one. Well this post has scared this **** out of me..... I've head the noise from day one. All of a sudden starting yesterday i am not noticing it anymore wtf.... not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing at this point in time. I think i need to take it into the shop as well.... I have noticed on a few occasions that the engine seems to almost stutter temporarily at very low rpms or like rubber-banding.. its weird. ughhh
 

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2020 Touring XT, Cinnamon Brown Pearl
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330 Posts
The service department manager told me that they wanted to "flush the transmission fluid and/or open up the transmission" to investigate further but Subaru would not allow them to. Subaru instructed the service department to replace the entire transmission and send the faulty transmission back to them.
This is a good outcome. You are much better off with a new transmission than one that is repaired. There may be multiple issues in your transmission caused by what isn't right, and this plan of action is much better for you, the owner.
 

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2014 3.6R Limited
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911 Posts
The only thing I could think of that might engage at 20 MPH would be the torque converter locking up. The majority of whine in vehicles are usually transmission or power steering related.
 

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This is the exact same thing I am hearing on my 2020 Outback Limited XT purchased in November 2019. It started about a month ago and has seemed to get worse. I have scheduled a service check for next Friday 2/7/20. The car has 4200 miles on it. It is not driven daily, just on weekends and on tout of town trips. I consider it has "very low use" but still that is little more tha a 1000 per month.

If you do not mind, please share if your problem was resolved.

thanks
 

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Anyone having this whining sound issue with their 2020 Outback XT?

The first dealer I took it to would not even admit they could hear the the sound (I honestly do not believe they even looked at it). The service manager at the first dealer I worked with was talking so much he drowned out the sound during our test drive. He said they had sent the "data" to Subaru and they said it was "normal". He kept saying "it is the way your are driving it", when I asked how "I should be driving it to make the sound go away" he would respond "I am not telling you how to drive". I asked him to drive it, he never said he would, just kept talking about his "extensive experience" and "do you understand "how a CVT works". At that point it dawned on me he was just avoiding addressing the sound and I decided there was no need to do amymore with this dealership. I let him finish his show and politely left. I was not provided any documentation of the diagnostics or record of the service visit.

I took it to a second dealer yesterday. My Limited XT was diagnosed with potential transmission problem yesterday. Dealer says they are waiting on a response from Subaru. I may get the same response as the first dealer I took it to but at least I feel like they actually looked at it. The did say they could hear the sound once the car was put on the rack and they listen external to the car. the tech who drive the car also acknowledged he could hear the sound while he drove it. He said he had never heard this sound before on any Subaru.

The dealer I took it to yesterday was the complete opposite from the fist dealer (the dealer I purchased the car from I might add). Very professional and took the time to try and figure out was is going on. Hopefully it will be something simple and not a major repair/replacement.

My car has 2800 miles on it (purchased Nov 2019) I am wondering (after the issue is fixed-if it ever is fixed and response from Subaru) should I trade it on a newer one?
 

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2019 Outback 3.6R Touring
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Anyone having this whining sound issue with their 2020 Outback XT?

The first dealer I took it to would not even admit they could hear the the sound (I honestly do not believe they even looked at it). The service manager at the first dealer I worked with was talking so much he drowned out the sound during our test drive. He said they had sent the "data" to Subaru and they said it was "normal". He kept saying "it is the way your are driving it", when I asked how "I should be driving it to make the sound go away" he would respond "I am not telling you how to drive". I asked him to drive it, he never said he would, just kept talking about his "extensive experience" and "do you understand "how a CVT works". At that point it dawned on me he was just avoiding addressing the sound and I decided there was no need to do amymore with this dealership. I let him finish his show and politely left. I was not provided any documentation of the diagnostics or record of the service visit.

I took it to a second dealer yesterday. My Limited XT was diagnosed with potential transmission problem yesterday. Dealer says they are waiting on a response from Subaru. I may get the same response as the first dealer I took it to but at least I feel like they actually looked at it. The did say they could hear the sound once the car was put on the rack and they listen external to the car. the tech who drive the car also acknowledged he could hear the sound while he drove it. He said he had never heard this sound before on any Subaru.

The dealer I took it to yesterday was the complete opposite from the fist dealer (the dealer I purchased the car from I might add). Very professional and took the time to try and figure out was is going on. Hopefully it will be something simple and not a major repair/replacement.

My car has 2800 miles on it (purchased Nov 2019) I am wondering (after the issue is fixed-if it ever is fixed and response from Subaru) should I trade it on a newer one?
Trading in a brand new vehicle you will take a major hit financially. You should wait to see what is wrong and how they fix it. That aside it is amazing how many people have major issues with a new car and then get the same car as a replace.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I'm glad to hear your car is at a better service department now, hopefully they'll get to the bottom of the issue and do the right thing.

To clarify there were two distinct "whines" from the transmission on my vehicle. The first "whine" was mild, low throttle, parking lot speeds. I believe this mild whine is normal for the CVT transmission (at least I hope lol).

The second "whine" is a louder, much more noticeable and intrusive noise in the cabin that came on right at around 20mph and stayed exactly the same in pitch and loudness up until around 70'ish mph. It was not affected at all by the throttle or RPM's. It only went away when slowing down to a complete stop and sounded like a jet engine quickly winding down to a stop. That second "whine" did not sound normal at all and the service department agreed immediately.

The dealership did replace my original vehicle with a new one. The new vehicle is the exact same model (minus a couple of minor options) and it does not have the same problem (the abnormal 20-70mph whine). It does however have the mild low speed whine which I believe is normal.

I have heard of another 2020 Outback owner (who coincidentally happened to be a new car inspector) who noticed his transmission leaking fluid immediately after purchasing. I heard his dealership may have replaced his vehicle. I don't know the details on that situation, or if he had any noticeable issues (like whining noises), perhaps he's on this forum.
 

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OutbackOrin,

What you describe is exactly the sound I am hearing. At the first dealership I requested to drive a new one on the lot (with the service manager riding with me) and did not hear the sound in the car. But still managed to get nowhere as with the first dealer (service manager).

I have not heard back from the second dealer yet, so not sure what direction this is going to take. We will see. I hope it can be resolved.

Thanks for replying.
 

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2018 Outback Limited, Tungsten/Ivory
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218 Posts
I'm glad to hear your car is at a better service department now, hopefully they'll get to the bottom of the issue and do the right thing.

To clarify there were two distinct "whines" from the transmission on my vehicle. The first "whine" was mild, low throttle, parking lot speeds. I believe this mild whine is normal for the CVT transmission (at least I hope lol).

The second "whine" is a louder, much more noticeable and intrusive noise in the cabin that came on right at around 20mph and stayed exactly the same in pitch and loudness up until around 70'ish mph. It was not affected at all by the throttle or RPM's. It only went away when slowing down to a complete stop and sounded like a jet engine quickly winding down to a stop. That second "whine" did not sound normal at all and the service department agreed immediately.

The dealership did replace my original vehicle with a new one. The new vehicle is the exact same model (minus a couple of minor options) and it does not have the same problem (the abnormal 20-70mph whine). It does however have the mild low speed whine which I believe is normal.

I have heard of another 2020 Outback owner (who coincidentally happened to be a new car inspector) who noticed his transmission leaking fluid immediately after purchasing. I heard his dealership may have replaced his vehicle. I don't know the details on that situation, or if he had any noticeable issues (like whining noises), perhaps he's on this forum.
I wonder if these transmission noises are specific to the new 2020 "XT" versions. I think I read they use a different version of Transmission versus the one the 2.5 engine gets.
 

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2010/2016 outback
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I wonder if these transmission noises are specific to the new 2020 "XT" versions. I think I read they use a different version of Transmission versus the one the 2.5 engine gets.
Look at the Ascent forum and you will see and read about transmission issues. The Outback has the same 2.4/HDCVT. Also, the 2.5 uses a totally different CVT.
 

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Don't hear the noise. My car built in Jan 202, has about 650 miles. Have not heard it yet, but do play the music a bit loud. I will take it on a road trip this weekend and will listen for it on a long highway drive.
 

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2020 Outback 2.5i
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My Outback has been making its fair share of noises since I bought it in November, not much whine, but I get minor screeching and clicks when shifting out of park (sounds like the breaks?) Nothing too bad to worry me a whole lot, but will be in touch with service at the dealership when I go for my first scheduled maintenance.
 

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Hi all. After getting some useful pointers in this and other threads I wanted to chime in.

I have a 2020 Onyx Edition XT that I bought in mid-November 2019, currently has ~2,500 miles on it. I'm not a "car guy" so, never having had anything with a turbo in it (or anything even remotely advanced, frankly), I assumed that the odd speed-dependent whine I heard in the car when I test drove it (alone) was normal. The whine never went away, and finally last week I drove in the car with a friend who's an ASE-certified mechanic. He told me that yeah, that noise is not normal and I should get it to a dealership ASAP. Today I took the car to the dealership (Liberty City Subaru in Libertyville, IL) and after all of 20 minutes examining the car they told me that it needs a new transmission. At least it should be ready by early next week, so...yay? I'm left wondering if I should ask for additional warranty coverage, at least for the transmission. I sorely doubt I could make the case to SOA for a brand-new car, although I could have if I'd been a bit more diligent early in the ownership process.

Anyway, one more data point, at least.
 

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Turbo or Non-Turbo 4 cylinder?


There are probably a hundred pages of people having identical issues with their Subaru Ascents which have the same exact transmission as the turbo 2020 Outback. I believe the non-turbo 2.5 Outback has a completely different transmission, hence why it seems like the people with turbo Outbacks are having the whine.

I went through the Ascent forums and looks like the vast majority of issues were resolved by a full transmission change done on warranty.

The Ascent was introduced I think almost a year earlier than the outback and most issues are with people having 5 to 10K on the tranmissions.

Will be interesting to know how this pans out and if SOA has done something already for the turbo transmissions.
 

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Turbo or Non-Turbo 4 cylinder?


There are probably a hundred pages of people having identical issues with their Subaru Ascents which have the same exact transmission as the turbo 2020 Outback. I believe the non-turbo 2.5 Outback has a completely different transmission, hence why it seems like the people with turbo Outbacks are having the whine.
[...]
The XT denotes a 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer-four, which is indeed the same used in the Ascent. I hadn't realized the connection. I'll check out that thread, thanks!

<edit to add> The linked thread doesn't really describe the issue I observed. That's not to say there isn't a connection, though!
 
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