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2012 2.5 wagon, named Newbaru
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am taking a trip through the Rockies in my 2012 6speed, 2.5 engine.

I live at 37 feet and have not experienced too many driveability issues until we started climbing above 2000 feet. The engine has absolutely no torque. I cannot maintain any speed. I have had to shift all the way down to 3rd just to maintain any kind of speed. Mostly in the 35 to 40 mph range. I used to have a 2007 Outback and never experienced this lack of power.

Any one experience this problem and if so what was the cure if any?

thanks
 

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170hp - and a manual transmission - its called rowing your gears ALOT. LOL

I've been driving the 170hp subaru since 2001 for 180,000 miles it was a manual transmission you need to shift - and the engine pulls hard right around 3200 rpm anything beyond 3800rpm isn't much use with this current engine given your torque starts to fall off at 4000rpms. There is only so much 170hp can do and once your down into the 2000rpm range you don't have much power to climb hills with SHIFT.

I really like the CVT when it comes to this it does A WHOLE LOT of Gear ratio changing to keep the power going - car climbs like a bat out of **** compared to the old MT.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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1,698 Posts
Am taking a trip through the Rockies in my 2012 6speed, 2.5 engine.

I live at 37 feet and have not experienced too many driveability issues until we started climbing above 2000 feet. The engine has absolutely no torque. I cannot maintain any speed. I have had to shift all the way down to 3rd just to maintain any kind of speed. Mostly in the 35 to 40 mph range. I used to have a 2007 Outback and never experienced this lack of power.

Any one experience this problem and if so what was the cure if any?

thanks
Either you have unreasonable expectations, or there is something wrong with your car. I live at 7200', and I find the performance acceptable. I do have the CVT, however, so it is allowed to rev when necessary. You lose almost 3% of your torque per 1000' of elevation......if you feel that you have less than that, take it into a dealer.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5 Premium Steel Silver
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I live in Florida @ 50ft and took a trip to Wyoming/Colorado in June. Above 2000', the Outback a noticeable loss in power and felt like a totally different vehicle compared to what I was used to. You should have seen us climbing Pikes Peak @ 14K above sea level. The cure? Returning home, got all the power back by the time I crossed Kansas. Still averaged 30.6 Mpg over 5800 miles, so the elevation did not kill my fuel mileage.:29:
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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3,565 Posts
To the OP: The 6MT gearing is unusually tall (presumably for max mpg).
If you drive it like a 4-speed MT with two overdrives, it's just fine.

...the engine pulls hard right around 3200 rpm anything beyond 3800rpm
isn't much use with this current engine given your torque starts to fall off
at 4000rpms.
That's absolute rubbish.

For any given gear, any engine "pulls hardest" at its torque peak.
That's 4000 rpm in the 2012 2.5i.

For any given speed, any engine "pulls hardest" at its power peak.
That's 5600 rpm for the 2012 2.5i.

At 5600 rpm, the 2.5i is still generating 93.8% of peak torque.

The 2.5i matches or exceeds the specific torque (lb-ft per liter)
of MOST modern, naturally aspirated, SOHC, gasoline engines.

There is only so much 170hp can do and once your [sic] down into
the 2000 rpm range you don't have much power to climb hills ...
When you're down in the 2000 rpm range, you have a 60 hp engine,
NOT a 170 hp engine. Only a mechanical maniac would complain
that his car can't shatter Pikes Peak climbing records at 2000 rpm.

I really like the CVT when it comes to this it does A WHOLE LOT of Gear
ratio changing to keep the power going - car climbs like a bat out of ****
The 6MT has shorter gearing than the CVT -- lower low and lower high.
With a competent driver, the 6MT will climb the hill at least as well as
the CVT -- and beat it by nearly a full second in a 0-100 km/hr run.

...rpms are your friend,

Looby
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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I live in Florida @ 50ft and took a trip to Wyoming/Colorado in June. Above 2000', the Outback a noticeable loss in power and felt like a totally different vehicle compared to what I was used to. You should have seen us climbing Pikes Peak @ 14K above sea level. The cure? Returning home, got all the power back by the time I crossed Kansas. Still averaged 30.6 Mpg over 5800 miles, so the elevation did not kill my fuel mileage.:29:
Elevation improves mileage significantly. Not only is there less air to burn, there is less to push, so mileage above 5k improves about 10%. Hills don't help, but there is a downhill for every up hill, so as long as you practice good technique, you net about 2% better mileage per 1000'.
 

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Welcome to the world of altitude. This is why turbocharged cars are so popular here. Also why I bought the 3.6R. I test drove the 2.5 in the mountains and it was a no go for me. Even the 3.6 is a little weaker than I would expect at 256HP at altitude, but it gets the job done and can hold 80MPH up a 6-7% grade at 10,000 feet loaded with stuff. Acceleration (65-85MPH) up that grade is not too bad but still even w/ the 3.6 it still isn't as good as you might expect. Needs a turbo!!
 

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my wife loves the CVT of my outback compared to her 5spd manual outback sport. exact same engine. she just took it camping in eastern washington where she had to cross a few mountain passes, said she had to shift all the time with the manual.
 

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2011 Outback Premium 6MT
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To the OP: The 6MT gearing is unusually tall (presumably for max mpg).
If you drive it like a 4-speed MT with two overdrives, it's just fine.



That's absolute rubbish.

For any given gear, any engine "pulls hardest" at its torque peak.
That's 4000 rpm in the 2012 2.5i.

For any given speed, any engine "pulls hardest" at its power peak.
That's 5600 rpm for the 2012 2.5i.

At 5600 rpm, the 2.5i is still generating 93.8% of peak torque.

The 2.5i matches or exceeds the specific torque (lb-ft per liter)
of MOST modern, naturally aspirated, SOHC, gasoline engines.



When you're down in the 2000 rpm range, you have a 60 hp engine,
NOT a 170 hp engine. Only a mechanical maniac would complain
that his car can't shatter Pikes Peak climbing records at 2000 rpm.



The 6MT has shorter gearing than the CVT -- lower low and lower high.
With a competent driver, the 6MT will climb the hill at least as well as
the CVT -- and beat it by nearly a full second in a 0-100 km/hr run.

...rpms are your friend,

Looby
Well said. I do disagree about it being geared high, however. I think ours is turning about 2200 RPM in 6th at 60 mph - which is pretty low geared compared to most overdrives. First seems a little high to me, but everything else seems to be nicely spaced.
 

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The final gear on the 6MT is tall so you can consider 6th gear to be an overdrive which means not as many RPMs at lower speeds for quieter cruising and better fuel economy.

When climbing any grade it's always good to keep your rubber band tight which usually means putting it in 5th gear and maintaining momentum.
 

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2011 OB 2.5i Prem CVT HK/AWP, Ruby Red Pearl
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... rpms are your friend,
Looby<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
What a concept!<O:p</O:p
I’ve climbed CO I-70 11K-ft Eisenhower Pass (the highest US-Int point) with our 2.5/CVT, and (Pike's Peak) numerous times past with our previous Odyssey – no problems, given vehicle/load expectations.<O:p</O:p
Sure Corvettes, Allroad Quattros, Cayennes, etc. pass you all the time but I think price may be a factor. The problem really under these conditions… ‘Slow Moving Vehicles Keep Right’, I suspect that more pertains to the driver.<O:p</O:p
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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I do disagree about it being geared high, however. I think ours is turning
about 2200 RPM in 6th at 60 mph - which is pretty low geared compared
to most overdrives.
I guess that depends on what other cars you've been driving lately.

Most of the MTs I've driven are geared to just reach (drag-limited)
top speed at peak horsepower, in top gear. But the OB 6MT seems
to be geared for a top speed of ~125 mph at 5600 rpm in 5th gear,
(in the euro model, with good tires and no speed electronic limiter).

For example, 5th gear in the OB is taller than 6th gear in my Miata,
even though the Miata is 1,000 lbs lighter -- with the same 170 hp.

Anyhoo, I'm not criticizing either; they're different design trade-offs
for very different intended uses. Switching between the two trannys
just takes some adjustment and deliberately different shifting styles.

Looby
 

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The final gear on the 6MT is tall so you can consider 6th gear to be an overdrive ...
Actually, according to the classical definition, 4th, 5th, and 6th gears on
the OB are all "overdrives," with a "reduction ratio" less than 1.00 (i.e.,
the transmission output shaft turns faster than the input shaft).

OTOH, that definition never made much sense, to me, since it ignores
the final drive ratio, intermediate drive ratio (if any), and tire sizes. I
tend to think of overdrive as a gear that's so high that the engine can't
reach peak power rpm. For example, the OB can't get anywhere near
5600 rpm in 6th -- because 149 mph requires far more than 170 hp.

Looby
 

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2011 Outback Premium 6MT
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I guess that depends on what other cars you've been driving lately.

Most of the MTs I've driven are geared to just reach (drag-limited)
top speed at peak horsepower, in top gear. But the OB 6MT seems
to be geared for a top speed of ~125 mph at 5600 rpm in 5th gear,
(in the euro model, with good tires and no speed electronic limiter).

For example, 5th gear in the OB is taller than 6th gear in my Miata,
even though the Miata is 1,000 lbs lighter -- with the same 170 hp.

Anyhoo, I'm not criticizing either; they're different design trade-offs
for very different intended uses. Switching between the two trannys
just takes some adjustment and deliberately different shifting styles.

Looby
I wonder if 6th gear in a C6 vette is geared to reach a drag limited speed?
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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I wonder if 6th gear in a C6 vette is geared to reach a drag limited speed?
Hmm... 638 hp @ 6500 rpm with a top speed of 205 mph.

Assuming that top speed is drag-limited at 638 hp, some gear must
have an overall ratio of about 205/6.5 = 31.5 mph per 1000 rpm.

...still shorter than either the '12 or '13 OB CVT top ratio,

Looby


On edit (C6 ZR1 gearing, from one web post, not verified):
Code:
[U]Gear[/U] [U]Ratio[/U]  [U]mph @ 6500[/U]
 1   2.29     65.2
 2   1.61     92.7
 3   1.21    123.4
 4   1.00    149.3
 5   0.81    184.3
 6   0.67    222.8

Final drive:  3.42
So, if those figures are correct, the C6 ZR1 has no overdrive (by my definition),
since it can reach top speed in top gear -- and only in top gear. Notice that 6th
gear is a little taller than necessary -- but that leaves some "headroom" in case
you need to go ReallyFast™, on a steep downhill ...with a hurricane tailwind.

.
 

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1,142 Posts
... rpms are your friend,
Looby<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
What a concept!<O:p</O:p
I’ve climbed CO I-70 11K-ft Eisenhower Pass (the highest US-Int point) with our 2.5/CVT, and (Pike's Peak) numerous times past with our previous Odyssey – no problems, given vehicle/load expectations.<O:p</O:p
Sure Corvettes, Allroad Quattros, Cayennes, etc. pass you all the time but I think price may be a factor. The problem really under these conditions… ‘Slow Moving Vehicles Keep Right’, I suspect that more pertains to the driver.<O:p</O:p
Best car I ever drove up I-70 was my 1986 Saab 9000 Turbo. That thing could go from 80mph to 110mph in 5th gear up Floyd hill by just pressing the gas down about 1/4 of the way. Literally would smash your head into the headrest with acceleration even up that steep grade....without even downshifting! Had several Saab turbos and a Volvo therafter but none were as fast up I-70 as my '86 9000T. :)
 

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2011 Outback Premium 6MT
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Hmm... 638 hp @ 6500 rpm with a top speed of 205 mph.

Assuming that top speed is drag-limited at 638 hp, some gear must
have an overall ratio of about 205/6.5 = 31.5 mph per 1000 rpm.

...still shorter than either the '12 or '13 OB CVT top ratio,

Looby


On edit (C6 ZR1 gearing, from one web post, not verified):
Code:
[U]Gear[/U] [U]Ratio[/U]  [U]mph @ 6500[/U]
 1   2.29     65.2
 2   1.61     92.7
 3   1.21    123.4
 4   1.00    149.3
 5   0.81    184.3
 6   0.67    222.8

Final drive:  3.42
So, if those figures are correct, the C6 ZR1 has no overdrive (by my definition),
since it can reach top speed in top gear -- and only in top gear. Notice that 6th
gear is a little taller than necessary -- but that leaves some "headroom" in case
you need to go ReallyFast™, on a steep downhill ...with a hurricane tailwind.

.
nice.
 
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