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Discussion Starter #1
Here is the scenario: I back out of my driveway, come to a complete stop, shift into drive, wait a second or two (gotta let that CVT engage!) and then press the accelerator. Occasionally I get a 'buzz' or 'grunt' like something in the driveline is slipping and the car does not move. This will last anywhere from 0.5-2 seconds. The car then moves normally. I usually instinctively let off the accelerator when this happens but even if I don't there is no lurch or 'catch' when the car moves.

Any thoughts out what could be happening? It does seem like something is slipping or not engaging. It has happened a dozen or so times over the past year or two. Of course it doesn't do it when at the dealer...

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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Doesn't sound right... Unless you had the hill holder feature engaged. Also, it shouldn't take any longer to go from reverse to drive than your average automatic transmission. There might be something up with your trans.
 

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Op I recently posted a thread on this with my 2011, 2.5i, CVT. my symtoms are the same as yours. My problem happens only when the car has sat for a period of time like overnight. Get in and start car, put in reverse and there is this grunt as you apply throttle (feels like a manual trans as you let up on the clutch but slipping) our car has 22k miles on it today, but has done this 10-15 times since starting about 8-9k miles.

I've had the dealer look into it twice, even let dealer have the car for a week while we were on vacation to try and duplicate issue with no success. BTW I am extremely annoyed by the problem and fear a massive failure at some point although the drives good otherwise.

Service manager thinks that when the car is cold, the fluid hasn't fully pumped through CVT and or the cars differentials, but no further evaluations have been tried yet. Op keep me in the loop with your issue as I am desperately trying to figure this out before my wife is stranded on the side of the road and or my warranty is up.
 

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Mine does the same thing, with only 14,000 miles on it. Pool Runner, I think your SM may be on track with the assessment, except I would think it only applies to the CVT and POSSIBLY the front diff, there shouldn't be a "fluid pumping" issue in a diff with no fluid pump.
 

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Mine does the same thing, with only 14,000 miles on it. Pool Runner, I think your SM may be on track with the assessment, except I would think it only applies to the CVT and POSSIBLY the front diff, there shouldn't be a "fluid pumping" issue in a diff with no fluid pump.
Opps, yeah I realize there is no "pumping of oil" in any of the differentials. I guess I was thinking the center differential, the one that splits the torque or power from front to rear may have the clutch packs dry from sitting over night and that grunt and slipping feeling is the CVT trying to push the car against sticking clutch packs until the fluid lossens the clutch-packs. I really don't know what I'm saying as I really don't know as much as I wish I did about the AWD/ CVT in these cars.

My initial theory is that the fluid is not fully moving yet inside the CVT from sitting overnight cold or for a period of time. I asked my SA if they checked the factory fluid level and they said it was fine and in spec. I'm thinking I might change the fluid out on my own with a fully synthetic type.
 

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Opps, yeah I realize there is no "pumping of oil" in any of the differentials. I guess I was thinking the center differential, the one that splits the torque or power from front to rear may have the clutch packs dry from sitting over night and that grunt and slipping feeling is the CVT trying to push the car against sticking clutch packs until the fluid lossens the clutch-packs. I really don't know what I'm saying as I really don't know as much as I wish I did about the AWD/ CVT in these cars.

My initial theory is that the fluid is not fully moving yet inside the CVT from sitting overnight cold or for a period of time. I asked my SA if they checked the factory fluid level and they said it was fine and in spec. I'm thinking I might change the fluid out on my own with a fully synthetic type.
CVT fluid is a special fluid don't mess with it!

What happens if you wait a second or two longer after starting the car before you put it into reverse or drive? Also your not hearing the parking brake release are you?
 

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CVT fluid is a special fluid don't mess with it!

What happens if you wait a second or two longer after starting the car before you put it into reverse or drive? Also your not hearing the parking brake release are you?
Yeah, I know in my case as well that it abesolutely isn't the park brake. Not only am I always looking for the problem to happen, I even have double, tripple checked that the shift lever is fully in drive thinking it might not have been.

As far as waiting a few seconds before driving, I personally always and have my wife brainwashed to always let the car warm up for 20 seconds or when the RPMs drop.
 

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Opps, yeah I realize there is no "pumping of oil" in any of the differentials. I guess I was thinking the center differential, the one that splits the torque or power from front to rear may have the clutch packs dry from sitting over night and that grunt and slipping feeling is the CVT trying to push the car against sticking clutch packs until the fluid lossens the clutch-packs. I really don't know what I'm saying as I really don't know as much as I wish I did about the AWD/ CVT in these cars.

My initial theory is that the fluid is not fully moving yet inside the CVT from sitting overnight cold or for a period of time. I asked my SA if they checked the factory fluid level and they said it was fine and in spec. I'm thinking I might change the fluid out on my own with a fully synthetic type.
No center diff in that car, only a clutch pack. Either way, a failure of that clutch would still leave you with front wheel drive - you would not feel any slippage.
Sounds like an issue with the forward/reverse clutch in the CVT.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sounds like some of us are experiencing the exact same thing. It only happens when the car has been sitting a while (overnight in my case). Definitely not the brake.

To the posters that are experiencing this phenomenon, how does your CVT sound? Any excessive, in your opinion, noise like a whine or whistle? The reason I ask is I do have this excessive noise issue and one of the proposed culprits (by my local mechanic) is the CVT pump. If the pump is unable to provide enough pressure for the CVT rollers then the chain could slip.

Now, how do we get the Subaru to dig into this problem?

Thanks!
 

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Sounds like some of us are experiencing the exact same thing. It only happens when the car has been sitting a while (overnight in my case). Definitely not the brake.

To the posters that are experiencing this phenomenon, how does your CVT sound? Any excessive, in your opinion, noise like a whine or whistle? The reason I ask is I do have this excessive noise issue and one of the proposed culprits (by my local mechanic) is the CVT pump. If the pump is unable to provide enough pressure for the CVT rollers then the chain could slip.

Now, how do we get the Subaru to dig into this problem?

Thanks!
Make a video or two one inside one outside - go to the subaru website and file a customer ticket with their online form. They will contact you fast within a couple of days. But you need to be ready to take the car to the local dealer so Mother subaru can have a tech check it etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Make a video or two one inside one outside - go to the subaru website and file a customer ticket with their online form. They will contact you fast within a couple of days. But you need to be ready to take the car to the local dealer so Mother subaru can have a tech check it etc.
Good idea. I've heard about folks getting tech's to check out their vehicles but I did not know that I can initiate the contact. I always thought the dealer had to do it.
 

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I have found that you can drop mother subaru a note either the day you take the car in or prior to taking it in and they have always called or emailed me to check back and also have been incontact with the lead tech to sort out the issue. I have found the response you get from the shop is VERY different than what you get when your car is not on Mother Subaru's radar.
 

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I, too, have the "slip/chatter/shudder" under the following scenario: sitting LONG over night in my level garage OR sitting 8-12 hours at work which puts the car at a very, very slight incline. In both scenarios, it's .5-2 seconds of what feels like slipping/chattering.

Additionally, I have a VERY distinct whine at 54-58mph (can be heard anytime stereo is at 10 or below); it sounds as though it's from the rear, but extensive test driving by my local Subaru dealer concluded "normal CVT noise"- something I don't buy, but it's worthless fighting with them.

I'm going to keep monitoring- in all other scenarios, it's 100% operational and superb, with no other issues
 

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Sounds like some of us are experiencing the exact same thing. It only happens when the car has been sitting a while (overnight in my case). Definitely not the brake.

To the posters that are experiencing this phenomenon, how does your CVT sound? Any excessive, in your opinion, noise like a whine or whistle? The reason I ask is I do have this excessive noise issue and one of the proposed culprits (by my local mechanic) is the CVT pump. If the pump is unable to provide enough pressure for the CVT rollers then the chain could slip.

Now, how do we get the Subaru to dig into this problem?

Thanks!
Why would it not then be slipping in reverse before the OP reverses direction?
 

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Sounds like some of us are experiencing the exact same thing. It only happens when the car has been sitting a while (overnight in my case). Definitely not the brake.

To the posters that are experiencing this phenomenon, how does your CVT sound? Any excessive, in your opinion, noise like a whine or whistle? The reason I ask is I do have this excessive noise issue and one of the proposed culprits (by my local mechanic) is the CVT pump. If the pump is unable to provide enough pressure for the CVT rollers then the chain could slip.

Now, how do we get the Subaru to dig into this problem?

Thanks!
As far as noise goes I'm not 100% sure of the exact sound, when the slip & chatter happens I'm useually so :mad: and both :confused: that it's dificult to pin down everything at once. Just like the guy that said to make a video, in my case the problem is intermittant and at times will not happen for months in between, but has happened twice in the same day so it would be extremely dificult to film it.

My dealer has indicated that they have documented it twice already, so even if I have a major problem outside the warranty period Subaru should still work with me if it fails. I don't think I'm going to be able to get Subaru to do anything else unless of catastrophic failure alltogether.

I may in fact buy another Subaru, but I don't ever want another car with a CVT that is for sure.
 

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I, too, have the "slip/chatter/shudder" under the following scenario: sitting LONG over night in my level garage OR sitting 8-12 hours at work which puts the car at a very, very slight incline. In both scenarios, it's .5-2 seconds of what feels like slipping/chattering.

Additionally, I have a VERY distinct whine at 54-58mph (can be heard anytime stereo is at 10 or below); it sounds as though it's from the rear, but extensive test driving by my local Subaru dealer concluded "normal CVT noise"- something I don't buy, but it's worthless fighting with them.

I'm going to keep monitoring- in all other scenarios, it's 100% operational and superb, with no other issues
Your example is exactly like my scenario, keep us posted if this gets worse or you can get someone or Subaru to fix/ explain what is going on here. My car has 22K miles and has been babbied and driven with kid gloves by mostly my wife.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I may try recording every time I drive after the car sits overnight. I may catch it and not a big deal to record with my phone. I will also attempt to record the CVT whine.

Is there a solenoid involved when shifting from R to F or is there a direct linkage from the shifter to the CVT?

It is very frustrating that we can't get Subaru, and the dealers, to investigate intermittent problems. I understand their reasons for not doing so but how does that help us down the road? If this problem is in fact some forward/reverse clutch issue then what do we do at 90k when it fails? I know Subaru is 'good' about taking care of their customers but they have no obligation to do so after the warranty expires.
 

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Just wondering if anyone else with this problem or has noticed it with their CVT Outback has had anymore luck figuring out the shuddering vibe, grunting when shifting the car from park to reverse or drive, engine cold?

Wife & kids and I went to the store this evening, probably 49-52 degrees +/- outside, after being in the store, car did the shudder, grunt thing after getting back into the car, starting, then shifting into reverse and applying throttle to reverse. This time I was definately on a level parking lot, backed srtaight out and did not turn the wheels.

I actually stopped in the middle of the spot, checked to make sure the gear selector was firmly in reverse, put it back in park, then tried reverse again and it still shuddered and vibed but not as intense as initially, stopped put back in park and repeated again, still did it but not as intense as 2nd time, by the third time it was fine and normal??? WTH is going on with my car? This can't be normal.

It's almost as if under certain conditions the fluid in the CVT drains out partially or completely and has to be pumped back into the unit during warm-up before driving off? Whats odd is this is the first time it's done it since about two months ago leaving it with the dealer only to not do it the entire time they had the car for an entire week. Extremely frustrating.

Again the feeling is like picture driving say 30-40 mph over a 20 ft washboard surface, now picture the same vibration and sound that would make but backing up at 1-2 mph. I cannot get this **** car to do this at the dealer and fear I'm going to be left holding the bag on the repair bill down the road. Just for poops & giggles I called Subaru parts and got a quote just to see how much a new CVT unit cost (You cant tear it down) it must be entirely replaced as a complete unit, it would be $8500 out of pocket. Luckily I bought the extended warranty but only to 7 years, 100K miles.
 

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I may try recording every time I drive after the car sits overnight. I may catch it and not a big deal to record with my phone. I will also attempt to record the CVT whine.

Is there a solenoid involved when shifting from R to F or is there a direct linkage from the shifter to the CVT?

It is very frustrating that we can't get Subaru, and the dealers, to investigate intermittent problems. I understand their reasons for not doing so but how does that help us down the road? If this problem is in fact some forward/reverse clutch issue then what do we do at 90k when it fails? I know Subaru is 'good' about taking care of their customers but they have no obligation to do so after the warranty expires.
I beleive there is a multiplate forward/reverse clutch that is operated by a solenoid valve. Same as in a traditional automatic.
 
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