Last post on May 14, 2013 at 12:13 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Transmission, Sedan, Wagon
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#446 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [redrose1]
Jan 12, 2011 (7:55 pm)
I am yet another frustrated Subaru owner experiencing the same transmission problem. I have a 2008 Outback automatic... for the last few months it has been lurching when it changes gears, especially when I let off the accelerator slightly. Sometimes it makes such a loud noise that everyone in the car jumps! Of course it does this intermittently (cant figure out a temperature correlation) and under different circumstances. I've taken it to the dealer 3 times (its there right now) Each time, they check it with the computer, make some adjustment, and the problem subsides for about 2 weeks. Today, they've told me that once again they've "fixed" the problem according to the computer, and that the print out reads everything is "normal." I put in a ticket with the Subaru headquarters, and am waiting for various managers to talk to other managers. I was delighted to find this thread (very validating). My 2008 Outback has never done this, and there is no way it is "normal." I will post an outcome if I get something tangible!
#447 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [majbriggs]
Jan 20, 2011 (8:43 pm)
I used to love Subaru's but, .....My wife bought a new Outback 2011 with the 3.6 engine and immediately experienced the same "clunking" transmission issue. Major intermittent hard shifting when slowing down and then accelerating, usually at a light that turns green or when rounding a corner. Very annoying and potentially a safety issue if someone's close in front of you and it bucks badly. Since it's intermittent, it can really surprise you.
I tried to get her to return it immediately but we had a road trip vacation planned and she thought the dealer would take care of it. She's taken it in 3 times and they acknowledge the problem but claim it's normal with "this new transmission." Service Manager says the clutch pack locks up when it downshifts to protect the transmission?? and that causes the hard shift. Field Service Engineer says it's "normal." I've had 2 other 3.6 Outbacks and never experienced the issue. It's hard to believe Subaru would let this kind of driver experience out the door and then call it normal. I'm making a call to Customer Dealer Services about the issue tomorrow. You can reach them at 800-782-2873. Hopefully, someone at the corporate level will recognize this as the potential class action suit it could become and get this fixed before it metastasises and damages their enviable reputation.
#448 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [rhinca]
Jan 26, 2011 (6:31 am)
Thanks for the post...I am having an identical problem with my 2008 Outback automatic as well. I was starting to think that I was imagining things or that this was normal...but there is NO WAY this is normal. I had mine in and service said there was a TSB for a computer "refresh" for a transmission shifting problem, but after getting it back, there was no difference. I don't have the loud noise you mention (yet) but it lurches when trying to shift at relatively low speeds and RPMs, mostly between 25 - 25 mph and around 1500 - 2200 rpms. Going from between 1st and 2nd it's clunky, and then races up to 3rd, then downshifts to 2nd again. Also when coming to a stop it seems to hold onto 2nd gear before it downshifts to 1st, not exactly safe.
Ya know, one of the reasons I bought the Subaru because it was rated off the charts on CR, and a safe car..I hope this can be fixed and that I don't regret this decision.
#449 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [tlawler]
Jan 26, 2011 (6:36 am)
I just replied to rhinca to say that I am having a very similar problem, and also wanted to let you know you also describe the issue we're seeing with a clunking transmission in our 2008 Outback automatic. The transmission sounds like it's not been re-engineered since between 2008 and 2011. : (
I'm interested to know if you got a response from Customer Dealer Services or not. I may try the same tack and have put in a request to schedule to have the Outback looked at again because this is simply not acceptable. I'll try +18007822873 as well. Thanks for the post.
#450 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [outbackinnc]
Jan 26, 2011 (9:50 am)
Your car and the 2011 have different transmissions. I have owned two Subaru Outbacks with the 4EAT that is in your car (one of which was also a 2008), and they were fairly smooth, so there is certainly nothing normal about the symptoms you describe.
I suspect the issue is with the electronic control, but I would also inspect the transmission fluid to see whether there are signs of physical wear in the unit, such as a browning of the fluid (should be bright red). Either way, Subaru ought to see it fixed.
Has the car done this since new? Have you driven any others to compare "normal" to the experience you have with your car? While the Outback and Legacy no longer use the 4EAT, the Forester and Impreza do.
#451 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [outbackinnc]
Jan 26, 2011 (8:46 pm)
The symptoms may be identical but the dealership says the problem occurs with the redesigned transmission that came out with the 2011 model. I'm still trying to get ahold of Customer Dealer Services - The telephone number I gave earlier was incorrect - It should be 1-800-782-2783 - .... Reached them, told them I'd seen reports on line - they are escalating the issue... will keep you posted.
#452 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [xwesx]
Jan 26, 2011 (8:54 pm)
I agree. I have owned 2 previous Outbacks both 2006, and never experienced these sorts of issues. This new 2011, started clunking in the first several hundred miles. After 3 trips to the dealer, the Regional Service honcho reported it as "normal" for this new transmission. If so, they've really slipped up. I'm currently shepherding the issue through their escalation procedure.
#453 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [tlawler]
Mar 11, 2011 (8:20 am)
I also have a 2011 Outback Limited 3.6 The day I drove it home is had a very rough shift. Seems to happen when not completely stopped and begin to accelerate. Took it right back, they said they did some kind of flash on the memory but it did not totally fix the problem. It has been getting progressively worse. I would NOT let a pregnant woman or anyone with a neck or back problem ride in my car at this point. The second visit back to my dealer they said they would make some calls to Subaru. I get a call back from my dealer saying that Subaru is aware of this problem but there is no fix for it at this time. My husband and I are tying to find others with the same issue, trying to figure out what our next step is/ options.
#454 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [molderb]
Mar 11, 2011 (9:05 am)
Not to dismiss your experience, but I haven't heard of many other complaints about the 5EAT. Hope they can figure it out for you...
#455 of 580 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [tlawler]
Mar 17, 2011 (1:05 am)
This issue is very real. I took delivery of my 2011 3.6R on 3/1 and it's clunked 3 times and it feels like someone almost hits you from behind and it's loud. And yes, it occurs when you are slowing down and then accelerating moderately say to get onto an onramp.
In fact, Autoweek documented the exact issue on their 2010 Outback Wrap Up at http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110204/CARREVIEWS/110209947
I have not contacted my dealer yet since it seems like it's more of a design issue. Otherwise the car is great. I've worked around it by accelerating more gently when I slow down. But that's only a temporary fix.