Last post on Oct 08, 2013 at 8:14 PM
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Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Transmission, Sedan, Wagon
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#448 of 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [rhinca]
Jan 26, 2011 (5:31 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 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [tlawler]
Jan 26, 2011 (5:36 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 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [outbackinnc]
Jan 26, 2011 (8:50 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 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [outbackinnc]
Jan 26, 2011 (7:46 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 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [xwesx]
Jan 26, 2011 (7:54 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 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [tlawler]
Mar 11, 2011 (7:20 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 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [molderb]
Mar 11, 2011 (8:05 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 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [tlawler]
Mar 17, 2011 (12:05 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.
#456 of 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [dsc888]
Mar 17, 2011 (9:09 am)
You made my day!!! Thank you very much for posting the article. It is the issue we are having except I do not have to thunk on the gas pedal to make it happen. I'm just surprised our dealer and corporate make us feel like we have to prove ourselves. I now feel backed up with that article! Now, waiting for the next phone call.
#457 of 587 Re: Outback 2011 Transmission issue [molderb]
Mar 17, 2011 (5:22 pm)
No problem! Just trying to help out fellow members who share a common concern. If Autoweek had this issue with their sample, then you can be sure someone at Subaru is aware and may be trying to find a way to fix this. I wonder if it is software or hardware or a combination of both that is causing the harsh transmission engagement.
There has been a few people who has had some success fixing this issue by having their dealer replace the valve bodies in the tranny over at subaruoutback.org which I frequent. Apparently it's a known issue. Check out the threads on p. 2 and 3 for more detail.