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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I have a 2020 Ascent Premium with 15,000 miles on it purchased 1 year ago. It seems I've always noticed a slight shudder, like driving over the center dots or the road edge that is designed to wake a driver up when lightly using the throttle and a hill is approached. It's like I'm just too light on the throttle, the car tries to down shift and it's hunting between the downshift and the taller gear. I know these are CVT's but that's what I and my wife feel. It's slowly gotten worse, so when I took the car in to the dealer about pulsing brakes, (they said rotors warped and replacing), they looked into it. They could not replicate the sensation, so they escalated it to someone referred to as the area rep. The rep called me and I described the sensation and exactly what local road areas this is most prevalent. He told me he would check tomorrow and that if he couldn't get it to happen, I will meet him and demonstrate.
I know of the 2019 problems but I don't think I've heard of 2020's with this problem. If anyone can shed light that I can pass along to the rep, that would be great!
 

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At what speeds and RPMs do you notice this shudder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Two occasions;
Flat road at 55-60mph, as I start up a slight grade, keeping my foot steady on the throttle, not adding any, the transmission feels like it's trying to downshift, but then instantly upshifts again, repeat rapid-fire for a few seconds, then stops. RPM's slightly below 2K then downshift to around 22K, maybe 23K?
Second occasion is on a fairly steep uphill twisty narrow road at between 30 and 40 mph, steady throttle. Near the top of the hill, it gets real bad with hunting for the right gear.
I realize these don't have gears, but that's what it feels like. Not sure of the RPM's as I'm actively driving a narrow twisty road and don't check.
 

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Mine did that immediately following a reprogram. In two weeks, it never did it again (and that was about 30,000 miles ago). It should not be hunting that many times at your mileage. I'd have it checked out - as you know, key thing will be them being able to replicate it. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mine did that immediately following a reprogram. In two weeks, it never did it again (and that was about 30,000 miles ago). It should not be hunting that many times at your mileage. I'd have it checked out - as you know, key thing will be them being able to replicate it. :(
Fortunately the rep I spoke on the phone with and will be performing the test drive said he would call me if he couldn't replicate and wife and I could test it with him.
Also, as long as I got it on record, my hope is that it will cover me if it fails past my 3year/36,000 mile factory warranty. Is that a valid hope or should I just bite the bullet and get the warranty? I trade in every 4 to 5 years with about 20K miles a year/80,000 miles.
 

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I can't answer to how Subaru will specifically handle it for you, but, in the past, I know they've sometimes made allowances within "reasonable" amounts of time/miles. For instance, if you come back at 142,302 miles, I doubt they're helping you. ;)
 

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I've had this issue for a couple of months. currently have about 16000 miles. mine is usually when I'm speeding back up after slowing down. Service department couldn't replicate (because reasons) but it was reported. It is a real problem so more people need to report it
 

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2020 8 Seat Limited (Crystal White Pearl)
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My 2020 Limited is starting to stutter as well - it happens most consistently on a stretch of road on the way home. When traveling around 40 mph with foot steady on the gas pedal - when it begins a gradual up hill & I give it some gas to maintain speed, it stutters.

I am also getting the clunk when shifting from reverse to drive (with car completely stopped, foot firmly on brake and I never remove my foot from the brake or give it gas in drive until the shift is complete).

Very disappointing - but that's what warranty is for.

Was planning a service visit in the near future for squealing brakes - I guess I will get them started with looking into the shuttering and clunking as well.

(edit) Should I wait until the squeally brakes and transmission issues are resolved before having them go at the right front clunk?

 

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I just scheduled a service appointment for these issues. Braking above 60mph vibrates and shutters aggressively. I notice a lag in power as I try to accelerate at about 2,000rpm. I've also had a knocking noise in my rear passenger wheel well that I've heard since the day I bought the car but the dealership has not been able to identify the issue yet. Not sure if anyone else has noticed that noise. Hoping warranty will cover these issues.
 

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Two occasions;
Flat road at 55-60mph, as I start up a slight grade, keeping my foot steady on the throttle, not adding any, the transmission feels like it's trying to downshift, but then instantly upshifts again, repeat rapid-fire for a few seconds, then stops. RPM's slightly below 2K then downshift to around 22K, maybe 23K?
Second occasion is on a fairly steep uphill twisty narrow road at between 30 and 40 mph, steady throttle. Near the top of the hill, it gets real bad with hunting for the right gear.
I realize these don't have gears, but that's what it feels like. Not sure of the RPM's as I'm actively driving a narrow twisty road and don't check.
I have a 2019 that has done this since some time around 5-10k miles. It had a reprogram of the ECU and did it worse after, then better, now worse. It shudders in scenarios just as you describe. I described it to the service manager once riding with me for a different issue, and he didn't seem concerned. The 2019s do have a 100k CVT warranty if they have not been replaced already and underwent the ECU reprogram, so that makes me feel better.
 

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Our 2020 has started to shudder momentarily as well. It usually happens during transitions to higher RPM (such as when applying more throttle to climb a hill or speed up). It's only a brief shudder, like if you ran over only three or four raised paint bars on the road. But I will say that it's occuring with somewhat increased frequency. It's still not "common" for it to happen, and I'm pretty sure that I couldn't get the car to do it on demand, such as on a ride-along with a technician. I'd say it happens once every three or four trips or so.

We have about 7,500 miles on ours now.
 

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Our 2020 has started to shudder momentarily as well. It usually happens during transitions to higher RPM (such as when applying more throttle to climb a hill or speed up). It's only a brief shudder, like if you ran over only three or four raised paint bars on the road. But I will say that it's occuring with somewhat increased frequency. It's still not "common" for it to happen, and I'm pretty sure that I couldn't get the car to do it on demand, such as on a ride-along with a technician. I'd say it happens once every three or four trips or so.

We have about 7,500 miles on ours now.
I'm at 17000 and out of nowhere the problem has started to dissipate. Now I'm really confused 🤔
 

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I'm at 17000 and out of nowhere the problem has started to dissipate. Now I'm really confused 🤔
Could be still learning? Are you two experiencing a true shudder, or it changing gear ratios up and down quickly?

Your power train warranty is 5 years, or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first), but it couldn't hurt to at least get it logged in writing with your service centers.

If I see anything similar, with a cause, I'll let you both know.
 

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Could be still learning? Are you two experiencing a true shudder, or it changing gear ratios up and down quickly?
It's hard to say. Like others have stated, the rumble feeling is/was when I pressed the gas pedal after slowing down, usually on an incline; think off ramp, coming up on red light that suddenly turns green so you go from coasting to acceleration. Other times I've noticed it is on an interstate when the traffic naturally slows on an incline for no reason (because people suck at driving), I let my foot off the accelerator and then as I'm coasting up the hill and hit the accelerator it has the weird shutter/rubble. usually happens at is around 1300 RPMs
 

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Hmmm... I have some thoughts...
Thought 01:
If you can replicate it, can you see if you can catch the RPM's jumping up and down about a thousand RPM or so?

I've seen it "hunt and peck" for a fake gear ratio. Mine did that after an ECU update about 23,000 miles ago, then resolved itself in the first thousand or two thousand miles (hard to remember, because I drive a lot... could have been 5,000 even), and never did it again. Others have needed an ECU update to resolve it. And, finally, IIRC, there was someone who had a bad valve body cause it.

Thought 02:
If it's not that, it is possible it's the AWD transfer clutch chattering/shuddering. Usually, it happens on sharp turns, but, I've heard of it happening on hills as the system tries to transfer power to the wheels that need it. If it is that, there's a very simple procedure to break it in properly/again. Go to an empty parking lot where you won't get arrested or ticketed for looking crazy, and do this procedure:

While holding the steering in the full lock (left or right) position, drive the vehicle in “D” range at about 3 MPH then turn the steering wheel to full lock in the opposite direction to complete a “Figure 8”. Vary the vehicle speed by accelerating and braking. After completing about 10 figure eights, road test to confirm if the condition has changed.
This procedure may have to be performed more than once to achieve the desired results.
If it's the AWD Transfer Clutch, that should resolve the issue. May take anywhere from 1-3 times to break it in.

Anyways, hope something there helps. I have a strong leaning towards the AWD transfer clutch, even though it's not listed for the specific symptoms you two are describing, especially since you're saying it's getting better (normal driving will usually eventually break it in).

Please keep us posted.

 

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Taking mine in next week - this weekend I am going to try to find a location near the dealer that will make the shudder happen consistently so I can Google pin drop the location for the tech to go there to replicate it.

That's the plan anyway.
 

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Excellent! Would love to hear what they figure out.
 

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It's definitely not the first thing you mentioned, Robert, where the RPM would flare by even a few hundred RPM (at least in our case). The engine speed doesn't seem to change during this event, except for the increase in engine speed called for with the gas pedal. It feels like the shudder happens when the system initiates the ratio change for acceleration, but it definitely does not appear that the system is "slipping" or anything like that.

If it's not that, it is possible it's the AWD transfer clutch chattering/shuddering. Usually, it happens on sharp turns, but, I've heard of it happening on hills as the system tries to transfer power to the wheels that need it. If it is that, there's a very simple procedure to break it in properly/again. Go to an empty parking lot where you won't get arrested or ticketed for looking crazy, and do this procedure:...
Also rare, but I have felt this before when accelerating from a stop while also turning (like after stopped waiting to make a left turn). And I will say the brief shudder at speed does indeed feel a lot like the low-speed shudder sometimes felt when turning.

I have not yet done that manual break-in procedure, but maybe it's worth trying.
 
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