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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have another option or get rid of it. Hate it. Would never buy another Subaru with one.
 

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Why? It's the best automatic I've had so far.
 

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I agree with Robert...I don't even notice it and I'm coming from a vehicle with a 6 speed auto. Once one adjusts their driving style to suit, it's everything it needs to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why? It's the best automatic I've had so far.
Not for me. It’s a slip monster. Hate it. I don’t think it’ll last in the heat we get here.
 

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Not for me. It’s a slip monster. Hate it. I don’t think it’ll last in the heat we get here.
I don't understand what that means. The chain in a working TR690 never slips, and, in ten years of them being in production, chain slip issues have been rare, and almost entirely caused by external issues, such as a bad transmission control harness.

While JATCO push belt driven CVTs had a push belt slip issue, they're a radically different and lower torque design than our Subaru built Lineartronic CVTs. I hope you are not confusing the two.

As for heat, our CVT is cooled. And, the Premium, Limited and Touring have a secondary cooling system that uses a radiator.

I spent dozens of hours off roading in the desert with mine. I also tow a 4,395 pound travel trailer. I've spent hundreds of miles on the beach. I passed the 40,000 mile mark weeks ago, incident free.

Another forum member who lives in Arizona has spent thousands of miles towing a car and trailer that weighs about as much as his Ascent.

So, I am curious if I am either misunderstanding you, or you're misunderstanding the CVT in the Ascent. Hopefully you can clarify.

1721


I can assure you that if it were a "slip monster", mine would have exploded ages ago, from me doing things like this. ?
 

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Not for me. It’s a slip monster. Hate it. I don’t think it’ll last in the heat we get here.
You are completely right Ponch on how bad the CVT transmission is. Others that claim no issues should not be rushing to defend it because their car is "everything it needs to be" should stop making comments until they have driven or ridden in one that has this transmission. Before you tell me get used to it we have a 2016 Outback. The Outback is a completely different tranny drive compared to the Ascent. Not one tranny issue that I experience in the Ascent is ever felt in our Outback. Our Ascent cannot decide what gear it should be in. Hill climbing is the worse as it constantly hunts for the right gear. I live on a hill - I can drive the Ascent almost to the top of the hill and then suddenly it will downshift, whine loudly, and once the road levels continue in the lower gear with the RPM high. The high RPM noise infiltrates the cabin like no other car I have owned. If I want it to stop I have to punch down on the accelerator which I don't want to do because our driveway appears a short distance from the crest of the hill. Set cruise on the highway the car will be driving along and then suddenly jerk.

I've said it before and will post it again. I get new cars every 4 -5 years and never have I regretted buying any car until I purchased this one. This car for $40k with its loud cabin noise on bumps, banging suspension and other noises is the worst car I have ever owned. I have people ask me if I like it and I tell them stay away from it. I am counting the days when it will be gone.
 

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Before you tell me get used to it we have a 2016 Outback. The Outback is a completely different tranny drive compared to the Ascent.
It has a completely different CVT and weighs a half ton less.

Alas, most of the problems you described are your use of the turbo.

This may not be...
Our Ascent cannot decide what gear it should be in. Hill climbing is the worse as it constantly hunts for the right gear. I live on a hill - I can drive the Ascent almost to the top of the hill and then suddenly it will downshift, whine loudly, and once the road levels continue in the lower gear with the RPM high.
Did you have it checked out? Because I do a steep hill up and down daily, five days a week. It's a 12° incline. My CVT is ridiculously predictable, very powerful, easy to control, and shifts appropriately every time.

If these are not your experiences, I'd find out why, because they should be. Find a spot near your dealership where you can reproduce it for them.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't understand what that means. The chain in a working TR690 never slips, and, in ten years of them being in production, chain slip issues have been rare, and almost entirely caused by external issues, such as a bad transmission control harness.

While JATCO push belt driven CVTs had a push belt slip issue, they're a radically different and lower torque design than our Subaru built Lineartronic CVTs. I hope you are not confusing the two.

As for heat, our CVT is cooled. And, the Premium, Limited and Touring have a secondary cooling system that uses a radiator.

I spent dozens of hours off roading in the desert with mine. I also tow a 4,395 pound travel trailer. I've spent hundreds of miles on the beach. I passed the 40,000 mile mark weeks ago, incident free.

Another forum member who lives in Arizona has spent thousands of miles towing a car and trailer that weighs about as much as his Ascent.

So, I am curious if I am either misunderstanding you, or you're misunderstanding the CVT in the Ascent. Hopefully you can clarify.

View attachment 1721

I can assure you that if it were a "slip monster", mine would have exploded ages ago, from me doing things like this. ?
When it’s not warmed and I pull out of the driveway and take the uphill direction of my street it revs like it’s slipping. I’ve owned 4x4s before and wouldn’t take thus car where Ive gone with a Truck. Ive seen trucks get stuck on the beach where I am from. Its not hard pack like the west coast. It’s a car that happens to have four wheel drive. I’m just not comfortable taking chances with something I'm making payments on(if something has a shortcoming I will find it). As far as transmissions go, with autos I prefer something with firm predictable function. I’ll also say I’m not a fanboy of anything. If it works they way I want it to, great, if not, I find something that does. I m not a true believer in anything tribal.
 

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When it’s not warmed and I pull out of the driveway and take the uphill direction of my street it revs like it’s slipping
That's normal, and mentioned in the manual. And, it's a good thing. You want the turbo and the engine and the CVT to warm up quickly. The ECM programming is different than earlier non turbo models to ensure quicker warm-up, specifically because people don't wait for the car to warm up. Myself included.
 

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It has a completely different CVT and weighs a half ton less.

Alas, most of the problems you described are your use of the turbo.

This may not be...

Did you have it checked out? Because I do a steep hill up and down daily, five days a week. It's a 12° incline. My CVT is ridiculously predictable, very powerful, easy to control, and shifts appropriately every time.

If these are not your experiences, I'd find out why, because they should be. Find a spot near your dealership where you can reproduce it for them.

I just ran to the store. Level residential road 25 mph speed limit I was doing a steady 24 car suddenly shifts RPM jump up. On way home climbed a hill. Steady 35 mph up the hill as it crests downshifts RPM jumps takes a few seconds once hill crests for it to shift and lower RPMs. My wife has the Outback. I take it every once in a while just to drive a car w a proper CVT.
 

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I just ran to the store. Level residential road 25 mph speed limit I was doing a steady 24 car suddenly shifts RPM jump up. On way home climbed a hill. Steady 35 mph up the hill as it crests downshifts RPM jumps takes a few seconds once hill crests for it to shift and lower RPMs. My wife has the Outback. I take it every once in a while just to drive a car w a proper CVT.
The Outback is a completely different CVT.

Regardless, again, if it's not performing like mine is in the video, I would bring it in. Could be as simple as an ECM reprogram.

The CVT works synergistically with the engine and turbo. There's an engine control module reprogram that applies to some 2019 Ascents that addresses some complaints that sound somewhat similar to yours.

I can assure you that the CVT should work like in my video.

So, I'd take it in. Maybe have a passenger record it doing such things and show them the recording.
 

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I'm in the opposite camp, other than the unnecessary faux shift points, I greatly prefer the Ascent's CVT transmission to the conventional automatic in my 2010 Forester which I was never quite happy with. That transmission was simply not efficient and nowhere near as smooth.

If you understand how CVT transmissions work, then you'll better understand what it's doing and how it "feels". Unless there's something wrong with yours, it's no "slip monster". What it's doing is very effectively maximizing the available engine torque to whatever road conditions you're currently driving. This is one of the reasons that the mid-sized Ascent can successfully utilize a smaller, more efficient four-cylinder engine than other mid-sized SUVs that require a larger, heavier, less efficient six-cylinder. This is progress, if you ever move to an all-electric car sometime in the future, expect another significant change in the overall feel. Just because you're used to a specific engine/transmission feel from the past, you can't expect new designs to always have that same feel, they're going to be different. Some people can handle that, other's can't or simply won't.

If you're mechanically sensitive and used to the feel of other transmissions, you may find it somewhat unusual and therefore disconcerting, and may mistake its normal operation for something like slipping. This is understandable and one of the reasons Subaru put in the faux shift points in an attempt to make it feel more conventional. Most people are not mechanically sensitive, and as long as the car is moving forward, they don't care what it's doing internally or how it feels. But if you are, and you're missing the feel of other cars that you're used to, I can see why it may bother you. Please give it some time and try to get used to it. If it's just not for you, then perhaps another vehicle would suit you better. We're all different, and that's to be expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm in the opposite camp, other than the unnecessary faux shift points, I greatly prefer the Ascent's CVT transmission to the conventional automatic in my 2010 Forester which I was never quite happy with. That transmission was simply not efficient and nowhere near as smooth.

If you understand how CVT transmissions work, then you'll better understand what it's doing and how it "feels". Unless there's something wrong with yours, it's no "slip monster". What it's doing is very effectively maximizing the available engine torque to whatever road conditions you're currently driving. This is one of the reasons that the mid-sized Ascent can successfully utilize a smaller, more efficient four-cylinder engine than other mid-sized SUVs that require a larger, heavier, less efficient six-cylinder. This is progress, if you ever move to an all-electric car sometime in the future, expect another significant change in the overall feel. Just because you're used to a specific engine/transmission feel from the past, you can't expect new designs to always have that same feel, they're going to be different. Some people can handle that, other's can't or simply won't.

If you're mechanically sensitive and used to the feel of other transmissions, you may find it somewhat unusual and therefore disconcerting, and may mistake its normal operation for something like slipping. This is understandable and one of the reasons Subaru put in the faux shift points in an attempt to make it feel more conventional. Most people are not mechanically sensitive, and as long as the car is moving forward, they don't care what it's doing internally or how it feels. But if you are, and you're missing the feel of other cars that you're used to, I can see why it may bother you. Please give it some time and try to get used to it. If it's just not for you, then perhaps another vehicle would suit you better. We're all different, and that's to be expected.
I grew up with stand transmissions and turbo hydramatics. I prefer a tH 350 or 400 with a shift kit and a strong engine. The CVT is like a centrifugal clutch on a Rupp mini bike, sometimes loose, Sometimes not. The truth is my wife really wanted the car and I capitulated. It’s not a bad car, I just don’t like the tranny. You have to understand after working and driving 40 years, I know what I like and tire of not getting it. I think that in general, for what is spent on cars that depreciate quickly, we should be able to have better choices instead of configurations that suit the manufacturers and dealers more than customers. We should be able to order a car like we can order a computer. </rant>
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dont be mad at subaru....be mad at your wife ;-)
Be mad at me. In the end, it will be ok. I will get the vehicle I want and she'll have the Subaru. She likes it more than I do. This time of the year I start riding more too, which means she gets the subie when I ride to work.
 

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Be mad at me. In the end, it will be ok. I will get the vehicle I want and she'll have the Subaru. She likes it more than I do. This time of the year I start riding more too, which means she gets the subie when I ride to work.
I hope one day they remove the fake shifting. You may like that.

I learned to drive on a VW Super Beetle. Obviously, there wasn't a manual transmission in a car that I couldn't drive after mastering that. My next was a 1963 Chevy with a two speed Powerglide. I swapped the straight six and Powerglide with a 350 and TH350 and matched the half shaft length needed to make it fit. Then was a 1965 Impala SuperSport that came with a toasted engine (283). I built a 350 and mated that to the Muncie T10 4 speed manual. Dunno why Muncie did the one year on the T10... it was non assist steering unlike the dual assist on the 1963.

24 other vehicles since then, including a Ford E350 SuperVan and its utterly horrible steering and flaky C6 transmission, various Turbo Hydramatics, and numerous other manuals and automatics from various brands, and some time driving Teslas that were not mine.

My only complaint about the Ascent CVT is that it shifts. I love an acceleration from full stop to highway speed under the control of the ACC system, where there's few to no shifts. I wish the car did that all the time.

Anyway, point is we all have our preferences, or we all learn to appreciate the traits of each.

But, like or dislike the TR690, there's nothing wrong with it. It's a preference, or not.
 

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I hear two separate issues posted here, both normal. If your experience is different from these two, definitely take the car in.

Normal #1: My first drives with the Ascent were startling. This is my first CVT. (Per posts here, maybe the Ascent is different even from other CVTs.*)

My best description of what the Ascent first sounded and felt like to me was a manual transmission noob driver pulling out from a stop sign in second gear. Rev hiiiighhhh and slowly release the clutch, sllliiiiipppp and then the clutch starts to rub more and starts bringing the rpms down while the car begins to gather speed, sllliiiipping clutch until the speed matches the rpms and off we go finally in full clutch engagement, what, 3+ seconds after initiation. Yeah, who wants THAT mental picture, and the implied trail of metal shavings.

It wasn't until I watched a few CVT videos of the two v-shaped rollers and chain working, that I got a better sense that the only clutch slip is for the split second of zero-to-whatever-speed-matches-the-lowest-pulley-ratio. Just like a non-CVT. Beyond that, the fun begins. If I ask for a certain pedal amount, the CVT will translate something like "he wants to get to XX mph this YY quickly" - and for my reasonable daily commute pedal ask, it revs me up to 2000-2200, picks a low enough ratio to start me out toward that acceleration level, and as we get up toward the target speed, it will tail off the torque (rpm's come down) and advance to higher gear ratios (in a smooth fashion and not ratchety like a non-CVT shifting). This whole thing can sound and feel like a looonnngg clutch slip, until you understand that it's not. If our ears and butts are used to rpm's and car speed moving up together, then shift, then rpm/speed move up together again in a different harmony, shift, etc. - we are going to think that any speed advancement with rpm's declining smoothly or rpm's staying the same, is a Red Flag Slip. Claxons sounding. But no, it's not a slip.

Normal #2: When motor and transmission are cold, and I leave my house and drive up the street (slight incline, maybe 5-7 degrees) and gently accelerate up the hill, my Ascent does choose a ratio lower (in "gear shift" terms) than what I'm used to. At first it sounded whiny and a bit disconcerting to me. But once I understood that the motor puts out lower torque when cold, it makes sense - my pedal position is the ask, and if the car isn't ready to provide it at 2000 rpm and higher gear ratio, it'll do it at 2900 rpm and lower gear ratio. When it's cold. This morning I started the car and ran back into the house for a little while. Now nice and warm, it went up the hill at the more normal lower rpm (and, given the speed, a higher ratio than when cold).

Again, if your situation sounds really off and these scenarios don't explain, take the car in.

F.S.

* Even if the Ascent is not that different in behavior from Outback or other CVTs, I could see that differences in relative sound levels (motor, road speed vibration) can make it a whole new experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dont be mad at subaru....be mad at your wife ;-)
Be mad at me. In the end, it will be ok. I will get the vehicle I want and she'll have the Subaru. She likes it more than I do. This time of the year I start riding more too, which means she gets the subie when
I hear two separate issues posted here, both normal. If your experience is different from these two, definitely take the car in.

Normal #1: My first drives with the Ascent were startling. This is my first CVT. (Per posts here, maybe the Ascent is different even from other CVTs.*)

My best description of what the Ascent first sounded and felt like to me was a manual transmission noob driver pulling out from a stop sign in second gear. Rev hiiiighhhh and slowly release the clutch, sllliiiiipppp and then the clutch starts to rub more and starts bringing the rpms down while the car begins to gather speed, sllliiiipping clutch until the speed matches the rpms and off we go finally in full clutch engagement, what, 3+ seconds after initiation. Yeah, who wants THAT mental picture, and the implied trail of metal shavings.

It wasn't until I watched a few CVT videos of the two v-shaped rollers and chain working, that I got a better sense that the only clutch slip is for the split second of zero-to-whatever-speed-matches-the-lowest-pulley-ratio. Just like a non-CVT. Beyond that, the fun begins. If I ask for a certain pedal amount, the CVT will translate something like "he wants to get to XX mph this YY quickly" - and for my reasonable daily commute pedal ask, it revs me up to 2000-2200, picks a low enough ratio to start me out toward that acceleration level, and as we get up toward the target speed, it will tail off the torque (rpm's come down) and advance to higher gear ratios (in a smooth fashion and not ratchety like a non-CVT shifting). This whole thing can sound and feel like a looonnngg clutch slip, until you understand that it's not. If our ears and butts are used to rpm's and car speed moving up together, then shift, then rpm/speed move up together again in a different harmony, shift, etc. - we are going to think that any speed advancement with rpm's declining smoothly or rpm's staying the same, is a Red Flag Slip. Claxons sounding. But no, it's not a slip.

Normal #2: When motor and transmission are cold, and I leave my house and drive up the street (slight incline, maybe 5-7 degrees) and gently accelerate up the hill, my Ascent does choose a ratio lower (in "gear shift" terms) than what I'm used to. At first it sounded whiny and a bit disconcerting to me. But once I understood that the motor puts out lower torque when cold, it makes sense - my pedal position is the ask, and if the car isn't ready to provide it at 2000 rpm and higher gear ratio, it'll do it at 2900 rpm and lower gear ratio. When it's cold. This morning I started the car and ran back into the house for a little while. Now nice and warm, it went up the hill at the more normal lower rpm (and, given the speed, a higher ratio than when cold).

Again, if your situation sounds really off and these scenarios don't explain, take the car in.

F.S.

* Even if the Ascent is not that different in behavior from Outback or other CVTs, I could see that differences in relative sound levels (motor, road speed vibration) can make it a whole new experience.
that's about the size of it. I guess it's preference. I don't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I hope one day they remove the fake shifting. You may like that.

I learned to drive on a VW Super Beetle. Obviously, there wasn't a manual transmission in a car that I couldn't drive after mastering that. My next was a 1963 Chevy with a two speed Powerglide. I swapped the straight six and Powerglide with a 350 and TH350 and matched the half shaft length needed to make it fit. Then was a 1965 Impala SuperSport that came with a toasted engine (283). I built a 350 and mated that to the Muncie T10 4 speed manual. Dunno why Muncie did the one year on the T10... it was non assist steering unlike the dual assist on the 1963.

24 other vehicles since then, including a Ford E350 SuperVan and its utterly horrible steering and flaky C6 transmission, various Turbo Hydramatics, and numerous other manuals and automatics from various brands, and some time driving Teslas that were not mine.

My only complaint about the Ascent CVT is that it shifts. I love an acceleration from full stop to highway speed under the control of the ACC system, where there's few to no shifts. I wish the car did that all the time.

Anyway, point is we all have our preferences, or we all learn to appreciate the traits of each.

But, like or dislike the TR690, there's nothing wrong with it. It's a preference, or not.
My favorite build was a 1983 Camaro that had a toasted v-6. Put a 400 sbc in it, lightly works with cam, intake, headers, true duals. recurved distributor, Z-28 suspension, BF Goodrich Comp Was, 3rd gen. TH350, shift kit and mild stall converter. It could leave rubber after the 1-2 shift and had 3.08 gearing and still could hit 105 in the quarter. Ford vans handle very poorly, at least the older ones did with the twin I beam. I thought the T10 was a Borg Warner.
 
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