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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just picked up our Ascent Limited, Package #21, last Friday 7-27-18. Drove it home from dealership and noticed as we were driving the transmission does for certain 'Stutter' and 'Jolt' and has 'Hesitation' at what appears to be around 1100 to 1200 rpm. This occurs regardless of the speed, but more pronounced at 20 mph. We have only driven it 200 miles and it is consistently doing this. Is this normal for the Ascent CVT transmission? Has anyone else noticed this? Any suggestions as to what we should do? Thanks so much, from Pete B.:plain:
 

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There was recently another thread on this same topic. It seems to be a known “issue”. I put issue in quotes because no one seems to know if it’s an actual problem or simply a characteristic of the CVT. Others have described it as a flutter. Some have suggested that a software update to remap a portion of the CVT may solve the issue. I’m certainly no expert and am interested in getting answers too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There was recently another thread on this same topic. It seems to be a known “issue”. I put issue in quotes because no one seems to know if it’s an actual problem or simply a characteristic of the CVT. Others have described it as a flutter. Some have suggested that a software update to remap a portion of the CVT may solve the issue. I’m certainly no expert and am interested in getting answers too.
hey tootall, thanks so much for this information. i have been wondering if my transmission and engine was going to seize up. the words i used to describe it may have been a little too harsh, i was really trying to come up with the right words. 'flutter' may be more applicable. i am calling subaru tomorrow. i will keep everyone posted. thanks so much, from pete b.,,, p.s. where was the thread/post on the remap of the portion of the cvt?
 

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hey tootall, thanks so much for this information. i have been wondering if my transmission and engine was going to seize up. the words i used to describe it may have been a little too harsh, i was really trying to come up with the right words. 'flutter' may be more applicable. i am calling subaru tomorrow. i will keep everyone posted. thanks so much, from pete b.,,, p.s. where was the thread/post on the remap of the portion of the cvt?
It was in here. https://www.ascentforums.com/forum/...laints-issues-problems/1915-problem-list.html

I was one of the ones who mentioned this as a possible future option. The CVT is programmed to "simulate" 8 gear shifts. This mapping relies on RPM's speed, engine load, and so on. My hopefully what you are experiencing is the flutter that many people notice. I figure Subaru will tweak those shift points at some point.
 

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I've noticed it too but attributed it to not used to how a cvt feels and constantly trying to keep the rpms moving.
 

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Just subscribing for any future thoughts.

It's almost certainly the CVT not knowing which "gear" to get into under light-moderate throttle from what I have observed. I think I remember a couple times where it was pretty bad with a full throttle start then you slowly let off the throttle it almost hiccuped through a gear or two as I let off the throttle.

Most of the time It's just a weird shift with the throttle between granny acceleration and half throttle.
 
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I've noticed it too but attributed it to not used to how a cvt feels and constantly trying to keep the rpms moving.
Don't attribute it to "not being used to how a CVT feels". This is not how a CVT should feel. A CVT (think snowmobile or some ATV/golf carts) *should* be designed to let the engine sit at a small RPM range where it makes the best power and smoothly vary the gears. There should be no shift feel. The "problem" with this is you will get some engine drone during acceleration. So to combat this "problem" Subaru programmed in some fake shifting where it will let the engine increase in RPM and then *shift* so the engine will fall in RPM to simulate an automatic gearbox.

I put problem in quotes because it could be a perception issue. We (royal we) are used to the motor varying to help us hear we are accelerating and we are used to the transmission shifting. I assume they wanted to minimize the questions about why the motor wasn't revving up and/or avoid complaints about the drone of the motor as they accelerate.
 
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We also routinely experience the hesitation/jolt/stutter that you describe. Even when it's on cruise control, you get hesitations and rough transitions in the transmission. Slightly disappointing, especially since it's a CVT - could be butter smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i called subaru

thanks for all of your feedback. i called subaru this morning. they said to take it to a local dealer and have the service tech test drive it with me in the Ascent and show them what it going on. i will keep everyone posted. by the way Subaru said they were not aware of any issues and the person who answered said the CVT is NOT programmed to simulate gear shifting.
 

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I experience the same. Is this something that we just have to accept or is there a way to get this fixed/resolved?
 

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thanks for all of your feedback. i called subaru this morning. they said to take it to a local dealer and have the service tech test drive it with me in the Ascent and show them what it going on. i will keep everyone posted. by the way Subaru said they were not aware of any issues and the person who answered said the CVT is NOT programmed to simulate gear shifting.
Well I hate to call Subaru a liar, but the CVT in the Ascent does simulate shifting. It doesn't do it all the time, it depends how much power you give it. If you floor it, it acts like a traditional CVT, but if you give it moderate power then it acts like it is shifting gears.

Also, I have not experienced the issue you are having. Hopefully they get it figured out.
 

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It sounds like it may possible this feeling you are describing is the torque converter locking / unlocking. Even though this is a CVT, there is a torque converter that will lock and unlock depending on engine speed and load.

There are some similar reports described on other Subaru forums, like this from subaruforester.org subaruforester.org torque converter shudder. It seems like this may be dependent on driving habits (and associated transmission control module learning) and specific vehicles.

Our 2014 Forester XT with the similar TR690 HT-CVT will behave similarly depending on different driving conditions.
 
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Just subscribing for any future thoughts.

It's almost certainly the CVT not knowing which "gear" to get into under light-moderate throttle from what I have observed. I think I remember a couple times where it was pretty bad with a full throttle start then you slowly let off the throttle it almost hiccuped through a gear or two as I let off the throttle.

Most of the time It's just a weird shift with the throttle between granny acceleration and half throttle.
I thought I had this problem. It is exactly as described here and in other posts. Your point of a light throttle is important. My solution was: give it a bit more throttle. It hasn't done it since.
 

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I thought I had this problem. It is exactly as described here and in other posts. Your point of a light throttle is important. My solution was: give it a bit more throttle. It hasn't done it since.
That's what I've been doing as well but I shouldn't have to be doing that.
 

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thanks for all of your feedback. i called subaru this morning. they said to take it to a local dealer and have the service tech test drive it with me in the Ascent and show them what it going on. i will keep everyone posted. by the way Subaru said they were not aware of any issues and the person who answered said the CVT is NOT programmed to simulate gear shifting.
Sadly, they are misinformed. The CVT is absolutely definitely programmed to simulate gear shifting, and does it better than ANY CVT I have ever driven in, to the point that other than low "gear" CVT whine, it's near indistinguishable from a hard-shift automatic. It strongly reminds me of my performance shifting Chevy Turbo Hydra-matic 350 (link) automatic transmission (other than being a 3 speed overdrive) with the yank-shifts, especially when I gave it some gas.

That aside, I have yet to be able to recreate this in "manual mode". I don't use manual mode that much though, because of the traffic around here, but I will keep trying.
 

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I would not describe it as replicating a "hard-shift" automatic. My old Iroc and my buddy's Grand National with shift kits were hard shifting. This thing still pulls through the shifts unlike a smoother Cadillac shifting transmission where you start to fall forward during the shift but there's no kick in the back, tire chirp like a nice TH-350/400.
 

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It sounds like it may possible this feeling you are describing is the torque converter locking / unlocking. Even though this is a CVT, there is a torque converter that will lock and unlock depending on engine speed and load.

There are some similar reports described on other Subaru forums, like this from subaruforester.org subaruforester.org torque converter shudder. It seems like this may be dependent on driving habits (and associated transmission control module learning) and specific vehicles.

Our 2014 Forester XT with the similar TR690 HT-CVT will behave similarly depending on different driving conditions.
This. My Outback's Torque Converter locks up somewhere around 17ish MPH, and there is a shudder with it, more pronounced if it's cold.
 
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