Subaru Ascent Forum banner

1141 - 1160 of 1201 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Ordered a Magnetite Gray Ascent Limited on June 23rd. Picked the car up on Sept. 7th, 10 weeks later. Noticed a few instances of "slipping" in the transmission. About a week ago, wife was driving with our autistic son when multiple warning lights came on and the transmission failed. AT temp light was on, eyesight disabled, check engine light, brake light, etc... Car wouldn't move and she had to coast into a school. Car has 5,000 miles. Had to call Subaru Roadside Assistance and have the car towed to the dealer. Dealer has had the car for a week. They called in a regional engineer to inspect. After examining the car for a week and putting 85 miles on it, they are telling us to come pick it up since they can't reproduce the problem and don't know what's wrong. All they did was check the connectors on the top of the transmission and check the fluid level. They didn't even change the fluid given that the AT temp light came on. Very disappointed in Subaru. They are basically throwing us to the wolves and hoping the problem doesn't happen again. They won't replace the transmission. We are very nervous about driving the car or taking the car on any sort of extended trip. With winter coming we are seriously considering dumping the car. Would never recommend Subaru after this experience.
We are in the same boat. Car slipping and surging losing ability to accelerate along with high pitched noise. Dealership service dept says we can take a look in two weeks but if it doesn't do this while they have it tough luck. It seems obvious there is a major model issue here and someone is going to suffer a fatal accident given the seriousness of what happens with transmission and then they will take note. Such bullshit!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
We are in the same boat. Car slipping and surging losing ability to accelerate along with high pitched noise. Dealership service dept says we can take a look in two weeks but if it doesn't do this while they have it tough luck. It seems obvious there is a major model issue here and someone is going to suffer a fatal accident given the seriousness of what happens with transmission and then they will take note. Such bullshit!
1) Call the Subaru Consumer phone line. Tell them the situation, your concern, etc. and open a file on this problem. It's important to get yourself in the system and by doing the above you will. They are pretty good at communicating with the dealers and hopefully can help with getting your car seen and dealt with. This is a well-known issue. Also, are there any alternative Subaru dealers in your area that you can take your Ascent into? Lastly, can you tell us, please, the model year and build date of your Ascent? Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
My wife and I are going to a dealer this weekend to look at and likely purchase a lightly used 2019 subaru ascent premium (it was used as the dealers loaner vehicle). We were first drawn to the car because it was ranked number 1 by consumer reports in 2019 for 3rd row SUVs. However, the reports that I see about transmission issue does have me feeling a little concerned. I have looked up recalls and whatnot, but have not seen any from SOA addressing this issue. Does anyone have any REAL numbers on what percentage of cars are actually having this issue? Is it a high number of cars or is it being blown out of proportion on the internet? Every person we have ever met who owns a Subaru has absolutely loved it and I think that says something about the manufacturer, but I also do not want to buy a car that is a model that just missed the mark. Does anyone have thoughts on whether we should be considering a different car (our second choice is a Toyota Highlander)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I'm going with blown out of proportion. The number of people represented on this forum are a small part of the total owners. That said, I've still got a factory warranty backing me up. In three years I might not be so confident and will probably buy the extended warranty to at least get me to 10 years / 100k miles or whatever the limit is.

Do you plan on passengers in the back seat or just cargo space? The Highlander rear seat is awful. Distance from floor to seat cushion is like 6 inches which put my knees at my neck. The Subaru's interior arrangement and comfort is one of the reasons I chose it over the other mid-size SUVs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I'm going with blown out of proportion. The number of people represented on this forum are a small part of the total owners. That said, I've still got a factory warranty backing me up. In three years I might not be so confident and will probably buy the extended warranty to at least get me to 10 years / 100k miles or whatever the limit is.

Do you plan on passengers in the back seat or just cargo space? The Highlander rear seat is awful. Distance from floor to seat cushion is like 6 inches which put my knees at my neck. The Subaru's interior arrangement and comfort is one of the reasons I chose it over the other mid-size SUVs.
We will definitely have passengers in the back. We are between the Ascent and the Highlander because those cars will fit our growing family. I actually had a similar feeling when sitting in the back of my father-in-law's hybrid highlander. The back of my legs did not actually touch the seat because of how low to the ground it was. It is good to hear that the seats in the Ascent are better. I guess I will find out for myself on Saturday. I hope that you are right with it being blown out of proportion because, on paper, the Ascent really does seem like the perfect car for us. I understand that this would be covered under warranty, but it is not a good feeling if you have to get your new car fixed 5k miles after you buy it and a transmission is no small repair. Have you heard of anyone having repeat issues (their new transmission also kicking the bucket)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I haven't been around here as long as others but I don't believe there have been any repeat reports.

Our second place choice was the Pilot. It had a good interior but does not get 2nd row captains chairs on the lower trims I wanted. The bench seat isn't too bad but would have been a daily hassle for me or my young kids sitting back there. There's some expensive scheduled maintenance to deal with also, timing belt and water pump at 100k, no easy task. I'm glad I went with the Ascent. It's comfortable, fun to drive, looks to be relatively easy to work on, and has a beast of an AWD system.

Edit: Ascent also comes ready to tow: Pre-wired for a brake controller and cooling accessories built in (except on the base model). Accessorizing a Honda to tow is much more expensive and difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
'''Ascent also comes ready to tow: Pre-wired for a brake controller and cooling accessories built in """

Yeah. Premium and above have the transmission cooler and 5000lb towing capacity. There is a wiring harness that comes with and is installed with the factory hitch, which does result in a connector for brake controller behind the dash. The factory hitch is far superior to any aftermarket setup, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I'm posting this in the hope that it may be useful to other owners. Again, thanks to all of you who posted and provided information here as it has been useful to us.

Picked up our Ascent Premium from our dealer this afternoon (September 2018 build - 9600 miles - intermittent CVT slipping and squealing - no codes or dash lights - brought the vehicle into the dealer without shutting it off - replicated for the dealer tech during a long test drive - see earlier posts if needed).

The problem descriptive writeup on the invoice we received today states that they brought in the district tech, went on a test drive, duplicated the CVT slipping/squealing, and verified with a scan tool hooked up that the secondary pressure was dropping below specification, causing the slip.

The invoice shows the following items:
100 General Repair 90272 WP40
1 31000AK130 TRANS AY/TR690S61DA (CVT part number)
8 SOA635312 HIGH TORQUE CVTF-LV - 1Q (eight quarts of CVT fluid)
1 SOA868V9255 TRANS COOLER FLUSH (container of flush chemicals)
These were all listed as (N/C) and Parts, Labor, and Other were listed as 0.00

The repair descriptive states that they removed the transmission, swapped over brackets, installed a new CVT, re-assembled, added differential and CVT fluid as directed, brought the vehicle up to temperature, verified level, performed AT learning after battery disconnect, performed a road test, and verified proper operation with no resonance noise present under the same conditions as before.

These codes are listed at the bottom of the repair descriptive:
(B303001 MQJ24 4.2 / C303041 MQJ24 0.4 / C303708 MQJ24 0.1)
Based on the posts by other owners, I would guess that these numbers correspond to warranty work labor hours such as 4.2 labor hours for the CVT swap, 0.4 labor hours for post installation, and 0.1 hours for a road test.

One follow-up:
We reside on a hill about 500 feet above the valley where our city is located and drive up and down a winding road daily. The first thing we noticed on the drive home was that the engine RPM was slower by about 1000RPM and more stable (less shifting/hunting) going up the hill to our home. This may be an artifact of the AT learning algorithm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
My wife and I are going to a dealer this weekend to look at and likely purchase a lightly used 2019 subaru ascent premium (it was used as the dealers loaner vehicle). We were first drawn to the car because it was ranked number 1 by consumer reports in 2019 for 3rd row SUVs. However, the reports that I see about transmission issue does have me feeling a little concerned. I have looked up recalls and whatnot, but have not seen any from SOA addressing this issue. Does anyone have any REAL numbers on what percentage of cars are actually having this issue? Is it a high number of cars or is it being blown out of proportion on the internet? Every person we have ever met who owns a Subaru has absolutely loved it and I think that says something about the manufacturer, but I also do not want to buy a car that is a model that just missed the mark. Does anyone have thoughts on whether we should be considering a different car (our second choice is a Toyota Highlander)?
You may want to look at the build date of the lightly used car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
We will definitely have passengers in the back. We are between the Ascent and the Highlander because those cars will fit our growing family. I actually had a similar feeling when sitting in the back of my father-in-law's hybrid highlander. The back of my legs did not actually touch the seat because of how low to the ground it was. It is good to hear that the seats in the Ascent are better. I guess I will find out for myself on Saturday. I hope that you are right with it being blown out of proportion because, on paper, the Ascent really does seem like the perfect car for us. I understand that this would be covered under warranty, but it is not a good feeling if you have to get your new car fixed 5k miles after you buy it and a transmission is no small repair. Have you heard of anyone having repeat issues (their new transmission also kicking the bucket)?
Maybe I'm incorrect but I thought that happened to "Snowgirl". You might want to look at her posts. An as Robert said "take a look at the vehicle build date"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
What are the build dates to be concerned about?
Greetings,
I believe it is primarily Aug-Oct 2018. If I'm posting the link right, you might check out post 2 and 4 in this related thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
912 Posts
The 5 year powertrain warranty covers this, doesn't it?
It does cover it, but most people are purchasing extended warranties in the 8-10 year range. This would give them 3-5 more years of coverage. Obviously there is no long term history on the reliability of the Ascent transmission with this turbo engine. Who wants an $11,000 bill when they are still making payments on the vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
It does cover it, but most people are purchasing extended warranties in the 8-10 year range. This would give them 3-5 more years of coverage. Obviously there is no long term history on the reliability of the Ascent transmission with this turbo engine. Who wants an $11,000 bill when they are still making payments on the vehicle.
Sure, no dispute in general. I'm thinking of the specific transmission problems that are the subject of this thread. The prevailing theory is that the problem might have its roots with some kind of supplier quality control, it's relatively rare, and it usually happens within the first 10,000 miles.

Of course, you are correct though. There could always be something else down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi new friends...I just created a profile here as my wife's ascent has been in the shop for nearly 30 days waiting for a new transmission. The dealer said something about an internal pump not pumping, and therefore a pressure difference between the two belts. They said it would need complete replacement, so it's been at the dealer since Oct 10. Car was purchased just under a year ago (thank you lemon laws) but I'm not sure of the build date.

Has anyone had more success with replacement? The dealer has no idea when it will ship....
We just got our Ascent Lemon'd for the same reason. SOA was prompt and helpful and we'll receive a new vehicle in about 1 month.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
What are the build dates to be concerned about?
As Raindog posted, there is a positive correlation between transmission problems and Ascent build dates in late 2018.

I am an Ascent owner who owns a vehicle that had a defective transmission and I would definitely advise against purchasing a vehicle with a greater likelihood of having this defect. Subaru replaced our CVT under warranty and the dealer provided a loaner during the eight days our vehicle was in the shop. Prior to that, we spent over two months compromising our normal commute and travel activities while trying to demonstrate that our transmission was defective. During that time, the vehicle diagnostics were incapable of flagging a failure and we were fortunate not to be stranded somewhere or experience an acceleration failure when crossing oncoming traffic. Trust me, you don't want to have to deal with that!

We initially became Subaru owners in 2014 when we bought our Forester. That vehicle also had an undiagnosed failure (intermittent brake light switch) that went on for months until we learned about it on the Forester Forum (this is why I am so grateful for these forums). I paid our dealer replace the brake light switch long before Subaru finally released a safety recall to correct it. Subaru reimbursed us for our expense after their recall.

I am sharing these personal experiences because the forums have been so helpful to us. Our Forester and Ascent are both very good cars and Subaru eventually addressed the mechanical issues we had with them. Perhaps these experiences are unusual as compared to most owners, but they are our experiences and I have the paperwork to back up my posts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
Greetings,
I believe it is primarily Aug-Oct 2018. If I'm posting the link right, you might check out post 2 and 4 in this related thread.
I would add November 18 to the list since mine is a November 18 build and I just had the trans replaced. On the good side I have a transmission that should be the same as all the good ones. I am not worried about it anymore.
 
1141 - 1160 of 1201 Posts
Top