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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can I get some thoughts on this before I take it in? Transfer clutch or CVT? Mine's a 2019 Premium with just shy of 50k miles.

There are 2 clips in the video below. In the first clip note the RPM bounce a little right around 5500rpm; in the second clip note the RPM bounce a little right around 4500rpm.


I first noticed this recently while gas prices were spiking and I was trying to conserve fuel. Under light throttle that sudden upshift around 20mph became more and more noticeable. It only seems to happen in 2 circumstances: under heavy acceleration, and that sudden upshift around 20mph with light throttle. If I give it around 30% throttle its very smooth. I've never seen the RPM hunting either.

I've reviewed other posts here and couldn't find something that completely matched how it feels. You know when you're riding a bicycle and shift gears while pedaling? It almost feels like that but I don't want to steer anyone toward CVT 'gears' slipping necessarily since that also feels like a clutch slipping then grabbing. There's not any noticeable abnormal noise associated with it.

I'm hoping to knock out a few items all at once in the near future: this, the CVT recall, its still pulling to the left despite 3 alignments, and state inspection (due in June, but can be completed in May).
 

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I suspect it may be a clutch pack someplace in the CVT, based on the sounds. But, the only real way to diagnose that is to watch the sensors via the diagnostic computer while recreating that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking that might be the case. Just trying to go in with some insight. If it doesn鈥檛 get worse before may or whenever the CVT recall work is ready I鈥檒l be waiting till then.
 
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I was thinking that might be the case. Just trying to go in with some insight. If it doesn鈥檛 get worse before may or whenever the CVT recall work is ready I鈥檒l be waiting till then.
it also looks just like CVT hunting because something changed in driving patters ...
i say put better gas and unplug battery for 10 -15 minutes and see if its will reset and go away..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update: its gotten a bit worse since I posted so I'm planning on bringing it in earlier than I had hoped.

The first symptom I ever noticed was the rough upshifts around 20-25mph under light throttle. I used to be able to manage the throttle so that was hardly noticeable, not so much now. Its especially bad when its cold. This morning it felt like it was lurching forward when it upshifted after I pulled out of my driveway.
I've also been noticing the CVT "chirp" happens almost all the time regardless of how long I've idled after starting the engine. I even hear it sometimes while shifting when parking after having driven a ways.
There hasn't been any real change in the high rpm shifting that brought me to post here a couple weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tuesday update: Ascent is at the shop. Its a dealership I halfway trust at least. They called me this afternoon and mentioned the recall, but re-stated that they're still waiting on tools and training. The 'skipping around' its doing happens most often in cold weather or as its warming up. Of course its 82 here today so they want to keep it overnight to drive it cold in the morning to log data for a better diagnosis. They were leaning toward the torque converter though, which I found intriguing. I'm hoping to have more info to share tomorrow afternoon.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wednesday update: they drove it a couple times today and said they couldn't replicate the issue in order to datalog it...
Sooooo... I'm going to pick it up and see who wants to take bets I'll be able to replicate the issue on the way home today? They're going to try again before 5 when I'm able to get there but I'm not hopeful about making any progress today.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In order to be able to reproduce the issue on demand for the service dept I was doing some testing this morning. In manual shift mode while coasting in 2nd or 3rd then flooring it, I can make it feel like its trying to shift without operating the paddles. Hopefully I can get the dealer service dept to do the same.

On a side note to that: when letting off the gas abruptly in lower gears in manual mode I was able to hear the blowoff valve. I love that noise! I've noticed the turbo can ever so slightly be heard spooling when the temperature is 60-70F but this is the first time I've noticed the bov.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thursday update: progress

I鈥檓 thinking I chose the correct local dealer. The advisors were very willing to work with me on bringing it in again and making sure I didn鈥檛 have to wait. So I drove over there and one of their shop foremen rode along with their computer plugged in while I drove. I was able to reporoduce the issue on the highway on-ramp and a few more times for good measure. He was happy with the data they received and is sending it off for analysis and diagnosis. Hopefully next week I鈥檒l know more. Thankfully it鈥檚 drivable so I don鈥檛 have to leave it there!

side note: I鈥檝e never seen an empty showroom like this before! I believe they had 2 Ascents out front: one green which is assume is new, and one black which I assume is used because of the aftermarket wheels and lift kit. I like the green color but only in Onyx. The black one looked great with the wheels and lift!
Fixture Building Tile flooring Floor Hall
 

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Thursday update: progress

I鈥檓 thinking I chose the correct local dealer. The advisors were very willing to work with me on bringing it in again and making sure I didn鈥檛 have to wait. So I drove over there and one of their shop foremen rode along with their computer plugged in while I drove. I was able to reporoduce the issue on the highway on-ramp and a few more times for good measure. He was happy with the data they received and is sending it off for analysis and diagnosis. Hopefully next week I鈥檒l know more. Thankfully it鈥檚 drivable so I don鈥檛 have to leave it there!

side note: I鈥檝e never seen an empty showroom like this before! I believe they had 2 Ascents out front: one green which is assume is new, and one black which I assume is used because of the aftermarket wheels and lift kit. I like the green color but only in Onyx. The black one looked great with the wheels and lift!
View attachment 16297
That is great news. Yes I recently walked into a "showroom" with literally nothing to show. Last time I was in this particular dealership, their showroom was packed full of vehicles nicely displayed. Maybe they should consider a hologram for the showroom display of vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Maybe they should consider a hologram for the showroom display of vehicles.
There may be a market for VR showrooms at some point if this continues!
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update: I missed a call from the dealership while in a meeting this morning. I called back this afternoon and spoke to my advisor.
She told me the field tech was there on Friday and took a look at my data and determined it was the chain slipping. I pressed for a little more info since they had been leaning toward the torque converter initially. She reviewed her notes and told me there weren鈥檛 really any codes thrown to tell them it鈥檚 the torque converter, or anything else even, so therefore it had to be the chain.
They already ordered me a new transmission and expect it to arrive first half of next week. I was told Subaru wouldn鈥檛 let them just start tearing stuff down to look at possible causes. To me it sounds like they鈥檙e going to now throw parts at it starting with a CVT.

I鈥檒l update again of course if I get any further info. If anyone has any suggestions for me to inquire about I鈥檓 all ears!

In the mean time, why let a little chain slip get in the way of backyard projects? Anyone care to guess the project?
Wheel Tire Land vehicle Car Vehicle




I wonder what the cost differential is between stocking a showroom with vehicles versus going virtual.
It wouldn鈥檛 surprise me if that has already been assessed by some dealerships. It鈥檒l be hard to match the new car smell though.
 

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They already ordered me a new transmission and expect it to arrive first half of next week. I was told Subaru wouldn鈥檛 let them just start tearing stuff down to look at possible causes. To me it sounds like they鈥檙e going to now throw parts at it starting with a CVT.
Yes, the transmission is not "field serviceable" so they do a full replacement.

----

Ah, spring landscaping season is upon us. :)
 
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She reviewed her notes and told me there weren鈥檛 really any codes thrown to tell them it鈥檚 the torque converter, or anything else even, so therefore it had to be the chain.
They already ordered me a new transmission and expect it to arrive first half of next week. I was told Subaru wouldn鈥檛 let them just start tearing stuff down to look at possible causes. To me it sounds like they鈥檙e going to now throw parts at it starting with a CVT.
It's very likely the chain, or a clutch. Either way, the new CVT solves it. Subaru doesn't let them work on the CVTs (takes a very exacting skill set and time). If it was a transfer clutch (or torque converter), they're allowed to replace that, since it's just a clutch pack and it's not in the CVT proper. Same goes for a CVT fluid ("oil pump") pump cover seal or chain, since those too aren't actually in the TR690 (they're in the bell housing, between the torque converter and CVT's main casing).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, the transmission is not "field serviceable" so they do a full replacement.
very close... more of a garden than landscaping...

Yes, the transmission is not "field serviceable" so they do a full replacement.
I was aware of that much, but if its somehow torque converter related, I guess I'll find just out after about 1000 miles of driving with the new cvt.

It's very likely the chain, or a clutch. Either way, the new CVT solves it. Subaru doesn't let them work on the CVTs (takes a very exacting skill set and time). If it was a transfer clutch (or torque converter), they're allowed to replace that, since it's just a clutch pack and it's not in the CVT proper. Same goes for a CVT fluid ("oil pump") pump cover seal or chain, since those too aren't actually in the TR690 (they're in the bell housing, between the torque converter and CVT's main casing).
I just wish I'd have that answer after replacement. I expect it will remain a mystery after my cvt gets shipped away from the dealer service center. Subaru may or may not tear it down to investigate but I'm not expecting a followup from them on it. But you're right, either way the new cvt will solve the issue if its truly an issue inside the cvt. If somehow its something else, then I'll still have a problem later on, but I'm confident enough in Subaru zeroing in and fixing it, eventually! I'm just thankful I'm not in the situation a few others have been in wondering if its covered under warranty while their Ascent sits at a dealer. Mine's still good enough to do some light towing!
 
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Subaru may or may not tear it down to investigate but I'm not expecting a followup from them on it.
I am very very sure it will be torn down - virtually 100% sure. But, yes, you'll never find out what their findings were.

But you're right, either way the new cvt will solve the issue if its truly an issue inside the cvt. If somehow its something else, then I'll still have a problem later on
I think, if it's outside of the CVT, it's (a) harness, (b) TCM/TCM code. It is possible. Beautiful thing is the new CVTs come with a harness, and when a new CVT is installed, you'll also get the new TCM code (and a new TCM if your current one doesn't support the new code).

Maybe it's something besides those? But, I would say there's a 99% chance, it's one of those things inside, and/or one of those things outside. So, I think all's going to be good. But like you, either way, I too am...
confident enough in Subaru zeroing in and fixing it, eventually!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Beautiful thing is the new CVTs come with a harness, and when a new CVT is installed, you'll also get the new TCM code (and a new TCM if your current one doesn't support the new code).
Thanks for clearing that part up. I asked the service advisor about the previous recall and wiring harness but they didn鈥檛 really answer. Good to know the harness will be replaced too, just in case.

I drove it to/from soccer games today. It鈥檚 pretty much slipping every time it fake shifts now. As if it hadn鈥檛 already been said all around this forum, this goes to show why we need Subaru to write these fake shifts out of the code!
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The CVT has arrived after only about a 2 week lead time, which isn鈥檛 bad nowadays. Wednesday May 11 I have an appt to bring her in for surgery. They still can鈥檛 promise a loaner but that鈥檚 just a minor inconvenience as far as I鈥檓 concerned.

I know I won鈥檛 be able to drive her hard for her recovery time of 1000mi after surgery so it could be a month or two before I really know if it鈥檚 fixed. I鈥檓 still not convinced it鈥檚 ONLY the CVT. Sometimes it feels like there鈥檚 a slip or studder but other times, especially on the highway, it feels like it鈥檚 locked into a high gear without actually being in manual mode. For instance, almost regularly now, if I鈥檓 driving at 70-ish mph then push harder on the go pedal the RPMs only slowly climb then it eventually figures out there鈥檚 more demand and finally downshifts, suddenly.

Only time will tell with this one.
 
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