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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, the wife and I pre-ordered and received our Ascent Touring, Abyss Blue back in June. 2500 miles on it now and we've noticed within a week of purchase that the transmission would hard shift at times, most noticeable during adaptive cruise engaged, going down hill and transitioning back up hill. Also, if we're on the throttle, let off for what ever reason (car ahead, traffic, etc..) and were to get back on. It all happens in the 45-65 mph range. During the week, it's mainly hometown driving and we venture out, 30-60 miles, on the weekend. The only extras we have on it are splash guards, weather floor mats, and the towing package. We don't drive it hard, we have an 04 STI for that.

We took it to Earl Duff Subaru in Harriman TN, where we purchased it, so they could check it out. They felt it too, just said it felt weird but couldn't tell me if it was a characteristic or anything for that matter. They hooked it up to a data logger and were going to send the information to a Subaru Engineer(?) to see if they could figure it out. The service department there has excellent ratings, that's one of the main reasons we purchased there, so I'm hoping we can come to some sort of conclusion and not just sit and wait for something to appear later on. They loaned me a 2018 Forester, base model, since Monday the 20th. It drives great and it doesn't have any shifting issues.

We're picking it back up today. We're a family of 6 and it's the only vehicle that can hold us all. I'll update if they tell us anything different today.

Just reaching out to see if anyone else has experienced this or if they've heard anything about it. I'm new to the CVT world but I was under the impression that they shouldn't hard shift at all. Any insight would be appreciated.:plain::sad:
 

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Several of us have noticed it.
I'm not a fan of the pre-programmed shifts which basically undermine the whole reasoning behind a CVT but I can say it has gotten a little better as it gets broken in. Could be me getting used to it and driving different but I don't think so.

Anyways let us know what you find out and keep complaining if you don't like it. May get an update for a nice smooth CVT.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well at least others have noticed it too. Ours is a pretty significant "thud" or "clunk". I can't say ours has improved though, it's about the same. I hope it's as easy as a flash they can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update.....
Picked our Ascent up Friday and I was told they sent the data log to the Subaru Engineer for evaluation. They flashed the transmission portion of the computer in hopes that was the issue. Drove it home and noticed the "clunk" or "thud" was considerably less. It's not completely gone but definitely doesn't feel like we're going to rip something out anymore. Service department said they'd call me, probably Tuesday this week, with a response from the Engineer. We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update....
After the data logging, trouble shooting session on the phone with Subaru Japan for an hour and a half, they decided we needed a new engine with less than 5k on the clock. Engine replaced, drove it for two days and the clunk and shudder is back just as strong as ever. Waiting on a phone call to drop it off again. Totally bummed out now.....
 

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Hopefully they get it resolved. Thanks for keeping us updated.
 

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Update....
After the data logging, trouble shooting session on the phone with Subaru Japan for an hour and a half, they decided we needed a new engine with less than 5k on the clock. Engine replaced, drove it for two days and the clunk and shudder is back just as strong as ever. Waiting on a phone call to drop it off again. Totally bummed out now.....
Wow that is very unfortunate. I'm sorry you are having to deal with all this. We do appreciate the updates.

Did they provide any specific details about why they went with an engine replacement and not the transmission?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow that is very unfortunate. I'm sorry you are having to deal with all this. We do appreciate the updates.

Did they provide any specific details about why they went with an engine replacement and not the transmission?
No, no details. All they said was that they went step by step through the trouble shooting, coil packs, ignition system, etc.. and they determined the engine needed to be replaced. That's a lot of time, effort, and money to invest in to ensure a happy customer so we didn't really question, just surprised. The engine does "feel" better, not as sluggish as it was.

This round, we were informed that they fully acknowledged that there's an issue. We went back to the service department and had a service tech ride with us as he data logged and marked when we felt the issue. A Subaru Engineer, based out of Atlanta, will be sending a "beta" reprogram that will be installed in ours sometime early November. For the time being, and probably afterwards for a while, we are carrying a data logger that we have to hit a button every time we feel the clunk, thud, shudder we're experiencing in hopes of making not only our Ascent better but helping the rest of our Ascent community as well. The final reprogram update will be sent out to dealers at the end of the year. Kinda cool being a part of getting this right, but just ready for it to be done....
 

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Kinda cool being a part of getting this right, but just ready for it to be done....
You mean you find it cool to be a beta tester while paying full price for the vehicle? I am having a similar problem, probably not as bad. It's been at the dealership for the past 3 days. No word from anyone yet. Pretty low on Subaru right now.
 

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You mean you find it cool to be a beta tester while paying full price for the vehicle? I am having a similar problem, probably not as bad. It's been at the dealership for the past 3 days. No word from anyone yet. Pretty low on Subaru right now.
Speaking of being beta testers ... This transmission insert was developed specifically to help eliminate "drive-line lash" and the vibration or "clunks" felt in the cabin.

https://www.ascentforums.com/forum/10-engine-technical-discussion/1525-cke-ssp-cvt-mount-insert.html

I am not saying this is a miracle fix for bad motor. But it does shore up the transmission mount and lessen the movement hard shifts or ... locking and unlocking of the torque converter. Subaru owners of many other models to date who have experienced various forms of clunks, "wobbles" or vibrations have find a solution with these inserts. ADF (Anderson Design Fabrications) refers his customers to me all the time and are about to become a dealer for them.

I expect the Ascent is no different than other Subaru modes. The voided section in the 2.4DIT mount is the same as the 2.0DIT CVT mount in the WRX/FXT/Levorg. One of you folks should give one of these inserts a try. Especially if your dealer can't help.
 

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Speaking of being beta testers ... This transmission insert was developed specifically to help eliminate "drive-line lash" and the vibration or "clunks" felt in the cabin.

https://www.ascentforums.com/forum/10-engine-technical-discussion/1525-cke-ssp-cvt-mount-insert.html

I am not saying this is a miracle fix for bad motor. But it does shore up the transmission mount and lessen the movement hard shifts or ... locking and unlocking of the torque converter. Subaru owners of many other models to date who have experienced various forms of clunks, "wobbles" or vibrations have find a solution with these inserts. ADF (Anderson Design Fabrications) refers his customers to me all the time and are about to become a dealer for them.

I expect the Ascent is no different than other Subaru modes. The voided section in the 2.4DIT mount is the same as the 2.0DIT CVT mount in the WRX/FXT/Levorg. One of you folks should give one of these inserts a try. Especially if your dealer can't help.
Increasing the stiffness of the mount will only bring more vibrations into the cabin, not less. I am speaking about just normal vibrations from spinning parts, not the harshness. So, the transmission will sound louder from inside. The mount is a band-aid, not a solution.
 

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Increasing the stiffness of the mount will only bring more vibrations into the cabin, not less. I am speaking about just normal vibrations from spinning parts, not the harshness. So, the transmission will sound louder from inside. The mount is a band-aid, not a solution.
I agree, although a band-aid is an oversimplification. It depends on what is causing the vibration or the clunk. Everybody insisted that performance sway bar bushings would create a harsh ride. CKE SSP sway bar bushing prove that statement to be wrong.

If Subaru engineers can't get rid of the clunk, at least the insert may quell what gets transferred. Out of all of the inserts I have all over the world, I only had (1) complaint over increased vibration. That was from a 2.5 Outback and it was the original uncompressed design. This feedback initiated (2) further designs with backed up by field testing. I just don't have an Ascent on hand to play around with.

Listen folks, I am not making a million dollars here. I basically break even. I am a Subaru enthusiast who has developed parts that nobody else makes. Well Rallitek makes these for the 4 & 5EAT, but they are more expensive. I make parts that make our cars better.

I can only pass on what is working for drivers of many other models. These are in Outbacks, Legacy, Forester, Crosstrek, and WRX with great success.
 

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Interesting. I've experienced a similar issue. Ours "shifts" fine, however I've noticed a pretty significant clunk in the transmission from time to time while maintaining steady highway speeds. Almost feels like it's slipping. Something I'm just keeping my eye on for now...
 

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Interesting. I've experienced a similar issue. Ours "shifts" fine, however I've noticed a pretty significant clunk in the transmission from time to time while maintaining steady highway speeds. Almost feels like it's slipping. Something I'm just keeping my eye on for now...
Hopefully the upcoming TCM update will address this issue. The update won't be available until the end of the year based upon an earlier response to this issue.
 

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Interesting. I've experienced a similar issue. Ours "shifts" fine, however I've noticed a pretty significant clunk in the transmission from time to time while maintaining steady highway speeds. Almost feels like it's slipping. Something I'm just keeping my eye on for now...
Hopefully the upcoming TCM update will address this issue. The update won't be available until the end of the year based upon an earlier response to this issue.
Good to hear Subaru is already on it.
 
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