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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last Thursday while accelerating away from a stop light on cruise control my 2019 Ascent suddenly lurched hard three times in a row. Each lurch was accompanied by a screeching/ squealing sound. Then it smoothed out and drove normally. No codes on my Scan Guage, no dash lights. Unfortunately, I was watching the traffic around me, not the dash, so I don't know what the RPM's did. I drove for another 45 minutes trying get a repeat, but it has been perfect every time. It is an early 2019 Touring, VIN ends in 02640 with 25,000 miles. The transmission recall has been done. It goes in to the dealer tomorrow, but I'm willing to bet that they'll do a stall test, which it will pass, and tell me they can't find anything. I know I have seen posts similar to this multiple times, but I haven't been able to follow them through and see what the final resolution was. My gut feeling is that in another 5,000 miles or so I'm going to have a transmission failure, but I have no data to verify this. Normally I would just roll with this and see what it did, but I'm about to go on a 4,000 mile trip. I really don't want to have a transmission issue half way between Reno and Las Vegas.....

Suggestions or comments anyone?
 

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Alas, a screeching sound with a driveline disengage is usually but not always the chain slipping. The final resolution for a chain slip is always "replace CVT", and in the case of the 2019 Ascent, is also "and the CVT harness". It may be something else though.

If they follow procedure, they will do far more than a stall test, and will have an SSMv4 hooked up to the car. From there, they can watch the actual transmission data to look for speed variances in the input and output shafts, and other sensors in the CVT. They pretty specifically point to a problem, so, they should figure it out. Please keep us posted.
 

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That is how mine behaved a few days before it went out - wish I had better news for you. Hopefully they will figure it out and not leave you stranded where there is no cell reception.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both Roberts for your comments. Unfortunately, that is the same conclusion I reached. Now I just need to get the dealer to reach the same conclusion BEFORE I leave. This is the 5th Subaru I have purchased from this dealer. I keep going back because their service depart is one of the best I have ever worked with. We'll see how it goes. As for Robert D's comment about cell phones, 43 years experience in engineering and maintenance across three major industries taught me that nothing major ever fails before 5 PM on the Friday before a holiday and cell phones NEVER work when you absolutely need them!:ROFLMAO:
 

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My comment comes from a bad experience in the area before cell phones were invented. Rental car died in the middle of Death Valley in the middle of summer. Took a half hour before I saw another car and they did not stop. Thankfully the next car was only another 10 minutes and they gave me a ride out of there.
 

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We're bringing two sat phones on our trip to the deserts and plateaus of the west in two weeks.
 

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This makes me think about our potential purchase of a new ascent - we are planning on using it for towing sometimes, maybe even driving it across the country (and back) with a 2k (dry weight) Escape. We have been going back and forth between Ascent and Atlas, but I think it is Ascent - until we actually purchase I will probably keep going back and forth! Anyway, I was thinking maybe we should purchase an extended warranty of sorts, do you or does anyone have any advice about warranty/trans/engine and towing for extended times?
 

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The only extended warranty worth purchasing for a Subaru is the Subaru Gold Plus plan. That aside, the transmission issues of the 2019 (and some 2020?) Ascents were due to a harness issue that was resolved, and, most 2020 and all 2021 Ascents come with the new harness. The TR690 CVT is a capable CVT that will handle your needs. Remember though, if you tow, you should follow the CVT service in the manual. Also remember that the service must be done in an exacting method using only the proper Subaru CVT fluid (the wrong Subaru fluid, or any aftermarket fluid, will likely destroy your CVT, as has happened to others).
 

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Thank you for your advice! The new harness - not sure what it is, but it sounds good! I will look at the CVT service - I am all about proper maintenance to keep things healthy. I am assuming if I do it all at a Subaru dealer all will be good regarding fluids? We have a 2013 Outback that we have very much enjoyed.
 

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Almost every dealership is aware the Ascent uses its own special fluid (shared by the 2020+ Outback XT/2022+ Wilderness), but it doesn't hurt to remind them. It is more expensive than the regular fluid.

The harness is the mess of wires that control the CVT, and hooks up the CVT to the Transmission Control Module and through it the ECU. The CVT clamps the chain tighter onto its variators (pulley cones) when the engine creates more power, so it doesn't slip the chain. In the event of a bad harness, if that signal doesn't get to the CVT, it doesn't increase the clamping pressure, and the chain slips. The new harness fixes that issue, and, most people with the old harness never experienced it. The issue happened under specific circumstances of corrosion on the connectors.
 

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In general? Probably not. We won't be, but we will have a variety of devices capable of pinpointing our location and recovery company numbers handy, who know how to get to geolocation coordinates. And, we're overlanding throughout the deserts. It'll be about 1,500 miles of total travel off road. Good news is, we have enough Subies, and multiple "emergency exit" routes planned, that someone should be able to meet help we've called.

We're also sticking to mapped trails, and recording the trails we take in a format that's followable by others.

I think that is an even better option, since (a) the terminus of the track is the location, and (b) a rescuer does not need to try to figure out how to get to a beacon's location (or a location we've sent). I hope to not have to test that theory, lol, but, we have used it to follow each other's tracks to various places.
 

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I also have a 2019 Ascent and I have been totally dissatisfied with the transmission and it seems that it is a poor design and there is no way of providing feedback to Subaru.

Now with the warmer weather back, the surges you have complained about are back in my car. The ride is horrible and the car cannot make up its mind what gear, if you call it a gear, it should be in. The car surges forward and then abruptly stops surging and then surges again only to repeat the same non-sense until the car gets to a certain speed when it calms down and rides normally. The A/C has made the situation worse.

Subaru passes this off to the dealers who try their best but are limited as they do not design and build the cars. They have to work with what they have. So no win for anyone.

I do not get any screeching sounds, but I am concerned that the car will surge into the car in front. Maybe the insurance companies will put pressure on Subaru to fix or replace the problem.
 

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I also have a 2019 Ascent and I have been totally dissatisfied with the transmission and it seems that it is a poor design and there is no way of providing feedback to Subaru.
Thing is...the transmission used in the Ascent has been produced and in use by Subaru for over 12 years now. Most of the things that folks are generally unhappy about come from the way Subaru chose to implement the software for the Ascent.
 

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Ascents were due to a harness issue that was resolved, and, most 2020 and all 2021 Ascents come with the new harness.
I bought the first 2020 Ascent that my dealer got from my factory order in late 2019. I specifically waited until I could get a 2020 model to avoid the 1st year issues. I thought I was in the clear with the wiring harness. Am I not? How can I tell if I have the old harness or the new one?
 

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...there is no way of providing feedback to Subaru...
You can absolutely call or email Subaru of America to register your thoughts and opinions. Many of us have done the same. You may argue that they wouldn't listen or that they wouldn't do anything. That may be true, but the feedback channel is there. (And I think many have found that they do take customer observations seriously.)
 

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I bought the first 2020 Ascent that my dealer got from my factory order in late 2019. I specifically waited until I could get a 2020 model to avoid the 1st year issues. I thought I was in the clear with the wiring harness. Am I not? How can I tell if I have the old harness or the new one?
If you don't show up in the recall group, you should be fine. Subaru maintains an easy to use page that will tell you about any Service Campaigns or Recalls your car is a part of:
 
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