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Subaru CVT #5337566 01/31/20 06:32 PM
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WhyMe Offline OP
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i have been looking at a lot of vehicles lately. i really like the new style outbacks in the 2011 to 2014 range. can get them for $10 to $14k depending on condition and mileage. most of the ones i have seen are about 120 to 130 k miles the one thing that concerns me is the CVT. read they have a lot of issues with them, but like a lot of stuff it might be blown up.

So anyone have real world experience with working on the CVT or it real longevity?

Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337573 01/31/20 06:39 PM
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JayhawkRoy Offline
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Daughter has a 2011 Outback with CVT. No issues at 140K miles. Did a fluid change at 100K miles. No sign of stopping.

Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337578 01/31/20 06:48 PM
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TTK Online Happy
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Failures of the Subaru CVT are below the average for all other cars.


2010 Volvo V70-3.2
Current Fill:Mobil 1 AP 5w-30
2018 Subaru Forester, 0w-20 Subaru oil
2001 Chevrolet Prism:Castrol Magnatec 5w-30

Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337580 01/31/20 06:51 PM
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benjy Offline
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good luck!!!! if it goes your ride is JUNK. the newest ones have an extended warranty on it so they can sell them!!!

Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337584 01/31/20 06:57 PM
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wdn Offline
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Subaru have among the most reliable CVT on the market now. The newer ones 2018-2020 have no issues at all to speak of.

Re: Subaru CVT [Re: benjy] #5337594 01/31/20 07:05 PM
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WhyMe Offline OP
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Originally Posted by benjy
good luck!!!! if it goes your ride is JUNK. the newest ones have an extended warranty on it so they can sell them!!!


and this is my concern. i have read that no on repairs them and the only place to get them is from Subaru at the tune of $8k

Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337601 01/31/20 07:12 PM
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Marco620 Offline
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Change fluid every 30k and that should be sufficient


15' Civic r18, 344,000 mi M1 5w30(3qt)/Redline 5w30(1qt),Castrol CVT Fluid,Redline Si-1
Doberman Whisperer! Honda/Acura nerd; detest ethanol,wind,"green" ,solar & vegan.


Re: Subaru CVT [Re: benjy] #5337605 01/31/20 07:19 PM
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fdcg27 Offline
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Originally Posted by benjy
good luck!!!! if it goes your ride is JUNK. the newest ones have an extended warranty on it so they can sell them!!!


Subaru has no trouble selling their cars!!!
If you owned one you might understand this!!!
To the OP, if you like these Subies, then why not?
Subaru's CVT implementation is probably better than that of most makers as well as better than many conventional geared automatic transaxles.
Many current automatic transaxles have problems and Subaru's seem to have fewer than most.
I only own two Subies, so what do I know?


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Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337608 01/31/20 07:22 PM
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JustN89 Offline
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The Subaru CVT is NOT among the most reliable on the market currently- the extended warranty is in place for a reason. That said, it's not nearly in the same realm as Nissan CVTs. Personally, I wouldn't buy a CVT that's not Toyota or Honda (surprisingly, Honda's CVT has actually been pretty solid). That said, Subaru does have pretty unique offerings so if you find that you really want one, just have a good maintenance plan in place and buy what you like.


You know what they say, cross threads are tighter than locktite!
Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337660 01/31/20 08:19 PM
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Trav Offline
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CVT's are not my cup of tea but the Subaru units seem to be reliable enough, if you said Nissan run don't walk.


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Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337662 01/31/20 08:21 PM
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14Accent Offline
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I work on a LOT of Subaru's (not dealer level, but a fair amount). I've seen exactly one CVT fail. So, I wouldn't say it's a huge problem but it's not inconsequential. Subaru extended the warranty more for "customer satisfaction" than anything, which I thought was very loyal of them, all things considered.

Take the Ford DPS6 in the Focus/Fiesta. It took them YEARS of updates, TSB's, warranty repairs, etc. to admit that the transmission had serious issues and therefore extend the warranty (which should have been an entire buy-back, a la VW dieselgate, IMO), whereas Subaru realized early on that there were a few common complaints, some teething pains, and PROACTIVELY extended the warranty to put their loyal customer's collective minds at ease. This, to me, shows a company that's willing to admit when they rushed something to market that may have have left a bad taste in buyer's mouths.

That being said, I absolutely can not STAND how Subaru has their CVT's programmed. I don't really care for any CVT, however when it's paired with a smooth engine... say a Nissan VQ for example, it's actually not so bad. When paired with a noisy, under-powered flat-4 in a heavy AWD wagon, it flat out ruins the drive. Even the new Corolla's that have the "fake shifts" programmed in feel better.

If I were you, OP, I would base my decision much more on the driving feel than the thought of reliability. I encourage you to go drive any CVT equipped Subaru for an extended period and see what you think. Most dealers will let you take a car for an afternoon, without a sales person, so you can get a true feel for the car. It doesn't really matter what model you drive, Subaru's are like Lego's: it's basically the same chassis with different looking bits bolted to it. Just drive it in varying scenarios, speeds, surroundings, etc. and see what you really think. You may feel different than I do, but I couldn't live with one day-to-day purely based on the rubbery feeling the CVT gives the car.

*Note* I have the same feeling about any automatic Subaru, CVT or not. The boxer engine has never had much for torque, and I've never felt than ANY automatic Subaru has had good driving dynamics. This includes the H6 models and turbo models. The automatic just kills it. I have a customer with an automatic WRX, 2.0 turbo, and it's the most gutless embarrassment in the world. Same with a Legacy, Forester, Tribeca, whatever. Subaru - clutch pedal = bore fest.

Just my .02


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

1980 Honda CB900C - 15k mile cream puff
Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337666 01/31/20 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyMe
Originally Posted by benjy
good luck!!!! if it goes your ride is JUNK. the newest ones have an extended warranty on it so they can sell them!!!


and this is my concern. i have read that no on repairs them and the only place to get them is from Subaru at the tune of $8k


To add to my previous way to long post, the majority of the issues with the CVT in these cars has been traced to the valve body and solenoids, which can be replaced in the vehicle. It's still not cheap, but it's not $8k. It is true that there isn't a rebuild program for these units, but there are replaceable bits on them.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

1980 Honda CB900C - 15k mile cream puff
Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337721 01/31/20 09:45 PM
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SubieRubyRoo Offline
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OP, disregard benjy, the resident anti-everything member, especially anti-Subarus. Because anybody can see, this whole failing CVT thing is sooooo bad that Subaru just celebrated its 12th straight year of increasing sales. You know, because loyal customers like buying new cars with the same problem as the old one, and it's such a great failure that these masochists are convincing their friends to buy them, too! spank

[Linked Image]


De omnibus dubitandum.
Re: Subaru CVT [Re: WhyMe] #5337734 01/31/20 10:06 PM
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sopususer Offline
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Subaru builds a solid car. We've owned multiple Subaru vehicles since 1995. Their harshest critics are those who have never owned one. Those folks can always detail all the shortcomings. Gas, oil, and tires has been our experience. Wife just bought a '20 Legacy. As far as she is concerned there is no other car company even in the same league.




Re: Subaru CVT [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5337746 01/31/20 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
OP, disregard benjy, the resident anti-everything member, especially anti-Subarus. Because anybody can see, this whole failing CVT thing is sooooo bad that Subaru just celebrated its 12th straight year of increasing sales. You know, because loyal customers like buying new cars with the same problem as the old one, and it's such a great failure that these masochists are convincing their friends to buy them, too! spank

[Linked Image]


Perfect example of what I was saying. Customers didn't blink an eye at the CVT issues, because Subaru handled it with class and beat the negative press to the punch. They owned their own destiny, and learned from it.

The Lineartronic debuted in 2010, and after one year of flat sales they've increased sales by 60k units a year fairly consistently. That number doesn't break down CVT vs manual's, but I'd bet it's 10:1 in favor of CVT.


2013 Chevrolet Volt - Saves enough in fuel to pay for itself!

1980 Honda CB900C - 15k mile cream puff
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