Our local dealer wasn't able to duplicate the problem, and they gave us a Subaru service bulletin that says the shift flare is a "unique characteristic" of our automatic transmission. But we've had the car for more than two years and it never did this until a few weeks ago. It started shifting awkwardly in the cold weather--and now it does it pretty much every morning.
We had a transmission flush last summer and we're very good about getting the oil changed and having the fluids checked every four months. So is this just a harmless quirk in our transmission? Or are we looking at a serious--and expensive--problem? And what, exactly, should I have the dealer look at the next time I bring it into the shop?
We love our Subie, but we're wondering if it needs more than regular maintenance right now. It's only got 28,000 miles, so I'm a little concerned/peeved that we may be looking at a new transmission already.
Here's what the service bulletin said:
(It's item No. 4 from the Phase II 4EAT transmission characteristics bulletin.)
2nd to 3rd shift flare after vehicle is parked.
Symptom: After a vehicle is parked and it sits typically overnight, when it is started and the transmission upshifts into 3rd gear for the first time, the RPMs may flare slightly. This can be an intermittent condition depending on how the vehicle is positioned when parked, temperature of the transmission when parked, and ambient temperature.
Mechanism: The shift flare occurs because the hydraulic circuit for high clutch in the transmission occasionally drains. When the transmission upshifts for the first time into 3rd gear, the hydraulic circuit must fill before it will apply the high clutch. The time needed to fill the circuit slightly delays the applying of the clutch causing the RPMs to rise slightly. The transmission will function normally for the rest of the driving cycle.
Recommendation: Explain to the customer how and why they are experiencing this symptom. Also, make sure they understand it is not causing any damage or excessive wear to their transmission or vehicle.
Thanks again for you time. I hope to hear from you shortly.
have the same problem?
Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 AT 1:21 PM