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Subaru CV Transmission Troubles & How to Avoid Them

In Truckee, California Subaru vehicles are popular and known for reliability and performance. But they are not immune from specific issues that Quality Automotive Servicing can guide Subaru owners to prevent. One of the common issues of mountain-drive Subarus is related to the CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission).

CVTs are an alternative to traditional automatic transmissions, providing a smoother and more fuel-efficient driving experience. However, there have been reports of problems with Subaru CVTs, particularly in certain models and years.

Here are some common issues associated with Subaru CVTs for Subaru vehicles in Truckee and Lake Tahoe region.

  1. Jerking or Shuddering: Some Subaru owners have reported jerking or shuddering while driving, especially during acceleration. This can be a problem with the CVT's belt or pulleys.

    Delayed or Rough Shifting: Delayed or rough shifting is a sign of CVT-related issues. This could be problems with the transmission control module or other components.

    Fluid Leaks: Fluid leaks are a concern in any transmission system. Leaks can lead to a loss of fluid, causing overheating and potential damage to internal components.

    Overheating: Overheating of the CVT is a familiar issue in some Subaru models. High temperatures as a result of mountainous driving, heavily loaded vehicles and towing can lead to premature wear of transmission components.

    Warning Lights: A warning lights on the dashboard, such as the Check Engine Light or Transmission Warning Light, may suggest issues with the CVT. Diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) can help identify specific problems.


    If there is one thing to know about the CVT in your Subaru, here it is.


    Limited Longevity: While CVTs are designed to be durable, many Subaru owners in Truckee and the surrounding mountain towns, including Incline Village, Nevada, have reported experiencing transmission failures at relatively low mileage. This can be concerning for those expecting a longer lifespan from their vehicles.

You can prevent this with regular maintenance which includes timely fluid changes. For mountain-driven Subarus the pros at Quality Automotive Servicing suggest this every 25,000 to 30,000 miles. Many will tell you this is not necessary and claim that they haven't had any problems with their Subarus. Even the dealership service department will say this. Truthfully, this may be true for your buddy, but do you want to take the chance with your Subaru?

At Quality Automotive Servicing we see enough CVT issues for Subaru between 100,000 and 120,000 miles to suggest CVT preventative maintenance. You can take the chance and avoid the suggestion, but it is the QAS "solutions" approach to maintenance that saves QAS customers on unwanted expenses in the future.

Additionally, this maintenance service is best to be done at 30,000 miles. Beyond this, the CVT will begin to collect debris and a full fluid exchange is not recommended.

Addressing warning signs promptly can help mitigate potential CVT-related problems. If you suspect an issue with your Subaru's CVT, call the professionals at Quality Automotive Servicing immediately to have it check out with an inspection and diagnosis. Don't rely on a friend or the internet to diagnose your vehicle problems. Only an expert can provide a racked and comprehensive inspection and give you professional advice. Additionally, a shop can help you stay informed about any recalls or technical service bulletins related to your specific model and year.