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Subaru outback CVT

I own a 21010 Subaru outback with the CVT transmission

When in D (drive) and I downshift using the paddles, for example from 6 to 4 ,the transmission stays in that gear even when you accelerate or decelerate, for 30 - 35 seconds, this can be a problem when trying to merge into traffic since the transmision should downshift to 3 or 2 when you step on it.

any suggestions??



  • When you override the Drive position by using the paddle shifters, the transmission is programmed to stay in the selected gear for a specific amount of time before upshifting or downshifting.

    Why not just leave it in Drive, without doing any "paddle shifting"?
  • My suggestion is for you to READ YOUR OWNERS MANUAL.

    Your transmission is functioning exactly the way it was designed to.
    If you would read your owners manual, you would find out that this is expected behavior.


    Think about that for a while.

  • I don't know your car specifically, but most likely once it's in manual mode, shifting is up to you (unless the safety features kick in to avoid stalling or redlining).  Does something in the owner's manual lead you to believe otherwise?
  • Actually, I don't think that the OP is using manual mode.
    On the newer Outbacks, in addition to using manual mode, one can downshift with the paddles. The difference is that when doing this while in Drive, the downshift is temporary, and the trans will automatically upshift shortly.
  • edited May 2011
    That sounds like something a person driving a manual might say if  they down shifted then complained that is what the transmission actually did.   It sounds like it behaves like a manual and does not down shift further like an ordinary auto.
  • none of this is correct
    1- when in manual I have to use the paddles to shift up and down.

    2- when in D the display shows "D"  when I down shift  for example to  5, the transmission stays 5 for about   20 - 30 seconds and then returns to "D", so it looks like it acts like its in Manual mode for those 20-30 seconds;  during that period when I step on it the transmission does NOT downshift but stays in 5 which means I have no power and the car accelerates very sluggish, after that period the the display goes to "D" again and the car accelerates normal
  • Aa long as you have the option to shift back into drive at any time where the transmission can then down shift for you, what is the problem ? If the transmission makes you wait 30 seconds before allowing you to shift back into drive, that would be a serious design flaw.
  • Dagosa, according to his post, it only makes him wait before IT shifts on it's own.

    There's nothing stopping him from shifting himself.

    Since you already told us how it's designed to run, and what you feel is the problem (which is what it was designed to do), then maybe you need to replace the car for one that does exactly what you want?

    My suggestion: leave it in drive, and don't touch the gimmicky paddles...or learn to drive in manual mode like everyone with a manual has to.
  • I think it's time to repeat Blade Cutter's advice from a couple of days ago:


    The transmission is acting exactly as it was designed to do.
  • my other car has a manual shift transmission ( citroen 2CV )
    The manual does not mention this situation
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