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Down shifting

My 2015 Subaru Legacy will randomly downshift, when in Automatic, only on LEFT turns! The dealership says there is a sensor that is “overly sensitive” but now it is a safety concern when pulling out into traffic. I never know if it will occur. Most of the time it will shift back into automatic on its own but there have been times where i have had to use the shifter paddles to shift up then it will kick back into automatic. It only has 31,000 miles, bought it used with 18,000 miles. I have also noticed if I don’t accelerate slowly, it seems slow to shift automatically and reduce RPM’s. Please help as I don’t want 36,000 mile warranty to bypass without this resolved.

If you have a warrantee, take it back to the dealer.

…and if the dealer continues to be reluctant or unable to fix the problem, then the OP needs to “kick things up a notch” to the corporate level. The Owner’s Manual contains both the toll-free phone number for contacting Subaru of America in Cherry Hill, NJ, and the mailing address for SOA.

Additionally, the OP should be aware that, in addition to the 36k “Bumper to Bumper” Warranty, the car also has a 5 year/60k mile warranty on the powertrain. This means that the engine, transmission, and AWD system are covered even after the 36k basic warranty expires.

Also, make sure you get a receipt that explains your problem and what the dealer did. This is important even when they can’t find anything to document the visit. Continue to keep your cool and follow @VDCdriver’s excellent advice on contacting Subaru America.

In addition I strongly recommend against anybody but the dealer trying to diagnose this. It just might invalidate your warranty. Once someone else works on it, you’ll give the dealer a perfect excuse not to fix it.

Thanks for the advice, will schedule another visit with dealer.

Also read the warranty you bought when you bought the used car. There will be limitations on what’s covered, who can do the work, etc., etc. Notify them of the problem and the mileage.

I think VDC was referring to the new car warranty from Subaru, which may or may not have been transferable to you, the buyer of a used Subaru.

“I think VDC was referring to the new car warranty from Subaru, which may or may not have been transferable to you, the buyer of a used Subaru.”

Unlike Hyundai, the full remaining warranty coverage transfers with a used Subaru–as long as the previous owner maintained the vehicle in accordance with the factory maintenance schedule.

Good to know, and a good thing to check into when buying a used car. Must the used Subaru be bought from a Subaru dealer?

This is an unusual problem and the advice above to contact the dealer and deal with it under warranty is spot on. Keep accurate records of all conversations, even short telephone calls, and paperwork proving what was said/done, who said/did it, and when.

Beyond that, I can only offer up some guesses.

Which sensor exactly are they referring to? That info might help the experts here offer some technical advice as to what’s causing this. Beyond that … hmm … well …

Suggest to ask the Subie dealership to check into these three bulletins, whether any apply to your car’s situation.

For the reduced rpm problem

  • Customer interest: Engine Controls - MIL ON, DTC P0137, RPM Drops When Started Hot

If you have a CVT transmission

  • TSB: CVT - Remanufactured CVT Program For Extensive Repairs

If you have the collision-avoidance feature

  • TSB: Collision Avoidance - SRVD Lamp ON, DTC B2350 Set

This post is why I am always suspicious of nearly new vehicles back on the market so soon.

VDCdriver; I was sure you were correct but knowing my Kia 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty was not transferable I looked up the Subaru warranty which transfers to all subsequent owners until expiration. Nice!

Since the dealer is already giving you a “song and dance” it is definitely time to contact Subaru of America and complain. You must insist (from the dealership) documentation of everything complained about, inspected, repaired, or attempted unsuccessful repairs. You are under warranty. In 2003 I had a minor warranty claim on my 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The dealership tried to charge me $95 for diagnostics even though I told them what was wrong and a mechanic confirmed it in 1 minute in the parking lot! They gave me a cock and bull story that the warranty only covered parts an labor not diagnostics. I asked them to call corporate so I could confirm that. They immediately crossed off the charge. Fortunately that was the only time I needed to deal with those crooks.

What about checking the fluid level as a low fluid level could cause problems like this. In theory the fluid should be good and full.
In practice it could be low for some inexplicable reason or even tainted if some lube facility pushed a trans service with a vengeance. :slight_smile:

In regard to the problem on left turns only the thought of fluid slosh comes to mind.

I vaguely remember a Subaru entering the shop one time with a flaky shifting automatic and the car only had something like 20-25k miles on it.
It was discovered a fast lube had changed the trans fluid and used the wrong fluid after declaring to the car owner that “the factory automatic transmission fluid is far inferior to what we sell”.
The car owner, totally ignorant of lubricants and procedures, agreed to the change and the ruckus soon started.

Brand new vehicle questions always puzzle me…New cars dont come with full warranty anymore? Has the Auto industry cut back this far? Methinks not

Sounds like there is an issue in the steering wheel to column electrical connection…if the paddles turn round with the steering wheel…then there is a device that allows connections of the steering wheel to rotate and still have electrical connection…sort of like a merry go round of electrical contacts if you will… I would be looking squarely at that thing…which is under warranty



The Clockspring!

It hadn’t occurred to me until Honda Blackbird brought it up, but because of the presence of paddle shifters on the steering column, there could indeed be a problem with the Clockspring in the hub of the steering wheel.

However, the OP has to make sure that he doesn’t specifically tell the service writer to replace the Clockspring. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then that exercise in throwing parts at the problem will be paid for by the OP, rather than by the warranty.

So, allowing the dealership to do the diagnosis is still the best way to go, and if they seem to be unable to resolve the problem, then the OP needs to contact SOA and request that the regional service supervisor have a look at the problem.

Thats the word I was looking for…it went right out of my head… Hahaha


As we age, the type of memory problem that is most frequent is not being able to “pull up” the specific name of something or a specific term, even though you are able to fully describe it. I don’t know the technical name for this type of memory problem, but I do know that I–like almost everyone over 60–suffer from it.

OK4450, the story you’ve told makes me sick. I think that with all that’s been disclosed about JL, it might be time for an in depth investigation by the FTC (JL crosses state lines). If criminal wrongdoing is found, indictments should follow.

My impression is that JL covers itself with its formal policies, but demands from the franchises things that encourage the type of fraud you mention. What they say in their official policies is, I suspect, very different from what they say in their verbal conversations.

VDC, the technical term is “old age”. :smile:
Those of us lucky enough to make it this far often have this problem. I do. I think. If I remember correctly.

But you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced “transient global amnesia”. I occasionally have incidents of it. You’ll completely lose all memory of entire large blocks of time. It’s scary when you discover you’ve lost all memory of an entire important event.