2008 Subaru trebeca suv with only 62000 miles, when going up a slight incline in drive you feel quite a shudder like you were driving over small bumps on the road. This is my daughters vehicle so she phoned about 400 miles from were I live & told me what I said above. I told her it sounds to me like the torque converter is not unlocking. Hope some of you good people will let me know what you think. And if it is the converter not unlocking would that be a very expensive repair ? Waiting for your reply. Thanks Honda Bill
Does the shudder last a few seconds, maybe 5-10 seconds? At around 35-45 mph? Then return to the normal non-shudder mode as the speed increases? If so, that could well be torq shudder. It does that when it transitions from unlocked to locked. In most cases it is normal. A transmission specialist would need to say “yay” or “nay” after a test drive to be sure. It doesn’t sound to me like the t-converter isn’t unlocking. There’s no reason for it to shudder if it remained unlocked. You just wouldn’t get as good of mpg is all. Unlocked, that’s how transmission of yesteryear worked, including my own 70’s Ford truck, and it doesn’t shudder.
There is a panoply of other possible causes too. Besides the engine and transmission it could be driveline problems, suspension problems, etc. A good inde mechanic could put it on a lift and inspect the driveline and suspension. Also, are you certain the engine isn’t simply missing? Is the CEL on? Have the DTC’s been read? If not, that’s probably worth doing.