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2013 Subaru Forester Rolls When In Park


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#1 Subie_Doo

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:27 AM

My 2013 Forester has 1000 miles on it, and I saw it roll a foot down an incline when it was in park and the motor was running.  It would roll about 3-4 inches and stop.  Within 30 seconds or so, it would roll again.  I talked to the service manager at the dealership about this, and he said that he had seen the same problem on service ramps or when off-loading cars from the carrier.

 

He tried to frame it as a "design feature" that was not mentioned in the owners manual or in any literature he could cite.  From an engineering standpoint, I would consider this to be a flaw and not a feature.  I would expect "park" to be absolute.

 

I can find no reference to this in Subaru literature, and it would make sense that there would be a warning or caution if it were a known problem.  I don't think the dealership knows what to do about this, so their tendency has been to treat it like it is not "a big deal" when they almost lost one car off a truck and one again later from their service ramp.  Unfortunately, this is probably the same car that I bought.

 

I am concerned.  Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions?

 

 



#2 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:50 AM

lol! They must be taking a lesson from Microsoft, "it isn't a bug, it's a feature!'

 

many people would set the parking brake if on an incline - but this still smells like BS to me.

 

 

 

when they say "they all do it" I have had good luck with 2 different replies;

 

(look around lot for the same car) "Give me the keys to THAT one and let me see if it does it"

 

or

 

 

"If they all do THIS, then they are ALL broken, and they need to be fixed, and you can start with mine!"

 

 

take your pick.

 

if you want to be a little more 'mild', look the person in the eye and ask how he would feel if HIS car had this 'feature'!


Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 27 March 2013 - 07:55 AM.


#3 MR_Loyale

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:49 AM

My 2013 Forester has 1000 miles on it, and I saw it roll a foot down an incline when it was in park and the motor was running.  It would roll about 3-4 inches and stop.  Within 30 seconds or so, it would roll again.  I talked to the service manager at the dealership about this, and he said that he had seen the same problem on service ramps or when off-loading cars from the carrier.

 

He tried to frame it as a "design feature" that was not mentioned in the owners manual or in any literature he could cite.  From an engineering standpoint, I would consider this to be a flaw and not a feature.  I would expect "park" to be absolute.

 

I can find no reference to this in Subaru literature, and it would make sense that there would be a warning or caution if it were a known problem.  I don't think the dealership knows what to do about this, so their tendency has been to treat it like it is not "a big deal" when they almost lost one car off a truck and one again later from their service ramp.  Unfortunately, this is probably the same car that I bought.

 

I am concerned.  Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions?

 

 

You ar right to be concerned. The dealer is full of feces. There are several things you can do:

 

1) Go back to the dealer, tell them they will fix it or you will file a complaint with the better business bureau, your state attorney general and the The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), an office within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Don't just threaten, be prepared to follow through. Here is the link for NHTSA:

 

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

 

In fact even if they do fix it, it should be reported so others who may not know yet will get it fixed too.

 

 

2) Does your state have a Lemon Law? Tell the dealer they will get the car back under the Lemon Law (be sure to know if your state has one or not).

 

3) Call Subaru's national number. It should be in your owners manual. Tell them you will file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration if they don't fix the issue.  Also tell them if the car rolls over a toddler or old lady, they are liable for murder.

 

Let us know how they respond.



#4 Fairtax4me

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:02 AM

Doesn't sound "normal" to me. I wouldn't want a "feature" that let's my car roll away down a hill. Something in the park mechanism is either damaged or improperly adjusted and that needs to be fixed ASAP.

You need to get in touch with SOA if the dealer is unwilling to make an attempt to fix the problem. First talk to the general store manager and the service director for the company (if its a multi brand company), and the service manager.

Filing a report with the NHTSA is a good idea as well in case other people have the same issue.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:51 AM

The issue isn't the "rolling a foot" so much as the "it rolled again in 30 seconds...that is very odd.  I would verify that symptom and focus on that. 

 

My 2013 Forester has 1000 miles on it, and I saw it roll a foot down an incline when it was in park and the motor was running.  It would roll about 3-4 inches and stop. 

 

The parking pawl has a range of motion before it catches - it does not have an infinite stop and movement is normal.  You can search google and see lots of references to "my car moved a foot in park":

 

When putting a vehicle in park - the brakes should hold the vehicle in place, not the parking mechanism:

1.  hold foot on the brake pedal

2.  put the gear selector in park

3.  pull up the parking/emergency brake

4.  then let off the brake pedal.

 

This way the brakes are holding the weight of the car and not the parking pawl.  You do not want to get into the habit of putting the full weight of the vehicle on the parking pawl, it's not a very robust design in any vehicle.  They generally don't have issues, though most of the population doesn't park on steep inclines either, but not the best way to do it. 

 

I have seen vehicles roll a substantial amount, people get scared because they thought the car was starting to move...etc.  That's fairly common.  The first time someone sees this happen it may stand out and look more severe than it was.

 

The rolling again after 30 seconds is really bizarre.


Edited by grossgary, 27 March 2013 - 09:54 AM.


#6 Subie_Doo

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:00 AM

The issue isn't the "rolling a foot" so much as the "it rolled again in 30 seconds...that is very odd.  I would verify that symptom and focus on that. 

 

 

The parking pawl has a range of motion before it catches - it does not have an infinite stop and movement is normal.  You can search google and see lots of references to "my car moved a foot in park":

 

When putting a vehicle in park - the brakes should hold the vehicle in place, not the parking mechanism:

1.  hold foot on the brake pedal

2.  put the gear selector in park

3.  pull up the parking/emergency brake

4.  then let off the brake pedal.

 

This way the brakes are holding the weight of the car and not the parking pawl.  You do not want to get into the habit of putting the full weight of the vehicle on the parking pawl, it's not a very robust design in any vehicle.  They generally don't have issues, though most of the population doesn't park on steep inclines either, but not the best way to do it. 

 

I have seen vehicles roll a substantial amount, people get scared because they thought the car was starting to move...etc.  That's fairly common.  The first time someone sees this happen it may stand out and look more severe than it was.

 

The rolling again after 30 seconds is really bizarre.

 Hi Gary,

 

Thank you for your response and sorry for the delay in mine.  It has been a busy week.

 

The service manager told me that my transmission does not have a parking pawl.  He told me to use the electronic park switch on the left side of the steering wheel.  When I told him that I did not have one, he said "oh, then you have to use the manual emergency brake lever"   I prefer to NOT use this because I have had trouble with the emergency brake cable seizing on other vehicles.

 

His explanation was that the car sensed movement and was applying the brakes.  He said that this feature had something to do with fuel efficiency; a point that I do not understand.  I would think that a mechanical parking pawl would be more "fuel efficient" than using electricity to apply the brakes.

 

The car "rolled and stopped" more than twice.  I was sitting in the car waiting for someone to leave their house, and I thought I noticed the car moving.  I paid close attention and saw it again.  I decided to get out of the car to see if the tires were sliding on ice, or if they were rolling.  I saw them roll and stop.  After about 30 seconds, I saw them roll and stop again.  I was afraid the car was going to run off by itself, so I got back in and put my foot on the brake.

 

I have not found any reference to this problem in the Subaru literature yet.  This makes me believe that it is a defect more so than a known problem.  It makes no sense that the manual would not have a warning or caution to explain this event.  It feels like a serious issue to me.  I do not understand the engineering purpose for having a "park" position when it is not absolute.  Why not simply replace the park function with neutral?

 

I plan to return to the same driveway with a video recorder to document the behavior if it returns.  Progress has been slow because my wife is the primary driver, and we are working opposite shifts.

 

I will try to talk to the salesman who sold me the car today, and i will see if your suggestions will make a difference.  Being forced to use the manual parking brake with an automatic transmission is not a reasonable choice.  In fact, it would have been a deal breaker had I known about it.  Emergency brakes have always been intended to be used for emergency brake failures.  They  tend to make the brakes stick with freezing temperatures and moisture.  Next, the AWD goes out and the dealer blames me for using the parking brake ..... Is this how it works?

 

Tim



#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:17 AM

It's not an emergency brake, It's a parking brake, and its designed to be used whenever the vehicle is parked. You should get in the habit of using it rather than letting the car roll onto the park mechanism in the trans. I've never had a parking brake freeze unless it was used infrequently.

#8 grossgary

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:43 AM

Wow - Interesting symptoms.  Video tape sounds like a good idea.

Otherwise the car always shifts into gear properly, no lights on, etc?

 

You really need to use the hand brake, that's true of most (all?) manufacturers. It's designed with that in mind, it's all over the internet, google, drivers ed, subaru calls it a parking brake, the light is a circle with a P in it.  Hardly any need to fear the cables, that's simply not an issue with Subaru's. Parking brake cable failure even on 1980's Subaru's is almost unheard of.

 

With the parking brake in the dinky rear calipers, not using the fronts at all, it's not good for much else other than parking.  Stopping with them is a joke.



#9 Ratty2Austin

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:26 AM

It's not an emergency brake, It's a parking brake, and its designed to be used whenever the vehicle is parked. You should get in the habit of using it rather than letting the car roll onto the park mechanism in the trans. I've never had a parking brake freeze unless it was used infrequently.

 

I agree. I ALWAYS use my parking brake. ALWAYS! flat ground, winter, summer. ALWAYS. guess what? it has never seized/malfunctioned. also, my car has never rolled away on even steep inclines. this is why cars are designed with them...

 

speaking of using "park" in autos on inclines.. Subaru actually had a recall on some of them back in the mid 90s? (cant remember which years or models) but anyway, the park pin would fail, (on cars who's drivers did not set the parking brake) and the car would roll away at full speed (gravity) and crash... not good.

 

Just pull the brake lever up when you park, its safer, and better for the car. you have NO excuse not to use it. NONE!

 

sorry if I sound like an rump roast about it, but after working at a dealer for a long time and seeing the cars where they never set the brake- those are the cars that have brake seizing problems.. never on the one's that use it. even in salty areas....

 

 

hope you get it all figured out! ;)

:ph34r:



#10 ivans imports

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 10:19 AM

is it a cvt ?? may have more slack in park becuse of the internal band



#11 Subie_Doo

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:03 AM

Thank you to everyone for the suggestions and all of the "delicate" hints to use the parking brake.

 

I am not completely opposed to using the "parking" brake but I do question why the vehicle should roll when it is in park.  

This feels like a genuine problem to me, and not every valid "solution" is to frame the problem as "willful misconduct"

on the part of an unsuspecting owner who just shelled out ~30k for the vehicle.  

 

I know of no good engineering reason why "park" should be designed to fail to hold the vehicle under normal circumstances.

The parking pawl and related linkage could be designed to be robust enough to accomplish this task.  This is the accepted

convention within the automotive world today and has been the standard ever since the automatic transmission came to market.

 

Maybe someone with technical knowledge of this transmission will chime in with a description of how the "pawl" (if there even is one)

actually works.  In the US, nearly all transmissions had a gear-like shape either cast or hobbed on the outside diameter of of the

forward clutch pack.  In park, a mechanical "pawl" would be inserted into the gear via linkage, and ground movement to the case.

 

This is what the "Park" function on an automatic transmission means to me.  It does not mean -- well, maybe it will hold and maybe it 

will not.  Furthermore, it also does not mean that the construction is so flimsy that strict adherence to a protracted park procedure

is necessary to avoid damage.

 

So, how is this improved "park" mechanism supposed to work?  Do some new models actually have electronic parking brakes, and 

do others automatically apply the brakes if movement is sensed?  This suggests that a mechanical adjustment may be necessary, a

reference voltage may need to be adjusted, or a board might need to be replaced.

 

On the other hand ..... maybe it really is just a poor design.



#12 WoodsWagon

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:45 PM

Was the road icy where you had the slowly rolling downhill incident? If one of the front tires can easily slip, it will spin backwards while the other tire with traction rolls down the hill with the transmission in park because the gears in the open differential can still turn. That's the advantage of the parking brake, it actually holds the wheels still and not just the transmission.

 

Park should hold the car within a foot when you let the brakes off. Try finding a steep hill, putting it in park, and riding in the car as it lurches down the hill and see just how far it will go. If it moves more than a couple feet you have a genuine problem that you can demonstrate and demand a fix.

 

I have had friends with beater cars that the park pawl in the transmission was stripped. Some of them would barely hold on a slope and then let go with a ping! Then ting, ting, ting, it would roll away on it's own as the pawl skipped over the gear teeth. This could potentially happen in a new car if the pawl was incorrectly installed.



#13 Subie_Doo

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:48 AM

Was the road icy where you had the slowly rolling downhill incident? If one of the front tires can easily slip, it will spin backwards while the other tire with traction rolls down the hill with the transmission in park because the gears in the open differential can still turn. That's the advantage of the parking brake, it actually holds the wheels still and not just the transmission.

 

Park should hold the car within a foot when you let the brakes off. Try finding a steep hill, putting it in park, and riding in the car as it lurches down the hill and see just how far it will go. If it moves more than a couple feet you have a genuine problem that you can demonstrate and demand a fix.

 

I have had friends with beater cars that the park pawl in the transmission was stripped. Some of them would barely hold on a slope and then let go with a ping! Then ting, ting, ting, it would roll away on it's own as the pawl skipped over the gear teeth. This could potentially happen in a new car if the pawl was incorrectly installed.

Good Morning Mason,

 

Yes, one side of the slope did have ice on it I believe.  I did wonder if the car was sliding or rolling so I got out of the car to watch the tires.  On the drivers side, both wheels were rolling.  I did not check the passenger side wheels because I was afraid the car would run off.

 

Thankfully, there were no "pings" followed by ting ting ting.  Actually, this is what I would expect to hear.  This is my second Forester, and the first time I have seen this.  However, the mechanics of the transmission and AWD system are mysterious to me.  I do not have a clear understanding of it.  I am asking questions here to help verify the dealer's opinion and firm up my stance.  I do not wish to go the dealership and bristle with aggressive stupidity.  I would prefer to work that problem out here.  Likewise, I do not wish to be serenaded out of a needed repair by a skilled linguist.

 

I will have the car Tuesday (wife is the primary new car driver and we work opposite shifts)  I will find a dry slope and conduct a few tests.  

 

Thank you

Tim



#14 ivans imports

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:39 AM

is it posibble they removed the pin and pawl and made it electronicly lock gears or hold a clutch the latest trans ive had apart is 03 and still same old park pawl and pin. Have not seen any that new yet even for test drive i could see a cvt trany acting diferent



#15 Ratty2Austin

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 11:23 AM

Hmm- here is a thought, and this would be valid if the following is true-

 

if, you parked on a slope, used "park" without setting the brake, and there was ice under at least one side of the car- (or even one tire on either side front and rear)

then the car could have "rolled" by differential action- your front and rear diffs can still operate freely, because the parking mode on the transmission would only "lock" the center shaft in place- so if both wheels on one side of the car were on a slippery surface, they could slide, allowing the whole car to move- this would mean also, there is nothing wrong with the car at all, and the only way to prevent that from happening, is to use the parking brake! (locks the wheels at the wheels, not the transmission)



#16 naru

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:14 PM

Looks like the CVT has a conventional park pawl unlike what the dealer was saying.
See post 13 http://www.subaruout...aft-axel-2.html

Parking w/o the park brake set was NEVER acceptible in ANY car.
You would be in a world of legal trouble if your car rolled away and hurt someone.

#17 MR_Loyale

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:43 PM

Call a transmission repair shop and ask them how it should behave in park.


Edited by MR_Loyale, 10 April 2013 - 08:50 AM.


#18 ivans imports

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:07 AM

I can tell you guys that the park is strong the trans in my buggy works park hard and holds in any situation on any angle it has no ebrake so relys on park alot and has been put into park while stil moving alot been towed in park ect. I cant say as ive ever head of a broken park pin in subaru ever



#19 grossgary

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 05:17 AM

Hmm- here is a thought, and this would be valid if the following is true-

 

if, you parked on a slope, used "park" without setting the brake, and there was ice under at least one side of the car- (or even one tire on either side front and rear)

then the car could have "rolled" by differential action- your front and rear diffs can still operate freely, because the parking mode on the transmission would only "lock" the center shaft in place- so if both wheels on one side of the car were on a slippery surface, they could slide, allowing the whole car to move- this would mean also, there is nothing wrong with the car at all, and the only way to prevent that from happening, is to use the parking brake! (locks the wheels at the wheels, not the transmission)

 

that is an interesting supposition.

 

i found some other threads with a quick glance online of folks sliding a bit down an incline on snow/ice in Park.....

 

one even mentioned seeing the differential action in the rear...where one rear tire rolls down the hill and the other spun the opposite way "uphill" so to speak...but on ice it didn't matter.  the same way our differentials work if you put both rear wheels in the air and spin it by hand - the opposite side spins the opposite way.

 

Essentially Park may be "more effective" with the vehicle off than the vehicle on. With the vehicle running it may only "lock" one front wheel practically speaking.  With the vehicle off it may "lock" two. In older Subaru transmissions in park the rear gets almost no power when the trans is running.  when the transmission is off the Duty C Solenoid is unpowered and provides full "lock" of the rear clutches - that's how those of us that have manually controlled the 4WD ourselves have done it - simply tapping into the Duty C circuit. 


Edited by grossgary, 02 April 2013 - 05:21 AM.


#20 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 07:43 AM

ah, but don't the new auto-trannies 'default' the Duty c solenoid opposite the old 4EATs?



#21 brus brother

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:31 PM

I know nothing about emergency brakes etc but I would be uncomfortable with the "roll again" feature.

For example, how the frick can you park in a hilly place like San Francisco without knowing exactly how much room to leave so you don't end up lap dancing with the car ahead of or behind you?? I know you are supposed to curb the wheels, but really!

All of your experiences should be documented and memorialized with SOA as well as the local dealership.

I would also include a statement in all of your written correspondence with SOA that they will be held liable for any incident in that they have now been made aware of the situation.

That usually gets their attention.

Ask that a regional manager meet you to discuss and view the recording.

Good luck.



#22 Subie_Doo

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:33 AM

Hmm- here is a thought, and this would be valid if the following is true-

 

if, you parked on a slope, used "park" without setting the brake, and there was ice under at least one side of the car- (or even one tire on either side front and rear)

then the car could have "rolled" by differential action- your front and rear diffs can still operate freely, because the parking mode on the transmission would only "lock" the center shaft in place- so if both wheels on one side of the car were on a slippery surface, they could slide, allowing the whole car to move- this would mean also, there is nothing wrong with the car at all, and the only way to prevent that from happening, is to use the parking brake! (locks the wheels at the wheels, not the transmission)

 

 

that is an interesting supposition.

 

i found some other threads with a quick glance online of folks sliding a bit down an incline on snow/ice in Park.....

 

one even mentioned seeing the differential action in the rear...where one rear tire rolls down the hill and the other spun the opposite way "uphill" so to speak...but on ice it didn't matter.  the same way our differentials work if you put both rear wheels in the air and spin it by hand - the opposite side spins the opposite way.

 

Essentially Park may be "more effective" with the vehicle off than the vehicle on. With the vehicle running it may only "lock" one front wheel practically speaking.  With the vehicle off it may "lock" two. In older Subaru transmissions in park the rear gets almost no power when the trans is running.  when the transmission is off the Duty C Solenoid is unpowered and provides full "lock" of the rear clutches - that's how those of us that have manually controlled the 4WD ourselves have done it - simply tapping into the Duty C circuit. 

 

Good Afternoon Guys,

 

I think you both have found the best explanation; at least so far.  We had dry roads this weekend so I was able to conduct a few tests and I did not have any problems.  The parking Pawl seemed to be working.  It must be the case that the two wheels on the passenger side were sliding on ice while the two wheels on the drivers side were rolling.  I got back into the car without checking the passenger side because I was afraid the car would run away.  I am relieved to think that I may not have a major transmission problem, but a bit embarrassed by being concerned over what most likely has turned out to be a false problem.

 

I have a new-found respect for my parking brake.  I tried the "procedure" discussed above and I like how it keeps the weight off the pawl.  I am not used to the idea of needing to use it with an automatic transmission.  I always used the parking brake with manual transmission vehicles.

 

I am still confused by the service managers comments about the electronic parking brake.  Now that I am less likely to "get all fuzzied up", I may return to look at a new Legacy.  I want to replace the 2002 Forester L (141,000 miles) with a 2014 or 2015 Legacy.  I don't like shooting my mouth off when I do not completely understand a problem so I was VERY hesitant about returning to the dealership in person.

 

Thank you all for your help

Tim



#23 ivans imports

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 09:38 AM

Soon cars will stop accelerate lean learn and do everything for you all you will do is add imputs when it gos wrong you are along for the ride but dont worry the car has control of the stering brakes trans and gas. Drive by wire everything wonder what happens to all thoose controling ecus and sensers when a good old fastion problem comes around like alt overcharging or dead short. It scares me that they have taken the driver out of the controling the car and put ecus incharge






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