Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Outback Automatic Transmission shifting issue.


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 dallasdv

dallasdv

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Northern California

Posted 19 June 2005 - 09:51 PM

I have an '03 Outback with an automatic transmission. At highway speeds it passes very poorly. At any speed over 55mph, it will not shift down into 2nd gear. The result is that it shifts down into 3rd only and the rpms have to climb from around 3500, and there is not enough acceleration to pass like that. My '93 Legacy will shift down into 2nd at speeds up to 65mph, and it passes much better than the Outback. Does anyone know if there might be an aftermarket computer chip switch that might allow for downshifting at higher rpms?

#2 stevetone

stevetone

    Subaru Owner Since 1995

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Stoughton, WI

Posted 20 June 2005 - 05:01 AM

Oh my -- 2nd gear at 55mph? Just a hunch, but that seems like it would come close to redlining the engine, wouldn't it? At the very least it would be beyond the most effective torque range for the engine.

If so, the computer is keeping you from a damaging or ineffective situation. Maybe the '93 computer is not quite as "smart"?

#3 dallasdv

dallasdv

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Northern California

Posted 20 June 2005 - 06:23 AM

No, it's down just below 5K rpm and the acceleration is much better there. With 300,000 miles on my Legacy, it's power at those rpms blows away the '03 at passing. I realize the computer is trying to protect the engine, but's it's being a bit over-protective (unless the '93 is a stronger engine). As it is, I've had nobody ride in this '03 that hasn't commented it's lethargic high speed passing.



Oh my -- 2nd gear at 55mph? Just a hunch, but that seems like it would come close to redlining the engine, wouldn't it? At the very least it would be beyond the most effective torque range for the engine.

If so, the computer is keeping you from a damaging or ineffective situation. Maybe the '93 computer is not quite as "smart"?



#4 Bmm001

Bmm001

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 202 posts
  • Lancaster County

Posted 20 June 2005 - 07:22 AM

I don't remember what the shift gate is like on the newer Subarus, but could you move the shifter into 2nd gear yourself? That's what I do if the transmission is being lazy on my '95. I seem to have the opposite problem; mine seems way too eager to downshift, and lazy about shifting into overdrive.

Brian

#5 dallasdv

dallasdv

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Northern California

Posted 20 June 2005 - 08:16 AM

I wish it would. I can shift it manually, but it won't respond until the speed drops to below 55mph. I test drove an '05 and it shifts like my '93 (i.e. it will shift down at higher rpms). That sport shift was nice, also.

#6 swc7916

swc7916

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 159 posts
  • Kirkland

Posted 20 June 2005 - 10:16 AM

I have an '03 Outback with an automatic transmission. At highway speeds it passes very poorly. At any speed over 55mph, it will not shift down into 2nd gear. The result is that it shifts down into 3rd only and the rpms have to climb from around 3500, and there is not enough acceleration to pass like that. My '93 Legacy will shift down into 2nd at speeds up to 65mph, and it passes much better than the Outback. Does anyone know if there might be an aftermarket computer chip switch that might allow for downshifting at higher rpms?


I like Subarus but their automatic transmissions are a sore point with me. I have had experience with 5 Legacys with the automatic transmission, and they are all different. I don't like the transmission in my '04 Outback - it upshifts too early and downshifts too late. I especially hate it when I try to accelerate from about 35 mph and am stuck below 3000 rpms because it won't downshift. The thing that really irks me is that I traded a '00 Outback for it because I didn't like ITS' transmission. I liked the way my '96 Outback shifted - it was almost too hard-shifting. My wife's '02 Outback is a great car; all of the appropriate planets must have been alignment when it was built. My '03 Baja is also a great car.

I have complained to the dealership about the shifting problems and I have been told that Subaru fine-tunes the shifting of the transmission each year based on customer comments. Apparently, people complained that the positive-shifting transmission that I prefer is too "violent" for them (that's the word the shop forman used.) I have driven an '05 Legacy and it's transmission shifted far better than mine. If I buy another Subaru, I am almost considering getting a manual transmission so that I have control over which gear the car is in.

One thing to try is to drive the car harder so that the transmission "learns" a different shift pattern. I have found that it has helped with mine. It seems that if I drive the car really easy it learns that driving style and won't respond when I want it to.

#7 outback_97

outback_97

    Eat, Live, Breathe Subaru

  • Members
  • 651 posts
  • SLC, UT

Posted 20 June 2005 - 10:31 AM

Dallasdv:

Have you tried resetting the TCU by disconnecting the battery and holding down the brake pedal? After reconnecting and restarting the car, let it run at idle until it warms up, then drive it more aggressively. As swc7916 mentioned, it will "learn" how you drive it. Might be worth a try if you haven't already.

Also, if you press down quickly on the throttle as opposed to smoothly rolling on, it should downshift more quickly. Seems to work in both our 97 and 03, although I agree the 97 shifts more abruptly and seems to downshift more readily. I always attributed that to my wife's more conservative driving style that her 03 had "learned", but maybe it's also inherent in that year's tranny.

Steve

#8 SuBrat84

SuBrat84

    What's REALLY going on???

  • Members
  • 1,520 posts
  • Tucson

Posted 20 June 2005 - 01:28 PM

My 98 GT is a 4AT (blah!) and it wont shift into second at 55 unless I do it myself... and it's very casual about gaining speed in third gear below 3500 rpms.. ESPECIALLY with the AC (defrost runs your ac)

#9 swc7916

swc7916

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 159 posts
  • Kirkland

Posted 21 June 2005 - 09:37 AM

Dallasdv:

Have you tried resetting the TCU by disconnecting the battery and holding down the brake pedal?


Is that how it's done - You disconnect the battery and hold down the brake pedal? How hard to you have to depress the pedal and for how long? How does the TCU reset when there is no power to it?

#10 TheBrian

TheBrian

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 270 posts
  • Buffalo

Posted 21 June 2005 - 02:13 PM

I find the "wide open throttle" switch very useful. Push the pedal *all* the way down, and it'll turn off the A/C and EGR. Unfortunately, it'll also make the fuel/air mixture rich to maximize power.

When I have to drive an automatic, I enjoy shifting with my right foot. Stabbing the throttle down to WOT, then immediately releasing to the 2/3 throttle I actually want, almost always causes a downshift. Completely lifting the throttle, then returning to 1/3 throttle, often causes an upshift.

#11 outback_97

outback_97

    Eat, Live, Breathe Subaru

  • Members
  • 651 posts
  • SLC, UT

Posted 21 June 2005 - 03:19 PM

Is that how it's done - You disconnect the battery and hold down the brake pedal? How hard to you have to depress the pedal and for how long? How does the TCU reset when there is no power to it?


It's my understanding that you can disconnect the battery for a long time (a half hour, or overnight, etc.) and it will reset the ECU and the TCU, i.e. they go back to a default state. If you don't want to wait for all the residual voltage (am I saying that right?) to fully drain, you can hold down the brake pedal lightly to close the brake light circuit and thus quickly drain any power that would be keeping the ECU and TCU memory "alive". So by using the brake pedal you can reset it quickly, in seconds or minutes rather than in say an hour.

You might also search if you are inclined, I think there was mention of one being able to pull a certain fuse to make the process even easier. But I don't know which one, and the battery disconnect / brake pedal has worked for me.

Steve




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users