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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a used 2018 crosstrek 6 speed that has 21k miles on it a couple months ago. Recently I've noticed a significant loss of power at 2k RPMS, and it hesitates and bucks until I reach 3k RPMS and then the power comes back. I've taken it to the dealership twice and they said "that's just how the 6 speeds are" but this is a rather new thing that I've started experiencing. To the point that I have to downshift up hills on the interstate. Filters are fine, no codes at all. But it seems that there is definitely an issue. It's worse now than it was when it first started. My own personal mechanic has confirmed it does not feel normal, but is leaving the state for good and does not have time to throw parts at it and investigate. Sidenote, I've owned multiple manual shift subarus over the years so I know how to drive standard, and none of my other subarus have done this
 

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I bought a used 2018 crosstrek 6 speed that has 21k miles on it a couple months ago. Recently I've noticed a significant loss of power at 2k RPMS, and it hesitates and bucks until I reach 3k RPMS and then the power comes back. I've taken it to the dealership twice and they said "that's just how the 6 speeds are" but this is a rather new thing that I've started experiencing. To the point that I have to downshift up hills on the interstate. Filters are fine, no codes at all. But it seems that there is definitely an issue. It's worse now than it was when it first started. My own personal mechanic has confirmed it does not feel normal, but is leaving the state for good and does not have time to throw parts at it and investigate. Sidenote, I've owned multiple manual shift subarus over the years so I know how to drive standard, and none of my other subarus have done this
That's not just how the 6mt Subarus are. Especially if it's getting worse.
You could ask to test drive a newer 6mt Crosstrek and see if it does it.
Your comment about downshifting is weird tho - you do always downshift up hills on the interstate right? High load at low RMP can cause LSPCI which cause bad stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's not just how the 6mt Subarus are. Especially if it's getting worse.
You could ask to test drive a newer 6mt Crosstrek and see if it does it.
Your comment about downshifting is weird tho - you do always downshift up hills on the interstate right? High load at low RMP can cause LSPCI which cause bad stuff.
That's a great idea actually! Thanks! And I normally drive a good 85mph (shhh) so I'm cruising around 3500 RPMS but lately even when I hit any kind of incline it just bogs down and my car slows way down. I live in Vermont and we don't have huge hills on the highway (not the town I live in/around) just mild inclines. I do downshift normally in normal traffic through town and speeding up, but I have always had enough power to cruise at 85 even up slight inclines on the highway.
 

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Has your car had the recall for the ignition coil reprogramming?Even if it was done the coils may have been damaged and need replacing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Has your car had the recall for the ignition coil reprogramming?Even if it was done the coils may have been damaged and need replacing.
Yes! This is originally what I was thinking, could be going on. I brought it in 3 weeks ago before the recall had officially been sent out. I just happened to look it up in the system because I read a bad ignition coil can cause misfires, stalling, loss of power. They told me the reprogrammed the computer in my car and everything was perfect. But I typed in my vin # recently in the recall database and it still says incomplete. They also told me if it was a bad ignition coil, it would throw a code. I was thinking, what if the problem isn't bad enough to throw a code? It definitely doesn't feel normal to me at all. I've never had a car jerk and hesitate like that.
 

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Strange question, but was/is your AC on when this happens?

If so, turn it off and see if it still happens. If it doesn't....check your AC relay or have the dealer do it. I heard of this happening on other Subaru's, so it might just be a bad relay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Strange question, but was/is your AC on when this happens?

If so, turn it off and see if it still happens. If it doesn't....check your AC relay or have the dealer do it. I heard of this happening on other Subaru's, so it might just be a bad relay.
No I've tested that out too. It happens with AC on, heat on, everything off, lights on, lights off. I wish it was that simple :(
 

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Does it still happen when it's very cold out?
Have you tried filling up with a tank of premium to see if the added octane helps?
 

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Ok, I do this 1st and check or do the following:
1) check to see if the updated pcv has been installed(went from plastic to metal).
2) Make sure the ignition recall has been done for sure and check the plugs. Ours were burnt out after the recall and the dealer would not warranty them. So, I replaced them which made a vast improvement in the car's performance and detonation quality.
3) install a bottle of techron concentrate($5 @ Walmart or the like) in the car and fill up with premium(made a huge difference with our car, mpg went up).
4) If the hesitation or bucking is still there after this, I'd check the fuel pressures, as the in tank filter/pump assembly or regulator might be faulty.
regards
 

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I bought a used 2018 crosstrek 6 speed that has 21k miles on it a couple months ago. Recently I've noticed a significant loss of power at 2k RPMS, and it hesitates and bucks until I reach 3k RPMS and then the power comes back. I've taken it to the dealership twice and they said "that's just how the 6 speeds are" but this is a rather new thing that I've started experiencing. To the point that I have to downshift up hills on the interstate. Filters are fine, no codes at all. But it seems that there is definitely an issue. It's worse now than it was when it first started. My own personal mechanic has confirmed it does not feel normal, but is leaving the state for good and does not have time to throw parts at it and investigate. Sidenote, I've owned multiple manual shift subarus over the years so I know how to drive standard, and none of my other subarus have done this
Can you take it to another Subaru dealership/service shop? They could be more accommodating.

Also, in reference to the coils...I have had bad ignition coils in previously owned manual cars that were not bad enough to throw codes, but were definitely bad and on their way out. Usually, the car would idle rough, almost to the point of sputtering, and accelerate poorly, just like yours. There was no way to pinpoint which coil was bad without the code, so the next best thing was to either wait for the code or to one coil at a time and hope that you'd get lucky and find the bad coil. That would only work it it was indeed just 1 bad coil.

Not sure what the limits are on used cars and the 3yr/36K miles warranty, but has your car passed that mark? If not, definitely push the dealer to resolve this. You may need to get SOA involved if the dealership isn't helpful.

I agree that hesitation btwn 2K-3K rpm is definitely not normal. The person at the dealership that said it is full of crap. Most manuals will have a moderate amount of power in that range.

One question...does that lack of power in the specified rpm range occur in one specific gear or it occurs in each and every gear?
 

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That's not just how the 6mt Subarus are. Especially if it's getting worse.
You could ask to test drive a newer 6mt Crosstrek and see if it does it.
Your comment about downshifting is weird tho - you do always downshift up hills on the interstate right? High load at low RMP can cause LSPCI which cause bad stuff.
What is "LSPCI?" I tried to google it and only found linux definitions.
 

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Yes! This is originally what I was thinking, could be going on. I brought it in 3 weeks ago before the recall had officially been sent out. I just happened to look it up in the system because I read a bad ignition coil can cause misfires, stalling, loss of power. They told me the reprogrammed the computer in my car and everything was perfect. But I typed in my vin # recently in the recall database and it still says incomplete. They also told me if it was a bad ignition coil, it would throw a code. I was thinking, what if the problem isn't bad enough to throw a code? It definitely doesn't feel normal to me at all. I've never had a car jerk and hesitate like that.
Then get in and get the reprogramming done.It's very likely that the coils and or spark plugs have been damaged so those should be replaced too.Being that it's been getting worse further makes me believe that's your problem and,as you said,it's just not bad enough to trigger a CEL.Yet,that is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Does it still happen when it's very cold out?
Have you tried filling up with a tank of premium to see if the added octane helps?
Yes I've tried everything! I've tried each different grade of gas, different gas stations, I tried a can of dri-gas as well. It does it I'd it's 65 or 90 out. Haven't been able to try on a freezing cold day yet but
Ok, I do this 1st and check or do the following:
1) check to see if the updated pcv has been installed(went from plastic to metal).
2) Make sure the ignition recall has been done for sure and check the plugs. Ours were burnt out after the recall and the dealer would not warranty them. So, I replaced them which made a vast improvement in the car's performance and detonation quality.
3) install a bottle of techron concentrate($5 @ Walmart or the like) in the car and fill up with premium(made a huge difference with our car, mpg went up).
4) If the hesitation or bucking is still there after this, I'd check the fuel pressures, as the in tank filter/pump assembly or regulator might be faulty.
regards
Thank you so much for the ideas!! PCV was done before I bought it. I'll recheck the ignition coil situation. They told me they took care of it and I didn't have any problems with mine, but online it still says there's an open recall on the ignition coil for my VIN that needs attention. I will try your other suggestions! Thanks
 

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I believe it means low speed pre-combustion ignition.
Correct. It's basically knock that can be very damaging that is caused by high load low RPM conditions. It's one of the reasons why you should downshift to put load on your engine. It's exponentially worse in forced induction engines.
If your car has any type of automatic, it's programmed to downshift anyways, but some manual drivers don't know (or don't care?) and blow up their engines.
 

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This seems to be a common occurence with the FB20D. Easier to see with the MT, since we can just WOT the car, and force it to operate in a fixed gear across the entire power band, seeing how the behaviour changes in the 2k-3k range. Same thing is being reported on a 5th gen impreza forum, and noone has been able to pinpoint the problem. Logs seem to indicate a pullback in timing in that RPM range, and the phenomenon tends - allegedly - to be amplified by heatsoak. Mitigation with a higher octane has worked for a few, didn't for others.

I always feel a slight bucking in that range. Easiest to notice it is under WOT in 2nd or 3rd gear, starting at 1000 rpm and flooring it. Just a few days ago (after a 3h trip, engine off, engine on 10 mins later) it was amplified to the point that the car bucked a few times.

Until someone obsessively logs the timing advance and A/F ratio over a few runs, it'll be hard to pinpoint the exact reason.
 

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My 2018 has similar miles on it. No problems at all like you describe. The dealer is just avoiding fixing your problem. You should try a different dealer or escalate it up their management chain.

Fuel, air, spark. One of those is messed up. The obvious fixes involve replacing some parts, such as ignition coils, PCV valve, and fuel filter. My guess would be it is an ignition issue. It doesn't sound like a fuel filter because that would likely cause issues at higher rpm and power demands. PCV idk enough about that but it is simple enough to replace yourself (and relatively cheap). MAF sensor? Easy enough to clean anyhow.

Make sure there are no air leaks in the intake after the MAF sensor, which would cause mixture problems. I had a weird lean mixture problem on my motorcycle which turned out to be a split vacuum line. It was difficult to find, being in a hidden spot. Check all the hoses carefully.

Fuel injectors? Again, I am old school so this is not my forte, but while it seems unlikely perhaps you have a bad/clogged injector.

Then there is a multitude of sensors. I think this is unlikely without a code being thrown, and finding it probably requires sophisticated factory tools.

There are some pretty good OBD units which will tell you a lot of what is going on even if no code is showing. And, while unlikely, it is possible your check engine light is burned out and there is a code posted.

Good luck. What you report is most definitely not normal nor acceptable.
 
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