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Butchin' Moderator
2018 Orange Subaru Crosstrek Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a positive report on our Oakland Subaru dealer. Their folks just did a service appt. for me looking for an issue with my Crosstrek surging and slowing after crossing a RR track in Oakland. I hung around, saw the service folks going through each step of their "27 Step Checklist," then checking the OBDII for codes, then driving off in my car testing for the surging. In any case I thought they did all they promised. Afterwards the Service Rep talked to me and told me that they had contacted Subaru Corporate as my issue was one that "they had to take seriously." After a couple hours they gave me a full report, finding nothing wrong with my car. They charged me nothing for this. While this might be just what you should expect from a (good) dealer's service department it hasn't been my experience to date and I want to say something positive as I've been a critic in the past. My only concern about the visit was three annoying calls by the dealer staff attempting to buy my car. My car has a few miles past 50K and is not on warranty.

That's it. Seemed that the dealer did a good job at no cost to me. If you want to read about the issue read on:

Recently my Crosstrek did a weird thing and seemed to stumble after crossing some railroad tracks. I slowed to about 20 mph to cross the tracks and when I passed them I tried to speed up to 30-35. The car hesitated and then bogged down almost to a stop . I tried to speed up but it took a couple seconds before the car responded as engine rpms seemed to very low.. The Crosstrek then jumped forward jumped to 40 or so. Since I had my foot on the gas this wasn't entirely a surprise. Taking my foot off the gas the car bogged down to 10 mph and I decided to pause on the shoulder to consider the matter. With the car stopped, idle was fine, nothing seemed wrong under the hood (my first thought was that I jarred something loose crossing the tracks.) After idling for a brief check I tried to rev the engine, no problem and engine sounded fine. Ok, got going again no problem after that. A single instance. Later my code reader showed no codes, no history and "Live View" seemed to show all the usual suspects running fine when I drove the car over the same tracks a second time.

I help teach science at an isolated camp in western Sierras and I'm leaving on Sunday for my week of working with kids. No cell reception, long dirt road with lots of potholes and minor washouts. Some steep parts. I took the car to the dealer just in case I missed something that might go wrong at the worst possible time.

It occurs to me that my car might have "up shifted" causing the bogging, then downshifted causing the sudden speed up. Not sure how the CVT knows when to shift. I can't say I was paying attention to the transmission during the event. I still have no idea what went wrong. Dealer said that there was no indication of any fuel problem I just did a 5K maintenance of oil (yes I did change viscosity to 5W-30), filters, etc. Still a little concerned but I wanted to say that the dealer did what I think was a thorough inspection and then charged me nothing for it. We shall see how the long trip soft roading trip works out.
 

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You might try a bottle of chevron techron concentrate. Having said that, in the past our previous MY11 Outback with the same design fuel pump assembly didn't make it past about 32k before replacement. I suspect I'll have to do the same on the Crosstrek(MY18).
Nice to hear you had a decent experience with the dealer.
 

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Butchin' Moderator
2018 Orange Subaru Crosstrek Limited
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I put in a bottle of Techroline each 5K oil change. I have no idea if it does any good and perhaps I'm just another victim of advertising. My first thought was fuel pump/filter. Then I realized it could also be the transmission making some foolish shifts. My code reader gives live view of things like injector pressure during operation. The injectors seem to have a consistent pressure when I drive over the same tracks or bumps. Still could be a weak fuel pump, just hard to pin down if the pump has an intermittent problem. I've always felt sorry for mechanics who have to trace a problem that isn't necessarily repeatable or quantifiable with existing tools but the customer is absolutely sure of the problem..
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited
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Butchin' Moderator
2018 Orange Subaru Crosstrek Limited
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1,551 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm using a Zurich 13s from Harbor Freight. Your code reader seemed like a pretty good deal at that price! As an old person it is incredible what the code readers can show as the car operates. I didn't know it showed each injector pressure, etc. during operation. It's fascinating that the car didn't show a history of the problem with any codes.
The fact that I pulled over and the engine went to smooth idle, engine behaved smoothly and showed no signs of problems when I pulled over made me think that the transmission simply jumped into a very high gear and then dropped to a much lower gear...still a question for me but the code reader isn't giving me any hints. If something like this happens when I'm off on the dirt roads I'll try to switch to manual selection of appropriate gear...maybe that will help if the trans is acting confused. If I have any other problems at the camp I can show how dozens of middle school kids can (when roped together) be used as oxen to drag my car out to the highway...that's a science lesson worth teaching!
 

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