2020 Ascent transmission shudder | Subaru Ascent Forum



Hmmm… I have some thoughts…
Thought 01:
If you can replicate it, can you see if you can catch the RPM’s jumping up and down about a thousand RPM or so?

I’ve seen it “hunt and peck” for a fake gear ratio. Mine did that after an ECU update about 23,000 miles ago, then resolved itself in the first thousand or two thousand miles (hard to remember, because I drive a lot… could have been 5,000 even), and never did it again. Others have needed an ECU update to resolve it. And, finally, IIRC, there was someone who had a bad valve body cause it.

Thought 02:
If it’s not that, it is possible it’s the AWD transfer clutch chattering/shuddering. Usually, it happens on sharp turns, but, I’ve heard of it happening on hills as the system tries to transfer power to the wheels that need it. If it is that, there’s a very simple procedure to break it in properly/again. Go to an empty parking lot where you won’t get arrested or ticketed for looking crazy, and do this procedure:

While holding the steering in the full lock (left or right) position, drive the vehicle in “D” range at about 3 MPH then turn the steering wheel to full lock in the opposite direction to complete a “Figure 8”. Vary the vehicle speed by accelerating and braking. After completing about 10 figure eights, road test to confirm if the condition has changed.

This procedure may have to be performed more than once to achieve the desired results.

If it’s the AWD Transfer Clutch, that should resolve the issue. May take anywhere from 1-3 times to break it in.

Anyways, hope something there helps. I have a strong leaning towards the AWD transfer clutch, even though it’s not listed for the specific symptoms you two are describing, especially since you’re saying it’s getting better (normal driving will usually eventually break it in).

Please keep us posted.

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