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BRZ First-Gen (2012+) -- General Topics All discussions about the first-gen Subaru BRZ coupe


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Old 08-25-2021, 04:15 PM   #1
julzbrz
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Question Auto Transmission - Possible Issue ?

Hello guys😁 I’m not sure if my exact ‘problem’ has been addressed on here but if so, I don’t mind someone sharing the link to that post for me.

So I don’t know if this is an actual problem or the car was designed like this but whenever im NOT in sport mode or manual mode, it seems that the car shifts wayyy too early. Like as soon as I take off from a stop, it seems to shift 2 or 3 times before I’m even at 40 mph. And then it seems to bog unless I floor it. I haven’t owned an automatic before so I’m not sure how it’s supposed to shift for you but it does seem a little strange.

For example, I was just driving and I dropped it into manual mode at ~32mph to see what gear I was in and I was in 5th gear? Is the auto brz designed to shift sooner to be more efficient or could this be a problem with the transmission or clutch? I mostly drive it in sport mode because my exhaust sounds weird unless at a high RPM lol but i want to start driving it regular more often, I just dunno if there’s an issue.

Maybe I’m just buggin for no reason but any help would be much appreciated; thanks all in advance!
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Old 08-25-2021, 04:51 PM   #2
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I also have automatic. It's pretty normal. In none sport (normal) mode car's priority is to save fuel, which means run the engine at lower rpms = quicker and frequent shift. Unless you need to quickly accelerate (floor it). It's 6 gears automatic, so the number of gears is quite alot to shift faster. Ford Ranger for example is 10 gears automatic, so it shifts even more frequent and if you floor it it will actually start to skip shifts to go up in gears faster.

So there is nothing wrong with your automatic gearbox.

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Old 08-25-2021, 04:53 PM   #3
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Try accelerating by about half the accelerator pedal but don't floor it. You will see that it will shift less frequent at about 4-5k rpms.

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Old 08-25-2021, 05:03 PM   #4
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all normal...gearing is partially based on whether you are in sport or normal mode but the bigger factor is your throttle position.. even if you are in normal mode, if you go WOT it will not shift until it reaches redline. it fees like you're bogging the engine because well you're not pressing down on the pedal hard enough for the computer to warrant a downshift or just tap on the left paddle a couple times to drop down a few gears.. personally when I had my auto twin if I wanted to do some spirited driving I would just put it in M and select the gears myself..
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Old 08-25-2021, 05:07 PM   #5
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Auto Transmission - Possible Issue ?

You're good bro for the autos they have the “perimeters” set for better fuel economy because that's what the “American marketing industry” is all about that's why I drive in manual mode all the time. Also when you have sport engaged its really only effective when you're not cruising but I think that still wouldn't matter too because I believe “sport” just stays in gear longing but if the system sees you aren't giving it a certain throttle response it's gonna technically go back to trying to save gas for example when using the paddle on the drive mode you'll notice after like 10 secs or so when not using the paddles it'll go back to drive mode but I'm no technician so it's just based on my experience I have a built sc auto.


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Last edited by IsaiahW; 08-25-2021 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 08-25-2021, 08:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teppka View Post
I also have automatic. It's pretty normal. In none sport (normal) mode car's priority is to save fuel, which means run the engine at lower rpms = quicker and frequent shift. Unless you need to quickly accelerate (floor it). It's 6 gears automatic, so the number of gears is quite alot to shift faster. Ford Ranger for example is 10 gears automatic, so it shifts even more frequent and if you floor it it will actually start to skip shifts to go up in gears faster.

So there is nothing wrong with your automatic gearbox.

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Thanks so much! Appreciate it 🥰
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Old 08-25-2021, 08:11 PM   #7
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You're good bro for the autos they have the “perimeters” set for better fuel economy because that's what the “American marketing industry” is all about that's why I drive in manual mode all the time. Also when you have sport engaged its really only effective when you're not cruising but I think that still wouldn't matter too because I believe “sport” just stays in gear longing but if the system sees you aren't giving it a certain throttle response it's gonna technically go back to trying to save gas for example when using the paddle on the drive mode you'll notice after like 10 secs or so when not using the paddles it'll go back to drive mode but I'm no technician so it's just based on my experience I have a built sc auto.


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Yeah, I figured it would try to save gas because in my old car, although it was manual it would want me to shift hella early. My MPG is still trash tho so that sucks🤧
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:08 AM   #8
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That's pretty normal. I just leave mine in sport mode.
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:00 AM   #9
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those new fangled autos sure are complicated aren't they
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Old 08-26-2021, 12:51 PM   #10
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It can be annoying. But so is sport mode. I mean I am going about 20mph just normal driving and it’s holding a higher rpm. With my exhaust it just sounds absurd all the time. I don’t need the car to be a sports car every second. Even in spirited runs I don’t find sport mode that helpful, all it does it keep the revs up by keeping you in a lower gear. Better just doing it yourself in manual mode. Since most of my spirited runs are out mountain twisties, the AT holds the gear as you corner anyway.
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Old 08-26-2021, 03:31 PM   #11
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It would behoove all drivers (AT only drivers, MT fanatics, etc) to learn how automatic transmissions work including torque converters and fluid couplings. There is so much disinformation because of the stigma of automatic transmissions it makes it difficult to learn what happens.

The 86 uses a torque converter/fluid coupling transmission that, under normal mode will keep RPMs very low by spinning the fluid to provide power to the wheels in gears 1-3. It's essentially like slipping a clutch but instead of a clutch it's spinning a liquid instead. The torque converter also multiplies the torque output resulting in increased output to the wheels for very little input. There's a rate (2400 RPM for the auto transmission used in the 86) where it no longer multiplies torque so it often keeps below that range at all costs to both reduce transmission heat production and keep the engine RPMs low.

Under sport mode the transmission locks up from gears 2-6 and locks up the drivetrain exactly like that of a manual car - no power loss (aside from additional rotating mass and some internal workings of the clutchplates within the trans, but no different in practice than just connecting the drivetrain.) However, this means the car is then driven exactly like a manual car because it would result in lugging if you decide to try to drive it at 1500 RPM on nearly any gear.

I'm sure most MT drivers can attest to driving about a minimum of 2000 RPM to 3500 RPM for cruising. In sport and manual mode, it's the exact same concept.

FWIW; once the engine is warmed up sport mode/driving the car in manual mode is far easier on the engine on highways or anything above 35mph, because the car does feel very luggy as it keeps the bare minimum RPMs in normal mode. Downshift as necessary and learn to drive it in MT/sport mode.

Whether or not people dislike ATs, they are a tool and are excellent for traffic and city driving (where you do get better efficiency due to needing to rev less and keep the engine more within brake specific fuel consumption ranges). Manual mode is far better on the highways and long open roads with few stops above 40mph because you can cruise at more efficient RPMs with less load. Anectdotal source is personal data from OBD2 monitoring of load values on the engine.
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Old 08-28-2021, 11:48 AM   #12
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It would behoove all drivers (AT only drivers, MT fanatics, etc) to learn how automatic transmissions work including torque converters and fluid couplings. There is so much disinformation because of the stigma of automatic transmissions it makes it difficult to learn what happens.

The 86 uses a torque converter/fluid coupling transmission that, under normal mode will keep RPMs very low by spinning the fluid to provide power to the wheels in gears 1-3. It's essentially like slipping a clutch but instead of a clutch it's spinning a liquid instead. The torque converter also multiplies the torque output resulting in increased output to the wheels for very little input. There's a rate (2400 RPM for the auto transmission used in the 86) where it no longer multiplies torque so it often keeps below that range at all costs to both reduce transmission heat production and keep the engine RPMs low.

Under sport mode the transmission locks up from gears 2-6 and locks up the drivetrain exactly like that of a manual car - no power loss (aside from additional rotating mass and some internal workings of the clutchplates within the trans, but no different in practice than just connecting the drivetrain.) However, this means the car is then driven exactly like a manual car because it would result in lugging if you decide to try to drive it at 1500 RPM on nearly any gear.

I'm sure most MT drivers can attest to driving about a minimum of 2000 RPM to 3500 RPM for cruising. In sport and manual mode, it's the exact same concept.

FWIW; once the engine is warmed up sport mode/driving the car in manual mode is far easier on the engine on highways or anything above 35mph, because the car does feel very luggy as it keeps the bare minimum RPMs in normal mode. Downshift as necessary and learn to drive it in MT/sport mode.

Whether or not people dislike ATs, they are a tool and are excellent for traffic and city driving (where you do get better efficiency due to needing to rev less and keep the engine more within brake specific fuel consumption ranges). Manual mode is far better on the highways and long open roads with few stops above 40mph because you can cruise at more efficient RPMs with less load. Anectdotal source is personal data from OBD2 monitoring of load values on the engine.
Thanks for the insight, but I have done the experiment and sport mode will result in less mpg. So for DD I stay in normal, for spirited runs it’s a mix of all of them.
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Old 08-28-2021, 02:01 PM   #13
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It would behoove all drivers (AT only drivers, MT fanatics, etc) to learn how automatic transmissions work including torque converters and fluid couplings. There is so much disinformation because of the stigma of automatic transmissions it makes it difficult to learn what happens.

The 86 uses a torque converter/fluid coupling transmission that, under normal mode will keep RPMs very low by spinning the fluid to provide power to the wheels in gears 1-3. It's essentially like slipping a clutch but instead of a clutch it's spinning a liquid instead. The torque converter also multiplies the torque output resulting in increased output to the wheels for very little input. There's a rate (2400 RPM for the auto transmission used in the 86) where it no longer multiplies torque so it often keeps below that range at all costs to both reduce transmission heat production and keep the engine RPMs low.

Under sport mode the transmission locks up from gears 2-6 and locks up the drivetrain exactly like that of a manual car - no power loss (aside from additional rotating mass and some internal workings of the clutchplates within the trans, but no different in practice than just connecting the drivetrain.) However, this means the car is then driven exactly like a manual car because it would result in lugging if you decide to try to drive it at 1500 RPM on nearly any gear.

I'm sure most MT drivers can attest to driving about a minimum of 2000 RPM to 3500 RPM for cruising. In sport and manual mode, it's the exact same concept.

FWIW; once the engine is warmed up sport mode/driving the car in manual mode is far easier on the engine on highways or anything above 35mph, because the car does feel very luggy as it keeps the bare minimum RPMs in normal mode. Downshift as necessary and learn to drive it in MT/sport mode.

Whether or not people dislike ATs, they are a tool and are excellent for traffic and city driving (where you do get better efficiency due to needing to rev less and keep the engine more within brake specific fuel consumption ranges). Manual mode is far better on the highways and long open roads with few stops above 40mph because you can cruise at more efficient RPMs with less load. Anectdotal source is personal data from OBD2 monitoring of load values on the engine.
i don't really care if it 'slips'. what irritates me is the automatic shifting points. my tacoma shifts in about 5mph increments. so i make a left turn onto an on-ramp going about 15-20mph with very light throttle input because, hey, i'm turning. by the time i complete the turn, the transmissions in 5th. a slight press to attempt to get up to highway speed, the motor bogs trying to hold 5th, so the only 'solution' is to beat it like a rented mule, pedal to the metal, and then it skips, shudders, and drops all the way to 2nd(where it should've been through the entire turn!, but it won't just drop to 4th or 3rd which would also be entirely acceptable), all the while the embarrassing exhaust note of all this mechanical activity sounds like a tourettes patient falling down a flight of stairs...
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Old 08-28-2021, 04:31 PM   #14
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Never said the a960e was programmed well. I could write an extra essay about everything wrong with how they tuned it. There are Lexus SUVs I've driven that are way less reluctant to downshift even outside of sport mode and feel ten times more peppy than whatever the AT programming is for the 86, for ten times less effort. It's why I use almost exclusively manual mode for almost everything except city/dense local areas. It lugs the hell out of the car past gear 3 in normal mode. If the tool isn't working right, work around it. As for the exhaust, why not get an aftermarket exhaust if it's that bad ? They're a dime a dozen and there are plenty of not obnoxious ones.
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