The head gasket has a high failure rate due to cooling system problems. Subaru is aware of the problem and has extended the warranty to 8 years/100k miles on many vehicles.
Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback Models:
Subaru Outback Problems
A vibration or shutter may be noted on acceleration. If the transmission torque converter is suspected a revised part is available to correct this concern.
Front engine oil leaks can develop from the camshaft seal and the crankshaft front seal. If one or more seals require replacement, it may be wise to consider replacing the timing belt as well. These seals are commonly inspected and replaced as needed as part of a timing belt service.
The leak may develop from the oil pump seal. Our technicians prefer to use thread locker when replacing the seal to prevent the bolts from becoming loose again.
The front oxygen (air fuel ratio) sensor element may develop a crack, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Subaru has recalled certain models to replace sensors that may fail. The Subaru service program number is WXW-80, this is not a government mandated recall.
Subaru Outback Recalls (Recent)
Summary: ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE BRAKE MASTER CYLINDERS MAY NOT FUNCTION PROPERLY IN AMBIENT TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING 32 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT AND LOWER).Learn more »
RepairPal Expert Overview:
The transmission park mechanism located inside the automatic transmission may not hold when the selector is in the "park" position. The vehicle could move/roll without warning, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the automatic transmission parking rod assembly to correct this concern.
Summary: ON CERTAIN PASSENGER SEDANS, WAGONS, AND SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES, THE CRUISE CONTROL CABLE COULD COME OUT OF ITS TRACK ON THE CRUISE CONTROL LEVER AND LODGE ON THE CONTROL LEVER TAB WHEN THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL IS RELEASED. IF THIS CONDITION OCCURS, THE THROTTLE WILL NOT RETURN TO THE IDLE POSITION AND WILL REMAIN IN AN OPEN POSITION.Learn more »
RepairPal Expert Overview:
555 vehicles with a 4-cylinder engine may have a water pump pulley with a center hole that was improperly machined and is too large. This could result in the pulley coming off of the water pump during normal vehicle operation, causing severe engine damage. Dealers will replace the water pump to correct this concern.
Summary: THIS RECALL APPLIES TO CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KENTUCKY, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. CERTAIN REAR SUSPENSION SUBFRAME COMPONENTS WERE PRODUCED WITH POOR PAINT QUALITY WHICH, AFTER CONTINUED EXPOSURE TO CORROSIVE ROAD SALTS FOR A PERIOD OF SEVERAL YEARS, COULD RESULT IN RUST-OUT OF THE COMPONENT AND POSSIBLE BREAKAGE OF THE SUBFRAME.Learn more »
Subaru Outback Questions and Answers
When place in Drive, car won't bo when pressing on gas.
When I put car in Drive, and then take foot off break to press on gas it delay's going. After a period of time it does drive but won't take off initially. Just replaced transmission flui...
when i turn engine on i get a squeeling noise that stops when the car is put in drive.
I just had a steering rack replaced, and it isn't right, but that's another story/question - it has no radius, steers hard, and makes a horrible grinding sound when turning hard left (lik...
2 tires blown off the rim 1 flatt tire, 1 broken rim,broken heated power mirrior,broken part of front bumper, broken back bumper, loose headlight,2 blown out (back windows ,main and one side)broken...
Subaru Outback Reviews
Bought Premium Outback to replace 2006 VW Jetta TDI w/183K, primarily because I wanted a more reliable car for my wife to drive. CV auto takes some getting used to, but seems to be as advertised. Interior, electronics, ride, features, etc. all excellent.
With approx. 10K miles on vehicle, wife begins 220 mi. highway trip. 30 miles into trip, at 70 mph highway speed, vehicle starts billowing smoke screen trailing the car...looked like a NASCAR race, engine blown. Pulling off the highway and into a gas station, she shuts the car down; check engine light and low oil light are on.
When I arrive, I check vehicle, no oil discernible on dipstick check; oil and/or other fluids flowing freely away from parked vehicle. Use Subaru service, have wrecker transport to dealer.
In diagnosing the problem, the dealer, under the direction of the factory, pulls engine from car. Problem found: bad rear main seal. Under air pressure, the leak was felt by finger touch; approximately 1/2" in length between seal and outer seal block.
A warranty repair all the way; nobody has any idea how it could have happened except through a bad part and/or faulty installation, all at factory. Subaru is replacing the seal at their cost, placing motor back in vehicle; vehicle still under original 5yr/60K warranty period.
We have a dealer loaner at no cost to us but are without our vehicle for an entire week with limited mileage restrictions on the loaner vehicle. I'm wondering if any permanent damage to the engine was sustained while experiencing this mail seal failure at highway operating speeds.
Any suggestions on how to have them test for engine damage?
I loved my 2010 Outback and bought the 2014 for better mileage and some updates. The mileage is so much worse that I took it in to the dealer They were not the least concerned that it is getting more that 5 miles less per gallon than my 2010.
Got hit with a lemon. Purchased for $5000.00 and in 2 months have had to rebuild engine completely and now am replacing the electrical unit. The car has 130,000 miles on it.
The 2012 Outback is an excellent vehicle. Large, but with very good gas mileage for its size. The only issue is that the a/c cannot be directed in enough positions, otherwise is a great all wheel vehicle
I have a subaru outback 2002 w/190000 miles I am mechanic (small engines ) I do good maintenace and service every 3000 miles. on driver side when I remove the spark plug I founded oil around the spark plug boot wire. ( when has 95000 miles) now leak oil from both head/valves cover the question is only gaskets or major problem?