Subaru Outback Problems
The Subaru Outback is probably the Japanese company's most popular vehicle ever since it was introduced back in 1995. The idea for the vehicle actually originated from Subaru of America, which was suffering from a sales slump and needed a new vehicle that can compete in the surging SUV market. What they did was upgrade their existing Subaru Legacy wagon with a taller suspension system and give it a rugged and sporty look. Named after the rugged outback of Australia, the Subaru Outback proved to be a sales success with it's newest models designed as crossover vehicles. Despite its popularity, the Subaru Outback has its share of problems that users have experienced over the years.
Unnecessary vibrations build up while driving at highway speeds.
A lot of owners of the 2010 - 2011 Subaru Outback complained of significant vibration from their vehicle's steering wheels, especially at high speeds over 60MPH. Reports varied with some drivers saying that the vibrations were negligible while others reported that the steering wheel kept on moving and vibrating. Subaru responded with a technical service bulletin that called for replacement steering wheels and a modification to the engine mount and rear subframe in order to reduce the vibrations. Although aftermarket replacements are widely available for the Subaru Outback, some users still complained that replacing these parts have not solved their problem. It's best to have a dealer or mechanic look into this issue, especially if the vibrations are strong enough to affect the vehicle's steering.
Lighting defect led to a huge recall for the Outback and other Subaru vehicles.
The latest problem with the Subaru Outback was a company wide recall of more than 600,000 vehicles, including the Subaru Tribeca and Subaru Legacy. The recall cited a potential lighting problem that could lead to smoke and fire in the vehicle. The report indicated that issue was traced to faulty puddle light accessories, although the company isn't sure about which cars have the problematic part. A short circuit could develop in the puddle lights when they come in contact with moisture, which then could result in heat melting the plastic that will then cause smoke or fire in the vehicle.
The clutch on my Subaru Outback is not releasing completely. How do I fix this problem?
There are several reasons or possibilities why a clutch does not release completely. A clutch that does not engage may be due to any of these problems: a misadjusted linkage, severely stretched or broken release cable, a faulty slave or master clutch cylinder, presence of air in the hydraulic line, worn out or insufficient lubrication of the input shaft splines, damaged pilot bearing or bushing, broken bearing retainer, worn out release fork or pivot ball, distorted clutch drive straps, bent clutch disc, and the improper installation of clutch disc. So you see, there are plenty of suspects that you need to consider.
If you want to forego the hassle of having to check every component related to the clutch, then the easiest way to fix this problem is to replace the clutch and not just the parts that are worn. Replacing all the major parts may help you avoid having to do the repair twice.
My Subaru Outback overheated while I was driving to work. I checked the temperature gauge, but it shows normal temperature reading. I am confused. Can you tell me what could have caused my car to overheat?
Engine overheating is basically due to the inefficiency of the cooling system to dissipate heat. The first thing that you need to do is to check for leaks in the radiator, hoses, freeze plugs, automatic transmission oil cooler, head gasket, cylinder heads, and block. Conduct a pressure test and see if it holds pressure for a minute. If it does not, then you have a leak. If it holds, then continue checking for other causes. Check the radiator fan, water pump, and the belt. See if these are working properly. As for the temperature gauge, since it was not able to show the correct temperature, that means it is broken. Have it checked and repaired if needed.
I am going to buy a secondhand Subaru Outback. What are the things that I need to check and consider before buying?
Before meeting up with the seller, it is best to research on the common problems that are associated with the Subaru Outback, especially since you are going to buy a secondhand car. Some of the worst reported problems with the Outback that you have to watch out for include: clutch failure at low mileage, head gasket leaking, and engine problem. Don't forget to also give the vehicle a good sniff test. You would not want to drive a stinky car. It would also help if you have a mechanic with you to inspect the car that you want to buy. Your mechanic will be able to identify the problems as well as offer solutions. Also, he will be able to provide you with an estimate of the costs of the repairs that are needed. So right there and then, you will be able to decide whether you will go forward with the purchase or not.
Subaru Outback: A Crossover SUV with an Outback Capability
A mid-size car that could roam through challenging terrains and climes did not exist before 1994. But with the introduction of the Subaru Outback, a model manufactured by Japanese automaker Fuji Heavy Industries, the story took a more exciting turn. With some similarity to the second-generation Subaru Legacy, Outback became a vehicle perfect for drivers and families who wanted a tough ride for different seasons and everyday driving needs. As a unique idea, the Subaru Outback, with its advantages over truck-based SUVs, was able to save the then-dying distributor Subaru of America.
1994 – 1998: First generation (standard features for a touring wagon)
The original Subaru Outback, also called the second-generation Subaru Legacy, looked like a sport utility vehicle with a normal ground clearance. This model had a standard suspension, berber carpet floor mats, heavy cloth interior, fog lights, and a luggage rack. But when the 1996 model was introduced, the look shifted to a more aggressive style, with front bumper covers, taller tires, and a higher ground clearance. The models also used Subaru’s own EJ engine, which had 16-valve four cylinders in horizontal alignment. These all-wheel-drive models had a fuel capacity of 2.5 liters, and depending on the model, transmission could be automatic or manual, with some equipped with continuous AWD system. Some luxury features included a Momo black leather steering wheel, plaid seat upholstery, and a digital climate control.
1999 – 2003: Second generation (upgraded features for a sedan-style SUV)
Also called the Lancaster, second-generation Subaru Outbacks still had the horizontal engine layout but with two additional cylinders. The main difference in these models was the removal of the foldable rear seats, but that was compensated with the addition of headrests for these seats. The ground clearance was 190mm, five millimeters higher than the first-generation units. Running at 165 horsepower with a peak torque of 166 pound-feet, these models were better than the previous ones in terms of power. Some models that had the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine had a timing belt that wore around a hundred thousand miles; others with the 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine used instead a timing chain that rarely needed replacement. The luxury features included were a McIntosh stereo system, a six-disc CD changer, Vehicle Dynamics Control, dual moon roofs, and a black leather steering wheel matching with the parking brake handle and gearshift knob.
2004 – 2008: Third generation (more style and performance upgrades for a supercharged Outback)
Models belonging to this generation were equipped with a 3.0-liter engine with six cylinders that were horizontally arranged. With a ground clearance of 220mm, this model looked more like an SUV, but was still a little bit lower. The standard features were MP3 compatibility for the stereo, wood and leather steering wheel, perforated leather seats, glass moon roof, and GPS navigation. In 2005, a model that could produce 243 horsepower with a four-cylinder engine came out. This model was available in any of the three transmissions: 5-speed Auto-SportShift, 5-speed manual, and 4-speed Auto-SportShift.
2009 – present: Fourth generation (upgrades for a safer, user-specific Outback)
Models introduced from 2009 onwards offered more security features, which included airbags for the passengers and driver, side airbags, side curtain airbags, and a knee bolster airbag for the driver. The ground clearance remained at 220mm, and there were a lot of color options for the exterior. A lot of features were not available in all models, wherein some were only made available for limited-edition units and specific trims. Some of the upgrade options available were Bluetooth and iPod capability, a glass moon roof, cloth interiors, a stereo with CD changer, and a digital climate control system.