Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of October's Outback of the Month Challenge!
141 - 154 of 154 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I have a 2012 3.6 and a 2014 2.5. Finally got around to taking them in for the airbag recall. Sadly I found that the 2014 2.5 is in need of a head gasket and oil an gasket. The 2012 went in to a different dealer for the airbag recall, Come to find out we have been told BOTH are in needed of a head gasket. The dealer that did 2012 airbag, came back with a laundry list of items needing "immediate" attention. The 2012 is at 107K and the 2014 is at 74K. HIGHLY disappointed as I had read the head gasket issues had been resolved. So on the 2014, my extended warranty is on for 7 yrs 100K. I was advised to work with Subaru direct first. They did respond quickly to the diagnosis, however they are only willing to cover $1400 of the $2800 estimate. While I was waiting on the diagnosis, I actually test drove the 2020 Forester and the Outback. Outback by far is a superior vehicle of those 2, however I'm not sure I am willing to risk buying something that will require MAJOR engine work every 5-6 years.

SO disappointed.


Wait, this sounds creepily familiar. We have had one 2013 OB for a while, and I liked it, so last year when a really sweet 2013 with a stickshift came up for sale, I bought it. Runs and drives to perfection. I noticed that the airbag and parking brake recalls hadn't been done, so I made an appointment with a local dealer here in MA to do those. They did fix those, but ...

...the mechanic advised the exact same laundry list of problems as they gave you needing immediate attention, including a head gasket, cam cover seal and lower oil gasket!!! They said it would cost the better part of $3k and booked me for an appointment. However, to get second and third opinions, I took the car to two highly regarded independent garages and they put it up on the lift, looked at it, took it for test drives, did some diagnostics ... and BOTH places said it needed zero work, and was in perfect condition (tiny oil seeps at most, nothing even close to an active leak). One even gave me a writeup stating all systems go.

All that is to say, I don't trust Subaru service departments as far as you can throw 'em. They are trying to create service work where there's no need whatsoever.
 

·
Registered
2013 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
Always wise to have a long-time-in-business indie shop you know you can trust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
We have two 2013 OBs, one with a stickshift and one with a CVT. Each has a little over 100K. Neither one burns oil. The CVT one has a bit of judder that can't seem to be exorcised with alignments. The stickshift rides as smooth as glass. Since the stickshift car can't be replaced (i.e., they don't make manual trannies any more), it's starting to get babied a bit. The CVT car is overall just average but the 6MT one has to be up there with the best cars I've ever owned.

I believe the AWD setup is fundamentally different between the two cars; in snow, the manual has no problem tracking through the worst conditions but the CVT one isn't as sure-footed and handles quite differently.

Only aftermarket anything is, on the 6MT, I changed the shifter bushing to a solid brass STI one, and then I put a Perrin-style shift gate stop on there (hard to believe how much more precise the shifter feels now). And I added an additional grounding cable to both cars -- a surprisingly helpful 5-minute mod.

I believe both cars would benefit immensely from lightweight wheels but acquiring them is so expensive that it just doesn't seem worth it.




Hello everyone.

I just bought a one owner 2013 outback base model. Nothing to report yet.

I wish there were more rugged kayak tie downs.
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
Joined
·
3,106 Posts
3.6L and the new 2.5L do not have head gasket issues, the older EJ from about 2001-12 do and it can be fixed permanently by using the NEW MULTI LAYER STEEL GASKET available from Subaru. Any coated gasket will fail again and this includes

FELPRO
SIX STAR
SUBARU

when you get them done make SURE the head goes off to a machine shop. I know that the dealer that did my 2003 actually pulled the engine and had it done right. also you will need to helicoil any stripped head bolts (it is not uncommon on aluminum blocks with steel head bolts)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Got a 2010 3.6R premium for $8500. they normally go for about $10-11K here.

things you need to look for on a used outback 3.6R after you drive it about 30 miles or so.

1. suspension noises, there is a reason my car was $8500. Thankfully about $350 in parts has resolved that issue. (new OEM control arms, bushings, end links)

2. does the transmission shift well when cold and hot? If not, RUNNNNN FORREST RUNNNNN!!!!

3. connect a OBDII tool and check to make sure all of the readiness monitors have passed and that there are no pending codes. If not, move along, you got potential issues.

4. are all of the tires the same brand and age/wear?

5. these cars wear diapers under the engine bay so you will need to have the car inspected by a reputable mechanic
if you are unable to do the inspection yourself for leaks.

6. open the hood, does it smell like any fluid or burning fluid?

fluid visible check

power steering should be red
coolant is either green or blue (Subaru now uses the blue coolant)
brake fluid should not be so dark you cannot see light through it

hose check

is the intake on tight? is it stock? if not, move along.

7. does the engine run smoothly, if not, move along, could be plugs, could be something else

8. remove push pins on air duct and then remove duct and check air filter, does it look nasty? Prolly should move along as what else are they holding off on?

If you buy the car

1. take it straight for an oil change.

2. you are going to have to service EVERY SINGLE FLUID regardless of mileage... unless the previous owner hands you a super stack of service maintenance work done, consider it not done. Will cost you around $150-200 if you use al OEM stuff (coolant, brake fluid, ATF, differential) and about 40% if you go aftermarket.

on my car that I bought I have replaced

engine oil
trans fluid
power steering fluid
differential fluid
new tires
new end links front and rear
new sway bar bushings front and rear
new center caps (some were missing)
new air filter
new cabin filter
new serpentine belt

it had newish brake fluid due to newish brakes so I will service it in the spring when it gets warmer outside, ditto for the coolant. finally I will tackle the spark plugs (what a pitb)

I will also be putting on newer lower control arms as a complete assembly and new smart strut assemblies for a 13-14 in the spring (all 4 corners)
How many miles on car
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
Joined
·
3,106 Posts
How many miles on car
2003 was 75K when I had the engine done. sold it in 2020 with 143K on it. Rust ate it and it was 18 years old
2014 is currently 85K miles and counting. car is nearing 8 years old
2010 3.6R is 158K and counting. car is 12 years old
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
All that is to say, I don't trust Subaru service departments as far as you can throw 'em. They are trying to create service work where there's no need whatsoever.
[/QUOTE]


I know this is an old thread, but where in MA did you find a good independent shop? I'm a VW guy but buying an Outback for my teenage daughter. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I am likely going to be purchasing a 2013 3.6R with the 5 speed transmission. south texas vehicle so there should be no rust. around 80k. dealer wants 16k. Seems like a decent deal. Anything I should be worried about??
 

·
Registered
2013 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
Have you obtained the service records? These are indeed great bang-for-the-buck vehicles but you want to ensure that the oil & filter changes were done as specified.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Have you obtained the service records? These are indeed great bang-for-the-buck vehicles but you want to ensure that the oil & filter changes were done as specified.
The vehicle has one previous owner. They bought it from the dealership that is selling it now. All the service records were done on the vehicle at that dealership and the carfax shows it.
It just had a lower ball joint replacement and new brakes put on.
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
Joined
·
3,106 Posts
All that is to say, I don't trust Subaru service departments as far as you can throw 'em. They are trying to create service work where there's no need whatsoever.

I know this is an old thread, but where in MA did you find a good independent shop? I'm a VW guy but buying an Outback for my teenage daughter. Thanks!
[/QUOTE]

I trust mine at whitebear subaru. they always take care of me and when I had my valve covers done, they indicated front timing cover was weeping. turns out they were incorrect as once the valve cover gaskets were done and the engine cleaned up, what appears to be a weep was just oil from the valve covers leaking. having looked at it right after the repair, I thought the same thing...but I cleaned it up and all is well in the land of 3.6R. the reason for that was I park on an incline l every night and the nose of the car points down so the oil was running towards the front where the timing cover is.
 

·
Registered
2012 Outback 3.6R Premium
Joined
·
16 Posts
While the added height, while not much of a difference, is nice for off-roading I would stick with the stock size. The manufacture designed the car for 225/60R17 so it will keep you speedometer fairly accurate, plus your suspension angles may be slightly off by using a different size tire causing abnormal wear or steering feel.
I have a 2012 Outback 3.6r Premium - I just replaced my 225/60/R17 With the Wildpeak AT3W 245/65/R17.

Runs nice, looks great. Google Maps says that @60 mph I'm actually going 65mph. I'm an adult. I don't speed. I can do conversions in my head. I don't care if my speedometer is off. Or if I've got some undesigned weight burdening my suspension at each corner... Lol 😁 Are we not men?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I loved my 2013 OB, too bad a broken piston ring killed it. It was very reliable, loved to sit at 80-85 mph at only 2.5krpm. I drove the f*@K out of it with 164k+ miles. I think I put as much oil as I did gas in it. The one thing I absolutely hated, though, was changing the headlights. How can a car company make the most easiest and basic tasks so infuriatingly impossible. Even going through the wheel well you can't even get a straight shot.
 
141 - 154 of 154 Posts
Top