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Discussion Starter #1
I found this user forum while trying to cure my lane wandering Outback. Originally I was content to be on the sidelines and just reading others issues and ideas and found that many of the problems I had others had as well when it came to the Gen 4 Outback, but recently I had to register to get a few of my own questions answered.

When looking for the lane wandering solution I read where the Continental tires were not the best quality so I replaced those with a set of Michelins at a substantial cost and while helping greatly with the road noise it did nothing with the lane wandering. I then read about the 19mm RSB. I ordered it, installed it and drove it. While it reduced the way the car had a tendency to roll into a turn it did nothing to solve the wandering. I also tried different service departments but they were of no help with the exception of getting a wheel alignment and then an up-sell for the approaching service. Unless I can take a service advisor on a three hour road trip there seems to be nothing the dealer will do about the "phantom" problem. I have also read about tweaking the alignment toe-in or some other out of spec adjustment. But that's something that should be done on an older car that has been driven for many years. Tweaking the alignment out of spec to get this new Outback to drive normal only solidifies that there is a problem with the car.

My solution to the lane wandering was quite simple. I traded in the Outback for another make and model. I won't go into details on the new vehicle because that will start a thread of bashing my choice of vehicles brand and reliability and how I'll have more trouble than if I stuck with the Subaru. While that has yet to be seen I doubt it will have near the amount of shortcomings the Outback has had. I will say the new vehicle drives true, is exceptionally quiet and has a nav unit that works like it should.

I appreciate the advice I found here from Hudsoner, jogosub and a few others who provide good info. Thanks and keep up the good work. But there also appears to be far too many users here that offer anecdotal advice as hard fact or profess to know everything about my specific vehicle parked in my garage without ever having driven it. I have read threads started by others with valid issues that have received answers blaming the op because there is no way a Subaru would (--insert problem here--) unless the op did something wrong. People come here for advice and help but are given bad information by fanboys propping up the Subaru name because they need to feel good about their purchase.

I was a 16 month Gen 4 Outback owner. I have owned many cars but this was my first Subaru and honestly it was one of the most poorly designed and assembled cars I have owned. In the 16 months the car did not age well and the poor components and material used really began to stand out. And I have never had such a bad experience with a manufacturers service department as I have had with Subaru. Their lack of professionalism and lack of knowledge is astounding.

And about the lane wandering, it is a real problem and a safety concern and it needs to be addressed, but I'm not going to stick around and wait.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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1,696 Posts
There was already a longstanding thread for this issue. Why not just post there? Unless you happen to be a troll.........
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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340 Posts
Kind of sucks that you spent time and money trying to fix the wandering problem and then ended up selling the car anyway.

Oh well, live and learn and move on.

Good luck with your new vehicle.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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3,565 Posts
I have also read about tweaking the alignment toe-in or some other out of spec adjustment.
But that's something that should be done on an older car that has been driven for many years.
Tweaking the alignment out of spec to get this new Outback to drive normal only solidifies that
there is a problem with the car.
Seems strange that you'd invest hundreds of $$$ in replacement tires and
a new RSB -- but not spend $50-ish to check the alignment and tweak it
to dead center of Subaru's specified range. I believe I've read pretty
much every "wander" post on this forum in the past year or so, and I don't
recall seeing a single one that recommended an out-of-spec adjustment.

Yep, I agree that there's a problem (with TheWanders _and_ TheFanboys)
but a (free!) alignment tweak to dead-on-spec fixed TheWanders on mine.
No hope for fixing TheFanboys, of course.

Anyhoo, good luck with the new experiment.

Looby
 

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My solution to the lane wandering was quite simple. I traded in the Outback for another make and model. I won't go into details on the new vehicle because that will start a thread of bashing my choice of vehicles brand and reliability and how I'll have more trouble than if I stuck with the Subaru. While that has yet to be seen I doubt it will have near the amount of shortcomings the Outback has had. I will say the new vehicle drives true, is exceptionally quiet and has a nav unit that works like it should.
How do you like your new VW Passat TDI?
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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You never tried alignment? That is first and foremost thing to do. Your money your call.
As far as build quality goes your experience doesn't come close to mine. I will put my Outback build quality against my BMWs build quality anyday and I assure you I could buy 2 Outbacks for the cost of my BMW. I would rate build quality close to 95% of my BMWs.

If you did buy a VW TDI wagon I think you made a great choice. I am hoping Subaru brings a good TD to the US as the immediate 30% mpg increase from more btu's per unit volume would really make the Outback 30 mpg plus all day long.
Good luck with your new ride Outbacks are not for all of us...
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i
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You never tried alignment?
I'm pretty unhappy myself at the wander-y-ness of my 2013 Outback ... I'll soon be taking it to the dealer for it's first oil change and checkup; if I complain about wandering, you think they'd check the alignment for me?
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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I'm pretty unhappy myself at the wander-y-ness of my 2013 Outback ... I'll soon be taking it to the dealer for it's first oil change and checkup; if I complain about wandering, you think they'd check the alignment for me?
My dealer says SOA will authorize a free one on a new Subie.
 

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2011 Outback 3.6 premium, rear sway bar, and way too many accessories. Anything that can make Boston winters more tolerable (e.g. remote start, molded wintertech snow mats etc).
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I respect your decision. Sounds like you made a solid effort to fix what appears to be a problem on many Oubacks, then decided that the combination of your car, your driving conditions, and your requirements for driveability were not met. By all means if you are of economic means to do so, it is best to trade for a car that seems safer and easier to control. I feel lucky that my car's similar problems were manageable using some of the fixes I have found in this forum, but I recognize that these remedies may not work equally well on all Outbacks.

Good luck and safe driving.
 

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2013 3.6 White SAP
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My experience (see my posts on the the other thread), is that wander is not an accurate term and telling the dealer that the car wanders will get you no where. I tried this. They checked alignment, they test drove... Thinking that wander was the symptom, I went to another mech. and did some futzing with the alignment with no effect.

Take your Gen 4 out to NV 80 in some gusty crosswinds and you will see what I mean. The problem, as I perceive it, is a delayed oversteer. It is very obvious at 80 mph.
 

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2011 OB 2.5i Limited -GONE!
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I found this user forum while trying to cure my lane wandering Outback. Originally I was content to be on the sidelines and just reading others issues and ideas and found that many of the problems I had others had as well when it came to the Gen 4 Outback, but recently I had to register to get a few of my own questions answered.

When looking for the lane wandering solution I read where the Continental tires were not the best quality so I replaced those with a set of Michelins at a substantial cost and while helping greatly with the road noise it did nothing with the lane wandering. I then read about the 19mm RSB. I ordered it, installed it and drove it. While it reduced the way the car had a tendency to roll into a turn it did nothing to solve the wandering. I also tried different service departments but they were of no help with the exception of getting a wheel alignment and then an up-sell for the approaching service. Unless I can take a service advisor on a three hour road trip there seems to be nothing the dealer will do about the "phantom" problem. I have also read about tweaking the alignment toe-in or some other out of spec adjustment. But that's something that should be done on an older car that has been driven for many years. Tweaking the alignment out of spec to get this new Outback to drive normal only solidifies that there is a problem with the car.

My solution to the lane wandering was quite simple. I traded in the Outback for another make and model. I won't go into details on the new vehicle because that will start a thread of bashing my choice of vehicles brand and reliability and how I'll have more trouble than if I stuck with the Subaru. While that has yet to be seen I doubt it will have near the amount of shortcomings the Outback has had. I will say the new vehicle drives true, is exceptionally quiet and has a nav unit that works like it should.

I appreciate the advice I found here from Hudsoner, jogosub and a few others who provide good info. Thanks and keep up the good work. But there also appears to be far too many users here that offer anecdotal advice as hard fact or profess to know everything about my specific vehicle parked in my garage without ever having driven it. I have read threads started by others with valid issues that have received answers blaming the op because there is no way a Subaru would (--insert problem here--) unless the op did something wrong. People come here for advice and help but are given bad information by fanboys propping up the Subaru name because they need to feel good about their purchase.

I was a 16 month Gen 4 Outback owner. I have owned many cars but this was my first Subaru and honestly it was one of the most poorly designed and assembled cars I have owned. In the 16 months the car did not age well and the poor components and material used really began to stand out. And I have never had such a bad experience with a manufacturers service department as I have had with Subaru. Their lack of professionalism and lack of knowledge is astounding.

And about the lane wandering, it is a real problem and a safety concern and it needs to be addressed, but I'm not going to stick around and wait.
Congratulations ! I'm glad you able to get out from under your OB. Your post describes exactly what many here (incl. myself) are going / been through, but due to various circumstances are unable to walk away from our OBs.

Those of us still stuck w/ wanderers are lined up at the prison fence, watching you drive off happily into the sunset, and will try to find solace thinking "at least he got out..."

Cheers...
 

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Generally if a brand new vehicle doesn't drive to your likes / tastes the best fix is selling it and getting a vehicle that does drive / handle to your tastes.

One reason I will never own a Minivan I've driven enough of them to know I really don't like how they drive and handle. Many people will not like the lifted Outback I don't exactly like it after 11yrs in a Legacy GT. The OB handles a little better than my Land Cruiser handled with proper off road tires on it, but not by much.
 

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2013 OB 3.6R Limited, Black Silica
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For What it's worth, I didn't really have a pronounced wandering issue but I talked to my Dealer about it when I took mine in for it's first oil change. They said they put every new subie they recieve on the rack and do alignment due to inconsistant alignment from factory. They had brought mine in from another dealer in another city (didn't have what I wanted in stock) so they had no record of wether it was done and offered to do it free of charge. They gave me the paperwork which showed a before setting of .5 toe out on front both sides. The after alignment paperwork showed both front set to zero toe. Now i didn't really have a problem before but did notice a little change after the alignment. It's no sports car handling but better than my old 4x4 pickup.
 

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2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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Generally if a brand new vehicle doesn't drive to your likes / tastes the best fix is selling it and getting a vehicle that does drive / handle to your tastes.
This guy cracks me up with these "I just drank some more Kool Aid" statements...and there are quite a few floating around. According to subiesailor, one should go out and buy a brand new car every few months until you buy one that drives safely on tbe highway. Sounds like a great financial plan to me.

It has nothing to do with taste or liking how these OB's steer on the highway. It's a safety issue that Subaru is in denial of.

I'm sick and tired of how some people around here down play this serious problem.

Bottom line...Subaru has a big problem and they know it.
 

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2012 OUTBACK 2.5 LIMITED SILVER ICE Metallic, moon and nav free
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I think people just have a hard time leaving the wheel alone and end up in a state of constant over corrections. I think these issues are driver error accentuated by a higher ride height and soft suspension and sub par tires. This is why dealer test drives result in frustration and they don't see a problem when the shop takes it out.
 

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I have an extended test drive ('13 OB) scheduled for Tuesday, 4/23. This discussion about "steering wander" has me very tentative about buying the Outback. Like many others, I have been spoiled by trouble free car ownership the past years and I am do not want to get involved with dealer visits...being told the problem is "normal'" or "they all do it" etc. 30K is a big bundle for me and I tend to keep cars for many years.
What should I look for on the test drive? Just crank it up to 80 on the freeway, let off the steering wheel and see if it tracks true? Is this an isolated issue or do many owners report this problem?
 

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Seems sort of douche-like to come to a Subaru form to bitch about your Outback and tell us how brilliant you are to trade it in. Woo Hoo! Really Man, you didn't like the Subaru and got something else...do you expect any of us to care? Really?
 

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......What should I look for on the test drive? Just crank it up to 80 on the freeway, let off the steering wheel and see if it tracks true? Is this an isolated issue or do many owners report this problem?
dboz sums it up nicely below. There is no "play" at TDC. On both my traded '11 and new '13 neither like busy/heavy hands on the wheel. I found the more you correct the more you will need to correct. Both mine tracked bullet straight with light hands. Test drive the way you normally drive. All will be revealed.

I think people just have a hard time leaving the wheel alone and end up in a state of constant over corrections. I think these issues are driver error accentuated by a higher ride height and soft suspension and sub par tires. This is why dealer test drives result in frustration and they don't see a problem when the shop takes it out.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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I think people just have a hard time leaving the wheel alone
and end up in a state of constant over corrections.
Wrong.


 

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2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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I have an extended test drive ('13 OB) scheduled for Tuesday, 4/23. This discussion about "steering wander" has me very tentative about buying the Outback. Like many others, I have been spoiled by trouble free car ownership the past years and I am do not want to get involved with dealer visits...being told the problem is "normal'" or "they all do it" etc. 30K is a big bundle for me and I tend to keep cars for many years.
What should I look for on the test drive? Just crank it up to 80 on the freeway, let off the steering wheel and see if it tracks true? Is this an isolated issue or do many owners report this problem?
The key with your test drive is to drive it for a long time on the highway...say a steady 65 mph and use cruise control if you can. Try to drive for 8 or 10 miles or more...the longer the better. Make sure the highway you're going to be on also has long sweeping curves too. You'll find a dead zone at center of 3 or 4 degrees left or right. You will also find that the steering does not self center. While on tbe curve, remove your grip from the steering wheel and you'll notice the OB will keep steering in the last direction by itself!:gasp:

Drive it like you've driven any other car in the past. The OB's steering dynamics at highway speeds will speak for themselves.

Good luck to you.
 
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