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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I'm thinking of buying a used (obviously) Outback, probably a 2010, but possibly 2011/2012. Likely in the 100k mile range.

I've been reading up about it and I just have some questions if you knowledgeable people wouldn't mind helping out:

1) I know that the majority of people with no issues don't complain about it on the internet, so I can't just read all the bad reviews and assume the car is trash, but do you have any idea just how common the transmission failure problems are? After all, I'd be buying a car out of warranty, so if it fails, that's all coming out of pocket.

2) Is there a certain number of miles where you can confidently assume that the transmission is going to be fine? Most of the stories I've read have happened with cars in the 20-80k mile range.

3) Is there anything I should be looking out for while test driving the car? Warnings that things might not be as they should?

4) Am I correct in my research that the high oil consumption problem only affects the 2013 model?

5) Is there anything else you can think of that I should watch out for with this car when looking at it/test driving?

Thanks for any replies :)
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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I bought my 2010 two years ago with 95k on the clock.

Be ready to replace the timing belt if it hasn't been already done.
The age and mileage you are considering would benefit from a coolant R&R.
Adjust the price as appropriate to whether you DIY or have a shop do the work.

If you get a CVT, listen to it on the test drive. Turn off the radio and fan, roll down a window, drive thru a quiet area. The CVT makes more noise than a normal auto trans but there should not be any grinding, excessive whining or clunking.

The brake caliper pins and guides tend to wear and cause a rattling from the suspension over bumps. That is a much easier repair than suspension bushings or ball joints but check it is one and not the other

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I bought my 2010 two years ago with 95k on the clock.

Be ready to replace the timing belt if it hasn't been already done.
The age and mileage you are considering would benefit from a coolant R&R.
Adjust the price as appropriate to whether you DIY or have a shop do the work.

If you get a CVT, listen to it on the test drive. Turn off the radio and fan, roll down a window, drive thru a quiet area. The CVT makes more noise than a normal auto trans but there should not be any grinding, excessive whining or clunking.

The brake caliper pins and guides tend to wear and cause a rattling from the suspension over bumps. That is a much easier repair than suspension bushings or ball joints but check it is one and not the other

Good luck.
Thank you very much for this advice! :)
 

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2011 SSM Outback 2.5i Premium
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As for the 2010, do your research into the service history, make sure all the "shaker" TSB's have been done or verify that the vehicle doesn't exhibit the signs (there's a sub-section of the forum related to this). If you want to avoid that - look for a late-production 2011 or a later year. I have a 2011 produced as late as it could have been (I bought it in late Aug. 2011) and I haven't experienced the shaker issue.

CVT reliability? Mine has over 70K miles and I know of at least one with at least 2x the miles and it's been solid.

Oil consumption I THINK was primarily the 2013 as it was the first year of the new engine design in the Outback (though the engine was a couple years old from the Forester and Impreza).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As for the 2010, do your research into the service history, make sure all the "shaker" TSB's have been done or verify that the vehicle doesn't exhibit the signs (there's a sub-section of the forum related to this). If you want to avoid that - look for a late-production 2011 or a later year. I have a 2011 produced as late as it could have been (I bought it in late Aug. 2011) and I haven't experienced the shaker issue.

CVT reliability? Mine has over 70K miles and I know of at least one with at least 2x the miles and it's been solid.

Oil consumption I THINK was primarily the 2013 as it was the first year of the new engine design in the Outback (though the engine was a couple years old from the Forester and Impreza).
Sweet, thanks a lot!
 

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2012 Outback Premium Ruby Red Pearl 2.5 CVT AWP
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60K on my 2012 2.5. Owned since new. Zero repairs other than a couple of recalls. Mobile 1 and Subaru filter every 5k. One new set Michelins. That is all.
 

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2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium (The Superoo), Graphite Gray Metallic, CVT, Yoko Geolandar G015 AT 225/65R-17
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236 Posts
Check the the front LCA rear bushings for excessive cracks in the rubber. I bought mine with 96K on the clock, I've since replaced said bushings, timing belt and water pump at the 105K scheduled interval, flushed power steering fluid, flushed brakes, replaced low beam bulbs and replaced the gasket around the third brake light. This past July I sent in my OB to get the torque converter replaced under the new extended warranty due to TC lockup. I just ticked over 110K today. The only other thing is I have to lubricate the sunroof ever few months to keep it from sticking.
 

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I bought my 2010 two years ago with 95k on the clock.

Be ready to replace the timing belt if it hasn't been already done.
The age and mileage you are considering would benefit from a coolant R&R.
Adjust the price as appropriate to whether you DIY or have a shop do the work.

If you get a CVT, listen to it on the test drive. Turn off the radio and fan, roll down a window, drive thru a quiet area. The CVT makes more noise than a normal auto trans but there should not be any grinding, excessive whining or clunking.

The brake caliper pins and guides tend to wear and cause a rattling from the suspension over bumps. That is a much easier repair than suspension bushings or ball joints but check it is one and not the other

Good luck.
Also, be ready to replace head gaskets at 2500-3500 dollars!! At 95,000 miles, Loved my 2010 outback until....
In the last 6 months I had to have front breaks replaced. Seemed reasonable. Then, this week, car suddenly overheated and sprayed coolant all over the engine that burned until I could pull over. Car was towed.
I am a school teacher. I thought I would be driving this car forever! It is my second and potentially last Subaru. I have read through quite a few forums discussing the same issue. Apparently, Subaru was aware of a cooling system/overheating problem resulting in head gasket failure and extended the warranty on SOME models. Of course my VIN did not qualify! Not sure why. Going to try again calling Subaru. Good luck!
 
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