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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear all,

I would like to hear your suggestions or experience. I have a 2016 Outback 2.5i Limited, my first Subaru. I just passed 36K miles and have become increasingly frustrated with the car.
1) My car was part of the steering column recall in 2016, only 3 weeks after the purchase.
2) At 35K miles, the OEM battery died. I paid out of pocket for a new non-OEM battery.
3) Starting around that time, I started experiencing key-stuck-in-ignition.
4) I went to a non-dealership mechanic for a the 36K maintenance and guess what? The transmission pan gasket is leaking (is this the same thing as head gasket??). The dealership told us they needed to keep the car for 4-6 weeks for repair and I would get a loaner.

Though the stuck-key issue is outside of warranty, Subaru America kindly took care of the cost and I got a shift plate replacement. The gasket issue is covered by powertrain warranty (5 yr/60K miles). Still, this has become very hot button for me. Come on, I've had Honda and Lexus and each one lasted over 10 years with just regular maintenance.

Thank you for your patience for reading this far. :) My questions are:
1) once the gasket leaking issue is fixed, is it good for life? or my car is just one of those bad products?
2) should I just trade in my car and move on or get extended warranty?

I welcome all feedback. Thank you!
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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To me it sounds like you have already made the decision that you no longer trust this vehicle so it may be best for you to move on to another make/model once these repairs are done.

Keeping the vehicle and having another problem will just leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth and wishing you had got out when you could.

Just my thoughts,

Seagrass
 

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2018 Subaru Outback Premium w/Eyesight package #14
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Yes, a Lexus is hard to beat with regard to "Just gas & Oil changes" type of reliability. Honda has gone downhill, the once expected reliability is gone. Lots of angry Pilot and CRV owners to prove that. A battery lasting 3 years is about typical these days - not really a reliability failure. A transmission pan gasket is not the same as a head gasket. A head gasket replacement is a far bigger job and shouldn't take 4-6 weeks? Unless they don't have enough mechanics and are backed up with work? Maybe he misspoke or was thinking of something else? But, anyway it's covered/paid for and they are giving you a loaner, so not really a big deal.

As to whether you should keep it? That depends on whether it is comfortable for you and fulfills your needs still - and your personal economics. If you want to save money or not spend a lot of money, then purchase a Subaru "bumper to bumper" extended warranty. They are relatively inexpensive. Just be sure it is a SUBARU warranty and NOT a third-party warranty. And be sure you are buying a "bumper to bumper" type, and NOT a "Powertrain" warranty. Extended warranties are negotiable. Never pay the MSRP. You can purchase them through ANY Subaru dealership, many purchase via well-known dealers over email and phone. Very easy.

If you are no longer satisfied with the car and have the finances, you may want to buy new.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I want to like it. We have small children and really like the roomy interior and cargo space and safety features. However, we are struggling with these repairs and have to rearrange schedules. I'd rather keep the car instead of researching/negotiating/financing a new one after only 3 years.

Frankly, I don't know how big is this "transmission pan gasket leaking" issue. Dealer told me it's a major repair and would cost $1500 if we are out of warranty. If it's an design issue and there's a possibility that the problem will return once the car hits certain age (we drive all of cars to 10 years, at least), I want to get out of it now while it's still tradable.

Everyone tells me it's not normal Subaru quality. Well, what a bad luck, I was thinking...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, a Lexus is hard to beat with regard to "Just gas & Oil changes" type of reliability. Honda has gone downhill, the once expected reliability is gone. Lots of angry Pilot and CRV owners to prove that. A battery lasting 3 years is about typical these days - not really a reliability failure.

As to whether you should keep it? That depends on whether it is comfortable for you and fulfills your needs still - and your personal economics. If you want to save money or not spend a lot of money, then purchase a Subaru "bumper to bumper" extended warranty. They are relatively inexpensive. Just be sure it is a SUBARU warranty and NOT a third-party warranty. And be sure you are buying a "bumper to bumper" type, and NOT a "Powertrain" warranty. Extended warranties are negotiable. Never pay the MSRP. You can purchase them through ANY Subaru dealership, many purchase via well-known dealers over email and phone. Very easy.

If you are no longer satisfied with the car and have the finances, you may want to buy new.
Thank you, Brad99. I am assuming the "bumper to bumper" warranty has wider coverage than Powertrain? This transmission pan gasket leaking thing scares me.
 

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2018 Subaru Outback Premium w/Eyesight package #14
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Thank you, Brad99. I am assuming the "bumper to bumper" warranty has wider coverage than Powertrain? This transmission pan gasket leaking thing scares me.
A limited "Bumper to Bumper" warranty is like the original 3 year/36 month basic warranty that came with your car when new. A "Bumper to Bumper" warranty should cover all systems of the car, for example, the powertrain PLUS Electrical, Heating & Cooling, Suspension, Electronics, etc. The only things usually that are NOT covered are "Wear Items", for example, brake pads & rotors, tires, wiper blades & interior upholstery & trim. AND routine maintenance (for example, oil changes, 60K, 90K services, etc.) which will need to be continued for the warranty to be in force (not a big deal). Personally, the Oil Pan gasket would not be a reason to get rid of the car. It's just a failed rubber/plastic gasket resulting in a slow leak, not a mechanical issue even. BTW your Subaru's powertrain warranty is in force, covering the engine and transmission for 5 years/60K miles (whichever occurs first). AND if I am not mistaken your transmission has been given a free 10yr/100k warranty to boot! (just the transmission, from the date of purchase). You can check by calling SOA or your service department and have them check in the computer :) In the end, gaskets fail all of the time. We wish they wouldn't, but it does happen. So while it is an inconvenience for sure, it is actually "good news", kind of like going to the doctor, thinking you are going to need a significant surgery, only to find a torn muscle or ligament is the actual cause of your distress. :) I hope this helps. Safe travels!
 

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Can you buy Subaru warranty past the 36K miles?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you very much for the explanation! The analogy of going to the doctor really helped ?
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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I wouldn't be too worried about the trans pan gasket leaking, it is concerning on an only 3 year old car but once fixed it should be good to go for a long time.

The reality is that Toyota and Lexus are in a league of their own when it comes to reliable cars and their resale price reflects that as does their MSRP with what little they come with standard. The internet likes to talk about Subaru being just as reliable but unfortunately is not the real world case.

Subaru's can be and are reliable for many years like a Toyota. But to do so they require more replacement parts and more expensive fixes to take them the distance. That said, Subaru also is in a league of their own in terms of functionality and versatility that Toyota can not compare to.

Pick your poison.

I personally switched to Subaru from Toyota for out most recent family hauler simply because the used market was much cheaper and I wrench my own cars so putting money into an old car to keep for many more reliable years is still economical for me. If I had to pay a shop to fix everything I would likely pay more upfront for a Toyota if I had the cash
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wouldn't be too worried about the trans pan gasket leaking, it is concerning on an only 3 year old car but once fixed it should be good to go for a long time.

The reality is that Toyota and Lexus are in a league of their own when it comes to reliable cars and their resale price reflects that as does their MSRP with what little they come with standard. The internet likes to talk about Subaru being just as reliable but unfortunately is not the real world case.

Subaru's can be and are reliable for many years like a Toyota. But to do so they require more replacement parts and more expensive fixes to take them the distance. That said, Subaru also is in a league of their own in terms of functionality and versatility that Toyota can not compare to.

Pick your poison.

I personally switched to Subaru from Toyota for out most recent family hauler simply because the used market was much cheaper and I wrench my own cars so putting money into an old car to keep for many more reliable years is still economical for me. If I had to pay a shop to fix everything I would likely pay more upfront for a Toyota if I had the cash
Thank you for the feedback.
 

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It would be gone. If I already had good luck with Lexus and Honda, I would be buying another Lexus or Honda.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is an update to my original post from last year.

My Outback 2.5i Limited is now at 43K miles. Yesterday my technician told me that he has identified multiple oil leaks and suggested me going to the dealer. He suspected the leaks are now in rear engine oil and oil pan.

We have so many experienced Subaru owners here. I would like to hear your opinion: are these new issues easy fixes as the my previous transmission pan gasket oil leak?
Thank you!
 

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Oil pan gasket shouldn't be a big deal, and I would think still covered by powertrain warranty. This is too new of a vehicle to be having these issues. By comparison, my 2012 Honda with 141K miles had no leaks and needed virtually no repairs. My 2014 GMC pickup with 130K miles has no leaks, and while not quite as bulletproof as the Honda has still been a great vehicle.

Interestingly we swapped the 2012 Honda for a 2019 Outback because we wanted to downsize and liked the Outback better than the CRV, primarily because of the 1.5T's oil dilution problems. That 19 Outback was good but not great, so we swapped for a 20 Outback that, while not perfect, is in a league of its own in terms of being superior to the 19 Outback.

So how does that help you with your 2016? If I had a car that new with that many issues, I would get something different if I could afford it. Hopefully Subaru will cover your oil leak, and even better if you have no more issues after that. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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This is an update to my original post from last year.

My Outback 2.5i Limited is now at 43K miles. Yesterday my technician told me that he has identified multiple oil leaks and suggested me going to the dealer. He suspected the leaks are now in rear engine oil and oil pan.

We have so many experienced Subaru owners here. I would like to hear your opinion: are these new issues easy fixes as the my previous transmission pan gasket oil leak?
Thank you!
Unfortunately, it's just the way it is with Subarus. My last 2 Subaru Outbacks have been full of nothing but frustrating hassles, tow trips, loaner cars and very expensive repairs $$$. I heard someone say that Subarus can be very reliable as long as you are willing to keep throwing money at them. Ha! So true. I would never buy another Subaru again and I tell everyone I know if you do, sell it or trade it in before it goes out of warranty!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you everyone for your input. Sorry I have been silent. Working with SOA for the past two weeks, frustrating experience. My car is still with the dealership, no repair yet. I will report back with more information later. Stay tuned!
 

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Yes, please update us. The fluid leak from the trans gasket was a little bizarre, but I suppose strange things happen and it was covered by warranty. Now you have an oil leak from the back of the engine at 43K. That's also really bizarre. It will be covered by warranty but it's still unimaginable.
 
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