Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
45,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace front axles (1 reports)
1997 Subaru Outback drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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1997 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #1

May 222001

(reported on)

Outback 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 45,000 miles


The whole car shakes & vibrates when the clutch engages in first & second gear, especially when downshifting or starting a lot like in rush hour traffic.

I brought it to the dealer (Burlington Subaru, Vermont) to have the clutch replaced & the problem still wasn't fixed five months & three clutches later. The Subaru of America rep who was called in to approve the parts warranty claim on my third clutch replacement apparently knew a lot more than the dealer about this problem, & said I needed to replace both front axles ($310/each for Subaru parts, not including labor). The axles were covered under warranty when I first reported the problem, but I've gone over the 60,000 mile powertrain warranty while Burlington Subaru has been replacing clutches in the 5 months since I first brought it in. They said they wouldn't cover the front axles because I can't be sure the axles were causing the shaking problem 5 months ago.

I had someone else put in aftermarket front axles ($65/each, lifetime guarantee). Afterwards the shaking problem was exactly the same. I brought it back to Burlington Subaru & they said they wouldn't try to diagnose the problem further because I hadn't used genuine Subaru parts. I'm taking them to small claims court..

- , South Hero, VT, USA

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