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:
110,000 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. head gasket replacement (3 reports)
2002 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 102014

Outback Limited 2.5L 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


After talking to our mechanic, an ex-service manager for Subaru, this has been a known problem by the dealers and the corporate idiots at Subaru. Yet they fail to inform customers of this. I guess I would have really not expected them to either. The cost to me is $2300-2500.00 plus the cost of a rental car and the inconvenience. Not to mention the fact that this probably will happen again. I sure would like to know who to contact at a government agency for this. Subaru should be raked over the coals for this costly of a problem to repair and I hope they get what's coming to them.

If I had known this much earlier I wouldn't have bought the 2005 Subaru we also have. I've now had 2 Subaru ex-mechanics/service managers tell me to look forward to another big bill for that vehicle as well. This is total BS. I can only hope that this website will help future buyers look elsewhere when they are thinking of buying a Subaru. For me I'm done with Subaru and will never buy another one of their vehicles. Anybody want to buy a 2005 outback with 63K miles on it?

- , Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #2

Dec 032010

Outback 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

I bought Subaru based on Consumer Reports and word of mouth. Only to find I had a bad head gasket at 50K (3yrs ago), which was covered under warranty, but not comforting nonetheless. No, after another 50K+ the head gasket needs replacing again? A quick check with CR shows the 2002 and '03 4cyls have made a bad reputation for themselves for this and other engine issues.

- , Castle Rock, CO, USA

problem #1

Dec 262006

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Another Subaru Outback head gasket failure. This is the most I have ever spent repairing a vehicle. This seems to be a major problem with Subarus.

- , Hooksett, NH, USA

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