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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
91,815 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2006 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Feb 192016


  • 140,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. While driving 50 mph, the vehicle stalled and the cruise control and check engine lights illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000. The VIN was not available.

- Irrigon, OR, USA

problem #29

Apr 172016


  • 127,800 miles
Throttle failure. While driving throttle completely fails. No acceleration, car will only move at automatic idle speed. Cruise control light flashes, check engine light on. Extremely dangerous -- very lucky it didn't happen in an intersection or while passing another car. Turns out to be common for this model -- my car has 127,000 miles on it.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #28

Dec 072015


  • 138,000 miles
While driving at speed - city street 45mph -- lost ability to throttle. No throttle, engine, or acceleration response when pressing gas pedal. Check engine and cruise lights blinking. After pulling over, turned off engine. Upon restarting after a minute, throttle capability returned. This has happened twice, unexpectedly.

- Highlands Ranch, CO, USA

problem #27

Nov 012015


  • 182,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. While driving at 70 mph, the accelerator pedal was depressed, but the vehicle failed to accelerate. The vehicle lost power, the cruise control deactivated, and the check engine warning light illuminated. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the throttle position sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 182,000.

- Baxter, TN, USA

problem #26

Oct 022015


  • 175,000 miles
I recently had P2138.. one time. No throttle response, stopped on a hill on a 2 lane road, on a curve, in big sur.. not good. Rolled backwards down hill after the ones behind had all passed me. Turned off car, waited for 10 minutes, then it fixed itself after a restart. Jiggled the pedal connector and it has been gone for the last 2 weeks while waiting for my mechanic to have room in his schedule to replace my throttle pedal (which has a pedal position sensor), two days from now.

- Santa Cruz, CA, USA

problem #25

Jul 282015


  • 124,356 miles
When driving on the highway at 75mph the engine light and cruise control light came on and the accelerator became unresponsive. After pulling over and restarting the car it worked fine. This has happened 7 times so far and after reading many posts on Outback forums it seems that this is a very common and dangerous problem that needs to be figured out by Subaru.

- Ventura, CA, USA

problem #24

Jun 072015


  • 118,724 miles


Was driving at approx 55 mph when all of a sudden check engine light came on, cruise light was flashing, and sport light was flashing, car slowed down to 10 mph and could not go any faster. It was revved up to redline and there was no response with the gas pedal. I was only 2 miles from my destination, so I limped it there and shut it off. I had it scanned with a code scanner and code "P2138" (throttle position sensor) came up. After much research I found it usually is related to gas pedal assy. It has not yet happened since clearing the code and making sure the plug on the pedal was tight.

- Dayton, ME, USA

problem #23

Jan 022015

Outback 4-cyl

  • 36,000 miles
While driving the vehicle stopped accelerating and shut down. Was told that the pedal assembly and sensors stopped working. This malfunction can kill people. Other have has low mileage on the vehicle and have the car shut down while driving.

- Waldwick, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jan 042015

Outback 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
Sudden deceleration of vehicle. Check engine light comes on and the car goes limp. Vehicle is restartable after 5 minutes, however the throttle does not work properly afterward and the vehicle will not accelerate normally, thus it drives much slower, and will not go above 60 mph. Problem comes and goes.

- Santa Fe, NM, USA

problem #21

Nov 012014

Outback 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
Driving along - check engine light comes on and cruise control light flashes. I immediately lose acceleration - need to pull over (thank god I was not on a major highway when this accurs). Have to turn car off - wait a few minutes and then restart. Lights still stay on but acceleration is normal. I have seen many different reason codes for this problem - I am now taking to my personal mechanic to have him go over it and hopefully fix this. Very, very scary situation when it happens. Do not think I should have to take my life in my hands when I drive this vehicle!!! one would think that a reputable company like Subaru would stand behind this dangerous flaw with their product and correct the issue!!!

- White Haven, PA, USA

problem #20

Dec 272014


  • 132,000 miles


The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while driving at 40 mph, the engine rpms increased. In addition, the check engine and the cruise control warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the throttle pedal position sensor needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 132,000.

- Clarksburg, WV, USA

problem #19

Nov 172014


  • 56,400 miles
Slowing at intersection to make a right turn when check-engine-light came on. Cruise control light started flashing (vehicle was not in cruise control at the time) accelerator pedal became unresponsive (could get no acceleration out of the car when pressing the pedal) and was barely able to get through intersection to turn. After a minute or so was able to get enough power to run at about 10mph tops with hazards on to get a location where I could pull over out of traffic. Car would not start immediately after (three cranks with no response) after a few minutes, though, it restarted and seemed to operate normally, no problems with speed. Diagnostic code was P2138 (throttle/pedal position sensor/switch "a"/"B" voltage correlation.

- Laramie, WY, USA

problem #18

Dec 182013


  • 96,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 25 mph, the vehicle failed to accelerate. The contact also stated that the check engine and the cruise control warning lights illuminated. The failure occurred on multiple occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 96,000.

- Cape Girardeau, MO, USA

problem #17

Oct 292014


  • 91,000 miles
Found coolant black and possible overheating from head gasket failure in result radiator was exposed to high heat and cracked. Combustion pressure had entered cooling system and caused over pressure of cooling system. Recommend leak down and compression check of engine to determine if internal damage has occurred. Customer has two options, replacement of head gaskets if no other findings internal are found or replacement of engine complete. Turbo may also be damaged and needs inspection also. Replace rear brake rotors and pads, lube back of pads and hardware pins with anti squeak paste. Adjust emergency brake system to factory spec. Road test for noise and seat new pads to rotors.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 172014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 117,987 miles
While driving down I-25 the car lost all power and had no acceleration. The car would only idle, I noticed a check engine light on. I had the car towed to a repair shop and when the code was read a P2138 that had to do with the accelerator the mechanic said it happens alot with this year Subaru. He told me by just shutting the car off and waiting a few minutes it would have driven normal, when he started it again it did drive normal. He sends them to a Subaru dealer and tells the people that if enough of us complain or fill in a report then something may be done. This is a very unsafe car if it loses all power driving down the highway!

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #15

Jul 282014


  • 68,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. When the contact depressed the accelerator pedal, the vehicle failed to respond and the check engine indicator illuminated. The failure occurred multiple times. The dealer was unable to diagnose the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 68,000.

- Johnson City, NY, USA

problem #14

Jul 112014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
My 2006 Subaru Outback has had a code P2138 issue for over two months now. In many cases I am in the car with my 4 year old son and end up being in danger for no reason. Loosing 99% of power while going to school or to the store. All attempts to fix this issue have not worked and the car itself is thought of as a death trap in our house. Subaru disregards the code and offers no fix. Please issue a recall. Lives are at risk.

- Ellicott City, MD, USA

problem #13

Apr 102014

Outback 6-cyl

  • 90,775 miles
In the summer of 2011 I was driving on the highway at approx 75mph. All of a sudden temp gauge made a big jump into the red zone and the engine started making loud upsetting sounds. Pulled off the highway and right at the exit lost power steering and the car died. Car was diagnosed with blown head gaskets and cracked engine block. The entire engine was replaced under warranty (approx $8000 replacement). Fast forward to June 2014. The new engine did exactly the same thing. Temperature shot up on the highway, engine died, head gaskets once again have blown. This new engine was four years old and had only 30,000 miles on it. Car has had regular oil changes and service throughout its lifetime. I am currently having my situation reviewed by Subaru of America. I am hoping they will cover the repair costs.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #12

Jun 042014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 75,414 miles
Our 2006 Subaru Outback needs the head gaskets and rear main seal replaced. The vehicle has been maintained to manufacturer recommendations. This seems to be a common issue for the 2.5 engine and should be recalled.

- Birmingham, MI, USA

problem #11

Feb 022011


  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle suddenly decelerated and the check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to several independent mechanics who were unable to diagnose the failure. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- Tamarak, FL, USA

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