really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
71,550 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. replace engine (3 reports)
2009 Subaru Legacy engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #6

Nov 102015

Legacy Legacy

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


There was no warning like dripping oil. Apparently all of the oil just burned out through the exhaust. I bought the car new and followed all of the dealer maintenance and only had the car serviced at the dealer. Unfortunately the car was out of warranty at the time of the engine failure.

- Bob J., Edwardsville, IL, US

problem #5

Aug 302016

Legacy LX 2.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

This is the latest of problems for this car that I bought used. The camshaft gasket blew and leaked out all the oil. Got it fixed for $950 because I did the timing belt and water pump at the same time. Drove the car 70 miles and engine light is on and no compression on one of the cylinders. Piston or something else, not sure but I am not paying to find out. Other problems are as follows: 2 blown head gaskets, 3 radiators (leaking from the top). Some of the work was done on warranty because they were back to back.

- Pawel B., Pl, CT, US

problem #4

Oct 042016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

Had no problems with this car for it's whole life, then all of a sudden around 120,000 I had to replace the side gaskets, then two weeks later I was told at a Subaru Dealership, and by a second opinion at another mechanic that there was a bearing loose and it could throw a rod, so a complete engine replacement was needed. It was making a helicopter like noise and it's pretty bad. I just put new tires on it too, haha. Really wanted this car to last forever.

- K W., Salt Lake CIty, UT, US

problem #3

Dec 232014

Legacy LTD 2.4i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


Our 09 Legacy was purchased in July 2012 from Patrick Subaru in MA and primarily serviced at VanBortel Subaru in Victor, NY. The car received a full synthetic oil change, replacement of drive belts and brake pipe recall service at VanBortel on 11/28/14.

VanBortel did not report any engine problems or low oil at that time. After a 1.5 hour trip on 12/23/14, the engine abruptly started making loud knocking noises, vibrating and choking for gas. Symptoms were still present the next day and an independent certified mechanic reported that oil was down about 1 pint, there was no antifreeze in oil or leak but the engine was inoperable due to a broken internal engine part and the motor was ready to seize up. The mechanic said that due to the extensive labor that will be involved, an engine swap with a new or reconditioned engine was recommended.

I contacted VanBortel Subaru and spoke with Steve Mueller, service adviser who informed me that the engine exceeded the 5 year/60,000 mile warranty and the cost of a remanufactured (not new) engine would be $6,600 and it has only a two year limited warranty. I questioned why do they provide only a 2 year warranty on a $6,600 re-manufactured engine when other third party vendors offer a three year warranty at half the price. Doesn't Subaru have confidence in the quality of their engines?

I added that Consumer Reports identified that the 09 Legacy has a "worse than average" history of major and minor engine problems and this is confirmed in various online Subaru owner forums. Given this known history of major engine problems with the 09 Legacy, I asked Steve Mueller, will VanBortel or Subaru of America make any cost adjustments. His response was that I could try, but he did not offer any assistance or encouragement.

I have purchased 7 Subarus in the past 10 years and currently my family owns two Legacies and two Foresters. However, I have realized with recent incidents that Subaru and their dealers, like VanBortel, have become successful to the point that they take their customers for granted and assume that customers will remain loyal despite what they charge or how they treat them. Many other successful companies have also made this faulty assumption and have ultimately lost a significant amount of business and market share.

At this point, I have had it with Subaru and will certainly share my experience with others and have begun looking for a more reliable car manufacturer and a dealers who valued their customers.

- jims119, Rochester, NY, US

problem #2

Sep 052013

Legacy 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 74,500 miles

This car is not even 5 years old and one of the seals went about two weeks after an oil change. The oil leaked out, no warning lights came on and blew the engine.

I faxed all maintenance records for the past year to Subaru and Subaru refuses to do anything.

I have owned all different makes of cars over the past 20 years and never had an issue like this and one of my prior vehicles had over 370k on it.

I will never purchase or recommend a Subaru!

I will stick with a car manufacturer that stands behind their vehicles

- Rory S., Manchester, NH, US

problem #1

Jan 202009


  • Manual transmission
  • 621 miles

click to see larger images

engine failure engine failure engine failure engine failure engine failure engine failure

that's car in Saudi Arabia its Subaru Legacy and the sole agent dealer there didn't want fix it in warranty in spite off the workers there was Let that car go out services with out full engine with motor oil and sure engine was lost and completely damaged knocking and clicking and that car need new engine and the dealer owner said for the car owner forget it that problem you have to buy new engine from your own money and that car only run 1000 k.m before that problem happened and before it Lost damaged it motor engine completely and Subaru motor company not support her customer as well for that i can tell and say for you all don't buy Subaru cars ever never!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Cars L., Egypt, Egypt, Egypt

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