pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
114,350 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. replace spark plugs, wires, general tune up (1 reports)
1997 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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1997 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #3

May 082008

Outback Limited 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles


misfires on cylinders 1&2 according to scan tool,have installed new plugs,wires,head gaskets and timing belt,this problem did not start until after the work was done,need help on how to fix to pass inspection


- Judy F., Anchorage, AK, US

problem #2

Feb 122007

(reported on)

Outback ES 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 103,000 miles

In 2/2002, Engine overheated and burned through head gasket, destroying engine at 103,000 mi. It sat around until I could afford to put in a new crate engine in the summer of 2005. Needed a shoe horn to squeeze it in, and had to grow some extra elbow joints to be able to work on it, what a hassle! After putting in the new engine, it ran fine for 3 months (less than 3,000 miles) when suddenly on my way home from work, it was only runnin on 3 cylinders. New check engine light. Bought OBD2 which gave code for P0341 Camshaft position sensor Circuit Range/performance. So I got a new one and swapped it out. Then got code P0267, Cylinder 3 Injector circuit low. I had already done the obvious, new plugs, all new injectors, etc. I had already concluded that for some unknown reason cylinder #3 was not firing. Injector is fine, I can hear it working. Nothing seemed to fix this problem. So I took it to a garage owned by a buddy who has had experience with Outbacks. He could not figure it out either. Suggested it might be a bad brain. So I got a new brain and swapped it out. Same damn OBD codes. Tried conversing with several garages, they don't even want to touch this unless I agree to pay rediculous time/labor charges they know they will need to track this down. So here I sit with a large expensive lawn ornament, nobody can fix. I guess I will try to get my hands on a whole new complete wiring harness, (I traced individual wires and all seem ok, but I can't check the pins on the harness) and see if that fixes it. If not, I guess I will just part it out and try to get some of this money back, and buy an Accura.

- fredzo, Glenwood, NJ, US

problem #1

May 162001

(reported on)

Outback 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 67,000 miles

The engine light came on. The dealer said there was a misfire on pistons 1 & 2, & that I needed new spark plugs, wires & a general tune up. They also said I should have the engine flushed & injectors cleaned which is recommended every 15,000 miles. The dealer just replaced the short block 9,000 miles ago (under warranty) so I'm not sure they're entirely right.. we'll see.

- Mike W., South Hero, VT, US

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