definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,900 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.

2005 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #5

Jun 112011


  • miles


2005 Outback X limited with 67,000 miles. Check engine light comes on followed by a whining sound from engine compartment and then rattling noises accompanied by loss of power. Car was transported to garage and diagnosed with blown turbo. Metal shavings discovered in oil filter. Total engine loss. Subaru denies coverage and will not accept responsibility for design flaw.

- Sparks, NV, USA

problem #4

Dec 012009

Outback 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Subaru Outback 2005 pzev - head gasket failure. The cylinder head gaskets on this vehicle have failed such that engine oil drips onto the hot exhaust system, and produces visible, foul smelling smoke whenever the car is driven. Manufacturer has refused to repair under warranty, or recognize a problem, in spite of similar failures in earlier models, and previous class action lawsuit settlement because of those failures. The car is still under an emissions warranty that will expire at 157,500 miles. The car was sold as a partial zero-emissions vehicle, but clearly the smoke from the dripping oil exceeds any emission standard. My feeling is that the manufacturer should repair the car under the emissions warranty, as well as prior failure history.

- Bedford, NY, USA

problem #3

Jul 022008


  • 19,000 miles
I took a cross-country trip this summer from la to Kansas City, mo. I had the car serviced and everything checked out before I left both going and coming back. I left kc to head back to la. 3 hours outside of kc I saw my check engine light come on and the temperature gauge up to red. I pulled over immediately. Smoke poured out of my car. I put coolant and water in it 3 times. It seemed fine when I started the engine, then the needle would go up to red. I didn't dare drive it, so I called aaa. They towed me to a Subaru dealership in ks. I was told my head gaskets had blown. They fixed them. I had to stay there overnight. They called me the next morning and told me before I was to pick up the car that they had taken it out for a test drive and it broke down on them. This time it was the tensioner to the timing belt had slipped time and the belt had shattered into. Okay, that was another week and a half stranded to get that fixed. I finally left to drive back to la. The car overheated all the way back to la. It was the worse trip in my life. I stopped in co. They told me it was my radiator cap not holding pressure as long as I kept the RPM's up the car would stay cool. I have to say with all that going on, the car got me home. Whew! it was a nail biter. When I got back to la the dealer there told me I had to have new head gaskets. What?! I said, I just had new ones done. They found out that the heads were warped. No one checked. Now, here is the craziest thing. My car had only 19,000 miles on the car when it broke down. 19,000! it was practically still a new car! it was still under warranty for the power train. I had the heads planed and new gaskets put in. The dealership in ks and la started pointing fingers at whose fault it was and meanwhile my car is sitting at the dealership, with them doing nothing to it. I finally found someone at Subaru corporate who helped me out. Then a couple months go by and my car starts stalling intermittently. Lemon!

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 212008


  • 17,441 miles
2005 Subaru Outback. The car was in park and my right foot was tucked back behind my left foot which was resting on the foot rest pad on the far left side of the floor. The engine was idling normally when suddenly it went to very high revs for 4 to 5 seconds and then returned to normal idle. Later the same evening, as I slowly entered my garage and applied normal brake pressure, the car first slowed (as expected) then suddenly began to accelerate. I applied hard brake pressure and the car stopped. It did not seem like the engine had revved as high as the earlier incident and it only lasted for a couple of seconds, but there was a definite, brief surge forward as I entered the garage.

- Topsfield, MA, USA

problem #1

Oct 132005

Outback 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 8,061 miles
2005 Subaru Outback 2.5xt was parked in a public / private parking structure at approximately 6:30pm on 10/13/2005. At approximately 8pm the fire alarm was triggered by vehicle catching on fire. Fire dept found no signs of arson or foul play, looked to be an electrical fire in the front right headlight cluster. No response from Subaru, insurance dropped my policy - loss not covered!

- Boulder, CO, USA

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