hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,050 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 #8

Oct 012009

Outback 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


I have been having a problem with my car for the 2-years and has been getting worse. The throttle pedal at times will become non-responsive and the engine idle cannot be controlled. At this time the check engine light is on with a code. P2138. I have taken the car to the dealer with no luck they could not find anything wrong. The car has left me stranded several times and I had to limp or be towed home. The RPM can be anywhere from idle to 3000 RPM and as I said the pedal has no control. I have replaced the accelerator pedal assembly and the problem was gone for the past six months. It has now failed again.

- Ellenton, FL, USA

problem #7

Oct 292011

Outback 6-cyl

  • miles
Second time this has happened. When in a stopped position and intend to pull out, motor running, but gas pedal does not engage. Push all the way to floor - still nothing. In order to correct, must turn off engine and disconnect battery cable so vehicle can reset itself. Also had problem when sitting still where vehicle began idling as if accelerator being pressed down - lasted 5-10 seconds then backed off. When purchased car used, had problems with cruise control not working and light flashing continuously. Found that injector had to be replaced - apparently tied to cruise mechanism. This corrected the problem but quite expensive to repair.

- Salem, VA, USA

problem #6

May 092011

Outback 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
At approximately 85,000 miles, the check engine light on our 2005 Subaru Outback xt went on and we took the vehicle in to our local repair shop to check the light and they recommended having the vehicle towed to our Subaru dealer. The vehicle was towed in and the dealer service person called stating that timthe turbo had failed (along with the cv boot & alternator belt). I provided the information regarding our official Subaru 100,000 mile gold plus "extended service contract" which we purchased for $1975. The service representative would not confirm whether or not these components would be covered under our service contract and then called me and said Subaru denied the claim pending receipt of service records. My husband and my father have changed the oil, air filters and performed general service in combination with service by various service shops. My records are not complete and I expect that Subaru will try to deny coverage of the turbo due to this. There are ample reports on Subaru forums reporting the same failure and I feel that this problem is not due to owner negligence, but by faulty design. This type of failure should be the responsibility of the manufacturer and they should service the vehicle per the service contract without causing undue stress to the owner of the vehicle.

- Granite City, IL, USA

problem #5

Apr 202011


  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the engine failed. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and they were told that the banjo filters screen failed and sent shards of metal through the engine. The dealer told the contact that in 2007, the vehicle was serviced because of the failure and the engine was previously rebuilt. The contact stated that the information was not listed on the vehicle history report. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage and current mileage was 62,000.

- Newburgh, PA, USA

problem #4

Apr 092009


  • 35,600 miles
With 35,600 miles on our 2005 Subaru Outback xt, the turbo failed. The dealer service technician said this was do to the condition of the engine oil which was 7 months old and had 5,400 miles on it. All 7 of the vehicles oil changes were done within the 7,500 mile interval set forth in owners/vehicle maintenance manual. According to the Subaru service bulletin # 02-103-07 (store.forcedperformance.net/merchant2/graphics/subaru_oil/02-103-07.pdf -- not sent to owners), there appears to be a design defect with the "banjo bolt" oil supply line to the turbo, which make this engine unable to live up to the specified maintenance intervals in its power train warranty.

- Zeeland, MI, USA

problem #3

May 022008

Outback 4-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
2005 Subaru Outback with a blown head gasket at a cost of $2,000. This is in addition to a bad turbo charger two months ago at about $1,800. Many Subaru's have this head gasket problem but Subaru has not done a recall. Thousands listed on internet having this head gasket problem.

- Monroe, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 212006

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
I have been experiencing a problem while accelerating from a stop or from coasting, such as when a red light has just turned green. I begin to depress the accelerator and the engine just about dies. This has nearly caused me to get "T-boned" at intersections numerous times. I have brought it to the attention of two different Subaru dealers and they say that nothing is wrong with it. I have heard that other Subaru owners are having this problem but Subaru will not admit that this is a safety issue.

- Chelmsford, MA, USA

problem #1

Jul 202005

Outback 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,800 miles
On two separate occasions, my 2005 Subaru Outback got stuck after incurring a minor obstruction (several inches of snow in one case and a somewhat sharp incline in another case) while driving in high altitudes (10,000 ft to 11,500 ft). On both occasions, the car suddenly lost most of its power and no wheels would turn. Despite pressing the accelerator to the floor, the engine never went above 2000 rpms. Fortunately, on both occasions, there were people around to push the car. Once the tires were totally free of any obstruction, normal engine power returned and the car could be driven. I took the Subaru to my home dealership in olathe ks (jack miller) on June 29, 2005, a couple weeks after the first incident. Dealer said he could not replicate the problem, so he could not fix it. The invoice notes: "2000 RPM is appox torque converter stall speed." Following the second problem on July 20, I took my car to john elway Subaru West in golden co. Dealer invoice says:" If tires were not spinning, car had traction and was not able to build boost at altitude to produce power." Dealer, however, said they could not replicate the inability to build boost, and were thus unable to fix the car. I filed a verbal complaint with Subaru of America on July 27 and followed up on July 29. As of then, Subaru of America was still trying to contact the dealer. Subaru markets its cars as having superior performance in the mountains, snow and in difficult driving conditions. Subaru enjoys a large market share in the Colorado mountains, where both my "not able to build boost" problems occurred. My car cannot be safely driven in the co mountains, particularly on mountain passes or dirt roads, because help may not be available to get the car running again. I do not know if my experiences are isolated or part of a larger problem. In either case, I am disappointed that Subaru has been unwilling or unable to fix this potentially serious safety issue.

- Leawood, KS, USA

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