pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,100 miles
Total Complaints:
14 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (12 reports)
  2. replace throttle body (1 reports)
  3. spray the gas pedal assembly with electronic cleaner (1 reports)
2006 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 302018

Outback 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,652 miles


Same issue with flashing cruise lamp and check engine lamp on but so far no power loss. Code reader showing oxygen sensor problem....Looks like others have changed the sensor but it does not fix the problem, will have to look at the gas cap issue thing also....too cold in Toronto right now so fix it in the spring.

Kinda worried with this car used to be my Dad's car but now my sister has it and she is a new driver, the car is not new anymore but this thing has had too many issues since purchase, I have no idea why people say Subaru makes a great car, girlfriends car is a civic and she literally does no maintenance on this thing and it keeps running. Luck of the draw I guess..

- G T., Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #13

Mar 112015

Outback 2.5L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

This has been a chronic problem for the last 30,000 miles or so. The check-engine light comes on for no reason and I cannot use the cruise control. It is an intermittent problem with no solution. Subaru should be ashamed.

- Sally G., Waukesha, WI, US

problem #12

Sep 302016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 164,000 miles

The accelerator gave out a few times so far. The first time, I was driving down the street when the accelerator gave out. The engine running yet no thrust on the pedal. Similar to other descriptions here. I pulled over, turned the car off and the accelerator worked when I restarted the car. I thought it was the fuel injection and tried a few things however, I understand there is a problem with the pedal assembly sensor. Will take it to the dealer.

- Ann R., Prescott, AZ, US

problem #11

Dec 012016

Outback Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 173,000 miles


What Happens:

-The gas pedal is depressed and the car does not respond, i.e. the car does not move forward. -The does not die. It idles and coasts forward. -If I depress the brake or put the car in park, the car engine revs. It sounds as if the gas is depressed, but it is not. The RPMs surge.

-If it as not already on from the same problem recently occurring, the check engine list flashes, and the cruise control light comes on


-This problem occurs when the car is on and in drive. -This problem has occurred while driving at 85 mph, 40 mpg and after taking off from being stopped at a stop sign. -It has never happened immediately after starting the car and putting it in drive. -This problem can occur at any time while driving, I do not see any additional patterns to when it occurs.

-It started happening about a year ago. Then it didn't happen for several months. Then it occurred a couple times over several months. Over the past week, it has occurred every day at least once. My driving frequency and patterns have not changed during that time.


After completing the following steps, I was able to restart the car and the gas pedal was then responsive.... meaning it accelerated and the car moved forward.

The short term solution every time (so far, 8+ occurrences) is to: -Turn off the car. -Pull up on the gas cap release lever on the floor of the drivers side. -Get out of the car. (yes - on a highway or busy road full unpredictable drivers) -Remove the gas cap. -Reinstall the gas cap. -Get back in the car. -Start the car. The first attempt consistently fails. And the second attempt consistently works.

-Drive off, shaken from the risk of life you just took by getting out of your car, unprotected, in the middle of traffic

On one occasion this solution did not work on the first try, and I repeated the steps again, and then it worked.

Additional Note:

I would like to be contacted by Subaru to help them understand and address this issue. I authorize 'CarComplaints.com' to release my email or phone number to a verified Subaru contact.


All cars have problems. It is how the company deals with the problems that makes a difference. And we have some great examples recently of how NOT to do that - Toyota, VW and only God knows who else. Just give a reason to stay with you and we will. But brush off a serious problem and you can most certainly count us out.

My car is not young at 10 years old. But expect great things from Subaru. # 1 reason, these cars are partially made in Lafayette Indiana. I know first hand that those folks are stellar. This car has the capacity to last well over 10 years given reasonable care.

Update from Dec 2, 2016: REVISION TO KEY INFORMATION

What Happens:

the check engine light is on continuously, and the cruise light is flashing

- boogie2012, Glencoe, IL, US

problem #10

Nov 252016

Outback Limited 2.5soc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,430 miles

Just driving normally and the car accelerator become unresponsive. I pulled to the roadside put the car in park and restarted the car.The CEL and cruise light were on. The accelerator acted normally after the restart. The following day went out to start car no CEL or flashing cruise light. This happened 2 other times in the past 2 weeks. I do not have a code reader but it sounds like a code P2138, accelerator pedal sensor problem others Subaru owners are having when I checked on Subaru. Org and CarComplaints.com. I have 2 other cars a Toyota and Infiniti both these cars had recalls for accelerator pedal issues but I have not received any recall or information from Subaru about a possible problem with their accelerator pedal function? This is a safety issue and their should be a recall on this issue !

Update from Jan 7, 2021: I used an electronic spray cleaner on the gas pedal. I sprayed the actual pedal assembly. I did not remove the gas pedal assembly. After having this occasional problem for years it solved the issue. This issue would happen about every 6 months at first but it became often, especially when my wife drove the car. She squawked enough that I decided to look into it. It has not happened for 3 years since I did this.

- Don K., Barrie, ON, Canada

problem #9

Feb 292016

Outback LL Bean 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,669 miles

Episode # 3 happened very late at nite, resulting in a lengthy AAA haul from VA to MD after midnite from a business dinner. Another P2138 code. Waldorf MD Subaru kept the car for over a week, brought in a Subaru specialist, no charge, but swore it was fixed for good. NOT.

- leafmb, Brandywine, MD, US

problem #8

Apr 042016


  • Manual transmission
  • 93,000 miles


This is the identical problem as reported in all the other complaints. Car running fine, then suddenly, no response from the throttle, high revs in neutral and park, flashing cruise control and solid check engine lights. It's really frightening. Limped back home. Hoping the car will run normally after a wait and restart so I can get it to a garage. Looking forward to trading this lemon in. It was obvious from the beginning that Subaru cut corners on this car; my 2003 Legacy wagon -- a simpler vehicle but a totally trustworthy one -- is running like a top after 183,000 miles and almost no time in the shop. This car has had issue after issue.

- Robert D., New York, CT, US

problem #7

Feb 012016

Outback XT 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,001 miles

I have had acceleration problems now for the last 3 years. No acceleration, car always drives in a "Limp home mode". This problem is ongoing. Every 3-4 months its back in the shop for the exact same problem. It is often a $245.00 charge (been to multiple shops/mechanics). This problem needs Subaru's attention. I can't remember the last time I passed someone, I avoid all hills and fast traffic. Oh and the repair list goes on.....and on.

I love driving this car, but I hate owning it.

- Tim W., Cayuga, ON, Canada

problem #6

Jan 312016

Outback 2.5 XT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

My vehicle lost all ability to accelerate while I was going 65mph+ on the freeway 2 weeks ago. Luckily I was able to coast into the emergency lane on the right hand side of the road and wait for a tow to the nearest Subaru dealer.

I was told that the accelerator pedal assembly had failed. My extended warranty through AUL covered the parts and labor, 2 days later I was on my way.

Fast forward 2 weeks. Again, while driving home from work on the highway my vehicle lost all ability to accelerate. Again, I coasted into the emergency lane and waited for a tow. The technicians said they couldn't replicate the problem, and recommend replacing the throttle body assembly ($1,000 parts and labor). This part is not covered under my AUL service contract.

I have sent an e-mail to the Subaru corporate office and am awaiting a response. I personally will not be purchasing another Subaru unless they acknowledge this design flaw, and make things right financially.

- Ralph C., Arvada, CO, US

problem #5

Dec 022015

Outback XT 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 111,000 miles

Usually happens in cold weather... This problem has happened about 8 times in the last 3 years... Last night I was driving 60 mph on the freeway and my gas peddle stopped working... I pushed the gas peddle down and my car just kept slowing down... My idle was stuck at 3000 rpms.. Coasted to the side of the road and stopped... My check engine light was on and my cruise control light on the dash was flashing... Still idling at 3000 Rpm's...

Turned off the car and let it sit for 2 minutes... Turned the car on and the check engine light was still on and the cruise control light was still flashing but I regained control over the throttle.. Limped home... Disconnected the battery and let it sit for a while.. The check engine light turned off and the cruise control light disappeared as well... I have taken my Subaru to a Subaru mechanic and told them of the problem... They couldn't fix it or diagnose the problem...

I've taken it in to 2 different shops and all they do is say they couldn't find a problem and they just reboot the computer for a fee.. Still hasn't fixed the problem.. I've been dealing with this problem for 3 years now... Sometimes I'll be stopped in traffic and all of a sudden it will just start idling between 2500 and 3000 rpm's.. When I push the peddle all the way down to the floor sometimes i can get it to level out... But the scary problem is it will shoot up extremely high mid shift.. I have a stick or manual drive... So when I push the clutch down to shift to a higher gear... It will rev up to 2500 to 3000 rpms mid shift.. That's the true scary part... While I'm shifting between gears I have to deal with the Rpms after I let off the clutch...

If anyone else that wasn't ready for this it could be potentially catch them off guard because this freaked shouldn't be happening when shifting between gears... Can anyone help me or tell me what to do to fix this problem or at least tell me what to say to the mechanic so they can fix it... Please this is a very potentially bad safety issue to be nice about it...

- Brian S., Issaquah, US

problem #4

Sep 022015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles


Problem just occurred while on vacation. Trying to find a local dealership as I will not risk my family's lives trying to drive vehicle that may lose power at high speed. I see this problem described repeatedly and expect Subaru to recall this vehicle for such a safety concern.

- dkinva, Bracey, VA, US

problem #3

Jan 022015

Outback 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 136,000 miles

Driving on the a major highway and the car stopped accelerating.I could have been killed as it was extremely dangerous.

Like many have posted it was the pedal assembly including sensors that gave out.Subaru has many complaints and chooses to do nothing about this problem. One day it will cause death.I was lucky to survive problem that never should have happened.

I now choose to never buy a Subaru again as my car has numerous problems. It must be recalled before a human being dies!

- tfotino, Waldwick, NJ, US

problem #2

Apr 012012

Outback LEG

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

I have driven straight to the dealership in Twin Falls, Idaho were I was told the problem was my gas cap was not turned enough. I told them the engine lite came on and the cruise control light was flashing and I had no accelerator for power. I had been driving about 30 mph at that time. Month later coming back from Twin Falls, Idaho, headed home at 60 in the fog, the same thing happened, engine lite on cruise control lite flashing no accelerator no power to gas pedal. Lucky I had a shoulder to pull over on. Why does the dealership not know about this I have. 56,000 miles on this car and now feel unsafe to drive it. I read on this site about someone was told my there dealer it was a P2138 on the a diagnostic check. And the first time in with this problem it was under warranty they could find nothing wrong

- ccook, Ketchum, ID, US

problem #1

Nov 012014

Outback L.L Bean 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,000 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 occurs). 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!!!

- Cynthia M., White Haven, PA, US

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