2008 Subaru Outback engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
79,378 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.

2008 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #6

Dec 032015


  • 98,000 miles


My car has had cylinder misfires for over a year. Subaru has told me it is "not their problem" and they have charged me over $2,000 for the various times I have brought it in to fix the problem. They just "fixed" it last week and within 1 day, all my check engine lights came back on, and within 3 days it is misfiring again. They do not return my calls or properly service my car. I believe this is an engine recall problem they are avoiding for the costs associated with the recall. I do not want this dangerous car.

- Thornwood, NY, USA

problem #5

Aug 312016


  • miles
All of below: Since early original ownership, for years Subaru dismissed repeated reporting of (moving, stationary, all roads): Takata recall airbag warning light illumination. Only after national airbag recall did Subaru recognize concern and address. Subaru recently has serviced airbag twice. Both times, shortly after service dash warning lights illuminated: Airbag, cruise, check engine. Also, erratic cruise function and engine clicking noise (moving, all roads) resulted. For numerous weeks, Subaru has been refusing to fix lethal airbag/S and remedy damage/concerns resulting from airbag service. Subaru seeks payment for diagnosis (and presumably, subsequent service) of airbag and related damage/concerns and a written waiver for this service and any future service needs as condition of service. Brakes rusting, squealing, sponginess. Weeks before warranty expired Subaru dismissed issues. Weeks after warranty, (at some 25K miles) Subaru sought to sell some $1900 in new brakes or new car. Subaru relented months later, addressing concern. Thereafter, following the national brakes recall, Subaru reported no service needed on second full set of brakes. This month replaced 4 rotors (and pads)¿this is the third time 4 rotors installed on original-ownership car with some 65K miles. Engine's loud rattling, gurgling. Subaru eventually admitted and serviced heatshield defect. Subaru has stated repeatedly heatshield issue can¿T be resolved. After three services, Subaru reported related engine damage: Oil leak and catalytic. Chronic heatshield and related damage/concerns ongoing. Windshield interior pooling water and icing (needing scraping off despite winter-package windshield heating), as well as exterior windshield seal sliding freely. Only after shield spontaneously cracked did Subaru recognize issues and address.

- Portland, ME, USA

problem #4

Aug 192016


  • 128,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the ABS, traction control, engine, and other unknown warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but the failure was unable to be diagnosed. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Washington, OH, USA

problem #3

May 012015


  • 74,000 miles


Engine head gasket is leaking oil. Warranty is expired, but 74K miles is too early for this major problem to occur. Subaru customer service has agreed to pay for a portion of the repair cost.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #2

Jan 212015

Outback 4-cyl

  • 100,450 miles
Head gaskets failed and, once disassembled, valves were found to be leaking.

- Davis, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 172014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 75,815 miles
Blown head gasket, damage occurred over many years while car was under warranty and was being serviced regularly by the Subaru dealer. No notification of this damage was given to me until the car was just outside of its warranty. Previously Subaru has acknowledged this defect which could cause an engine to seize while driving causing a safety issue if that occurred on a highway.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

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