2010 Subaru Outback engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,348 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.

2010 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #13

Dec 232016


  • 92,000 miles


Driving and coming to a stop. At stop and engine idling, the engine misfires (stumbles) on occasion. It feels as though the engine will die, but then idles normally. This is intermittent and no engine light or fault code comes up. Dealer unable to correct because this has not happened when the car is taken in for service. I am afraid the car will stall in traffic. This has occurred over the last 3-4 years

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 022016


  • 121,000 miles
Over heating maybe head gasket problem

- Rivervale, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jan 012014


  • miles
Car shudders and sounds like engine will die when coming to complete stop. If this were a manual transmission, feels as if clutch should be pushed in. Problem occurs intermittently. Cold or hot engine. Problem became noticeable around 58,000-60,000 mile.

- Mays Landing, NJ, USA

problem #10

Jun 142016


  • 105,000 miles


We bought our car in 2010 its a Subaru Outback. There has always been an issue with a loss of power. The dealership at the time said it was caused by excessive carbon build up on the pistons. Its now 2016 and the car will stutter and shut off when you are braking at red lights. To try to beat the stutter and stall, I find myself having to ease off the brakes and try to reapply my brakes to see if it won't shut off. I've avoid many accidents but one of these days I won't be so lucky. I feel a rear end accident is coming. This stutter and stall happens any time during the day and in any weather. This morning there was no issue, this afternoon there might be. Usually once the car stutters and stalls the problem goes away for the day. I read some other complaints on nhsta and they are reporting their similar issue as it being a possible torque converter problem. I'm not sure either way since my mileage puts me over the warranty and I don't want an accident to deal with I would like to see what are options to getting this problem taken care since its been doing this since 2010.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #9

Jun 142016


  • 105,000 miles
When driving and approaching a traffic light the car will begin to stutter as if there is a clog in the system. Then it will shut off. I contacted Subaru regarding the issue when we first had the car because there was always a loss of power. Our model is the Outback 2010. They inspected and said it was a carbon build up in the pistons that would cause this issue. There hasn't been any recalls or Subaru notices about this. Now while driving and coming to a stop the car just turns off. On your site nhsta some other customers have been saying that it could also be a bad torque converter. Either way this issue could cause serious accident if not dealt with. The stutter and shutting off happens any time of the day and cold or hot weather it doesn't matter. Some days it happens more often the others and usually after a few times of shutting off the problem does stop for remainder of the day.

- Camarillo, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 062016


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2010 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the vehicle's temperature gauge was abnormally high and the check engine warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the temperature gauge needed to be replaced and more coolant needed to be added. The vehicle was repaired however the vehicle overheated while driving. The vehicle was taken to another dealer where it was diagnosed that the both head gaskets had blown, the radiator was cracked, and the water pump had malfunctioned and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 72,000.

- Mahopac, NY, USA

problem #7

Sep 112015


  • 85,725 miles


The head gaskets need to be replaced at 85,000. The car was being driven and the overheat light went on. I pulled over and turned off the engine. Took the car into service and was told that the head gaskets need to be replaced, short block replaced and other related engine parts. A head gasket issue should not be happening at 85K miles on any car, but especially a Subaru whose representation is about dependability and ruggedness.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 082015


  • 100,000 miles
Cvt transmission. The vehicle predictably stalls while in motion approaching a stop on city streets or on the highway. Electric system remains operational during and after stalling indicating that the issue is unrelated to electrical system. Mechanic believes issue to be now-known and widespread faulty torque converter. Vehicle stalling in traffic has become very dangerous and has nearly caused several accidents.

- Mt Juliet, TN, USA

problem #5

Aug 212014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 66,800 miles
As I was pulling into a parking space with a foot to go, going less than 5 mph, the engine surged and the car suddenly lunged forward, climbed a 6 inch curb and traveled about 4 feet and hit a wooden staircase of a building. The entire time my foot was on the brake. This entire event took less than a second.

- Long Valley, NJ, USA

problem #4

Nov 022009


  • 3,000 miles
After decelerating to approximated 5-15 mph and then applying the accelerator there is a 1-2 second delay before the vehicle begins to accelerate. When it does it tends to buck or accelerate faster than intended as the accelerator was depressed further as there was no acceleration. Driving in city traffic that has almost resulted in a accident dozens of times. There have been two tsb's issued for this known problem one for the engine and one for the transmission, neither one of which has addressed the issue. I have taken the vehicle to two different dealers who state that this is a known issue and that there is no known fix. This issue occurs every time the vehicle is driven at the above stated speeds.

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #3

Dec 172012

Outback 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles


Traveling on icy road approx. 20mph or less in 2010 Outback 3.6 ltd. Very accustomed to driving severe mountain winter conditions & 8th Subaru among family members. Seatbelt, shoulder restraint in place on driver. Oncoming driver in mid-size to large truck lost control at high speed, crossed center line and impacted Subaru head-on, offset to left side of Outback & 2010 Outback was totaled. Subaru airbags did not deploy. Impact into front left side, crumpled hood up to windshield, which shattered. His hood was inside Subaru engine compartment, remained under Subaru hood along with other parts of his vehicle after vehicles were towed. Subaru radiator was pushed in at approx 45 degree angle, left wheel bent inwards, left front bumper gone back to tire and much more damage. His airbags deployed and Subaru's did not. Subaru driver hit head, knees, shins on interior parts of Subaru: Black eye, forehead hematoma, indentation & scraped, knees/shins bruised and scraped plus back/neck plus more scrapes/bruises and concussion. Thankful that his truck stopped up against driver side doorpost and didn't encroach into driver compartment but unbelievable that Subaru airbags didn't deploy. 5'6" & approx. 135 pounds. First of our Subaru to be in a crash and had no idea airbags wouldn't deploy.

- Steamboat Springs, CO, USA

problem #2

Apr 022012

Outback 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
Car stalls unexpectedly when stopping/stopped. Random occurrences. Gas tank can be full or low, does not seem to matter. Idle may be a bit rough right before it quits running. Occurs when A/C is on or off. Have taken to dealer for service/evaluation, cannot find anything wrong with it. Car has started immediately after occurrence

- Fowlerville, MI, USA

problem #1

Jun 092011

Outback 4-cyl

  • 27,000 miles
The engine stalls while at a stop or coming to a stop. The rpms suddenly drop and the engine stops. Car will restart and operate normally for a while but the problem has been persistent and is occurring more frequently. The dealer could not replicate the problem and returned the vehicle to us. The next day, it did the same thing. This is a dangerous situation especially when making a turn and experiencing a stall, loss of power steering, and acceleration.

- Tustin, CA, USA

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