2010 Subaru Outback engine problems: hesitating, stalling

Hesitating, Stalling

2010 Subaru Outback

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Subaru dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,750 miles
Total Complaints:
8 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
  2. replace computer (1 reports)
  3. replace engine (1 reports)
2010 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2010 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #8

Jan 022017

Outback Premium 2.5i

  • CVT transmission
  • 156,500 miles


when driving up a steep driveway, obviously you can't go very fast, my engine looses power and can't make it up. I have to run the rpm's up to make it up the hill. This has been a intermittent issue. Usually worst when the car has been driven for a while. no one seems to know what to do. Subaru says no fix on this also. Is there anything that they can fix? it was just in for service and the dealer says everything is in great shape mechanically with the car.

- outback10, Lancaster, PA, US

problem #7

Aug 282016

Outback Wagon 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,960 miles

I bought my first Subaru in 2002. I love it, a week after I bought it I went to California from St. Louis, MO. I decided I wanted another one because I love Subaru's. It took me a few weeks to find the one I wanted. It was a used 2010 with 84,940 miles with one owner. None smoker which I really loved. He took very good care of it. He took it in for all the requirements that Subaru has. I had Car Fax print out so I know what was done. No complaints about the stalling when you stepped on the brakes. It was about a week into my ownership that I noticed when I stopped the car would start to vibrate and then DIE. This is very scary because the person behind you starts honking and I must to put it into park and restart it. The lights on the dash start flashing while it is dying, a light goes on that looks like a car skidding. When I start to feel, it trying to die I tap on the brakes a few times and most of the time it will keep running. It is the times when it dies and I can't get it started fast enough can be dangers' because someone is driving fast behind me. This has happened to me more than I want it to. When I go to Church that is 10 miles away it seems to stop a lot at the light. I just want Subaru to FIX the problem because they have known about this problem since 2010. I have found so many complaints on another site, I copied them and will be taking them to my service man and sending a letter to the HQ. I just don't know what to do. When I had my car in for the 90,000-mile work done I told them again. They told me when I picked up the Subaru it would cost me $1,700.00 to fix it. NO SUBARU NEEDS TO FIX IT SINCE IT HAS BEEN A PROBLEM SINCE DAY ONE. SO MANY OTHER COMPLAINTS HAVE BEEN PRINTED. SOMEONE EVEN SENT AND TALKED TO HQ BUT NO RECALL HAS HAPPENED. SO, I'M ANGRY THAT THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM.

- Dianne G., Saint Louis, MO, US

problem #6

Dec 052016

Outback Premium 2.4L V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 99,900 miles

2010 Subaru Outback engine stalls when pushing the brake on stop sign or stopping on the hill. The problem started when the vehicle had 99K miles. Tried several local mechanics but no one knows what the real problem is.. Apparently there are many similar cases reported already. This is really dangerous safety issues and Subaru should recall these vehicles asap.

- assaou, Fort Lee, NJ, US

problem #5

Feb 062017

Outback Premium 2.5i

  • CVT transmission
  • 156,600 miles


had car parked and backed out of space. Made a tight left turn and the engine acted as though it was ready to stall out. I was in a flat parking lot. Not the first time it wanted to stall, but the first time in this situation. Any ideas?

- outback10, Lancaster, PA, US

problem #4

May 312010

Outback Limited 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 67,729 miles

One sh*t car hesitant and stalling all the time. 2010 outback 109000 km i will never buy the third one have had number of narrow escapes on pulling away or accelerating. human lives are more valuable then a problem car that subaru wont fix.and are aware of

- errolhenegan, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

problem #3

Jan 122015

Outback 2.5 I Premium 2.5L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

It started with a sensor that they thought was bad, and I had the replaced. Then the updated the computer, but both times they never fully tested the solution. As the car would always stop working in the afternoon. I could drive to work every morning just fine but in the evening it would stall out. A few times on the highway which was not fun...Had to have it tow the finally time it happen and they had the car for two weeks trying to figure out what the problem before replacing the car computer. I have been okay now for last 6 months but confidence is now low on the car overall.

- nepatriots71, Plaistow, NH, US

problem #2

Dec 162013

Outback Premium 2.5i

  • CVT transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Similar to another user's post, I also experienced engine "sputtering" and running very rough, so rough that I thought I had blown a tire (this was at 70 mph). I exited freeway onto a gravel road and parked, the car stalled, I restarted it and it continued to run very rough. I popped the hood for a look and the engine was rocking violently. I got back in and very slowly drove on the gravel road and within a mile the engine was running normal again.

Four different dash lights came on simultaneously during the incident: cruise indicator light blinking, the brake, traction control and check engine lights were all constant. Took it to the dealer and no tech available for diagnostic work for three days. The assistant/scheduler reset the dash lights and noted there were misfire codes on at least two cylinders. The assistant and I pleasantly agreed perhaps it was a batch of bad gas.

This is where it gets really weird. Two days later I then took the car on an 1800 mile trip to Texas for Thanksgiving holiday and the car ran beautifully. Over the holiday the weather turned cold back here in Iowa with morning temps in the single digits. On these cold mornings I noticed the sound of "trickling water" coming from the dash or engine compartment upon first starts of the engine roughly 5-10 seconds in duration. At this point somewhere in the back of my mind I knew it was bad but I convinced myself to ignore the trickling. After all, there were no more dash lights, no temperature light and the car was running otherwise well.

Finally on way to work Dec. 16, again at highway speed, the engine went into a grand mal seizure with pretty much the same order of events transpiring as previously described, only this time there was no "recovery." The car is now sitting at the shop (non-dealer) waiting for a donor engine. The guys dismantled the top end of the motor and found the piston had smashed the valve and damaged but not broke the cylinder head. They also found white residue left from burnt coolant on cylinder walls, but could not diagnose how the coolant leaked into the cylinder head without dismantling bottom of engine. All other cylinders pressure checked perfectly, but it was getting too pricey to continue diagnosing and then possibly still have to replace engine.

So now I am waiting for new used engine to be installed. The manager at the shop said he called all around Des Moines, even to the Subaru dealer trying to figure out what caused all of this but found nothing. So I'm about to pony up big time for a replacement engine but no one seems to have any clue why.

- Joshua K., Baxter, IA, US

problem #1

Oct 062012

Outback Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Car began to hesitate on acceleration, was very jerky when maintaining speed, and almost stalled at idle. Took the car to the dealership and they replaced the MAF sensor and returned the car the next day. While driving home, less than 5 miles away, the car began to exhibit the same problems, so I drove the car right back to the dealership. During the next 3 weeks, they replaced the engine wiring harness and bulkhead harness. When I finally got the car back, it drove fine for about half the day, and then started exhibiting the same problems again, so back to the dealership it went. While idling in the service bay, the engine rpms were fluctuating like crazy. To this date, they have done a fuel injection flush and replaced the ECM (car's' computer). Hopefully, I will find out soon if my car is fixed; it has been over 5 weeks. Also contacted Subaru Headquarters to report the problem; they were not much help. I tried calling HQ back about a week ago and left a message; still have not heard back from them. Also worth mentioning, one of the O2 sensors was replaced 2 years into ownership. Not very happy with Subaru at all and I probably will never buy another Subaru again!

- D W., Cheyenne, WY, US

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