2011 Subaru Outback engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,413 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.

2011 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2011 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #14

Dec 012007


  • 72,000 miles


At 72,000 miles, the 3.6 litre engine has begun to push oil out of the engine. My mechanic said it is a known fact that their engines do this. I see where newer model owners won a class action lawsuit against Subaru who knew their engines are faulty and push or burn oil. I believe more model years should be covered in a complaint. At 72,000 miles, the engine is barely broken in. December.

- Audubon, NJ, USA

problem #13

Dec 032016


  • 93,000 miles
I own a 2011 Subaru Outback with 93,000 miles. The car stalled out at red lights in the city. Also, it stalled when I was on a hill and came to a stop. I was fortunate to restart engine and get out of the way of traffic. I took it to the dealer and they said I needed a torque converter costing $1,200. After reading the many complaints from other owners it is a dangerous situation. Why hasn't Subaru recalled the torque converters?

- Paupack, PA, USA

problem #12

Nov 112016


  • miles
Stalling when comes to a stop. Torque converter is bad

- Bennington, VT, USA

problem #11

Jul 112016


  • 110,000 miles


Began noticing vehicle shuddering and quitting or almost quitting when coming to a stop. Has continued to do this for months now and seems to be getting worse. Took it to dealer and it was diagnosed at torque converter sticking after several tests. Referenced to Subaru tsb no. 16-101-16. Dangerous design flaw as it can leave you without power after coming to an abrupt stop such as braking to avoid hitting a stopped vehicle leaving you unable to move away from other cars without restarting vehicle. My vehicle is in excellent condition aside from this issue but is out of powertrain warranty and the cost to repair are prohibitive. Request to issue recall for safety issues primarily and to not ultimately cause damage to transmission in the long term.

- Bighill, KY, USA

problem #10

Mar 022016


  • 118,000 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Subaru Outback. While driving or when coming to a sudden stop, the vehicle would stall. The contact was able to restart the vehicle. There were no warning indicators illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who could not diagnose the issue. The failure occurred on numerous occasions. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The failure mileage was 118,000.

- Guerneville, CA, USA

problem #9

Feb 082016


  • 35,000 miles
My vehicle has had 4 of 6 ignition could fail due to excessive corrosion within a span of months. Failure has resulted in sudden engine failure and hesitations causing the vehicle to lose power unpredictably and forced us to pull over. Subaru of America has refused to repair these components because they are beyond the 3 year warranty period. It is unlikely that four components would all fail similarly without a serious defect in the parts or a design flaw in the automobile. There were two occurrences of this failure- one coil failed in September 2014 and three more failed in December 2015

- Winnipeg, ND, USA

problem #8

Feb 062016


  • 51,245 miles


Service bulletin # 16-90-13 car stalls when coming to a stop. This happens in traffic at stop lights anywhere I need to make a hard stop. This is very dangerous and it would appear this is a major issue for many owners. This should be a recall not just a service bullitin

- Orrangevale, CA, USA

problem #7

Jun 182015


  • 138,500 miles
The contact owns a 2011 Subaru Outback. The contact stated when the vehicle was at a stop position, the engine stalled. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 138,500.

- Winter Harbor , ME, USA

problem #6

Sep 012014


  • 24,000 miles
I purchased my 2011 Subaru Outback new and love the car. However it has one problem which has shaken my confidence in it. With the vehicle in drive, my foot on the brake, and at a complete stop, the engine will shudder violently. The RPM's will loose about 200 to 300 RPM's, then go immediately go back up to the correct rpsm; the engine will not die but feels as if it might. This has happened many, many times. It does not seem to matter if the engine is cold or warm, if the A/C is on or off, of the radio is on or off, or anything else. I fully explained the situation to the dealer when I took it in for an oil change. I told them I can somewhat replicate the problem by pushing the door lock/unlock button when the car is at a complete stop, in drive, with my foot on the break; it is not as violent a shudder but very similar. They kept the car overnight and said they test drove the car but "could not duplicate" the problem. It appears this must be some type of electrical condition. I am dreading the day when I am on a busy southern California freeway in stop and go traffic and the car leaves me stranded. Any suggestions?

- Riverside, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 052015


  • 59,000 miles
Merging and accelerating onto interstate and engine cut out for approx 3 seconds with no engine power. Check engine lights illuminated and stayed lit. Drove ok after that. This is a repeat of the same problem that occurred three different times last year. Dealer advised both then and now that an electrical harness connector was working itself loose and they will tighten it. No assurances given that it won't re-occur at an inconvenient time such as a rail crossing or when a semi is bearing down on me.

- Clifton Park, NY, USA

problem #4

Nov 182014


  • 107,000 miles


When applying the brakes hard at the a stopping point of the car it kills the engine leaving you dead in the street. Emergency pressure hard! other than that the brakes work great. Now if you push trans into neutral and brake hard as you will the engine is not effected and keeps on running. This is a automatic but it feels like you did not depress the clutch on stopping the car if it were a standard stick shift trans. There is a bucking at stopping then the engine is dead in the street. If you let up the brake before this kills the motor then it keeps running or if just light braking that is normal needed no problem. Other than that dangerous condition in city traffic the car runs great. This has to be a defect in design of the system never in 30+ years of auto mech trade have I run across this in any world brand name cars.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #3

Jan 102014

Outback 4-cyl

  • 47,500 miles
1st incident 1/10/2014- leaving a stop light car would not accelerate and vdc, cel and brake light flashing. Sat on the side of the road for about 1/2 hour. Husband came to pick us up and tried starting the car. The car started and was able to drive w/O further issue. Check codes and had misfire cyc 1,2,3,4. local mechanic could find nothing wrong cleared codes. Husband noticed both drl lights were blown. Replaced both and when the key was turned on (not started) heard a loud squealing electrical noise from the area of the alternator/power steering pump where the electrical harness is bolted to the top of the engine. Started the car and it drove fine for about 2 weeks. 2nd incident 1/14/2014 - pulling away from a friends house vdc and cel lights come on. Turn off car and sit for about 20 minutes. Start car all warning lights gone and car drove fine. Husband checked codes and found misfire cyc 1,2 only 3rd incident 1/30/2014 - leaving stop light and vdc light comes on and car will only go about 3 miles per hour enough to get it off road and engine stalls. No cel this time. Sit for about five minutes start car and it drives fine and all lights gone. Replaced the battery and had mechanic clean out the ABS brake sensors. Subaru America and our dealership where we bought the car are aware and can find nothing wrong.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #2

Jul 062012

Outback 4-cyl

  • 18,192 miles
This vehicle is hesitating from a start, posing a high risk of causing a serious accident when entering traffic. The hesitation occurs, on average, once every 300 miles under differing conditions. I have taken the vehicle to Subaru service four times because of this problem. They state they can"T solve the issue because they can?T ?duplicate? it. I have informed them over and over again that it is an intermittent problem but they refused to keep the car long enough to duplicate the problem. I have asked Subaru for a replacement but all they will offer is yet another appointment ?to attempt to duplicate the concerns". in the meantime, I am forced to drive a vehicle with a serious safety problem, which occurs randomly without warning. This hesitation defect appears to be a common issue with this power train, placing numerous drivers at risk. Please see the following associated complaints: 10290805 10297490 10307668 10343600 10346037 10346648 10347133 10351374 10354541 10355908 10355908 10356951 10358243 10411748 10413779 10448621 10505368 10515376 thank you for your time.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #1

Apr 092013

Outback 4-cyl

  • 42,343 miles
This car is a Subaru Outback 2.5I manual 6spd transmission. While at a stop light with car idling, the RPM's get very low and car dies. Starts back up right away, but then after idling for 15-20 seconds, the car will die again. Concerned that this may happen while driving as I have read reports of many other models of the same car doing the same thing while driving. The dealer says there is nothing wrong and they will charge a ton of money to come back and tell me there is nothing wrong. It is a clear safety issue if the car cannot hold an idle and/or dies while driving.

- Redmond, WA, USA

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