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2011 Subaru Outback transmission problems: shuddering

Shuddering

7.3

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$3,250
Average Mileage:
95,400 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace torque converter (2 reports)
  2. replace transmission (1 reports)
2011 Subaru Outback transmission problems

transmission problem

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2011 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #3

Feb 012017

Outback

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2011 Subaru Outback with 128,000 miles, which shudders and (sometimes) stalls when braking. I've taken it to the Subaru dealer who says I need to have the torque converter replaced for a cost of $2500. Based on my internet research, there has been a problem with the CVT transmissions, but Subaru hasn't issued a recall. My research has also shown that the typical dealer cost for this repair is around $1500, so my dealership is considerably higher than the norm. This is my 4th Subaru and might be my last. My daughter and son also have Subaru's, so more customers might also be lost.

- Jeri S., Sykesville, MD, USA

problem #2

Sep 202016

Outback 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,032 miles

not honoring warranties We bought a 2011 Subaru Outback in June of 2010 from our local Subaru dealership. At the time of purchase, we paid over $1000 for an extended warranty service agreement, which covered the car up to 75,000 miles. In September and October of 2015 we started noticing that the car's engine would shudder as we broke slowly approaching stop signs or lights or when we were in a line of slow-moving traffic. In October, when the car had slightly over 70,000 miles on it, this shuddering began to be accompanied by the engine stalling out. The Subaru dealer informed me that it needed a new torque converter for the transmission, a repair that would cost in the area of $1500.

When it was pointed out to the dealership that we had an extended service agreement, we were told that they had no record of such an agreement, and it was not "in their system." We were also told that they didn't do those kinds of extended warranty agreements. It was when we recited the specific line and language from our purchase contract did they finally decide to go back and check their files for the hard copy of our purchase contract. The dealership finally agreed to honor the extended warranty.

In August 2016, we took the first long trip in the car since the torque converter was supposedly fixed. That repair came with a one-year warranty on parts and labor beginning on October 30, 2015. While stuck in slow-moving traffic, the car began displaying the very same symptoms that led to the torque converter being replaced last October--the engine shuddered each time I slowed to brake and stalled on a number of occasions. The car then made a loud whining or whirring sound that indicated to me serious problems with the transmission. This happened on a Friday evening and the car was towed to a AAA-approved shop in White Plains, NY. The following Monday, my wife went to the local Subaru dealership to tell them what was happening with the car and if he was aware of 2011 Subaru’s having transmission problems or if this was unusual for a transmission to go with less than 80,000 miles. The service manager was evasive and noncommittal. The service manager did not recommend that the car be brought to a Subaru dealership before having it repaired. The Subaru dealership then refused to honor the warranty on the work they did replacing the torque converter so I appealed to Subaru's national Customer Service operations. They rejected my appeal specifically because a Subaru dealership was not allowed to evaluate the car before the repair work was done on it.

Sure enough, when I got back to Burlington with the car and contacted the dealership for compensation, since the repair work they had done was still under warranty, they refused to honor that warranty. The service manager told me that if there had been any problem with the torque converter they put in, it would have shown up prior to the time when my transmission actually, and dramatically, failed in New York. I ask you: Of what possible value is a warranty on repair work done by a dealership if it can use that kind of reasoning to deny a claim before the warranty period has expired? Not to mention the fact that when we originally bought the car, we drove it for years and tens of thousands of miles before problems surfaced with the original torque converter. Given the symptoms the car displayed before the transmission failed completely, simple common sense says that the source of the problem was the same as when those symptoms appeared less than a year before.

Both the Subaru local dealership and the national customer service representative I spoke with refused even to consider consulting with the shop that actually examined the car when it was brought in and did the transmission replacement. Given the extenuating circumstances of my being on the road when the failure occurred and being unable to take the car to a Subaru dealership when it broke down, this seems like a convenient excuse for not being held responsible for the nearly $4000 expense we suffered due to a problem that had supposedly been fixed.

When Burlington Subaru refused to honor its warranty on its service work, I did some on-line research and found that our transmission/torque converter problem is by no means unique for some models of Subaru Outbacks and Foresters. The owner-mechanic at R.J.T Motorist Services in White Plains informed me that "Action Alerts" had been issued concerning the very kind of problems our car was demonstrating. So this is obviously a bigger problem that just our one experience. Yet when I asked the dealership service manager about this issue, he told me had no knowledge of such problems on a larger scale. This is the SERVICE MANAGER and he is apparently unaware of a Subaru transmission problem that has been reported around the country. That is exactly the kind of evasive and (to our minds) dishonest responses we have received from Subaru ever since we started having problems with the car.

- kkent, Burlington, VT, USA

problem #1

Aug 052016

Outback 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,032 miles

We bought a 2011 Subaru Outback in June of 2010 from our local Subaru dealership. At the time of purchase, we paid over $1000 for an extended warranty service agreement, which covered the car up to 75,000 miles. In September and October of 2015 we started noticing that the car's engine would shudder as we broke slowly approaching stop signs or lights or when we were in a line of slow-moving traffic. In October, when the car had slightly over 70,000 miles on it, this shuddering began to be accompanied by the engine stalling out. The Subaru dealer informed me that it needed a new torque converter for the transmission, a repair that would cost in the area of $1500.

When it was pointed out to the dealership that we had an extended service agreement, we were told that they had no record of such an agreement, and it was not "in their system." We were also told that they didn't do those kinds of extended warranty agreements. It was when we recited the specific line and language from our purchase contract did they finally decide to go back and check their files for the hard copy of our purchase contract. The dealership finally agreed to honor the extended warranty.

In August 2016, we took the first long trip in the car since the torque converter was supposedly fixed. That repair came with a one-year warranty on parts and labor beginning on October 30, 2015. While stuck in slow-moving traffic, the car began displaying the very same symptoms that led to the torque converter being replaced last October--the engine shuddered each time I slowed to break and stalled on a number of occasions. The car then made a loud whining or whirring sound that indicated to me serious problems with the transmission. This happened on a Friday evening and the car was towed to a AAA-approved shop in White Plains, NY. The following Monday, my wife went to the local Subaru dealership to tell them what was happening with the car and if he was aware of 2011 Subaru’s having transmission problems or if this was unusual for a transmission to go with less than 80,000 miles. The service manager was evasive and noncommittal. The service manager did not recommend that the car be brought to a Subaru dealership before having it repaired. The Subaru dealership then refused to honor the warranty on the work they did replacing the torque converter so I appealed to Subaru's national Customer Service operations. They rejected my appeal specifically because a Subaru dealership was not allowed to evaluate the car before the repair work was done on it.

Sure enough, when I got back to Burlington with the car and contacted the dealership for compensation, since the repair work they had done was still under warranty, they refused to honor that warranty. The service manager told me that if there had been any problem with the torque converter they put in, it would have shown up prior to the time when my transmission actually, and dramatically, failed in New York. I ask you: Of what possible value is a warranty on repair work done by a dealership if it can use that kind of reasoning to deny a claim before the warranty period has expired? Not to mention the fact that when we originally bought the car, we drove it for years and tens of thousands of miles before problems surfaced with the original torque converter. Given the symptoms the car displayed before the transmission failed completely, simple common sense says that the source of the problem was the same as when those symptoms appeared less than a year before.

Both the Subaru local dealership and the national customer service representative I spoke with refused even to consider consulting with the shop that actually examined the car when it was brought in and did the transmission replacement. Given the extenuating circumstances of my being on the road when the failure occurred and being unable to take the car to a Subaru dealership when it broke down, this seems like a convenient excuse for not being held responsible for the nearly $4000 expense we suffered due to a problem that had supposedly been fixed.

When Burlington Subaru refused to honor its warranty on its service work, I did some on-line research and found that our transmission/torque converter problem is by no means unique for some models of Subaru Outbacks and Foresters. The owner-mechanic at R.J.T Motorist Services in White Plains informed me that "Action Alerts" had been issued concerning the very kind of problems our car was demonstrating. So this is obviously a bigger problem that just our one experience. Yet when I asked the dealership service manager about this issue, he told me had no knowledge of such problems on a larger scale. This is the SERVICE MANAGER and he is apparently unaware of a Subaru transmission problem that has been reported around the country. That is exactly the kind of evasive and (to our minds) dishonest responses we have received from Subaru ever since we started having problems with the car.

- kkent, Burlington, VT, USA

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