2013 Subaru Outback engine NHTSA complaints: Engine

NHTSA — Engine Problems

2013 Subaru Outback (Page 1 of 2)

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2013 Outback has a problem with excessive oil consumption.

A class action lawsuit is pending that alleges Subaru's "FB" engine has defective piston rings which causes oil to leak past the rings & burn up at an excessive rate. More information about the class action is available here.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
22,015 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.

2013 Subaru Outback engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Jul 012017


  • 52,000 miles


TL the contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. While driving at an unknown speed and approaching a stop, the engine stalled. Upon accelerating, it took three to five seconds for the vehicle to move. The dealer and manufacturer were not notified. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure mileage was 52,000.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #28

Jan 012016


  • 70,000 miles
Excessive oil consumption, oil light illuminates every 3000 miles instead of purported 7500 miles. Problems started in 2016 at about 70,000 miles. Dealership did test, confirmed excessive oil consumption and is replacing short block in vehicle. Dealership states extended warranty on this problem.

- Salem, OR, USA

problem #27

Mar 252017


  • 50 miles
About every 3,000 miles, I have refill engine oil to required level. All happened on highway - the engine consumes too much oil

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #26

May 072017


  • 10,000 miles


Ever since we bought this vehicle, about every 2,000 miles the engine oil seems to vanish, and I have to add about a quart. I run through about 7 quarts a year. When I bought the car, I asked the dealer why the oil dipstick indicated the oil level was way above the full level. The dealer just said it must have been filled too much in the last oil change. I think it was over filled so I wouldn't notice it leaking out until a few months after I bought the car. I have to keep a spare quart in the car at all times. If the dashboard warning light ever fails, I'm worried I could seize the engine.

- River Vale, NJ, USA

problem #25

Jan 032017


  • 48,000 miles
On multiple occasions, the vehicle stalled, as in the engine died. This is an intermittent problem. Usually it happens when the vehicle is started, the engine will die, this will happen 2-3 times on each occurrence. It does eventually start and run correctly. A similar issue occurs when coming to a stop. The engine will "flutter" almost die and then resume normal operation. So far it has not left us stranded, however, I am concerned as to what the problem might be and at what point will it stall and not start again. I plan on taking it to my dealership and have them look at it, however, the engine light has not come on so I don't expect the computer has stored any codes for the mechanic to be able to troubleshoot.

- Randle, WA, USA

problem #24

Jun 072013

Outback 4-cyl

  • miles
2013 Subaru Outback. Consumer writes in regards to excessive oil consumption problems after replacement of oil sending unit. The consumer stated he was experiencing excessive oil consumption, before the oil sending unit was replaced. Over the next few years, the oil light illuminated at an increasing rate. The consumer stated the dealer attempted to mask the problem by over-filling the reservoir, telling the amount of oil consumer was normal, etc.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 172013


  • 2,000 miles


VIN: [xxx] year: 2013 vehicle: Outback model: 2.5I premium vehicle purchase date 08/05/2013 August 2013 (less than 2500 miles in the car) returning from a trip pembroke pines, fl to clifton, NJ to pembroke pines, fl. On returning trip Saturday, 11:00 am or so. Southbound on I-95 before jacksonville, fl, oil light turn on. Subaru road assistance recommended Subaru of jacksonville, fl. Went there and they pour some oil and said everything was fine. August 31st, 2015, started to travel to jacksonville, tallahassee and gainesville, fl. More than 3 similar incidents in 2015. January 2016 situation increases. Between Dec 2015 and Jan 2016, car repeated the low oil level situation 3 times. Jan 25, 2016, Subaru of jax ran a 1200 miles oil consumption test. Result was negative. Missing oil was between Subaru standards. Weekend on fri, 04/08/2016 7:30 pm, driving from jax to pembroke pines, fl, low oil level light came back on. Tried to reset it several times, turning the car off and on. Only by fort lauderdale light went off completely. Oil level checked next day 04/09/2016. Oil missing on the stick. 2/3 of qtr. Oil added. Mon, 04/11/2016, visited Subaru of jax and register the occurrence. Fri, 05/06/ 2016, from jax to pembroke pines, fl and back on sun, 05/08/2016. Low oil level light came on several times. Next gas station, purchased most compatible full synthetic quarter oil and pour half of the bottle. Light went off for the rest of trip. Thu, 05/12/2016, went to Subaru of jax to report problem experienced and to make oil change at 49,702 miles. Agreed with service manager to use oil with more viscosity, 5W30 instead of Subaru recommended 0W20. They check oil level and determine that 3/4 of a quarter of oil was missing. So we are talking of quarter or more of total oil missing between oil changes. I didn't like that. ┐information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #22

Dec 232015


  • 23,767 miles
This vehicle has several issues. I had an oil change and within 1 week they had to add 1.3 quarts. Car had 23,767 miles. In just over a month I have had to add almost 4 quarts of synthetic oil and spent close to $100 for the oil. The car is an automatic with a manual option and I am also haveing problems where the gears won't change in auto nor manual operation. It revs the engine and I have to stop, turn it off then restart. It happens all the time but the dealer said there is nothing wrong with it..there is also an issue with vibration of the steering wheel all the time and the brakes don't want to catch all the time. Should not have to pump the brakes 2 or 3 times to get them to engage.

- Red House, WV, USA

problem #21

Jan 012016


  • 25,000 miles
This car consumes oil. It's been a consistent problem since turning 25K, we have had 3 oil consumption tests and Subaru states that losing between 1.1qts between service intervals is normal. This is not normal. These engines are flawed. No modern car should consume/lose oil. Having owned a 2009 Subaru Outback impreza sport and knowing others with Subaru Outbacks w/out this problem it is clearly a manufacturing defect that Subaru does not want to assume responsibility for. I urge the NHTSA to investigate these complaints and force Subaru to recall the effected engines.

- Lafayette, CO, USA

problem #20

May 132015


  • 70,000 miles
Engine is burning oil into atmosphere. Getting less than 800 miles before oil light comes on. Consumes over a quart of synthetic motor oil every two weeks. Subaru has been replacing motors for only when people complain and only if they are in warranty, I was outside of warranty when I experienced this, thankfully I bought some extended insurance, however they only replace the motor with a junkyard motor, which may fail again, I already suspect I am burning oil and am indeed facing the same issue after only 4 weeks. Subaru needs to take ownership of this mfgr. Defect. They are polluting the atmosphere and doing as little as possible to resolve. This issue appears to affect a good portion of these cars as evidenced by all of the online chatter about it. They are fully aware of the issue. I only found out about this issue upon noticing lack of power and having my catalytic converter replaced due to it being clogged. I am already noticing this same issue there too. When I bought this car, the issue was already known to Subaru. Yet they did not to resolve the polluting issue. Please look into this to prevent any worse damage to the environment. I am in the process of getting rid of this vehicle, but someone else may be stuck with the same issue. This happens during all driving situations.. eg: Highway or on local roads.

- Medway, MA, USA

problem #19

Jun 012015


  • 60,000 miles


Severe burning oil issue. Releasing toxic smoke into atmosphere. This is a wide spread issue with Subaru 2.5 motors. They are only offering a fix for anyone in warrantee. This is preventing many vehicles from being repaired due to cost of repair. This happens mainly on highway driving for me. I had my engine replaced out of warranty and now the junkyard motor they gave me is doing the same thing. Subaru needs to take ownership of this issue, and needs to fix all of these affected motors.

- Medway, MA, USA

problem #18

Nov 162015


  • 70,500 miles
Check engine light has been activated seven times since the beginning of this summer (2015). Low on oil at first. Dealer changed PCV valve and topped off oil at the time of first engine light activation. Now, just had $1200 of maintenance on it at different dealer. Including change of temp sensor on Nov 2. check engine light on again today, with difficulty starting. Difficulty starting with check engine light has been for check engine indications for last month. Dealer is confounded. I am very concerned with less than 71000 miles. Did purchase an extended warranty for 80000 miles. Did have dealer of original sale have hitch and rear view camera installed prior to delivery.

- Gladstone, MI, USA

problem #17

Feb 112013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2013 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that there was an abnormal noise coming from the front of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on over two occasions where the failure was able to be replicated, but the failure was undetermined. In addition, the oil warning light randomly illuminated. The vehicle started hesitating and, as the failure progressed, caused the vehicle to stall several times. The contact was able to get the vehicle to restart, but the failure continued to progress. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The VIN and failure mileage were not available.

- Banner Elk, NC, USA

problem #16

Mar 012013


  • 3,000 miles
Since 2013 we have made numerous trips to our local Subaru dealer complaining of 'engine knock'. the dealer has provided a wide array of potential 'fixes' to stop the knocking but none have worked. We have tried everything from valve adjustments to additives to chemical 'baths' for the engine but nothing has stopped the knocking. More than one service manager has said that 'knocking' is not good for the engine and needs to be addressed. However, for all their good intentions the problem has not be resolved. While we appreciate the dealer's efforts we did not pay cash (full price) to purchase a vehicle that does not perform to standard. Seeing that all 'fixes' by Subaru have failed we would like our money back for the original purchase price or have the car replaced with a new Subaru Outback.

- Bozeman, MT, USA

problem #15

Sep 242015


  • 20,000 miles
Had an oil change done at the dealership in danvers March 2015. In Sept. 2015, after travelling 4,000 miles, engine light came on. Had to add 2 quarts of oil. This is not the first time that we needed to add oil between services. All service records are up to date and were done at the same dealership where car was purchased. The car was purchased brand new. At this present time the car has only 20,100 miles. Dealership keeps saying that this is normal for a car to go through this much oil. I have had five Subaru and never have had one that used oil like this one. The daily driver is 75 years old and does not race it or use it as a tow vehicle (there is no tow hitch). The engine is incredibly rough when starting and can hear it idling rough as well as feeling the vibrations in the cabin.

- Salem, MA, USA

problem #14

Apr 032015


  • 27,000 miles
The engine oil light turned on. Stopped to check oil--was very low. Bought a quart to add to the car. Took to dealership and explained what had happened. It has occurred two times already--same ordeal where I have to add oil to the engine. When will NHTSA start investigating this? I have read and talked to other Outback owners with the same issue. Right now the dealership has put the car on a 1200 mile inspection test..... updated 09/30/15

- Exeter, CA, USA

problem #13

May 232015


  • 27,032 miles
Using excessive oil. Thi si sthe secon time I had to put oil in approximately 5700 milees after an oil change. Its not leakeing anywhere.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #12

May 072015


  • 30,000 miles
After 28,000 miles and noticed at drive through locations the sickly sweet smell of antifreeze was noticed. I took car to dealer who pressure tested and inspected coolant system. Nothing unusual was noticed and no leaks were discovered. Drove car later in the day and smell returned, will drive more and if smell is noticed again will return to dealer. Could arise from oil changes and if leveling the fluid level the spill burnoff could be where the smell comes from... when starting car the engine revs at a high speed but that is normal from this particular vehicle so after starting I pause a bit before shifting and driving. Other than the antifreeze smell the car is a pleasure to drive.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #11

Jan 262015


  • 25,000 miles
We are experiencing excessive oil loss (over a quart) from a brand new car. A quart of oil magically disappearing. This is not right.

- Sullivan, NH, USA

problem #10

Mar 292013


  • 1,404 miles
My 2013 Subaru Outback premium 2.5 has a caution light in the instrument panel that illuminates as a reminder for the operator to check the engine oil. The owners manual states the light indicates low engine oil levels and recommends adding oil to prevent engine damage. I add a minimum 1 quart of oil, on a recurring cycle, to return the oil level to the full mark on the oil dipstick. My Subaru Outback requires adding approx. 1 quart of oil every 1800 miles between oil changes.

- Gilmer, TX, USA

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