2014 Subaru Outback transmission problems: shudders between gears

Shudders Between Gears

2014 Subaru Outback

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

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2014 Outback is showing an early trend of problems with hesitation when accelerating.

The vast majority of owners experiencing this problem have reported that Subaru has not been able to find the cause of the engine hesitation, or fix the problem.

Especially because this is a potential safety defect, we are flagging the 2014 Outback as a model year to watch out for.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
8,150 miles
Total Complaints:
7 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
Get free help with your lemon!
close ad
2014 Subaru Outback transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2014 Subaru Outback:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2014 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #7

May 012018

Outback Premium 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles


Car makes a grinding noise from 25mph down to 15 mph then stops noise. Would not do it when we had tech in car twice. Does the grinding noise all other times. Dealership is bringing in rep next. Very annoyed with car!

Update from Jun 25, 2018: Not heard from dealership about when rep will be coming. Continues to make noise regularly at speeds 25 down to 15 then no noise then feels like car free wheels down until you stop the car. Any suggestions?

Update from Oct 21, 2018: Dealership put remanufactured transmission in in August. Could not drive it home without it still making noise. They had FSE from Subaru in dealership to heard clicking or sounds like a comb being pushed one tooth at a time. He rode with tech and service manager then not talk with us but servic e manager said to keep bringing the car in when we hear noise. VERY DISAPPOINTED in Subaru. It has been since May 18, 2018 we have had this problem.

- rick kp, Gladstone, Mo, US

problem #6

Aug 182014

Outback Limited 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,900 miles

Similar problem that others have mentioned on this site. In August 2014 I contacted the service department where I purchased the vehicle to discuss the issue of the transmission feeling as if it was shuddering at low speeds. An appointment was made and I took the vehicle to have it checked out. They called me late in the day and said they had driven the vehicle and it was definitely an issue with the transmission. They said they were going to do a "re-learn" to the transmission that was a recommended fix. I picked up the vehicle and didn't notice any shudder immediately and thought everything was fine. The next week I traveled out of town for work and the shuddering started again, particularly at low speeds and when the RPM's was under 2K. I've now scheduled another appointment on 9-8-14 at the dealership and we'll go from there. I'll check back afterwards and update those who are following!

- dkiplayer, Randleman, NC, US

problem #5

Aug 012014

Outback 2.5I Limited V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 400 miles

When first shifting into drive, the Outback waits a beat (about 1 sec.) then jerks into drive. It is especially noticeable when cold, but happens when warm also. I have to let the car sit and not press on the gas until the shift is complete, in order to avoid whip-lashing my passengers. No quick get-aways with this car!

Has anyone found a dealer to solve this problem? The car is still under warranty.

- lillie12, Los Angeles, CA, US

problem #4

Jul 022014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles


Stalls out at low gears for 2-5 seconds.......Dealer can't help unless it happens in shop, but it only happens about once a week

- bandabill, San Rafael, CA, US

problem #3

May 052014

Outback LTD 2.5i

  • CVT transmission
  • 3,500 miles

hesitation at acceleration

Like others who have fallen into this unfortunate cycle, from the day I bought this $30,000 car the transmission feels like it shifts from first to 4th and then it shudders along until it picks up speed. I think it's the transmission, anyway - - - or it could be electronic speed control or some other control but the effect is very upsetting and it makes the car difficult to maintain an even speed below 30 MPH. Trying to accelerate from a slow speed causes the car to lurch and jerk until it gets up to about 40- MPH. Dealer says this is 'normal' - - - of course, and that they can't find anything 'out of the range of normal' even though they admit that others with 2014 Outback CVT's are having similar complaints. It mostly happens when the car is cold until fully warmed up so, you have to leave it the night before and hope that the mechanic who drives it can detect the problem. However, the problem is intermittent and the severity of the jerking motions range from slight to 'it feels like the tranny is slipping'. My particular dealer has chosen not to have servicing hours on Saturday so, I have to drive 30 miles North each time I want it looked at, only to be told they can't find anything wrong. It is my belief that they don't want to invest the time to discover what is wrong, or that this is a known problem with 2014 Outbacks and they just don't have the answer yet.

This is my first experience with Subaru and I love the car in every other way - - but so far I am very unhappy with the dealer's handling of my complaint and I am left with a car that I never know how it's going to react when I step on the gas. It's a dangerous situation when it lurches forward. On the highway, it's fabulous and does everything I want and more. I am hoping that Subaru may be coming out with a software update or other fix for this soon.

- Bruce H., Centralia, WA, US

problem #2

Mar 012014

Outback 2.5L 4x4

  • CVT transmission
  • 1,000 miles

Similar to the other complaints on this website, the car seems to "shutter" or jerk when going from 0-45 or 50mph. If I am going over 50, I don't feel it. It feels like a brand new driver trying to learn how to drive a manual transmission.

I have brought the car in to have it fixed, and they reset the transmission computer. This made the problem go away for at least 6 hours, but then it started gradually returning to its original jerkiness. I have also heard from the dealer that the car adjusts differently to the different drivers and that could be why the car is shuttering; trying to adjust back to my driving...but no one else drives my car!

I have another appointment scheduled to see if they can figure it out. I don't think it is a dangerous problem, but I am just frustrated that I am spending so much money on a car that doesn't drive nicely or smoothly. If it were a cheap car or a used beater, I wouldn't be so frustrated.

- macsantacruz, Santa Cruz, CA, US

problem #1

Dec 012013

Outback LX V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 34 miles

I took to the dealer Sommers Subaru in Mequon, told them about issue they said they had not had or heard any complaints about this issue and said it was under warranty if it gets worse... Left thinking it might just be me ..ran into a guy with same car at UPS store and asked him if he had shuttering issues with his Outback he said he did and took it to Sommers and was told the same thing. They said they could not find any problem ....

There is an issue here and read about another guy on a website, what would cause this??? Is this a major issue with all Outbacks? If I wanted a car with issues I would have bought a used one, very annoying plan on pursuing ... Anyone else have this issue?


- Pat S., Thiensville, WI, US

Not what you are looking for?