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2013 Subaru Outback



  • ken90004ken90004 Posts: 1
    My Outback has been great, and I drive it lot and I drive it rough. But I had this same issue with another vehicle, and it ended up being where I was buying my gas. I was driving 150 miles a day, and getting gas as the same gas station, off the interstate. After I drove the car a year or so, it started running really rough. I tried a number of different things, and ended up changing my gas habits by getting it further down the road. The first tank was better, and after a few weeks, I never had pinging problems again. And I drove that car to 287,000 miles. It IS an octane issue, because not all gas is created equal. There are some gas stations you just shouldn't shop at.
  • Yesterday I saw the Subaru factory rep here in Santa Fe. He was great. I have upgraded to 87 octane. That did not help. Everyone was stymied except for the factory rep. First, there is no danger to the engine, ever for this model ( good news). Second the engine ping will not go away due to the federal requirements on emissions. Higher grade gas helps, but not much. The additive will not help at all since this is not a carbon build-up issue. The ping will be rectified in the 2015 model because it will be direct injection. You cannot hear this with the windows up, but I drive enough with the windows down that I find this annoying, I plan to trade my '13 in, when the '15 comes out.

    On another note, states that have cruddy octane gas, like Colorado fair much worse. States like Texas with quality gas have less of this problem. It is imperative that you upgrade your gas to a quality purveyor like Phillps or Chevron and use higher octane. I will stay with mid-grade since this already increases my driving expenses by 5%. I will not upgrade to premium!

    Thank you Alex, factory rep. It may not have resolved the issue, but at least I know the story
  • brenda123brenda123 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply! That is very discouraging news! I would refuse to drive the car, as I was told it would cause engine damage too and mostly likely that will occur after warranty. I'm in Nevada. My dealer has been researching this and so far has determined that the computer is not responding to the knock sensor, causing my timing to advance very high. The car is in shop now, been there for 2 weeks. They tried another car computer and it appears to have worked! They believe the computer is bad and will be replacing it with a new one on Wednesday. Crossing my fingers. Try having your dealership check the timing.
  • nornetnornet Posts: 24
    Two weeks to replace a computer is an excessive amount of time. Either Subaru or your dealer does not care about customer relations.
  • brenda123brenda123 Posts: 4
    True, and I'm not sure they actually looked at it the first few days, but I really don't think they knew what the problem was. Subaru tech line said bad gas, need higher octane, well that's not the case. 1 in 5 cars out here are Subaru and they never seen this issue on a car that wasn't turbo charged. They had a Subaru field tech look at it too and nothing. They said they replaced parts to try and determine what it could be. A friend of mine said it sounded like it could be the timing, not sure if my dealer figured that out on own or because I told them. Just hope this works and glad they didn't tell me there's nothing they can do and not try.
  • bob192bob192 Posts: 19
    To be fair, they probably had to order the computer in. It wouldnt be a common replacement part.

    Also 87 octane is regular gas here in Pa. I've never seen gas labeled with a lower octane.

    Once when traveling on I95 in one of the red states, we filled up and immediately started having misfiring and poor performance. It was water in the gas. pouring in a half dozen cans of dry gas cleared it up. A friend who had worked at a gas station in high school told me about the owner going in after hours and running a garden hose into the underground tank. He then followed this with a case of dry gas. It definitely matters where you buy gas.
  • brenda123brenda123 Posts: 4
    The computer was NOT the issue and now they have no idea why its pinging, a lot of techs involved and no resolution.
  • First 87 octane is not regular everywhere. YOu have to check. Here in Santa Fe regular is 86 and mid grade is 88. It does make a difference. Brenda 123 read my message. It was not your computer. The factory rep was here in Santa Fe. The engine ping is a result of the emission standards and this engine. They claim there is nothing they can do until the direct fuel injection comes out in 2015. Have the dealer call the factory and have them send out the factory rep. My experience is that the dealers do not have a clue and more and more Outbacks are showing up with this problem, My rep came from Colorado. The factory rep claimed that the engine would not be harmed.

    I hate the fact I bought a $30k car I do not like, especially when I loved my '97.
    If you have not bought a new Outback yet, do not. You are being warned.
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 106
    I bought a 2010 Outback new and I am still driving it. Overall I'm very satisfied, although I have the much discussed slight steering wheel shimmy at around 65 mph. It's annoying, but it's one of the few minuses in an otherwise fine car. I'm just wondering if Subaru solved this problem in the post 2010 model year Outbacks? Wondering if some of you owners can weigh in? Thanks!!
  • seven_upsseven_ups Posts: 10
    SantaFe, re: "There is a rattle sound from underneath that happens on slow acceleration."

    This would appear to describe a loose heat shield; once the resonant frequency is reached ( via engine RPM - generally low band ), if the steel shield is poorly secured, it will vibrate. It does not take very much "play" for the rattling/buzzing sound to become a nuisance.
  • Thank you seven ups, I will ask about that. But even the factory rep said there are many, many complaints on the 2013 Subaru Outback model of this rattle and they believe it is a gas/engine issue that will be corrected in 2015 (!) for an additional $2500 (!) as a direct injection.
  • dmuzykadmuzyka Posts: 31
    I have a '13 that I've had up to 85 mph and haven't noticed a shimmy. Really enjoying this car; my first Subaru. Not much snow or ice here in humid Houston, but it's very surefooted during our tropical rainstorms.
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Posts: 106
    Thanks for the info. Does anyone know if the Outbacks now have memory seat and push button start?
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    Yes, the top-of-the-line Outback with the Special Appearance Package has memory seats...
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    jeffm5, check out the Subry Forum: Good information on all aspects of the car, including this Shimmy issues. There are numerous posts on the specific thread. I don't have it on my car- 2010 Legacy CVT 2.5i Premium. Although, now with 62k miles on the clock, my son who drives the car mostly says he is feeling a shimmy at 70-75 mph. The car has upgraded 17" Subaru wheels with Cooper CS4s (great tire btw). Will bring it in to dealer for all new Road Force Wheel balancing and rotation. Also, a comment: I had the brake pads replaced at 45K at Mavis. They grind and squeal now....I will have Dealer look at it. May need Subaru Brake pads nd rotors too..
  • groff2groff2 Posts: 1
    I took my 2013 Outback (2.5 LTD) in for service with a similar noise complaint about 3 weeks ago. To me, the noise seems to be coming from the engine, at lower RPM. The service manager came out for a test drive to listen and confirmed he heard the chatter. I can't explain why they would send the service manager out on a first encounter, though. He was sure it was a loose heat shield,... but asked if I had tried a higher octane gas. Hmmmm. Anyways, the answer was yes and the chatter seems to be quieter a bit, but as soon as I go back to regular, the problem is the same. After 6 hours, they called me back in, saying that the problem is not resolved. They have tightened all the bolts, it's not the heat shield. They test drove all the gas out of my car, so they had to stop testing. Are you kidding me???? I didn't want to explain how many thing are wrong with that statement, as this is my first experience with Subaru Service and I hope for a solution. They could not reproduce the conditions in the service bay and could not locate the noise out on the road. They said they needed to order a "special instrument".... (When I heard this that Seinfeld episode flashed in my mind) ...that will place microphones on different parts of the engine to locate the noise. They will call me back when the "special instrument" gets in...
    I haven't heard yet.
  • read my messages from the past. It is not the heat shield, it is not the computer, it is an engine ping that has something to do with the gas and the emission standards. There is nothing they can do. HIgher grade gas helps, but does not eliminate. The Rocky Mtn service mgr saw my car , drove my car and confirmed that the issue is ping and is not resolvable in the '13 models. I have a letter from Subaru corporate that indicates this is a "normal" sound and function of this model. They know something is wrong because it will be eliminated with a direct injection model that comes out in '15 ( for $2500 more!). The more of us that scream about this, perhaps they will find a solution and have a recall. I advise you to call corporate in Cherry HIlls, NJ and complain and complain.
  • I think I have the same issue on a 2013 OB with about 8100 miles. The engine noise sounds like an unbalanced tire - which it is not. It is more pronounced on low acceleration between 40 and 60 mph. The service manager at the local dealer said he believes "the factory installed the wrong size bearing." The dealer is removing the engine and tearing it down. Frankly, I don't know what to think at this point.
  • Dear Hawkeyep
    Read my is engine ping....most likely. The dealers are clueless until the factory rep shows up. You may have a different issue than I, but many of the respondents have had their engines torn apart, the computers replaced, etc. It had been in all cases the engine ping which Subaru HQ claims is a normal sound!

    Ask to see your regional factory rep when they are in town. Call the Subaru HQ in Cherry Hills NJ and complain, lots. Make them give you a free 70,000 mile warranty in case our engines crap out.

    This cannot be fixed. Going to premium gas helps....but does not eliminate.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,796
    I have been reading these posts and I have a 2013 Outback 2.5i Premiium PZEV. I have no such chatter or pinging from my engine and I have over 9200 miles on the car.

    I run fuel additives pretty regularly to keep things clean and run it on the highway daily. I use good quality 87 octane fuel from either Shell or from Exxon and I have not had a single issue yet.

    I have yet to try premium fuel in my Outback but have done so in my wife's 2010 Mercury Milan. Fuel economy was better by 5% as did the overall performance of the car but it is not worth the extra money to use premium fuel consistently. The compression ratio in the Milan is lower than that of the Subaru. I do not know how many miles you have on your vehicles, but I clean the MAF sensor yearly and it does help fuel economy and performance. Also, using a non-Subaru synthetic oil might help. I know Subaru uses a re-branded oil but I do not know who makes the oil for them. The use of a 0W-20 is scary to me but I use a premium synthetic and so far so good.
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