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Subaru Legacy/Outback Transmission Problems




    Please take your complaints about your 2011 Outback and file a formal complaint with the National Highway and Transportation Safety Commission. If they see a trend they will open an investigation. Please pass on to everyone you know that's having a problem with the transmission and brakes like we are right now. Our dealership and Subaru just shafted us and said they won't replace anything because the car drives 'normal' for them. Something is wrong with these vehicles.
  • Hi Diane,

    They gave us another 2011. It's much better but still jerks from a rolling stop when you go to move forward again.
  • pa04pa04 Posts: 1
    I was just surfing the web and noticed this forum and decided that I have to share my experience too. I just got my first Subaru this past November and it was a 2012 3.6r Legacy. One week into owning it I notice the same jerking that you guys are speaking of. I took it in to the dealer and they told me that they hadn't heard of this issue on the 2012 yet. They kept the car over night and told me they would reprogram the tranny to fix the problem. It did fix the jerking for now but the car drives like crap. The shifts are long and sluggish now. I bought this car because the motor was powerful and fun to drive. Not anymore! What do you guys think I should do now?
  • marvinlee1marvinlee1 OregonPosts: 43
    My 2010 Legacy with the 3.6R engine has had no transmission problems. The engine does vibrate through the steering wheel at idle, and this seems to be a Subaru characteristic. It is the first car of 20 or so I've owned that makes the steering wheel vibrate.
  • Than heaveons there is someone out there like me - I bought my 2011 outback thinking this would be my retirement car for my home in the mountains, only to be put through the "ringer" regarding the brake problem. I have had so mary parts "replaced" to fix a problem that is apparently a factory problem (no one admits to it). I filed a complaint with Subaru, but really has not amounted to much, and "Corporate" did not admit anything - a new dealer closer to me just did (tonight as I picked up my car that has lived at my original dealership). How an they tell you that the various tones of clunking are NORMAL???????????? i AM SO DISAPPOINTED - I will file a complaint as you suggested.
  • I am totally disappointed with the gas mileage of my new 2012 Legacy Limited 3.6R. The best I can squeeze is 15.1 city. The display reads 16.9 average , however, the gallons used verses actual miles driven calculates to 15.1 Is this typical? Really regretting my first purchase of a Subaru!
    Where is the best place to file a complaint?
    Peter from Mass.

    Please mention any other problems you may be having because as you can see, there are many, especially with the transmission. Best luck to all of us is all we can say.
  • My new 2011 Legacy 3.6r trans jerked at every rolling stop, or anytime it had to downshift when travelling at low speeds; unless you really babied the gas pedal. At 7500 miles service I asked my dealer (Keene, NH) to do something about it. While they didn't admit anything up front, they test drove it, agreed to the problem, and "reset the trans programming to original factory setting" per the customer service person. This completely solved the problem and at 17000 miles it still has not come back. There was no charge. I love my Legacy (I'm a former Infinity, Audi and GM products owner); but I do still feel it has the touchiest gas pedal on start up of any car I've owned or rented. Ride, handling and performance in the snow is awesome....and love the bluetooth and the power. I'm a travelling salesman....average 26 mpg.
  • Thought I get the 3.6 Limited Outback with but these jerky tranny issues have me concerned. Thought there was one who had the computer reset and it worked.
    Any insight on CVT vs the 5 speed auto in the 3.6?
    Driving 2001 S-10 crew 4x4 and love it. 180500 miles
  • my 2010 shakes in idle and trys to die out. I've had it at dealer four times and contacted Subaru ...did you ever get an answer?
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    Thanks for posting. I love the look and size of the Outback BUT all the comments here have scared me away.

    I'm going to be selling my Acura TL and need a car for dogs and grandkids. Have no idea what to even look at since nothing that I can afford has the configuration of the Outback.

    Know this isn't the forum for it, but any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • If they get mine to stop vibrating (although in your case it might put the kids to sleep) ..I would love the Outback. It's comfortable, has most of the stuff you want on a car. nearly 6 feet of flat cargo space that I use all the time in my job and LOVE it... My dogs love it too... I looked at every midsize SUV type out there in the mid $20K for over a year. Narrowed the search to Outback, CRV and Toyota Venza. Bought the Outback... now I wish I had gone for the Venza..or save enough for the 6 cylinder. I just don't think these new 4 cylinder are powerful enough to drive all day and run air conditioning etc. Aside from that I love the Outback.
  • missmyfordmissmyford Posts: 1
    I posted my complaint to NHTSA after brakes FAILED at very low speed and the car went thru a fence.
    Dealer did not provide me with data I requested.
    Subaru stone walled.
    If your brakes have failed at all or you have squishy non-responsive, slow brakes on your 2011 let NHTSA know.

    I haven't driven my car since November 2011 when the brakes failed. When I bought this new outback I didn't expect to get an undriveable, unsafe car and an ongoing hassle.

  • orchid7708orchid7708 Posts: 3
    We were given our car back and told nothing was wrong with it and everything was 'normal'. We were having concerns with our car jerking during braking, especially when the brakes were cold. They refuse to move forward until one of their technicians ride with us and can 'feel it' for themselves. My explanation isn't good enough. We will NEVER buy another Subaru again as well.
  • jti007jti007 Posts: 1
    I also bought a Legacy 3.6 R and my transmission 'clunked' almost every time I accelerated from a slowdown, such as a yield sign or whenever I changed lanes. I bought the car in northern Virginia and the service rep tried to tell me that the car needed to learn my driving habits! I found a dealership in Myrtle Beach, SC and they finally admitted there was a problem after driving it. The tech performed a "re-learn" of my transmission 4 days ago and this appears to have solved the problem. From reading the many posts on here about the transmission problems, I'm guessing that these vehicles may have left the assembly line needing re-programming of the transmissions. The tech said that the re-programming sets the transmission back to 'new status' and I should see a difference. Good luck to everyone having this problem.....
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    I agree. It has everything I want in a car, but the complaints about the tranny and other systems on this board have me spooked. I also found the 2.5 to be sluggish when I went on the highway. Drove the 2013 Acura RDX. You get what you paid for when it comes to that. Just too pricey for me. Drove the CRV, felt it was small. Venza is not cheap. Frustrating that there aren't more choices.
  • I have a 2011 Outback 3.6R Limited. We have had trouble with the transmission "slamming into gear after slowing, and then accelerating - as in approaching a red light that then changes to green. The transmission leaked initially but stopping the leak did not stop the slamming. Subsequently, the Dealer reprogrammed the computer and the slamming has only occurred once since then. My wife drives the car and likes it otherwise. We still have very low mileage - less than 7000 miles - so I hope the transmission does not continue to have problems.
  • mlo55mlo55 Posts: 1
    At 3000 miles I brought in the car because the idle would drop and the engine would eventually die. The dealer tried reprogramming the control module, but after a week in the shop it was replaced. I've never been fully satisfied with their fix, the idle is still erratic and braking seems to be affected as well. I just dropped it off for its 7500 mile checkup and mentioned that I was still having the original problem with the idle and this time also mentioned the brakes. The dealer said the there is a known problem and is replacing the entire transmission. I've been driving a unsafe car with known issues and they didn't contact me. This is unacceptable and makes me wonder what else may be wrong with the vehicle. I'll be contacting Subaru of America for an explanation.
  • i also have a 2007 outback with 68000 miles with the same noise,took it to dealer,he test drove it and told me the noise was from inside transmission, told me i need a new transmission,$3890,called subaru and they are going to give me $1500 towards repair. still think 68000 miles is not enought to cause damage, bought car new but did not buy extended warrranty,
  • customervaluedcustomervalued Posts: 6
    edited September 2012
    I own a 2.5 premium btw.The jerking sensation I have with the vehicle presents itself during slow acceleration. Its very pronounce during stop and go traffic where the car doesnt pass 5 mph. It feels as if it is in the wrong gear then jerks as you apply gas. Its even more prevalent when the ac is on. Took it to the dealer and his response to me was that it was normal. Cvt are a little different he saids. Still they promised to test drive it just to make sure. He also commented that these cvts were "bulletproof"and hasnt seen one brought back for any reason. After a 2 hour diagnosis they realized that my transmission was indeed jerky. Their computer software couldnt find any problems so they kept my car for 2 days while they consulted with Subaru Tech. The end result. At 30000, my car is getting an entire new transmission. Now Im debating about purchasing an extended warranty just in case this comes up again. Will the basic 60000 drive train warranty cover this in the future, if I decide not to buy the extended warranty and this happens again? Anyhow, the transmission is on order but currently shows unavailable so the the dealer has no idea when its coming in. He did state that it was safe to drive. Lol
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