2010 Outback steering wheel shaking and hesitation



  • phillseaphillsea Member Posts: 11
    Just an update - A couple of weeks ago I ended up taking the car into the dealership and was told it was normal road feel. The tech even took a test drive with me and I had to admit it seemed to drive pretty smooth with him in the car. Maybe I was just overly sensitive since I saw the postings. I am up to a little over 2,000 miles now and the car is driving fine. I still think I feel a vibration when I am in the parking garage sometimes, but if that is the worse thing I have to deal with then I am fine. At highway speeds it is great. In normal driving it is great. I'll take it back in when I need my first oil change and ask them to test drive it again, but all in all I am pretty happy with the car.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    The "word" is that a significant percentage of new Outbacks have a "shake" at highway speeds that cannot be fixed. Since Subaru is being tight-lipped about the problem, no one really know what percentage of cars are affected but it is significant.

    Not all the "shakers" are apparent during a test drive and some of the affected units do not manifest a shake until thousands of miles have been accumulated. Therefore, having no shake at one or more thousands of miles is not a guarantee that your car will not eventually be a dreaded "shaker."

    Subaru does not have a definite "fix" for the problem should your car be affected. They have tried many, many different band-aids but none has worked consistently. Hence, buying a new Outback is a real crap shoot. You may get a good one, you may not.

    If you do get a "shaker" there is no guarantee that if it is not fixable that Subaru will take it off your hands.

    In short, the new Subaru Outback is the "Russian roulette" of cars!
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILMember Posts: 694
    If you do get a "shaker" there is no guarantee that if it is not fixable that Subaru will take it off your hands.

    In short, the new Subaru Outback is the "Russian roulette" of cars!

    Unless some organization like Consumers Union has a shaker and publicizes the problem. Such publicity could kill sales, If Subaru had that kind of pressure, the problem would certainly be fixed. Let's hope CU's 3.6 gets the shakes.
  • jtcnomadjtcnomad Member Posts: 1
    Hmmmm. 'priggly'-seems you have issues. Given the nature of the problem and ability for correcting it, the O.B. is still the best choice for the money. Go ahead and buy German, Swedish, or another inferior/overpriced Asian brand if you really think they have no issues and will leave your wallet alone for upkeep and resale- and most important- the occupants safer. Numbers don't lie when it comes to safety, reliability and cost. I've loved all 4 of my Subies and I just fell even more head over heels for my ;2010 O.B.-NOW AT 32,000 MILES AND NO SHAKE WHATSOEVER!!! Idiotic internet fearmongering is pathetic....
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    Given the nature of the problem and ability for correcting it, the O.B. is still the best choice for the money.

    Do tell us more about the "nature of the problem" and the "ability for correcting it." I would just love to know what the nature is and so would the many disillusioned new Outback owners on many internet boards, including this one, who have bought this defectively engineered car in good faith and have ended up with "shakers" that cannot be fixed despite your disinformation to the contrary.

    It is true that Subaru has come out with many so-called "fixes" for the problem but it is also true that none of them work consistently. Don't try to inform us otherwise.

    Yes, I have an issue. I don't like the thought of paying tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars for a potentially defective car that cannot be fixed. I also don't like being told the car has a "fixable" problem when that is not true consistently or reproducibly.

    If you got one that does not shake (yet), consider yourself fortunate but please do not try to deny or minimize the far less satisfactory buying experiences of many others as detailed on the internet forums to which I made reference earlier. Just because your particular Outback does not shake hardly makes the car the "best choice for the money." It was the best choice for your money perhaps but it certainly would not be the best choice for the money of someone with the shake problem that could not be fixed and required either SOA buying back the car or replacing it.
  • euespinosaeuespinosa Member Posts: 2
    Looking to purchase Outback (basic). Found out No A/c in back. Only in the front.
    Does it seem strange? Does anyone have problem in the summer keeping cool. I don't like to keep the air on on me at times, But my passingers like to keep cool. any complaints. Another problem is the tinting some basic models have tinting but the color we are thinking of doesn't. Sales person sugests be paid on our own for it. What. Why pay for something that somes standard on another car. Not really sold on suburu. Seems lacking.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    Tinting (privacy glass) is only standard on Premium and above. If a base Outback has tinted windows, it is not factory.

    Rear A/C in a passenger car sounds like overkill to me, but I hear tell there are some out there with the feature.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    My minivan has rear A/C (it actually has a 2nd evaporator, but not a 2nd compressor), but that's because it has 149 cubic feet of space to cool. Seems like overkill in a mid-size wagon with half the space.

    Spring for a model with the all-weather package for the heated seats, as those have tint as well.
  • rew2010rew2010 Member Posts: 1
    Apparently this is still a problem.. I took delivery of a 2011 Outback 3.6R in June, manufactured in late May. The car drove fine at first. A couple of weeks ago I took my first long trip of over 3 hours, the shimmy started at about 65mph through 75 mph... Brought it in for an oil change and they rebalanced tires when I mentioned the shimmy. Today I had the road force test done and am awaiting a call tomorrow on what the problem/resolution is. The car currently has 3700 miles on it and the shimmy seems intermittant..gets worse the longer you drive - I thought perhaps I had defective tires and the belts are separating.. which usually gets worse as the tires heat up and goes away when they are cold... We'll see what they say tomorrow. Too bad, I sold my 2003 LL Bean Outback...and it only had 70,000 miles on it.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

    Your experience underscores the fact that the dreaded "shakes" may not show up for several thousand miles.
  • jorotjorot Member Posts: 6
    i was seriously considering outback 2011...almost gave up, it's interesting that people still buy the car, most likely they just love subaru despite the problem, or they do not know about it, or they are lucky. By the way i was told that there is no difference between the 2010 and 2011 models, but only the folding side mirrors. One cannot change the structure, chassis , suspension etc of the car just for a month - impossible. It's a pity i've never been a big subaru fan, but heard that lasts forever, reliable top of the top on safety, 4x4 etc. By the way the limited model asking price is about $33 000, sounds very expensive for this type of car. Anyway any experience is welcome, it's great that other customer can share their experience here.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    I have been a Subaru "fan" for fourteen years and have a '97 Outback. It is a great car but it is not true they last "forever." I have spent thousands keeping mine on the road with the highest expense being an engine re-build because of the well-chronicled head gasket problem.

    Reliability? I've been left stranded twice by mine (one occasion the head gasket at advanced mileage, the other the alternator when the car was almost new).

    Safety? Definitely, yes. One of the safest cars on the road. It's known as the "Japanese Volvo" which is probably a misnomer because lots of cars are as safe as Volvos.

    The AWD capability is also second to none. If it's possible to get through it, Subaru will do it!

    The price is indeed high enough (even higher in Canada) but it is going to continue on up because of currency debasement. The company has no choice.

    I would have moved on to a new 2010 or '11 model by now but not with the shake issue still unresolved. I am not one of those infinitely patient enough to jump through all the "fix" hoops in hopes of resolving a serious issue which has not yet been consistently and reproducibly resolved. But maybe in the next iteration. It's really too bad because otherwise the Outback is a truly great car.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Member Posts: 154

    OK, I agree with you about the German, Swedish. That being said, there are many Korean cars BETTER than the OB. How about some Japanese brands that are just as good or better than the OB?? All those cars are probably less in cost than the Subie.

    I have had 6 Subies and loved every one. Took several over 200k. But I'm not going to drive a car 200k with a shake.

    So I will wait to see if they get it fixed (for real) if not, I'll be getting a Kia or Hyundai
    (same company you know).

    I'd rather have a Subie but only if it is guaranteed not to shake.

    So I will wait till the end of this year. My dealer knows my position. I told him I would buy an OB (IF) the shake has been fixed.
  • joenovajoenova Member Posts: 1
    I bought My 2010 legacy about 11 months ago, it has 30,000km on it now. I have a huge proble with shaking, the whole car shakes when I drive over 100kph. the passanger front seat shakes like crazy. I really hate driving this car. Its been 2 months since I brought this issue to the dealer and they have put a suspension package on it and that didn't work so they have been waitng on a subaru rep to come in to test drive it and inspect it. 2 MONTHS thats crazy. This is my second subaru, I had a 2008 WRX but I traded it in for the legacy because my wife was pregnant. I loved that car and never had a problem! Im truly dissapointed in this car! I had very hi hopes for it. Now im not sure if I will ever buy a subaru again. if they don't fix it soon they will lose me as a customer forever!!!!!
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    The pain and frustration your are feeling are palpable in your post. I sympathize with you.

    It is experiences such as yours that are making many prospective buyers, including previous Subaru buyers, very leery now of the Outback. I will certainly not buy one given the present situation.

    I therefore am looking elsewhere and considering the Forester (which is a poor second to the Outback in my opinion but a creditable vehicle nevertheless) as well as other brands including the Equinox and the new Grand Cherokee.

    It is really a shame that Subaru is tarnishing its previous good reputation over this issue but this shaking thing is now in its second year and still new "shakers" are being built and sold according to posts on other forums.

    I hope you get your car properly and truly fixed. Life is way too short to be spent with vibrating hands and arms and, in your particular case the entire car, as you cruise on down the highway!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/2010/10/2010-honda-crosstour-vs-subaru-out- back-the-numbers.html

    Outback simply clobbers the Crosstour while costing less. And that's not just Edmunds' opinion - it's true in Consumer Reports as well. Even the 4 cylinder Outback easily outscores the Crosstour.

    It also costs less than a similarly equipped Venza, and again, CR rated the 4 banger Outback higher.

    So I dunno about the "better than OB" and "less in cost" part.

    If you're not happy with Subaru, I can't blame you for buying something else next time, though.

    Personally I'd like to see the Koreans try harder - their sedans get DI engines but their crossovers get weaker versions of the same engines, and they're not as powerful nor as fuel efficient. Disappointing.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    It was the hideous appearance of the new Outback, as well as the bloated price, that steered me away from it last year when I purchased a Forester. I had previously owned three Outbacks, but wouldn't even consider the new one.

    If this was a brand new company to the automotive industry, I can maybe understand something like this steering shake issue, but there is really no reason why it should be so persistent and pervasive on a model that is in its fifth generation.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILMember Posts: 694
    If this was a brand new company to the automotive industry, I can maybe understand something like this steering shake issue, but there is really no reason why it should be so persistent and pervasive on a model that is in its fifth generation


    This shake comes with introduction of a new "frame" (front unit body parts). No one has discussed the possibility of a front end unit body problem. I'm reminded of my 1965 Mustang V8 which developed the shakes when the lower firewall had thinned from rust. I replaced all suspension components, but that didn't help.

    A shock tower brace kit like those installed on some WRXs might be a way to determine whether the front unibody is the source of the shake.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209

    Thanks for posting that! After I keyed the last message, I began to think along the same lines. It's not the components, it's likely the structure to which they are attached.

    It makes sense, too, especially with regard to the problem becoming increasingly worse over time. If this is the problem, I hope they address it soon because if the shake does grow worse, it will eventually cause a structural failure that could prove disastrous if it occurs at the wrong time.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILMember Posts: 694

    I'm glad we both are just spectators in this debacle; our new Foresters not only look better than the Outback but are more reliable too.

    If it is indeed the front unibody, the resultant recall will make the Toyota fiasco a distant memory. I wonder if there are any Toyota parts involved?

  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    Wes and Dave,

    Apart from better appearance and reliability compared to the latest generation "shaking" Outback, how else do you like your Foresters?

    Can you comment on cabin noise levels at highway speeds, stock audio system quality, NAV system if you have it and ride quality? Normal 2.5 engine adequate or is the turbo the ticket?

    I am in the situation of finally deciding to turn my "back" on the Outback because I will absolutely not chance getting a shaker and then the hoops I would have to jump through to get a "fix!" [Reminds me of a Subaru joke: Q. How is a new Outback owner like a heroin addict? A. They are both desperately looking forward to their next "fix!"]

    Thanks for any info you can provide.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILMember Posts: 694
    My Forester Xt has very low engine and exhaust noise at highway speed, but possibly more wind noise than my previous 2005 Outback 3.0R. Ride quality is better than the 3.0R; braking is very much better. 40 to 70 mph accelleration is adequate; 0-40 performance much better than the 3.0R.

    I don't like the exhaust rap (heard in the cabin) on the naturally aspirated 2010 Forester; it is identical to my long ago 1997 Legacy GT. The 2011 Forester appears to have a new header and exhaust manifold design; it may have eliminated the problem.

    The 2011 without turbo...if it has the better block design from the turbo...might be a good bet. A test drive will tell.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILMember Posts: 694
    It makes sense, too, especially with regard to the problem becoming increasingly worse over time. If this is the problem, I hope they address it soon because if the shake does grow worse, it will eventually cause a structural failure that could prove disastrous if it occurs at the wrong time


    Another possibility that has not been mentioned is engine mounts. One poster said the shake starts after driving quite some time which would correlate to possible change in engine mounts (probably softer) with heat. I had a 1989 Maxima that developed poor steering after an engine mount failed.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The 2011 Forester got some nice upgrades, too, like a padded dash. I suspect people who shy away from the OB because of this issue will now more likely be just as happy in a Forester.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    edited October 2010

    Overall, I am very happy with the Forester. Compared to the last Outback I owned (a 2008 2.5i), it has more passenger room (but a shorter cargo area). Since we have two young children and take relatively frequent long trips (some as long as 4000-5000 miles one way!), passenger comfort was paramount.

    All 2010 models (four) in which I have ridden have all had door rattles (left and right front doors), but they were easily fixed on my car with one visit to the dealer. The car is perfectly quiet (in terms of rattles) aside from that. There is very little wind noise at speed, even less with the sunshade closed on the massive moon roof. I love the moon roof, though, so that shade is rarely closed!

    I am not a good source of info on the radio. I think it sounds great, but then I have never owned any cars with "premium" systems in them and have never owned a new car that was not a Subaru. I think it sounds nice, but that may also be a result of the cabin being so quiet. I don't find myself turning up the volume on the stereo at highway speeds unlike any other car I have, such as my Escort, where I will double the volume at speed versus being stopped. When I'm driving, I don't really care about having a sound system with perfect fidelity because the stereo is just a peripheral - I'm in the car to drive. ;)

    Unlike Dave, I have the normally aspirated engine mated to a manual transmission. I think the engine power is fine, and it is quite peppy when I ask it to be. I haul and/or pull pretty decent loads with it now and again, and it does an admirable job for such a little car. hauled about 1500# (maybe more) 1100 miles last summer on my annual fishing trip, and I was able to run it at speed the whole way, hills/mountains and all. Of course, it only averaged 17.5 mpg on that trip, but I was okay with that given I had stuff on top and was pulling a trailer at 60-70 mph.

    The Subaru MT is okay. I don't mind the 4-speed AT either but prefer a manual in general. I really liked the locking rear differential on the previous Outbacks (great for the fun factor), but the VSC works well on the Forester. In terms of go-ability, this one is definitely the most capable. I think the new Outback has the same system on it now, though, so that's a non-issue comparing new to new.

    I run synthetic oil in it on extended drain intervals, and the engine is whisper quiet and smooth. I am not familiar with the "exhaust rap" Dave mentioned. I mean, I can *hear* the exhaust/engine inside the car, but I think I would feel uncomfortable (disconnected) in a car where I couldn't.

    I would call the ride "firm." It is not a cushy sedan ride, but not uncomfortable at all. I like it.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    That was a very good, down-to-earth review of the Forester. Thanks.
  • discobisondiscobison Member Posts: 2
    I am a Car Salesman, just a disclaimer. I have the privilege of selling subaru I did have one customer complain of a vibration in the rear of the vehicle I listened to it with him and then had my Service manager listen to it, I took the customer to lunch while my service manager put the car up on the racks.

    He concluded that it was just a slight vibration that would not affect performance, the customer took the vehicle on a trip and returned after the problem persisted. I met with my service manager about how to fix it, and he let me know he started a file with Subaru.

    About a week later I see my customer driving at the dealership and somehow the service department was able to minimize the effect. Sorry I don't know how he did it, but good news is there is a fix.
  • css1css1 Member Posts: 247
    Minimizing the effect is not fixing it!

    It is good that your service manager is really trying to help your customer.
  • eftiefti Member Posts: 2
    Fortunately, I do not own a 2010/2011 Outback or Legacy, thanks to the various posts on Edmunds.com. As to the steering/shaking problem, I have been telling our local Subaru service manager that I believe the defect in these cars has been built in at the factory and that no solution, fix, etc., in the field is ever going to make it right. The real solution is to take each defective vehicle and send it back to Lafayette. Immediately. Of course, Subaru cannot afford to do that so they have fiddled around for over a year with a so-called fix that doesn't seem to work. I prefer to call it a "patch. I told our service manager that, in simple terms, "A defective part plus a patch doth not make a good part." He adamantly disagrees. Of course.

    Thanks to all who have posted their experiences on this problem. I am sure that you have saved many potential buyers a lot of money and agony.
  • bergkamp11bergkamp11 Member Posts: 4
    I'm thinking of buying a 2011 2.5 limited outback.

    AWD is a must for me, and it seems to be better value than the Volvo XC70, Audi A4.

    Obviously I'm very concerned about the steering shimmy issue.

    I read Outback sales are still very strong for 2010 despite this.

    Would love to get info on % of cars by build date having this problem.

    Does anyone have an idea about that?

    Many thanks
  • thor14thor14 Member Posts: 17
    No one really seems to know the actual number of cars affected. I too was worried about purchasing one with a steering shake, but like you mentioned, it was hard not to ignore the high amount of sales. Every time I looked at one on the lot, it was gone with a week or two. I also recognized that things on the web can get blown out of proportion a bit. To this day, I have not seen a report on the steering shake outside of the blogs. I believe the steering shake is a real issue, but I think many cars have a potential for problems of some sort or another.

    After much deliberation, I decided that I would thoroughly test drive an Outback and if it did not shake, I would take it home. And thats what I did, and I have not looked back. Some people have reported that their Outback developed the shakes later on, but again, I decided I would accept that chance.

    Like many other people, I love this car and I am glad that I was not scared away from it.

    Best of luck to you and your decision.
  • bergkamp11bergkamp11 Member Posts: 4
    edited November 2010
    Thanks for the reply. It's hard to get an idea of the statistics. 1%, 5%, 10% ? Obviously for anyone affected the odds don't matter anymore and I have a lot of sympathy.

    Subaru claims 66,384 outback sales for 2010 through September, which is on pace for approx 90,000 cars in 2010.

    Suppose say 500 cars have/develop the problem? (total guess from amount of forum posts. Please correct me if this is a bad estimate).
    That would be just over 0.5%.

    I guess I'm weighing that against dropping another $10,000+ for an audi a4.
  • ernestgernestg Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased my Subaru Outback 1779 miles ago. I have recently become MORE aware of the shaking in the steering wheel at speeds at and above 65 MPH. It almost feels as though the tires or the wheels are out of round. I have the 17" alloys on this vehicle. It ( the vibration ) really comes alive at 70 to 80 where the steering wheel really vibrates a lot. I also have noticed that a vibration or "Pulse" is evident at slower, driveway speed while just slightly turning the wheel in either direction, which makes me think it is in the Rack Assembly or Power Steering pump. I am wondering also if this "vibration" is the cause of the small plastic "pins" that hold the sound deadening material to the hood disappearing as I have so far lost 5 of them in the first 1000 miles. I had to pay for these myself as the Dealer said I must be slamming the hood down too hard. Right. I now own a Vehicle that shakes apart on itself? Also have a clear coat paint peeling going on but that's a different problem. I have seen no bulletin for this from Subaru and my dealer says they can't feel it at all when they test drive it They can't feel it but they only go on city streets. I told them to take it home and drive the Interstate or I'll take 'em for a ride. Other than the annoying shaking at speeds I love the thing, although I am also just beginning to notice a "LAG" when accelerating from a dead stop when it is just warmed up. Seems to bog down a bit then go like normal.
    Kinda wish I had kept my Volvo wagon I traded in on it. It was SO smooth and peppy but the Warranty was almost out so...there ya go!
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    It is simply not possible to know presently how many of these shakers there are but the number is appreciable.

    If it were me, I would walk and consider the Forester or new Jeep GC, both great cars.

    The new OB is for the gambler. I've heard it's Kenny Rogers' favorite vehicle!!! (Tongue-in-cheek!)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if there is a poll somewhere, so it could actually be measured.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    There are lots of polls at subaruoutback.org but they are not scientifically constructed, double-blinded studies and so are not statistically valid. What they do do however is let it be known that there are lots of shakers on the road. We are not talking about a few dozen cars here and there and the abnormal ones probably number in the thousands.
  • techmorontechmoron Member Posts: 1
    I've had a 2011 Outback 2.5 since August. I noticed the shaking at highway speed the first time I drove any distance. It's gotten better with a tire rebalance, but I still feel like I'm fighting oversteer and understeer at highway speeds. Need to make lots of minor adjustments. It's fatiguing, and dangerous in a crosswind. I thought I was the only one with this problem until I checked here and at Subuaroutback.org. this weekend. So I guess it's not my imagination. Mine isn't as bad as what some others report, but I'm considering taking the financial loss and getting rid of the car. It's very disappointing to invest $30,000 and get a car that's not fun to drive. My dealership also poohed poohed my complaint about the lag in acceleration out of a coasting stop, but come to think of it, I don't think it has done that since I last took it in. Maybe they secretly fixed it for me. I'm going to stick with this car and not try and put too many miles on it and see if they can come up with a fix. Otherwise, it's just another in a series of bad luck that I've been experiencing this year.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Member Posts: 154
    edited December 2010
    "The AWD capability is also second to none. If it's possible to get through it, Subaru will do it! "


    Subaru has a great AWD system for the size of car it is. It may be the best "in it's class" but that is not saying much if you live where you get 10 to 12" of snow all the time. If you put a Subaru in 10 to 12" of snow it goes nowwhere!

    It gets stuck due to: #1 Not enough power and #2 Not enough ground clearance.

    I have had 5 Subies and have one now. They are great for snow and ice on plowed roads. If you have over 10" of snow I leave the Subie in the garage (as it is worthless. (power and clearance). If the snow is 10" I take one of my Jeeps which will go through up to 14" without much trouble. If the snow gets over 10", power Is much more important than clearance. A Jeep has the power (and a low range) Subies do not.

    And don't even talk about off raod or mud if your driving a Subie. You need an AWD with Power that a Subie doesn't have.

    That being said, I always sent my kids to college in a Subie, and that is all my wife drives when we have less than 10" of snow (as long as she stay on the roads.)


  • drdkdrdk Member Posts: 11
    I own a 2005 Forester XT and got through way over 10 inches of snow. I have Firestone Winterforce studded snow tires on the car and that is what made the difference. A Ford Expedition with all season tires was stuck on the same road and I went right by him. I was bottoming out a bit, but the Forester kept going. My son has an Impreza at college with 4 Bridgestone Blizzaks on it for the winter in New England.
    By the way, I almost bought a 2011 Outback 3.6 R Limited, but due to the potential problems with the shaking, purchased an Acura RDX instead.The RDX has "asymmetrical AWD" which Honda calls Super Handling AWD. I have purchased Pirelli Snow and Ice snow tires from the Tire Rack for the RDX and plan to use them this winter. If the Outback?Legacy steering wheel shaking problem becomes common knowledge in the years ahead, the resale value of the affected Subarus will be poor.
  • phillseaphillsea Member Posts: 11
    I bought a 2011 2.5 Outback and felt some shaking after a couple of hundred miles. I was worried I had a lemon, but I just took it in to the dealer for my first oil change and they had a TSB about the issue. It took longer in the shop than just an oil change should have taken, but for Thanksgiving I drove my Outback from DC to Maine and back with no problems at all. Drove like a dream (and I got 30 mpg!). Since then I drive about 70 miles a day to and from work and still no issues. I am very happy with my Subaru, the ride, and the gas mileage! :)
  • phillseaphillsea Member Posts: 11
    One more update - I took my 2011 Outback 2.5 in for its first oil change and there as a TSB on the shaking. The dealer took care of it at no charge (also covered the oil change for me). I just drove from DC to Maine and back with no issues at all. Drove like a dream. And I got over 30 mpg!
  • drdkdrdk Member Posts: 11
    Glad to hear the TSB took care of the problem. I hope it never comes back.
    I just didn't want to take the chance, so I got a different car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I've also driven on 10" of snow and got around OK, but tightly packed snow that high would give problems because you could high center.

    I think the worst conditions I've driven in was 22" on the ground, unplowed. This was last winter during the Mid-Atlantic blizzard. I have to go pick up my daughter, about a mile away. I made it all the way until there was a steep up hill, just 100 yards from the house. I had to use a shovel a little bit, then I made it.

    Going back was easy because I followed my own tracks.

    Just be careful and take a shovel with you! The more capable, the farther you are from help should you get stuck!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    The more capable, the farther you are from help should you get stuck!

    Haha! That's for sure!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • drdkdrdk Member Posts: 11
    Last winter in NY, we had a 20 in storm and our road was unplowed for 2 days. That is the snow I got through. If it had been 20 inches packed, I would have not even attempted it. Besides 4 good snow tires, I always have a survival kit in the car with shovel, food, blankets etc in case I get in trouble. I have never needed it, but I agree it is best to be prepared.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    I stand corrected. Now that you have illuminated us (not entirely incorrectly, I might add) we can add mediocre AWD to the shaking characteristic.

    I intend to obliterate both characteristics with my 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with Terrain Select and and Quadra-Lift suspension, and of course, Quadra-Drive II AWD. And of course it will not shake!

    Did I mention the interior looks like a million bucks with that gorgeous saddle leather?

    And for those still harping on Jeep reliability of old, don't even bother. The 2011 is a brand new game and could hardly be worse than the new Outbacks, now could it?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Not really fair - how much did that cost? Different price class, above the Tribeca's even.

    For what it's worth, and I know to many it's not worth much, the Tribeca scored higher overall in the Consumer Reports' tests.

    Also, the Grand Cherokee "tended to skitter and hop sideways" when you exceed lateral limits they described as "mediocre". Ouch.

    I expect a recall from Jeep for the stability control failure, to be honest. Jeep has its own set of problems, IMHO far worse than a little shimmy on a few Outbacks.

    Before people scream bias, let's remember when the Lexus GX did this they plastered a huge "do not buy" on that model, while Jeep is getting a 2nd chance with an upcoming test of the V8 model.

    The Outback is not perfect, but is any vehicle?
  • clarkkentclarkkent Member Posts: 154
    I just wrote to Subaru about the SW Shaking problem.

    Here is an actual copy of their resonse. (as far as they are concerned, there in little or no problem with the SW shaking.

    Thank you for your recent e-mail to Subaru of America, Inc. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us.
    As a company, we carefully monitor warranty claims and quality survey comments to watch for any trends or concerns that can lead to customer dissatisfaction. The process we have established works well for us and in turn, it is helpful to our customers. Because of the number of various web sites out there, we cannot monitor the activity in them or report on anything that may be seen there.

    While the information presented on internet sites is broad, our needs are more specific than what is supplied there. For example, we would need to track owner information, vehicle identification numbers, production dates, etc. An open public posting forum is not the best place for a customer to include this information in the interest of safety and privacy.

    Please be assured that Subaru is very committed to customer satisfaction. We take a very proactive position if we become aware of a concern via our tracking methods or by monitoring owner contacts.

    We have received a very small number of customer contacts about a vibration issue with the 2010 and 2011 Outback and Legacy models. We are working very closely with our dealers concerning this issue and our engineers are working very hard for a resolution. Please also know that we have heard from many more 2010 and 2011 Outback owners telling us how much they "LOVE" their Subaru.

    At this time, we would recommend that you go to your local Subaru dealer and test drive the specific vehicle that interests you. As always, take it on a thorough test drive on local roads and highways to determine how the vehicle performs in various conditions. I think you will be pleased with the results and hope that you will become a member of the Subaru family.

    Also, if for any reason you experience concerns after you purchase our dealers are there to assist you in any way that they can.

    Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again. Thank you for the opportunity to address your concerns.

    Nancy Quinn
    Subaru of America, Inc
    Customer Dealer Services


    What a shame that Subaru is trying to sweep this under the rug as Toyota did their problems.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    More concerns with the Jeep Grand Cherokee:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/12/13/2011-ford-explorer-first-drive-review-road-te- st/

    We experienced some disconcerting behavior in the Jeep when it unsettled a bit as we turned starboard to make the corner, as if the rear suspension was oscillating both vertically and somewhat laterally as well

    And that's a well-received vehicle. Like I said, nothing's perfect.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    If you get your car info from Consumer Reports you are in worse shape than the badly designed Outback.

    The New Jeep Grand Cherokee, especially the Limited and and Overland models, are running rings around the competition. The "skittering and hopping" are hardily indicative of the frequency of the shaking of literally hundreds, perhaps of thousands of Outbacks, which defective vehicle Subaru interestingly continues to sell (perhaps they need the money).

    You also might be interested in the fact the JGC is safer than the Outback. She www.informedforlife.org for details.

    Give e the new Jeep Grand Cherokee over the "gambler's" Otback any day!
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