2010 Outback steering wheel shaking and hesitation



  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Why are you attacking me personally? I'm in fine shape.

    2 different publications expressed concerns with the beyond-the-limit behavior of the Grand Cherokee. For all we know it's a problem with 100% of them. You wouldn't find out until you attempted such a manuever (hopefully never).

    Don't shoot the messenger.
  • gusser33gusser33 Member Posts: 1
    I have about 13K on my car and it does vibrate, but not all the time. it is frustrating, for sure, but the dealer can't find it, or so they say, but it is there. I bought this car after making the tough decision between it and a Chevy Equinox. I bought the Outback because it was made in the USA while the Equinox was made in Canada. I think i bit off my nose to spite my face. My friend just bought one and frankly i like it better than i do the Outback. It just rides, sits and handles better. Also, it gets better gas mileage than i do. So, i am stuck with for a while and unless they can fix it, i won't be keeping it long.
  • wphillwphill Member Posts: 3
    My wife did he research...fell in love with the 6cyl outback.."limited" and then followed up on this vibration complaint....smells too fishy for her to touch. If there is a new fix that does more than try to cover up the problem then Subaru needs to be more convincing. We live in KY..not too far from the plant that makes them. But, that really does not help. Once you drive it,it's yours.

    Any more hard news out there that sway her to buy the Outback?
  • wphillwphill Member Posts: 3
    fwiw. my wife called the mfg rep. she got a fairly straightforward response. The problem was confirmed and there was nothing said to minimize that the issue is ongoing, that a fix remains in the works.

    At this point, she is walking away, partially open to other cars and partially open to waiting for a real solution. It's the outback that she really really loves. But, wild horses could not get her to buy under the current status. If the car she is driving starts to rattle her, she will buy another car. I'm not sure that time is on her side.

    I have owned a 95 passat and a 05 jetta. These will be my last vw's. Poor reliablity, fishy expensive extended warranties bought from vw, just are too problematic. Really, ashame. VW makes "fun", smoothe, nimble cars.

    Time to return to the big american cars...just like my parents.????
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Have her try a 2011 Forester XT.

    In a survey 80% of owners said they were certain they'd buy the exact same car again, the highest number in its class. It's also a Top Safety Pick, a C&D 5Best Truck, and MT SUV of the year, plus it's CR's top rated small crossover.

    It's about the same size as an Outback, looks better, and has had no issues.
  • occkingoccking Member Posts: 346
    I am on my 4th Subaru (05 Outback, 06 Tribeca, 09 Forester, and now 11 Outback (2.5 ltd)

    Got the vehicle Oct 1, Mastria in Raynham) just turned 10,000 miles absolutely not problems at all, no vibration in front end either. MPG per trip computer now sitting at 28.8, actual is probably around 27.5.
    No comparison to the 09 Forster I had for one year. That vehicle was a rattle-trap and gave a lousy ride. This one much better.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    09 was the first year model, v1.0 if you will.

    Ours is rattle-free, though we had a later built, about 6 months in to production.

    Funny thing is when it came out, they had the LL Bean model, but by the time we bought ours the deal with LL Bean was done, so the 2nd half of 2009 models were called Limiteds.

    The funny part? I actually liked the LL Bean embroidery and wood/leather steering wheel. Guess I got lucky...
  • wphillwphill Member Posts: 3
    Yep, she finds that the Forester is just too much of a truck like drive.
    I wish that they had the outback version....back when they also had eddie bauer limited version. If it ain't broke, why change it.

    My sister drove the eddie bauer and loved it. Her husband likes to wheel and deal, bought a used mercedes wagon for her. She hated having to sell the outback, and still regrets it. And, let me tell you this is a woman who came to expect high end jacked up suv's. She went through two land rovers and one mercedes suv before she went out on her own and drove the older outback model. If folks want their ride jacked up, let them drive a truck. Personally, I think the love affair with suv's is one of Ugly America's most prolific trinkets. It sorely disappoints me that Subaru abandoned the outback model from a few years ago in order to claim a part of the compact suv mkt.

    When it comes to reliability, good driving, and reasonable prices, there is nothing to compare to the older outback.

    Hundai could move in and take away a lot of market share from Subaru IF they had the equivalent.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Hyundai would be wise to offer two things:

    * a new Sonata wagon, besides the Elantra Touring
    * AWD options for both
  • bergerb2bergerb2 Member Posts: 2
    Initial general quality was poor. My 2002 that I traded in was better than initial quality of 2010 outback.

    Then about 9.5k miles horrible vibration in the steering wheel above about 65mph.

    Dealer did force test. Two wheels failed and replaced (one each in the front and rear - diagonal to each other). Duplicated the trip and no vibration. When I inquired about replacing the wheels that tested good, i was advised that tires are either good or bad - do not become bad.

    My experience and others was that whatever the cause may arise over time. I insisted that I don't want surprises when i'm on the road.

    Car is deficient and one event away from a Toyota type recall. :mad:
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    I am not attacking you or anyone else personally. Let's not go getting paranoid, OK?

    The fact is a few "beyond-the-limit behaviors" of the JGC (and what exactly does that mean??!) is a far cry from the well documented shakes of the competition which by this time must involve many hundreds of cars if not thousands.

    There is no such systemic abnormality showing up yet in the new Jeep so far as I know. And when I get my new Overland in a few weeks I will report on its "behaviors" and will be the first to holler if anything untoward rears its ugly head. Count on it.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    For your info, a loaded Outback in Canada (BC) with tax is pushing $46,000. The JGC is less than $10,000 higher and yet the equipment and refinement levels are way in excess of ten grand more. Which do you think makes that the better value?

    Please point me to any credible automotive source which describes a systemic handling defect in the new JGC. I had one up to 90 mph on the highway without so much as a shimmy or a shake or even wind noise. Are you aware that the new JGC is as quiet as the new Rolls-Royce Ghost at 70 mph cruising? Both 64 dB. Beat that if you can.

    And exactly what "stability control failure" in the JGC are you talking about? Is there a website discussing hundreds of examples of this? IF so, just where is it? Is this "defect" discussed ad nauseum anywhere?

    How about safety? The new JGC is arguably the SAFEST SUV on the road. Informedforlife.org gives them a 45 which is within the best performers of all vehicles in its studies. It earned the very best IIHS top safety pick and I dare say higher than a certain shakermobile that shall go unnamed.

    The new 2011 Jeep Grand is among the very best vehicles on the road today in many capacities from off roadability to safety to refinement to high-end audio system to Garmin NAV and on and on. Let's not forget the heated steering wheel and ventilated AND heated seats front AND back.

    There are bound to be those who will attempt to disparage it, particularly if they have just gotten stuck with a shaker or some other defectively designed also-ran. It will take more than a few detractors hollering about "skitter and hop" to derail this baby.
  • bergerb2bergerb2 Member Posts: 2
    National highway traffic safety administration has a means to file a complaint/incident via phone or on-line phone.

    The link is https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/

    Maybe soa will respond to a gov't inquiry before a toyota type issue bites them in the rear.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You come here to express a concern about the Outback's suspension, and then propose an off-topic vehicle that has its own set of suspension issues. I pointed those out, and listed two sources.

    Beyond the limit means tire adhesion limits exceeded. Jeep needs to recalibrate their stability control, at a minimum.

    This is not the first Jeep controversy with the media - Autoweek had issues with a Jeep Liberty when they tested it in the slalom. Jeep actually ended up recalling them and made changes to the suspension.

    I fully expect that Jeep will do something similar in this case, perhaps a stability control recalibration like Toyota did with the Lexus GX when Consumer Reports had a similar experience with that vehicle.

    If a buyer is concerned with suspension handling issues, perhaps they should avoid BOTH of these vehicles.

    That's all I'm saying.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited December 2010
    Which do you think makes that the better value?

    For me off road capability is not important, so while both represent good values, I'd choose the Outback.

    Please point me to any credible automotive source

    I already have - two sources in fact, Consumer Reports and Autoblog.

    Are you aware that the new JGC is as quiet as the new Rolls-Royce Ghost at 70 mph cruising?

    Are you aware that the much less expensive Subaru Legacy 2.5i tied that Jeep? For how much less? $20k maybe? Talk about better value...


    Subaru offers you the same quietness at the price point of a Jeep Patriot.

    IIHS top safety pick...

    Did you look at the full list? How can you can try to use that against the Outback is comical. It's been a Top Safety Pick for as long as I can remember.

    there are bound to be those who will attempt to disparage it

    Just as there will be those who troll a Subaru thread to disparage them? Pot, meet kettle.

    particularly if they have just gotten stuck with a shaker

    Nope. We don't own an Outback. Our Forester is just fine.

    Enjoy your Jeep, which is indeed a fine vehicle (I never claimed otherwise). I hope for your sake Jeep recalls and then recalibrates the stability control. Honest.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    Fair enough. If there is any widespread issue with JGC 2011 handling I am sure they (Jeep) will l do the right thing and FIX IT! Not pull a Toyota and/or Subaru and pretend there is no problem.

    Let's face it, the domestics are getting better while the imports are getting worse. So are their attitudes and cover-ups.

    However, it is only fair to add that the complaints that you have made on this board are certainly not widespread or general unlike those pertaining to certain other AWD vehicles under discussion recently.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    Please post specific links to these sources in fact, Consumer Reports and Autoblog over which you seem so upset as regards the stability control. I believe the community would like to know what all the hubbub is about. I know I would.


    I doubt very much the little Legacy is as quiet at speed as the Ghost or JGC regardless of the numbers reported.

    I agree the OB is a safe vehicle but it is not in the league of the JGC according to recent tests such as the informedforlife.org data.
  • derelicte78derelicte78 Member Posts: 4
    edited December 2010
    Kind of funny that the informedforlife.org data that you solely cite has the JGC 2WD as UNACCEPTABLE. link title
    I'm not sure how you can claim "not in the league of the JGC." I seriously doubt that a crash tests from different sources can combine to create a discrete enough measurement to make that claim. The risk index is based solely on their methodology.

    Any car that can score 4 stars or more on the new NHTSA testing protocol and is given GOOD ratings from IIHS is probably safe enough for most accidents and provides enough information to give you actionable data for car buying purposes.

    All that said I think the JGC is pretty cool and if it can prove to be reliable will help bring back (give?) Chrysler a better reputation.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    The reference is to the 4WD as you well know.

    Jeep Grand Cherokee 4WD SUV w/SAB w/ESC Best 3% for 2011 45 = 8.4 + 8.4 + 1.0 + 27.6 5307 5 4 0.10 5 5 4 0.17 G G G G

    BEST 3% for 2011.

    Beat that.
  • derelicte78derelicte78 Member Posts: 4
    I sense you have a perverse need to be be proved right. Yay you win. Have a cookie.

    No need to beat anything on a created ranking. Cars aren't meant to be ranked for crash tests. There are way too many variables and just because it performs well in the government test, doesn't directly translate to the real world. It just gives you a guide. You can't even tell what statistically significant is on that ranking scale. Percentile rankings are meaningless in a situation with this many variables. That's like thinking you're smart because you describe a measurement out to 4 decimal places using a 12 inch ruler. Doesn't matter.

    Enjoy crashing your JGC!

    (Like I said it's a great SUV. I would've shopped it myself, but I'll give Chrysler a few more years to prove they can build a reliable vehicle)
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    No, nope, wrong. No perverse need to be proved right. Just accurate.

    Percentile rankings are meaningless in a situation with this many variables.

    I'll take the JGC any day brother over the "Smart" car!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    If there is any widespread issue with JGC 2011 handling I am sure they (Jeep) will l do the right thing and FIX IT!

    I hope so as well.

    Subaru acknowledges the problem but has yet to find a fix. It's tough when it does not affect all cars. I make a living troubleshooting and that's always a challenge.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited January 2011
    Please post specific links to these sources in fact

    Consumer Reports, December 2011, pp 70-71.

    Autoblog I already provided, but here it is again:

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

    Motorweek (on television) said body roll was "rather loose" but you'll have to watch the show for that.

    Motor Trend said "it starts to wallow when you push it real hard" in reference to beyond-the-limit situations (it's also in the text):

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/1008_2011_jeep_grand_cherokee_drive/ind- - ex.html

    Still good reviews, but all hint at the same issue CR noted.

    Also, before cries of CR bias, let's keep in mind that when the Lexus GX behaved in an unstable manner, they tacked a "Do Not Buy" rating and created a bunch of controversy (Lexus did provide a fix and CR dropped that label). They're giving Jeep a 2nd chance and will test a Hemi equipped model.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    Thanks for the reply and clarification.

    Observations and comments:

    - you can't compare a V-6 to the HEMI

    - the Ford has three rows of seats, a no-no in my book

    - "On-road, the '11 Jeep Grand Cherokee is more refined and more efficient, and doesn't give up anything for its slightly larger size. Off-road at Moab, it hard to imagine how it could get any better. The Grand Cherokee still can go wherever the Wrangler lightly treads, and its slick new Terrain-Select gives the Jeep faithful a useful new gadget. Pressure relieved."

    Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/1008_2011_jeep_grand_cherokee_drive/spe- cs.html#ixzz19uPoxgs3

    - Ford is tending to overtechnologization of its vehicles. You can see it in the new Lincoln MKX which is an electronic gadget mess in the interior. My Lincoln Synch and the My Lincoln Touch failed to work properly when the salesman attempted to demonstrate them. Jeep is ergonomically superior by a country mile and everything inside the cabin worked on six (6) separate units I tested.

    As far as this "body roll" issue is concerned, I think it is a tempest in a teapot. Generally, the vehicle is getting rave reviews from the vast majority of analysts such as that from Motor Trend.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited January 2011
    Did you get the Hemi or the Pentastar?

    CR's February issue tested the Hemi-equipped Grand Cherokee and it did *not* demonstrate the same handling issues they encountered with the Pentastar V6 model, FWIW. Just got that mag last night.

    The Hemi seems to be the better choice, given the weight of the Jeep. Plus, I'd choose a Grand Cherokee to tow and go off road, and for both those situations you'd want the extra torque. At 16mpg EPA city it's not like the Pentastar is a fuel miser anyway.

    I priced a Hemi with the air suspension is it came up to about $42k US. That's definitely in a higher price class, but still a good value if it's in your budget to spend that much.

    But ... is it an alternative to an Outback? That's where we disagree. Even if you forget about the price delta, people buy Outbacks because they don't want a truck, that's sort of the whole point. I think they would be more likely to cross-shop a Venza and a Crosstour, and IMHO the Outback is by far my choice among those 3 options.

    As for the Explorer - Chrysler will soon offer the new Durango to compete with that.
  • prigglypriggly Member Posts: 642
    I bought the HEMI. The Pentastar is a questionable engine, I would not buy it. The HEMI is a proven winner!

    As far as the Outback is concerned, that would have been my choice, but I am not prepared to take a choice on a shaker. Plus Subaru has become dishonest. Jeep has not.
  • easypareasypar ColoradoMember Posts: 191
    I've been following the to-and-fro regarding the JGC versus and Outback and am a bit suprised to find people comparing them as apples-to-apples. I saw a display JGC the other day (Costco lobby) and noticed it had about a 13/19 mileage rating. It also felt like it stood taller than our old ('92) Cherokee did.

    I'm not sure about the comparo between two vehicles that get such widely divergent gas mileage, size and weight difference and price; about $40K versus $30K. I think someone above made a comment along the lines of "$10K more". To me that's not "merely" $10K, that's ONE THIRD more.

    If doing that why not just go up to the Acura MDX.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I would never cross-shop these, I was reacting to him recommending an unusual alternative in a similar fashion to you.

    Consumer Reports got just 9mpg in the city cycle, and since I don't need to tow or go off road that is a trade-off that I'm not willing to make.
  • bronsteinbronstein Member Posts: 1
    I'm asking for a little help/advice here. We drove the Forester (non-turbo version) after testing the Honda CR-V, and there was no comparison. We loved the Forester. I fell for the car. I've spent some time on the discussion site and looked at the comments on the Outback, as well as the Forester. It looks to me like the Forester is a better handling car, even though the Outback is more expensive. Even if the Outback is somewhat more cushy on the interior, has anybody got any reason why I should even consider the Outback over the "Touring" version of the 2011 Forester? Any advice as to whether I need the Touring over the Limited? I was absolutely amazed at how much more power and feel the 170 hp Forester had over the CR-V. The comfort was fine, and what I need is clarity of controls for my kids who will be learning to drive on this car. Thanks!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited January 2011
    Well, the Forester has more torque, and I think it weighs a bit less than the CR-V.

    Go for it, we're on our 2nd Forester, and RL Polk just announced the Forester was a repeat winner in owner loyalty for its class. It is an IIHS Top Safety Pick, ALG best residual value in its class, C&D 5Best Trucks, MT SUV of the Year, CR #1 pick in its class, plus it's cheaper than the Outback, and you get the massive moonroof.

    I say splurge and get more equipment, since it was below your price target anyway.

    Best of luck.
  • drdkdrdk Member Posts: 11
    We own a 2005 Forester XT. My kids learned to drive in it and it was great because the visibility out the rear and side windows was unobstructed. Backing up is not a guessing game. I am not sure how the 2011 Forester compares for visibility, but the 11 is definitely a much bigger car to manuever. It should still be a good car to let your kids drive. I would not buy the Outback because of the Steering Wheel vibration issues.
    The touring gives you the HID headlights. Take a test drive at night and see the difference. Good luck
  • thor14thor14 Member Posts: 17
    It was not clear to me in your post if you have test driven the new Outback yet. I test drove the Forester when I was looking at the Outback and I thought the four speed transmission in the Forester was sluggish. I think the interior, ride, and transmission in the Outback is better than the Forester. But its also more expensive.

    As for the shakes everyone keeps posting about, I test drove my Outback and it did not shake, so I bought it.

    Forester or Outback, I'm sure you will be happy any Subaru, but thats my two cents.

    Best of luck on your exciting purchase.
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Member Posts: 123
    I've had a 2010 Outback for over a year. It now has about 16,000 miles on it. It had what I would define as minor steering wheel vibraton at speeds around 65 MPG. More of an annoyance than a problem. I had the tires rotated and the vibration disappeared. I've had the tires rotated since and it has not returned. I also owned a 2000 and 2004 Forester, both good cars. But for me, the Outback has been a step up. Very satisfied with it. Take one (or more) on test drives. I'm sure you will be satisfied with either model. BTW, my Outback is a Limited 4 cyl. with CVT. Very satisfied with the gas mileage, about 30 going 65 MPG and about 25 in mixed driving. Good luck!
  • jeffm5jeffm5 Member Posts: 123
    Post #134 should have been in reply to bronstein not thor 14. Sorry!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Rear visibility is not as good as before, but still best in class.

    At the intro Subaru actually compared itself to 3 other small SUVs and was the clear (pardon the pun) winner.
  • clarkkentclarkkent Member Posts: 154
    BS to Subaru acknowledging the problem. I wrote to them and I posted their answer on this site. They said there were VERY FEW complaints and that their cars didn't have a problem. Then they went into several paragraphs of sales pitch about how great their cars were.

    It was all Subaru BS!

    Sad, because I want to buy a new OB but will not when a company pretends there is no problem.

    I may not even buy if they fix it.

    Funny thing, but I like to trust my car manufacturer and dealer.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,209
    I like to trust my car manufacturer and dealer.

    If that's the case, it is better to not ask too many questions. ;)

    On a serious note, I know exactly how you feel and agree wholeheartedly with you. Unfortunately, the manufacturers only really care about the liability associated with admitting such a problem and the dealers *usually* only care about making a buck. :mad:
    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
    edited January 2011
    I change my own oil - that tells you how I feel about dealer service.
  • drdkdrdk Member Posts: 11
    I have owned 3 Subarus and was going to buy a 2011 Outback 3.6 R, but learned about the shaking problem and decided to buy a 2011 Acura RDX. The mileage isn't as good and it was a little more money, but it handles incredibly and the interior amenities are alot nicer than the OB.
  • bombardilbombardil Member Posts: 4
    Shaking problem is overdone, every car has a problem that affects small minority, who happens to be vocal at these forums because they are active at looking at solutions. Many other 2010+ OB owners, like myself, being happy with the purchase never visit and post, so statistical conclusions based on post numbers are biased.
    Outback is rated better than average by CR and has very high customer satisfaction rate, which speaks volumes that shake affects small % of owners, no more than any other vehicles. Yesterday we bought new Honda Odyssey van and I drove it home and I thought steering vibrates more than OB, but no big deal, so it is all relative.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Boy, do I feel validated. Consumer Reports was right:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/17/chrysler-fixes-grand-cherokee-handling-issue-- identified-by-co/

    I brought this up, the response was:

    If you get your car info from Consumer Reports you are in worse shape than the badly designed Outback.

    I think you owe me (and a certain magazine) an apology...

    Chrysler reprogrammed the stability control, just as I predicted they would.

    Did I call it or what? :shades:
  • dlanningdlanning Member Posts: 8
    sounds like the fornt end is toed in to much i see this on a 1989 subaru xt . the factory call for 1/2 toe inward and i set it to 1/16th and wow it made the isue go away
  • zeak62zeak62 Member Posts: 1
    I just trade in my 2009 Subaru Gt Limited, and loaded. With 66,000 miles on it, I bought a new Subaru 2.5 i,for only $6,500. trade. Point I am making is This is my 4 th Subaru, and one think (I think I know) is Subaru's are a great safe, safe care. I now get 31.5 mpg overall driving for 6600 miles. I have no problem of shaking. Check your tires and balance, etc. Subaru is a great car company. Yes Acura is a much higher quality car. You must compare "apples to apples"

    P.S. This is great car, great miles per gallon (with CVT). And a great warranty. with road side assist.
  • frankmc3frankmc3 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2011 OB--bought new last fall and have been experiencing a low level vibration/buzz in the steering wheel. The "buzz" was first noticeable as I approached 20mph..then it would cease and not be noticeable as the speed increased. Now it happens at 20mph and again near 40 mph. I have not had any highway speed vibrations (18K on the car) but driving around town it seems to be becoming more noticeable. I took it to a dealer to get the problem on record and was told they couldn't duplicate the problem so they didn't have any answers. They did say it sounded like the VRT and that it was just shifting normally. They did say to "bring it back" if I want to and they will test drive it with me--which they should have done while I sat waiting 1 1/2 hours for it.

    This is my 7th Subaru and I am still loyal but this problem could be a deal breaker if Subaru doesn't address it. I may have to try a different dealer--I know a dealer that has never been anything but the best with me but they are 4 hours away. I am going to call them and see what they say. If I have to waste a whole day and 8 hours on the road to travel there I will not be a happy customer.

    Has anyone else had this issue with their OB? I have two friends with new OBs (2011 and 2012) and I am going to drive theirs to see if they have anything similar.
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