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2010 Outback steering wheel shaking and hesitation



  • 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 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 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, AlaskaPosts: 10,911
    The more capable, the farther you are from help should you get stuck!

    Haha! That's for sure!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • drdkdrdk 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 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 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?
  • 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 Posts: 72,587
    More concerns with the Jeep Grand Cherokee: 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 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 for details.

    Give e the new Jeep Grand Cherokee over the "gambler's" Otback any day!
  • ateixeiraateixeira 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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 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 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 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...
  • 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 Posts: 72,587
    Hyundai would be wise to offer two things:

    * a new Sonata wagon, besides the Elantra Touring
    * AWD options for both
  • 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 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 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. 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.
  • National highway traffic safety administration has a means to file a complaint/incident via phone or on-line phone.

    The link is

    Maybe soa will respond to a gov't inquiry before a toyota type issue bites them in the rear.
  • ateixeiraateixeira 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 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 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 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 data.
  • derelicte78derelicte78 Posts: 4
    edited December 2010
    Kind of funny that the 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 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.
  • 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)
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