Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru B9 Tribeca Engine Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,403
Having an issue under the hood of your Tribeca? This is the place to work it out!


  • sheila5sheila5 Posts: 3
    Love my Tribeca! However, picked up my new Tribeca three days ago, drove it approximately 120 miles total. Something let loose in the engine and blew a hole in the engine block. Boy, were they surprised! The dealer is ordering a new short block and replacing the engine. Anybody heard of this happening before?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wow, that is just bizarre.

    All I can think of is the timing chain broke and the pistons hit the valves or something.

    That's the first time I've seen that here on Edmunds, not just for the H6 but for any Subaru engine.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Wow, That is strange. That's first H-6 (or any sort) that I'm aware that had that happen.

  • jerrys2jerrys2 Western massachusettsPosts: 189
    Wow ! I would demand a new vehicle, actually start out with a nice reasonable request and then go to SOA if necessary ... :lemon: ?

  • cluelesspacluelesspa Posts: 648
    Ditto... I would definitely want a new vehicle. sorry to hear about your problem
  • wvroadswvroads Posts: 23
    Ditto on the replacement vehicle. I would go to the top if necessary to get a new vehicle. I am not even happy about having my car ripped into to replace the airbag module - wherever it is located. I just don't trust the work of local mechanics - not most of them anyway.
  • Update on the Tribeca engine that blew at 120 miles.... The bolts that hold the flex plate and torque converter between the transmission and engine block weren't properly installed or "torqued down". As the car was driven, these bolts backed out and the blow out was when one of the bolts came all the way out and blew a hole in the coolant jacket. This also made some kind of crack in the transmission too. Subaru is now replacing the engine and the transmission. As I am not a mechanic and don't understand mechanical language, I hope this makes sense. Thank you for your thoughts on this matter. (I can't wait to get my Tribeca back.)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keep all the documentation once it's fixed up. The good news is that if you have any more problems down the road, I bet SoA will be more likely to help given what you had to put up with early on.

  • WOW. I will ask for a new car. It will take awhile just to get the engine and tranmission, never mind the re-install. I think someone posted that it took weeks to get a airbag module, I just can't imagine how long the wait would be. Dealer's mechanic will likely to screw something up too. Check your state's new car lemon law. In NJ, where I live, you are entitle for a new car or refund if you 'new' car is out of service for more than 20 days in the first 2 years.
  • Update on the Tribeca with the blown up engine due to the bolts between the transmission and engine block being improperly torqued...

    I now have my Tribeca back after 23 days in the shop. The biggest problem was SoA had a difficult time properly packaging and shipping the transmission. One ended up sitting in Arizona in a leaking package before SoA "overnight" air-expressed another one. My car is back together again and seems to be running great.
  • Ouch... I feel your pain. I wonder how much overnite cost...... :) I think they lost money on your car...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks for the update.

    It was probably the first time they had to ship a new tranny, so I guess the learning curve applied.

    How many miles did you put on the loaner? :D

    Good luck in the future, hopefully you'll have a perfect one from here on out.

  • I took my Tribeca to my local dealer because some of the fluids were low. ( It was prepared correctly at a different dealer). So the next morning, 75 plus degrees, when I start the car, it went up to 2100 rpm and stays there. After driving for a few minutes it went back down to normal rpm. Every day since then when I start the car it goes up to the same 2100rpm regardless of the ambient temperature. ( As an aside, I also had to re program my memory seats after I left the same dealer). Any ideas why this is happening and is it hard to correct?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That seems a bit high, but rpms should be elevated until the engine is fully warmed up. Do other owners observe the same thing?

  • The thing is it started correctly until I took it in for the service. ( i.e. it cranked maybe once & then turned on. And the engine did not race at all). Now when I put it into drive, it sort of "bangs" into gear b'cse the engine is going too fast. Is there a any manual adjustment for the idle or is all computer controlled?
  • aka1aka1 Posts: 110
    Nothing to worry about- the dealer may have disconnected the battery (hence having to reporgram your seats) and the engine computer is still learning. It should usually correct it self within 4- 5 starts- however you are now consciously looking for any extra perceived RPM's at start up. Now that its cold, my B9 hits 2K rpm then settles back down...
  • Has anyone else noticed an annoying jerking sensation when you are just cruising along at non-highway speeds? This usually occurs when the engine has to pull a little harder prior to the transmission deciding to downshift.
  • I'm new to any subaru and I definitely do not like that my new B9 hits 2k right from the start and settles back down. None of my other cars would do that. I understand it's below 30 now outside, but its noise at 2k from the start is just quite a bit too loud to me. This is supposed to be the top of the entire Subaru line.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subies are designed for ultra-cold climates, so elevated RPMs are probably there to provide a quicker warm-up and more importantly heat to those that are freezing cold.

    I say crank the tunes and enjoy the heated seats! :shades:

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    "I'm new to any subaru and I definitely do not like that my new B9 hits 2k right from the start and settles back down. None of my other cars would do that. I understand it's below 30 now outside, but its noise at 2k from the start is just quite a bit too loud to me. This is supposed to be the top of the entire Subaru line. "

    If you thought you were getting a luxury car, Subaru isn't it. Look at Audi, Lexus, MB, BMW if you are looking for that....

  • "...

    If you thought you were getting a luxury car, Subaru isn't it. Look at Audi, Lexus, MB, BMW if you are looking for that.... "

    Don't think that LUXURY is the magic word to get your car to start the engine quitely. My 14 years old toyota started quiter than my new Tribeca. Now just hope that noise won't get much worse down the road, or I might just trade in to get a Acura or Lexus (right), or ...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also probably has an exhaust pipe the size of a dime and about 125hp.....

  • It's been six weeks now and I still think it revs too high at the initial morning startup. FYI, after the initial startup of the day and the engine is warm, my other startups throughout the day never rev that high. If what other people are saying is true, then every startup, regardless of engine temperature should rev to that 1800 or so rpm. In fact, this is not the case. So I repeat my original question: is there a way for the service department at Subaru to lower or manually adjust that initial morning startup?
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Engine temperature dependent.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    However, after the intial startup, the engine will still be warm. Try doing it while the engine is dead cold, ie: Turn it on, let it rev to 1800, turn it off, and then again. See if does it. Any startup after the first one after it's warmed up, will have a warmer intake temp, which is what effects that idle. 1800 is a bit high though 1200-1300 until warm is probably better. Even on my V8 Armada it revs to over 1000 RPMs until warm.

  • Interesting thought, but doesn't sound too good for the engine.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Actually it's perfectly normal to have a raised idle when cold. Engines are built to operate at a particular temp range, too cold can be just as bad as running too hot. I've seen this in high performance engines in boats as well on the newer EFI engines they have to run a 140-150 degree t-stat whereas on the older carb motors they run 120 degree ones.

  • tls8thtls8th Posts: 27
    I have 15,000 miles on my B9 while driving I-64 went to climb a slight hill while accelerating vehicle started to miss check engine light started blinking and traction control light came on. Bright sunny dry day 3/4 tank fuel only run premium fuel. But have owned car since 8/05 drive only on trips.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    A blinking CEL indicates an active misfire in one or more cylinders. Possibly bad fuel, bad plug or wire, bad injector, clogged fuel filter. If it stopped misfiring, usually the CEL will still say on solid and eventually clear after a couple days if the condition doesn't exist anymore.

    This and more about both lights are in your owners manual, BTW.

  • tls8thtls8th Posts: 27
    Unfortanately I'm now 350 miles from my B9 had to rent a car to get home vehicle sitting at dealer waiting till Tuesday morning to be looked at. Vehicle does sit when not traveling, I also shouldn't top off fuel at 1/2 to 3/4 tank I;m thinking bad fuel. exhaust has smeeled like varnish lately.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Sounds like bad fuel to me.

  • tls8thtls8th Posts: 27
    Staunton Subaru called this morning turns out fuel is fine but when I last had my oil changed at my home dealer they didn't add enough oil. Staunton Subaru says it won't even read on the dipstick. Had oil changed about 3,000 miles ago. They are waiting to here back from the regional rep, they tell me either Subaru will take care of it or my local dealer will.
  • tls8thtls8th Posts: 27
    Check my vehicle records my B9 has 15600 when it broke down with little to no oil, last changed at dealer 14240 miles.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, so you're definitely covered. Keep those records just in case something creeps up down the road.

  • tobinatortobinator Posts: 1
    My wife, dog, and I are in the process of driving from North Carolina to Utah and my 2007 Tribeca broke down in Kentucky and was towed to a dealer in Illinois. We are currently stranded here awaiting repairs.

    We left on Thursday and put 8-9 driving hours in without incident. Friday we started up again and were able to put about 4 hours on the road before our problem occurred. We stopped for fuel, car was down to about 3 gallons left in tank. Filled up with premium and approximately one mile from the gas station (BP) about a 1/4 mile onto the freeway the Traction Control Disabled light and Check Engine lights came on and the engine started to stall. I pulled over and the engine died. Would not restart.

    Subaru Roadside Service sent a tow truck and we were towed 54 miles to the nearest dealer. Got there 10 minutes before they closed and had to work to get anyone to take a look at the vehicle before Monday (when they said they would be able to get to us).

    Scan tool showed misfire on cylinders 5 & 6. They were able to get the engine to start and limped it into the shop. Everyone's assumption was bad fuel due to the timing. Saturday they drained the fuel and didn't find any water or debris like we thought may occur, also tested to ensure it was not E85. They put in new fuel and started the car. It seemed to idle fine but the engine misfires under load, now cylinders 2, 5 & 6. They are going to look further tomorrow (Monday) and see where the diagnosis leads.

    I am guessing a bad ignition coil now that fuel has apparently been ruled out. Any ideas? Anyone heard of anything like this before?

    This is my sixth Subaru and I worked at a large Subaru dealer for 9 years.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The odd part is that it stalled so soon after the new tank of gas. It just *HAD* to be the fuel.

    I know they use E10 around most places, maybe you did get a poorly mixed batch?

    Problem is, the ECU probably tried to adjust to that bad fuel, and now with a new tank it's probably trying to re-adjust. I'd reset it by pulling the battery, but it's in the hands of the techs and I'm sure they'll try that.

    Hope this gets sorted out soon, sorry 'bout your trip interruption! :sick:
  • texan5texan5 Posts: 23
    AC compressor is under the hood, right?

    The bolts that were used to put the AC compressor together on my BRAND NEW car are completely rusted -- see pictures below.

    Is it just me or do others out there think that rust in the engine compartment of a brand new car is completely unacceptable?

    p.s Moderator, since according to the dealer, "they all do that", can the rust issue be made a separate topic?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 14,180
    Well, I would be more than a bit put off by that. I had 220,000 miles on my '96 Outback and there was not a speck of rust in the engine compartment other than the battery's tie down rod (due to corrosion over the years). Granted, any East Coast Subaru one sees on eBay is going to have a fair bit of rust on the engine guards, PS pump, etc., but those cars saw road use - they were not fresh of the lot!

    Seems reasonable to me to get that cleaned up as rust only gets worse and you certainly do not want the bolts snapping the first time it is taken apart for a timing belt change... :sick:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Very strange, I wonder if anyone else can check to see if they observe the same thing?

    Having said that, it's just surface rust on a large bolt, so I doubt it'll ever matter beyond the ugly aesthetics.
  • I just checked the bolts and you are correct, there is some surface rust on a few of the bolts. Next time I bring it in, I'll show the service tech.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You could take a wire brush to it, gently, then maybe spot-prime just that area.
  • I'm going to let the service dept handle it, but thanks for the suggestion.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, keep us posted on what they do?
  • fadskierfadskier Posts: 1
    My wife ran out of gas in her 2007 B9 Tribeca. I put a few gallons in it to get it to a gas station, but it will not start. The engine will turn over, but will not start. Any ideas?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The fuel pump is cooled by the fuel itself. If it ran dry and was left on for too long, it could have overheated and failed.

    That's the first place to look.

    When you turn the key to the on position, do you hear the fuel pump priming the pressure? It should sound like a "whirrrr".
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Could also be on a hill so the amount of fuel isn't reaching the fuel pump.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good point. The fuel can slosh around. Make sure you have at least 3 gallons or so in the tank. The more the better.

    Listen for the whirrrrr when you turn the key before you try to crank it, just to be sure the fuel pump is still working.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I've run my tanks dry a lot on my subies, never overheated the pump.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • cadillaccadillac Posts: 7
    26,000 miles - Driving to work last Thursday morning, the check engine light started flashing on the freeway. I pulled off the free way with little power and the SUB stalled and then would not start. It had to be towed to the dealer where after further investigation, they said, "You have a major engine problem that we are not able to tell until we pull everything apart. The engine is knocking as if a Rod bearing is out, which in my years here I have never seen in this engine." They kindly arranged for a loaner car while they looked into it further. He further mentioned that only in times where the car was involved in a big accident did they need to repair the engine like this.

    Today - the call from the dealer is Subaru is ordering a new short block. To which I responded, "do we know what caused this?" Dealer - "We don't because Subaru wants us to ship the short block to them to inspect themselves and they don't want us breaking it down." I should be up and running on Friday this week or Monday of next week.

    Questions - Would anyone else be concerned about them replacing the short block and not the entire engine? Has anyone else heard of anything similar to this? If this is an anomaly - should I buy lotto tickets? Would you request SOA to warranty the 3/4 new engine beyond the 5 months 10k miles I have left on my warranty? Is this a reasonable resolution to the problem?

    Nick :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Any work they do should be under warranty for 12 more months.

    I agree this is rare. The H6 is very robust, in fact this is the first catastrophic failure of this type I've heard of on a Tribeca.

    FWIW, as long as they cover it under warranty, I'm happy to see that Subaru is actually taking the engine back for analysis, to determine a cause.
This discussion has been closed.