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Old 03-07-2018, 11:13 PM   #1
carbob08
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2018 Outback 2.5i

Default 2018 Outback, the headache begins!

New to this forum, but had to join so I can share what might be a very long story.

I bought a 2018 Outback 2.5i a few months ago and after 2000 miles have a huge list of problems to report. I am reporting them here in the hopes that others can gain some information through my experiences. Here is the list and what the dealer is proposing. I will update as info becomes available and as fixes are completed.

- Engine oil leak - engine being removed and driver side cam cover being resealed.
- Coolant disappears - they have no clue where it is going but claimed that the low and high marks on the reservoir are not for coolant level. Huh?
- Front doors leak air like crazy - new door seals being installed after convincing them that window tint could in no way cause the problem.
-Infotainment system ignores response from driver - they tried to reflash but it won't accept so they are installing new system.
- Rear hatch won't latch when cold - was warm when car dropped off so they couldn't duplicate and they will try again on a cold morning.
- Auto down on drivers window lost program twice - they can't duplicate.
- Rubber trim on rear door window fell off - no response on what they are doing to fix this.
- CVT shifting erratic skips ratios or varies between steps and seamless when accelerating - they are reprogramming CVT control.
- Valve train clunk/tick in area where oil leak occurs - no response on what they are doing to fix.
- Remote control will be ignored by wireless module if drivers door stays open for more than a few minutes - they were impatient and didn't wait long enough to see this but I hope infotainment replacement solves this since wireless module is attached to radio.
- During test ride with mechanic with his computer hooked up the car threw communications error from engine control module and airbag system failure. These are not even part of my original complaint, but clearly something was wrong.
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:15 AM   #2
Cal08
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Ouch! Do you know if others are having any similar issues as you? Thinking of getting an Outback this month...
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:21 PM   #3
carbob08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal08 View Post
Ouch! Do you know if others are having any similar issues as you? Thinking of getting an Outback this month...
According to the dealer they have never seen this before, but the number of 2018 Outbacks in their service department makes me think otherwise! As you test drive, test everything, if anything is even remotely off then don't buy that car. I was told "that is normal" by service manager when I asked about the odd things after my test drive, now its in the shop for a week or more getting those exact things fixed. Best of luck in your purchase, hoping you don't have the same trouble.
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:27 AM   #4
Outback4Me
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Am I the only one that thought "that car sounds like it's been rolled?"

I looked on another more Outback centric forum and while there are some things here and there that go wrong (most commonly seem to be the entertainment center hooking up with cell phones) I didn't really get the feeling a lot of Outbacks were coming off the line bad in the way you're talking about. Would be interesting to know if that car had been rolled at some point and how one would tell.
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Old 03-13-2018, 12:50 AM   #5
carbob08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outback4Me View Post
Am I the only one that thought "that car sounds like it's been rolled?"

I looked on another more Outback centric forum and while there are some things here and there that go wrong (most commonly seem to be the entertainment center hooking up with cell phones) I didn't really get the feeling a lot of Outbacks were coming off the line bad in the way you're talking about. Would be interesting to know if that car had been rolled at some point and how one would tell.
The car was purchased new from a dealer, 7 miles on the odometer. If it had any previous damage that wasn't disclosed, then the dealer would have some serious explaining to do!

I agree that this car is not typical in its problems. Over a week at the dealer now and they still don't have it all fixed. Who knows, the engine could still be out being "resealed" for all I know.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:09 PM   #6
amiexploited
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Ya if it gets worse I'd look in to your state's lemon laws. At least their owning up and trying to fix it. You got a free loaner right??
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:24 PM   #7
carbob08
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Originally Posted by amiexploited View Post
Ya if it gets worse I'd look in to your state's lemon laws. At least their owning up and trying to fix it. You got a free loaner right??
Yeah, I have already looked up the lemon laws in my state. The dealer is already 2 weeks into their allowed 4 weeks (within 12 month period) and the car still isn't done. They wouldn't give me a loaner, instead they rented a car for me. I thought that was strange. All future repairs will be done at a different dealer, these guys are a mess!
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:55 PM   #8
amiexploited
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hmmm, ok just keep track of it. Ya my dealer was out of loaners during my recall and sent me across the street for the rental they paid for. Which took almost a week, but they were slammed with recall work (airbags). Go through it "when" you get it back, preferably with the tech and check off things one by one. It should be reasonable accounting for what has happened already. It's not like you went for an oil change. Good luck.
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Old 03-24-2018, 10:59 PM   #9
carbob08
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Default The car is back home.

Well, to those that are following along, here is an update after more than 2 weeks of repairs. First of all, this dealer is no longer going to get ANY of my business, not even warranty or recall work. The car will be going out of state to the next closest dealer.

The dealer chose not to address several of my complaints with the car, they went so far as to refuse to even document them. Seems extremely dishonest to me and one of the reasons I refuse to return. They replaced window glass for no apparent reason, both front doors had glass replaced, when questioned, they couldn't provide a reason. Eventually the service manager said they had replaced them but even he couldn't get a straight answer from his team. He offered to pay for the window tint that was now missing, but luckily my window tint place is exceptional and replaced the tint for free. If you are near Portland OR and need tint, PM me and I will give you their name.
- The cars alignment was off and that has now been resolved, so nice having a car that drives straight!
- They resealed the oil leak, so far so good (only 100 miles so far though).
- The car now vibrates at an idle and thumps on accel or decel. This feels like maybe they didn't tighten the motor mounts, but I will see what new dealer finds in a few days when it goes back in.
- The car still can't keep coolant in the system, losing it at the same rate as before. Dealer only ran one test for this, pressure test on a cold engine which came back negative. Yet on my drive home (about 30 miles) the coolant level dropped by about a cup. They also seem to think the "low" mark on the coolant overflow is where it should be set when the system is cold and they argued about it while refusing to look at the owners manual which says exactly the opposite.
- Door gaskets were all replaced, wind noise is gone now.
- Remote control failure they couldn't duplicate, though radio was replaced and wireless module is attached so that could have helped.
- The car barely started when I picked it up, I wasn't concerned since it had been sitting unused for so long. But after a decent drive home and then sitting for 2 days it almost didn't start again! Measured the charging system (checked ok) and battery (failed), so it appears the battery is on its last leg after only 4 months.
- Dealer spilled coolant all over the engine bay and didn't bother rinsing it off.
- Dealer also didn't replace the anti-corrosion coating on the battery terminals as it came with it from the factory.

I am probably forgetting some items, but you get the picture. Will post more as second dealer finds and repairs things.
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:20 PM   #10
Outback4Me
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Good heavens! I'd report them to Subaru so they lose their license to sell them. I don't know how close a 5-Star Subaru dealer is to you, but I wouldn't mess with any other type at this point. When you do take it in, ask them if it looks like the car either fell off the car carrier or was rolled. Every time I read about what you're going through I can't help wonder if something bad happened to it during shipping. Do you know anyone who has some type of Carfax subscription that would allow you to look up your VIN to see if any insurance work was done on it? Do you know if it came straight from the factory to that dealer or if it came from another dealer? (Flood or tornado damage?)

I've never heard of a dealer being that rude to someone. My "we just starting selling Subarus a few years ago" local dealer down the street tries to be nice to me, even though they hate the fact my car is a 1999 and I can never afford to get things repaired until they make the car not drive.
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:07 AM   #11
carbob08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outback4Me View Post
Good heavens! I'd report them to Subaru so they lose their license to sell them. I don't know how close a 5-Star Subaru dealer is to you, but I wouldn't mess with any other type at this point. When you do take it in, ask them if it looks like the car either fell off the car carrier or was rolled. Every time I read about what you're going through I can't help wonder if something bad happened to it during shipping. Do you know anyone who has some type of Carfax subscription that would allow you to look up your VIN to see if any insurance work was done on it? Do you know if it came straight from the factory to that dealer or if it came from another dealer? (Flood or tornado damage?)

I've never heard of a dealer being that rude to someone. My "we just starting selling Subarus a few years ago" local dealer down the street tries to be nice to me, even though they hate the fact my car is a 1999 and I can never afford to get things repaired until they make the car not drive.
I did file a complaint with SOA and also informed the GM/Co-Owner of the dealership. SOA's response was odd, they only said that "complaints are used to determine which dealers stay in their network". That didn't address my complaints at all. The GM/Co-Owner never even responded. I am now getting repairs done out of state at a much more reputable dealer. They are billing the bad dealer for poor workmanship and re-repairs. I hope to have the car back in a day or two... it might get traded off after all these problems!

I have not pulled a carfax report on the car. I believe the car was originally delivered to the dealer I purchased from, with only 7 miles on the odometer when I picked it up, a dealer trade is unlikely since no other dealers are that close.
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:44 PM   #12
Outback4Me
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Please be sure to post about your final resolution and if you decide to trade your car in.

Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2018, 10:57 PM   #13
carbob08
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I now have the car back again. This time a new battery was installed, new thermostat (engine took too long to warm up), and rework of the stuff the first dealer did wrong. Still no resolution on the coolant disappearing, they felt that if in 15 miles of driving they couldn't see the level drop in the reservoir that everything must be ok. Well, the coolant is still going down, I have already had to add more coolant after less than 100 miles of driving. I was also told that 26mpg on the freeway is acceptable, that's interesting since the car is supposed to get around 32mpg. I filed a complaint with the EPA since Subaru isn't going to own up to the brands consistently poor fuel economy compared to their advertised numbers. The cooling fans now work again, they never once turned on during the first 3 months of ownership. Not sure what they found here, they never said, nor is an explanation listed in the repair order. The car has a new feature now, it lurches/shudders at low throttle positions. It is very annoying when trying to drive a steady speed and the car is lurching. I asked about this and was told it is normal. Well, it never did that before being worked on, so they must have done something that caused the change in behavior. So, at this point the car will go back again for coolant use and this new lurching problem.

I am now actively shopping for a replacement car. This constant need for repairs is not what I had hoped for when buying the Outback. Will update again when I have new information.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:26 AM   #14
Outback4Me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbob08 View Post
I am now actively shopping for a replacement car. This constant need for repairs is not what I had hoped for when buying the Outback. Will update again when I have new information.
Sorry to hear it has even more problems.
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:13 AM   #15
wrxflyer
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Default Very...

...depressing...

...have heard that Subaru often obfuscates, obscures, denies, & transfers blame and responsibility.

A good look at your state's Lemon Law might be in order.

Hope you can get everything ironed out.
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Old 04-01-2018, 09:14 AM   #16
wrxflyer
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Default With dealer...

Don't despair.

Keep up the pressure until a resolution in your favor.
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:18 PM   #17
jefffd
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Default Is this true? I've also wanted to buy it recently.

i also want to buy out back
Does anyone have a Ambassador coupon?
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:35 PM   #18
G.Mac
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That sucks man, I hope you can get your car lemon'd and refunded / replaced. I wish we had that function here in the UK.

My mum is picking her 2018 outback up tomorrow lets hope she doesn't have any of your issues, her car was built in Japan so fingers crossed it should be fine.

Keep at them and don't give them an inch. It is hard to find a dealer to trust. Thankfully S&S Services that we are using here in Scotland is a small family run business and this will be the 3rd car my family has bought from them. They were great with warranty work on my 05 STI.

All the best
Graeme
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:40 PM   #19
carbob08
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Default Update

Well, the saga isn't over, but getting closer. Over the past few weeks the car has magically stopped using coolant. I suspect that the dealer put in a double dose of stop leak into the radiator, though they won't tell me. A new thermostat was installed and that did help the engine get to operating temperature a bit faster, only takes about 10 minutes of driving now when 50F outside versus the 20 or more it took before.

Some issues still exist. The random security system glitch where the remote is ignored still happens. It is difficult to reproduce so likely I will have to live with it. The rear hatch still doesn't like to close unless using brute force. This happens more on cold days, so as we approach warm weather here I won't be able to reproduce it in front of the dealer for probably 6 months when the cold weather returns.

The transmission still behaves erratically, but I have noticed that it performs very well when it is below 40F outside until the fluid warms up at which point it gets crazy again. This seems to point to a viscosity issue with the fluid and the control systems. I am still trying to get the dealer to compare my car with a "good" car so they can feel the difference, but at this point they are not interested in finding the root cause.

Subaru of America staff has not been helpful. I have been bounced around between multiple people with no resolution to any of the cars problems. They "review" my records then do nothing to help solve the problems. I have asked to speak with my regional field service engineer but they refuse to involve him saying that the service advisors (who have no automotive training) are capable of understanding my cars issues. I have his (FSE) cell number and am going to just start bugging him if they keep denying my request. The service advisors summarize my complaints so much that there is nearly no chance of the repair person figuring out what is really wrong.

More updates to follow as I find out more. Stay tuned!
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:59 AM   #20
cerbomark
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I have had 5 newer Subis (2017 Outback) and am surprised to hear all this.
Coolant low is always a thing when new. I have found as the air purges and the level drops a cup or two the first few hundred miles or so.
I really have never seen a list of issues this long on any new car.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:10 AM   #21
carbob08
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Default Update June 2018

If you have been following along, you will have noticed that after 3 different trips in for repairs that the mechanical issues have been mostly resolved (oil leak, front end alignment, window seal leaks, faulty thermostat, bad battery, and others I am forgetting). What is left are a host of electrical gremlins that have not been fixed. As it stands right now these items still occur and the dealer(s) and SOA don't know why.
1. Random reboots of infotainment system.
2. Auto window down loses program.
3. Transmission shifting shudder/shake and what feels like slipping.
4. Car ignores remote control button presses.
5. Coolant still disappearing from reservoir, though at a much lower. Only have to refill every 1000 or so miles now.

I have discovered how to make the car achieve the highway rated mpg's, it had nothing to do with break-in of the engine, fuel type, driving style, or the 50 other things the dealers blamed. It is 100% a design thing with the car. To get the rated 32mpg on the highway I have to run the heater on mid or higher heat and outside air being used, or with the fan on with outside air being used. Many people might think this is crazy, but I found the car aerodynamics change when using the heating in those two modes. I am not sure if it is the active grill shutters opening/closing, or that air is being allowed into the cab causing a turbulent flow along the leading edge of the windshield (this is my leading theory). Either way, if I use the heating in either of those settings my highway mpg's go up significantly. This has been tested and confirmed several times.

SOA has completely stopped communications with me. It tells a lot about their real commitment to their customers. So at this point I will keep taking the car in for the electrical defects when I have the time to waste waiting for the dealer to investigate and just file for lemon law buyback with my state.

Last edited by carbob08; 06-21-2018 at 04:43 PM.
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