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Old October 15th, 2011, 15:08   #2
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Klystron's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston,Tx

My wife recently looked at a 2012 Subaru outback but after quickly decided to wait after talking to one of her co-workers that owns a 2011. The major problem is with shaking in the steering wheel due to a design flaw. They have issued an extensive TSB with steering dampers and such to try and fix or hide the problem but it only makes it a little better.

Google "Subaru Outback steering shake" and you will find A LOT of threads and postings about dealers that don't want to deal with the problem, dealers that try to fix it but make the problem worse, or people that had to go to court to get Subaru to buy their car back. Subaru claims its because of a tire balance issue but even their dealers can't get them balanced right. But even when balanced properly to the point of driving smooth owners are reporting its so sensitive to balance that a few rocks stuck in the tread can make it go from smooth to shaking.

Another major issue is the transmission. The Outback doesn't have the tried and true planetary gear set transmission that most cars use. It uses a continuously variable transmission that uses two pulleys and a steel band to make infinite gear ratios. The problem is they are really not best for heavier vehicles and Subaru has had to do countless numbers of "firmware reflashes" to make them shift smoother.

I've had a forester and outback and really like Subaru's engines and transmissions in the past but they have taken a departure from that in recent years.
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