Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2008 Subaru Outback 2.5 XT - Engine hesitation

Have recently developed some engine sputter and hesitation during acceleration, mostly from a stop. Have a MT and notice it mostly when in traffic but also when accelerating at highway speeds. Different from turbo lag. When in neutral, engine will shake with the RPMs between 1000 & 1500. Not sure if a fuel additive would be good for the turbo and would not think necessary with premium fuel. Looking for some suggestions before taking it to the dealer. Thanks.

Is there any warranty left (eg <60k mile)? Also is CEL on?

Additives will do nothing but empty your wallet.

Have 43K miles, there is warranty left. CEL has not come on.

Why not take it to the dealer? I would be prepared to demonstrate the symptoms to the dealer which hopefully are easily reproducible.

Were the spark plugs replaced on schedule at 30k miles?
If not, this could simply be a case of lax maintenance.

Spark plugs are due every 60k on turbo models.

They are also due at 60k on the 3.0 six-cylinder model that I drive, but I replace them at 30k.

This Could Pertain To Your Situation ( “Accelerating At Highway Speeds” ).

Your dealer has a Subaru TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) written for Subaru technicians that addresses hesitation between 3,000 and 4,000 RPM in 2007 - 2008 2.5L Turbo, MT (manual transmission), Legacy / Outback Subarus.

It makes available reprogramming files to be applied to the car addressing this problem. I don’t see any wording in this TSB specifically pertaining to engine “sputter” or “shake” in neutral.


hello i am suzi,
Ok, I have a '99 suby legacy with the 2.2L. It has 185k miles and it has been running awesome! We’ve owned for 6mo after buying it from the original owner and suby mechanic. Last week the CEL came on and it has been acting funny.

If you give it more than 50% throttle it will shutter like it’s misfiring, and then kick in once you get to 2500rpm like nothing happened. It idles fine, doesn’t burn oil, coolant levels stay high.

Went to autozone and the code was p0440. I checked out all the vacuum lines and they looked fine. The gas was on tightly… Cannot figure this one out. Cruising below 2500rpm at any speed is totally fine too, it only happens once you hit the throttle while in a low gear or starting in low rpms.

Any ideas??
for camping visit following link