Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2011 Subaru Outback - Scrap or keep?

I had my Subaru Outback (2011, 4 cylinder engine, 135,000 miles) torque converter replaced after the car started stalling (completely shutting down) when stopping. After doing some internet research, I found that this is a common issue with this make and model and year. Of course, I missed the warranty. However, I’m concerned because although the car hasn’t stalled again yet (it’s been 4 days), and runs much more smoothly, and doesn’t shudder like it used to, I’ve noticed that when slowing down before a stop there is a tiny little shake and a weird feeling in the car like it’s having a problem downshifting, especially on the highway during rush hour/stop and go traffic. Should I scrap this heap and get a new one or is there any chance that it’s a small fix? I’m worried that the next step is an entirely new transmission and I’m not willing to pay for that. Help!!!

135K on a Subie is great. Given my history with the brand, I’d suggest you donate or sell that car with an honest accounting of its issues and move on. I would never own a Subie out of the drivetrain warranty.

your concerns might be internet fueled. you might not have a problem. if you want to sell it for a discount you might find a buyer who will overlook your concerns. money gets peoples attention

That lady in Arizona that needs a car comes to mind.

Your car’s torque converter locks up at steady speeds to improve mileage. The lockup mechanism could be hanging up, which would cause the symptom you’re describing. Chances are good when the torque converter was replaced the shop left the old lockup relay in place. I’m basing this on my own similar experience with a Pontiac. In my case the part was fairly cheap but the labor involved wasn’t. Take the car back to the shop that replaced the torque converter and tell them what you’re experiencing.

That is a sad statement.