New 2010 subaru outback stalling

My Outback has been stalling. has happened 6 times (3 times with AC on) in the last 2 months. the car is new, 6 speed MT, 2.5 LT engine, with 10,000 miles. the car stalls when coming to a stop, has also stalled while upshifting during turning, and yesterday stalled at 35-40 miles per hour on my wife. after the stall the car will start back up. the mechanic, can’t get a code to come up with what the problem is and subaru knows of the problem but, not sure how to fix it? any thoughts. I live in lafayette louisiana.

It is under warrantee take it back to the dealer and get it fixed.

Since it’s a new car, just keep bringing it back and start investigating what your state’s lemon laws require.

Is there another dealer you can try?

As the two prior responses suggested, it is the dealer’s problem. Do read your state’s lemon law (Sorry I don’t believe our neighbors to the north have a lemon law.P

i drop the car off today, subaru has them during both a hot and cold compression reading on the car…i will hear something on monday. thanks.

thanks for the info.


You are not alone in your “misery”. I bought my Outback PZEV 6 speed MT, beginning of May. I have roughly ridden 1900 km with it. Like you, mine stalled 6 times, typically when it was hot; 4 times coming to a stop, twice whilst downshifting from 3rd to 2nd gear. RPM failed like a ball, without hesitation (system did not try to recover), but re-started easily everytime. My car has been at the dealer for 2 weeks now. Last time, we spoke, they haven’t identified the problem. I will keep you posted, if you could do the same.


my outback was in the shop for a week, got it back thursday. they ran a hot and cold compression test on it twice and subaru said they were within the norm. although, my dealer did say the valves needed adjustment and they did do that; i am not sure if they adjusted the valves before the compression tests or after? the dealer also could not duplicate the problem. i drove the car throughout friday and saturday, in all types of environments, highway, city, stop-and-go traffic, with the air on full blast and off, everything was fine, and no problems today. i will also add, the engine/car does seem to be running better since the valves were adjusted? maybe part of the problem? will keep you posted.

I have exactly the same problem with my new 2010 Outback - 6 speed MT, 2.5LT engine, only about 6000 miles on it. Stalls after a sudden deceleration, coming to a stop, clutch all the way to floor. Seems to be worse with the AC on. Although the stalling is rare - maybe 4 times in 6 months, once it occured during a highway merge, so I’d like to get this fixed. It does seem that on a fast deceleration engine speed always falls to below 500 rpm, if AC compressor is on, seems to cut out, but usually doesn’t stall. Thanks for any advice that you find about this problem - seems to be one that several of us have.

We got out outback back from the dealer last week and are on a roadtrip right now. The dealer did alot of looking at the car- see above- they Found that the valve clearances were to tight, not sure what that means since I am an art professor but, they ended up adjusting the valves clearances to spec. The local Subaru field rep also look the car over and collected the vehicle data. Anyway, the car seems to be running fine. We have been driving with air on high all day today no problem and no problem since getting car back. Now, when comming to stop the rpm’s do drop but no stalling now. I will keep you all posted. If they find something different with yours please. Let me know.

I’ve taken my 2010 Outback to the dealer twice for this issue (it has stalled on me 6 times). It is still at the dealer right now. They called me this morning and said that Subaru HQ told them this is a known issue. They are working on a fix - probably a software update. No idea when it will be ready. I have a loaner car until the fix arrives, however 3 more weeks at the dealer and I can Lemon Law the car here in Virginia.

So this is a known issue. Push your dealer to talk to Subaru about it. There are a lot of other people with this problem.

Tight valves on one or more cylinders can definitely cause a problem like this. Based on the compression tests and subsequent valve lash adjustment I would say the dealer has done the right thing up to this point.

Now the problem area. If this car has been running with tight valve lash on any of the exhaust valves a proper adjustment may cure this problem for the short term.
For the long term it’s quite likely this will come back to bite you when the engine starts suffering premature exhaust valve face and valve seat burning.
It may take 5k, 20k, or 40k miles for this to occur. It’s anybody’s guess.

I grumble on this forum all of the time about the need to have lash inspected on a regular basis (30k miles intervals) and preferably an intial inspection at 1k miles.
Subaru USED to recommend and pay for a 1k miles lash inspection but the number crunchers took care of that. And there are those who say that the factory recommendation is always best. Not.

I have had the same problem and almost recieved a complimentary rear end accident … when I was told by the dealer that there was a problem and Subaru had no idea how to fix it and there was no time line to get it fixed “please come in and pick up your car” I suggested we discuss the liabilty issue…I was offered a rental until a fix is found…a suggestion I amy ask myself if I can replace the car with a auto transmission…at no charge …I dont want to be with out my car for weeks on end its a new car …and I dont feel safe driving a car that stalls going thru intersections…

I am under the impression that a “flash update” of the engine’s operating programs is due very soon. Even if the dealership does not yet have the reflash available at this point, they should have it shortly.

All You Folks With This Subaru Stalling Problem :

I hope all of you folks with stalling problems are filing your problems on NHTSA’s website. I haven’t looked there to see if there’s already a complaint list.

As Davidjames has indicated, “I have had the same problem and almost recieved a complimentary rear end accident …” Stalling can be dangerous.

While waiting to get your cars fixed, you could help avert an accident or a tradgedy by reporting any suspected car defect, particularly on a newer car. Perhaps when Subaru is ready with their “fix” they’ll initiate a recall or “campaign” (voluntary) and notify owners, but it wouldn’t hurt to register so that the scope of the problem becomes more obvious.

Also, as OK4450 has pointed out, I’d be concerned that tight valves may have damage valves / valve seats. If tight valves is what’s really causing the stalling then adjusting them and having compression come up enough to have the car quit stalling is different than adjusting them and having compression return to its full expected pressure. Valves not sealing well could deteriorate into valves hardly sealing at all, down the road.

I’m not making any assumptions or accusations concerning this stalling problem because I have no specifics other than what is reprted here. After knowing the complete cause of the stalling, maybe more will need to be done besides a software fix or valve lash adjustment (to stop the stalling) to ensure the cars’ engine longevity. It will be interesting to watch and see how Subaru handles this.


Had the EXACT same problem myself - 2010 Outback - had the vehicle for 5 months and when the weather got warn up here in the North, the stalling began. Had it at the dealer’s for 1 month. They issued a new car (with an additional expense to me). However, the 2011 does the SAME thing! Dealer seemed leery that it couldn’t be. I was able to get BOTH cars to “act up” for them while hooked onto their computers. Still waiting for an answer.

Hi, I drive a 2008 Subaru Legacy GT Limited 2.5 Turbo. I first experienced the stall in NYC bumper to bumper traffic in November of 2009. Almost had a heart attack. Luckily the car restarted. Since then it has stalled on me maybe a handful of times. Lights have blinked on the dash many times as if it was going to stall. I need to bring this to Subaru, but I did not want to go in there and get a huge “analysis” bill with no real results. I can sort of understand if they cannot recreate it but it sounds as if other people are having a similar issue with their subaru’s. I will tell you this, if they cannot rectify this, I am dumping this car and getting a honda or toyota.

Tight valves will definitely show lower compression and a compression test usually occurs both before and after a valve lash adjustment if this problem is suspected.
Adjusting the valves properly AFTER determining a lash problem should be followed up with another compresion check and both the dry/wet tests are valid.

The sticky issue that remains is that valve seat and valve face damage can occur within a short mileage span: say 40 or 50 miles. Adjusting the valves may raise the compression back up and the car may appear to run fine but as I stated, noticeable problems may not show up for months or even years. It depends.

Stalling can be caused by a number of things. The reason for the worry here is that it’s apparently been properly diagnosed as a lash problem.
Not all stalling problems are even a warrantable item. A physician who bought a new Subaru from a dealer I worked for went on vacation 2 weeks after buying it and wound up stranded in Corpus Christi, TX when he picked up a load of bad fuel. (verifiable too) Needless to say, he was HOT when he found out that warranty was not going to cover this but that’s as it should be.

The Legacy GT(LGT) 2.5 turbo engine has absolutely nothing to do with the non turbo engine. There is no commonality of issue. No idea about 2010 but it has little do with your car. It is rare on LGT to have this issue.

Find a decent dealer(warranty) or Subaru independent and take it in and fix it. It could be so very simple. You spend far more money on “dumping” this car vs fix.

This problem apparently exists only on 2010 Subarus with the 6-speed manual transmission.
Because the engines are identical to those in cars with the CVT, it is fairly obvious that the programming of the ECM in the manual trans cars is the problem. If incorrect valve lash was causing the stalling problem, then that situation should be appearing on the CVT models also–but the ones with CVT are not stalling.