subaru outback diesel manual

Submitted: Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 17:54
ThreadID: 106710 Views:5104 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
This Thread has been Archived
I hope this isn't regarded as inappropriate however I'm asking a question on behalf of a daughter who is considering buying a late model Subaru Outback manual diesel vehicle. She currently owns a petrol Forester.

Wanting information any known problems with engine or gearbox (or anything else) with this model from people who have owned one please.

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: mikehzz - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 18:53

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 18:53
I'm in the Subaru Club and there are some Outback diesels there. I haven't heard of any issues but will check at the meeting tonight. I had one follow me down through Flea Creek to Mcintyres Hut in the Brindabellas last year which was a good effort.
AnswerID: 528334

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 23:24

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 23:24
The issues in the following posts are pretty spot on especially the dpf from what I heard tonight. The new diesel auto is supposed to be better.
FollowupID: 810880

Reply By: gbc - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 19:53

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 19:53
Like most small diesels these days they run a dpf which makes them a bit of a non event if your daughter drives around the city all the time and doesn't hit the highway a lot.
AnswerID: 528343

Follow Up By: murranji - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 20:17

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 20:17
I owned a Subaru Out. Diesel...I sold it as I had very nasty occasions when it stalled when entering traffic on roundabouts etc.
I guess it may not have happened had I not been used to bigger slow revving diesels....It amazed me that Subaru with all their experience had not installed some anti stall device [like most other manuafacturers do]....Totally disappointed.!!
Also gear box [manual] very stiff to manage[this was new vehicle] Later technician confided that recommendation was to use thinner gearbox oil..Too late I had sold it before I got caught at some intersection and gone under a truck ,as I nearly had..
Very economical ,great finish ,,but..........................
FollowupID: 810864

Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 20:36

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 20:36
I have a customer who is a Suby man through and through. He bought a diesel not too long after they came out and had the dealer do the first 2 services. I did the 3rd service and found oil leaking from the engine rear main seal area. It went back 3 times, at around a week each time, but was never repaired so he traded it back in recently on a petrol Forester auto. As others have said, a terrible feeling clutch, accelerator and gear change. The new Forester is a far nicer driving car. Maybe the newer auto diesels may drive better. Regards, Bob.
AnswerID: 528349

Reply By: Falco80 - Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 22:51

Friday, Mar 14, 2014 at 22:51
I've just sold my diesel forester at 105000km's after owning it from new. It was a leased vehicle and my only hesitation at first was because the vehicle had a diesel particulate filter. I was driving 200km's a day to and from work on the highway and I still had dpf issues. At 9000km's it went into "limp home" mode on me on the Bruce highway, which resulted in me heading straight for the dealer instead of work. They found it had oil dilution issues and reset it all, played with the ecu and it was good after that. My secondary sump had an oil leak, which was picked up at a service, and this involved an engine-out stay at the dealership to fix. Apparently it was a common occurrence with the Subaru diesels. The gearbox is very vague in the shift pattern and takes a bit to get used to. The clutch has no forgiveness and I still used to stall it on the odd minor hill after driving the thing for three years! You cannot lug this engine. The fuel economy was outstanding, but the gearing was too tall for stupid Australian low speed limits. 6th gear was redundant, if you didn't want to lug the engine. I love the devolopments made with common rail injection, but in my mind that has become the Achilles heel of the modern diesel. The new breed of diesels are no longer the reliable bulletproof tractor-like engines they used to be. One bad batch of diesel and your up for thousand's in costs with injectors and injector pump repairs. They are now fragile things that need to be maintained well and driven accordingly. They do not suit city drivers if they have a DPF. The DPF is obviously inevitable with modern diesels so we need to get used to them, but I'm staying away from them for the foreseeable future. At the moment I would never buy a common-rail, DPF-equipped diesel that is out of factory warranty. My 35 year old Toyota diesel might be slow but it will never die!
AnswerID: 528356

Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 at 19:05

Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 at 19:05
I have an Outback diesel. Done about 85000 km. I think it is great. No oil leaks or other mechanical problems.
The one issue is the gearing. To me, there is no problem with the clutch, gearbox, just the gearing. The problem isn't really a problem, you just need to know how to drive it. 5th and 6th gears are very high geared and the thing is really set up for very economical distance cruising. It also hangs on suprisingly well up hills for a diesel with tall ratios, even when towing.
Around town you just need to be very precise with your gear selection and revs. Generally we only use the bottom 4 gears around town. The wife and I are both very used to manual cog swapping, both petrol and diesel. It is high revving for a diesel and has quite a narrow torque range. You need to pick the gear correctly for slower speed corners. We both stalled a couple of times in the first few days with the car but we got used to it quickly and now neither finds it an issue, actually, we find it rather fun to drive. You do have to drive it. It sure is different however to our turbo diesel LC which just lugs around corners at any speeds.
AnswerID: 528412

Follow Up By: Roughit.Instyle - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 11:52

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 11:52
Thanks for your post Mike - we have upgraded our 15 year old petrol Forester to the new diesel Forester and loving it. However, the comments regarding stalling it have absolutely hit home with us. Your assurance about the gear selection & revs has confirmed our choice, having both driven manual cars, including the LC, the Forester was challenging our early days of driving it. It is just brilliant on longer stretches, just around town finding it somewhat interesting, and you are right - the problem isn't really a problem!

Cheers- Ngaire
FollowupID: 810996

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 11:46

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 11:46
The big question is what does she want to do with it and why does she want a diesel.

ALL diesels resent being driven arround the city doing short runs and at low speed.
If ya don't work em hard, run em long and get em hot they will all suffer...always did always will.

If she is drinving around the city particularly less than 2 hours a day good highway work.....a petrol engine is a far better proposition.....and that is regardless of brand.

Then there is the issue of subaru.....they are a one trick wonder.....they realy only make one car.....slight variations.....but it is more or less the same mecahical package.

I don't like subaru ( you may have gathered)...but they more or less make one engine a modern variant of the VW motor..and they have it pretty well sorted.

They do not have a long history of putting diesel engines in the one car they make and that is compounded with this new...still problematic common rail diesel technology.

If she wants a diesel......I'd look elsewhere...the new Isuzu SUV may be worth a look...if shee wants a subaru...stay with petrol.

AnswerID: 528468

Follow Up By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 15:31

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 15:31
Hi Bantam,

Firstly, thanks for your reply.

I'm afraid I can't say why she wants diesel as she lives in Canberra and much of her driving is short trips around town, although she also drives down to the coast every now and then. We (her father and I) asked the same question and have already mentioned the issues of higher servicing costs, dirty fuel, higher fuel prices....
She wouldn't be towing anything either.

She currently owns an older Subaru petrol manual. We have also suggested other makes and models of a similar size as she wants a wagon because she is a keen cyclist and carries bikes on top of the vehicle or in the rear very frequently, however she wasn't keen any of those. Didn't like the shape....etc!

She did mention VW (maybe a Passat?) and Skoda something or idea what either are like and I offered to ask a question here on the forum to see what current owners think of the Subaru diesel so I could pass on the information to her first.

She probably would not be buying new, rather something just a few years old, and won't rush into the purchase which is good.
Anyway, I have given her the information I have received and I am sure she will find it useful.

Once again,

thanks Heather
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

FollowupID: 811018

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 18:15

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 18:15
When the wife took up cycling, it made the corrola, impractical.....she/ we test drove a number of vehicles..including the subaru.

We where singularly unimpressed with the particular its failure to slow down when the accelerator was lifted....the whole throttle response we found concerning.
The driving position was just not right and the servicing cost...although touted as low ceretaibly was not.

We ended up buying a RAV.....she was very happy with it.....we just sold it with just over 80 000 on the clock and it was still running like a clock.
The buyers thaught it drove like a new car......but thay had not driven the newer RAV that replaced it.

We looked at the current model RAV.....and like a few things toyota has lost the plot.....The Mrs saw a low milage previous to current model RAV on the local Toyota lot with less than 15000Km...thats right fifteen we baught it.

She could not be happier...the bike fits in the back no wories...with the wheels on.

Since then several of our friends have baught RAV.none have regretted it.

FollowupID: 811031

Follow Up By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 19:39

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 19:39
The RAV was mentioned by us too, so I will pass that on. She HAS decided not to buy diesel having received the replies.

Believe it or not, she is a young woman (31) asks our advice, listens, and thinks about things before making a decision.
thanks again
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

FollowupID: 811046

Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 15:34

Sunday, Mar 16, 2014 at 15:34
Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. It is much appreciated and I have passed the information on to our daughter.

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 528483

Sponsored Links