Last post on Aug 17, 2012 at 6:34 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
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Subaru Outback, Sedan, Wagon
#38 of 145 Test Drove a 2011 OB, 2.5 CVT this morning
Aug 10, 2010 (12:06 pm)
In the not to distant future I intend to order a 2011 OB, 3.6, Ltd, 5 sp. auto. Was also concerned about steering wheel vibration and a few other minor issues. Drove the demo vehicle 65 to 80mph for a few miles-then slowed down fearing an onslaught of flashing lights.
This demo vehicle drove and rode extremely well-even better than I had expected. I experienced a reassuring road feel from the rack and pinion steering but there was no vibration in the steering wheel or the car seat. Overall, a very satisfying test drive experience.
Some days luck just happens. When we returned to the showroom, two corporate officers from Subaru America were visiting the dealership and having a discussion at a desk in the showroom. They overheard me talking to the salesman about the oil-like smoothness of the ride and my initial concerns about the steering wheel vibration. They asked if we would mind their joining our conversation.
They said Subaru of America was aware of this annoying and infrequent problem in the 2010 OB and that the problem has been resolved for all 2011 Outbacks. Both men were identical and certain in their remarks and very knowledgeable about even the smallest of details in the Outback.
I was impressed with my test drive and reassured of SOA's desire to manufacture vehicles to the highest standards and solve problems as quickly as possible.
Edit: I do not know why my post contains two sizes of type. Sorry!
This info about the steering vibration being cured in the 2011 Outback does not jibe with the experiences of some who purchased this vehicle. I'll still wait a while longer before making my purchase.
#39 of 145 Re: Test Drove a 2011 OB, 2.5 CVT this morning [john_mu]
Aug 10, 2010 (1:18 pm)
I found your comments very interesting. You are right: when the new Outback works, it works exceedingly well with a smooth, fluid ride and a rock-steady steering wheel. I had one for a long (overnight) test drive and there was no steering problem at all on the 2010 sample that I had.
The problem is that, according to some buyers, the shake does not show up for perhaps a thousand miles or more, which, of course, could not be determined by taking the car one was hoping to buy for a test drive.
I am also puzzled by the comments you report from the Subaru representatives to the effect that the defect would not involve the 2011 cars as there have been reports by some buyers of the 2011s that they also experienced shaking steering wheels.
I am in the market for a new Outback but am postponing it until this steering/suspension issue is definitively diagnosed and reproducibly resolved.
#40 of 145 Re: Advice [thor14]
Aug 20, 2010 (7:22 pm)
If you don't need a 4X4 (AWD) then the Toyota is for you. If you need or want a 4X4 (AWD) the Toyota SUCKS compared to the Subaru.
If you do get the Toyota, you might want my cell # so I can come pull you out of the 2" snow drifts you will be getting stuck in.
#41 of 145 TSB on 2010 Legacy/Outback Steering Shudder
Aug 29, 2010 (1:18 pm)
I have been following this issue closely because I am interested in purchasing a new Subaru Legacy or Outback. However, it is not clear to me how well the "fix" prescribed in the TSBs work and I am wondering if there is any one out there who has had their car modified in accordance with the bulletins and can report on the result. For example, has the problem been fully corrected, does the car drive differently and in what way, are they satisfied with the result and any other comments that may be useful.
I talked to a local service manager and asked him to tell me just what is the problem. Why are "x" number of cars OK and a smaller number "y" are not when they came off the same production line? Also, why did it take so much time to finally issue a bulletin that supposedly fixes the problem? He told me it was a non-issue because Subaru would take care of the problem.I am suspicious that the manufacturing process at Lafayette has infrequently gone out of control and, as a result, some of the cars come off the line with the built in steering problems that owners have reported. And, those problems are not a matter of simply replacing a part but apparently may require a modification to the vehicle which makes it a modified Legacy/Outback and not the one the owner purchased. I am holding off on any purchase until I am fully confident that the steering problem has been solved and, hopefully, no more 2011's will have it.
#42 of 145 Re: TSB on 2010 Legacy/Outback Steering Shudder [efti]
Aug 29, 2010 (1:54 pm)
I continue to be confused by this whole steering shudder as well.
I did test drive one the other day, and I briefly got it up to 65 mph and I did notice a vibration in the steering wheel. It wasn't bad, but enough to notice, especially if your keen to it.
If thats all it is, I do not think such a vibration would keep me from purchasing the vehicle, but in light of all the attention being paid to it lately and some of the stories I have reading, I am still hesitant to purchase.
And yes, the dealer also told me its really not that big a deal and Subaru is very loyal to its customers and if there was a problem they would do everything they could to fix it.
#43 of 145 2010 OB 2.5 Ltd purchased 11-09
Aug 29, 2010 (5:32 pm)
Our 2010 OB with >8K is smooth on the highway, but it does exhibit some annoying hesitation at times that was not there when new. Have not brought it to the attention of dealer yet.
#44 of 145 low speed steering wheel vibration in a new 2011 2.5 w/ CVT Outback
Sep 05, 2010 (9:54 am)
I just bought a brand new 2011 Outback (2.5 w/ CVT) and I am feeling a pulse or vibration in the steering wheel at low speeds (parking garage speed). I also think I feel it at higher speeds (over 40 mph) when I let up on the gas and let the Outback coast. I saw postings on highway speed vibrations and pulling but this seems different from that... Anyone else with issues like this? Thanks!
#45 of 145 Re: low speed steering wheel vibration in a new 2011 2.5 w/ CVT Outback [phillsea]
Sep 05, 2010 (10:25 am)
There is a known steering defect in the new Outback which affects an unknown percentage of cars.
Go to subaruoutback.org where there are many threads and literally hundreds of pages of posts on the various shake issues experienced by buyers of the new Outback.
See the Forum entitled "Steering Wheel Shake Issues."
It is unfortunate you were not aware of this before you bought the car.
#46 of 145 Re: low speed steering wheel vibration in a new 2011 2.5 w/ CVT Outback [phillsea]
Sep 10, 2010 (2:28 pm)
I think Post 45 is talking about a different problem than yours, Phillsea. I believe post 45 is talking about the high-speed steering wheel vibration issue, that affects some 2010-11 OBs at 65-75 mph, roughly.
But in addition to that issue there have been a few posts on www.subaruoutback.org about a pulsing at very low speeds, or even when turning the steering wheel while standing still. If I recall right, the person (or maybe more than one) who posted about this separate issue ended up having something fixed that was related to their power-steering pump. You might have to search that forum using carefully-chosen key words, to NOT include the hundreds and hundreds of posts related to the high-speed issue....
(As an aside, the "fix kit" for the high-speed issue involves road-force wheel balancing, then suspension bushings, the change of a small spring inside of the steering rack, and a damper/weight being added to the steering wheel.)
#47 of 145 Re: low speed steering wheel vibration in a new 2011 2.5 w/ CVT Outback [rschleicher]
Sep 23, 2010 (4:55 am)
Well, despite all the message board attention to the "steering shimmy" and my own hesitation, I bit the bullet and purchased a 2011 Premium 2.5 CVT Outback yesterday. Test drove and driving around town with no problems or shakes at 160 miles.
Lovin the car and hope it continues to be that way.