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2010 Subaru Outback Diesel Problems

Asked by Kate

Are there any common 2010 Subaru Outback diesel problems? I am interested in purchasing a 2010 Outback but want to find our if there are any reoccurring issues that I should know about?

Answered by CarsGuide

11 Dec 2020 David Morley

Subaru Outback diesel problems don’t seem to be too frequent or too common. And that’s probably in line with the brand’s overall reputation for reliable engineering.

Probably the biggest complaint from owners is that the engine lacks a little oomph from a standing start and suffers from what’s called turbo-lag; a delay between putting your foot down and the car responding. Even though Subaru claimed a torque peak of 350Nm at anywhere between 1800 and 2400rpm, in reality, the engine didn’t feel that strong down low, particularly just off idle. The other barrier to the success of the Outback diesel was that it could only be had with a six-speed manual transmission and no automatic option was offered in the model you’re talking about.

Beyond that, the usual diesel-engine caveats apply including the requirement to give the engine a decent run at highway speeds every few weeks at the very least. Without this, the engine’s particulate filter (which aims to clean up tailpipe emissions) will clog up and may need to be manually cleaned or even replaced, and that won’t be cheap.

Subaru engines have, over the decades, proven themselves to be tough customers on the one condition that they’re serviced absolutely by the book. Skipping scheduled services is a sure way to send a Subaru engine to an early grave. So make sure any car you’re considering has a full and complete service history with no evidence of missed oil changes. It’s also worth noting that this model was caught up in the Takata air-bag fiasco, so make sure this critical recall has been attended to.

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