Trucks & SUVs

The 2013 Subaru Outback Might Be a Money Pit

If you’re in the market for a used Subaru Outback, there is a particular model that you may want to avoid. The 2013 Subaru Outback is a model year that has racked up more complaints than others. See what common problems it may have. 

Is a used 2013 Subaru Outback a good option? 

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition driving down a dirt trail
2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Edition | Subaru

Maybe. The Subaru Outback is a model known for being reliable and for having high rates of customer satisfaction. But according to Torque News, the 2013 Subaru Outback serves as the one model year that you should avoid. 

But this might not be a reason to walk away from this option. According to Consumer Reports, the 2013 Outback has a reliability rating of three out of five and an owner satisfaction rating of three out of five. 

Both of these scores are average. The Outback makes people the happiest in terms of ride quality and seat comfort but received lower rankings for how noisy it is, the handling, storage areas, and more. Also, potential areas of trouble include minor and major engine trouble, body integrity problems, electronic issues, suspension trouble, etc. 

Does the Subaru Outback have engine trouble? 

We switched gears and took a look at Car Complaints to see precisely what problems owners of the 2013 Subaru Outback struggled with. The engine has 24 complaints that owners posted directly to the forum, and there are 73 complaints from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Excessive oil consumption seems to be a prevalent issue. One driver had to change his oil about every 3,000 miles instead of having the oil last to about 5,000 miles. Another driver topped their oil off at almost every 1,300 miles. 

RELATED: The 2021 Subaru Outback Received Major Safety Upgrades

One driver failed the oil consumption test but didn’t have the issue repaired by Subaru. Their vehicle was still covered by warranty at the time of failing the test, but Subaru still turned a blind eye to them. 

The issues reported to the NHTSA include engine failure. One owner had their motor blow when their Outback had about 78k miles on it. Another driver had their transmission replaced around 95,000 miles but needed it replaced again around 117,000 miles. 

There are also a few reports of the Subaru Outback losing acceleration at random times, such as while merging onto the highway. Some drivers experienced unintended acceleration and needed their head gaskets replaced too. 

Other Subaru Outback issues 

Another common 2013 Subaru Outback complaint includes transmission problems. One driver noticed that their transmission was making a loud grinding noise, but the dealership said it was fine. Later, one of the bearings went bad and needed to be replaced. 

The 2021 Subaru Outback parked near water
2021 Subaru Outback | Subaru

One driver needed to have their CVC transmission replaced at about 115,000 miles. This was outside of the extended warranty and wasn’t covered by Subaru. At the time, the fix was about $9,000. 

A few strange electrical issues have been reported by owners too. One driver couldn’t use their backup camera because it only showed a blue screen with the grid lines. Another owner noticed that their electric parking brake wouldn’t turn on, and it was blinking. Then it got stuck in the on position and had to be towed away!