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The 2011 Subaru Outback is one of the best cars in the year 2011. This car is famous for its great balanced handling, best standard all-wheel drive, and large cargo space. On the other hand, the 2011 Subaru Outback did not have the best fuel economy as compared to other vehicles in the same class. The main improvement for this vehicle from the year before is the new addition of a backup camera and satellite radio. Although this car was rated at the top and features in many locations, it had several reported problems by the owners. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Like many other vehicles, the 2011 Subaru Outback problems were either significant or not very significant. Most 2011 Subaru Outback issues were related to transmission, engine, electrical system, accessories and interiors, light, suspension, heat, cooling, fuel features, and windows. 

Yes, the 2011 Subaru Outback common problems can make a long list. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the car is not good. Like any other vehicle, the 2011 Subaru Outback develops mechanical problems over time of use. Therefore, it is recommended that people should educate themselves with these vehicles’ problems, especially if they already own one or would like to buy a new or used one.

In this article, we will walk you through all what you need to know about the 2011 Subaru Outback problems. 

2011 Subaru Outback light problems


Most reported 2011 Subaru Outback light problems are related to light burnouts. For instance, the majority of reported complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are related to headlights burn out. The burnt headlight has to be replaced to resolve the problem. On average, expect to pay about $110 to get them replaced. Burnt headlights are considered a fairly significant problem.

The second most reported complaint to do with bulbs burning out. This problem is usually fixed by also replacing the bulbs, which cost about $50. Burnt bulbs are considered a pretty bad problem that shouldn’t be ignored.

The last reported complaint about this vehicle’s light is the rear light burning. This problem is considered pretty bad, and this problem can be resolved by replacing the bulbs, which generally costs $50, as we mentioned earlier. 


2011 Subaru Outback transmission problems


2011 Subaru Outback transmission problems are very critical due to the high transmissions repair cost, not only for this vehicle but in general.

Reported Subaru Outback transmission issues to have to do with transmission failure, shuddering, transmission jerks, and transmission clunks.

Transmission’s failure is the last thing a driver wants to hear from the mechanic. For this vehicle, transmission failure is considered a terrible problem that requires a full transmission replacement. Transmission replacement costs about $4,200 on average. 

Transmission shuddering is reported by several owners of the 2011 Subaru Outback. In most cases, fixing the transmission shuddering required replacing one of the following: the torque converter, the transmission itself, the celluloid. On average, people who reported transmission shuddering had to pay about $3,250 to get the problem resolved. 

Another reported problem regarding the 2011 Subaru Outback transmission has to do with transmission jerking. The problem is considered awful and required transmission control module reprogramming. Reprogramming the control module costs about $150 on average. 

Lastly, several 2011 Subaru Outback owners reported transmission clucking. Clucking is also considered a terrible problem. According to the NHTSA, no information was mentioned regarding repair cost or approach for this problem.

2011 Subaru Outback engine problems


Another significant problem you never wish for is engine-related issues. Most reported complaints to the NHTSA regarding 2011 Subaru Outback engine issues are related to engine stalling, too much oil consumption, and rough acceleration.

Engine stalling is one of the pretty bad engine problems and was mostly resolved by replacing the torque converter. In most cases, engine stalling cost $2,200 to get resolved. 

Few 2011 Subaru Outback owners reported excessive oil consumption and rough acceleration issues. However, no information was provided regarding ways to fix the problem or repair costs. 

2011 Subaru Outback electrical problems


NHTSA received about 56 complaints related to 2011 Subaru Outback electrical problems. The majority of the complaints were either related to warning lights or backup camera.

Warning lights problems were related to the gas cap, and the problem just vanished by replacing the part. However, the same problem reoccurred with many different owners without a clear knowledge of why this is happening. 

At least one owner reported a complaint about the 2011 Subaru Outback backup camera not working. This problem was resolved by replacing the camera. 

2011 Subaru Outback brakes problems


2011 Subaru Outback brakes problems reported by most owners had to do with brakes locking, electrical parking brakes not working, warning service brakes, and issues with the hydraulic brakes. 

At least one owner reported locking brakes, which caused him to get involved in an accident. This issue is considered one of the awful reported problems about the 2011 Subaru Outback brakes. 

Another reported brake issue had to do with the electronic parking brake. Several owners thought that brakes shouldn’t depend upon battery power or electrical system because any issue with the electrical system can put the driver’s life in danger. 

Problems with the brake control module were also reported for the 2011 Subaru Outback. At least one owner was involved in a crash due to a failed control module that resulted in a malfunctioning anti-lock system. 

2011 Subaru Outback other common problems


There are additional 2011 Subaru Outback problems that were reported by fewer owners.

In this section, we will group some additional common issues with the 2011 Subaru Outback:


  • 2011 Subaru Outback airbag problems



One owner complained that after the dealer replaced his car’s airbag, the driver’s window and power outlet did not function anymore. 

Other issues with the 2011 Subaru Outback had to do with the long waiting time for repair. Several owners mentioned that their car had to stay on a waiting list for a long time because the parts were missing. 


  • 2011 Subaru Outback seatbelt problems



In some reported complaints, the 2011 Subaru Outback seatbelts did not function properly as they got bent and stuck to the door. Other complaints reported issues with the buckle-up camera as it was not centered in the right way.


  • 2011 Subaru Outback suspension problems



One of the common suspension issues was a failing rear strut. This problem caused the door to hit the driver in the head. 

A second reported problem with the 2011 Subaru Outback suspension had to do with strut leaks that prevented the owner from getting an inspection sticker unless the strut is replaced. 

Lastly, one owner reported that he had to replace the wheel bearing several times, and the suspension problem was not resolved. 


  • 2011 Subaru Outback AC and heating system problems



Few complaints were reported to the NHTSA regarding failing AC and heating systems.

One driver reported that even the car was serviced regularly, a high-temperature warning light was illuminating. The problem had to do with a failed head gasket, which was replaced for about $1,500.


  • 2011 Subaru Outback fuel system problems



Several people reported issues with the gas mileage. Some of the complaints were that the car never achieved the advertised mileage on highways or city roads. In general, they found that the 2011 Subaru Outback makes up to 25 miles per gallon maximum. However, the mileage estimator says 29 to 31 miles per hour, which was not right. 

Other complaints came from an owner who had to change the fuel tank for $500 plus a tank inspection for $200. There was not any clear reason why the fuel tank needed to be replaced without any previous problems with the car.


  • 2011 Subaru Outback windows problems



The majority of reported windows problems had to do with the sunroof. Many owners reported that their sunroof got stuck several times even after replacing the parts and all related electronics. 

Another complaint received from an owner who couldn’t move the driver’s windows up or down as it got stuck in place for no reason.


  • 2011 Subaru Outback steering problems



Most 2011 Subaru Outback steering’s problems were related to steering failing. Several owners reported that their steering stopped functioning completely while they are driving in city roads or highways. One of the major causes of steering failure is a rusted hose junction connection.

Other people reported problems with shaking steering wheel without any previous warning lights or any other types of warnings.  

At least one owner reported that the steering wheel lost power and flames started in the car that resulted in complete vehicle damages, without any injuries. 

Also, several complaints were reported regarding the steering wheel adjustment needed. This is because the steering tends to push the vehicle to one side and not to the center.

Finally, the 2011 Subaru Outback steering wheel can get stuck suddenly and become hard to maneuver. To resolve this problem, the driver had to replace the power steering rack assembly, the gearbox, and the power steering fluid. 


  • 2011 Subaru Outback wheels problems



The 2011 Subaru Outback wheel problems have to do wheel wells filled with dirt or mud. This problem can become more significant in winter, especially when there is snow. The issues caused poor vehicle control by making the steering wheel to shake and vibrate. Dealerships and mechanics mentioned that this problem is very common in most 2011 Subaru Outback vehicles.

Snow and ice build-up on the tires can also cause poor vehicle control that been said; the problem almost vanishes in summer days, suggesting that this vehicle is very suitable for areas where there is no snow in winter.

Lastly, several owners reported some vibration in the car due to issues with the wheels and tires. Although the wheels and tires were replaced, the problem continued afterward. While the repair did not fix the vibration issue, the rear tires started to wear better than before. 


  • 2011 Subaru Outback exterior problems



One 2011 Subaru Outback owner mentioned that the roof flew away when he was driving on the highway.

In some severe cases, the puddle light wiring can get very hot and start a fire. At least one owner complained about a sudden fire in his garage coming out from his 2011 Subaru Outback after confirming an issue with the puddle light wiring.


  • 2011 Subaru Outback exhaust system problems



When the 2011 Subaru Outback is not used continuously, the muffler and exhaust system might rust very badly, as reported by several owners.

This problem occurred while the vehicle is still less than 20,000 miles.



The 2011 Subaru Outback is still one of the top-rated cars for the year 2011, despite all the listed problems. Like any other car, over time of use, the 2011 Subaru Outback will start facing mechanical problems that need continuous attention.

Although the list of 2011 Subaru Outback problems is long, this doesn’t mean that is owners hate it. They all love and admire their Subaru’s, and most of the reported problems can be fixed with the minimum level of maintenance and amount of money. However, it is important to understand what type of problems you might face if you decided to own a 2011 Subaru Outback. 

It is also recommended that you keep an eye on anything, not normal. Whether it is a weird smell, strange noise, or any change in the vehicle’s behavior, as a rule of thumb in the world of automobiles, detecting the problem early can save you a lot of time and effort, if not saving the car from complete damage. 

Most reported 2011 Subaru Outback has to do with one of the following: the lights, the transmission, the engine, the electrical system, the interior, the suspension system, the AC and heating system, the cooling system, the fuel consumption, the windows, and others. 

The most important problems when it comes to repairing cost and severity are the ones related to the transmission and the engine.