2011 Sub Outback Strange and dangerous CVT failure

Asked by Jan 19, 2018 at 03:55 PM about the 2011 Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I drive a 2011 Subaru Outback automatic. This morning I was driving to work down the highway at 70 mph. The car suddenly started to decelerate. I pressed the gas pedal and nothing happened. It felt like it was suddenly forced into a lower gear. Dashboard was completely normal. No error lights. Gear still showed in "Drive". I came to a complete stop on the highway. Engine was still running. I put the car all the way in Park, then back to Drive, and suddenly it was back to normal. I immediately drove to a car service center and dropped it off for inspection. They weren't transmission experts so after verifying no error codes and driving it around themselves without being able to duplicate it, recommended going to the dealer. So I'm planning to go to the dealer but has anyone ever heard of this? What the heck would even cause this? I came SO close to being rear ended by an 18 wheeler...thank god he was able to swerve into another lane.

19 Answers


If your car is less than 10 years old and has under 100,000 miles , then Subaru of America will cover this....see below links..... Do you have less than 100,000 miles??? https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2017/subaru-transmission-warranty- extension.shtml https://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-extending-the- warranty-for-owners-with-a-cvt- transmissions/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/jensen/2017/07/12/subaru-owners-deadline- for-seeking- tranny-repair-reimbursement/#109ab0366d56 http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-2014/356290-2013- cvt- replacement-out-warranty-8.html

1 people found this helpful.

WOW, is it just me... seems like the 2010 and 2012 models for the Subaru Outback were much better than my other years...see this below, https://www.carcomplaints.com/Subaru/Outback/

2 people found this helpful.

Lots of CVT failures which is why I probably will never buy another Subaru even if they fix the oil consumption problem.


F_O_R-. It's certainly a valid concern... but, Subaru's extension of the warranty for 10 years and 100,000 miles is pretty generous.... I think that the oil consumption has been dealt with with the new 2017-18 models.... not entirely sure, but, articles suggest that. There's also been discussions about there new engines that consume a little more oil for the sake of not being as tightly machined..... See this explanation below, it sort of makes sense.... https://youtu.be/xa1kqSo3aeM


Thankfully, my Mercedes Sprinter doesn't use hardly any oil between changes . BUT, then again, it's a turbo diesel engine.... Also, not a CVT ....

The replacement or repair will be covered under the extended warranty. Hopefully it will be covered. If I get any information from the dealer as to the root cause I will share it.


At 101,000 miles a CVT failure can cost you 8 GRAND!


Mark-- cars that have only been out for a few months are not a good measure of oil consumption issues.


F_O_R- Oil consumption, see this website, this guy has something to say..... https://autoexpert.com.au/posts/the-truth-about-oil-consumption-in-modern- cars


IF you're really concerned about the CVT transmission, sell the car before 100,000 miles and ten years. 10 years and 100,000 miles is a decent warranty. What are you complaining about?


By the way, there's people out there who can replace the CVT transmission for around $3,000 to $4,000 ... I wouldn't take my 10 years old car to the dealership for a new transmission.


sctexas- Good luck. Call Subaru of America and get a validation... for the repairs.

1 people found this helpful.

The argument that excessive oil consumption is the new normal and that the gas saved is somehow worth the cost and trouble of adding oil all the time is completely rubbish.


Rubbish??? You know this guy in Australia is a mechanical engineer...are you? https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-cadogan-a207598b


He is a foul mouthed, spin meister for the auto industry. If you read his website he does disclose this. Are you claiming that he does not spin oil consumption this way Mark? I see even you have given up on Subaru so are you arguing just to argue or do you have a point?


I can do math unlike your self proclaimed "autoexpert". I get 27.6 mpg on average in my Subaru and at $3 a gallon which is the current gas price in my area it costs me $108.70 to go a 1,000 miles (26.23 gallons). My car used 1 quart of expensive synthetic in a 1,000 miles (actually a little worse). A quart of Mobil 1 full synthetic 0W-20 costs a bit over $5 a gallon. If you do the math $5 would buy 1.67 gallons of gas. Further math reveals that I would have to get 28.9 miles per gallon to pay for the oil consumption to break even (a 1.3 mpg increase) which is absurd as the likely increase (if any would be fractional).


F_O_R- where on Earth did you get the idea that I've "given up" on Subaru? Still have my 2010 Subaru Outback Limited...has 84,000 miles.. Do I think it will last longer than my 2009 Toyota Prius or my 2012 RS Adventurous which has a much smoother ride than either of my cars. The Mercedes didn't use any appreciable oil at all on my recent 12,000 miles journey across the USA.. changed the oil once during the trip, and the fluids levels were normal the entire time, that's remarkable. Yeah, he's got a potty mouth..so does Bill Maher, don't have a problem with that..he makes his point and it's entertainment.....MY point is that cars are made differently today with tolerances, get over it... It's a fact..and the engines are designed to get better mileage... Two miles per gallon difference.. that's what you are saying?? REALLY? This could be attributed to varying road conditions, etc. Talk about mileage, I'm lucky to get anywhere from 18 to 20 MPG in the RS Adventurous on the road and 15 MPG in the city. Didn't buy it for MPG... BUT, for the size of this thing and what it does, is pretty amazing. Don't really need three vehicles, but, that's what I currently have.. which means I probably won't be putting excessive miles on any of them...and don't plan on taking any long trips soon...the trip across the United States was great but, it's a long haul. Finally, I think this guy from Australia is pretty smart... he's pretty high on Mazda...I'm going to think seriously about them the next time I'm in the market for another car.... right now, I'm set .


No, the Subaru Outback Limited will NOT last as long as my two other vehicles.


Quote -- so does Bill Maher, don't have a problem with that.. Now I know where you are coming from.

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