2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited

20

Asked by Jan 07, 2017 at 09:50 AM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Need your advice... I have a 2010 Outback with
184k miles. The engine needs to be replaced.
Currently the car will not make it to 50mph without
going dead. I've received 2 opinions from reputable
mechanics and they have both stated that the
engine needs to be replaced. I was quoted any
where from $4-6k for a new engine. I'm on the
fence here. KBB says the car is worth $4,500-$6k
in good condition but I can't even drive it, so I know
I will not get that much for it! Should I invest the
money to get the Outback fixed or use that money
and buy another car?

35 Answers

74,755

Personally I would get what you can for it, and find a new car.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
52,705

You would be throwing good money after bad in my opinion. If you replace the engine you still have a car that has 184k on it and maybe it will soon need something else expensive like a transmission. I would get another vehicle.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
74,755

Bob, I can see every one else but you...

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
52,705

Interesting....

20

Thanks for the advice. The hard part is that I just paid it off a few months ago...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
22,375

How much can you get for the car in its present condition?? Bob's point about the transmission is definitely valid, how was the 5 speed electronic automatic transmission working? On the other hand, IF THIS CAR is in remarkable condition inside and out and you have been servicing the car religiously all the way from brand new and think you might go to 250,000 miles, realize that fixing the car is the LEAST EXPENSIVE option. You can't buy a new car for $4,000 to $6,000 and you have to know that that number will be the same as the sales tax and registration. Even if you paid $6,000 and went another 50,000 miles, the cost for this would be about 12 cents per mile. It's a 2010, so, it's not really that old a model, I would seriously consider fixing it, driving 50,000 and selling it to recover my expenses and get the service. How much do you like your car??

22,375

Braggs21-. If you were NOT the original owner of this car, I would SKIP it.

20

The condition of the car is great. I will have to check with the mechanics and find out how well my transmission is. I am not the original owner. I brought the car with about 40k miles on it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
52,705

I hate to agree with Mark as it does not happen very often, but if you are not the original owner I would get rid of it because you have no idea how it was taken care of before you purchased it. If you are the original owner and the vehicle has been carefully maintained then it is worthwhile to consider your options.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
22,375

Braggs21-. Sure don't know why Bob "hates to agree with me", maybe it's because he just hates Subaru cars in general and trashes them every chance he gets. I think Subarus are pretty good cars. I bought mine used 3 years ago this May with 66,000 miles. It runs great, no complaints at all. OK, so, you've had it since 40,000 and up to 184,000 miles, so, you've almost got 150,000 miles on this. Again, it all depends on the overall condition and have you been getting the car regularly serviced? AND, what does the interior and exterior look like. YOU CANNOT get a new or late model car for any less money, period. And, is the price of $4 to $6,000 for a new engine or remanufactured engine.... If you mean an "exchange engine" don't do that, it's a big mistake.... AND, how is the transmission, head gaskets, cooling system, etc. Realize that all of these factors are important so if you can't be certain, YES, find another car... I hate to see someone walk away from a big investment and you just paid it off, bummer.

79,965

Getting to 50 and then going dead does not necessarily sound like a bad engine. What exactly do the mechanics say about it?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
52,705

I hate agreeing with you Mark, because you are a condescending little snot that really knows little about the mechanical parts of vehicles. You can "Google", but that is about it. Also your continued banging of the drum for Subaru is annoying and tiresome. I am not the only one on this forum that has this opinion of you. There, you wanted to know.....

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
22,375

Full_of_Regrets- this is an excellent question, I thought you had a qualified mechanic give you a diagnosis?

6,915

Braggs, congrats on paying off your vehicle. If you are not already a member of an outback forum, I'd highly recommend you join and post in a new member forum with your predicament and ask for a little help from the real guru's. And of course use their search feature as well. This could be a lot of things and I agree with FOR on the whole 50-dying issue and the possibility that it isn't a bad engine. Do you have any engine codes? The problem with this forum is that you get a lot of "just ditch the car" answers. Normal forums not so much.

74,755

Maybe because it is more practical to "ditch a piece of junk" than to throw good monies away, We just try to inform anyone on actual practicality and costs. Its not like this vehicle is a classic worth saving.

6,915

Unless you are willing to research and identify with 100% certainty what the issue is (or put your money where your mouth is) than I cannot agree with ditching the vehicle. I don't know what the issue is but I believe in diagnosis before replacement hence my advice to find people who actually care about finding a solution. If the issue is bad enough then I'd be more agreeable.

74,755

What now you think we don't care in helping people?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
22,375

OK, two opinions from "qualified mechanics" chosen by Braggs21-, get one more opinion from either a Subaru expert..... Talk to people who specializes in these cars and get this issue settled about keeping or ditching the car. I thought that the engine replacement was a given based on what the original poster said. It either is or isn't. You can't move forward without solving this issue first.

6,915

are you more concerned with conflict or are you going to research the issue? anyone can tell someone they have a piece of crap car. Very few people can afford to take a huge loss because folks are unwilling to find a resource or have an actual solution for someone other than, pass the buck, ditch it. If you don't know, at least recommend a forum with your "I would ditch it" answer.

22,375

walth- Look, I'm VERY lucky in that I have a trusted mechanic who has taken care of all my cars for more than 15 years.... He and I have an established business relationship and he is an EXPERT diagnostician. If he told me that it was NOT worth fixing my car, I would listen and follow his advice. I have sent many clients his way and he appreciates it and takes excellent care of their cars. It's very difficult to find someone like this and once you do, you don't ever want to cut ties with this kind of arrangement. I don't know what expertise this mechanic who told the original poster that they have to replace the engine. I certainly don't think that the car is a piece of crap, we haven't seen this car's condition. BUT, from a purely financial move, it's either fix it properly, drive it for another 50,000 miles or sell it for what you can get and move on. Normally, it's always less expensive to fix your own car than get a new replacement. But , again, keeping it and getting some service out of it for the repairs you make is the wisest investment possible. Remember, I had a 1995 Honda Accord for 19 years.. listen, I saved a lot of money with no car payments...

6,915

Well Mark, I think it's safe to say he probably doesn't have a trusted mechanic compared to your situation. And my last comment wasn't intended for you Mark. And Bob, seriously? I don't know how I missed your comment about Mark being condescending but that's absurd.. and I reported you. Rowefast, I'm sure you care. But overall, not enough questions asked, err well, no questions asked. This could be as simple as an ignition issue or a number of other things and might be kind of rare or hard to diagnose. If they didn't explain their reasons (blow by? bad compression? cracked block? etc) and hard evidence, I wouldn't trust their judgment to replace an engine that might not be remotely the issue. Heck, we only paid 4700 and 5500 for our foresters 4ish years ago..I certainly couldn't stomach paying that for an engine replacement. I would post to a local facebook yardsale site asking for trusted mechanics in your area Braggs.

74,755

When the originator of this post says he has had two mechanics tell him his engine needs replacing, who is going to argue against that? The question was what to do, replace the engine or find a new car. I gave him my opinion.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
22,375

Walth- Thank you. I appreciate your comment about Bob, I've never said condescending, but, I have disagreed with him on a number of issues and in his own profile on this site with his name he says; "About Me Disclaimer....I HATE SUBARUS! They are garbage!" Which is why I find it so interesting that he trolls the Subaru questions. The only thing I can think of is he just wants to put down Subaru cars as often as he can.

22,375

If the original poster acquired this car with only 40,000 miles...then, I'm thinking that they paid almost as much as I paid for my car which was $22,500 and that's not insignificant. And, from a strictly financial point of view, even a $5000 repair is less than $400 per month car payments for 60 months. I look at it this way, to acquire a car, it's about $5000 per year for every year until you pay off the car. And, I've found on average that it costs about $2,000 in actual repairs, NOT MAINTENANCE, to keep your car running in top condition. All cars require maintenance, so you can't count tires, brakes, oil changes, batteries, etc. SO, when you look at this objectively, were talking repairs for the engine, transmission, and other major components. That's not going to happen every year to the sum of $5,000 per year. I'm thinking, you're going to get tired of your car or want updated safety features before you wind up spending more money than buying a new car. It's always MORE expensive to purchase a new vehicle. Increased annual registration fees, sales tax, higher insurance premiums, etc. At some point, you're going to want a new car, but, aside from safety features, it's hard to justify unless the car no longer serves the purpose you bought it for. My old 1995 Honda Accord EX wagon was a great car and ran perfect the day I sold it, BUT, it would not effectively tow my teardrop trailer. I needed a stronger vehicle with better ground clearance and torque which is why I purchased my 2010 Subaru Outback Limited. With the CVT transmission, FOUR cylinder engine, I'm getting the same mileage and performance as my old Honda. Why would anyone complain about that?? I hope you think about just weighing your options and hopefully finding a qualified mechanic who knows how to help you. If you lived in Los Angeles, I would be pleased to give you the name of my mechanic. Once again, it's ALL about condition. Here's a picture of my car and trailer.

5,710

I've only scanned these responses, especially glossing over Grasshopper's diatribes and personal show 'n tell. Really? Yes, the technicalities must be sorted, but note that perfectly feasible preowned motors are around in the $1.5-2k + $500 RnR range, making the purchase of one a reasonable investment for a '10 OB if it's at least a middling specimen. I also believe that first vs subsequent owner status is bullshit. I can't tell you the number of times I've evaluated hurt puppies that have only one owner. Absolutely ZERO correlation with mechanical status.... If the tranny's in question, just driveto test and then drain and check its ATF. If it's ok (pinklish light gray/brown) or just replenish and continue. If black and full of detritus you might certainly want to pass. Also note that the 3.6 w/ 5EAT is a pretty thirsty beast...not really fitting a rising fuel cost future too well. Given the poor fuel eco of the H6/EAT and general sloppy handling of all 2010-2012 OBs I'd lean toward replacement rather than resurrection.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
22,375

Ernie, my only point about the financial perspective, is that it's less EXPENSIVE to fix , keep and get service from this car. Yes, I did use the illustration about my previous car and why I purchased my Outback. Everyone has to make their own decision based upon their individual situation. By the way, I wasn't talking about a pre owned engine nor was the original poster. I think we were talking about a new engine replacement. I don't believe in using "exchange engines", maybe you will disagree, that's fine. I understand and appreciate your comments that the 3.6 is a thirsty engine, but, this is what they're dealing with. Diatribes?? I thought this forum was a great place to share experiences with others..? At least I'm sharing my thought process on why I decided to jump from the Honda Accord to the Subaru.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20

Wow..... I didn't mean to stir up all of the controversy.... And I apologize for not providing more information. I am able to get a used engine installed for about $2500.. So, I will probably get my car fixed. Thank you for input everyone!

6,915

HA, you're back. Don't apologize. You are new here but I'm not one to just agree and let it be. I like to dig and question and encourage that with anyone that comes here for help. And I'm not against "exchanging engines" but I would recommend you try to get a warranty in writing with said purchase.

6,915

And if they gave you any reasons Braggs, as to what is so wrong with the engine that it needs replacing, I'd be interested to hear. Keep us posted.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
22,375

Braggs21-. YES, maybe that's the best case for your situation and considering that your car already has 185,000 miles, that will work and get you back on the road. If I were you, I would keep the car for maybe another 18 months and sell it for another vehicle. The reason I don't like "exchange engines" is that you really cannot validate what work was done or how many miles are on the engine. Maybe you are fortunate and will get a 12 months warranty, I don't know. If it were my car , I would either try and purchase a brand new engine or a completely remanufactured engine. I happen to think that the extra price is worth the peace of mind knowing that everything has been completely gone through and refurbished. Just my opinion. As Walt pointed out, come back and report how all of this went. Good luck.

5,710

Braggs: glad you're following my suggestion. Preowned running motors from wrecks with known history are indeed usually a solid path forward. In worst case you're out double-labor if you get a bad short block or cracked head...or about $500...not the end of the world. Now that whole motors and CVTs are in the salvage markets at <=$2k + labor their replacement will make sense if the donee carcass merits. Trusted sources indeed CAN validate history, Grasshopper, so don't rain on Braggs' parade....

79,965

The way I see it the controversy here is that the original posters statements don't jibe. Going to 50 and then dying could be almost anything and needing a new engine is about the last solution anyone with any automotive knowledge would think of. Either the "trusted" mechanics are right but left out all the pertinent information or they are ripping this guy off. Unfortunately the OP never clarified anything at all.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,915

Exactly.

5,710

Agreed, but giving the benefit of the doubt getting a properly-sorted 3.6 installed for a quarter is a decent deal...IF it was needed. Wonder if he ever saw BOTH motors at once...or just a can of spray- cleaner on the garage floor?!

79,965

What if it was just a bad coil or some other simple fix? If the problem is with some external system that does not get replaced with the engine then nothing would be accomplished except to empty this guys bank account.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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