I have a 2011 Subaru Outback that is stalling when I brake suddenly at low speeds. Anyone else have this issue???? Anyone have any ideas what the problem is??

Asked by Sep 15, 2016 at 07:12 PM about the 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

29 Answers

17,375

You might have a bad mass airflow sensor?? I would have it checked out by your mechanic.

3,650

Mark, you're wrong again. Most likely the CVT is malfunctioning. Try changing CVT fluid (5.5 qts drain and pump in) before chasing a used one. Stalling at idle is one way these are failing.

3,650

BTW: MAF sensors prevent ACCELERATION...not related to decel stall.

17,375

Suzanne-. OK, how many miles are on your 2011??

104K

17,375

Ernie - please see this link below, specifically item number 3. With all due respect, I'm getting tired of your being so "down on CVT transmissions", I'm sure that Subaru didn't just replace the old electronic automatic transmissions because of fuel economy, even it's a benefit? According to some engineers I've met, the simplicity the CVT is superior. the old 4 and 5 speed EAT gear boxes. I don't know, maybe there is or is NOT a problem with CVTs? Of course, your view is skewed because you're in the car repair business and naturally would only see cars needing repairs, but, there's millions of these cars on the road with the CVT transmission since it's inception in 2010. Again,. I personally know someone who went 300,000 miles on his 2010 Subaru Outback Limited. Without looking at this person's car, you don't actually know what is wrong? https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/symptoms-of-a-bad-or- failing-mass-airflow-sensor And this link below confirrms that STALLS do occasionally happen, https://community.cartalk.com/t/can-the-mass-air-flow-sensor- cause-a-car-to-die/28826

17,375

Suzanne- I would be VERY CAREFUL about who does the CVT transmission fluid change in your car. I tow a small teardrop trailer and because of this had the transmission fluid changed at 70,000 miles. I currently have just over 80,000 miles on my 2010 Subaru Outback Limited. A lot of people on this forum are "flame throwers" regarding the Lineartronic CVT transmission...I wonder why? As I stated in the above post, I actually know someone who went 300,000 miles before the car was in an unfortunate unforseen accident... A bizarre incident. I personally took my car to the Subaru dealership for this service, yes, it was expensive, but, I figured, it's their car and they did an excellent job . Good luck. By the way, 104,000 miles is the perfect time for a major service, I would definitely recommend that you change the timing belt, water pump, thermostat, yes, get the Subaru thermostat, and super coolant. I know that it's all expensive stuff, but, so is a brand new car! If you have a great independent mechanic and can trust them, go there. You really don't want to wait and risk a timing belt failure, even though someone's hair is going to light on fire when this is read and tell you that I'm being TOO CAUTIOUS and that you can just inspect and wait for something to happen later. Let me tell you, there's no substitute for preventative maintenance... If you do it now, you won't have to worry about it and will be able to go another 100,000 miles. And, getting stranded is not part of anyone's plan. Good luck.

17,375

Suzanne ,. In case you didn't know, Subaru CVT transmissions have received positive reviews,. See this link below for more information, http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/06/cars-best- cvt.html/2

Just replaced the timing belt and that nearly bankrupted me.....I am on a very limited budget.....I know many people are these days. Now to read that it may be upwards of $1500 is disheartening.....I would likely have to sell this car. I will have to work within my $$ constraints on seeing if a fix is even possible.

17,375

Who quoted you $1,500? Do you have an independent mechanic?

17,375

Here's the current price information for your car. It's still more expensive to replace, but, you would be starting over with zero to 20,000 miles if you went for a late model. Still, taxes on a new car are usually $2,000 to $3,000 alone, depending on what you get. Yes, all cars require maintenance , but, once you get passed a certain point, the repairs and pay for the car, it shouldn't cost more than $1,500 to $2,000 per years in repairs without car payments. That's less than most car payments of $400 per month for 60 months. www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2011/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-i-Limited-AWD/Values

3,650

So much helpful "noise" again, Mark? Flamethrowing? Just keep your fingers crossed that YOU don't have to eat yours. Failure rate is statistically significant, your comment re a 300k outlier notwithstanding. Interesting that Subie redesigned the CVT in 2013 eh? Suz, just ask any competent wrench to drain and pump in 5.5 qts any universal CVT fluid. Should take a half hour max and thus about $100 total. Do it every 3-4 years If the occasional brake-stop stalling recurs I'd chase SOA about it, as CVTs are NOT rebuildable.

3,650

Mark, just read ALL your diarrheatic prose. STOP being such a poseur! You wrote that "104k is the perfect 'time'", as an example. 104k is DISTANCE, not TIME. The critical factor re t-belt "life" and possible degradation is age degradation of the rubber substrate...not anything else. And Subie's water pumps have been absolutely flawless for 25+ years. PLEASE leave the mechanical advice to Subaru experts, not just a well-meaning guy who owns ONE and likes to use the internet. You've been chided many times for overreaching your knowledge base, quietly rephrasing others (like mine) advice into your blather. Enquirers' pocketbooks are at stake here; please leave the careful differential diagnosis to those who are capable of such, friend.

17,375

2013 ? See this report below, you act as though you know all,. http://www.carcomplaints.com/Subaru/Outback/2013/

17,375

Here's the report on the 2010 , and the 2009 looked pretty good, http://www.carcomplaints.com/Subaru/Outback/2010/

17,375

As a point of information, the 2015 Subaru Outback has the most complaints, so , you just can't make sweeping generalizations, http://www.carcomplaints.com/Subaru/Outback/2015/

17,375

Even True Delta website has negative experiences from actual owners with the 2015 Subaru Outback , newer than the 2010.., adjusted for time, this doesn't look good. http://www.truedelta.com/Subaru-Outback/reliability-253

17,375

Ernie, among other things, the redesigned CVTs, 2013 and later, were tweaked to make the CVT transmission more palatable to the public by making them shift more like a traditional electronic automatic transmission. Also, you're trading the CVT transmission issue, for the new FB Series engine that has been known to have an excessive oil consumption problem. Also, from the previous reports I included, there's no compelling evidence of transmission issues in 2010 on a percentage basis compared to more cases in 2015, interesting. It's true that a lot of people don't like the "motor boat" effect of the CVTs. I don't know, all things fail eventually... Why are you so high on the 2011 Subaru Legacy that you're selling if you think that the CVT is that bad. I recall that you had more than 114,000 miles on this car. If you really think that the CVT transmission is failing apart soon, maybe you should trade it in ?

17,375

I do agree that changing your transmission fluid is a good idea even though Subaru says it's NOT REQUIRED.. But, just because something is NOT REQUIRED, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. It never hurts to be proactive. Finally, your statement of water pumps lasting 25 years sounds like a miracle..... Really????

3,650

Again, Mark, you misinterpret statistical risk and prudence. It's a '12 w/ 101k, btw. Also have a beautiful '13 OB Ltd w/ 97k that's a gem, too. FAR above normal preowned specimens...but that's my job. Yet I fear the life curves of the CVT may be shorter than hoped.... Similarly, I didn't state the WPs last 25 years (sigh). Think I'll go bang my head against a wall in your honor...again.

Check with dealer. There is a software update that addresses this problem

Mine is at the dealer now.....although, the final verdict is not in yet. The dealer did state it is "acting like the torque converter." In this case, which I have come up with pricing from $$1600-2300 and an alert from Subaru in a service bulletin, that there has been issue with this part. The dealer agreed that what I had researched in replacement cost was accurate. Now we are just figuring out who should pay for this. In my view, with a major a part of the vehicle with potentially serious safety.....this should be called and pulled like anything else like this.....it should be RECALLED..... and covered by Subaru. Hopefully, I do not have to do too much to get this result. If I have to pay for it at top dollar.....then, I will have sunk about 4,0000K into my (2yr. old vehicle/which has several years of financing left on it).

3,650

Sometimes a failing torque converter will signal a CEL that's scannable. I found a '12 Imp seemingly running fine (when cold) with 4 CEL codes for the torque converter hidden in memory. A simple scan may show if it's an internal CVT solenoid failure. Because disassembling and rebuilding the CVT is very tricky stuff, I would be absolutely certain to have ONLY a Subie store perform a CVT surgery so that there's a significant ongoing factory- authorized warranty of the repair. I suggest that you (or a lawyer friend) contact SOA and ask for "participation" in this repair as "extended warranty" or "goodwill". They'll either cover it all or a percentage of it and issue YOU a claim number. You then go to the Subie franchised dealer of your choice for the repair, giving them the claim number for billing. Sometimes this kind of claim limits the total charged cost so that you won't be overcharged for your part of it. In other words SOA won't allow their Dealer to overcharge the repair to make money on both ends.... Used CVTs are popping up on salvage sites in the $1200-1500 +sh ($200-ish) range. Adding about $500 labor results in a similar retail cost to your quote range. Because the CVTs are assembled extremely carefully in clean rooms I MIGHT suggest grabbing a young used "whole" one instead of rebuilding yours unless SOA steps up to the plate financially. So it's poker-playing time, as unfortunately SOA is NOT historically generous, having dodged serious bullets (head gaskets et al) and lesser ones (all those bad wheel bearings!). Obviously SOA can't recall all Subies to preventatively replace all their CVTs. The proper solution is to publicly extend factory warranty to at least 10yr/150k...not just 8yr/80k!

3,650

Friendly indie Subie wrench in VT just swapped out a CVT in a 2010 OB he bought. Took him about 5 hours. I bought a 2015 Leg Ltd Sedan last week wih obviously all hwy 69k. Perfect car except the CVT's inner bearings sounded like thunder...even at 10mph! Sigh....

17,375

Ernie, there you go again, trashing Subaru .....kinda makes me wonder why you buy, SELL and even advocate these cars?? You make it appear that all Subaru CVT transmissions are just "waiting for failure" like a timed release capsule. Instead of being the "fear in chief" , why don't you advise people on what to do to prevent situations like this from occurring , LIKE, driving your car more conservatively, don't do jack rabbit starts, wait until you're rolling about 20 MPH before giving it a heavier throttle to accelerate. Someone I know tells me that it's NEVER a good idea in any car to try and go full throttle from a dead stop...it's very hard on the engine, transmission and other components that need full lubrication flowing. And, once you have some momentum, it's easier for the car to come up to full speed.... That 2015 you just got with 69,000 miles doesn't sound like a bargain the way you describe above?

3,650

Mark, your so full of shit again. Sigh.... The failure rate of the CVT is NOT correlated with heavy acceleration, for one. As well, "full lubrication flowing" occurs at idle speed (at least 4-6 psi), having NOTHING to do with internal stresses under acceleration. Your stating that "once you have momentum, it's easier for the car to come up to full speed" is ridiculous, and easily countered by any high school kid who's passed Physics 101. Finally, there's NOTHING that owners can do to prevent premature CVT failure. Solenoids will fail randomly, and the bearings are simply not sturdy enough. Took a few years for the old 4EAT to become durable back in the 90's. Nothing new here. Subies are sometimes love/hate cars, but most of us have to live in the huge gray areas along the continuum. Please stop being such an alloyed "fanboy". "Fear in chief" makes me wonder if you should be looking in the mirror a little longer, as SOMEONE is in denial here (and I don't mean a river in Africa!).

17,375

Statistically, how many Subaru Lineartronic CVT transmissions actually fail? I'm not trashing the cars; there's a legion of cars out there since 2010... What's really going on here?? I'm the one if you recall pointed out that I know someone who went 300,000 miles on their original 2010 Subaru Outback Limited with the CVT transmission. When you demonstrate and show evidence of a large majority, like 25 to 50 percent, then and only then will I take your comments seriously. As for my comments about not accelerating full throttle under 20 mph, it still stands.... I don't care if you don't believe me... my source is reliable...As for physics, think of it this way, once a train gets going from a dead stop, it's much easier to keep it rolling... sorry.

3,650

Mark, first let me apologize for getting scatological on you. But do you REALLY need to see a 25-50% failure rate before you acknowledge a problem?! I trained in lab manufacturing engineering and stat QA with my mother's milk, where tracking 1% failure rates were alarming. But what we're talking about here is more easily measured as MTBF (mean time between failure). The failure curve as well will probably be gaussian with fairly long tails, as examples of new-failure AND 300k CVTs exist. For simplicity's sake, think of the fact that 30+% of humans will experience severe back pain along their lives....or that you and I will both probably develop prostate cancer...it's just a matter of living long enough. Interestingly the former is due to insufficient evolutionary changes as the species learned to walk upright, the latter simply a result of the statistical probability of cancer cell formation as time passes. So PLEASE, friend, stop knuckle- dragging re Subarus and hope your dice roll luckily; fortunately it has NOTHING to do with your continued misunderstanding of speed, acceleration, and momentum. (Study question for ya: is a change in momentum related to the linear or 2nd power of speed? Once you learn the answer you can then start to understand how total energy is required or gained to change momentum via acceleration or braking. Maybe you'll make Sir Isaac smile.... But for simplicity's sake think of

3,650

...epidemiological analysis: what percentage of the population in Haiti needs to die of cholera before YOU think it's a problem? Your stated "25-50%"?!! I'd say even 0.1% is indicative of a systemic problem. To get more on point: it seems that Subie is continuing to use weak wheel bearings in ALL their models...even resurrecting the old iteration used in the Loyales for the newest Imprezas, for example. Their failure "rates" will easily exceed 25-50% if driven far enough. I joked with a Subaru dealer service manager that I hope they're not using their wheel bearings in the CVT. He LOL'ed. Shows to go ya.

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