Has the engine knock problem been corrected in newer 2.5 L engines?


Asked by Oct 01, 2016 at 11:51 AM about the 2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

We got a 2013 Outback 2.5 L and it has 67,000 miles on it.  Just started rod knocking between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm.  Husband has been professional mechanic all his life and says engine must be replaced.  Subaru gives a different part number for a NEW 2.5 L engine than the part number for the engine that came in our 2013.  HAS SUBARU DONE ANYTHING TO CORRECT THIS ENGINE FAILURE/ROD KNOCKING?  We love the car but are just SICK that we must now buy a new engine, around $7000 and my 67 year old husband will be doing the R & R.  Just want to know first before buying new engine if Subaru has done anything to improve the 2.5 L engine and remedy the problems with it.  Thank you very much.  

18 Answers


Did your car EVER run low on oil?? A number of 2013 Subaru Outback's had an oil burning problem and low oil pressure or running near empty may have caused this to occur. You might want to contact Subaru of America regarding this problem. They recently settled a lawsuit and extended the warranty for these cars to 8 years and 100,000 miles. http://www.torquenews.com/1084/subaru-oil-consumption-lawsuit- update-what-should-you-do

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Here's some more information on this, Statement from Subaru spokesman Michael McHale: "Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) and counsel for plaintiffs have agreed to resolve a claim that alleges certain Forester, Legacy, Outback, Impreza and Crosstrek vehicles may experience oil consumption beyond expectation. Although fewer than 1% of Subaru owners raised this concern, the company has extended the powertrain warranty from 5 years, 60,000 miles to 8 years, 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Additionally, the company agreed to reimburse owners for certain expenses such as repairs and rental. "Additionally, if a Subaru owner believes that their vehicle is exhibiting this condition, we recommend that the vehicle is presented to an authorized Subaru retailer for an oil consumption test and if necessary, a repair will be performed at no cost. We believe that this proposed resolution affirms SOA’s reputation for standing behind its products and taking care of its customers."

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THANK YOU SO MUCH. I read about the complaint but didn't know Subaru had settled it. Great information. When we got the Outback, husband immediately purchased Subaru oil filter and put synthetic oil in it. I don't believe it burned any oil since we've had it but we only put 2,000 miles on it. There are no leaks. How many miles would you have to drive it before oil consumption would be noticed? Maybe we just haven't driven it far enough for it to have noticeable oil consumption? Most important, when Subaru replaces the engines do they put in a NEW engine? Do they rebuild/repair the engine in the car?? And, are the newer 2.5 L engines improved/corrected so this doesn't just happen again? Thank you so much for this information. (Of course, when we called Subaru dealership, they did not mention anything about this extension of the warranty.) Steve


So, I read it, and it looks like Subaru is only covering the costs for just those owners in the suit? What about the rest of us poor schmucks out here who go all soft and gooshy at the Subaru commercials on TV and buy one, then experience this... Is this the "L O V E" Subaru is selling? They're no better than any other dealership, ppppfffft.


What is the best engine to replace this 2.5 engine with, that will fit in and not have these defects/flaws? And, has Subaru done anything to fix what's wrong with these engines?

1 people found this helpful.

SteveRogers49- Steve, you're welcome and if you could mark one of my previous answers as "best answer", that would be appreciated. Now, back to your question, you didn't opt out of the suit, so, as I understand it, you are covered for the 8 years or 100,000 miles. A number of Subaru Outback cars in your year had a piston rings problem which is why it was burning oil. http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1092813_some-2011- 2014-subarus-to-get-new-piston-rings

2 people found this helpful.

SteveRogers49- I would press the dealership to repair your engine, they should get reimbursed from corporate for the work. Incidentally, this is not an exclusive problem for Subaru, there's Toyota cars out there with a similar problem.. There are about 30 cars out on the market with oil burning issues, see this article..... http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/06/excessive -oil-consumption/index.htm

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Best Answer Mark helpful

SteveRogers49-. There's a lot of ignorant people out there who think that this is just a "Subaru problem", it isn't!

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I am writing for my husband, to find out about this problem. He's built incredibly powerful, bullet proof engines, one of a kind's, for over 30 years... he knows engines inside and out. While this may not be just a Subaru problem, right now, that is all that concerns us, is the $17,000 we just spent on a Subaru with only 67K miles on it that now has a rod knock. He might want to do the work himself, and would buy a NEW Subaru engine IF we could find out if Subaru has dealt with this engine's issues! I mean, it's going to be a killer job and we just don't want to put another engine in if it is built with the same faults as this one! AND, the mechanic at one nearby dealership used to do lawn mower engines... so my husband will be doing his own remove and reinstall. The last dealtership we went to, the mechanic did not know how to balance a tire. We will get a new engine, if it's been updated. We want to love our Subaru! It is a beautiful car and everything else seems perfect. It's been a heartbreaker. AND, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND YOUR REPLY. MUCH APPRECIATED.


SteveRogers49- thanks for the points, and, by the way, I believe that you can get Subaru to replace your piston rings and any work to remedy your problem at their expense...that is why they extended the warranty.... Look, 67,000 miles is nothing, I have almost 81,000 miles on my 2010 Subaru Outback Limited with no issues . And, because they changed some engine designs, this problem came up. The 2013 Subaru Outback was the first year that they used the FB series engine that was first introduced on the Forester and they have had problems as well... All I can say is that it's in a reported one or two percent of cars, but , it doesn't matter if you are affected. Hang in there, contact Subaru of America and get them to help you. They want to sell more cars and helping you is peanuts and buys a lot of good will.... Overall, Subaru is a good car, but, things happen....

1 people found this helpful.

Once you get this done, I think you'll be fine for another 100,000 miles ....


Hey, THANKS... Sure wish I would have read this forum and your posts before I bought the 2013 with this FB series engine. Would it be possible to swap out this engine, with a NEW engine for a 2012, 2011, 2010 Outback? What series engine are these? Would it be a difficult install with lots to change out? Thanks again - this is great.


By the way, find another dealership or at least report your problems with Subaru of America for the dealership you've been having difficulty with. The last thing Subaru of America wants is dealerships that are causing image problems for their company.... Individual dealerships are independently owned, but, that doesn't mean that they can act like the "lone ranger" and go rogue off the reservation! Yes, even a dealership can lose the rights to continue if they alienate clients.. I don't know what area you live in city vs. rural, but, I think that Subaru corporate would not be amused by their behavior..


SteveRogers49-. Don't know if you could swap it out for an older engine, ask Subaru.....The last Subaru Outback with the older engine was the 2012 model, it has a EJ Series Phase 2 engine. That engine went through two phases and was in service on the Outback from 1989 to 2012. The reason they switched to the new design, was to go from a SOHC ( single overhead cam) to a DOHC ( double overhead cam) and change the placement of some valves. They also went from a timing belt to a timing chain...less maintenance. The belts are quieter, but , the chain is supposed to last the life of the engine...belts need changing around 105,000 miles and are easier and cheaper to change.. That doesn't mean that the timing chain never breaks, and if it did the cost would be much more expensive.... Plus, you NEVER know when that happens until it's too late, although chains usually start rattling before they break and stretch out, this is never good....I imagine that you have the CVT transmission.. I have this transmission and think it's great, a few other people on this forum don't like it.... I personally know someone who went 300,000 miles on his 2010 Subaru Outback Limited with no transmission problems at all.....

2 people found this helpful.



Phase II: EJ151, EJ161, EJ181, EJ201, EJ202, EJ203, EJ204, EJ205, EJ206, EJ207, EJ208, EJ222, EJ251, EJ252, EJ253, EJ254, EJ255, EJ257 Which one of these EJ series was in a 2012 Outback with automatic transmission? Thanks!


OK, checked website for lawsuit with VIN numbers for covered engines from 2013 Outbacks and ours is NOT covered. Furthermore, ours does NOT use or burn any oil. This is a lower end, ENGINE KNOCK, a ROD KNOCK. At 67K miles?? Are there any reports about this problem, separate from the oil consumption problem? Anyone want to buy a 2013 Outback in beautiful condition except this rod knock?


Mark: another diarrhetic overdose of unnecessary info! The guy has a ROD KNOCK...NOT an oil consumption/warranty/blah-blah-blah issue. Please STOP misdirecting people!

1 people found this helpful.

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