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Old 07-14-2019, 04:42 PM
Black Jack Black Jack is offline
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Default Subaru Outback



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Getting my new driver a 2010 Subaru Outback 3.6R.

This is an AWD SUV with a 256hp 6 cylinder engine and 8.7" of ground clearance. It looks good on paper and is the right price for a young, first time driver.

While I am familiar with Subaru's reputation of being very reliable vehicles, I have never had one. I was hoping that there might be some here with some first hand experience that could give me an idea of how capable these actually are? NO I am not expecting it to run the Rubicon or do any rock crawling, but I wanted to get an idea of what i could realistically expect from it if I ever did decide to use it "out in the field". Would it be able to reasonably handle light to moderate off road - say across an open field or fording a shallow stream?

Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:17 PM
swamppapa swamppapa is offline
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I have a 86 forrester that we use around the place for light hauling, crossing a creek going up an incline to get to the back. there's a patch of slick rock at the top.
blind inn one eye and ugly as homemade sin and a short that drains the battery if left connected overnight. she hobbled home with a screaming smoking wheel bearing. that was a good enough reason to park it. $50 later Ihave a new tuc-tuc.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:27 PM
Revmgt Revmgt is offline
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From what I understand they have a problem with head gasket failures. A friend had that problem and he fixed it himself, he said the job was easier than most.
I’d read up on detecting the problem and if there’s some way to prevent them from failing.
Other than that hear they’re very reliable vehicles
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:08 PM
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Better check with Factory recalls on that model..... it has a ton of them
Safety recalls
Pretty large list....
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:19 PM
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I have five of them....but the newest is a 2004. Can't really speak to reliability as I generally only buy vehicles with at least 200K on them so there is always work that needs doing. I've replaced the head-gaskets on all mine for instance.

Quote:
Would it be able to reasonably handle light to moderate off road - say across an open field or fording a shallow stream?
Yes. People do pretty significant offroading with them. Lifting is also becoming increasingly popular. Its not that hard to get 12" clearance with them. (My 2000 used to be lifted until I dropped back to stock to get better gas milage)

Its not going to be a rock crawler with open diffs and no low transfer but for what it is it will do very well.

Some basic mods like a lift and sway bar deletes and you can do a lot more. (sway bar delete is almost a game changer)

They are not the ultimate vehicle but for the price they are a hell of a lot of vehicle.

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Old 07-14-2019, 06:28 PM
hardcalibres hardcalibres is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Jack View Post
I was hoping that there might be some here with some first hand experience that could give me an idea of how capable these actually are? NO I am not expecting it to run the Rubicon or do any rock crawling, but I wanted to get an idea of what i could realistically expect from it if I ever did decide to use it "out in the field". Would it be able to reasonably handle light to moderate off road - say across an open field or fording a shallow stream?

Thanks.
The main limitations of the Outback (and similar types of vehicles) are:

1) Ground clearance
2) The types of tires usually fitted/available - which limit traction
3) Breakover angle (linked to clearance) - which limits how sharp a ridge the vehicle can pass over without getting high stranded
4) Entry angle
5) Departure angle
6) Getting the engine electrics wet when fording

Some of those limitations may be able to be overcome with good driving technique (in some terrain types), but others will be unavoidable.

They are good at maintaining traction on just loose surfaces (like ice and shallow mud), provided the surface is flat/planar and firm enough.

Search "subaru outback offroad" on youtube if you want to get an idea of what others can do with them and to get a mental picture of what they wont do.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:47 PM
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I had a pre-"justy" If you don't have 'low range' then you have a 4 wheel drive street/road vehicle IMHO. They don't like deep snow/mud.

There weren't any clubs like the Land Cruiser and Jeeps folks where you can get ideas and perhaps good deal on parts. Parts for some models are very expensive and hard to find at that. Better now with the web.

They do real well if you don't overheat the engine or let the valves smack the pistons.

Subaru's are very popular around here. I have a sister and brother that love theirs - on like the 2nd or 3rd one now in the last 20/30 years. They don't work on their car. They just take it to dealer and pay the bucks to keep it running.

I would never buy another Subaru if I could help it. I like Toyota for my jap tin.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:38 AM
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I have an '08 Forester and while it is excellent in snow and on dirt roads, even with a bit of mud, it hasn't been the most reliable vehicle.

Most of the head gasket issues are with the 4 cylinder models. You have a 6, and I am unfamiliar with what, if any, issues they have.

I bought the extended warranty and am glad I did. I have had the CV boots blow, A/C replaced, head gasket replaced, and it threw a rod and so I got a new motor. Needless to say, I won't be buying another Subaru. Mine only has 130,000 miles on it.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
1) Ground clearance similar or greater than many SUVs and trucks

2) The types of tires usually fitted/available - which limit traction Not a big deal, several good options, not a jeep though...but then again...its not a jeep.

3) Breakover angle (linked to clearance) - which limits how sharp a ridge the vehicle can pass over without getting high stranded Pretty good.

4) Entry angle Sucks. No question about that. Can be improved with a custom bumper.
5) Departure angle Not as bad as the entry angle but not fantastic.
6) Getting the engine electrics wet when fording Not a problem. However, without a snorkel you will hydro lock the engine in any water that comes up over the front bumper....which because of the entry angle, is easy to do in shallow stream when you go in as your nose dips in pretty low before your tires reach the stream bed.
A big problem with off roading is that the sway bars which people seem to expect in a car for a stiff, car like ride, limit compliance, and with open diffs you can end up in a situation where one wheel on each axle is nearly off the ground on very uneven terrain and you are effectively stuck.

I would rather have a toyota than a subaru....but subarus are a lot cheaper used and a dime a dozen up here.

(besides my fleet of 2nd and first gen outbacks my other vehicle is a toyota.

Subarus are a really badass car off road.

But they are a car. Not a jeep, not a truck, not a land cruiser or range rover.

Being a car that you can actually haul eight sacks of concrete and your dog in is what built their following in a time when you mostly just a had a choice of some useless FWD car or a big truck. Its not the driving experience that has made them so incredibly popular, its all the things you can do in one while still driving what is essentially, a car that created their following, and one of the reasons the 'car' is dead now and everything is an SUV or crossover.

If your coming from a truck/jeep/landrover and expect them to act like that you will be disappointed. If you are coming from a Kia, Camry, Ford Tarus etc, you will think you are now the god of cars, destroyer of worlds.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:42 AM
OliverR. OliverR. is offline
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I mentioned in another thread that I work on subarus and I have one at my shop with a burned out computer.

It's an 06 B9 tribecca 6 cyl. Customer hates it because it's low on power and gets crappy mileage.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:14 AM
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I don’t understand the fascination that some people have with Subaru vehicles....
I wouldn’t have one if it was given to me
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodwrench708 View Post
I don’t understand the fascination that some people have with Subaru vehicles....
I wouldn’t have one if it was given to me
Thats because you drive a 2WD truck.
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Old 07-15-2019, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
Thats because you drive a 2WD truck.
Yes I do
How many Subarus does it take to keep 1 running...

When you look at the number of safety recalls on Subaru models...such as the one the OP is talking about..... tells you a lot about Quality Control at the Manufacture
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:16 AM
Revmgt Revmgt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodwrench708 View Post
I don’t understand the fascination that some people have with Subaru vehicles....
I wouldn’t have one if it was given to me
Because they’ve sold the idea of outdoor ruggedness to “outdoorsy” women who like flannel shirts and wallets with chains on them and their vegan male counterparts.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:47 AM
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We’re on our 4th Subaru (all purchased new), three Outbacks and one Baja. We simply use them as cars, only on the road or occasional dirt road. Snow handling is decent and reliability has been better than most other vehicles we’ve owned. We typically sale them when mileage gets @120,000 and resale value has always been good.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:51 AM
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I am a subaru for life guy. Seriously 10th grade to age 48.
You car is out of the red zone for head gaskets, but that does not mean you are safe. Do your research, and find someone locally who knows your car and the head gasket.

Also, register with Subaru. They are amazingly transparent, and communicate well.

I am a cowardly driver for the most part, but if you have a set of skills I do not think that this is much in the way of your car.

Mind you, yours is longer and heavier, so it was a departure in that way.

You can alway PM me, and we can talk furtuer.
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:45 PM
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I have a 2011 Outback, it is my wife's. I wouldn't put her in anything else. When we first got it in 2010, my son in law took her up to the local high school parking lot to get her some slip and slide experience in about 6" of snow. they came back an hour or so later and he was ticked, he couldn't get it to break traction. The down side to that year's All Wheel Drive is tires. With 10,000 miles on a set of new tires, she ran over a pair of pliers in the road. We had to replace all 4 tires because it could cause issues with the computer control system, a potential $7K repair vs. $550 for tires.

Now for the good news. Subaru goofed on the headlights. In order to replace them, you must jack up the car and pull the tire and wheel well. Ooops. Subaru just extended the warranty on the lights to 10 years, regardless of mileage as a fix. They even reimbursed for prior repairs. $130 for two for me and the refund took 10 days. Two years ago I had an issue with the torque converter. $1800 bill. About three weeks later I get a letter from Subaru indicating they were having issues with the powertrain, but not a recall. I filed a claim and 10 days later I got a full refund check.

Solid cars and I wished they made a mid 3/4 ton truck. As I said earlier, I can't see putting my wife in anything else.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:31 PM
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Offroad, the Subaru's are well above average. They may not be at Range Rover level (including price), but they are well beyond the average. I frequently took my Subaru in real deep sand without any issue at all. I've seen a video of a subaru outback (with small lift) going up an inclined logging trail with deep mud (while all the jeeps, 4x4 trucks, etc were stuck). Lift it a couple inches, get the proper tires and those light vehicles can go pretty much anywhere you want.

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Old 07-15-2019, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodwrench708 View Post
Yes I do
How many Subarus does it take to keep 1 running...
About three if you don't want buy parts.

Seriously....they are so common up here its sometimes cheaper to just get a nearly free parts car or three, than to buy the parts.
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:15 PM
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Default subaru- lift and such

The wife has a 2005 Forester she loves. She has done some upgrades over the years but one of her favorite ones was the lift we did with springs/struts and blocks from Primative Racing
http://get-primitive.com/

There are a ton of dedicated Subaru forums for additional info. Many of the offroading ones are from Australia.
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