2003 Subaru Outback Subaru Outback 2003

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2003 Subaru Outback repairs by problem area

Engine (40%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (13%)

Brakes and Traction Control (8%)

Suspension and Steering (16%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (17%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (2%)

Other (4%)

Chart based on 187 repairs.

2003 Subaru Outback repair cost distribution

$2500+ (3%)

$1000 - $2499 (16%)

$500 - $999 (13%)

$100 - $499 (46%)

< $100 (23%)

Chart based on 119 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.
Non-members can see only ten 2003 Subaru Outback repair histories. Log in or join us to see them all.

2003 Subaru Outback

Engine not specified

Subaru Outback in Maryland, United States
May 2011 - Oct 2011
Oct 2011

194000 mi
Car would not pass emissions inspection that was due.  Mechanic also found a major suspension issue. But at over 190,000, I really can't complain. This car has been, still is, great. 

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2003 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

212-horsepower 3.0L H6 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Outback in New Hampshire, United States
Feb 2012 - Mar 2015
Mar 2012

119000 mi

US $63
Leaking transmission fluid 
Apr 2012

120000 mi

US $86
Leaking A/C hose 
Jun 2012

122000 mi

US $200
CV joint failed. Was replaced 
Jan 2013

128000 mi

US $200
Axle and CV joint replaced. 3rd time. 
Mar 2013

129000 mi

US $300
Serpentine belt broke. was replaced 
Aug 2013

132000 mi

US $380
O2 sensor in exhaust failed Head shield rattle 
Sep 2013

133000 mi

US $50
heat shield tightened, second repair 
Jul 2014

141700 mi

US $100
rust and erosion on flanges in exhaust sytstem 
Sep 2014

145000 mi

US $300
erosion of flanges 
Jan 2015

150300 mi

US $390
Failed Fuel pump. Replacement failed 1 day later requiring another (2nd) tow. Fuel pump replaced on previous day failed. Was replaced with another fuel pump 
Subaru Outback in New Hampshire, United States
Aug 2010 - Nov 2010
Sep 2010

174000 mi

US $100
Pipe detached from catalytic converter. Mating surfaces cleaned/ground and pipe reattached. 
Nov 2010

177000 mi

US $270
Intermittent shaking when driving at a constant highway speed for awhile. (such as when using cruise control) Shaking continued after last trip to shop. Noticed axle boot was torn. Took car back to shop, and they replaced right axle. 
Subaru Outback in Michigan, United States
May 2011 - Dec 2011
Dec 2011

123000 mi

US $250
Boot was torn 
Subaru Outback in Utah, United States
Mar 2011 - Jun 2014
Apr 2011

129000 mi

US $600
Frozen pulley  O2 sensor replaced  
Jun 2014

189000 mi

US $330
New struts 
Subaru Outback in Texas, United States
Nov 2010 - Dec 2011
Mar 2011

99000 mi

US $150
Head light covers hazed over. Refinished to like new. 
Subaru Outback in Nova Scotia, Canada
Jan 2009 - Jan 2011
Jun 2009

71920 mi

C $30
Clunk in front of car, found front swaybar bushings wore out. 
Apr 2010

82460 mi

C $40
Right front cv boot started to leak grease, found boots starting to crack, installed new cv boot kits on right front axle. 
Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
May 2008 - Mar 2016
Jun 2008

52063 mi

US $102
Replaced brake pads on all 4 wheels. Rotated tires. 
Mar 2009

58566 mi

US $341
A/C hose replaced, A/C system recharged 
Sep 2009

62792 mi

US $8
Replaced right side low beam 
Jan 2010

65317 mi

US $57
Car parts store replaced battery (old battery was still under warranty) 
Apr 2011

74700 mi

US $8
Replaced driver side low beam bulb 
Dec 2011

78000 mi

US $172
Idle Air Control Valve was malfunctioning (scanner code P0508). Replaced the valve and gasket, engine idle improved and the check engine light went off. 
Mar 2012

80000 mi

US $315
High pressure hose replaced, system recharged. Serpentine belt replaced. 
Sep 2012

84000 mi

US $155
Replaced front brake pads and rotors, the right front rotor was warped. 
Apr 2014

94300 mi

US $75
The serpentine belt idler pulley needed to be replaced. The bearing wore out. 
Jun 2014

95000 mi

US $954
Fuel pump and fuel filter replaced. Inner CV boots on both front axles split open. 
Apr 2015

100000 mi

US $149
Battery replaced 
Jun 2015

102000 mi

US $131
The check engine light was on. My scanner returned a code indicating the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) was malfunctioning. The TPS was replaced and the check engine light went off. 
Dec 2015

105000 mi

US $156
The bearing in the tensioner pulley failed. The idler pulley and serpentine belt were both damaged when this occurred. Both pulleys and the serpentine belt were replaced. 
Subaru Outback in Vermont, United States
Jan 2009 - Mar 2016
Mar 2009

138000 mi

US $100
Front pads made grinding noise, found to be down to backing plate. Pads replaced, rotors turned and re-used. Also changed engine oil and filter while car was on the lift 
Sep 2009

150000 mi

US $600
failed state inspection. Needed cracked windshield replaced and both lower ball joints.  c/v joint boot replaced 
Aug 2010

158000 mi

US $50
Lower ball joint failed state inspection 
Dec 2010

162000 mi

US $250
Coolant pipe from thermostat housing to oil filter, and coolant pipe to heater core rusted through, leaking coolent. Pipes needed to be replaced, dealer items. Up stream oxygen sensor faulty, replaced 
Mar 2011

170000 mi

US $400
Left rear wheel bearing and right tie rod worn out, replaced. Both rear sway bar links broken, replaced. Front rotors and pads worn out, replaced. 
May 2011

174000 mi

US $200
Both front wheel bearings replaced. Loose/noisy. 
Sep 2012

197000 mi

US $100
Car overheated, thermostat stuck. Thermostat, radiator cap and coolest replaced 
Mar 2013

204000 mi

US $560
Rear brake lines rusted through, requiring replacement Rear calipers frozen, rotors rusty, parking brake shoes worn out. New pads, parking brake shoes and rotors CEL code 420. Down stream O2 sensor faulty, replaced 
Jun 2013

205000 mi

US $2100
Head gasket leaking, coolant pushed out of radiator, car overheating, both heads milled .007". New water pump, hoses, pipes seals and gaskets 
Aug 2013

206000 mi

US $123
Coil for cylinder 6 needed replacement 
Mar 2014

217000 mi

US $300
Front pads and rotors replaced Muffler rusted through, replaced 
Nov 2014

224000 mi

US $250
Rear wiper motor Fuel filler pipe rusted through 
Subaru Outback in Georgia, United States
Jul 2012 - Jul 2013
Aug 2012

42500 mi

US $800
had to replace 2 cv joints. 
Subaru Outback in Quebec, Canada
Jan 2014 - Mar 2016
Dec 2014

141980 mi

C $80
the original anti-start just would'n let us start the car again! 
Apr 2015

146280 mi

C $300
front left UJ was starting to make alot of noise wan turning 
Jul 2015

149200 mi

C $1500
fuel pump failure replace the pump 
Dec 2015

150660 mi

C $62
Front driver cv joint wase making alot of noise. 
Subaru Outback in Connecticut, United States
Mar 2009 - Apr 2016
Jun 2012

70000 mi

US $3000
Power sunroof not working 
Aug 2014

77700 mi

US $3000
Brakes Also wipers, engine noise fixed. A bunch of expensive little things rather than a single really expensive problem. 
Nov 2015

87000 mi

US $300
Hood release cable broken 
Subaru Outback in British Columbia, Canada
Jan 2009 - Oct 2011
Sep 2009

54560 mi
AC leak, requires new discharge hose 
Dec 2009

56420 mi

C $250
Completed AC leak repair, dealer paid half. 
Aug 2010

59800 mi

C $100
rear sway bar replaced 

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2003 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Outback in California, United States
Nov 2009 - Jun 2012
Jun 2009

88167 mi

US $380
Replaced bad o-ring, dryer, and recharged A/C system 
Jul 2009

89025 mi

US $1341
Dealer recommended center differential needed replacing due to binding when turning at slow speeds. I called and complained to Subaru (2nd major repair on 90K car - they sent me a $750 discount on new Subaru if purchased by 12/31/11. 
Sep 2009

91091 mi

US $1541
Leaking head gaskets replaced. Subaru agreed to pay for part of the cost even though car not under warranty. Also replaced timing belt at same time. 
Feb 2011

105732 mi

US $339
Valve adjustment done (in retrospect, this should have been done when dealer replaced head gaskets/timing belt at 90K but I wasn't advised about this by dealer - jerks!). 
Feb 2012

118000 mi

US $756
Clutch was becoming hard to push to floor and it was recommended I replace it, so I did. 
Subaru Outback in Maine, United States
May 2011 - Aug 2011
Jul 2011

150000 mi

US $28
Headlights cloudy. Polished them with a headlight repair kit and they look good as new. 
Aug 2011

152000 mi

US $425
replaced water pump, radiator, thermostant, timing belt, and hoses 
Subaru Outback in Texas, United States
Jan 2016 - Feb 2016
Feb 2016

190000 mi

US $1900
Bad clutch, right after a new clutch (defective) had been installed. 
Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
Jul 2009 - Sep 2009
Sep 2009

69000 mi
Sold car. A pre-purchase inspection by SuperRupair in Boulder, CO found the right front ball joint needed replacement. 
Subaru Outback in Michigan, United States
Feb 2010 - Oct 2010
Mar 2010

79000 mi

US $90
Head gasket beginning to leak oil. Intend to contact SOA to see if they will reimburse all/part of repair. 
Aug 2010

85000 mi

US $555
Rear stabilizer bar check engine light - emission valve Gas tank exhaust valve faulty, allowed back pressure to build up during fueling 
Oct 2010

86000 mi
Emission valve, gas tank exhaust valve needed when sold to Subaru mechanic. Head gasket starting to leak when sold. 

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2003 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Outback in Tennessee, United States
- Jun 2007
Jun 2007

61000 mi

US $450
I brought the car in for its 60000 mile service. It was found to have 2 spark plugs had oil residue on them. It cost $400.00 to replace the oil seals on one side of the engine. I have had similiar engines that did not display this anomoly until after 100k 
Subaru Outback in Virginia, United States
Nov 2009 - Jun 2012
May 2009

82000 mi

US $500
Radiator began leaking, had to replace. SHortly afterwards the AC had to be replaced (entered as a separate instance.) 
Jun 2009

85000 mi

US $1000
Replaced AC 
Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
Jun 2012 - Aug 2015
Oct 2014

138000 mi

US $500
Replaced struts  Replaced cv axles 
Subaru Outback in Missouri, United States
Jun 2014 - Oct 2014
Jun 2014

239000 mi

US $50
overheating at idle 
Oct 2014

239000 mi
head gaskets again 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Jun 2013 - Jun 2015
Feb 2015

120500 mi

US $500
Exhaust. Rear pipe flange rusted out. Needed new pipe and muffler. 
Subaru Outback in Maine, United States
May 2015 - Oct 2015
Jun 2015

140000 mi

US $300
replace muffler and some exhaust system pipes 
Subaru Outback in Ontario, Canada
Jan 2014 - Jan 2016
Apr 2014

155000 mi

C $1200
Replaced the transmission 
Feb 2015

166140 mi

C $350
Shifting cable broken 
Mar 2015

166780 mi

C $200
Exhaust pipe soldered 
Subaru Outback in Connecticut, United States
Mar 2015 - Dec 2015
Sep 2015

82000 mi

US $497
Replaced front pads, calipers & rotors. 
Nov 2015

92000 mi

US $358
Replaced rear pads, calipers & rotors Replaced belts 
Subaru Outback in Quebec, Canada
Jul 2013 - Jun 2014
May 2013

74400 mi

C $1000
Front left wheel bearing replaced 2 front lower ball joints oil pan front right cv boot alignment 
Aug 2013

77780 mi

C $2100
2 Head gaskets replacement (oil/coolant leaks) Timing belt 2 Idlers Rear differential oil leak 
Oct 2013

79640 mi

C $200
Module for door locking remote was leaking current and emptied the battery 
Subaru Outback in Minnesota, United States
Nov 2014 - Mar 2016
Dec 2014

130000 mi
Car had its headgasket replaced before being purchased. 
Jul 2015

135300 mi

US $600
New rear tie rods. One new front axle. 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Mar 2012 - Mar 2016
Sep 2015

130000 mi

US $3000
Replace head gasket rear brakes 
Dec 2015

133000 mi
A bolt on the exhaust system was missing. No charge. 
Mar 2016

135000 mi

US $400
Caliper issue; replaced front brakes 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
Feb 2011 - Sep 2015
Apr 2011

77099 mi

US $217
Inspect AC and complete recharge 
Jan 2012

86124 mi

US $1622
Replace front and rear struts Replace right side front axle shaft 
Mar 2012

88000 mi

US $785
Replace AC condenser and high pressure hose 
May 2012

90003 mi

US $695
Replace AC compressor and clutch 
Jun 2012

90209 mi

US $584
Replace AC compressor and evaporator expansion valve 
Oct 2012

94716 mi

US $3929
Remove and replace head gasket Replace oxygen sensor bank 1 sensor 1 Replace timing belt, water pump and cooling system hoses 
Jun 2015

127000 mi

US $1445
Transmission and oil pan leak. Replaced gaskets. Remove and replace rear suspension struts due to squeaking. mechanic recommended replacing them, but after being better, it's now squeaking even worse. Repair and replace under car covering, skid plate. Battery not providing enough amps, needs replacement. 
Subaru Outback in Washington, United States
Oct 2010 - Jun 2011
Nov 2010

96000 mi
head gaskets replaced. had a slow leak that started around 75k miles finally needed repairing. 
Subaru Outback in Kentucky, United States
May 2011 - Dec 2015
Jun 2011

139000 mi

US $350
Rear axle differential needed replaced (replace complete axle).  Oil leak over converter not repaired.  Drivers window off track, repaired.  Non-functioning rearview mirror replaced. 
Sep 2012

167000 mi

US $190
Overheated 
Mar 2013

177000 mi

US $2000
Threw a rod 
Apr 2014

204300 mi

US $100
Had not used AC for six months - turned it on and it was out of refrigerat. 
Aug 2014

210300 mi

US $600
Most gaskets were replaced due to oil leaking. 
Subaru Outback in Wisconsin, United States
Sep 2009 - Mar 2016
May 2009

130000 mi

US $300
AC repair 
Apr 2010

144000 mi

US $150
Leak in Condenser, Freon gone, AC non-operational. Not yet replaced, parts on order. 
Aug 2010

146000 mi

US $1700
Head Gasket leaking oil and coolant. Head Gasket needs to be replaced. 
Nov 2010

152000 mi

US $200
Front CV boot leaking throwing grease up under the car causing burning grease smell. CV Boot replaced and car underbody cleaned. 
Jan 2013

186300 mi
Left front outer CV boot is also damaged, recommended to replace entire front axle due to play in wheels. 
Jan 2014

190000 mi
Windshield wiper fluid hoses have deteriorated and cracked, disconnecting from the hood spraying fluid inside engine. Jury Rigged. 
Mar 2014

190000 mi
Rear drivers side sway bar end link replaced. 
Subaru Outback in Washington, United States
May 2009 - Jun 2014
Jun 2009

143000 mi

US $2500
Replaced steering box front brakes 
Dec 2009

146000 mi

US $1600
External head gasket leak. Head gasket replaced. 
Jun 2010

149000 mi

US $202
Air conditioning not working. Checked for leaks, found none. Recharged system. 
Subaru Outback in Missouri, United States
Feb 2009 - Mar 2009
Mar 2009

88000 mi
Car sold with A/C not working, brakes behaving badly. 
Subaru Outback in Massachusetts, United States
Mar 2009 - Aug 2011
Apr 2009

105000 mi

US $600
replaced alternator in aug. 08..battery stopped charging 3 weeks later told by mechanic to replace battery..problem occured again in in late march...battery would not hold a charge...replaced the battery again...1 week later faulty alternator replaced 
Subaru Outback in New Hampshire, United States
May 2011 - Sep 2014
Aug 2011

277000 mi
Window (driver's and front passenger's) switches replaced this month. 
Mar 2012

300000 mi

US $150
Car wouldn't start. A wire in the driver's side wheel well was corroded and had to be replaced. Wheel well (behind the panel protecting it from the tire) was full of mud & dirt. Suggested that we periodically wash out all 4 to prevent rust. Replacement engine (put in by Subaru dealer at 69,000 mi.) spark plugs, ignition coil 7 wires worn - found by new mechanic. Will NEVER use specific Subaru dealer again that destroyed 1st good engine and did not check out these items. 
Jul 2012

312300 mi

US $1482
Spark plug tube seals leaking (in replacement engine) - Replaced seals, valve cover gastkets & oil filler tube seal Found 3 timing belt idlers worn/noisy - Replaced idlers in conjunction with timing belt service Checked pressures - A/C output low; recharged A/C system Found Upper Rear Control Arm Bushings Worn -- Replaced both rear ones Right front wheel bearings worn 
Sep 2012

317000 mi

US $277
Front oxygen sensor failing at 319,300 mi. 
Jan 2013

327300 mi

US $1565
Ring & Pinion failing. Replaced w/used transmission at 327,750 mi. 
Feb 2013

329700 mi

US $173
Rear Gate pistons on hatch/wagon back door weak at 328,000 mi. 
Jul 2013

341700 mi

US $567
Radiator - replaced with new aftermarket part. AC on/off in temp. since last summer. Temp. gauge on the dashboard began going up slightly when was AC was working hardest, so mechanic rec. to replace radiator at 339,000 mi. Engine heating up with a/c on - replaced radiator and cap 
Oct 2013

349700 mi

US $260
Crankshaft Pulley (harmonic balancer) came apart - Replaced front crank pulley & serpentine belts 
Nov 2013

352300 mi

US $317
Power Steering making noise - replaced Power Steering Pump 
Dec 2013

355000 mi

US $680
Front & Rear Brakes worn - Replaced front & rear brakes, front brake rotor, machined rear brake rotor, cleaned & lubed sliders Engine "straining" sound - Found Coolant Flush fitting on hose leaking - replaced heater hose 
Jul 2014

372700 mi

US $2190
Repaired and painted rusting dog leg, left qtr panel plus several small dings that were beginning to rust: Right Fender, Front & Rear Doors, Qtr panel. Replaced front bumper from parking space hit by anonymous other driver. 
Subaru Outback in Oregon, United States
Feb 2009 - Mar 2015
Mar 2012

135000 mi

US $400
blown head gaskets 
Jun 2012

137000 mi

US $65
Right front CV joint boot deteriorated due to heat from nearby cat converter Poor design. 
Aug 2013

156000 mi

US $1672
replaced both head gaskets and radiatorl 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
Dec 2010 - Jun 2014
Jan 2013

23700 mi

US $200
interior mirror fell off. fuel cap had to be replaced. 
Subaru Outback in Vermont, United States
Nov 2012 - Mar 2013
Mar 2013

127000 mi

US $700
Alternator replaced. Alternator was charging intermittently, so very difficult to diagnose. 
Subaru Outback in Vermont, United States
Mar 2012 - Mar 2016
Aug 2012

105300 mi
Noted an oil burning smell and saw that oil was dripping on the exhaust. The shop said it was a small head gasket leak. Will cost $1,000 to fix. Since the engine also has "piston slap", both problems can be fixed for $2,000. Can't afford now 
Aug 2013

113000 mi

US $355
Right front wheel bearing was bad and needed to be replaced. 
Feb 2015

125000 mi

US $300
1 ball joint replaced and alignment done. 
Sep 2015

132000 mi

US $235
Sway bar links replaced 
Subaru Outback in Michigan, United States
Jan 2012 - Sep 2012
Apr 2012

102300 mi
1 Bad pad. RR. Very noisy. 

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2003 Subaru Outback 4dr Sedan

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Outback in Ohio, United States
Nov 2010 - Oct 2014
Feb 2014

124000 mi

US $1500
engine gasket needed replaced. 
Jun 2014

125000 mi

US $120
Hub needed replaced. 
Oct 2014

125000 mi

US $85
rotors warped, brake pads worn on front end. replaced rotors and brake pads. 
Subaru Outback in Ohio, United States
Nov 2012 - Dec 2015
Dec 2013

167000 mi

US $100
Routine maintenance found loose rear sway bar. Parts replaced. 
Feb 2014

167700 mi

US $20
replaced both headlights 
Jan 2015

176000 mi

US $237
Right front wheel bearing failed - grew louder and louder. Part replaced 

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2003 Subaru Outback Repair Histories

See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently 2003 Subaru Outback problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.