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2003 Subaru Outback Problems and Repair Histories

69 TrueDelta members own a 2003 Subaru Outback. 33 of these members (47.8%) have reported repairs for their car. A total of 103 repairs to 2003 Subaru Outbacks--an average of 1.5 per vehicle--have been reported.

See our lemon odds and nada odds page for more details. To see how frequently 2003 Subaru Outback problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.

Want to read about specific problems behind these stats? Jump to the 2003 Subaru Outback problem descriptions below.

Don't infer 2003 Subaru Outback problem frequency from what you see on this page. Many lucky owners have had no repairs, and their cars are not shown.

Percentage of 2003 Subaru Outback repairs by problem area

39% of the 2003 Subaru Outback repairs were to the engine, 13% to the transmission, 7% to the brakes, 17% to the suspension, 18% to the electrical or air-conditioning systems, 3% to the body and trim, and 4% to other areas of the vehicle.

Chart based on 103 repairs.

2003 Subaru Outback repair cost distribution

Of the 2003 Subaru Outback repairs that were not covered by warranty and were not do-it-yourself repairs, 32% cost less than $100, 43% between $100 and $499, 9% between $500 and $999, 14% between $1000 and $2499, and 3% more than $2500.

Chart based on 79 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 problems and repair histories. Log in or join us to see them all.
Repair costs are in local units.

2003 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

212-horsepower 3.0L H6 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Outback in British Columbia, Canada
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
Jan 2009 48980    
54560 0 AC leak, requires new discharge hose 
56420 250 Completed AC leak repair, dealer paid half. 
59800 100 rear sway bar replaced 
 
Subaru Outback in Nova Scotia, Canada
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
Jan 2009 68200    
71920 30 Clunk in front of car, found front swaybar bushings wore out. 
82460 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 New Hampshire, United States
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
Aug 2010 173000    
174000 100 Pipe detached from catalytic converter. Mating surfaces cleaned/ground and pipe reattached. 
177000 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 Vermont, United States
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
Jan 2009 133000    
138000 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 
150000 600 failed state inspection. Needed cracked windshield replaced and both lower ball joints.  c/v joint boot replaced 
158000 50 Lower ball joint failed state inspection 
162000 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 
170000 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. 
174000 200 Both front wheel bearings replaced. Loose/noisy. 
197000 100 Car overheated, thermostat stuck. Thermostat, radiator cap and coolest replaced 
204000 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 
205000 2100 Head gasket leaking, coolant pushed out of radiator, car overheating, both heads milled .007". New water pump, hoses, pipes seals and gaskets 
206000 123 Coil for cylinder 6 needed replacement 
217000 300 Front pads and rotors replaced Muffler rusted through, replaced 

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2003 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
Jul 2009 69000    
69000 0 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
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
Feb 2010 78000    
79000 90 Head gasket beginning to leak oil. Intend to contact SOA to see if they will reimburse all/part of repair. 
85000 555 Rear stabilizer bar check engine light - emission valve Gas tank exhaust valve faulty, allowed back pressure to build up during fueling 
86000 0 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 Wisconsin, United States
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
300 AC repair 
144000 150 Leak in Condenser, Freon gone, AC non-operational. Not yet replaced, parts on order. 
146000 1700 Head Gasket leaking oil and coolant. Head Gasket needs to be replaced. 
152000 200 Front CV boot leaking throwing grease up under the car causing burning grease smell. CV Boot replaced and car underbody cleaned. 
186300 0 Left front outer CV boot is also damaged, recommended to replace entire front axle due to play in wheels. 
190000 0 Windshield wiper fluid hoses have deteriorated and cracked, disconnecting from the hood spraying fluid inside engine. Jury Rigged. 
190000 0 Rear drivers side sway bar end link replaced. 
Subaru Outback in Washington, United States
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
May 2009 143000    
143000 2500 Replaced steering box front brakes 
146000 1600 External head gasket leak. Head gasket replaced. 
149000 202 Air conditioning not working. Checked for leaks, found none. Recharged system. 
170000  
Subaru Outback in Missouri, United States
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
Feb 2009 88000    
88000 0 Car sold with A/C not working, brakes behaving badly. 
Subaru Outback in Massachusetts, United States
Date Odometer
(in miles)
Cost Problem/Repair Description
Mar 2009 103000    
105000 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 
 

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