2002 Subaru Outback Subaru Outback 2002

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2002 Subaru Outback repairs by problem area

Engine (53%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (14%)

Brakes and Traction Control (3%)

Suspension and Steering (14%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (9%)

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

Other (3%)

Chart based on 118 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 2002 Subaru Outback.

2002 Subaru Outback repair cost distribution

$2500+ (2%)

$1000 - $2499 (12%)

$500 - $999 (20%)

$100 - $499 (47%)

< $100 (19%)

Chart based on 94 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 2002 Subaru Outback repair histories. Log in or join us to see them all.

2002 Subaru Outback

Engine not specified

Subaru Outback in New Hampshire, United States
Jan 2010 - Feb 2010
Feb 2010

104000 mi

US $700
Needed a new driveshaft. 

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2002 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

212-horsepower 3.0L H6 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Outback in California, United States
Dec 2011 - Jun 2017
Feb 2012

115000 mi

US $775
Right front boot completely split. Sprayed grease on catalytic converter -nasty smell. Replaced leaking valve cover gaskets. 
Aug 2013

140000 mi

US $100
Car overheated in hot stop and go traffic, and climbing a mountain. Was fine in normal driving. I noticed that driver's side radiator fan did not come on. Mechanic found that one of the relays was bad and replaced it. 
Sep 2014

156000 mi

US $138
Car overheated again, mostly when going uphill or on very hot days. Pressure checked cooling system, replaced radiator cap and thermostat. 
Feb 2015

161000 mi

US $45
Replaced all 4 headlight bulbs 
Mar 2015

162000 mi

US $550
Left front bearing noisy. Replaced bearing and alignef 
Jun 2015

165000 mi
Overheated again, uphill trip. Seemed like 2nd radiator fan was not engaging. Reseated relay, seems better (though I haven't really had a chance to be sure). 
Dec 2016

177000 mi

US $330
Replaced canister vent solenoid valve. Check engine light came on, code P1443. Also, car had stumbled immediately after most recent fill-up. 
Apr 2017

180412 mi

US $847
Car would intermittently lose gauges, buck if it was in 4th gear, all electrics dim or slow. Happened once in January and then was ok for a couple months. Finally failed completely while on a trip. Towed to AAA mechanic. Replaced alternator, belt, and idler pulley 
Subaru Outback in Quebec, Canada
Oct 2011 - Oct 2012
Oct 2012

182900 mi

C $16000
discs, tie rods,bearing, 
Subaru Outback in Florida, United States
Feb 2009 - Dec 2011
Jan 2010

134500 mi

US $270
Outer tie rod needed replacing but had both the outer and inner replaced. 
Jul 2010

143000 mi

US $220
Idler pulley seized which fried the belt. Replaced pulley and belt. 
Aug 2010

143800 mi

US $220
Cracked CV boots. Had boots replaced and joints regreased. 
Oct 2010

147000 mi

US $100
Tensioner pulley seized. I should have replaced when idler pulley seized two months ago. Guess they both have the same bearing life. 
Subaru Outback in New Mexico, United States
Nov 2014 - Jun 2016
Dec 2014

223000 mi

US $869
Valve Covers were leaking. Replaced Valve covers. Also, replaced rack and pinon boot covers. Replaced internal air cabin filters. 
Oct 2015

234500 mi

US $240
Transmission mount failed/broke. New transmission mount installed. 
Subaru Outback in Oregon, United States
May 2014 - Jun 2014
May 2014

144000 mi

US $550
Valve cover leaking oil over engine, had to replace valve cover gaskets. Took care of replacing spark plugs while everything was apart. 
Jun 2014

145000 mi

US $350
Accessory belt worn, pulleys began squealing while engine was running. Bad tensioner and no longer self lubing pulleys could seize easily, had to be replaced along with new accessory belt. 
Subaru Outback in Texas, United States
Aug 2014 - Mar 2017
Feb 2017

139000 mi

US $250
Replace CV axles driver and passenger side 
Subaru Outback in Montana, United States
Feb 2009 - Jun 2011
Jan 2010

130000 mi

US $250
Idler pulley bearing went out trashing serpentine belt and bracket that held pulley. Belt $50, Pulley $50, Bracket $120. Stuck wife on road during a trip. I should have replaced pulleys as routine maintenance. My bad thinking dealer did it earlier 
Apr 2010

137000 mi

US $750
Axle boots torn. Replaced axles.  
Subaru Outback in Minnesota, United States
Apr 2016 - Mar 2017
Nov 2016

176200 mi

US $700
Tie Rod end,  CV shafts both bad. 
Mar 2017

177000 mi

US $361
Rear Wheel Bearing 
Subaru Outback in Minnesota, United States
Jun 2014 - Dec 2015
Jun 2015

157000 mi

US $2300
Head Gasket - also had pump & other things replaced as long as they had it taken apart. leaking hose 
Oct 2015

159000 mi

US $40
AC leaking. Found missing O ring (from head gastket work - mechanic) and replaced. Recharged. working 

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2002 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Outback in Washington, United States
Jan 2011 - Mar 2013
Mar 2013

219000 mi

US $50
intermittent miss on cylinders 1 and 2 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Jun 2011 - Mar 2017
Jan 2012

143000 mi

US $600
replace warranty CV replace exhaust replace oxygen sensor 
Jun 2012

153000 mi

US $190
Axle replaced 
Mar 2015

187000 mi
clutch 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Oct 2010 - Jul 2014
Apr 2012

155800 mi

US $700
center pipe and muffler fan belt tensioner 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Mar 2011 - Jan 2013
Jan 2012

157500 mi
Both left and right front axles need to be replaced. Car was making a lot of noise when pulling into parking spots. Check engine light on. Shop tested the catalytic converters and one is running under efficiency and a connection flange is rotted. Both are only 2 years old. 
Jul 2012

163300 mi

US $800
Replace entire exhaust system, both cats and muffler. 
Jan 2013

157000 mi
The new catalytic converter clogged and made the car undrivable. 
Subaru Outback in Nova Scotia, Canada
May 2009 - Jul 2009
Jun 2009

118420 mi

C $775
catalytic convertor failing. Subaru part over $1800. Opted for Meineke part @ $775. installed. Engine light coming on again. Subaru says convertor no good. 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
Sep 2009 - Oct 2009
Oct 2009

68000 mi
The mechanic (independent shop) found a small amount of leaking around the head gasket. This was part of why I decided to trade it in. 
Subaru Outback in Maine, United States
Apr 2010 - Aug 2010
May 2010

191000 mi

US $300
Ball joint replaced. 
Jul 2010

194000 mi

US $2400
Car threw a rod and the engine pulled and used engine with 75K put in. 
Subaru Outback in Ohio, United States
Feb 2009 - Jan 2012
Jan 2010

98300 mi

US $1594
Exhaust leak 
Dec 2011

110000 mi

US $350
Check engine light, O2 sensor replaced. 

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2002 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Outback in North Carolina, United States
Jun 2014 - Apr 2016
Feb 2015

201000 mi

US $1500
Major maintenance - replace all major gaskets on engine to reduce leaking, spark plugs & wires, replace timing belt and drive belts. Wheel alignment and replaced water pump. Repair leaking steering rack by replacing it. 
Subaru Outback in Minnesota, United States
Nov 2014 - Sep 2015
Mar 2015

155000 mi

US $150
Replaced ignition coil, spark plugs. Replaced valve cover gaskets. 
Apr 2015

155500 mi

US $800
Ripped CV boots - both replaced 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Feb 2008 - Jul 2013
Oct 2008

103000 mi

US $200
Replaced radiator and thermostat. 
Mar 2009

106000 mi

US $800
Broken swaybar link on rear swaybar. Replaced head gaskets, timing belts, tensioner and idler pulleys. 
Feb 2010

121000 mi

US $380
Engine randomly skips and sputters. O2 sensor replaced. 
Nov 2010

134500 mi

US $1050
Replace head gaskets and machined warped heads. 
Jan 2011

137800 mi

US $250
Replaced a front halfshaft. 
Nov 2012

175000 mi

US $800
Worn out lower ball joints replaced. Front struts also replaced and alignment performed. 
Jan 2013

177500 mi

US $130
Small part on wiper transmission worn, replaced wiper transmission. 
Subaru Outback in Michigan, United States
Apr 2009 - Oct 2011
Aug 2009

274000 mi

US $140
Rattling noise from cracked suspension part. Replaced it. 
Subaru Outback in Washington, United States
Sep 2012 - Jun 2014
Jun 2013

111000 mi

US $230
replaced upper & lower radiator hoses. Upper hose was leaking at attachment to motor due to bad installation after a different shop replaced timing belt 
Jun 2014

115000 mi

US $2800
replace headgaskets, complete timing belt & component service. 120K service, plugs, all filters, all fluids. 
Subaru Outback in Great Britain
Mar 2011 - Apr 2016
Apr 2011

126000 mi

£800
crankshaft pulley separated from anti-vibration core 
Mar 2012

130000 mi

£180
Front calipers seized 
Feb 2013

135000 mi

£390
siezed brake caliper 
Apr 2014

135500 mi

£200
Starter failed 
Jan 2016

137200 mi

£400
Exhaust wadding ejected Steering column u-joint worn 
Apr 2016

148000 mi

£100
Leak in via rear light cluster 
Subaru Outback in Ontario, Canada
Jan 2010 - Jun 2011
Feb 2010

70060 mi

C $120
Key fob stopped working. No physical damage to the device. Rear light cluster cracked due to stress from opening and closing the hatch - not fault of owner, rather part design. Did not replace as too expensive. Told by dealer common problem. Rear light housing cluster now has chronic water leaking into it. 
Apr 2010

76880 mi
minor oil leak noted on garage floor. Problem not fixed, for now left and will monitor. 
May 2010

78120 mi
Rear hatch lock unable to insert key as lock mechanism is jammed. Not repaired - left as is. Rear seat no longer able to fold up as jammed mechansim - not repaired. Left as is. 
Jan 2011 Dealer stated head-gasket leak and oilpan leak. Total cost $3500 or 70% of residual value of car, hence repair for now not attempted. 
Subaru Outback in Massachusetts, United States
Sep 2009 - Apr 2013
May 2010

118200 mi

US $70
Caliper sticking, repaired myself. 
Jul 2011

127000 mi

US $2200
Brake pads/rotors/calipers replaced on all 4 corners, brake fluid flushed. Transmission pan gasket leaking - replaced. 
Jul 2012

136700 mi

US $1550
Rear sway bar broke. Exhaust system replaced - worn out. Check engine light - Evap system 
Nov 2012

140700 mi

US $350
Car was hesitating and not running properly 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
Jul 2012 - Jul 2013
Oct 2012

165756 mi

US $500
Replaced head gaskets. Was leaking coolant from driver's side rear lower of head. Research indicated this is common for this type of engine. No problems 8K miles later. Used 6 star head gaskets. 
Subaru Outback in Ohio, United States
Jun 2011 - Jul 2017
Oct 2011

103000 mi

US $94
One the keyfobs received in 2002 stopped working in 2010 (1 keyfob all winter, yuck)...decided in 2011 - NEW SET OF KEYFOBS needed. Subaru Buck $100 paid most of the bill...I paid the rest. 
May 2012

105600 mi

US $200
4 parts maintenance-oil change, A/C recharge. Removed a rattling protective metal cover that had rusted out due to OHIO extreme weather conditions - this is the 2nd one that had been removed since 2005, and oil pan cover replaced, torn. 
Jan 2013

108000 mi

US $447
2002 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon. 10 year old Alternator and Battery replaced. 
Jul 2013

109200 mi

US $43
Oil Change & Check under car for fluid leak. Not sure for what. Wet spots on driveway. Sweet smell. "Add coolant dye. advised to drive 10 days - 2 weeks - return for re-check.  Depending on cost for fluid want a/c recharge - address later." 
Aug 2013

109300 mi

US $2070
WaterPump, 2 head gaskets, cylinder head bolts, Timing belt, Dexcool antt-freeze, labor. Car running well except for- Power steering whines. Possible Power steering pump issue. 
Oct 2013

109200 mi

US $417
"10/29/2013. P/S Whine. Could hear slight noise from P/S pump. Also detect slight leak coming from rack & pinion. Replaced P/S Pump. Fill bleed system. Road test. Advised customer to watch for rack & pinion leaking." 
Oct 2014

114000 mi

US $300
Lube, oil filter $26.95, 4 Cooper CS5 Grand $425.68 Touring Tires; Set of Advantage All Season Wiper Blades $32.00 and Valve Lash Adjustment to help eliminate engine noise disc $58.25, replace 4 tires, mount & computer spin balance $76.00. Total 975.25. 
Mar 2016

120144 mi

US $237
"code present P0442-Smoke Test required . Smoked Evap System . Traced to 2 leaks. Gas cap & canister Vent Valve. cleared code & test drove ok." 
May 2016

120981 mi

US $300
Evap System Replaced & new gasoline cap 
Nov 2016

123158 mi

US $1387
"replaced exhaust from frt Y-pipe manifold all the way back to the flange right before muffler. swapped 1 oxygen sensor & replaced 1 pre-cat oxygen sensor with new welded new flange on muffler." 

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2002 Subaru Outback 4dr Sedan

212-horsepower 3.0L H6 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Outback in Maine, United States
Mar 2013 - Jul 2013
Apr 2013

135500 mi

US $275
Failed thermostat fuel line hoses failed; gas smell 
Jul 2013

138000 mi

US $125
The passenger side front inner CV boot split. Radiator hose. 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Nov 2012 - Jul 2017
Jan 2013

126200 mi

US $303
Accessory belt idler pulley bearing failed. Had that plus belt tension pulley and serpentine belt replaced. 
May 2013

127000 mi

US $1100
Also replaceded rear struts.  Had thermostat and upper and lower radiator hoses replaced. I filled the cooling system with antifreeze myself. 
Aug 2013

131000 mi

US $1500
I had driver front axle replaced with a rebuilt unit.  Had valve cover gaskets replaced. Had rusted cooling metal hose replaced. 
Oct 2013

134200 mi

US $430
Replaced front stabilizer links.  Also replaced Worn front Drivers seatbelt assembly. 
Sep 2014

142000 mi

US $1300
Had rear stabilizer links replaced. Had upper and lower control arm bushings replaced. Had left front wheel bearing replaced. 
Aug 2016

154000 mi
Had exhaust pipe section cut out, and another piece spliced in. 
Nov 2016

154000 mi

US $720
No charge condition, once car very warm. Had OEM new alternator installed. 
Subaru Outback in Tennessee, United States
May 2008 - Aug 2015
Nov 2009

102300 mi

US $150
Inner CV joint boot broken on right front wheel. Replaced entire half shaft with new for $ 120 and had transmission oil changed. 
Aug 2010

110000 mi

US $356
Check engine light was ON.Replaced both upstream oxygen sensors.Problem solved. 
Jun 2011

120000 mi

US $140
Replaced Left CV drive shaft due to busted boot.  
Aug 2015

149000 mi

US $900
CV boots busted on both front axles. Replaced both front axles, Valve cover gaskets leaking, both. H6 3.0 engine. Replaced valve cover seals. Also replaced spark plugs since they were already out for Valve cover repairs. 

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2002 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 2002 Subaru Outback problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.