2012 Subaru Outback Subaru Outback 2012

We are 108,000+ car owners sharing real-world car information.

Join Us

2012 Subaru Outback repairs by problem area

Engine (19%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (7%)

Brakes and Traction Control (5%)

Suspension and Steering (9%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (29%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (24%)

Other (7%)

Chart based on 151 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 2012 Subaru Outback.

2012 Subaru Outback repair cost distribution

$2500+ (1%)

$1000 - $2499 (3%)

$500 - $999 (3%)

$100 - $499 (26%)

< $100 (67%)

Chart based on 96 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 2012 Subaru Outback repair histories. Log in or join us to see them all.

2012 Subaru Outback

Engine not specified

Subaru Outback in Michigan, United States
Oct 2016 - Dec 2016
Dec 2016

86000 mi

US $3500
Dropped a valve into the cylinder with only 86K miles and past the powertrain warranty. 

Return to top

2012 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

256-horsepower 3.6L H6 5-speed shiftable automatic AWD

Subaru Outback in Virginia, United States
Nov 2012 - Dec 2015
Apr 2013

21300 mi
There's a bump under leather on driver's seat, as if part of the heated seating element had moved. Service rep took photos and said they have to ask Subaru what to do. Update: it has now been over 1 year with no response. 
Jul 2015

58000 mi

US $130
Interior driver's seat L side plastic molding around electric controls broke. Dealer replaced broken part but said not covered by extended warranty. Called Subaru of America and they reimbursed me for cost. Subaru prior repair seat surface 
Dec 2015

61000 mi
Battery died out of the blue on Christmas Eve. Received jump and then called AAA and their battery truck came out and replaced battery. After battery died navigation system lost all information, calls to 2 local Subaru dealers resulted in (1) no idea what to do call 800 # (2) make appointment bring car in. Called 800 # and rep gave directions on how to reset, system fixed! 
Subaru Outback in Pennsylvania, United States
Apr 2012 - Aug 2015
Dec 2012

14000 mi
low oil warning light- false alarm 
Jan 2013

14200 mi
low oil light- dealership cannot reproduce the problem. 
Mar 2013

15000 mi
low oil light- third time- car towed to dealer. could not duplicate. told there is no low oil level and oil light is normal. now working with subaru of america. 
Sep 2014

41000 mi

US $200
Drive belt replacement 
Jan 2015

19700 mi
burned out headlight bulb. very involved to change- 2.5 hours for both; unable to access. 
Apr 2015

48000 mi
diagnose and repair starter squeal 
Subaru Outback in Ontario, Canada
Mar 2012 - Jul 2015
Mar 2013

17360 mi
Driver side seat outside panel falling off. One of the new parts was wrong and the panel is still not staying on. Need to go back, but dealer far away. 
Jun 2013

19840 mi
Seat trim item described above. Radio jumps stations spontaneously, still not repaired. 
Subaru Outback in Indiana, United States
Nov 2011 - Jun 2013
Jul 2012

15800 mi
Black plastic trim piece on outside of driver side rear window had become detached on one side. Piece was replaced under warranty. Trim piece caused excess wind noise. 
Subaru Outback in Alaska, United States
May 2013 - Mar 2014
Mar 2014

50000 mi

US $50
Front bushing causing squeaks. 
Subaru Outback in Arizona, United States
Oct 2014 - Sep 2017
Feb 2015

19000 mi
Bad connection for engine fan; fan was not engaging; engine would start to heat up in stop and go traffic only; part cleaned up and connection made; problem fixed. 
Subaru Outback in Quebec, Canada
Aug 2017 - Sep 2017
Sep 2017

55180 mi

C $250
replace front rotors and pads 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
May 2017 - Jun 2017
Jun 2017

46000 mi

US $1600
Found oil leaks from timing chain cover and both side valve covers. Also determined that oil filter was damaged/leaky. 
Subaru Outback in North Carolina, United States
Jun 2012 - Jun 2017
May 2017

58000 mi

US $88
Front end alignment / tire replace / balance. 
Subaru Outback in Georgia, United States
Nov 2011 - Jul 2013
Jun 2012

6000 mi
Driver's seatbelt latch broke. 
Subaru Outback in Arizona, United States
Sep 2012 - Oct 2017
Oct 2017

70000 mi
Oil leak 
Subaru Outback in Quebec, Canada
Mar 2012 - Apr 2016
Jul 2012

3720 mi
My Pioneer radio would skip to the next chanel without any request on my part. They had a service note to fix the problem. They installed a resistance at the back of the radio. Up to now no recurrence. 
Aug 2013

16400 mi

C $472
The problem with the radio when changing volume it changes the station I was listening to. 
Apr 2014

22820 mi
Problem with the controls on steering wheel for control of the volume returned. Previously they add a resistor in the wiring of the volume. New service note ST.15.01.12R: remove old repair and add 2 resistors. 
Subaru Outback in Virginia, United States
Sep 2011 - Dec 2016
Mar 2016

52000 mi
Rear window was not rolling down reliably. They replaced the motor I think. 
Subaru Outback in New Jersey, United States
Sep 2011 - Dec 2013
Nov 2011

300 mi
Driver's side headlight had condensation on the inside, dealer replaced headlight assembly. Driver's side headlight had condensation on the inside, dealer replaced headlight assembly. 
Dec 2011

3000 mi
Was having a harsh downshift issue with the 3.6R engine. Found that there was a TSB issued for this. A new software was avaialble, went to the dealer, and they installed new software, problem fixed. 
Subaru Outback in Massachusetts, United States
Dec 2011 - May 2014
Sep 2013

18000 mi
Starter made squealing sound when running. Replaced under warranty. 
Subaru Outback in Georgia, United States
Nov 2011 - Dec 2014
Sep 2012

14000 mi
Rattle in headliner. 

Return to top

2012 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

170-horsepower 2.5L H4 6-speed shiftable CVT AWD

Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
Jun 2015 - Apr 2017
Dec 2016

53000 mi

US $265
Various warning lights on intermittently. Dealer claimed that two oil pressure sensors were bad. I doubt both. Also did a recall on the wipers. 
Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
Nov 2013 - Sep 2017
Dec 2013

34000 mi
Check antenna message on for XM radio 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
Apr 2015 - Sep 2017
Sep 2015

84000 mi

US $100
Replace cable harness positive terminal and battery. 
Subaru Outback in Virginia, United States
Aug 2011 - Oct 2017
May 2016

91300 mi

US $100
Guide to the Gasket head moved 100/of an inch. Gasket head had to be repaired. 
Apr 2017

108000 mi

US $245
rear wheel bearings need to be replaced 
Jul 2017

116000 mi

US $82
Rotors were warped 
Subaru Outback in Iowa, United States
Feb 2013 - Oct 2017
Apr 2016

54300 mi

US $99
Flashing BRAKE and CRUISE lights, check engine light on, stability control off 
Dec 2016

59000 mi
Wiper blade motor potential failure-covered under recall 
Subaru Outback in Texas, United States
Jun 2012 - Jul 2015
Jun 2013

27000 mi
Sun glasses holder next to map lights retaining clip broke and would not stay closed. 
Subaru Outback in Connecticut, United States
Dec 2012 - Sep 2016
Aug 2016

69100 mi
Third trip to the dealer for a "ratcheting" sensation after coming to a stop and turning left or right only. Previously, the driveline clutches and the transmission valve body was replaced. This trip, the transmission was replaced. 
Subaru Outback in Oklahoma, United States
Jun 2012 - Aug 2017
Jun 2016

58000 mi
Drivers side front axle leaking, slinging grease. Replaced under warranty. 
Subaru Outback in Texas, United States
Oct 2015 - Jun 2017
Dec 2015

40000 mi
Belt making squeaking noises on cold engine start 
Feb 2016

41700 mi

US $210
Low Tire Pressure sensor failed. 
Subaru Outback in Idaho, United States
Nov 2011 - Dec 2016
Oct 2012

5500 mi
Sunroof sticking. They replaced structural components: rails, framework. But it still doesn't work correctly, and we must take it back again this Friday. Dealer could not fix sunroof. Finally, they sent it to a local body shop who did Sunroof was sticking. Removed and replaced. 
Aug 2013

14000 mi
Moon roof leaks in commercial car wash. Both dealer and Subaru of America maintain that such leakage is "normal." 
Mar 2014

22000 mi
Rearview mirror has auto dimming feature (that has never worked). Took in early March 2014, dealer agreed it did not work and ordered new mirror. Took car back in March 29 and dealer had ordered wrong mirror. Must re-order. 
Apr 2014

22200 mi
Rearview mirror's autodim function will not work. Dealer says it's because of tinted rear window. This makes no sense because the tinted rear window is standard on all such Outbacks. 
Nov 2014

25000 mi
Top of car near sunroof. Painted area size of a nickel was starting to rust. Entire roof needed to be repainted in the process of repairing rusted spot. 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
Apr 2016 - Dec 2016
Jul 2016

49700 mi

US $100
Right front caliper noisy. Brakes disassembled, cleaned, regreased and reinstalled 
Subaru Outback in Indiana, United States
Feb 2017 - Sep 2017
Sep 2017

92000 mi

US $150
Replaced Battery 
Subaru Outback in Texas, United States
Feb 2013 - Sep 2017
Mar 2017

70000 mi

US $900
Replaced rear struts. We live 2 mi down a bumpy gravel road that eats rear shocks or struts readily, particularly with loads. Given this maintenance, the Outback drives generally like new. 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Aug 2011 - Apr 2014
Mar 2014

34000 mi
Battery run out. car didn't start. Subaru roadside assistance partner showed up after 2 hrs, to verify system, visited dealer. No problems detected 
Subaru Outback in Idaho, United States
Oct 2017 - Oct 2017
Sep 2017

90000 mi

US $750
brakes high pitch noise (wear sensors), took in to replace pads. Shop recommended replacing rotors rather than repair. Probably a little more expensive, but agreed. Replaced pads and rotors. Also had do the spark plugs as I skipped at 60k. Already had plugs, this was a separate cost. 
Subaru Outback in Minnesota, United States
Oct 2012 - Jun 2016
Mar 2012

500 mi
Front passenger window wouldn't roll all the way up and seal. Could hear wind noise. Sometimes it would "thunk" into place. They took apart door and greased power window parts, etc. 
Subaru Outback in Minnesota, United States
Oct 2011 - Sep 2017
Apr 2017

105000 mi

US $350
Bad wiper switch had to be replaced. 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
Apr 2016 - Sep 2017
Apr 2016

86000 mi

US $1800
Car was jerky when starting from idle. Replaced Torque Converter and Valve Body. Subaru USA assisted with $1,500, which was less than half of repair cost. Update, July 2017: Have been notified that Subaru is extending the CVT warranty on my model and I will be able to claim my repair costs from this repair. 
Sep 2016

93000 mi

US $8
Replaced passenger side headlight 
Dec 2016

99000 mi

US $2
Oil leaking. Replaced oil drain plug. 
Feb 2017

104200 mi

US $11
Replaced Driver Side Headlight 
Subaru Outback in Oklahoma, United States
Nov 2011 - Jan 2014
Feb 2012

3000 mi
Bluetooth sync and mileage computer both malfunctioned. 
Mar 2013

15000 mi
Oil pan change bolt gasket replaced, was leaking. 
Jul 2013

20800 mi
Gas cap issue, sensor causes dash display and cruise control to malfunction if gas cap is perceived to be incorrectly tightened. 
Subaru Outback in Pennsylvania, United States
Jul 2016 - Aug 2016
Jul 2016

64000 mi

US $121
Oil change, rotate and road force balance tires, change head light Change wiper blades and new air and fuel filter 
Subaru Outback in Wisconsin, United States
Oct 2011 - Mar 2015
Jan 2013

8000 mi
deformed mud flap causing noise when making a hard fast right hand turn 
Subaru Outback in Indiana, United States
Nov 2015 - Mar 2016
Nov 2015

87000 mi

US $60
Front sway bar bushings 
Mar 2016

94000 mi

US $100
Rear wheel bearings replaced under warranty. $100 deductible paid. 
Subaru Outback in New Hampshire, United States
Jun 2012 - Sep 2017
Feb 2015

27000 mi

US $100
Rear window broken while clearing snow - replaced 
Subaru Outback in Oklahoma, United States
Mar 2012 - Mar 2015
Mar 2012

2900 mi
check engine light illuminated. took to dealer and found that the fuel cap was not tightened completely. dealer reset codes in ecm. 
Apr 2012

3100 mi
sunroof would not close completely 
Jul 2012

4800 mi
tire indicator illuminated during a trip 
Jun 2013

21000 mi
Failure in xm radio antenna 
Subaru Outback in Virginia, United States
Feb 2012 - Jun 2016
Jun 2014

65000 mi

US $56
Rotating knob for the mirror adjustment broke off. We took the car to the dealership and they wanted over $200 for parts and labor. Instead we ordered the knob online and replaced it ourselves. 
Subaru Outback in Ohio, United States
Feb 2012 - Jun 2014
Jul 2012

4700 mi
Leaking seal on the gas cap tripped a check engine light. Gas cap needed replaced. 30 minute visit. 
Dec 2012

12000 mi
Had a significant windshield whistling noise at highway speeds. Dealer isolated the problem to be air flow changes created by the factory front air deflector (accessory) that was channeling the air over the top of the glass. 
Subaru Outback in North Carolina, United States
Feb 2012 - Apr 2014
Nov 2012

13000 mi
Bluetooth does not work with iPhones (4,4S and 5). You have to pair your iPhone every time you want to use it. There is no fix for this at this time. 
Jan 2013

15500 mi
The Check Engine light came on along with Traction Control and Brake light. Dealer said it was a firmware glitch and updated firmware. Took 2 hours. 
Subaru Outback in Arkansas, United States
Apr 2012 - Nov 2013
Jul 2012

8000 mi
Check engine light, brake, traction control, and cruise lights all stayed on. Dealer told me was a false emissions leak code. 
Aug 2012

9700 mi
Right front speaker grill was loose. Replaced under warranty at no charge. 
Subaru Outback in North Carolina, United States
Feb 2012 - Sep 2017
Oct 2014

12000 mi
replaced battery 
Subaru Outback in Newfoundland / Lab., Canada
Feb 2012 - Sep 2017
Apr 2013

12380 mi
Bushings on stablized bar worn out. 
Jul 2013

14660 mi
Body rusting on tailgate and window trim piece. Tailgate repainted. Window trim ordered not yet installed. 
Aug 2013

15500 mi
Rusty trim piece replaced 
Aug 2014

26660 mi
Rust bubble on roof. Warrant Claim submitted for repainting. 
Sep 2014

27280 mi
Roof repainted 
Apr 2015

32020 mi
Suspension Bushing worn and required replacement 
Dec 2015

40300 mi

C $400
Reverse Interrupt Switch failed. Car thought it was in reverse gear all the time and would not start. 
Nov 2016

48980 mi
Transverse Link Bushing cracking 
Subaru Outback in Nebraska, United States
Nov 2011 - Sep 2017
Mar 2012

2000 mi
check engine code p0456. dealer reset code. 
Subaru Outback in Minnesota, United States
Nov 2011 - Sep 2017
Dec 2011

3000 mi
seatbelt latch was replaced 
Mar 2013

29000 mi
Both headlights burned out. Service writer was not surprised and because less than 36,000 miles covered by warranty. 
Apr 2015

63300 mi

US $75
Second time replacing low beam head lamp. Needs to be done through wheel well. Appears to be very common with these cars. 
Jun 2015

70000 mi

US $75
Passenger side headlight burned out again. Replaced headlight access from wheel well after removing fender liner. 
Mar 2016

85000 mi

US $173
check engine light cruise control light and traction light came on. They suspected gas cap but still did code check then replaced gas cap and charged me $173 
Dec 2016

100000 mi
Had 4 small bulbs burned out. Car has had a lot of bulb issues. They wanted over $150 to replace them. I refused. 
Feb 2017

105000 mi

US $1000
Replaced front pads and rotors at 105000 miles for the first time. 
Subaru Outback in Kentucky, United States
Feb 2012 - Mar 2017
Sep 2012

12000 mi
check engine light due to improper fit of gas cap 
Jan 2013

37500 mi
check engine light periodically would come on. Turned out the be spider web in vent line. Found after two unsuccessful trips to dealer. 
Subaru Outback in Tennessee, United States
Feb 2012 - Mar 2012
Mar 2012

1000 mi
Moonroof leak. Drains cleaned and connected. Still leaks around rear seal. 
Subaru Outback in Rhode Island, United States
Mar 2012 - Oct 2016
Dec 2013

22000 mi
Electric sunroof would not close properly. New parts installed. 
Subaru Outback in California, United States
Mar 2012 - Jun 2016
Dec 2014

34000 mi
Led burnt out on 3rd brake light 
Nov 2015

42000 mi

US $100
Front control arm busines torn and needed to be replaced. 
Subaru Outback in Rhode Island, United States
Aug 2011 - Apr 2014
Oct 2011

3000 mi
OEM Remote Start stopped working two weeks after dealer installed. Dealer resolved this problem during first recommended LubeOilFilter change at 1,300 miles (Dealer believes first service should be at one month / 1,000 miles on their dime 
Jan 2013

32000 mi
Flashing Brake & Cruise Lights, Check Engine Light on and AT temp light on. Dealer checked codes and ran diagnostics-this was charged to SofA $316. diagnosis fee and then reset the codes. Running fine all along. Software Glitch??? 
Nov 2013

55000 mi

US $285
Navigation System started acting up with error message regarding DVD not installed, unable to go to saved way points. Service removed dvd & found a sticky substance- they cleaned disk & re-installed. 
Apr 2014

63000 mi
During routine oil/filter change and snow tire switchover, Dealer found a stripped lug nut. They fixed it for free. 
Subaru Outback in Florida, United States
Jun 2012 - Mar 2014
Apr 2013

11700 mi
The brake, vehicle dynamic control, and check engine lights lit up. 
Subaru Outback in Virginia, United States
Jun 2012 - Sep 2017
May 2012

2380 mi
Problem: Steering was stiff, requiring excessive effort to turn the whell even a small amount. Repair: Adjust steering wheel off-center Outcome: unsuccessful 
Jun 2012

7000 mi
Steering was stiff, required excessive effort to turn the wheel even a small amount. Steering rack was replaced, wheels aligned and other adjustments. 
Jul 2012

7300 mi
Problem: Steering wheel stiff to turn. Correction: Replace steering rack. 
Dec 2012

11548 mi
Left rear door gasket around did not fully seal against body along a line just aft of the door window. Left rear door gasket did not fully seal against body along a line just aft of the door window. Door molding and gasket replaced. 
Subaru Outback in Illinois, United States
May 2012 - Feb 2017
Sep 2013

7000 mi
Sunroof would not open, rail part jam. 
Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
Nov 2011 - Feb 2017
Aug 2016

55000 mi

US $100
Replaced alternator Air flow sensor needed to be replaced 
Subaru Outback in Alabama, United States
Apr 2012 - Jan 2017
Aug 2013

27900 mi
Passenger seat heater does not stay on. 
Nov 2014

49900 mi

US $50
Passenger seat heater would not stay on. Replaced bad relay. 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Apr 2012 - Mar 2016
Oct 2015

55000 mi

US $48
driver side headlight replacement. Tire fender had to be removed to reach headlight 
Subaru Outback in Maryland, United States
Nov 2011 - Jun 2017
Jun 2012

8000 mi
Repaired and reattached torn mudflap 
Aug 2013

23000 mi
Rear driver side door weather stripping was incorrectly installed. Part adjusted. 
Jan 2014

32000 mi
door trim readjusted. deformed again after a few days. 
Jul 2014

29300 mi
door seal is misaligned. 
Sep 2014

31000 mi
Door trim replaced 
Dec 2014

33000 mi
Door trim again not sitting flush. Replacement part ordered. Moonroof would not open or close. Realignment. 
Jan 2015

27700 mi
Installed replacement door trim Moonroof would not close properly. Hitting close button resulted in 3 inches of movement and then stop. Repeated close attempts required to close the moonroof. Lubricated. Failed again. Replaced entirely assembly. 
May 2015

36000 mi
Wiper blades began operating without operator activation. Wiper switch replaced 
Jun 2015

38000 mi
Engine leaking oil. Turned out to be a cracked crush washer. Washer replaced as part of oil change. 
Aug 2016

57000 mi
Transmission intermittently feels like it is binding. Dealer was unable to replicate the issue. 

Return to top

2012 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

170-horsepower 2.5L H4 6-speed manual AWD

Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Jul 2012 - Aug 2012
Aug 2012

1000 mi
Excessive noise from engine between 2800 to 4000 rpm. on manual transmission. This is an additional rattling sound that is throaty and quite annoying. 
Subaru Outback in Illinois, United States
Dec 2011 - Sep 2017
Feb 2015

29000 mi
The sunroof stuck halfway while closing. They had to remove the entire headliner and replace the complete sunroof track and motor 
Subaru Outback in Nova Scotia, Canada
Aug 2012 - Sep 2016
Sep 2014

22320 mi
Oil seal leaking. Dealer changed seal and replaced timing belt. Update: a week later oil pan still leaking a little.. 
Feb 2015

26040 mi
Engine oil seal and oil pvc valve 
Apr 2015

29220 mi
Returning Oil leak 
May 2016

48100 mi
There was an ongoing oil leak from the block somewhere. This has been ongoing for the last four years. They think its fixed and it starts leaking. This time they finally did a dye test, and found a a hairline crack in the casting of the oil filter holder. 
Jun 2016

52080 mi

C $526
Engine light fault indication. Scan code P0031, PO134. Problem faulty A/F sensor. 
Subaru Outback in Alberta, Canada
Oct 2015 - Sep 2017
Aug 2015

59520 mi

C $275
Replace right side spark plug tube seal, new valve cover gasket as the plug boots are wet with oil. 
Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
Jan 2013 - Feb 2014
Aug 2013

17700 mi
gurgling noise from steering fluid when hot. 
Subaru Outback in New York, United States
Nov 2011 - Jun 2017
Jul 2014

32300 mi
water leaking AC 
May 2016

56600 mi

US $300
Pads,rotors and left caliper 
Oct 2016

64200 mi

US $300
Failure of 6 speed transmission clutch was OK 
Subaru Outback in Colorado, United States
Sep 2011 - Sep 2017
Aug 2014

39000 mi

US $189
The latch for the rear hatch stopped working. They replaced it but it isn't working again and it will go back to the shop on Friday 
Oct 2014

41500 mi
When the mechanic at Shortline Subaru looked at the latch for the rear hatch, he couldn't replicate the problem which now seems to be intermittent. 
Jul 2016

59500 mi

US $50
Check Engine light came on and cruise control disconnected while on a long trip. Repair shop suspected loose gas cap or leak in evaoporative control system. Codes cleared, CE lite reset. No problems on return trip of over 550 miles. 
Jan 2017

65000 mi

US $210
USB port did not work and was replaced. 

Return to top

2012 Subaru Outback 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 6-speed shiftable CVT AWD

Subaru Outback in Ontario, Canada
Apr 2013 - Mar 2016
May 2013

21740 mi
The motor was incapable of closing the roof all the way. The problem stemmed from a clogged drainage port. I used a piece of fine wire to ream it out and all was good. I won't leave my sunroof open while parked under trees anymore! 

Return to top

See TrueDelta's information for all Sedans and Wagons.
See TrueDelta's information for all Subaru models.

2012 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 2012 Subaru Outback problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.