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Headlights Problems of Subaru Outback - part 1

Subaru Outback owners have reported 69 problems related to headlights (under the exterior lighting category).

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 1
Failure Date: 12/02/2014

We have had to replace both front headlights multiple times since we bought our Outback. It seems my wife is driving with one headlight way too often. I have researched this problem and we are not alone. Online I have found hundreds of other people with the same problem. I am convinced that this is a safety problem that needs to be addressed by Subaru not to mention it's a huge financial burden since access to these bulbs is difficult even for repair shops.

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car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 2
Failure Date: 12/01/2014

This car is subject to premature and frequent headlight burn out. For example, both headlamps were replaced by dealer in late January 2014. They both are burned out by December 2014, creating a very unsafe situation.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 3
Failure Date: 11/19/2014

My wife and I recently purchased a used 2005 Subaru Outback. The headlights on this vehicle are what I consider to be dangerously dim, barely lighting up the road. Both the fog lamps and also the high beams work well, but the low beam light (which is produced from a different bulb than the high beam) is very inadequate. I have replaced the bulbs with higher intensity bulbs. This offered little if any increase in lighting. I have also had the electrical system checked to assure the proper voltage is being supplied. Googleing this problem has told me I'm not alone. Other Subaru owners complain of the same issue. Here's what I have researched and determined to be the problem. There is an inner reflective cavity in which the headlight bulb is housed. The reflection process within this housing magnifies the light produced by the bulb. This process is similar to that of a reflective prism inside a lighthouse. In the case of our Subaru, the reflective material inside of the headlight bulb housing has either worn away or become clouded to the degree that the light produced by the bulbs no longer reflects adequately to produce a bright light. These headlights need to either be replaced or perhaps somehow removed from the vehicle, opened up and then repaired. In either case this would be very expensive to the degree in which most consumers would not be willing to incur the cost, thereby continuing to take their chances driving at night with unsatisfactory headlights. My questions: is this considered a safety issue? if so, is it the responsibility of the manufacturer to correct this problem? do I have to pay for any corrections? I'd be grateful for any help or suggestions you can offer to assist me with this issue. I feel this is a potentially dangerous problem, not just for myself, but other Subaru owners. Thank you for your time.

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car image   Headlights problem of the 2010 Subaru Outback 4
Failure Date: 10/07/2014

Headlight went out after replacement a year and 3wks ago. This is the 3rd headlight replacement on a 2010 vehicle since purchase 3yrs ago at 29,500mi as a certified used Subaru from the dealer.

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car image   Headlights problem of the 2008 Subaru Outback 5
Failure Date: 07/19/2014

Vehicle started showing signs of electrical problems 2 months ago when the rear view mirror homelink would only have power intermittently. Problem progressed to the reverse lights and now affects the headlights. The headlights went out at night as I was leaving a parking lot, a definite hazard. Have researched the problem on Subaru online forums and discovered that the problem is that individual wires in the wiring harness have a tendency to crack and break at the joint between the body and the liftgate. This vehicle has 2 completely broken wires and most others with breaks in the insulation. Other owners describe similar problems.

See all problems of the 2008 Subaru Outback.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2010 Subaru Outback 6
Failure Date: 07/10/2014

Condensation continually gathers inside one of the light fixtures. The car has not been in an accident and the bulb and fixture are installed to factory specifications-the dealer has checked this. I believe this is a safety issue-with the amount of condensation inside the light, the illumination of one headlight is greatly diminished making driving at night very difficult especially in dimly lit situations. I also do not believe that the combination of electric and water inside components is "normal" under any circumstances. I have contacted my dealer and Subaru-the copy of the sent text follows-they do not respond. I believe the manufacturer of this component is making a faulty product that decreases safety. I just want them to replace the component at no cost to me since I've done nothing wrong. Sent to Subaru of America- "this is pertaining to problems with my headlights on my 2010 Outback. I've been told by my dealer-goldstein Subaru-that "condensation in the headlights is normal in the northeast" they also told me I "could drill a small hole in the light to let more air in". Question-if it is "normal" why should I drill a hole-the light design should account for proper ventilation of the fixture-secondly how come no other cars on the lot have this, it only happens in one light and there are numerous other similar complaints from other Subaru owners online? this is a safety issue-electricity and water do not mix-this "normal" condensation greatly reduces the illumination of the headlight and visibility during night driving-it's like driving with one headlight. I believe this is a manufacturer problem-my light was checked by the dealer-there is no damage and all the factory seals and bulbs are intact, yet water continually gets inside the fixture. I think Subaru of America should replace this safety item at no cost to me. (my VIN was here).

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 7
Failure Date: 05/27/2014

Both the low beam headlight bulbs went out at the same time. It was nighttime, and I had no use of my car. I bought new bulbs from the auto parts store the following day. When I opened the manual to get instructions for the light bulb change, I found that the recommended advice is to bring in the car to the dealer! there are instructions for those willing to brave getting underneath the car! to change a light bulb!! I am fortunate because I work in the daytime, and dst has already started. Otherwise I would find it necessary to get a tow to a shop! for a light bulb! headlights are necessary for safe and legal driving at night. Just as I shouldn't need an auto repair shop to change a tire, nor should I need a hydraulic car lift to change a light bulb!! this is something that anyone willing to get a little grease on their fingers should be able to accomplish at anytime at any place so that the car will be road worthy and the driver and passengers will be able to make it to their destination safely. I hope this "engineering" catastrophe will be addressed and rectified.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 8
Failure Date: 05/09/2014

Headlights keep going out. This will be my 4th time replacing the headlight bulbs on this vehicle.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 9
Failure Date: 01/01/2014

Low beam headlights only illuminate road to about 15 feet in front of car. Headlights were then adjusted by Subaru dealer who stated they were at the max height. Lights now illuminate to about 25 feet in front of car. Extremely poor visibility at night. Subaru dealer said there is nothing more he can do.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 10
Failure Date: 12/02/2013

Hello, my front headlights went out after having the vehicle for 3 years, I replaced them and then within the year of replacing, the one was burnt out again. I think there is a problem since I'll have replaced the light 3 times within 4 years. This is especially a pain since you have to take the tire off to replace a lightbulb.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 11
Failure Date: 10/01/2013

It is now three headlights in 24 months have burnt out. I would just like to know what the issue is with my car.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2010 Subaru Outback 12
Failure Date: 08/13/2013

Approximately 1 year ago a low beam headlight was replaced. Approximately 1 month later the other low beam headlight was burned out and need to be replaced. 1 week ago a low beam headlight was replaced. Today the opposite low beam headlight is burned out. This is abnormal headlights should not burn out this often. The bulbs were not touched on the glass when replaced.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 13
Failure Date: 08/06/2013

The contact owns a 2011 Subaru Outback. While driving at an unknown speed with the low beam headlights activated, the passenger side headlight failed to illuminate. The contact continued to drive with the high beams engaged. The contact replaced the headlight bulb. Three months later, the driver side low beam bulb failed and needed to be replaced. The driver and passenger side low beam bulbs were replaced four times. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 14
Failure Date: 06/15/2013

Passenger side headlight has burnt out 6 times; Subaru denies any underlying issues, keep replacing the headlight; no more warranty as this point; main concerns are safety and nuisance.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 15
Failure Date: 06/04/2013

The passenger's-side low beam headlight burned out a week ago and was replaced by the dealer. One week later, the driver's-side low beam headlight burned out. The car only has 15,000 miles presently. The dealer reports that this is a common occurence in late-model Outbacks. I live in alaska where the use of headlights is mandatory on some roads. Frequent and unanticipated loss of the headlights is a safety hazard as well as costly.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 16
Failure Date: 05/01/2013

The contact owns a 2011 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the headlights and the taillights failed intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, who stated that the headlights and taillights needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure an stated that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 12v602000 (exterior lighting). The approximate failure mileage was 28,000.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 17
Failure Date: 01/07/2013

Driver side low beam headlight failed at about 29,000 miles. Passenger side low beam headlight failed at ~32,000 miles (roughly 3 months time elapsed between events).

car image   Headlights problem of the 2010 Subaru Outback 18
Failure Date: 12/24/2012

Headlights burn out in tandem. The first occurrence was in 2012. It happened again almost exactly one year later. Headlights shouldn't burn out after less than one year of regular use. There are few miles on this vehicle and it does not have excessive use (either night driving or leaving the headlights on during regular use). My mechanic feels this is a sign of a larger issue and it looks like it's fairly widespread. My mechanic also verified with a Subaru mechanic there is no difference between bulbs supplied by his shop and a Subaru dealership. They are both phillips bulbs.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2005 Subaru Outback 19
Failure Date: 11/02/2012

Driving at night. Stopped to get gas. Went to start car and turn on lights. Both headlights out-just like that. Had to drive home on running lights; luckily less than 5 miles. Headlight issues started about 10k miles ago where individual lights have gone out; have replaced ind low beam lights 4x in the last 10k miles. Never had 2 go out at once like this-at night. Did a search on internet and found numerous reports of owners with same issue and it doesn't sound like Subaru is too interested in resolving when left to its own accord.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 20
Failure Date: 11/01/2012

We are experiencing chronic headlight, taillight and break light burn out issues. We have had the right headlight replaced twice and the left headlight replaced once as well as the taillight and break lights replaced once since November of 2012. We do not live on a bumpy road or have any other odd driving conditions. We drive our car only on normal paved roads in a suburban environment. Our Subaru dealer has not been able to resolve this problem. We believe this is a major safety issue as we never know when the lights are going to burn out.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2012 Subaru Outback 21
Failure Date: 10/01/2012

The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Outback. The contact stated that the low beam headlight projector bulb was not shielded. When the light was illuminated, the beam appeared to be vertical which caused the driver¿s vision to be obscured. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis. They were unable to so and the contact was driving around with duct tape over the light to prevent glare. The manufacturer was contacted and they offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 4,000. The current mileage was approximately 6,000.

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car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 22
Failure Date: 09/13/2012

I am on my third set of headlight bulbs car is 23 months old and bulbs keep burning out. Never had a problem like this. Many other owners have the same issue and no resolution has been found. This is the low beam bulbs that burn out. Not at the same time usually within 2-4 weeks of each other.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2011 Subaru Outback 23
Failure Date: 03/14/2012

The first time the headlight went out was during the cold months two years ago and it was on the driver's side. A year later (2013) , the passenger's side headlight went out. I just replaced the driver's side headlight again on November 2, 2014. I have never had a vehicle, nor heard of anyone I know having a vehicle, that requires annual headlight replacements.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2012 Subaru Outback 24
Failure Date: 02/01/2012

The headlights of my Outback have burned out at least 4 times. The dealer claims there is no issue with the electrical system.

car image   Headlights problem of the 2010 Subaru Outback 25
Failure Date: 11/18/2011

The outside bulbs constantly burn out, it can be a headlight, (high beam, low beam) license plate light, brake lite, running lights. . . . The inside lights have been ok this bulb issue started at 27,000 miles and has been a constant problem since. Out of 24 service orders, nine of those orders have needed to have one or more bulbs replaced. I live in the foothills of calaveras county, California and the excuse the dealership gives me is that we have rough roads in these hills. Well, I say, what a line of poop, I drive a Subaru, it's made for our area. Either I have an electrical problem that obviously started when the car was under warranty or that the bulbs that are being used are totally of bad quality.

Other Common Exterior Lighting related problems of Subaru Outback