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6 Common Problems of Subaru (XV) Crosstrek Hybrid

6 Common Problems of Subaru (XV) Crosstrek Hybrid

Is the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid a reliable car? It is often reported that the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has its fair share of problems. But what problems are these? In this blog, we will outline all of the major problems you should be wary of while buying a new Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. Let’s start with a quick answer.

The most commonly reported problems in Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid include poor handling and control, rust and corrosion problems, poorly calibrated EyeSight (driver assist technology), repeated cracks on the windshield, and ignition coil malfunctioning. These problems increase the risk of car accidents, and some of these problems have been rectified via recalls. Most of these problems are found in the 2018-2019 make of Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

This was only a brief rundown of what we’ve prepared for you in this article. For more in-depth information about the problems, read on!

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1. Poor Handling and Control

One of the problems that have plagued the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is the lack of control, especially on snowy roads. Crosstrek owners have reported their car fishtailing and losing control abruptly on snow. This problem gets aggravated when going above 40 mph.

This problem has many causes, but we have shortlisted it down to three:

  • Bad wheel alignment
  • Poor-quality tires and excessive weight on the car
  • Issues with the X-mode of Subaru Crosstrek

If the problem arises due to a bad alignment, it can be fixed promptly. A visit to your mechanic should solve this issue. Moreover, if you haven’t changed your car tires in a while, the worn-out tires might also be playing a role in poor car control. Lastly, the X-mode allows Subaru Crosstrek owners to drive efficiently in snow and dirt. If this specialized mode is not working in your car, it might spell trouble for your car’s performance.

The cost of fixing this issue depends on the cause. A bad wheel alignment will set you back by around $100-$150. However, if the problem lies with your X-mode, it will cost more to fix this issue, depending on the extent of the damage. 

Also read: The Complete Cost Of Maintaining A Subaru

2. Rust and corrosion problems

Several Subaru owners have also reported that their Crosstreks are more vulnerable to rust and corrosion than other car brands. Especially, the underside, the muffler, and tailpipes are more susceptible to corrosion than other parts of the car.

This problem is more frequently reported amongst owners who live in colder climates. Moreover, this problem is more prevalent in the model year 2014-2016 of the Subaru Crosstrek. The leading cause behind this problem is road salt. To prevent rust from wreaking havoc on the underside of your car, timely car washes are of utmost importance.

If you find yourself facing this problem, there is a simple solution. Subaru offers Rust Perforation Coverage for all models for five years, regardless of mileage. According to Subaru’s website,

“Defective original body sheet metal panels that are rusted completely through from the inside out (perforated by corrosion) will be repaired or, at the option of SOA or your Authorized SUBARU Retailer, replaced without charge to you for labour and materials”

Subaru Warranty Information

The best way to prevent this problem is to nip it in the bud. Timely inspections and regular car washes – especially of the undercarriage are instrumental in not allowing rust to damage your Crosstrek. If you have a knack for doing things yourself, you could also take a razor blade or sandpaper and remove the rust yourself.

3. EyeSight – Driver Assist Technology Not Working Properly

Subaru’s EyeSight is a safety suite of several cutting-edge technologies, including pre-collision braking, lane departure alerts, and adaptive cruise control. The system relies on a two-camera system to monitor the road ahead. However, several users have reported that it does not perform its intended functions. This problem is more frequently reported in the 2015 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

The major problem with this technology is that it uses cameras to function properly. During snow, fog, or any other event that hampers the visibility of these cameras, the EyeSight is also rendered useless.

EyeSight has also been the subject of two major lawsuits against Subaru. Both plaintiffs claimed that EyeSight didn’t work as expected and that the lane departure module did not work correctly due to poor software calibration.

Although there have been no recalls to rectify this problem, the latest generations of Crosstrek come with software updates that have improved the EyeSight technology. The cameras are now 15% smaller and can now see in color. The new range is 110m with a 35° view in front of the car.

If you’re facing this problem in your Subaru Crosstrek, take a plain cloth and gently wipe the cameras. You could also take your car to any nearby mechanic to re-calibrate the system. This should cost you around $300-$500.

4. Cracked Windshield

Another problem faced by the Subaru Crosstrek that generated waves in the automobile industry was the poor quality of windshields installed in this model. For 2018 or newer models, the cracked windshield turned out to be a huge problem. The cracks usually appear in the lower half and gradually enlarge, severely hampering the visibility.

The windshield had manufacturing defects, and thus it did not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requirements. This problem stems from Subaru’s decision to use acoustic windshields in their Crosstreks. These windshields are less durable than their predecessors and can shatter into large pieces increasing the chances of injury.

Since this problem arose due to a manufacturing fault, this issue was the subject of a court case. Under the settlement, Subaru agreed to extend the warranty of the covered vehicles to eight years, and they will cover the expenses for the replacement of one windshield.

If your cracked windshield is not under warranty, it takes around $1500 to install an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) windshield.

5. Ignition Coil Malfunctioning

2018 was not a good year for Subaru. The Subaru Crosstrek faced many problems this year, with the electrical system malfunctioning being the most reported one. Subaru recalled 2018-2019 Crosstrek vehicles under the pretext that the ECM was not working correctly.

The Engine Control Module (ECM) continued to power the ignition coil, even when the engine had been shut off, and it could result in a short circuit or a blown fuse. This could potentially start fires and can be a real cause of concern for Crosstrek owners. If this short circuit occurs during driving, the vehicle may stall, increasing the crash risk.

The 2018-2019 Subaru was recalled to rectify this problem. The dealers updated the ECM software and replaced the ignition coil free of charge. The blown fuse caused by this problem also affects the front exhaust pipe, which is also covered under this recall. The cost of repair for a malfunctioning ignition coil is around $300-$500.

6. Soy-Coated Wiring

Soy-Coated wiring has become a common issue for most brands, including Subaru. Most automakers switched to soy-based coating for their wiring because it was more biodegradable and so more eco-friendly. Although it’s better for the environment, it’s also better for the automaker as these soy-based coatings are cheaper than their plastic counterparts.

The problem with these soy-based coatings is that they attract rodents which then like to chew on them and use them as nesting material. This could cause an array of problems, any system that utilizes wires accessible to these rodents is at risk of failing. This has become quite the problem since there is no easy solution, and it’s a problem found in most vehicles by most automakers.

There are some simple steps to include into your routine to try and catch these rodents before they cause an expensive problem. This includes regularly opening the hood and looking for signs of rodent activity, looking for shredded pieces of wire where you park your cars, and cleaning out all the food in your car.

What’s The Worst Year of The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid?

The Subaru Crosstreks are generally good and reliable cars with solid ratings from car reviewing websites. However, a few models failed to impress the automobile industry. The majority of the automobile community has formed a consensus over the opinion that you should steer clear of the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek. This is one of the least durable models with several problems – some of which are yet to be resolved.

The bad reviews that this car received find their justification in several of the reported problems. Many interior and exterior accessories, such as the ECM and the windshield, caused problems for the owners. Apart from this, there have been 225 reported problems about Crosstrek on the CarComplaints website.

There were several problems with the factory radio device. The radio stopped by itself, and the volume kept changing by itself. One of the significant exterior problems was low quality and flimsy paint.

The suspensions also didn’t sit well with the owners, with its rear end sliding easily that was accompanied by a banging sound. There have been multiple reported accounts of Subaru Crosstrek with extremely high oil consumption – to the point that owners had to get an oil refill after only 1000 miles of driving.

The best year for Subaru Crosstrek is 2020. It has impressive off-road capabilities, standard active safety tech with CVT, and loads of options for infotainment. There have been zero recalls for this model, and it has the perfect 5-star safety rating on NHTSA. However, it is also one of the most expensive Crosstreks out there. If you want something a little light on your wallet, you should give the 2015 model a try.


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