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Subaru Legacy/Outback

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  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I just got a call from the service manager at my Subaru dealer here to talk about my clutch -- he was disturbed by the horrible survey responses that I had sent in regarging Subaru and Lithia's service department. I get a survey from Subaru about once every 2 months, and I rant in every one about my clutch and their inability to fix it.

    Anyway, he said that starting today a fix has been released that should cure the horrid shuddering that my car has exhibited since it was new. The parts just became available today, so he's going to try and get the car in this morning for a new clutch assembly.

    I'm shocked, to say the least, that anyone actually read the surveys I mailed in (or did online via Subaru's website). I'm more shocked that the service manager called out of the blue to offer a new clutch for this car. Wow. I sincerely hope that this ends my 2 year battle with Subaru over an otherwise fine car.

    Brian
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good news, please keep us posted. Ask them exactly what the fix is (new pressure plate?), and who would be eligible for it.

    -juice
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346
    All the kids at i-club say bad things about Stevens Creek Subaru. However, I got my Legacy there via the internet at a good price. However, they have lots of turnover in both service and sales personnel.

    I recall that Santa Cruz and Carlson in Redwood City were highly regarded. Lately, I've been having my car serviced at Downtown Subaru in Oakland because they're open on Saturday. The service advisors were knowledgable. (The shop also services Toyotas.) I don't know about their pricing.

    Good luck!

    Jim
  • Carlsen in Redwood City. Ask for Greg Gulbrandson. Nice guy, straightforward, no hassles. When I bought my 01 they were selling for a flat no haggle $300 over invoice. No hidden charges. Tell him that OCD guy who measured the height of every corner of the car sent you. Or maybe you shouldn't.

    bit
  • bigelmbigelm Posts: 995
    Just out of experience and the experience of many others....

    The clutch shudder tends to be something 'normal' in Subarus. I didn't read all the way to prior posts but I'm guessing you have a stick... Many have changed the clutch under warranty and the shudder eventually comes back. Seems like the clutches that Subaru uses are not of great quality. Once you go aftermarket, then the shudder is gone. If your car is a lease, then it may not make sense to get aftermarket unless Subaru will pay for it (highly doubt that), otherwise Subaru will get to know you as another statistic until they resolve this issue. But hopefully you'll be one of the very, very few that will have the shudder disappear completely.

    Either way.... good luck!
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    Greg & others,

    Thanks for the feedback on the Dunlops in snow. Anyone have other snow-worthy suggestions for replacement tires (M&S like the original Firestones - not snow tires). Also desire quiet and sticky good cornering. Does such a tire even exist (at any price)? Michelin Pilots? Thanks in advance.

    Ralph
  • I'm sure this has been discussed before, but after going through more than 10 screens of this discussion board, I haven't seen a good summary of the differences between the GT and the Outback.

    I know the suspension and tires are different, as well as the outside appearance. I wish I could get a sunroof in the Outback and thus am curious whether I should look into the GT? I'm in Northern California, so I deal with rain and camp grounds but only see snow when I drive to Tahoe.
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    Juice, I just dropped off the car to get the new clutch assembly and the manager showed me Subaru's TSB entitled "Clutch Shuddering when Cold" or something to that effect, dated yesterday. It listed several redesigned parts including a new flywheel and pressure plate. There were also some barings and such, but I didn't really study it. I'll get a copy of the parts list tonite when the car is finished.

    Basically, the TSB should allow anyone under the 3/36 warranty to get the fix done immediately if they are having cold shuddering issues. Since mine is out of the factory warranty now with 43K onit, the service manager had to call the factory rep for authorization, but had no trouble getting it approved. I've had about a dozen documented complaints about the problem since the car was new.

    I hope the new clutch design works -- it's been a long time coming! Unfortunately, I won't be able to drive the car until I get back in town in January so it'll be a few weeks until I know how the new one feels.

    Brian
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool. I'm curious to see how it'll feel (the clutch, that is) after the fix. The real test will be tomorrow morning, when the powertrain is cold.

    -juice
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Good to hear that is was just snow pack. So do I get a gold star??? ;-)

    Steve
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    Brian - if'n when you get a chance, would you post the TSB number on that clutch repair.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, Steve wins the Subaru Crew OCD Club's "Nice Catch" award, for thinking of even the most remote possibilities.

    Way to go.

    -juice
  • dudedude Posts: 123
    I was in the same boat before I bought my GT. In my case it came down to pretty much this: Do I want a sports wagon, or do I get a wagon that everybody drives here in Colorado in Outback? So, I bought the GT. Also, to me, outbacks from 95-99 are not very good looking and GT looks totally cool. Of course GT has drawbacks too. I'd prefer to get a auxilary power socket in the back. Also, a cold weather package would hurt either. (it's standard on 03) I think that pretty much it. Hope this helps
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I don't know what to say.....
    Thanks to all the little people out there (oh, wait a minute - wrong acceptance speech).

    Steve
  • When first shopping for a wagon we looked a lot at Volvos and Passats unaware that anything other than the Outback existed at Subaru. We rented both a Volvo V70 and an auto Outback in the process. One look (and ride) in the GT sold us. Uniqueness of not being another OB plus we liked the monochrome look and the handling along with (yes really) the dual moonroofs. We live in northern CA too. Eureka now but Burlingmae when we bought it. Never found a time where I wished I had the additional ride height of the OB... well other that an occasional steep driveway. Trips in the snow have not been a problem.

    bit
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Since you said Outback sans moonroof, you must mean the base model. So let's see.

    The GT is sportier. Lower profile tires, lower springs, shorter effective gearing (by 7%). It also offers VTD and the shiftronic if you get an automatic. It should be quicker and handle more sporty, though ride won't be as tolerant. You give up the roof rack cross bars but gets leather, plus the two-tone and the power outlet in the cargo area. Plus you get the dual moonroof.

    The Outback has more suspension travel and clearance, plus the cross bars and heated seats/mirrors/wiper de-icers. Nice stuff in the cold. Really it's about the ideal snow car. The focus is more on utility vs. sportiness, you even get the cargo area rubber liner standard.

    You could put the cross bars and liner on a GT, of course, but the GT runs about $24k or so, and the base Outback is much less. An Outback Limited might be around $25k, if you can make that leap.

    If you can stretch it and want a bargain, fitzmall.com had a left over 2002 VDC for $25,571, an amazing price. They must be losing money on that. It includes freight too. That way you get the H6 and it's loaded to the gills. I find that a better value than the 2.5 GT or Outback Limited, given the steep discount.

    -juice
  • hi,
    I have received a dealer quote on a '03 Legacy Special edition for 800 over invoice plus frt/pdi, and an "administration fee" of $100.00. Does this sound like a good deal? Also is this "admin fee" legit, or just another way to grab some cash?
    thanks,\
    cdndriver
    oh, this is Canada price.
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    good call yesterday regarding the ice shield under the car...thanks again for the input. It takes pretty rare conditions to allow that kind of ice to build up on the shift linkage under there, and yesterday was just one of those days. I'll know if it ever happens again...

    Regarding the TSB# on that new clutch assembly, I'll try to get a copy tonite when I pick up the car, but I won't be near my computer for a couple of weeks. I'll update the board here in January.

    Happy holidays all!

    Brian
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    good luck with the clutch. I think this is a test for Subaru. Did they study?

    Greg
  • Thanks. Leather is standard in the GT? When I looked at carsdirect.com it showed cloth as the default. Besides the reason I'm not interested in the Limited Outback is that I don't want the leather (and I'm trying to stay under $23K.

    And according to this website, at least for California, it looks like you the price differential is not very big. Carsdirect is estimating $22,000 for the base GT with auto. Plus I have been quote as far down as $500 under invoice for the base Outback with auto.

    What do you mean by "less tolerant" - of what the bumps?
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Which one do you like?? I think ultimately it comes down to which look you like - sporty or rugged? They are both great cars and you can convince yourself to accept the pluses and minuses of each one. c'mon get emotional, it's the fun part.

    Greg
  • It's been a while since I visited the hall. Most recent snow storm in the Philadelphia region gave me the chance to take out the subie. Car performed well overall. only rear issue was the front ice defroster on the outback didn't really do the job of unfrezzing the snow build up. Overwise the car was great!

    I have one question to the crew, I picked up a rear differential protector and after unpacking it states that the unit is install with the car on a left. Was wondering if anyone has installed the unit without using a car lift? Is this too unsafe to avoid using a car lift? Thanks and happy holidays to all!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's good, Brian, you'll have a good chance to test it out and report back. ;-)

    The GT has less suspension travel, so hit a big enough pot hole and it'll bottom out, at least long before an Outback would. There is also less sidewall on the tires, so again it'll feel more firm. Sportier, but not as soft.

    For US models, the 2003 2.5 GT has heated leather and a moonroof standard now. Are you looking at left over 2002s? The 2002 GT had cloth, the 2002 GT Ltd had leather.

    Basically they moved the L/SE up to fill the slot formerly occupied by the GT, and the 2.5GT moved up to where the GT Ltd used to be.

    I agree that it's a personal decision, you should drive both and will hopefully have a clear preference. What some people consider sporty handling and feedback on a GT others consider harsh and noisy. And what may feel luxurious and comfy on an Outback to some, might feel floaty and disconnected to others.

    Rich: I'm not sure about the H6, but with the H4 rhino ramps are more than enough. On Foresters, note that you have to remove some exhaust hangers to install it, but that's not the case on H4 Outbacks. It's easy, 6 bolts. Get a torque wrench with a long shaft for leverage.

    -juice
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    I installed a diffy protector without using a lift. No problems. It's been on for a year now. I believe the torque was 55 ft/lbs. They only sent two new nuts for the rear bolts. The front bolts use the existing nuts. Didn't know why. Of course, I waxed it before installation.

    Greg
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Waxed mine too, still looks cleaner than anything else on the underbody.

    -juice
  • My mistake on the GT - that's what happens when you're trying to look at too sites at once. At least the price is near invoice.

    Thanks for all the helpful comments.

    Does anoyone know of a place to look at dealership customer feedback?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Looks far easier than on the Forester. No exhaust in the way. The plate itself also looks different than mine, so make sure to specify your model.

    -juice
  • Thanks to all! I received two hex nuts in the package. Have to take off two others already on the car. I will give it a go this weekend without ramps, if I need them a neighbor has a pair.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On mine it was 2 per side already on it, so 4 + 2 made 6 total.

    -juice
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