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Subaru Legacy/Outback

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  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    I should no better than to even slightly dis my Subie Bean on this board! LOL!

    I always thought my 92Camry was built unusually well. It was basically in the same shape when I sold it 9 years later at 160K miles (my 4 yr. old daughter cried when we sold it - to a friend).

    I have to admit I haven't driven a Lexus since the 99 RX300 model...so...I take back what I said. We love our Bean anyway so it doesn't matter...

    Ralph
  • weppersonwepperson Posts: 9
    My '03 Outback H6 VDC sedan is a very good car, but hardly "Lexus-like". For one thing, the comparable Lexus is the ES300, which is awful for torque oversteer, almost as bad as the Infiniti I30/35. But the ride comfort and quietness of the Outback don't approach the Lexus, nor my old A4 Quattro. And the handling has always been disappointing--yeah, I know it's a "sport utility sedan" and not set up for sport touring sedan handling like the A4, but I wish it was. I'd hoped they'd drop the H6 in a Legacy GT and put leather and climate control on it, but instead they're going the STi route, blowing the 2.5 H4. I'm too old for the really high performance experience, just want a luxury AWD sport sedan at a good price. The Mercs and Beamers are too expensive, the Jag is underpowered, and the local Audi dealer bites, so I settled for the Outback. It's pretty decent.
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    Had my front/rear differ. fluids changed last night for the first time - 45.3K miles (both clean - no metal on bolt). Good news.

    The mechanic (who has won many awards from Subaru and is very sharp) said the H6 plugs are double platinum tipped and should go to around 90K - not the recommended 60K. He said to wait until I feel performance slip. Also said all of the H6 plugs he has taken out at 60-70K have looked brand new. Seems like good advice - he has been right on everything else with our Bean so far.

    He also said "they will make you bend way over when it comes time to change them". Apparently the engine has to be lifted up to change them. Anyone get to changing their H6 plugs yet?? Condition of plugs/price??

    Mechanic also told me all 2005 U.S. market Subarus will be turbo charged. I didn't like hearing that, but he said they are more reliable than other turbos because they are triple cooled - water, oil and air (with the new hood air scoop).

    Also learned the H6 pcv valve is a lifetime part (because it is impossible to get to), Japanese H6 engine is belt-driven vs. the US chain driven (also a lifetime part), and the wrx sti is actually 290+ horsepower, but Subaru listed it at 250 to avoid lux tax.

    He told me 2 proud parents came up to him to ask him what he thought of their purchasing the sti for their 17 yr. old son. He asked them if they bought a coffin too. He then proceeded to give them the name & number of a special racing driving school their son should go to before taking the car out. Said otherwise he'll have it wrapped around a tree within 2 months. Has anyone seen the tires on that puppy - they screem summer from 40 feet away. I'll have to test drive it...

    Sorry for the ramble...

    H6 tuneup stories??

    Ralph
  • weppersonwepperson Posts: 9
    My '03 Outback H6 VDC sedan is a very good car, but hardly "Lexus-like". For one thing, the comparable Lexus is the ES300, which is awful for torque oversteer, almost as bad as the Infiniti I30/35. But the ride comfort and quietness of the Outback don't approach the Lexus, nor my old A4 Quattro. And the handling has always been disappointing--yeah, I know it's a "sport utility sedan" and not set up for sport touring sedan handling like the A4, but I wish it was. I'd hoped they'd drop the H6 in a Legacy GT and put leather and climate control on it, but instead they're going the STi route, blowing the 2.5 H4. I'm too old for the really high performance experience, just want a luxury AWD sport sedan at a good price. The Mercs and Beamers are too expensive, the Jag is underpowered, and the local Audi dealer bites, so I settled for the Outback. It's pretty decent.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    If I remember right, and this is a big "if", the plugs are good for 90K or 100K miles on the H6. I could be confusing it with something else. It's in the Bean/VDC owner's manual, but I drove my WRX today :-)

    Craig
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    "...wrx sti is actually 290+ horsepower, but Subaru listed it at 250 to avoid lux tax..."

    Statements like that make me even more leery of dealership personnel; a mechanic spewing that kind of misinfo (however harmless it may be in this case)is not encouraging. Lux tax? Not anymore, and when there WAS one, it surely was not levied based on HP numbers. 250 hp? Subaru's claiming 300hp for the STi. Ugh.
  • weppersonwepperson Posts: 9
    My '03 Outback H6 VDC sedan is a very good car, but hardly "Lexus-like". For one thing, the comparable Lexus is the ES300, which is awful for torque oversteer, almost as bad as the Infiniti I30/35. But the ride comfort and quietness of the Outback don't approach the Lexus, nor my old A4 Quattro. And the handling has always been disappointing--yeah, I know it's a "sport utility sedan" and not set up for sport touring sedan handling like the A4, but I wish it was. I'd hoped they'd drop the H6 in a Legacy GT and put leather and climate control on it, but instead they're going the STi route, blowing the 2.5 H4. I'm too old for the really high performance experience, just want a luxury AWD sport sedan at a good price. The Mercs and Beamers are too expensive, the Jag is underpowered, and the local Audi dealer bites, so I settled for the Outback. It's pretty decent.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    WC: it's flattering to the Outback that you even mention it in the same sentence as all those luxury cars.

    Ralph: that's a myth about needing to pull the engine to change the plugs. You don't. I'm not sure if anyone has changed their own plugs, but surely someone has had a tuneup.

    Japanese H6 belt-driven? They are made in Indiana and shipped there, I don't see why they'd be different.

    STi is rated at 300hp, not 250. Subaru managed to avoid a tax by removing the stereo to get weight down, a story confirmed by Patti.

    This guy seems to be full of errors, you might want to ask someone else to work on your car! LOL

    -juice
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    wepperson-
    a set of lowering springs and KYB AGX should set you on your way to a H6 VDC GT :D

    Or, when they become available, a set of PRAXIS coilovers
    PRAXIS

    -Dave
  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    I reread my post above on the comparison. Much too stuffy, I intended a more lighthearted response!

    No offence was intended, and apologies to all.

    (But I do like my Bean!)

    Steve
  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    There's a post over on scoobymods on changing plugs on an Impreza. It requires some creative wrench extensions, but not impossible. I would imagine the H6 is no different, just 2 more plugs?

    Jon
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    I better watch him more closely. His work has been excellent, so far. But that's a lot of information errors...

    Thanks,

    Ralph
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    One of the guys in my office asked me for help with removing a dead CD player on his '99 OBW. I have .pdf copies of the instruction sheet on the '00-'03 models, but not on the last series. Anybody have, or know where I can get a copy? Always leery of breaking 4 yr old plastic because I don't know where the hidden screws or clips are!

    Also, I suggested to him that he consider a whole new head unit (w/CD) from a WRX or the like. Anybody put one of the newer heads in a last generation Legacy/OB?

    Steve
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Steve-
    here's the write I did and idahodoug's too :)

    hypov Jun 15, 2002 7:47pm

    idahodoug Jun 16, 2002 12:43am

    I did a WRX 6CD swap into my '98 OB and it works just fine.
    However, in the case of my install, I ran into the problem of the harness not having enough slack to plug the new head in. Ended up removing the vents and the control module for access to plug the unit in.

    Oh, the socket for the WRX unit is on the left whereas the OB unit is on the right, which made it even more challenging with limited slack.

    -Dave
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    Thank you! I will copy & send this over to Bruce.

    Have a nice weekend...

    Steve
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    As far as the center console, it changed starting in 2002, that's when the 2 cupholders moved down near the hand brake. So 2000-2001 had no cup holders, then 2002+ had two.

    It should be very similar, though.

    The plood from the earlier model interchanges perfectly, did that myself.

    -juice
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    2000-2001 models had one cupholder near the hand brake (in addition to the one that popped out of the dash).

    Craig
  • My wife's '95 Outback has done this very scarey thing 4 or 5 times in the past year or so.

    She'll be doing 60 on the freeway and suddenly the check engine light will be flashing, there's no power (even floored), the engine runs rough (bucking) and the rpms are very high (~5000). If she makes it to the side without being killed she can turn it off and restart. Then it's OK except the check engine light is on steady.

    Our dealer never finds anything wrong except the computer says there was a misfire. Of course they've gone all over the ignition, replaced oxygen sensors and so on. They've even tried to remove any carbon buildup on/near the intake valves with compressed air. We drew the line at replacing the heads since the dealer won't guarantee that that would fix anything.

    Just now on the radio my wife heard that we're not the only ones with this potentially fatal intermittent. Apparently it's a known problem but Subarau and the dealers have been playing it down. The radio program said that they don't know the fix but it doesn't happen on Subarus after '96. The radio guy guesses that it's an unfixable transmission problem.

    Has anyone heard of this? I happen to own an identical '95 Outback (manufactured a few days later than hers) but mine has never done it, not once. Anyone have a fix or similar experience?

    Sincerely, Spickynitz
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    doesn't sound like a tranny problem at all. radio guy is wrong on that one.
    ECU or sensor problem maybe
  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Does anyone know if the 2.5l engines in the 03 Outbacks are supposed to be "exactly" the same as in the 03 Foresters?
    I just did both oil filters today, the one in my 03 Forester and my wife's 03 Outback and noticed the area around where the filter screws on is slightly different.
    I thought it was the same in engine in both. Not that it matters, just curious.
    Thanks
    Larry
  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    I just changed the cabin air filter on the wife's 03 Outback wagon - decided to do it 200 miles early as the weekend weather's been kind of iffy around here.

    Some observations for the DIY crowd out there -
    1) at 7300 miles it was filthy. 7500 would have been okay, but 10k would have been too many - juice may remember the picture of my Forester's filter - this was almost as bad.
    2) More involved than the Foresters to change. Arrgghh. About 7 light duty screws, two hex head screws, one harness connector, and the lower center console trim panel. BTW - the trim panel uses a plastic push-screw at the far end, not a clip.
    3) There's two pins that control the drop on the glove compartment door, and you really need to squeeze the compartment to get those to clear - don't try to force them from the inside, they're clipped in.
    4) On the plenum door, one harness connector for the ballast resistor and 4 clips . Then the door pulls down for filter access. Reinstall is the reverse.
    4) To reinstall the glove box, start with the harness, then unless you have four hands, I recommend slightly screwing in the two hex head screws and letting them take the weight while reattaching the center console trim.
    5) Its mentioned in the instructions that its a good idea to remove the two guide pins and reinsert them when you're done. I can see those pins not making it past the 6th or 7th change.

    All in all it took me about 45 minutes being super careful. Next time should be a half hour. I hope.

    HTH
    Larry
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I don't know if the engines are exactly identical (I'd suspect they are slightly different), but the filters are the same. On auto transmission cars, there is an oil cooler mounted inline with the filter, so the filter mount looks a bit different between auto and 5-spd models.

    Craig
  • oregonajoregonaj Posts: 21
    According to the owners manual our new 2003 Outback 6 cylinder uses premium fuel but can use regular in a pinch. I'd be interested in which one others are using and what kind of difference it makes?

    Thanks, Jim
  • sebberrysebberry Posts: 148
    Congratulations on becomming a Subaru owner!

    As for the fuel requirement, I would recommend using premium grade fuel. It has been my experience with my Outback H6 that using premium fuel will create more power (According to Subaru, the engine produces only 207 HP with regular, 212 with premium). I have also noticed that it runs smoother, and fuel mileage is slighly better with premium.

    The engine is also 'tuned' for premium fuel. Premium fuel burns more slowly, which allows cylinder pressure to build progressively to higher levels. Injection, ignition, cylinder position and more are timed to take advantage of premium fuel, and in some cases, can be damaged by extended use of regular fuel.

    The cost really isn't that much more, and there are too many benifits to justify using regular fuel.

    Have fun with your new Outback!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Jim: SoA said the H6 makes 208hp on regular fuel, so you lose 4hp due to timing retardation. Most people don't notice that slight change.

    Maybe Subaru of Canada says 207hp, or maybe the fuel in Canada is different. ;-)

    -juice
  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    I've always used premium in mine. Don't know that I would even notice 4 or 5 HP decrease if I switched to regular.

    But I figure there is a reason Subaru recommends premium so see no reason to try anything else (although I wouldn't hesitate to use it in in a situation where premium is unavailable).

    Enjoy your new ride, I sure do like mine.

    Steve
  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    I'm pricing the Subaru Gold warranty and I'm curious what others have paid. The dealer I bought from quoted me $1000 for a 5/100k w/ $100 deductible. The dealer I go to for service quoted me $1500 for the same (wow!?!). Does the first price sound fair, or can I do better? Thanks.

    Jon
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    I sent you an e-mail to your comcast address.

    Steve
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Price sounds about right to me. There is a big difference between the retail and wholesale price of that warranty.

    -juice
  • Great message board you have here, I went back and read the last 200 or so posts and it's great to see people that are in the know.

    A couple of questions if you don't mind. Thanks in advance.

    My fiance works and drives in inner city Chgo and the roads are horrible, potholes, rocks, bumps, constant construction, etc and am wondering if the outback has a 'skid plate'. I looked underneath one and saw some plastic but wonder if a steel one is available, as an option or after market add on? The goal being to protect the underside of the engine.

    Do you folks think the suspension, shocks, etc on the Outback Limited is more rugged than the average car? We're not going off roading, but that city driving seems like it sometimes.
     
    I read on the subaru website that they consider the extended warranty "Subaru views a service contract as an investment in customer satisfaction, rather than as a profit maker."

    They're kidding about the profit maker part, right?

    Thanks,

    Oak
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