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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537

    I have a '97 w/ 42k on it, and hers is a '96 with 52k on it. Both bulletproof 2.2 Legacies. Ironically, hers shifted more smoothly when I drove it to evaluate the shudder - under all conditions including full throttle upshifts and downshifts. Ironic because mine has had the tranny fluid changed twice, is newer and has less miles.

    I did not drive it long enough to note any change in shifting behavior before our Christmas trip ended and I returned home. My tranny has always exhibited an occasional harshness on mid/high downshifts. It is quick to choose the lower gear, but the gear engages with a "just got rear ended" harshness as you aptly described. Happens a couple times a month before the vehicle is warmed fully.

    it worried me when I bought the car at 23k, so I changed out the fluid with no change at all. I drive it fairly aggressively and there has been no change at all or other sign of tranny problem. HTH.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Tires are the only thing that's between the road and the car/you. Your car's performance/handling is dependent on them, so spent a little more :)

  • K9LeaderK9Leader Posts: 112
    I second the motion on spending a bit more for good tires.

    We tend to see a car as a big thing sitting on the ground, forgetting that it has just four small patches that actually contact the ground. These patches are about 6 - 8 inches wide and 10 - 12 inches long. Think about all 4,000+ lbs of car, you ***and your family*** riding around on those 2 to 3 square feet. With tires, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. I've been very happy with the prices, selection, and service at Costco. If I didn't have a local Costco, is a great resource and would be my next choice (and since I live in the same town as one of Tirerack's warehouses, might be able to work out a pickup/no shipping charges deal).

    I put new Michelin MXV4s from Costco on my '00 OBW Ltd. last spring, and am looking forward to trying them in the snow this winter.

    Good luck!

    2000 OBW Ltd, 44k miles, Michelin MXV4s
    1998 Toyota Sienna, 92k, Michelin X1s(?)
    1994 Lincoln Mark VIII, 104k, Michelin MXV4s
  • To Mike and Doug for the feedback on auto tranny fluid, when the weather warms up a bit I think I'll drain and refill.

    Toboggan: IIRC, mine had the same oil leak at similar mileage. It's a common problem.

    Another vote for not skimping on tires. The cost per mile for good tires is very low. I went with the same Michelins that were originally on my OB and have been very happy with them, FWIW.

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784

    Just as an FYI- Flemington just called and said the coil was bad. He said that was causing the misfiring. They are replacing that (under extended warranty) and the spark plug wires as well. Unfortunately the wires are not covered under the extended warranty. Oh well. Hopefully I should be driving my car by tonight.

    I'll check with AZP in 7k miles or so for the 60k check up.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also let me know if you want me to come check out your computer for yah.

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Let me see what time I get back to SI. What time do you head in for work?

    Paisan, Inc: Car and Computer consultants!

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    3pm-11pm this week, but I can probably swing by sometime on the weekend if you need me to.

  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Well, glad other people "suffered" the same oil leak. Now I have the head gasket problem to look forward to in about 20K miles <grin>. But then I'll have a new camshaft drive belt that doesn't have to be changed for another 105K miles.

  • Check out Cooper lifeliner touring. Recently replaced original michelins (98 OB) and could not be happier. Extremely quiet and smooth ride, great grip, different car! FWIW all, 14K and two Minn winters since piston replacement under warranty and NON-NIL-NO slap on these cold mornings. Nowwwwww, about that slight pinion bearing noise at 50mph or so!
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    We always beat the "rotor" horse but wanted to get your opinion. I have 40k miles on my 2001 Outback Ltd and it is now evident that my rotors are going. The tell-tale shaking when braking etc. Driving so much every day and traveling a lot for work, how long do you think I can go before getting them repaired? (It has been like this for about 1,000 miles or so)

    Also, I have the extended warranty with a $100 deductible: are they covered?
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Don't know about the warranty, but it's OK to drive on warped rotors as long as they are not so bad that braking is degraded. I have some slight vibration on my Outback, but it's not anything bad enough to require attention. If it's easy and not too expensive, I may just put in new rotors at the next brake pad change.

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,457
    It's very easy and not too expensive (subjective opinion). I paid $50 each for OEM rotors for my '96 OBW several years ago. They're problaby more now though.

  • gearhead4gearhead4 Posts: 122

    I'm pleased to hear you were successful in eliminating the piston slap. My 2003 Legacy is getting two new pistons on Tuesday to correct the cold weather piston slap.
    Did you have two pistons or all 4 pistons replaced?

  • Jim, all 4 were replaced. Had short block at 8k in March 99, OK until cold fall and slowly returned. After much go around with SOA and the old "normal", subie rep ( with help from patti i am sure) agreed to replace pistons Oct 02. Otherwise car has been great, cannot praise it enough.
  • gearhead4gearhead4 Posts: 122

    Thanks for the reply. This is my second Legacy in 4 years, so you can presume I am generally pleased with the Subaru brand.
    I hope two new pistons will resolve the piston slap. It seems odd to me that SOA will pay to remove the whole engine and then replace just two pistons instead of all four. (Although I must admit that the piston slap sound seems to be comming from only one cylinder).

  • Just curious - how much to replace?
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,457
    See message #2422. I did the job myself (very easy) so no labor $.

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346
    Checking online, lists the following prices for the parts:

    Part / 1stSub price / List price
    Fr rotor / $57 / $75
    Rr rotor / $57 / $75
    Fr pads / $60 / $80
    Rr pads / $55 / $72
    You'll need to add approx 10% to the 1stSub price for shipping & handling, but you'll save on sales tax unless you live in their state (Washington).

    My observations: 1) Front rotors are vented, the rears are not. I'm surprised the rr rotors aren't cheaper. 2) Last week due to poor planning, I had to purchase parts at my local dealer. Parts were HIGHER than the list price given on the 1stSubaru website. Overall I figured I paid 35% higher locally. Fortunately, I paid with SubaruBucks from my credit card.

    Generally, your mechanic will charge list for the parts.

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,457
    I always purchase parts at the local dealer. They give me "mechanics" price (usually a minimum of 20% off). No shipping or waiting, but do have to pay 6% sales tax.

    Many years ago I went in to buy an A/C compressor clutch and asked if I could get the mechanics discount. They said sure and I've been getting it ever since. :-)

    They'll even give me the discount part price if they do the work. I need to figure out how to get a discount on labor though. :-(

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