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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd recommend an '02 or later.

    Thing is, Subies do not depreciate quickly, so you might find a new one is a better buy. Plus the '05s got a lot of nice improvements. Good luck.

  • pf2001pf2001 Posts: 110
    Hi all,
    While accelerating my 04 OB H6 on the highway(65-70mph), I notice a slight studdering of the vehicle.

    Anyone come across this?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try rolling into the throttle gradually. I've heard that it will actually accelerate quicker that way vs. stabbing the throttle hard.

  • I have a 2005 Legacy 2.5I 5 sp. with a surging problem when going downhill with the cruise set. There are many posts around March 2005 about this problem. No solutions at that time. Has anyone had this issue solved since then? Also, car a slight rough idle. Anyone else?
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    Several days ago, I heard a whining/reving noise coming from the front of my 2006 Outback LL Bean. At the dealer, a technician took a ride with me and immediately diagnosed it as a bad, front wheel bearing. I have about 2500 miles on the car and thought it unusual for a wheel bearing to go bad soo quick!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    Now a friend has a Forester and he was matter of fact that AWD cars will wear tires out faster.

    Not sure I agree with you on that one. I think it more has to do with the tires, the road surfaces, and the drivers than it does with the drivedness/weight of the car (though obviously the weight will make a difference). I have 70K (I think they were rated for 80K) on a set of Goodyear Allegras and while I am considering replacing them before winter hits, I may hold off due to the excessive fuel costs eating at any $ I had reserved for the purchase. I expect I can probably get another 20K out of them without pushing it too much. I am currently considering the TripleTread tires or maybe a.... darn, forgot what they are. some sort of water/snow tire that Costco carries. I think it was a Potenza, but not the RE92.....

    I've never had an alignment performed on this car (a '96 OBW), and I feel it steadily pulling to the right, so it probably does need an alignment. But, the pull is rather soft and seems to have more to do with the air pressure in the front right tire than anything. That tire has a slow leak that drops about 10 psi per week so I have to check it with every fill up. Maybe a valve stem? I should probably check that. :mad:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    He is waiting for a bracket part that broke when I was taking the A/C belt off and then I can pick up the car.

    I think I know the exact bracket to which you are referring. Grr.... .darned plastic parts! I missed 2 months of summer air conditioning waiting on that $12 part! :P

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    May have been a bad casting or improper lubrication from the factory. I doubt this problem will reoccur. I have 10 years / 192K on my OBW and the wheel bearings are one of the increasingly fewer parts with which I have NOT had a problem! :D
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    So, the manufacturer commands that this system be inspected 10 years from MFG date. Now is that time. Does Subaru pay for the inspection? If not, no inspection for me... I'd rather disconnect the darned things anyway. Just curious. I would think that if they say it "must be inspected 10 years from date of manufacture," they'd pay for it.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Unless that is listed as a required step in one of the services (90k?), forget it. I believe these are designed for the life of the car.

  • ian7ian7 Posts: 1
    Hi Mark,

    I have a 1997 OB and have had similer problems. A few years back I had to have the trasmission repalced ($4500). Recently I have been experiencing the same sort of problems you describe in your post. The RMPs will increase as I step on the accelerator but the car will not increase in speed - almost as if it's stuck in 1st gear. Eventually the car engages (or cluncks) back into gear and all is well. This usualy happens when I am in stop and go traffic on my way home from work. On the open road it is running great. Have you found any solution to your problem yet?

  • psgpsg Posts: 72
    On our '95 Legacy there is a warning label somewhere on the passenger side (sun visor?) that states the system should be inspected after 10 years. My wife had mentioned it the last time she rode as a passenger in the car, probably about three months ago. I'd be curious what the charge is for this service as I doubt Subaru will pick up the tab. I think my current solution will be to use one of our other vehicles if I have to carry a passenger in the front. I suspect a lawyer would have a field day if it could be established that you did not have the system inspected, and in the event of a collision, the air bag did not deploy to spec.

  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    I got charged 3/4 hr of labor. i'm not even sure what they did as when I picked it up no one who was still around could explain it - before I brought it in, a 92 Legacy, they said they will run diagnostic codes on the system, but that car doesn't have OBD!
    ! the only reason to do it is really so when you do crash and it doesn;t go off, SOA can't get off scott free by saying you never got it checked!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    Thanks for the replies. It is not listed in the repair schedule by mileage because apparently this is a time issue more than distance issue. Makes sense - after all, wear and tear isn't really applicable for the airbags by mileage except perhaps contact points between the steering wheel and column, if applicable. The only place I have seen it is on the sun visors - I think both sides have the warning on my car, but definitely the driver side. I hate Gen 1 airbags anyway because they tend to do more damage to the occupants than good unless the collision is truely at high speeds (which is rare compared to total likelihood of collision).

    I had not considered the legal implications. I would never hold someone else responsible for something I did, but apparently my opinion is not shared by the "masses" judging by the US legal system today... so I should be wary! That, especially, was good feedback.

  • Dumb question from a dumb guy (inadvertently drained the ATF thinking it was engine oil- odor from brain fart still lingers)...

    Where the heck do you add ATF to my '03 Legacy (2.5)??? Through the dipstick???
  • Through the ATF dip stick hole located way back in the engine compartment on the driver side. Make sure you don't add ATF to the differential oil dip stick hole located on the passenger side.

  • This has happened twice now. 2005 Outback. I'm driving along and the engine just cuts out. No warning, no hesitation, no bucking, nothing -- just stops cold, as if someone had turned off the key. Yesterday it happened on the freeway, very frightening! I was able to pull off, come to a stop, and then start right back up.

    I'm taking it in tomorrow but I fear the mechanic will just look at me like I'm crazy.

    Any idea what it could possibly be?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Could be a vacuum leak.

    No check-engine light? I hope OBD2 captures some useful data for them.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    No, has to be something more dramatic than that to cause it to stop dead with no symptoms first. Like a fuel pump relay, or cam/crank position sensor, bad ECU, etc.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Lucien's car would not start when he forgot to reconnect one of those hoses.

    However, it would not have started again later, so you're probably right.

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Wasn't there an issue with the 3.0 engines a couple of years ago where they would cut out without any warning? I don't remember the resolution, if any.
  • Update - called the dealer (since I'm still under warranty). Guy did not say "Oh yeah, we know what that is." Didn't say anything, actually.

    I expect I'll get the dreaded "can't find anything" once they give it the once-over. Will let you know Weds. if otherwise.

    Thanks for the responses so far.
  • Hi,
    Have a 97 automatic legacy wagon whose right rear seat belt is stuck. Can't move it in or out. Any ideas greatly appreciated. Thanks, Steve.
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    I have a 02 base outback wagon . I have just over 58k miles and still on original
    plotenza re92's. I still have about 1/2 tread left on them . I ,m going to have them replaced bfore winter with Goodyear Triple Treads. I guess I'm easy on my tires but I have noticed that they are getting very bad in the rain . They also have a lot of cracks and splits around the edge of the tread . I rotate them every 7k miles and keep air pressure at 32psi on all 4 of them .

    Mike K
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732

    Pay attention to the recommended slight pressure difference front to rear. This balances out the slightly front heavy weight distribution to produce a neutral front to rear rolling diameter. Otherwise, your center diff is taking on more wear than it should trying to overcome the delta.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good idea to replace them, even with a little tread left they sound far from ideal.

  • I used Bars Leak head gasket repair, for $10 a bottle. You MUST follow the direction 100% and purge the cooling system of ALL antifreeze before adding this stuff. I flushed it three times, bringing the temp up each time to clear it all out. Then add clear water and the Bars Leak Head Gasket Repair. Bring it up to tempeture, purge all the air, let the thermostate open. Let it cool, top it off with water, bring it up to temp again. Let it cool, top it off. Then bring it up again, hold it at 1500+ RPM's for 10 to 15 minutes. Let it cool, drain the system. Leave it open overnight to airout. Then flush it with clear water (twice). Get all the residual Bars Leak out of the system before refilling with Antifreeze and Pure H2O. 50/50 or 60/40. Fill and purge. The reason you MUST have ALL the antifreeze out is that the Bars Leak Head Gasket Repair clogs up when mixed with Antifreeze. I did this about 8,000 miles ago, and NO more leaks!!!! A bit of work, but lots of $'s saved! Good luck!!!!
  • ycgycg Posts: 1
    There is a parking light switch on top of the steering column. I don't know why they need it there, if there's one on the light switch. But it's there, and many like you accidently switch it on, and end up with a dead battery
  • dealer seems to think it's something electrical. here's the service tag:

    CK wires from ECM for looseness CK no loose connector found, recommend replace IGN relay, replaced main relay.

    They have to send out for the ignition relay.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    Thanks for the reply. I did use Bar's Leak (but I only paid $2.50 for the bottle... I wonder if it was the same size!) and followed the instructions, but they were not as detailed as those you just wrote. Seems to have helped a little, but not overly significant. At this point, since I already have a set of HG to replace the old ones, I'm just gonna do the work. Only costs me a few (many) hours in time, but since there is other stuff to do while in there, no big deal. I'm keeping your message, so if I end up with leaks again or (heaven forbid....) continue to have leaks, I'll give the Bars Leak one more go. A lot cheaper than the other option at that point.... which would be a .308 between its eyes. :mad:

    I'm all but set to tear into it tomorrow evening..... :sick:

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