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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Janice,

    I would have to look at it in more detail in order to give you a definitive answer, but here is my first pass. Below the steering wheel is a lower trim panel that extends from the center console to the door. At the very bottom right hand corner (an inch from the center console) there is a single screw, and with the door open, there are two plastic screws. IIRC, there is also a plastic pop retainer somewhere in the middle that will make itself evident when you have removed the three screws.

    With this panel removed, you have visual and 'hand' access to the rear of the instrument cluster. Someone else with experience needs to jump in here, but changing the bulbs shouldn't be too difficult from this point.

    Steve
  • bluesubluesu Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 Outback (cloth seats) and am disappointed with the ride quality and seat comfort particularly at city-street speeds of 20-35 mph. I hoped that the driver's seat would break in with use, but it decidedly has not. I noticed your posts and might try the Turanza tires, but wondered if you might have found any solutions yet to the hard seats? Did you try the gel pad? I am using a wedge memory-foam seat cushion with a tailbone cut-out but I may well bite the bullet and trade the Subaru in on something else. Also: has anyone tried relocating the mirror to a higher spot on the windshield? The Outback's mirror (even if I'm not sitting on an add-on seat cushion)is unusually low and blocks the driver's forward view. Thanks.
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346
    Don't know about the '05, but in prior years the mirror was "double-jointed". It has a ball joint at both the mirror and window which gives it lots of flexibility.

    Jim
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I had to do some 're-engineering' of the lumbar support (raised it's height by about 2") on my '02 OBW to make it more comfortable. Seat modification is not that big a challenge if you are even somewhat handy, and there are plenty of body shops that do upholstery work. Certainly far more cost effective than selling a year old car.

    Same with tires. My experience with Bridgestone tires on several vehicles is that overall they transmit more road harshness and noise. Check Consumer Reports or TireRack, and look for something with an emphasis on comfort and quiet. You will probably give up some performance, but this might suit your needs better.
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    I have a 2005 Outback (cloth seats) and am disappointed with the ride quality and seat comfort particularly at city-street speeds of 20-35 mph. ////Also: has anyone tried relocating the mirror to a higher spot on the windshield? The Outback's mirror (even if I'm not sitting on an add-on seat cushion)is unusually low and blocks the driver's forward view. Thanks.
    Take it to an automotive upholstery shop if you like the car and see what they can do for you. The better ones can tailor the seat to you and it's not very expensive.

    You can buy the adhesive to stick the mirror back onto the windshield at almost any auto parts store, or almost any glass shop will move it for a fee.
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    Double check the air filter box -- it can be particularly stubborn to get back on properly, and if it's not sealed all the way around it will cause a "moo-ing" type sound on acceleration as the air gets sucked in around the seals. I've seen it happen quite frequently with the 2.5l motor here...simple and easy fix.

    Brian
  • I have the same problem as you. Word for word and the Subaru dealer did a headgasket job on mine, at least thats what they said. Anyway, that did nothing to rid the smell. I just brought it back again and they said they don't smell it. They are the only ones that don't smell it. Did a pressure test and said they found nothing. What ever happened with yours? John
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    The Outback's mirror (even if I'm not sitting on an add-on seat cushion)is unusually low and blocks the driver's forward view.

    I talked to the guy when I last replaced the windshield. The mount comes factory installed on the glass and isn't easy to detach. Glue to put a new one on is cheap and available at most any parts store...

    I rotated the mirror 180. Notice the post connects closer to the top than the bottom of the mirror. This raised the mirror right to the roof line. Th little lever to flip the mirror for night time driving is pushed right to the roof and basically can't be used.

    works for me on my 01 Outback

    --jay
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    The Outback's mirror (even if I'm not sitting on an add-on seat cushion)is unusually low and blocks the driver's forward view.

    I talked to the guy when I last replaced the windshield. The mount comes factory installed on the glass and isn't easy to detach. Glue to put a new one on is cheap and available at most any parts store...

    I rotated the mirror 180. Notice the post connects closer to the top than the bottom of the mirror. This raised the mirror right to the roof line. Th little lever to flip the mirror for night time driving is pushed right to the roof and basically can't be used.

    works for me on my 01 Outback

    --jay
  • drgondrgon Posts: 3
    Hello,
    My Outback wagon (2002) got an accident two month ago and fixed (body work, replace radiator). After repair, I found coolant level in the coolant tank was decreased and smelled coolant burning. I brought it back to bodyshop and he said leaking from the upper hose between radiator and engine. So, he fixed it and test drove it and then said no problem. But, it wasn't. Happen again. Brought back again. Blame hose again and install new hose. I was nervous so check coolant level everyday after that. And I found it decreases again!! (but much lesser than last time). Brought car back again. Now, he changed the story. The leaking is from engin e head gasket. He called my insurance company and, after inspection, the insurance told me it seems not related with the accident. So, they don't want pay. They also said that they contacted several Subaru dealerships to ask whether this could be happen without accident and some of dealers told them it could be happen between 60,000 and 80,000 M (my car has 60K). Is it true?
    Now, they say it would be possible that head gasket blown-up could be caused by driving a car after accident (I drove back to my house (0.2 miles) and towed to bodyshop). But there was no sign of overheating when I drove my car back to home (no change of temperature gauge, no leaking of coolant on the scene of accident). Also, I drove my car around 500 miles after the first repair. So, my question is if head gasket was the problem in the accident, the car has no problem for driving of 500 miles after that? I heard that, if head gasket is leaking, oil and coolant can be mixed and get into inside of cylinder and make some symtoms and engine failure. But I have had no problem to drive my car. Coolant can be leaked to outside of engine?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    This is a SWAG, but I don't think the accident caused the leak. Call 800-SUBARU3 and ask if they will cover the HG leak.

    -juice
  • I have a 2000 Outback wagon, a manual. The day after 12 hours on the road on a cross-country trip, I started my car to let it warm up, put it in neutral, released the clutch, and the car stalled. I then put it in gear, applied the gas, and it wouldn't budge. I ended up having the car towed to a Subaru dealer (fortunately I was in the one town in North Dakota that has a Subaru dealer), and it turned out that my car, even though the shifter appeared to be in neutral, was actually stuck in gear, which explains why it stalled. They popped it out of gear, said my shifter was loose, and, "hoping" it would fix the problem, they installed a new one. I went on my way and finished the trip without incident.

    Even though the car runs fine, I fear there may be a larger problem with my transmission. (The car has 120,000 miles on it.) Anyone have any insight? Thanks...

    Matt
  • Hi, I have a 1996 Subaru Legacy wagon. The rear outer brake lights have stopped working (but the ones on the tailgate still work). Can someone tell me which fuse could be blown or what other problem there could be? If it's fuses I have an additional problem in that the car was imported from Japan and the fuse boxes are in Japanese, which I don't understand! Help !!!
  • I got this brand new 06, Legacy Sedan, 2.5i Ltd.
    The steering is very very light, almost effortless.
    One think that is quite odd to me is that, the speed
    with which the car straightens up, when you take the
    hands off the steering wheel.

    Normally when I make a right turn from a stop sign for
    example, half way through the turn I relax the grip
    and let the car straighten out to complete the turn.
    I am used to the feel of my other cars,
    (98 Nissan Sentra and 97 Legacy Wagon L). But this 06
    Legacy Sedan, does not straighten back as fast. It does
    straighten, and it does not pull to one side or the other
    on straight stretches, even with hands off the wheel.
    But at these very low speeds, less than 10-15 mph, it
    seems to be slower than expected.

    Is it normal? Or am I used to the stiff steering of the
    older, cheaper cars?
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    It should not be as you describe. There should be variable assist also so the stearing 'stiffens' up at higher speeds. I suspect that for some reason that part is not working and it is in 'low speed, full assist' mode all the time.

    The above is a guess, as I don't know all that much about how power steering works.
  • Thanks, I will find an empty parking lot
    and try to test how long it takes to straighten
    out.
    Will set the steering at 11 O clock or
    1 O' clock position and drive at 10 mph with
    hands off the wheel.

    Bright Idea: :surprise:
    Should take a video camera
    and record the instrument panel and the steering
    wheel too. That way I can import the video clip
    into the computer and precisely calculate how long
    it takes for the wheel to straighten out.
  • Driving to work this AM... I started noticing a rattling or rumbling noise coming from the rear passenger side when I accellerated. When I parked it and hit the gas , no noise.
    Any ideas?

    PS... I haven't tried a gel seat cushion becasue I can't find one anywhere....besides... the problem is that the bolsters are too hard and narrow... and placing a cushion on it will just make it too high. If I lower it all the way, then it tilts forward. The only answer is a reupholstery shop or try it myself.
    I checked out the 2006 OB seat and it was redesigned slightly...and I think it seems a little more comfortable ( the bolsters seem softer and the bottom pad layout is altered). Doesn't do me any good.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Matt - sorry, never heard of a problem like that.

    trunnion - I'd go with the most likely, a simple burned out bulb.

    -juice
  • Bent heat shield. Grand Prix Subaru fixed it in 5 minutes... no problem.
  • OK this is not a pity message or anything but I need some help?Son bought a 96 Subaru Legacy 2.2.The kid was in a wreak when he was 9 the money he got out of it was put into a trust fund and when he turned 18 he got it out and went and bought this car mom didn't buy it for him. He got it well kid drove it for 3 months broke down it was the hornonic balancer the man charged me 1,000 bucks said it was fixed drove it 100 miles flung everything off.I went and bought balancer,bolt,key way and gear new.Now I have it all together but going by the book on how to put the belts back on is inpossabile can't see the fine print picture.Can someone please I am asking please tell me where to go to get a bigger printout on how the belts are suppose to go?If so please e-mail it to me.rovvdy_rita@yahoo.com.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's pretty hard to read, and I tried twice...

    I think you need a good shop manual, that's what I would search for. Ideally you mark the belts before you remove the old ones.

    -juice
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,450
    Agreed.... that message was a bear to read! I think the "belts" to which you refer is actually the timing belt. If so, there are marks on the timing sprockets and on the belt that make for quick, easy alignment. The crankshaft sprocket will have a tick mark on the back of it that should be pointed top-dead-center. The belt has a corresponding dotted line across it the should line up with the mark on the sprocket. From there, head to the RIGHT (your right while working on it!) and weave the belt through the idler pulleys (the tensioner should be removed at this point)and line up all of the marks on the belt with the marks on the corresponding camshaft sprockets. I am not sure how the 2.2L is set up as mine is a 2.5, but a Haynes manual (~$20) should do the trick.

    If you are NOT referring to the timing belt, please clarify your original post.

    Good luck!
  • toastytoasty Posts: 1
    How do I change the fog lights in my 05 Outback Waggy? Book says "Dealer", can't be that bad. I'm rebuilding a 48 Willys.

    Thanks,
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    -deciphering on-
    rowdy_rita bought all new parts and got everything installed except the belts.
    She [I suppose] could not make out anything from the instructions, which were too fine a print, and was wondering if anyone have a more legible instructions to install the belts.

    -deciphering off-

    -Dave
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    I just went to buy a oil filter for my 2.5i outback from a dealer 'away from home' (it was on my travel route). He told me that the larger filter was just recalled by Subie and all that is available is that small filter which is normally used for the turbo version.

    What I want to know is:
    1- is this true?
    2- What is the downside of using this itty-bitty filter instead of the standard 'man sized' one?

    thanks
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I can try to answer part of the question. There apparently were some issues with the O ring gasket on some filters that could lead to leaks. I am not sure the filters were actually recalled, but SOA did make dealers aware of the potential issue. There is a discussion on this topic over at the legacygt site.
  • i've got two things i need help with in regards to my newly acquired 1998 subaru legacy outback.

    i want get a cd player. i currently have the factory tape/am-fm-weatherband radio made by panasonic installed. there is a 13 prong connector on the back of it. will that unit support a cd changer. if so, how can i figure out what CD changers it will support? will it support the clarion 6-cd changer that was made for subaru's from 1998-2001? if i want to stay with the factory look do i need to buy the CD/tape/am-fm-weatherband radio which was an option for that year?

    2. my dash lights on the right side (cruise control, hazard, climate controls) aren't illuminating. the lights on the left side seem to be ok. i checked both fuse boxes. there are no broken fuses. any idea's?
  • tavaratavara Posts: 1
    When I had 16K miles on my 2002 outback wagon, I began to smell coolant, but could not detect a leak. The coolant was vaporizing on the engine block. The casue was a blown head gasket, covered under the 60,000 drive taian warranty.,
  • I destroyed one of my Potenzas. Car has 23,000 miles.
    I want to replace the two front with Yokohamas from TireRack.
    Sears won't replace one or two tires on the OB unless they are all exactly same tire.
    Does it matter as long as they are all within the same diameter/tread wear?
    The Potenzas are lousy in the snow and I'm not getting them again.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,450
    For the sake of grip, I would replace all 4. I really cannot comment beyond that.
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