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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • I had a clutch "judder" problem with my MY2000 Legacy L. At the ime it had 25,000 miles.
    The dealer offered to replace the flywheel for free, but told me the clutch was a wear part, so they would replace it for the price of the clutch disk. I said okay, but give me the old part.
    The original clutch disk had almost no wear on it. That tells me it probably would have lasted 100,000+ miles.
    As they say, your mileage may vary. It probably has a lot to do with how you drive and what kind of traffic you drive in.


  • Goosegog,

    Do you know who made the clutch your mechanic installed? My mechanic wants to put in a part made by Daken, who I can't find much information about, and he's not willing to install a customer-supplied part. I dunno whether I should go for the replacement he'd use (I do trust him) or try for something else.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,611

    The clutch in my 99 OB lasted for about 145,000 km (say 90,000 miles)but had been increasibgly off form about 125,000km. The replacement of it also resulted in the clutch master cylinder failing, leaving the clutch pedal halfway down.

    I had suffered the shuddering clutch problem from new and disovered that it was worst on cool wet mornings and improved as the clutch material warmed up.


  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    The "Outback" logo on my 2002 lost its "O" after going through the car wash.

    Any tips on removing the rest of the "utback" logo and the adhesive underneath without damaging the paint? Or is this something best left to a body shop?
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The wife unwittingly let my daughter have a crayon while she was in her car seat. There are now some dark crayon marks on the C-pillar.

    The interior covering on the pillar seems to be plain, gray plastic. Anyone know of the best way of getting it off? Regular warm water doesn't make a dent in it. I figured I'd ask before trying a more drastic cleaner.

    Thanks in advance.
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    I would suggest going to a junk yard and getting another O, shape it to fit and use adheasive to reattach it.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Interesting idea. But why not get the whole "Outback" logo and replace it in one piece?

    Someone stoly my "AWD" logo a few years ago and the dealer put another on.

    I guess I am inclined to remove it completely or put another entire one on. So any thoughts on removal?

    I have heard a hair dryer and "goof off" works.
  • I have not posted in a while, but have a new one for you.

    I have a 2001 Outback Ltd Wagon with about 96,000 miles. My traveling partners complain that their feet are cold on the passenger side (especially their right leg). Has anyone else out there heard from their passengers that their side is just not as warm? If it matters, I have the air filtration system too.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,611

    The glue is released by applying heat froma hairdryer or similar You can then run a lengthc of dental floss behind the logo then eases it off.


  • Is anyone else here unhappy with Subaru ABS ? I sure am!!!

    I just drove the 2003 Murano 50 miles today on snow and ice. Original tires with 34,000 miles. The ABS rarely kicked in... and the Murano stopped nice and short.
    When I got home I drove the Outback around the block. Just as I thought. As soon as I hit the brake, the damn ABS kicked in and I almost slid through the intersection. Every time I tried to stop on snow the ABS would kick in. This happened with my last tires several weeks ago and now with my brand new expensive Yokohamas.
    Is there something wrong with my car or is this how over-sensitive Subaru's ABS is ???
    This is rediculous. Do I have to disconnect the ABS fuse when I drive in the snow?
    I just need some feedback before I bring it to the dealer. :mad:
  • My 3/36 warranty ended this past January, and I am currently at 36500. Today, as I moved the car, Outback 02, Wagon, VDC out of its spot, I noticed coolant on the snow. It was there again, after I parked the car for an hour. I have noticed and mentioned this leak before to a dealer (an ex-dealer with whom I have stopped dealing) albeit then was minimal, ie drops. I was told that it was not an issue, and therefore have no records of my inquiry. Any other ways to figure out if this is a freak leak or a real indicator of bigger problems? Additionally, I am concerned of my warranty status. Is this a valid concern? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    On the junk yard car I would see if the entire logo comes off easially, if so then I would take the entire thing, if it came off hard, or somehow damaged the car itself (unlikely), I would tend towards the O.
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    Is there something wrong with my car or is this how over-sensitive Subaru's ABS is ???
    This is rediculous. Do I have to disconnect the ABS fuse when I drive in the snow?

    I think it is more likely due to the weight of the 2 cars, the Murano is much heavier and able to 'punch through' to the pavement while the OB simply can't.

    To improve things you would need to downsize the tires on the OB, which is typical for snowtires.
  • I'm having an issue with an '05 Legacy 2.5i 5spd wagon. Sometimes, I believe during periods of humidity but I'm not sure, the lights on the center stack (radio clock, trip computer, climate control back lighting, etc) will start flickering, and the odometer will start displaying ill1, ill2, ill3 etc.
    Has anyone else had a similar problem? I know there is a button in the trip computer area to control the illumination level, could that be shorted?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Hi Gary. I imagine you got plenty of snow on the beach strip!

    The tire width issue mentioned above is sound. A Legacy L uses 195/205mm, the OBW 225mm, yet they have very close to the same weight. Wide tires are great for dry pavement, but they work against you on slippery surfaces.

    Remember that ABS 'reacts' when a wheel locks. That said, it is also entirely possible that you have some kind of brake system imbalance that is prematurely locking up a wheel and invoking the ABS response. Pulling the fuse and testing to see if one wheel is the culprit is a sound diagnostic approach. There are distribution valves on the brake lines, and one could be screwed up, or a caliper could be dragging.

    There are hardware (like number of channels) and software (like pulse rep rate, rotational speed differences before invoking, and line pressure clamps), but I doubt that Nissan is doing anything drastically different.

  • The outback weighs about 3400 lbs... not that light. The Murano has wide tires as well.
    I think there IS something wrong with the brakes... sometimes I get a clicking sound from the caliper and the brake light when on the other night when I hit the gas! It stayed on for 1 minute. I didn't mention that.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Well now you are starting to tell me something that does sound system related! When you say brake light, are you talking the ABS light, or the conventional system light? Have you checked fluid level and color? You may be low or contaminated.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,504
    For a solvent, "Orange Blast" will work very well for both the crayon problem (different poster) and the adhesive on the "Outback". Just make sure that you rinse both areas well afterward to prevent long-term exposure causing any gloss issues on the paint or maybe causing the plastic to discolor (doubt it, but possible!).

    I removed all of my labeling on my '96 a while back after "suffering" a lost CK. After being an "outba" for a while, the car was feeling rather sheepish. I could not remove the Subaru badge on the opposite side of the tailgate because it had studs that penetrated the sheet metal and it would have left two holes in the gate. So, I pulled out my leatherman, pried up the "outba" and "awd" labels, then doused it with the afore-mentioned solvent and scrubbed it with a terricloth rag. A final rinse/buff and it was better than new.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,504
    Wohoo! I am still feeling elated that a serious breakdown on Friday evening only resulted in 8 hours of labor for me on Saturday and $37 worth of parts.

    My wife calls me (I am still at work) at 1830 to say that the car had a breakdown about 10 miles from home. She said that there was oil everywhere and it was smoking, blah blah. Okay, great. She is with a friend, so I requested that she go home and I would call her there. I secured help from a friend who also works in town, and he takes me out to the car at about 2100. We tow it back to my place and I call it a night. At 199,891 miles, my wife was talking replacement for the rest of the evening, but I urged her to allow me to diagnose the problem first (I was bummed that this all happened 109 miles short of the 200K mark! After all, I am still going to get another 2+ years out of this old workhorse).

    Next morning, I am greeted by a temperature of about 35F (Yes! That is extremely warm for mid-Feb and I was working outside), but there were 10+ mph winds. After popping the hood, I see that the crank pulley for the engine accessories has come loose. That's fine, but does not explain the oil. So, I set in to get to the heart of the matter.

    After pulling off the normal stuff to gain access to the timing belt (radiator, A/C compressor, alternator, power steering, etc) and remove the belt cover, I see plain as day that the front crankshaft seal has blown. I went ahead and pulled the oil pump to inspect the O-ring, and it was fine. So, I call up a friend and secure a ride to the parts store, then go outside and reinstall the pump with a new o-ring, install a new EGR valve that was waiting for a good exuse to go on, replace a couple of other vacuum parts, and the friend has arrived! 2 gallons of coolant, crank seal, a bolt (to replace one for the a/c system), a socket to reinstall the crank bolt, and 1' of vacuum line = $36.XX. Win, lose, or draw on this one, I could stomach that much of an investment!

    I get home, slap it all back together (the timing was a real boar due to low light, one-man operation, and that darned wind (which was starting to feel cold!)), and fill fluids. I tapped the ignition switch and she fired right up... 100 miles on it now with no problems and it will have 200K by the time my wife picks me up this evening. Darn it all, I am determined to keep that thing on the road another 2+ years!

    Oh..... but the whole reason for the problem is that I must not have torqued the crank bolt properly on my last repair (at 192.5K). I think that it first came loose, then the back pressure on the timing pulley slacked allowing it to slip forward on the crank. Without the front pressure on the seal, the direct-fed, high-pressure oil lubricating the crankshaft just blew the puppy right out of there. It did not look damaged at all, but it was literally just hanging on the shaft when I first tore it apart - it was completely unseated. Oh well; live and learn.

    FYI related to the pin on the crankshaft: It is a half-circle that is simply set into the crankshaft. So, if anyone ever shears on of these off, you should be able to pop it out with a chisel or someting and replace it with a new one. I know that we briefly discussed a sheared pin situation many months ago and the talk was leaning toward welding a new one on.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Thanks for the "Orange Blast" tip. Maybe we can start a letter exchange club for the O - U - T - B - A - C - K!

    (good pun on the "Outba" feeling sheepish)
  • I have the same set of wheels as you but 20k fewer miles. I noticed the same thing with the temperature, passenger side is chilly when the driver side with warm....passenger side is warm when driver side is tropical. When I drive (which is most of the time), Mrs. Wifey wears a coat in the car and I use her as my coat rack. We're both happy that way, although I'd rather have even heat in the car. We already agreed that the next set of wheels is going to have dual zone climate control.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    That's exactly what he said he found on alldata, but it included replacing the hose as well. But there's no repeat of the problem so far.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Not offhand, but I'll check the receipt. But I don't suppose Subaru make their own clutch disks in any case.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Just bought a new Innova 3030 code reader. Following the instructions I plugged in to my 00 OB, switched on the ignition ("Do NOT start engine") and it said "err1". Repeated the procedure and it said "error". Tried it on 99 Golf :) . Tried it on 04 Hyundai :) . Tried again on the OB :cry: . But my local mechanic's reader worked fine.

    So I returned it. The guy at the store didn't understand it because he has one and it's fine on his 02 WRX. They did not have a second unit for me to try. But yesterday the manufacturer responed to my complaint and said I should start the engine BEFORE plugging the unit in, contrary to their written instructions. Of course I can't try this now but has anyone experienced similar?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,504
    I think I have this same model.... an Innova something or other. I use it on my '96 OBW and plug it in BEFORE operating the key at all. As soon as I plug it into the port, the Innova unit turns on; I turn the car to "On," then press the read button, and viola - codes a-plenty (or not, hopefully!).
  • I have a 96 Legacy wagon 2.2L 4AT that was manufactured in 10/95. Has 54K on it. Never any problems with it but now the CEL is on (not flashing but constant). I researched (spent hours on the internet in msg boards and obd2 web sites) and am led to believe that this model has OBD2 (and that even the 95 Legacy had OBD2). Finding that out, I borrowed an OBD2 scanner (Actron) from my friend, it has the 'standard' 16 pin connector cable on it. When I slid under the dash I could not find the female 16pin shaped connector to plug it into (and I thought this was going to be easy). I saw an odd shaped gray connector with about 7pins mounted on a metal support (to the right side of the steering and near the heating duct)that certainly did not look like the 16pin standard OBD2 connector. After researching more, is this gray connector possibly the connector that the Subaru Select Monitor Scan Tool uses? I also was a little confused in trying to identify what connectors are used to get a flashing light code if you dont use a scanner? I could not find any clear info about the connector colors or shapes to help identify them..only that there are supposidly two of them called a 'test connector' and a 'check connector' ??? I have a Chiltons manual and that just confused things a bit more, there was an electrical schematic that showed a "OBD2 Connector" and also showed a "Data Link Connector"...but trying to find those in real life under the dash was another story. Can anyone tell me what wires/connectors are used to just get the flashing code (location, color, shape)...and if there is a standard 16pin OBD2 connector under there someplace or is there perhaps some adapter that I need to use to plug into the gray pin connector that I found ? Thanks. :sick:
  • Thanks, I was beginning to think that my passengers were going crazy! I have just been used to sweating while driving on occasions.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,504
    Wrenchspin, my '96 was manufactured in 8/95, but with the 2.5L rather than 2.2L. I have no reason to think that anything other than the engine is different on these two cars, so I will just state where my 16-pin port is located.

    If you look at the molding below and to the left of the steering wheel, you should see a small cover (rectangular) - this is a few inches lower than the mirror adjustment control. Pulling up on it should reveal the female port. I am not sure how else to explain its location (though if you continue to have difficulty finding it, I can photograph it to give you a definite reference), but if you extend your search beyond the molding and into the guts of the dash, you have gone too far!
  • Thanks XWESX, I feel a bit silly now, I must have gone right past the cover panel you mention. The car isn't mine (belongs to my F-I-L)so not that familiar with the interior, but I should have looked around better. It was dark outside and I went immed to under the dash with a flashlight (that is where the connector is located on my two vehicles so I assumed thats where it would be). I will give it another go tonight after work. I still am a little baffled on the CEL/MIL blinking light procedure I saw mention about connecting one connector to get the code (long flash is 10's , short flash is 1's...etc)and connecting 'both' connectors would clear the code. Are these test connectors also behind that cover panel door as well as the OBD2 connector? Thanks. :blush:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,504
    The cover panel only has the 16-pin connector. I am not sure about a test connector - I have not explored it. The OBDII scanner I own will clear codes and reset the CEL, but I am not sure if it is limited to "constant on" codes or all codes. The scanner has an extensive manual that outlines every facet of the device, but I only read the part I needed at the time (I am often guily of that). :D

    Good luck.... hopefully your FIL's car does have that panel - embarrassment aside, it will sure make the job easier!
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