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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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Comments

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Subaru bumped the head gasket warranty to 8/100 without much of a fight.

    But they haven't done squat for those of us that own '97 and '98 vintage cars with the internal leaks that cause overheating and hydrocarbons in the coolant. The extension on the warranty does not apply to us, if I understand correctly.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I understand your frustration, but you should move on and be happy with your next car. Life is way too short to hold a grudge against the US arm of a large multi-national corporation!! They will always have more lawyers than you can ever afford!

    Craig
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    And my dealer says the extended warranty does not apply to Canadian owners of 2000-2004 Outbacks even if they have had the recommended coolant additive put in at the dealership. Either we are too few to bother with, or we aren't as litigous as Americans, or maybe our laws aren't as supportive of consumers. For example, I don't think we have a " :lemon: law" anywhere in Canada.
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,457
    For example, I don't think we have a " :lemon: law" anywhere in Canada.

    Isn't it too cold for in Canada for lemons??

    Maybe Canada should have an apple law instead? :D

    DaveM
  • betsy5betsy5 Posts: 2
    I love my LL Bean Outback, but am having serious concerns over noises I am hearing that seem to come from the suspension. It's starting to make me hate my car. The second winter I had the car, I complained to the dealer that the car was making loud creaking/groaning noises from the suspension going over bumps or uneven surfaces when the temperature got below about 45 degrees. It would sound like the car was falling apart. I was assured it was nothing that some lubrication to struts or whatever wouldn't cure. The dealer wasn't able to duplicate the noise, but lubricated struts, etc. That worked for a month or two and then the noises came back. The weather then got warmer and the car stopped making them. It then started making cracking sounds from primarily the front wheels when I was in a turn under slow speeds. Nothing was found to be wrong. The next winter the creaking noises started again. Again, the problem wasn't able to be duplicated at the dealer, but everything was lubricated above and beyond the call of duty. The noises didn't go away. Then, when I would go over small bumps(like speed bumps) or hit uneven pavement, the suspension would actually squeak, sometimes accompanied by a clunk. There were times you could feel the clunking/vibration in the steering column. Now it is starting to feel unbalanced or "wobbly" when going around curves at slow speeds. All this seems to be experienced at slow speeds. And of course, except for some places I drive where I know the noises will always happen, they are not consistent. I am frustrated and unhappy and am very reluctant to take it to the dealer yet again for complaints that are never able to be duplicated. Does anyone have any ideas on what may be causing this???
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's true, and I have a '98. But mine's been just fine.

    We have 5 subies in my family, mine, wife's, dad's, sister's, and brother's. That's 10 head gaskets. Not one has ever even shown signs of leaking.

    If you were believe the hysteria some people seem to have, we'd have at least 6-7 failed gaskets by now.

    Betsy: I do think you should periodically spray lithium grease on your sway bar joints, but I'd suspect wheel bearings in your case. Do you get a speed-dependent noise?

    -juice
  • famof3kidsfamof3kids Posts: 160
    Betsy5,

    I had a '86 Subaru that used to do this. Describing the noise as a squeek is too nice, I would call it a cruching noise. It was because the front struts were bad. It really made loud noises over speed bumps.
    I have noticed it once on my '03 Legacy, a few weeks ago, and I only have 20,400 miles. It don't concern me much because I know what it is.
    I suspect this is your problem, if your dealer can fix it, try another dealer and see what they say.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    I know, we're getting to the time of year when it's almost light here in the east when we sit down to chat! But what's more fun than ignoring yard work that could be done to chat with the Subaru Crew??? :)

    PF Flyer
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  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,457
    But what's more fun than ignoring yard work that could be done to chat with the Subaru Crew???

    Ignoring taxes?? :D

    DaveM
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    If the noise is associated with cold weather, then it's 95% likely to be a rubber bushing that needs some lube. These noises usually sound like a low-frequency creak, groan, or squeak. Unless you get the lube in the right place, the noise will continue. So I would try to get another lube job where they can find and cure the noise for sure. Beyond that, I would have a good mechanic check all the suspension bolts and mounts, especially the strut tops.

    I would not suspect bearing at this point, since this noise is associated with suspension travel and cold weather.

    As for the unbalanced wobbly feeling, check your tire pressure as a first cut.

    How many miles on the car?

    Craig
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Hahah... good point. But it is light to 10pm here, so not much of an incentive.... :(
  • hammerheadhammerhead Posts: 885
    Isn't it too cold for in Canada for lemons??
    Maybe make frozen lemonade?

    But what's more fun than ignoring yard work that could be done to chat with the Subaru Crew???
    Ignoring taxes??
    Is it ironic that tomorrow's payday???

    Cheers!
    Paul
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Almost forgot that one!! Let's ignore taxes tonight too!

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  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Point taken. But my reality is that I have owned one Subaru and it has a new short block due to piston slap and also new head gaskets due to a leak. Granted it was within the 60K powertrain so it cost me nothing, but if I blow another head gasket and have to pay for it, with what is now only 40K on the new gaskets I will be PO'ed.

    I also think there is enough anecdotal evidence to show that there are an unusually high number of head gasket issues on our vintage of 2.5L engines.

    Peace.

    Karl
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    On my 2002 Legacy, the shop manual refers to a "fluid-filled" bushing on the rear of the lower control arms. The picture shows a large rubber bushing, perhaps 2X2 inches. Says to inspect them for leaks and if one leaks, replace it. I'd never heard of a fluid-filled bushing, but then this is my first Subie. You might ask the dealer about that. Of course, if he has spray-lubed everything it might be hard to tell if the bushing is leaky...

    Stanton
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    I went to the Subaru dealer for a bottle of the "magic" coolant additive. The car has just over 60,000 miles, so I didn't try to get them to install it and extend the head gasket warranty, just did it myself. They sold me a 4 ounce blue plastic bottle of "coolant additive with anti-corrosion properties" (made by Holt) for all of $1.66, including tax. Is that the right stuff? The parts guy said that was it, but I was surprised at the price. Heck, you can't buy a cup of coffee for $1.66 nowadays!

    Stanton
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    Statistics are scant consolation if your car is the one affected.

    However, take a look at the Toyota sludge comments on these Edmunds message boards to see how they handled similar issues. Toyota denied any fault as long as possible, even accused owners of neglecting the cars and trying to defraud the company. My brother got that line of s**t from them, and he is truly OCD about car maintenance - Mobil 1 from just after break-in, all oil changes by the book, almost all highway miles on the engine, and sludged up at 65,000 miles. His Camry died 500 miles from home, and he had to have a nearby Toyota dealer install an engine out of a wrecking yard - with no help from Toyota. And Toyota had the nerve to accuse him of neglecting to change the oil in the engine.

    Only when it became clear that Toyota had a major public-relations problem did they do anything, even though by then there had been an avalanche of claims.

    Honda seems to have been more helpful AFAIK. When there was a rash of '00 and '01 Accords with auto transmission problems, after some hassle, they extended the trans warranty to 100,000 miles.

    But note that if those Accord transmissions die at 106,000 miles the owners are still on their own. Sound familiar?

    All you can do is play the odds, looking at past overall statistics to choose what to buy. But as I said, if YOUR car is the bad one in 5,000 of them, the statistics don't make you feel any better. Sorry about that!

    Stanton
  • betsy5betsy5 Posts: 2
    thanks to everyone for their input on the noises my car is making. The car has about 33,600 miles on it. The noises aren't just cold weather noises....they just get alot worse and louder in winter. It just seems to me that the whole suspension just seems more "squishy" and that the car isn't steady during slow turns. The tires run with about 32lbs in them. I've heard all kinds of pressures to run them at, with SuOA suggesting that I try 28lbs in them. That just didn't even make sense to me. I've got a case number for the problem but it's really difficult to get attention to it when I never know what road surfaces will cause the noises. To Famof3, you're right about the noises over speed bumps. It's unreal the sounds the suspension will make. I just want it to handle and steer like a Subaru is supposed to.....I wanted to try to get it fixed one more time before I call Subaru up and get the field rep involved. But it really is making me want to get rid of the car...which I don't want to do....I loved the way it handled in the snow we had this past winter!
  • thallbergthallberg Posts: 18
    I have a 2003 h6 VDC wagon that seems very noisy for the first 2-3 minutes when starting first thing in the morning. My previous subies have been the 2.5 h4 engines, which seemed much quiter. Is this a characteristic of the chain drive in the h6's, or should I be concerned about something else? It is a very quiet engine at idle and when warm.
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