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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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  • Missed the chat last week but posted my problem anyway (posts 7387 thru 7390). As my warranty ends in July, will Subaru continue help as the rear alignment is just a temporary fix and the car will continue to voraciously eat tires? Mo
  • Have you tried getting it onto the steering knuckle before you bolt it to the control arm? You should also clean out any dirt and rust that may be in there. Liberal use of anti-seize will help it slide in and make it easier to come out next time.
  • Called Subaru Customer Service and the problem is noted on my car records. As the last alignment specs were changed by Subaru, we're on a wait and see if it works to prolong the life of the rear tires, too. Mo
  • I have a 2005 Outback wagon. For the past month or so I've noticed that the car only blows heat when its moving. If you stop at a red light it blows cold air.

    Any ideas what this could be before I bring it to the shop? I looked it up online and 1 answer said a faulty fan speed resistor and the other answer said that the radiator fluid may be lower than the inlet of the heater core.

    Also, I have the extended Subaru warranty - do you think this is covered under that?

    Thanks!
  • Second part is easy to check. Open the radiator cap (COLD engine!) and look. Also check the reservoir tank level.

    Cheers!
    Paul
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    yup check the rad cap when cold to make sure there is enough fluid. It should be covered under your extended warranty barring any damage to the radiator or hoses from road debris.

    -mike
  • It sounds to me as though the water pump is not pumping the quantity it should unless the speed of the motor increases. This is usually due to an eroded pump impeller. It can also be caused by the impeller itself spinning on the shaft of the pump. Have the mechanic check that after all the basics are done. HTH.
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    I put synthetic gear oil (Red Line, as I recall) in the rear diff and transmission of our 2002 Legacy MT5. GL-5 in the differential, and MTL in the trans. Fuel mileage increased about 1 mpg, and cold-weather shifting was much easier. OTOH, after a few years, the synchros seemed less effective, and it became easier to "crunch" gears on a quick shift into first. I don't know if that was an effect of the lube used, or just normal after 100,000 miles.

    In any case, I am considering trying synthetic GL-5 in my '08 OXT MT5. Has anyone had any experience with Red Line or Amsoil in these? Amsoil's is a GL-5, and their website has a pretty extensive (and persuasive) article on gear oil testing.

    Another 1 mpg would be nice, but not at the price of possible synchro damage....
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You should never use MTL in subaru transmissions. They destroy the synchros. I believe that in the owners manual they specifically specify GL-5 for both the diffy and the transmission (the transmission also incorporates the front diffy).

    -mike
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    THanks for that info. Red Line's website description of MTL made it look like the right thing to do at the time, claiming it was better for the synchros; but I notice the new car specifically calls for GL-5. My question had to do with anyone's experience with Amsoil gear lube (75W-90, GL-5). Guess I'll search the forum for Amsoil's name.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm an amsoil dealer and that's what we put in our race cars and our customer's cars. We have also used Redline and Royal Purple, all 3 are good, but the Amsoil is just easier to get ahold of.

    -mike
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    Correction: I went back and looked at my notes at the time. I used Red Line 75W-90 in the rear diff, and 75W-90 NS (without the limited-slip modifiers) in the transmission. I'm not sure the NS oil is true GL-5 specs. Red Line calls it a "GL-5 Type" lube.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm interesting.

    -mike
  • Yeah, I think it was the radiator fluid. My husband said it was about 3/4 of a gallon low. He went on to say that he doesnt know why he didnt think of that before when I told him about the heat not working. LOL.

    He did a brake job on my car a few weeks ago and the next day we noticed some anti-freeze on the floor of the garage, but definitely not 3/4 of a gallon of it! It was more like 1 or 2 cups. We had both forgotten about that.

    So he refilled the radiator today and I'll see if the car has better heat when its not in drive.

    Thanks alot!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My Miata lost coolant recently, I had the same symptom - no heat.

    Topped it off, purged the air, and it's fine now. Hope you have as much luck as I did.
  • Yup! I have an auto car starter and before today I coudl start the car 10 minutes before I went outside and when I got in the car it was ice cold but once I started to drive hot air would blow out.

    Today I started it and went out to the car 5 minutes later and it was toasty warm. So it was a happy ending. I'm still not sure why the coolant was low though?

    Thanks!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Keep an eye on the coolant level and check your oil to make sure you didn't have a head gasket failure where the coolant entered the oil cavity.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agree.

    I have been on my Miata, and fortunately the level has been fine.
  • I have a 2005 Outback Sudan 3.0L and am having transmission problems. My car is lagging when I try to put it into reverse. I was told that because I live in an area that has severe weather conditions (Pawling, NY), because I did not change my transmission fluid every 15,000 miles, I am not covered under my warranty. In my opinion, it was irresponsible of the dealer to sell me an extended warranty if this was the case, and irresponsible for Subaru to consider winter weather as severe conditions! We are talking about Subaru! I am furious, to say the least.

    Meanwhile, my mechanic, who has changed my oil regularly and has serviced the car since it was new, says that my transmission fluid was fine, that there is, in fact, a problem unrelated. Ugh! Any suggestions? :mad:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Call 800-SUBARU3 and plead your case. Be *very* nice. I used to work at a Help Desk and believe me, the people that got the best service were the polite folks, not the rude ones.

    Especially if it's a factory Subaru warranty, they should help you out. The car's only 3 years old, for crying out loud.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    How many miles are on your car and when did you change the fluid in the trans last? Something doesn't seem right here. My guess is that it may be a faulty solenoid for the Reverse gear if you aren't getting any slippage in the forward gears.

    As juice said, be very nice to the folks on the phone and you'll get pretty far.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Thanks so much, Mike.

    I just changed the fluid, under their advisement, with my mechanic. He did not think it was bad and has checked it every oil change. It has 49,133 miles. I am very upset about it all and can't imagine that this is actually going to not happen.

    I will call Subaru on this and have another appointment for 1-30 and the service department is going to run tests and let Subaru decide.

    Jeannine
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The other option is to go to a different dealer and start over essentially, although it might be too late at this point to go that route.

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Am I missing something here? Subaru's have a 5yr/60K powertrain warranty. This should be covered. MY 06 OB 3.0R owners manual only calls for an inspection of the tranny fluid at 30K, and no mandatory changes until later on - 60K, maybe even later.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    I used Amsoil in the differentials and transmission of my '07 MT Outback. Unfortunately, I only had it in there for about 3000 miles before the car was sold, so no long-term impressions. It made a tremendous cold weather difference from the stock oil, and I found the 1/2 and 2/1 shifts much smoother after the synthetic was added.

    -Wes-
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    Yes - right now they are trying to assign fault to the owner saying the fluid was not changed frequently enough. 15,000 miles is pretty frequent. That is Dodge Caravan territory there! I changed the fluid in my '96 Outback three times over 220,000 miles, and I live in Fairbanks, AK.

    New York does not have severe weather - it has severe roads. ;)

    Oh, by the way, the transmission continued to be flawless to the end.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Wes, anyone driving an AT within 75 miles of NYC should change it 15-20k miles MAX. Up in Alaska you guys have a few things over us... Cooler climate and almost no traffic to speak of. The worst thing for ATs is sitting in bumper to bumper traffic because there is very little cooling going on, and a lot of heat being built up. Stop and go traffic is also disastrous on the ATs.

    -mike
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    "Stop and go traffic is also disastrous on the ATs."

    I find it funny. Isn't stop and go traffic THE reason to buy AT?

    Krzys
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Replying to: paisan (Jan 17, 2008 11:57 pm)

    "Stop and go traffic is also disastrous on the ATs."

    I find it funny. Isn't stop and go traffic THE reason to buy AT?


    Yup, but you need to also keep up on the maintenance of said AT. There is never a free lunch in this world. You get to not shift and clutch, however in return you need to change the fluid more often. :)

    -mike
    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Well, I can't believe that that is true. The fluid looked clear and fine, although I did replace it at their request. I don't commute and live in farm country...couldn't be bothered with traffic and am rarely in a jam. I don't travel on dirt roads, don't tow...am just a girl in a car. I will be going to a different dealership and have already spoken with that dealer's service manager who said it is covered, no question. It's unfortunate for my dealer, as I have taken this to a new level. A friend called for an appointment, complaining of a similar problem and they have an appointment for Tuesday...hmmm...I have to wait until 1/30 for mine...I smell a rat! Thanks for all the help guys! I am looking forward to my newly fixed transmission and a lot less stress!

    Jeannine
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