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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • curtbcurtb Posts: 2
    My three week old outback has failed to crank when attempting to start on four separate occasions.Eventually-- after 4-5 tries--it turns over. Anyone else having this problem?
  • sidmansidman Posts: 10
    The Glove Box on my 2005 Outback XT Limited keeps falling open. I will just take it back over to the dealer for a warranty fix, but I was curious if anyone else had seen this. It looks like the latch does not seem to secure tightly. Kind of annoying in a brand new car...I've been spoiled by Honda and Nissan, I hope little things like this are not the norm.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    See if you can lube the lock mechanism. It's not a common complaint, at least I haven't heard it before.

    05 - gotta be a bad starter. I'd have the dealer look at it before you get stranded somewhere.

  • Anyone having a problem with their XT smelling of burnt something? I've even seen SMOKE (not mist) coming through the vent once. I took the car to the dealership about 2 hours away, and they couldn't find anything wrong.

    The smell is terrible. I had to drive with all the windows and the top open and the AC unit completely off. I couldn't even hardly SEE, the sensation was so bad.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    It's that bad and the dealer didn't notice it? I'd go to another dealer.

    Does it happen all the time, or only under certain conditions? If under certain conditions, what are they? I ask that only because the dealer didn't notice the smell. Maybe it didn't occur while they had it, and that it's an intermittent smell that occurs only sometimes?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The only thing I can think of that smells *that* bad is gear oil. I wonder if they spilled some on hot exhaust components, and it's slowly burning off.

    Inspect the engine bay from the top and from the bottom, see if you can spot any oil stains or signs of a leak somewhere. Some car washes can wash the undercarriage for you. I use a pressure washer on mine.

  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    I have an XT ltd with 3k miles, runs perfectly. no smell.

    are you pushing the new car to high RPMs ? if you are, then the car is not to blame.
  • My 2001 Outback suffers from the infamous head gasket and overheating problem. Because I have not found any vehicle that I really like, even though I have 160K miles on the car, I am keeping it for the time being. Unfortunately, this means driving in hot summer weather with the AC off, since the engine already overheats badly and the car would die if I added the AC to the power draw. After looking at the prices and problems of Audi and Volvo, and needing another AWD wagon, I'm back to thinking about getting another Ru. Some claim Subaru has fixed the head gasket and overheating problem on the newer models (it generally does not show up until about 100K in any case). But I can't find anyone to tell me HOW this problem has been fixed. Anybody know?
  • curtbcurtb Posts: 2
    I had this, too, when I first picked up the car. Service adjusted the latch and now it's better. Doesn't fall open, but must be slammed to keep it shut. Will get it adjusted again next time in service.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    I haven't heard of that happening with other OBs and Legacys. Definetly have the dealer look at it.

    FWIW, I've really had no fit and finish issues with my Legacy GT wagon. And I'm super picky about things like that.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They used a new head gasket material for 2002 and later models.

    Replacing earlier gaskets fixed the issue so long as the heads were not warped.

    We haven't observed any pattern of failures for 2002+, even hi-milers, so they seem to have put the issue to bed.

    160k? Wow, do you ever park?

  • sugardogsugardog Posts: 41
    Please refer to previous posts about rear diffy failure. (from sugardog)
    1999 Outback Limited with Manual 5sp tranny.
    Drivetrain noise again, dealer overhauled the center diffy to solve the problem,
    done under the dealer warrantee of 12mo 12k miles since they worked on the
    same area last year.
    Last year they overhauled the tranny mainshaft, replaced the viscous coupling,
    and replaced the rear diffy, all under warrantee.
    Cause of that problem was viscous coupling failure, which caused the tranny mainshaft and rear diffy to wear out prematurely.
    Now this problem.
    I had no problems until a year after I retired. Since retirement, I only drive about
    200 miles a month. The car sits for days, sometimes weeks.
    Is the problem due to lack of use?
    Should I replace the tranny fluid with synthetic gear oil?
    I know that some Subaru Reps. monitor this forum, please answer my questions
    if you can.

  • juice,


  • I just brought my 2000 Outback with 50K miles to the dealer due to some problems that seemed related to the transmission. Hesitation, srange noises. I was told that I needed a new transmission as one of the internal seals leaked. There was absolutely no leakage on the floor of my garage so it seems strange.

    This is my first automatic but it still seems that 50K miles is not very good. The dealer was able to get Subaru-America to pay for 70%, but it still comes to ~$1200 out of my pocket.

    Bainbridge Island, WA
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's almost 6 years old, I think they offered good will in paying for that much of it.

    Was the ATF still original? Or did you have it flushed at 30k miles?

  • Is there anyway for an owner to reset the tire pressure monitor on an '05 Outback 3.0R sedan? (Toyota has a push button and makes it easy - Subaru seems to want us to go to the dealer for everything).

    Any ideas on how to adjust the alignment of the driving lights?

    Any good web sites for other helpful hints (again, Toyota lets us reset the check engine light after an oil change but we have to go to the Edmunds forum to find out how.)


  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Way behind in my reading, Doug. My understanding (and limited experience with an O2 sensor problem on my '02) is that the light will remain on until the 4th full drive cycle after the repair is made (or no more repeats from an intermittant bad sensor), but the codes and 'snapshot' freeze frame data remains for 40 drive cycles until it all clears out. And because you had multiple systems indicating failures, it is possible that you had 'pending codes' that don't set hard fail flags, but can impact the readiness status.

    With a scanner you can clear it all out on demand, but as Brian said, you will not reset all of the readiness indicators. You should also be able to clear the codes by disconnecting the battery. Perhaps you did not wait long enough. Next time step on the brake or something like that to draw down any reserves used in the 'keep alive' ckt (probably a large capacitor) of the ECU. Before I bought my own laptop based system (AutoEnginuity), I asked the folks at Autozone for help. They were willing to clear codes on request.

    A recent Subaru dealer bulletin listed this procedure for resetting readiness:
    1997 and later: Drive on flat road (highway) at approximately 50 to 55 mph for 30 minutes for warm-up.Then perform 10 minutes at steady speed (without any throttle angle change) at 50-60 mph.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I had the front O2 sensor changed on my '02 OBW (33k miles) two weeks ago under the Gold Plan extended warranty (zero $ deductible). I am out of the 3yr warranty. The charge to SoA was around $200 for diagnosis, part and labor. I asked what it would have cost me had I not had an extended plan. Answer was slightly under $400, so your quote of $385 is right in line.

    My 6 yr / 85k mile / $0 ded plan cost me $799 two years ago from a Subaru internet site, so I guess that I am now half way to the break even point.

  • doug900doug900 Posts: 7
    Thanks for the reply steve, but autozone said that they will not clear the codes because of liability, or some hogwash. I did disconnect the battery, and then turned the ignition key to the start position to bleed any residual ecu power, but the CELight came right back on, so I wonder if another problem developed? My wife has put over 300 miles on since the repairs , but still a CELight.

    This weekend, I check resistance on the O2 sensor heater wires at the engine end, for both sensors. I got 5 ohms on both, so I know I have good heaters, and continuity to both sensors,for the heaters. Plus, the sensor wires must be good, otherwise, the car would run like crap.

    The knock sensor was the third repair. That must be good, because the car had a new lease on life after I replaced that. Doug
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Doug, I think you need to get it read out again to see what is going on. Sounds like something else is triggering the light.

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