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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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Comments

  • nmsubarunmsubaru Posts: 5
    Okay, I made it to the mechanic and as expected it was the alternator. So after 84,000 miles and almost eight years I have had the following issues the past 18 months: right cv boot (replaced), noc sensor (replaced), alternator (replaced)exterior door lock fell inside front right door (fixed by family friend) and failure of window switch in door (same friend bailed me out). A run of repairs that is a bit irritating, but all in all I still like the car and would consider buying another one. Just need to keep an eye on the cooling system and hope to avoid a head gasket issue.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Things'll happen when the car passes around 5 years old - but that's any car from what I've seen. My Honda Civic - which is supposed to be very reliable, has been finicky lately.

    I suppose as long as your repairs are less per year than a year's worth of car payments, you're good to go.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Did the "Charge warning light" come on when the engine is
    running?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,525
    For next time---never, ever try to charge up a completely dead battery with only your alternator as the charging medium. This often puts a big strain on the alternator and the battery, and since your alternator was old, this may have pushed it over the edge. Also, never jump start a battery that has gone completely totally dead. This can be dangerous. It should be taken out and charged.

    Visiting Host, Subaru owner as well

    MODERATOR

  • lostohnlostohn Posts: 1
    Help my 2001 Subaru Outback is having electrical problems. In one year I have replaced three alternators and three batteries and now I cannot trust my vehicle
    A year ago I left the car sitting in my driveway for three weeks. After that while driving the ABS light came on and the gauges fluttered. Then the car suddenly stopped running. I brought it to an independent garage. They told me the alternator was not charging. They replaced the alternator and the battery. After only a few weeks it quit on me. I was out of town and I brought it into a CT. They tested and told me the alternator was not charging. They replaced the alternator. A few weeks later it quit again. I brought it a local CT. After testing they told me the alternator was not charging and replaced it.
    Then I brought the car into my local Subaru dealer. They tested and told me the battery was defective. I replaced it but the garage that had sold it they told me it tested fine. After that, I drove for ten months without problems. Last week the problem came back. I was on a trip and I brought the car into another CT. They tested and said that the battery was low and not charging. I replaced the battery and completed my trip under some duress because I was concerned the problem would reoccur. Again the garage told me the battery tested fine. I have noticed that the charge warning light does not always come on when I start the car.
  • nmsubarunmsubaru Posts: 5
    To clarify, the charge warning light is what came on along with the brake light after I got the car running again after I reinstalled the the battery I got recharged at Autozone.

    We seem to be doing okay after getting the alternator replaced on Monday.

    I'll remember the advice from Mr. Shiftright about avoiding jump starting a completely dead battery--it was obvious that the alternator could not keep up with the power demand when I got the car going again.

    Greg
  • carmaven18carmaven18 Posts: 21
    We have a 2002 Outback Sedan H6-3.0 . Today we noticed that the right brakelights were not working. We tried replacing the bulbs and fuses, but nothing worked. The wires seem to be connected, although it is possible that somewhere along the line they are not and we just can't see it. Although the tail light does not work, the right turn signal functions properly. Does anyone have any idea as to what is causing this problem, and what can be done to fix it? Thanks.
  • ramone899ramone899 Posts: 3
    Hi. I have a 1997 Outback wagon with about 112,000 miles on it. It has had all of it's major required services since I bought it new. While driving it on a highway recently the "check engine" light came on, in yellow rather than red letters (someone told me that the color is significant and that red is worse than yellow). The light stayed on until I had to refuel the car, after which the light went out. I thought it must have been something with the gas cap but then the light came back on. The car has been starting and running great the whole time.
    Before I take it somewhere to be charged $100+ for checking codes, does anyone have any opinions as to what might make the check engine light come on, go off, come back on, etc.? Thanks.
  • cd68cd68 Posts: 11
    Has anyone replaced the standard Legacy wheels and tires with something larger? What has been the overall driving difference?

    I'm going to be purchasing a 3.0R later this year, but the standard tires seem a bit small. I was thinking 18 inch wheels (perhaps 7.5 or 8), with something like a 235 tire.

    Any recommendations???
  • cd68cd68 Posts: 11
    This will be about 75 miles away, and I'm sure you're looking for something a bit closer to the Silicon Valley region, but I highly recommend California Auto Repair in Modesto. I've been taking my cars there for over 20 years.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I suggest you buy a code reader. I've seen them for as little as $79.

    I've used mine about 3 times on our fleet, usually just for a loose gas cap. I also helped 2-3 friends reset their codes.

    It pays for itself the first time you use it. Mine is a $99 Actron model. It worked on a 98 Forester, an 02 Legacy, and even a friend's Chevy Suburban. Go figure.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That much extra width may rub. I'm concerned about the fenders, there's not much room there.
  • subyobsubyob Posts: 4
    I live in Australia and own a [non-permissible content removed]. spec. 2000 H6 Subaru Outback VDC wagon. The 'VDC off" light has recently come on. I have had my Subaru dealer check this and fix the problem but they told me there is normally a switch under the dash to reset this light. Apparently on mine it is not where they expected it to be and they could not find it. Does anyone have any ideas about how to clear this code/warning light?
  • suzydoosuzydoo Posts: 1
    Anyone know how to change the high beam bulb on the Outback? I got the plastic cover off, changed the low beam bulb, but cannot seem to figure out how to change the high beam. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • cd68cd68 Posts: 11
    Do you have any recommendation as to the largest wheels and tires that would look good on the Legacy and still fit?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a stock 2005 LGT wagon.

    Winter I run snows on stock rims in stock size.

    Summer/track I run 235-45-17s w/o any rubbing problems on Rota Battle 17x7.5 rims. I will be going to 245-40-17s on Rota Torques 17x8, may go to 255-40-17 depending.

    -mike
  • carlo808carlo808 Posts: 2
    Purchased in March 2008, 2.5i. Began noticing a squeak a few weeks ago that's grown louder each time I open the rear liftgate.

    Upon further inspection, I saw that the anterior edge of the rear spoiler is rubbing against the door jam. It is difficult to get a clear view of where the two surfaces meet (because the clearances are so darn tight) but it looks like the spoiler is rubbing away at the finish each time I open the door and hear the squeak. Sure enough, I wiped away some fine dust that looks to be paint rubbing off.

    I definitely plan to bring it in to the closest dealer to have it repaired/looked at/replaced, but what do I expect from this? Will they just unscrew the rear spoiler from the liftgate and try to reposition it? What about the two spots at the joint where the paint has rubbed off? I just imagine them throwing me a jar of touch up paint and calling it a day.
  • blackbeanblackbean Posts: 100
    Mike and Company

    Is removing the heat shield dangerous? Why would Subaru put them on if they were not needed? The certainly are flimsy!

    My '02 started rattling around 60k and the dealer could not find the source of the rattle (they took my daughter's toys out from under my seat to show me they had "tried" to find the rattle even though I told them I suspected the heat shield :mad: ). Needless to say, I had to crawl under the car to bend and re-attach the heat shield. No rattles in over 30k. :)

    Matt
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Got a welder? ;)
  • rustyuserrustyuser Posts: 1
    I went to get in my car the other day to find out that the autolock was dead and the electronic on the dash were dead and of course not even a click when starting it. I got a jump and it started right up. Knowing the battery was very old (maybe the original) I went to the store for a new one. After driving it for 20 minutes to get to the store I tried restarting to see if the alternator had recharged it and it did, so another confirmation it was the battery. So I swapped it out and all was good. I drove it straight home and parked it. When I went to start my car the next day and it was completely dead like before. My next thought is the alternator but it doesn't really sound like a bad alternator... plus when does a new battery go completely dead after 20 minutes? Any thoughts?

    Thx!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I believe the heat shields are there to prevent a fire from parking over grass/leaves/paper, etc. Also it insulates the floor/cabin from the heat of the exhaust. I've always removed them once they start to rattle and no issues yet.

    -mike
  • Sounds to me like you have had backfeed on your alternator which will run your battery dry. Go and have alternator checked at a worthy dealer, will need replaced by the sound of it.
  • I just had to replace the alternator in my 2001 Outback. In mine the battery wasn't completely dead, and the alternator was working fine off and on. It failed to charge when the car got completely warmed up, but would charge fine up to the point the engine bay got hot, which might be why yours charged the battery on the way to pick up the new battery. In any event, my (independent) mechanic tried replacing the alternator with a new aftermarket unit and it came back with the same charging problems and were forced to put a Subaru alternator (at a substantially higher price) to fix the problem. I actually put a non-Subaru catalytic converter on it a year or so ago and still have the cat efficiency code turn on when I drive it on the highway also. Has anyone else noticed that Subarus don't seem to play well with others (i.e., non Subaru branded parts)?
  • blackbeanblackbean Posts: 100
    That is too easy - I think I will just take them off then! Anyone else do the same?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I take em off when they start rattling :)

    -mike
  • blackbeanblackbean Posts: 100
    Hi All,

    I want to buy brake pads for my 02 Bean and TireRack has two sets - one for pre June 02 and one for post June 02 Outbacks. How can I tell when my Outback was built? VIN is 4S3BH806727636607, Model is BHECYDE and Code is U1TW

    Many Thanks!
    Matt
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Should be in the door jam on the weight/tire pressure plate along the B-pillar of the dirver's door.

    -mike
  • blackbeanblackbean Posts: 100
    Hi Mike,
    That is where I looked first - went back after your reply (in case I was temporarily blind the first time) and it turns out it is on the door itself - 1/2 way down the side, almost on the bottom. Turns out it was a 12/01 manufacture -
    Thanks!
    Matt
  • Hi, our '07 Outback has a cracked windshield that needs to be replaced. The "OEM equivalent" is less money than an "OEM" replacement. Is it OK to go with the equivalent for this?

    Thanks in advance,
    Kate
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    I am not mechanically inclined so I will just have to live with the rattle. :)

    Also, that flimsy shield at the very front of the car- they did some inspection work during the 50 point check a few months back and forgot to fasten it...it ended up hanging down for a few hours until they came back to fasten it. There seem to be some odd "shields" going on under there! ;)
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