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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The OEM one may (probably) has the heater for the front wipers. The OEM equivalent one probably does not have the heated wires for the front wipers, so you may lose that feature.

    -mike
  • Hi, all first I'd like to express my relief and excitement upon finding this bulletin board!!! :)
    May you you all become saints!...Ah, to the point....I have a '99 OB that I love and have had to only replace the usuals. :blush: Anyhow this awful rattle and distinctive whine of a bearing going out on a pulley. I have checked the tension in the belt seems fine (not a mechanic) does not get worse when I turn AC on and is horrible when I first start and let it warm-up. It does not seem to be effecting performance, and does quiet when I start driving. It doesn't happen always but when it does I draw looks from the whole parking lot, and have now been starting to drive before she warms up to avoid the looks ,horrible I know with out letting her warm-up (cutting my nose off to spite my face) Is this a shroud or pulley or something I should really worry about? I am out of warranty at this point, so she's been great to me should I just :confuse: send her into the shop or can I fix myself? :confuse:
  • jwoolstonjwoolston Posts: 1
    Did you ever find the pcv valve? I havean '03 Outback and can't find one either?

    Thank you
  • cohappycohappy Posts: 6
    yes I had to get OEM, $15.00. The aftermarket one does not fit.On the intake on the passenger side near the back of the motor.
  • I purchased a new '08 Outback LLBeam stationwagon in December. It has 5,000 miles on it, and I have had it at the Subaru dealership 5 times to fix the rattle underneath the car. They have been unsuccessful? Could my problem be the heat shield? I wonder if anyone else has experienced a similar problem?
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Is it a constant rattle? Chances are if it's intermittent, it's possible that the dealer just can't duplicate it. Do you mind going through your receipts/invoices from the dealer and posting what they have done up to this point?
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    A question I've had lately is the need for fuel system maintenance, engine/oil/coolant flushes etc.

    It seems like more and more shops (and dealers) are trying to push "flushes" and additional maintenance aside from what's actually mentioned in the owners manual.

    While I understand what a fuel filter, and other items actually do, what about the flushes? Every oil change I typically add a bottle of Chevron Techron into the tank to help maintain the fuel system, and yearly I replace the wiper blades and air filter.

    Is it necessary for "oil flushes," fuel system flushes, brake fluid flushes, transmission flushes, power steering flushes, coolant flushes, etc? I've owned my Civic for 8 years now and I've never done one of these flushes despite my dealer trying to convince me otherwise.

    I've heard that some modern cars don't have a distributor? Is this accurate, and if not, how often does a distributor typically need to be replaced?
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Answered part of my question:

    Direct ignition
    Modern engine designs have done away with the distributor and coil, instead performing the distribution function in the primary circuit electronically and applying the primary (low-voltage) pulse to individual coils for each spark plug. In some cars, the coils are mounted together in a 'coil pack'; others utilize a coil located very near to or directly on top of each spark plug (Direct Ignition or coil-on-plug). This avoids the need to switch very high voltages, which is very often a source of trouble, especially in damp conditions. These systems also allow finer levels of ignition control by the engine computer, which assists in increasing power output, decreasing fuel consumption and emissions, and implementing features such as Active Fuel Management.

    The `09 Legacy has the direct ignition.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    A question I've had lately is the need for fuel system maintenance, engine/oil/coolant flushes etc.

    Flushes should be unnecessary if a proper maintenance schedule is performed. Flushes are usually indeed extra items.

    While I understand what a fuel filter, and other items actually do, what about the flushes? Every oil change I typically add a bottle of Chevron Techron into the tank to help maintain the fuel system, and yearly I replace the wiper blades and air filter

    Changing filters is part of regular maintenance, not flushes. Changing the fuel filter, air filter, and oil filter at regular intervals (although not the same ones for all) is important. I feel that changing these and their fluids negates the need for "flushes" or additives.

    Is it necessary for "oil flushes," fuel system flushes, brake fluid flushes, transmission flushes, power steering flushes, coolant flushes, etc? I've owned my Civic for 8 years now and I've never done one of these flushes despite my dealer trying to convince me otherwise.

    I would say no. I use "tier 1" gas (BP usually) almost exclusively from the same station. I don't see the need for a "fuel system service" based on the additive package that is already in the gasoline. Changing the oil at regular intervals should prevent sludge build up and all the stuff the "flushes" are supposed to help.

    Transmission can actually be bad for the transmission, stirring up debris and crud that should just stay in the bottom. Changing the fluid by draining and refilling is a better approach, IMHO.

    Brake fluid is hygroscopic, it absorbs moisture over time. That moisture causes corrosion in the master cylinder, the brake pistons, and lines. It also hampers the fluid's ability to transfer heat, adding to fade and making the brakes feel "squishy." It should be "changed" at some interval (I think Subaru's 2 years is pretty pessimistic, but okay...I normally do it with a brake job on other vehicles).

    I've heard that some modern cars don't have a distributor? Is this accurate, and if not, how often does a distributor typically need to be replaced?

    The distributor is pretty solid on most cars, it is a failure mode if it requires replacement. The points and condenser (in really old cars) or the cap and rotor (most cars) need to be replaced from time to time (part of a "tune up" whatever that means these days). Typically the parts aren't real expensive. Some distributor-less vehicles still use spark plug wires which should be replaced periodically.

    A lot of newer cars are "coil on plug" where the ignition coil is directly on top of the spark plug. If that breaks, it is a failure mode not a maintenance item. VWs have had some issues with this in the past. The up-side is there is no cap, rotor, or wire to replace, so they are essentially maintenance free.

    I hope this long winded answer helps a little bit and doesnt get picked to bits too much.
  • The dealer adjusted the rear lift panel, which eliminated one of my rattles entirely.

    A smaller rattle which the dealer has heard and thinks is in the rear left of the car. The dealer replaced the rear left shock absorber, which didn't stop the rattle.

    Dealer's technician probably checked a few other things out which do not appear on invoices. He told me I may have to live with the rattle, which I didn't like to hear on a new car.

    I am taking the car back to the dealer on Tuesday, having told the dealer that he must either fix the rattle or give me an extraordinary deal on purchasing a new car. I plan to tell dealer to check the heat shield, which I gather from other emails on the Edmunds site has caused others a problem.

    Any other thoughts?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,930
    Some dealers have a remote microphone which they can place in suspect areas when they go on a test drive.

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  • hammerheadhammerhead Posts: 890
    The 99 LGT has developed a new one... this car has so much personality :)

    The best description I can provide is that it's a mechanical ticking sound, that is MPH related, not RPM oriented. Starts after a few minutes at freeway speeds, frequency varies with speed, then goes away as I slow to about 40. Sounds a bit like a variable-speed fan would if there was a clearance issue with one blade. It's just subtle enough that I can't tell where it's coming from, but just loud enough to be a bit annoying. Car drives fine/as usual. I'm thinking a CV joint/wheel bearing is trying to tell me something vs. (I hope it's not) the front transaxle.

    Turning the volume up in the meantime :)
    Cheers!
    Paul
  • I have a 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback with the 2.5L engine. I was not aware of the damage that could be caused to the transfer case by using the spare for too long. A mechanic has said that my transfer case has been chewed up inside.

    I am wondering if, instead of replacing the transfer case (an expensive job), that it could be perhaps removed and not replaced? I would be ecstatic to have at least FWD working! My own mechanic does not know.

    I have tried the fuse to deselect AWD but it doesn't work. I am assuming that whatever damage has been done to the transfer case is currently keeping this disengagement mechanism from functioning.

    Also I am wondering if it is necessary to replace the transmission when a transfer case is damaged? No one has suggested this and I have not found any suggestion that when a transfer case gets chewed up the transmission itself is likely to have been damaged. How likely is it that transmission has been damaged and will need to be repaired also or replaced?
  • chartierschartiers Posts: 6
    The sun roof on our '92 Legacy Wagon is open about 1 inch and will not open or close with the buttons on the dash. My wife had the car and said it worked fine that day. Is it on fuse - which one? Is there a manual way to close it and how do you get to the motor? The repair book I have doesn't mention the sun roof. Jim
  • flyosflyos Posts: 8
    Hi everyone, hoping you can help me out with a few issues:

    First, the vitals: it's an '02 Outback 2.5 wagon, MT, 96K miles. As far as car maintenance goes, I'm pretty much a novice. I used to change my oil, air filter, plugs, etc on my previous cars, but have had the dealer do the work on the Subie.

    The issues:
    1) I tried to change the spark plugs yesterday and, after pulling #1 and #2, I saw a decent amt of oil on them. I've smelled some burning recently but I couldn't really tell if it was oil or something else - I guess it was oil. I did some quick searching here and it's sounding like blown head gasket. It is critical that I replace it now, or can I wait about 10K when I have the timing belt replaced?

    2) Given the tight spaces around the engine, how on earth do you pull the plugs on this car? I've had my dealer do it in the past, but decided to save some $$ this time and do it myself, but there was no way I could get a spark plug socket, extension bar and wrench near #3 and #4 (and #2 was really, really tight). Given that, I put the old plugs back in #1 and #2, rather than have mismatched plugs.

    3) I did manage to change the air filter - I'm not totally helpless! Added windshield washer fluid too (not to the air filter - I put the fluid in the right place)!

    4) Driving in to work this morning (first time to drive after the air filter and aborted spark plug changes), engine sound is totally different. At less than full throttle, car sounds fine; at full throttle, it sounds like I have a hole in the exhaust (in fact, the first time I heard it was on the highway while I was next to a mid-90's Civic with the spoilers, rims, window tints, etc - I thought the noise was coming from him and his custom muffler!). It's definitely coming from under the hood, not underneath or towards the back (plus, as I said, at less than full throttle the car sounds fine, so it's definitely not exhaust). I checked the plugs this morning to make sure they were connected properly and all looked good there. Maybe the air filter is ajar inside the housing; I'll check that at noon. Those were the only things I touched under there; any other thoughts?

    Thanks!!
  • flyosflyos Posts: 8
    An update on #4 above: sure enough, something was wrong with the air filter. I didn't have the housing clasped back together quite right, and I had knocked the air duct work askew near the passenger side fender while wrestling with the spark plugs. Not sure which one was causing the problem, but I put everything back where it belongs and the loud noises went away.

    Moral of the story: I won't quit my day job to become a Subie mechanic.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is it necessary for "oil flushes," fuel system flushes, brake fluid flushes, transmission flushes, power steering flushes, coolant flushes, etc? I've owned my Civic for 8 years now and I've never done one of these flushes despite my dealer trying to convince me otherwise.

    I've been working on Subies for years...

    Brake Flushes every 2 years is mandatory (for any car) as brake fluid is hydroscopic and absorbs moisture. When the moisture embeds itself in the brake fluid and you overheat the brakes it will boil the moisture out of the brake fluid, thus creating air pockets in the brake lines which are compressed under heavy braking and then you have no pedal when you need it most.

    Coolant drian/fill every 30k miles.

    Fuel filters on the pre-2.5L turbo models (around 2005 they went to in-tank non-servicable fuel filters) every 30k miles.

    Never did an oil flush in a car ever.

    Automatic transmissions should be drained and filled every 20-30k miles
    MT transmissions and differentials should be checked every 30k, and replaced at 60k miles.

    30k interval for plug changes on NA cars, 60k interval for Turbo cars.

    That's about it. People love coming to our shop cause we typically charge a lot less than the dealers!

    -mike
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,930
    Mike,

    Somebody in "Answers" posted a question---they apparently messed up their transfer case on their '98 Subie Outback by using different size tires and they wanted to know if they could disconnect something and just run on FWD for a while. Sounds radical but I really didn't know the answer. I figured the default was something like 50-50 and so that wouldn't work very well if at all.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • beegsbeegs Posts: 1
    Did you ever find out how to get better access to your 3 & 4 plugs? I have the same issue. I changed 1 & 2 just fine. I was tight but possible.

    Thank you
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If it's an automatic you can default it to FWD by inserting a fuse in the FWD fuse holder under the hood. However this may or may not eliviate the problem of the transfer case being damaged.

    -mike
  • flyosflyos Posts: 8
    No answer yet. I posted it on the other Subaru problems thread today, but haven't gotten a reply back.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,930
    why "inserting" a fuse rather than removing one?

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  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That's just how it works, you put a 10a fuse in the FWD special fuse slot under the hood. It engages the FWD.

    -mike
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    glad to hear I'm not the only person with an 08 which rattles, the dealer has fiddled with the heat shield twice and the engine splash cover as well, still there, just sounds a little different after each fix! My 98 Legacy with 140K had no rattles but my 08 since new does!!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is it a rattling or a tinny ticking sound after you turn off the car? If it's the tinny ticking sound, that's the sound of a new exhaust system.

    -mike
  • feilofeilo Posts: 128
    I have an 08 OB that has some rattles as well - seems to come from the heat shield (per above post) but I have been under there and there seems to be nothing loose. So far, I have not been able to trace it and its intermittent - almost like there a resonant frequency that sets its off. Its more acute in the summer as things loosen up ...

    It may be just something we 08 owners have to live with ... :cry:
  • I have a 2008 Outback Wagon and the Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are supposed to be "about 1/2 high-beam". What we find is that the DRL are almost always BRIGHT high-beam. We find that when we drive into a parking deck and/or at dusk, the "BRIGHT DRL" dims to the proper "1/2 high beam".

    Lots of on-coming drivers flash their lights at us during the day because of the "high beams". The dealer says there isn't anything wrong (of course they are working on it in a garage).

    Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone know where the light sensor is that causes the DRL to dim when I go into a parking deck?

    We land up driving around with our low beams on all the time to avoid the "high beam" problem.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    its a definite rattle you get going over some bumps, if the radio its own its imperceptible but I've been teaching my 15 year old to drive recently and its agonizing hearing it as we drive around town over the rail lines etc without the radio on and at slow speed! this car is great except for this one thing! anyway will have the dealer check it - again- next service!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Does it sound like it's from the suspension? It could be a bad strut-top.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not sure, but you can leave the lights On all the time, since they do turn off automatically. That would at least stop you from getting flashed.
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