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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    But remember, Juice, that you do not live in a very harsh environment. If you had to contend with what we subject our cars to each winter, you probably wouldn't remove it.

    Steve
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They salt our roads, too, just not as often because the winters aren't as harsh.

    It's nice to use the pressure washer - I never have to touch the cars. Especially when the water is cold. Brrrr.

    -juice
  • ssteveksstevek Posts: 45
    Steve,

    I knew there had to be an official name for that thing (underbody shroud). I was thinking about the weather just around the corner as well, the shroud certainly would offer considerable protection. I will also replace the fasteners, or was also considering some replacement hardware to hold it in place which wouldn't be too hard to do. 5k is the mileage I had in mind as well for oil changes.

    My bulb looked just plain burnt out. At least it's in easy an relatively inexpensive repair when it does happen. I remember buying the entire head lamp on Hondas I've had in the past. I also remember fixing the wiring harness a few times on my wife's '86 Accord that had the concealed headlights, over time the open/close movement caused the wiring to deteriorate.

    Steve
  • subssubs Posts: 2
    I have a '98 OB (w/99,000 miles) that needs to have the head gaskets replaced, as well as some other work (like front break pads + rotors, power steering pump, etc.) The gasket was estimated at $2400, and all the work would total to about $3600. These quotes were from the dealer, but since I just moved to a new city I don't know any shops. Do you think I can find a lower price of equal quality? In the meantime, I am deciding if I should invest the money in this car, or look to get a new one. Any suggestions?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    A foreign car shop in my area did my friend's '99 OBW. They stripped, cleaned and planed the warped heads, replaced gaskets, timing belt & water pump, towed him in, etc. for a little under $2k. Front brake pads & rotors should be maybe $300, although on a '98 you will probably require caliper work if they are original. PS pump retails for about $150 plus labor (?). I would think the whole affair would set you back around $2800 - $2900 or so at an independent shop ??? Just a guess on my part...

    Steve
  • subssubs Posts: 2
    Thanks, I'll have to look into independent shops. Yet is it worth it to put $3000 into a car with almost 100,000 miles? When does it make more sense to buy a new one?
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    I have a 98 and I'm coming up to 120K and I will need at least timing belt,water pump, new cam seals for oil leaks etc and brakes etc. 3K to make the car last at least another 50K or more miles is dirt cheap compared to getting a new car. Though getting a new car with all the newer safety features is something else to consider. I will put money into mine as I have a kid coming up to driving age in the next year and this will be a good car to learn to drive in and get some initial experience. Plus if it gets beat up, I won't go crazy like I would with a newer one!!
  • lastarlastar Posts: 30
    I have a 2003 OB 2.5i Wagon Limited and am considering towing my Pop Up Camper with it and want to hear from owners on their experience.I know the specs say it can tow up to around 2400 LB, but wanted to know if they have any engine or tranny problems over time.
    Thanks
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've towed a bit with my Forester. Not very long distances, maybe 30 miles or so a time, about 6 or 8 trips total. Basically I borrow a trailer from a buddy (RSHolland on Edmunds.com) and fill it with 3 yards of wood chips for my kid's play area. One or two loads per year.

    We estimate the load at about 1500 lbs. No problems here.

    Your Outback is heavier and has a longer weelbase and bigger brakes, so it should do as well or better. But you're also carrying more weight.

    Leave plenty of room for braking, that's the one thing I noticed - longer stopping distances. Acceleration was OK, just not quick like it usually is.

    -juice
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    I am having an issue w/ my 2005 Outback and hoping someone out there can shed some light on what it could be. It seems hard to describe. It normally happens when I am at highway speeds and on a left turn. When the car's right tires hit a bump, sometimes, it seems like the right rear 'dips' much more then it should. On rare occasion when I am going straight or turning right it will happen also - and always the right side that 'dips'. This is very annoying but I can't find a section of road near the dealer which will cause it.
  • ob98coob98co Posts: 4
    I have a 98 Outback with a broken antenna and I need to replace it. The antenna is by the left back window.

    1) How do I reach the broken antenna to remove it?
    2) There are many websites selling different types of antenna. Any suggestions??
    3) The current broken antenna is motorized. Can I replace it with something simpler and economical?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I replaced the motorized one on my Miata with a rubber "whip" antennae, they're pretty generic I believe.

    The hard part was taking the old one out. Luckily for me the trunk isn't lined so it was exposed. But it still wasn't easy.

    Installing the new one is a piece of cake. I found mine at WalMart, of all places. Cheap too, something like $10.

    So focus on the removal. The rest is easy to find and install.

    -juice
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    I have a '98 OB (w/99,000 miles) that needs to have the head gaskets replaced, as well as some other work (like front break pads + rotors, power steering pump, etc.) The gasket was estimated at $2400, and all the work would total to about $3600. These quotes were from the dealer, but since I just moved to a new city I don't know any shops. Do you think I can find a lower price of equal quality? In the meantime, I am deciding if I should invest the money in this car, or look to get a new one. Any suggestions?

    Where do you live? In MA, NH, VT, ME CO, WA OR etc Subarus and repair shops are common.

    I had head gaskets changed at 140K miles - it was about $1,200 at a garage. Most garages that work on Subarus have plenty of experience doing this as many, many 95-99 OB's blow their head gaskets. SOA is stonewalling, so don't expect to hear from them: but some parts departments indicate they are now on their seventh part number for head gaskets. The whole deal should be around $2,000 or so, I'd guesstimate.

    I found the best place to find mechanics (unless you get a lucky driveby here) is the "MechanX files" the guys from Car Talk run. Just look for a foreign repair garage: many of them work on Subarus but don't say so specifically. But the flat 4 is dofferent from most so you don't want to be their first.

    Cars like yours sell for about $2,000 at most. Repaired, it's worth more like $5,000 so although frustrating the repair is probably worthwhile unless you burnt up the engine, and might be worthwhile even then. My sister in law had to replace at 142K and now has 243K on another '97.
  • You just need to remove the interior trim in the area of the antennea - a bunch of plastic fasteners and a couple of screws. You just have to be gentle or you'll snap something!
  • ob98coob98co Posts: 4
    Thanks, juice. So will this effeciently replace a motorized antenna? The motorized one would require some power. Do I just insulate the end of the power wire and leave it hanging out there?

    Also, can you tell me what make/model the rubber whip antenna is?
  • ob98coob98co Posts: 4
    thank you, lylitalo
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Lemme see if I took any pics...nope, sorry.

    My only concern would be to make sure the surface is flush enough. My whip antennae adjust by spinning and then the mounting angle so you could pretty much get it to point upward from any angle.

    -juice
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    I have a 2006 Outback LL bean H6 and had my first experience with the low-tire-pressure warning light. The light came on, and staid on. I checked the tire pressure, and all 4 tires were low in pressure by about 3 pounds per tire. I recently had an oil change, and, for some reason, the technician must have lowered the pressure from the prescribed 32 front and 30 back to 29 front and 27 back. I filled the tires to the proper pressure and drove over 20 mph for a few minutes. The warning light went out as the manual said it would. So, the light worked as it was supposed to!
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I've had mechanics adjust my tire pressure as well, inevitably lowering the pressure which they found to be above spec. They don't take into account the fact that the tires are warmed up when they check them, and are now above the proper setting they were adjusted to when cold. I guess it is commendable that there are mechanics who would even bother to check the tires, but I always make sure to advise any mechanic that works on my car NOT to change my tire pressures.

    Len
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Len,

    Yep, happens every single time I get the oil changed on both cars. Go home & refill them!

    Steve
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