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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • Well, $300 and the gas smell is GONE!!!! It was around 25 degrees tonight on my way home from the gym and no bad smell.

    I don't have the write up in front of me but I think that they did all the hoses, but not sure.

    Plus, I had a 2010 Forester as a loaner. Nice ride!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Great to hear that!

    Mine required a further 'tweak' last week. I had been smelling gas when the temps hit the high twenties. I did the drill thru the bracket thing and nailed the really loose clamp, and that pushed it down to the high teens. Last week I went around the whole system and gave every one another full turn, and am no longer smelling anything down to around 10 degrees. Next round will probably require replacing hoses as they are beginning to look quite crushed.

    Funny (?) thing is when I walked into the garage (sitting at around 28' the other morning), I could smell a slight hint of fuel coming from the front of my wife's '02 Honda Odyssey! So the adventure begins anew.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Sometimes, Steve, I think your vehicles know you are exceptionally capable and are simply trying to test the extent of your abilities.... :P
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Plus, I had a 2010 Forester as a loaner. Nice ride!

    Yes, they are! I was spoiled last week because I had loaned my '98 Escort (my normal daily driver) to a friend who's car was destroyed in a crash. As a result, I was able to drive my '10 Forester all week long. Now that I have my Escort back, it seems awfully uncomfortable and primitive.... :cry:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,850
    Oh, that's only because it IS uncomfortable and primitive...that probably threw you off :P


  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Hahahaha. Damn! :D

    Most of my vehicles are that way, though, so it is just a matter of getting used to it (again). I usually only drive or ride in the Forester once or twice a week, so using it is more of a treat than anything else. I probably go 300 miles in the Escort weekly and only another 50-60 in the Forester. Occasionally, I am tempted to replace it (the Escort) with an older Subaru like yours (or an Impreza hatch), but feel highly justified in hanging onto it after a visit to the fueling station. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,850
    Well yes you could trade your Escort for my '97 Subaru, and feel uncomfortable and primitive in a whole new way!


  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Yeah, probably. I really enjoyed my '96 Outback, though. In contemplating such a move, I am more interested in the drivetrain than the creature comforts. Having to nurse the car along at every stop (to prevent the tires from spinning) gets annoying after a few months.... Granted, it probably would not be so bad with new tires, but I made the choice to wait another winter on that.
  • So just coming on the 5 year anniversary of the Legacy wagon and just came up on our 3rd set of headlamp bulbs. What's up with that? Do they try to PWM the signal or is it a direct electrical issue? Is there too much vibration in the nose? This is ridiculous.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Some vehicles seem to do this just to piss you off! My OBW is on the same European Spec Philips high output bulbs I put in there 6 years ago, while our Honda Odyssey has gone thru a carton of headlamps in the same period.

    I have never scoped a headlamp socket, but I really doubt that you'd see anything other than flat DC with maybe a little ripple noise. But, it might be possible that the voltage regulator on your car might be running a bit hot. A small increase in voltage can have a major impact on a tungsten filament.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Wes, Life in general tests me more than enough each day! I wish the cars and other power machinery would cut me a break. Spent $150 on belts, shot bearings and that silly rubber faced friction drive wheel (and too many hours...) to get the snow blower into shape last month.
  • I have never scoped a headlamp socket, but I really doubt that you'd see anything other than flat DC with maybe a little ripple noise. But, it might be possible that the voltage regulator on your car might be running a bit hot. A small increase in voltage can have a major impact on a tungsten filament.

    I know there is an inrush current spike when you turn it on, but I assumed the same as you and it would go flat after that. I don't know if there is some issue with the headlamp mounting itself and vibration or inadequate cooling or something.

    At least they don't flicker like in the Accord.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Could be any of the above. I just haven't put the time into trying to find out why. Sometimes you see a car come down a lightly bumpy road in which the headlight patters visibly dances - sure sign of a headlamp or bulb mounting issue. But I don't see that on the Ody.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I got 7 years out of the OE bulbs in my 98 Forester.

    I tried hotter bulbs (Hella H4+30) and they only lasted a year, and I'm sure because I tried them in 2 different cars.

    Don't go for the bulbs that claim more output, because they may run hotter and not last as long. Shop for the long life bulbs.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,812
    Don't go for the bulbs that claim more output, because they may run hotter and not last as long. Shop for the long life bulbs.

    I concur. I knew they wouldn't last the 4 years I got out of the OE's but my experience was poor with high output bulbs. I replaced the bulbs in our Odyssey with some Sylvania Silver Stars. They lasted about 9 months and went out within days of each other. I put it the cheaper basic halogens as replacements.
  • I replaced the bulbs in our Odyssey with some Sylvania Silver Stars.

    Yeah, I learned that lesson with one of the sets as well.

    In HS, I replaced the 55w high beams with 85w high beams on the car at the time which resulted in a melted headlamp socket and nearly killed the alternator. Good learning experience for a 17 year old. The headlights (high and low) went back to stock, and 85w Hella driving lamps were installed for the late night/early morning mountain road runs.

    I go with stock bulbs for modern cars and with older vehicles (pre-some time in the 90s), I run lamps directly from the battery with a relay at the switch.
  • Well, we did so well with the gas smell, let's try another issue. Just when the gas smell has totally disappeared, it seems my security system is acting up.

    Let's see if I can explain it.

    Usually, when simply shut my car off the security light DOES NOT light up. It does so only when I lock the car and the system is "ON". When working properly, it will flash SECURITY once every few seconds.

    Now, once I take the key out of the ignition, the Security light flashes rapidly twice and then the same every few seconds. All the time. Even with the car is NOT locked. When I lock it, it still flashes rapidly twice and then every few seconds, again.

    Is there something that needs to be reset with my security system. Oh, and it is a Genuine Subaru system.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I suspect that you slipped into Valet Mode. So now even though you *think* the alarm is set, it really isn't. This can happen if you tried to set the alarm when a door was still open (press and hold the button for a few seconds, IIRC). Check the owners manual for how to get out of it (think you repeat this - door open, press and hold the lock or unlock button??).

    I periodically test my system by slapping the windshield to make sure the motion/breakage sensor is working, as well as the door open function.
  • That was it!!! Thanks again!!! OK, we are on a roll are a few more questions for you :)

    1.) What is the rust protection for our car? I am probably way over it... 2001 with 135k. I just noticed two rust "bubbles" around both of my back tire wells. They are still my Winstone color but seeing as I am in NH with our salted roads, who knows before it shows as rust. I do have a little rust showing in the rear driver's side inside doorwell.

    2.) There is a "vein" forming on my dashboard. Right above the glove box where it is a little flat shelf before the dark dash comes in...(I have beige interior)...there is a vein forming that looks like it may crack and form an ugly sight on my dash. Does yours have that?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Hey, not bad! Are we playing stump the old guy? OK, I'm game!

    1) Forget it... IIRC, it was 5 years / 100k miles or something like that. My '02 is still clean, but I have seen a growing number of '00 & '01's with the little rust patches at the leading or trailing edge of the metal section of the rear wheel well. I suspect that the small strip of wraparound rubber trim is a double edged sword - it decreased road debris damage, but traps moisture and sand. It will probably creep into the '02's next year. Rust never sleeps!

    2) No varicose veins on that pebble / grain section between the door and the dash pad on my car.
  • My car broke down friday- when i tried to get it, the alarm starting going off with no way to turn it off. When I turned the key, nothing happened (no battery turn over etc) except that the alarms went off again. The dashboard lights would also flash on and off. Exiting the car the alarm went off yet again. I haven't been able to attempt to charge the battery because the car is parked in a very public place and I don't know how to disconnect the alarm. I was wondering if there is any easy way to disconnect the alarms- and if anyone knows what kind of issue this most likely in...
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Disconnect battery negative terminal for at least 30 mins to see if you can rest it. If not, then check if alram has different mode, like valet mode, service mode.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Some models during this time period had an alarm reset button down on the drivers left foot kickpanel???
  • ic_designeric_designer Posts: 28
    edited February 2010
    Not sure it will work for 98 Outback model, but try it out using the instruction from 02 model.

    For 02 Outback model, emergency disarming can be done the following way:

    Insert the key into the ignition key switch and cycle it from the "LOCK" to the "ON" position 3 times within 5 seconds.

    I tried it on my 02 LL Bean, and it works. The instruction is stated in the Owner's Manual.

    Good luck
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    ic_designer and a FIB circuit editor on the same board? ooh!
  • I had to replace the cat a couple of years ago and went with a cheap aftermarket product to save money. Long story short, check engine light still comes on with the cat efficiency code, just like what was happening before I replaced the original. Any suggestions on a good replacement part (and still save a little if possible)?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Did you replace the oxygen sensors at any time? If not, it may not be the cat....
  • I've noticed that every time it rains heavily at the moment, the check engine light comes on (cruise control flashes) and after about a week it disappears.

    Anyone know what's going on or should I take it to the shop?

    Its a 2007 legacy wagon 2.5i special edition with 42,000 miles.
  • According to the dealer its the catalytic converter which is shot. Luckily its being replaced under warranty but I'm surprised its gone bad so early on a 3 year-old car. Is this a common problem for legacy wagons?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not really. Check-engine lights are common but it's usually a sensor or loose gas cap.

    Check if it's under the emissions warranty. That's usually longer than other warranties.
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