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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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Comments

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,400
    I think it is premature for such a failure, but like AJ suggested, check the emissions warranty.
  • ic_designeric_designer Posts: 28
    edited February 2010
    Follow the link for the emission warranty:

    http://www.epa.gov/obd/420f09048.htm#b

    Here are the highlights from EPA website:

    There are three specified major emission control components, covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles of vehicle use (whichever first occurs) on 1995 and newer vehicles:

    * Catalytic converters.
    * The electronic emissions control unit or computer (ECU).
    * The onboard emissions diagnostic device or computer (OBD).

    Hope this will help.
  • sghuskersghusker Posts: 10
    Does anyone know of a FREE website that has a parts list for a 2000 Legacy?? If not, then does anyone know the part number for the rear tail light wiring harness with bulb sockets?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    Since I"m about 99% sure this is a dealer-only item, I would think just going there is the quickest way to find this out.

    MODERATOR

  • rebel71rebel71 Posts: 87
    Hello all, the car has 24,000 miles today it's at the dealer for inspection of pads and rotors, noticed pedal not holding and going to the floor.My driving is considered "severe" short trips mostly. The brake fluid is now 2 years old. I asked dealer to replace brake fluid. They tell me they don't replace brake fluid in the newer Subaru's, as it's not recommended. Something about a closed unit. I know brake fluid is not a lifetime fluid and does break down/get contaminated over time effecting the stopping ability. I told dealer to replace anyway, hopefully it doesn't hurt anything. I"m a bit perplexed.

    Thank you
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dealer employee is out of his mind.

    Of course you bleed brake fluid. There is a certain order to follow, but it's a very routine service.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Getting your brake fluid flushed out and replaced is becoming more of a point of contention with time. Early on (less than 2-3 years old) the dealer will tell you that you don't need it done because it looks clean and isn't required for a pad change. After about 6 years (up here in the rust belt, anyway), they will often refuse to do it once the bleed screws are well rusted as they often break off requiring extensive repair or caliper replacement.

    I've insisted that it be done, but you can see it from their standpoint why they don't want to do it. It has to be a major source of customer complaints. If they break one off, who pays? If they get even a little air in the line, the customer returns with spongy brakes demanding it be done again. At best, it ties up two guys in the shop, and nobody wants to deal with unbillable hours. Net is that it's a service they'd probably like to avoid.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,400
    That's a good point - those bleeder screws can be a real PITA when even a little rust.

    Brakes not holding and going to the floor? I would be shocked by this in a new(er) car, but sounds like a bad master cylinder to me. I have had this symptom in two vehicles (both now 41 years old) and each time the problem progressively worsened - the solution in each case was a new master cylinder as the internal diaphragm leaked.

    That said, I have no idea how new systems are built.... do they still use master cylinders? :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Master and slave cylinders, with ABS between.
  • rebel71rebel71 Posts: 87
    The answer is yes brake fluid needs to be replaced at 30,000 per warranty booklet. I can understand the point about rusted bleeder screws as I do live in the northeast. I do have to say after driving many brands of vehicles which all brake differently. Brakes are not Subarus strong suit, in fact I think even new their brakes are a bit mushy for my liking. The brake fluid was changed to the tune of $175, whew that was expensive. :surprise: I never follow what the dealer recommends for service always by the Subaru book. I'm still laughing about the dealer saying Subaru doesn't recommend brake fluid change. :P It's a good thing I'm somewhat knowledgeable about cars. Thank you all who posted.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Brakes are not Subaru's strong suit

    I think many of us would agree. I upgraded my front rotors and pads, but still find it to be underwhelming. The car is just too heavy for the grade and size of the components.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I think many of us would agree. I upgraded my front rotors and pads, but still find it to be underwhelming. The car is just too heavy for the grade and size of the components.

    I never felt the brakes were sub-par in the '05 Legacy wagon, although at 56k, they are about done. Still scrambling on what pads to get, leaning towards the Hawk HPS pads (street based compound with more initial bite, still rotor friendly).

    I was planing on using a miti-vac tool to bleed/change the brake fluid when I do the brake job, I just want to get a real repair manual to see if there is any wierdness in the procedure.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    edited April 2010
    I went thru a lot of nonsense when I ordered brake parts for my '02 OBW in 2006. The model was new in '00, and there were lots of brake issues. The revamped '02 was advertised with larger brakes, but my car must have been put together with leftover stock. I ordered Hawk HPS pads and PowerSlot frozen rotors from TireRack, and it took some measurements and photographs before one of their guys figured out that I really needed to reorder '01 components!

    The HPS pads & new rotors are an improvement, but the brake feel is still not what I think it should be. And they are not great when stone cold. It takes a stop or two before they bite with any confidence. I'll bet our '02 Honda Odyssey could outstop my Outback.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Some models do have small-ish rotors but I've looked at competitors and Subaru is probably better than average here, at least with Foresters, which are among the lightest models in their class.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,400
    The brakes on my Forester are downright huge compared to those on my '96 Outback. Even so, I never felt the braking was lacking on that car. Of course, that was my first modern car so I was comparing it to 30-year-old (at the time) beasts. :blush:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    Brakes were adequate on my '97 but when the car was fully loaded, I never felt fully confident. And my brake system was in top notch shape.

    MODERATOR

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,400
    Did you end up selling your '97 already? If so, what did you get for it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    I got $4,000 for it, which I thought was pretty good considering the miles. It was in great shape mechanically however.

    MODERATOR

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,400
    edited April 2010
    Yeah, that sounds great. I was sorely tempted to make the trip for it, but am trying to convince myself to lay low for awhile and just stick with the old Escort. :blush:

    It is tough to find an older Subaru wagon up here that is not beat to heck, let alone one that is mechanically sound. And, regardless of how ratty the car is, they always seem to sell at or above the $5K mark. Sad, really.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I ordered Hawk HPS pads and PowerSlot frozen rotors from TireRack

    That was basically my plan as well, maybe price shopping slightly.

    The HPS pads & new rotors are an improvement, but the brake feel is still not what I think it should be. And they are not great when stone cold. It takes a stop or two before they bite with any confidence.

    That is my biggest fear. When its snowing or very cold out, and the brakes are stone cold, I want that lady I married who drives my kids around to be able to stop effectively.

    I never had an issue with the '05 brakes though, even when towing a 5x8 u-haul trailer or a small pop-up. Michigan is very flat (at least where I've been driving), and I don't think I would be as excited about dragging a trailer up and down the mtns even on highways like 101.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    Well I don't know if they SELL for that if they're beat up, but people can ASK that.

    I had a lot of competition at $4000 where I live. Maybe in a snowy region, this would not apply. And for $6,000 I saw some really splendid ones for sale.

    MODERATOR

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    edited April 2010
    It has become a standard part of my morning routine to ride the brake just a touch down one short stretch of road approaching the first stop sign. I trade off a touch of brake life for a warmer pad.

    Frankly, if you aren't having an issue now, your system is probably 'right sized', and the upgrade should only bring extra stopping power. I'm living a compromise. My reordered '01 brake pads were pathetically small compared to the '02 pads that wouldn't fit the carrier. If I was really smart, I'd have redone the whole system with REAL '02 components.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,400
    That's my thought as well, but apparently there are those that are ignorant about these cars and will pay that price just to have it. I can't tell you the number of times I have not purchased an older Subaru since the demise of my '96 simply because I offered a reasonable price (knowing these cars very well), the seller rejected it, and then some bozo came along a day or two later and gobbled it up for thousands more than it was really worth.

    All I can hope is that they learned their lesson. :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,588
    Well a car's market value is determined by a large number of sales, not the occasional emotional buy or the lucky strike. The price guides, and the dealer network, certainly do not in any way support a price higher than what I asked, and got. Maybe I could have squeezed another $500, but I had a new (used) car in the stall and I needed to send the Subie down the road. I'm not a dealer. I can't afford to sit on a car for a year hoping for top dollar.

    MODERATOR

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,400
    No, for your market, I think you did great. My market is just not that way for Subaru, which is why I have never purchased one here and actually considered traveling 3500 miles to purchase yours. ;)
  • elrlawelrlaw Posts: 18
    Starting with a cold engine I check oil & level is fine. I drive on the highway for five hours I stop for fuel & check oil level & there's no oil on dipstick. Oil pressure & temp is fine. Engine sounds fine. Next morning when engine's cool oil level is back to normal. Does anyone have an opinion on why this would occur? Thanks.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    On a cold start, virtually all of the oil is sitting down in the pan. Once the engine is running, the pump pushes it out to the 4 corners of a flat engine, and it takes a while to drain back down to the pan when you shut it off. Conventional vertical engines will drain back faster (thanks to this thing called gravity!). Once you let it sit it will slowly dribble back, and you will again get a proper reading on your dipstick.

    Just be sure that you are really on a flat surface when making that cold measurement and that you aren't actually low on oil.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,400
    Agreed.

    I find with the boxer engine that if the oil is actually low (more than 1 quart, which is the "low" mark on the dipstick), the engine will make lifter noise (a clack-clack-clack sound) when it is first started and, often, that noise will continue while the engine is in operation. If you hear this, it is high time to add oil! ;)
  • rebel71rebel71 Posts: 87
    Hi all, I've never thought of this till my latest experience at the dealer. I assumed that my dealer did Roadforce balancing or dynamic balancing as they use stick-on weights for my rims which I always see on the outside part of rim. I brought car in for change over of snows to new all seasons for an alignment and balance. They had to replace one damaged rim too. I pick up the car noticed that three tires had the stick-on weights and didn't look like they put new ones on and the new rim had no weight on it, I felt around and they put a weight on the inside of the tire where you can't see it. I was unsure so I ask the advisor, he tells me they did a "static balance" it's state of the art, we don't have the machine so they took it across the way to another building that has this expensive machine. They are a multicar dealership on a very large lot. He said they put the weight on the inside so it doesn't show. I researched static balance, it's old school balancing. Dynamic balancing is what is the best because it takes into account side-to-side and up-down movement. I don't feel comfortable with this at all. This is the same dealership that said "Subaru doesn't recommend brake fluid replacement on newer Subaru's."
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    With 'static' or 'bubble' balancing, you move weights around the edge of the rim on the outside of the tire (the side facing up) until you get the bubble centered.

    Dynamic or spin balancing gets the tire up to speed and a computer monitors the wobble and calculates the weight & placement to be added to the inside and outside.

    Roadforce adds a roller against the tread to monitor roundness of the tire. Remember that you can 'balance' a square assembly spinning in the air so that it spins true, but it won't drive down the road without a thumping! The Roadforce arrangement might help dynamic balancing some, but maybe more important it tells you if a rim or tire non-uniformity makes the effort a waste of time!

    Weights can be rim edge clips or stick on. In any case, the best procedure is to strip off all weights and balance fresh each time. Otherwise you are adding weight to overcome a problem with prior weights. After a few such exercises, you can have a half lb of lead stuck on there! Many shops skip this step in an effort to save time and money (an extra weight to trim an imbalance is cheaper than starting fresh).

    Net is your service adviser is BSing you yet again.
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