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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • camp8camp8 Posts: 10
    Thanks for the reply. I did forget to mention it is an automatic. I've had the car less than a week, but it seems to shift OK when cold, but gets worse at it warms up. Outside temperatures around here range from 50 to 70 lately. Does this sound like I need a new transmission, or just an adjustment?
  • camp8camp8 Posts: 10
    Didn't see any coolant in the oil, or oil in the coolant.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hopefully, then, we are over-reacting, and it was just the spilled oil, and the smell will fade.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,509
    You might try flushing the transmission and replacing filters first to see if that makes any difference. Automatics operate via hydraulic pressure, so if it is having trouble finding gears the problem is likely due to varnish or internal seals.

    A replacement transmission is a definite possibility, but I would try remedial action on the current unit first!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Your tranny problems don't fit the usual Subaru mode. There is a known issue with some internal seals that harden with time. This usually makes it slow to engage the first shift from park to drive on a cold start without revving the engine to raise internal fluid pressure. Once it warms up, everything runs great. Yours has degraded performance once it warms up. First I've heard of that on these boards.
  • gearhead8gearhead8 Posts: 12
    I have experienced a smell of burned oil after changing the oil on my 2006 Outback.
    In my case, this was caused by oil from the oil filter being flung from the seal onto the exhaust header as I spun off the old oil filter. I resolved the problem by being careful to turn the oil filter more slowly as I removed it.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    As this filter arrangement dumps a fair amount of oil, I position a mini painters pan up under the filter to catch the flood, and drop the filter right into it as I spin it off. Hardly lose a drop that way.
  • bigianbigian Posts: 1
    i'm needing to replace my rear aerial, the plastic teeth are broken on the old one. i've bought a new aerial, but can't work how how to detach the old one. any ideas? thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry, what is an Aerial?
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    Another word for antenna.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Silly me, for some reason I was thinking the grille, probably because of the plastic teeth comment and the fact that I've removed mine several times.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,859
    Silly me, for some reason I was thinking the grille, probably because of the plastic teeth comment and the fact that I've removed mine several times.

    :confuse: Why have you removed your teeth several times?? :confuse:

  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Okay so the '05 Legacy wagon needs pads and rotors @ 55k. I am fine with the life I got out of the stock stuff. I am less excited with the price of the stock stuff. So I got ATE power discs and some Akebono ceramic pads.
    I also picked up some M8x1.25 bolts that supposedly go into holes on the rotors to drive them off the hub. I have the Chiltons manual and the PDFs of the factory service manual for R&I calipers and rotors. I am a little worried about the parking brake hardware under the rotors. I saw that if the rear rotors won't come off, I can back down the star adjuster to get some clearance.
    Is there anything else I'm forgetting?
    It said to use DOT3 brake fluid...the stuff i got said its both DOT3 & DOT4 compatible. Are there any trade offs or recommendations?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    edited May 2010
    You are right to be concerned about the rears. I had a nasty rust ridge form that prevented the extraction of the rotor without retracting the mini-shoes. If you try driving them out using the bolts without retracting them first, you can damage the parking brake retaining hardware.

    Also, apply penetrating oil in advance to those two threaded holes. The 'hat' is thin, and if you strip out the limited threads, getting the rotor off will be that much harder. I also had to apply a little penetrating oil around the 5 wheel studs as everything was well fused by rust (welcome to NY!!).

    Another tip - at least on my '02 - there are stainless steel spring clips that also serve as the wear indicators. When you pull the pads out of the carrier, remove the springs and clean the track that they fit into well. I even filed the slot of some rust, and used high temp brake grease behind the stainless clips so that they fit in all the way. These allow the disk brake pads to 'float' and aid in their retraction away from the disk. If they are too tight, the pads will wear prematurely and unevenly.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Thanks for the feedback. That was the trickiest part, but you are right, as long as I backed off that adjuster, the pads released and everything came apart nicely. Everything went back together smoothly and the brakes bled/flushed well. Interestingly, the pads and rotors both said not to bed-in the pads, but just drive softly for a few hundred miles.
    I don't like the way the parking brake is working now, so I have to go back and turn the adjuster a few clicks the other way.
    I've done brakes enough times on enough cars that it shouldn't worry me, but the first time I do it on any car, I am always stressed I'm going to run into something I haven't seen before.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Very glad to hear it went well!
  • camp8camp8 Posts: 10
    I bought a 2003 Outback without any key fobs. I just bought a couple of key fobs from ebay and tried to program them. Followed instructions, open door, close door, put key in ignition and turn from lock position to on position 10 times in less then 15 seconds. Horn should beep one time to indicate you are in program mode. Car does not beep. I have tried many times, but horn does not beep. I can't get into program mode. What else can I try?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, are you friendly with the local dealer?

    Wonder if maybe a battery reset would help? To de-program the previous remote that was synched with it?

    Just a thought, try at your own risk. ;)
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I'm assuming that you bought the car thru a dealer and have no way of ever recovering the original remotes or know the history of the car?

    I ask, because there is possible interaction between the factory alarm system (if it has the alarm module installed - it was an option on my '02 that I added myself) and the ability to enter program mode for syncing up the remotes. I don't think that the system will enter program mode if it was left in either 'Valet' or 'passive arm' modes. Read further in your owners manual about these various alarm states.
  • camp8camp8 Posts: 10
    You are correct, I bought it from a dealer and have no way of recovering the original remotes. Additionally, I only received one key which only opens the side doors and starts the car. Does not open the tailgate or the glove box, so is probably a valet key. I went to a subaru dealer with VIN to get a master key made. They made one but it did not work, dealer said locks have been changed. And yes the car does have the alarm system. I have set it off a few times, but was able to turn it off by putting the key in the ignition and turning off/on 3 times.

    Last night I tried disconnecting the battery for a few minutes, then reconnected and tried programming fob again. Same result, no horn beep after 10 on/offs with the key. Seems like if I can turn the alarm off with the key off/on 3 times, I should be able to enter the fob program mode with the key off/on 10 times.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Rats, it was worth a try I suppose.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,509
    edited June 2010
    No. If you have the valet key, it is not going to allow you to do the programming. Think of it like a computer with an "administrator" account versus a "guest" account.... you cannot install programs or change the system configuration with the guest account! ;)

    Is they plastic portion of the key grey? The valet keys usually are - the masters are black. Why you would get a car with only a valet key is beyond me, though. Sounds fishy. Did you get a "shady dealer" discount so you have enough money to deal with all the crap that you will undoubtedly encounter during your ownership experience?!
  • camp8camp8 Posts: 10
    Key has no plastic, it is all metal, like a copy you have made at a hardware store. I was able to turn the alarm off with this key. Will a valet key turn the alarm off, but not enter program mode?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the chip is embedded in the plastic part of the key.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,509
    That's crazy. So, you have a hardware store copy of a valet key. Nice. If the car runs, one of the original keys must be tucked up under the dash somewhere (though this could be the original valet key). The car will not run without the chip in one of the original keys very close to the ignition (when I was testing this with the "door keys" on my 2007 Outback, I had to have an original key within about 6" if the ignition - I could set one at the base of the instrument cluster and it would work, but that is about as far away as it could get).

    The question is, why would someone do that? It is common practice locally when installing aftermarket auto-starts, but beyond that....
  • camp8camp8 Posts: 10
    I have a 2003 outback, I don't think they were putting chips in the key back then.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,509
    Hahah... sorry. I was thinking it was a 4th gen car. I think you're right; they started the chipped keys in 2005.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Maybe, maybe not. My wife's 07 Forester - which we bought new, has an all-metal factory valet key. My 09 Outback factory valet key has a plastic upper - but whether it is purely decorative or contains a chip, I don't know.

    I don't understand trading in a car without the original keys. I hope you made a fuss about it and got the price of the car reduced a few hundred for that screw-up alone. To me, its suspicious and I might have walked on the deal.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    My '02 came with three keys:
    A bare metal key stamped Subaru which I carry, a black plastic key (wife), and the grey (IIRC) valet key which is somewhere in my desk draw. No chips in '02, as the security system was an option.

    You might consider talking to your insurance agent about the problems you are having and see if they can look into the DMV database for a lead on the previous owner. Appeal to them on the fact that the asset is at risk for theft as someone has viable programmed remotes out there that you cannot clear out of the system. In many states they have to power to obtain this info, but often will not do it based on privacy concerns.
  • dguierdguier Posts: 2
    After Replacing a blown head gasket on my 96 OB the engine fails to start. I have checked spark and fuel both. Engine will turn over but will not start. Any ideas?

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