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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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  • The clunking is only when I rev it up quickly from an idle. Weird.
    I am pretty sure the clicking is another problem of its own. Since the timing belt is off I took another look at the idlers. The one at the bottom with teeth definitely does not sound right. It turn just fine but sounds dry and I can barely hear a clicking noise. I wonder if putting a load on would make the clicking! Also the idler the tensioner pushes against does not sound right either. Any way I will change them all.
    When I got the car about 80K ago it was leaking oil out of both cams and the front crank seal. So I took it all apart and discovered that at one time the pulley had come loose so some idiot drilled a hole through the timing belt pulley and crank and pressed in a pin. It took a grinder to get it off. I filled in the key area with JB weld and put it all back together ( using blue lock tight) and the problem has not reoccurred. The pulley is still quite tight.
    When I put it back together I used idlers from Rock Auto. According to Subaru that is not a good idea. He said they often fail early. Maybe he is right.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,527
    Subarus do not seem to like aftermarket parts. I know I had trouble using Japanese CV joints. I had to get some OEMs out of a wrecking yard.

    MODERATOR

  • We've been having overheating issues with our 99 Subaru Legacy Outback. The garage that has it has diagnosed a blown head gasket and has given us the following quotes:

    replace motor with used motor: $4200
    replace head gasket only: $3400
    replace motor with reblt moto: $5500

    I consulted another mechanic who has worked on the car before and he said he wouldn't touch it for any price because of high miles (over 250K) and his experiences of installing rebuilt motors only to have them blow again fairly quickly.

    So given the cost of repairs, the value of the car at this point, and the cost of repairs, are we done with this vehicle?

    Thanks for any insight that comes from more experience...

    sam
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess it really depends on the condition of the rest of the car, and how attached you are to it.

    I would think that at 250k miles it's probably tired, and just about every wear-and-tear item is worn out. I'm talking all the bushings, hoses, shocks, etc.

    It may be time to retire her, unless she's in unusually good shape or you have other attachments to it for some reason (first new car?).
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    As for the price quote on the head gasket replacement, I'd be looking at another shop. $3,400 for head gaskets? That's off the deep end. Knock $1,000 off of that and you're getting into the ballpark. :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True...didn't someone get 'em done for $600 per side? May depend on what else they do while they're in there.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    edited October 2011
    Yes, but that was on the other extreme end of the spectrum.

    If you have a shop replace both gaskets, plus the timing belt, pulleys, water pump, and other misc. bits and pieces (drive belts, seals, etc), you should be looking at $2,200 to $2,400. Tops. The parts I listed might run up to $700 of that total.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,527
    the prices quoted are outrageous IMO. That's one shop I'd cross off my list.

    But in ANY event---this whole decision depends on what the rest of the car is like. If you really haven't done much to it otherwise, it's probably time to let it go. At 250K, most cars are pretty worn out. yes, yes, people do drive them at 250K++ and brag about it, but a car like that can self-destruct at any moment with some large component catastrophe.

    I agree though...putting in ANOTHER high mileage 2.5L engine that hasn't had head gasket replacements is just asking for trouble.

    Now then...if....IF....you could find a low miles Subaru 2.5L engine (say 70K miles or so) and if....IF....you've done a lot of replacement work on your car, and if....IF...the body and interior are very nice.....then you might consider it.

    MODERATOR

  • I replaced the relay under the hood, same problem. Still won't go off. I drive in the country alot, so just keeping them off is an issue for me (I really like to be seen quickly by the on-coming grain trucks as I crest a hill). Any further ideas on where to check?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    I don't recall your original message on the topic. What is the car?
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    I have what may be a common issue with my 2008 Outback 3.0R LL Bean 39,000 miles but wanted to confirm with everyone here before I bring it back to the dealership.

    I have noticed a vibration/shudder under low acceleration. This is mostly in the 30-40 mph and 1500-2000 rpm range. The entire car shakes (not the steering wheel).
    From what I have found- it is the Torque Converter that needs to be replaced.: Thoughts?
    ---------------------

    Tech bulletin 16-74-09.. seems to be a wider spread problem than I first thought with other Subie models involved. All done on my car and seems to be running great, so far.

    5AT Torque Converter Shudder/Vibration. Bulletin Description: If you encounter a vehicle that has a shudder/vibration which could be felt in 3rd, 4th and 5th gear during slight acceleration, it may be caused by the transmission torque converter during lockup operation. A countermeasure was made to the final machining process of the sliding surface for the lock up clutch to provide more stabilization and eliminate the shudder/vibration.
    ----------------------

    Around the same time I have noticed that the usually smooth-shifting H6 shifts harder and also feels like it is skipping a bit when accelerating on the highway. Kind of like it is chugging along. Good power still though. Would this be the torque converter too??

    Thanks!
  • 2007 Outback Legacy. If the relay is out, they go off (as they should), however, with the relay in (old or new relay), they stay on even after the car is off. Interestingly enought, the light on the dash for the DLR will come on without the relay in.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Odd. What about the standard (low beam) lights? If you have those on, do they turn off with the car as they should (if the selector is on, the lights will turn on as soon as you insert your key and off as soon as you remove it)? If so, perhaps removal of the relay combined with keeping (and leaving) the light selector switch fully "on" is the best short-term solution.

    Aside from that, it sounds like your wiring is grounded somewhere (prior to the relay) and causing it to get power when it should not.

    Oh, another option may be to pull the emergency brake one click. That should turn the DRLs off, as the car thinks it is parked. I use that trick on mine when I'm trying to be sneaky and don't want any vehicle lights.
  • Sorry this isn't an answer to the thread but a similar problem.

    I also own a 2006 Subaru Outback (has 70K) and have had no problems with it until about a week ago when it stalled out and now I have the "er HC" showing up on the odometer. I have tried to fix it with all the recommended ways but nothing seems to work and I am worried that my ECM is fried and I have to replace it (when I hook up an OBD2 I just get a connection error) Which would be no problem to find one in a junk yard for a cheap price, but when i called the dealership to see which models and years of subaru would work i was told the ECM is VIN specific and can't be reprogrammed once set. I was wondering if anyone had replaced the ECM in their vehicle with a used one, or if I do need to get a new one?

    Any help would be great.
  • Sorry this isn't an answer to the thread but a similar problem.

    I also own a 2006 Subaru Outback (has 70K) and have had no problems with it until about a week ago when it stalled out and now I have the "er HC" showing up on the odometer. I have tried to fix it with all the recommended ways but nothing seems to work and I am worried that my ECM is fried and I have to replace it (when I hook up an OBD2 I just get a connection error) Which would be no problem to find one in a junk yard for a cheap price, but when i called the dealership to see which models and years of subaru would work i was told the ECM is VIN specific and can't be reprogrammed once set. I was wondering if anyone had replaced the ECM in their vehicle with a used one, or if I do need to get a new one?

    Any help would be great.
  • kempykempy Posts: 2
    My daughter took her car in because it was overheating and coolant disappearing, not leaking. They replaced the radiator and as I guessed, that did not solve the problem. So now they need to go into a dealer, my ? Is would it be cheaper to do a rebuild or after market replacement engine or a new cylinder head. The current engine has 120000 miles, the rest of the car is in good condition.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,527
    you don't need an engine, you need new cylinder head gaskets most likely. This is a very typical problem for the 2.5 Subaru engine, and the miles you posted are right on schedule for these gaskets to leak. But the engine will have to come out (easiest way to do it), heads off and resurfaced or at least checked, and the improved head gaskets installed. It's good that the radiator was done, as you wouldn't want to replace head gaskets and leave an old radiator in there. You're probably looking at $1500 at least here.

    MODERATOR

  • kempykempy Posts: 2
    Thanks for your response.
  • Trade it in before your engine light comes on and the dealer tells you it's a misfire thats causing it to run like crap. My 2006 Outback has been running bad for a month, at first the dealer said they could find nothing wrong with it. Than the engine light came back on and they said it's a misfire in a cylinder. It's got new plugs in it, so that makes zero sense since it was not misfiring 4 months ago with the same plugs. I have seen alot of posts on sites of many people having the same problem with the misfires including on 2010 and 2011 cars. If I was you I'd trade it before the engine light comes on, because once it does, and noone can find the cause, you will not beable to get rid of it. Maybe your car is an exception to this and you'll have no problems, but you need to be warned in case it happens. Good luck, and yes get maintenance done on everything. Plugs, coils, belts, radiator & trabsmission flush, anything you can think of and hope it works out.
  • In vacuuming out my two year old 2010 Outback Limited 24K mi I noticed that the black factory driver side floor mat is fraying seriously in several spots, with the worst being around the outer grommet at the rear that secures it.

    I don't always pull the mats out when vacuuming it, but I did this time and noticed the deterioration on both top and underside. It still seems like a new car to me and didn't expect to see this.

    I've had Subarus since 87 and have never had the factory floor mats show wear like this one even at 90K. Is this covered under the 3/36 warranty?

    Yeah I know this isn't as serious as most stuff but they probably want an arm and leg for replacements. Has anyone else noticed this or is this a fluke on mine? Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I haven't observed that in any of our 3 Subarus, but...

    If you're up for it, get a Chase Subaru credit card, and you can earn 3% cash back on everything, up to $500 a year. Then use the Subaru Bucks to buy accessories, pay for service, tires, and yes, even new floor mats.

    I've paid for body damage (and got cash from the other guy's insurance company - ka-ching!), accessories, a Subaru Gold warranty, you name it. They come in $100 increments and the register at the dealer accepts them like cash.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    I don't use the stock mats in mine, opting instead for WeatherTech floor liners. My mats still look like new... literally!

    I'll have to take a look at my friend's 2010, though, since he uses the stock carpeted mats.
  • surrfurtomsurrfurtom Posts: 124
    edited January 2012
    Thanks. I agree the Subaru card is a good deal. I've used it and have been accumulating them for the gold extended warranty. I'm close to $1000 now. The only downside is you must use them in only $100 increments, so to use them efficient you need to spend $100 min.

    I like WeatherTech products too. Made in USA.

    I'm going to show this mat to the dealer.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    edited January 2012
    I'm going to show this mat to the dealer.

    That sounds like a good plan, especially if there is damage/wear on the bottom of the mat. That seems odd to me. Even the mats in my 1998 Escort, with 155,000 miles and 14 years on them, look perfectly new on the bottom. The tops are a different story.... :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can pay for the warranty and if you have, say, $25 left, pay for an oil change or something like that. Or buy a Subaru T-shirt.
  • I have a six cylinder Legacy with Climate Control. After a year and a half I still cannot figure out what the difference is between "full auto" and "auto" on the climate control. Can someone explain what the difference is? :confuse:
  • As I recollect "full auto" controls everything including the fan speed. "Auto only" is temp control only and you manually set fan speed. If you are on "full auto" and manually change fan speed it then reverts to auto only. Hope this makes sense.
  • gr26gr26 Posts: 12
    Also, I think if you manually turn off the AC it will just change to Auto. I much prefer manual controls over these automatic ones.
  • surrfurtomsurrfurtom Posts: 124
    edited January 2012
    As an FYI, Subaru and the dealer took good care of the mat problem and replaced everything. Thanks for the various replies.
  • I currently drive a '97 legacy outback 2.5. My vehicle stays outside year round, currently we are experiencing sub-zero temperatures in our area from -20C to -40C. My rear drivers door will either be locked, can cannot unlock from the inside (child safety is "off") or stuck unlocked position. When temps are closer to normal, I don't have a problem. How can I fix this?
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