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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    I'm not sure if you get a trouble code for occasional pinging. I think there has to be a defective component or a persistent problem for a code. There is a lot of information about OBDII on the web and you might be able to find out.

    All I can tell you is that there are the standard mandated codes, and manufacturer-specific ones that are optional. Which is why you can take your car to different hole-in-the-wall repair places and get different explanations for the same code, or even no explanation at all. Scanner software is different, not up to date, or doesn't have Subaru-specific codes. I strongly recommend using a Subaru dealer for Subaru code interpretation.
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    Hey all been a while since I was on . I also have the pinging . I have a 02 outback with 67 k miles on it . I have had it to the dealer and they reflashed the ecm. It did help with my hesitation on acceleration. It did nothing to the pinging. My dealer sts that it is normal as long as you don't hear it all the time . I really only notice it if I have the a/c on and am going up a steep hill.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,664
    It's not normal if it is constant. A brief ping during accleration is okay, but if you hear it going all the way up the hill, this is definitely not good for your engine.

    What are you hearing? That ping is your internal engine parts rattling around in protest. Not good if prolonged and loud.
  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    Did they charge alot to do the reflash? Maybe I oughtta try it and see if it helps. Mine kinda is the same way: I don't notice it with the A/C on and if I get on the accelerator, it goes away.

    I've heard that the engine is designed to run richer the higher the rpm, so maybe that's why it doesn't ping then. Only at 1500 to 2000. Or maybe since the engine get louder when I rev it, I can't distinguish a ping. :confuse:

    I don't know, it didn't do it the last time I drove so I'm thinking it must be computer/sensor related. I've been contemplating taking it in, but if they weren't too concerned maybe I shouldn't be either. Eric
  • icbutlericbutler Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Subaru Outback wagon, 62,100 miles. Over the last few weeks, it has started running hot and it has now become a consistent problem, with the needle moving the hot zone and staying there after driving for about 35-40 minutes. I have taken into a shop several times already. Initially, I thought it was just low on coolant, but that was not the problem. Then the gaskets and hoses were changed, but that did not fix it. Finally, two days ago I had them put in a new radiator - but it's still happening - it will run fine for a while, with the needle staying at the halfway point; then it will move up, approach the red area, cool off, move up again, etc., finally getting into the red area and staying there.

    What is causing this? Is it the fan (or fans- are there more than one)? My mechanic hasn't found a problem with it/them, but is there anything else it COULD be? Could it be the water pump? (My mechanic hasn't touched that yet, saying the way it's positioned makes it difficult to get to without taking major portions of the engine apart.)

    I've been using my regular mechanic, not a Subaru service dealer, but plan on taking it in to a Subaru service station next. But any ideas on what I need to do to fix this once and for all?

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,335
    "Then the gaskets and hoses were changed"

    What gaskets were changed? If you did the coolant additive thing that Subaru sent out a year or two ago, then I believe your headgaskets are covered to 100,000 miles. Sounds like a HG issue.

  • ssteveksstevek Posts: 45
    I have the same thing with my '02 with 70k. First I wasn't even sure it was pinging since it was really only noticeable with the windows down. It must be pinging though, because like others it's really only when there's a slight load on the engine as when going up a slight grade. I've got no other symptoms. I may take into the dealer next week, or at least see if what they say. When I brought it in awhile ago for a small head gasket leak asked that they check pinging. They said they couldn't reproduce it and try a different brand of gas. I'd like to believe it's normal if intermittent but it sounds like that could cause some damage over time.
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I would try running a tank of premium unleaded to see if the pinging stops. Normally, I would never suggest putting higher octane in the tank than what is recommended by the manufacturer as it is generally a waste of money, but I tried it on my Nissan pickup and it stopped the pinging almost immediately.

    I had been getting a slight pinging when I accelerated moderately and had read online that dirty valves (and associated areas of the combustion chamber) could be the culprit. Several treatments of "fuel injector cleaner" did nothing for the pinging, so on a whim I tried a tank of premium...the ping stopped that day (within about 20 miles of driving). The $2-$3 more it costs me at each fillup for premium is still much cheaper than a trip to the mechanic and seems to have completely eliminated the noise that I was getting.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The heads may be warped if the engine overheated badly, so the new gaskets may not be making a good seal. The mechanic may have to machine the heads down so they're true and perfectly flat again.

  • stevenm1stevenm1 Posts: 25
    You didn't mention anything about the thermostat. If it doesn't open when the proper temperature is reached, your engine will run hotter than it should. Getting to the water pump doesn't require major engine disassembly; you do need to remove the timing belts, lower radiator hose and thermostat.
  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    I've tried mid grade (89) but it didn't help. Do you think 93 would change anything? Eric
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    After discovering that premium (91 octane) stopped the pinging, I tried mid grade (89) on the next tank and heard some pinging again with light acceleration (but it was not nearly as bad as with 87 in the tank). Since then, I've been using 91 gas and have not heard any pinging. The difference between low and high grades is about $3 (or less) per fillup, which is insignificant to me.

    I'll reiterate that the higher octane is only masking the real problem (dirty heads) but it's still cheaper than the alternative (taking the car into the shop for an expensive head cleaning). For your Subaru, it's worth a shot just to see if it cures your condition...if it does work, then you can decide if it's worth it to you to pay a shop to clean the gunk out or whether you'd rather just keep on putting in premium.

  • waltercatwaltercat Posts: 10
    Anyone have any bright ideas about the power locks in my wife's '96 Outback wagon? They had worked intermittently for the last couple of years, and now they have failed as follows: when the engine starts, all the doors lock, and when the engine is shut off, the doors unlock (so far, so good)- but the doors will not lock and unlock centrally when the outside driver's door lock is locked, or when the inside driver's door lock lever is moved between lock and unlock positions.

    Has anyone gotten this fixed, or better yer, has anyone actually fixed this themselves? Thanks, folks.
  • ssteveksstevek Posts: 45
    I'm going to try a tank of premium next time I around 1/4 tank.
  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    On my '96 OBW I have experienced intermittent malfunctions with the door locks. Strange as it sounds it seems to be related to the temperature; the system works on cold days and does not when the weather turns warmer . The locks work individually but cannot be centrally controlled by the drivers side lock either inside or out.. I just live with the situation.
  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    We don't drive our car very much (i.e. lots of short trips) that may be why the heads are dirty. Although we've driven it alot more recently and I haven't (knock on wood) heard the first ping since then. If I hear it again, I'll give 93 a shot. :)

  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    In my mis-spent youth I knew a fellow who ran a small car repair place. Every 6 mos or so a lady who only ever took her car shopping would bring in her Citroen DS19 for a tune up because of "rough running". He would blast it 50 miles and back along the M1 motorway at about 100 mph. Then he would do anything that remained to be done. According to him this high speed drive fixed the rough running problem.

    I think it's getting the engine up to sustained full operating temperature that makes it run better. My old Dodge 360 alway ran best after about an hour of driving. A modern car should get hot quickly, but it won't if the thermostat is a bit off or there's some other problem.
  • jajjaj Posts: 55
    I have made my third service appointment to address problem of the check engine light going on in my '05 Outback, accompanied by cruise control light flashing and cruise control disabled. There is no apparent correlation with gas fill-ups; light goes on and off periodically. Anyone else with this problem? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • What is going own?!!!!Was christen a subaru. I have a 97 Subaru Legacy/Outback. The check engine light came on. Autozone code reader indicated that it was missing on 2 cylinders. Replaced coil and ignition wires. Ran good for a few days then started missing again. Code again indicates missing. Replaced coil again, but no change this time. Since then it has been down hill. CEL flashes, remote stopped working, cruise stopped working, reverse lights stopped working, fuel gauge has a mind of it's own and it sounds like the power windows or locks keep trying to cycle when the key is on.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    M1 is in England, isn't it?

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