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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Agreed. The process is not too bad, but you do need to have a u-joint in the mix. I have found the best way is to place the socket on a 3" extension, then attach the u-joint, then another 6" extension, followed by the ratchet. In 10 years' time, there are probably a few changes in there, but all in all the layout looked quite similar to me.

    Good luck - it is a pain to do, but less so than the hit taken by the wallet to have someone else do it. ;)
  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    Well brake fluid is generally yellow, which if it is would be disturbing because it shouldn't be there (ie leaking). Unless it's some kind of new caliper grease I'm not aware of, I'd clean it off with a rag and see if any more appears.

    If so, I'd take it in to the dealer and have them fix it under warranty. Actually they should have taken care of it in the first place during the pre-delivery inspection.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm usually here offering answers, but this time I have a question.

    Anyone ever change the rear brake pads on an '01 Outback? The bolts that hold the caliper in place seem extremely difficult to access due to all the suspension components in the way.

    I tried to get the sway bar end links out of the way but could not get *that* bolt all the way loose, later I could not get it firmly tight! Ugh.

    That round black thing, is that a rubber plug on the one side of the end links? i.e. do you need tools on both sides to get it tight?

    This is on my dad's OB.

  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    Thanks larrycrowell, just completed it and it was helpful getting your post before I decided to do it.

    It wasn't all that bad, but the rear 2 are a PITA.

    For the record, I used some combos of 6 in, 3 in and a flex joint 3 in socket. The flex joint is more like a CV joint then a universal joint but a U joint probabally would have worked too.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Oh, I messed this up. It is socket, U-joint, 3", 6", ratchet.

    A 2nd joint between the 3" and 6" might be nice, too! Glad to hear you got it - there will be no disagreement on this thread about your "PITA" assessment, tkanic! :D
  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    I have a 2000 outback wagon but I assume the mechanics are the same. IIRC, to change the pads, you don't need to completely remove the caliper. I think you just take out the slider bolts, swap out the pads and grease & lube the sliders and bolt it up again.

    The only time you have to take out the 2 bolts holding the caliper to the hub are when you're changing rotors or checking parking brakes or something like that. If you're checking parking brakes I would recommend against that (from personal experience), I wouldn't mess with the sway bar too much and for heavens' sake don't overtighten it'll break the bolt. (also from personal experience) :sick:

    So the best way to remove the bolts are to have a long ratchet extension and reach behind the hub and there should be a hole in the hub just for the purpose of getting a socket in there to get at the bolt. IIRC there is no nut to tighten against; just the bolt. Take out both bolts and voila the whole caliper comes off.

  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    Anybody ever try those steel braided cable ratchet attachments that you can turn whatever direction you need?
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Update: The non-Subaru parts supply house won't ship their $73 motor to Canada. So I contacted my local dealership who wants $377 for the motor, without installation. Even a Subaru dealership in WA only charges $165. Why is it that we Canucks get ripped off by Subaru? Parts at double the price and no extended HG warranty either! :mad:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That sure does sound a whole lot easier, Eric. I'll try that out.

    The instructions I refered to were for a Legacy and an upgrade brake kit at that. Harder than the job needs to be!

    The sway bar end links - do you need tools on both sides to get it tight again? Looks like one side has some sort of rubber boot covering it? Sound familiar?

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Ugh. All for a motor?! I call the shipping prejudice Alaskans receive from the lower 48 the "3rd class citizen fee." So, what about Canadians? Is it the "piss on the northern neighbor" exclusion? Sheesh.

    I say have them ship it to a friend's address in the US and then ask the friend to re-route it to you. A PITA for sure, but better than the bite your wallet would take from a $73 part costing you $377.
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    Again with the 05 i OB

    This happened a few times. When I press the button for the driver's side window nothing happens. After a few tries it does what it is suppose to do.

    The first time this happened I thought it make have been some lockout botton preventing it, or in other words I was nto sure it was a actuall problem. Today it happened again, the rear 2 windows worked, the front 2 did not, for about 20 seconds.

    Also if I recall corectly one time it happened all 4 did not work. So I am leaning towards the switch.

    Any advice on this one, what to look for, apx cost, how to get to the switch, additional tests?

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Out of curiosity, does this happen with the window down, up, both, does not matter? I'd say the switch for sure - '05.... warranty item. I would not even concern yourself with it other than how long the dealership will keep it. :sick:
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    Warranty was up a while back, I got just over 60K miles on her.

    It has only happened so far when the windows were fully up, which is my normal mode of travel, only opening them for tolls, drivethru's, checking the mailbox, and to talk to friends. So when I open them it hasn't been opened for a while, but when I close them it is sually very shortly after opening it.
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,334
    I had switch problems with my 2000. The dealer actually had the part in stock!

    I thought it was around $85. Try They have a very thorough online catalog.

  • gses253gses253 Posts: 2
    Hello all,

    I am very new with this so if you could just bear with me. I have 3 problems that i am so frustrated with that makes me to never want to be a subaru owner again

    1. I have a 99 subaru OBW that has 137,500 + miles and have been hearing this rattle when i have been driving the car for over 15 miles. I think it is the Heat sheila on the exhaust system. Can this be tightend or replaced?

    2. I have been having this oil leak ( actually a few couple drips a day on the garage floor) Can this be from the head gaskets? My husband cleaned the area on the engine and he said it looks like the leak is come from the top of what he is looking at.

    3. and last, everytime my husband changes the oil about 300 miles later my check engine like comes one. We check the oil and it shows it to be filled perfectly. the last time (3 months ago and i travel over 60 miles a day) my dad added close to another quart after 2 days the light went out and didn't; return until this most recent oil change.

    I know I am asking for a lot of information in this first post but anything anyone can help me with will be great. I am trying to make this care last until may of 2007 but i am about ready to take my husbands double barrel shotgun to it. :sick:
  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    A) I had a rattle from underneath my '96 OBW and it was merely the clamp on the cat. shield which I had replaced and the sound went away.
    B)From my experience the oil dip stick on Subarus is extremely difficult to read;the conditions (flat surface etc.) must be perfect. I would be surprised if you did not have to add oil between changes to an 8 year old car with 137k on it. Good luck.
  • gses253gses253 Posts: 2
    thanks ebony5,

    i am keeping notes so we can try some of these things ourselves instead of paying out the labor to an garage
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hang in there, 137k is a lot of miles. By that age a lot of cars would be dead already.

    1. Probably a loose heat shield, likely something on the exhaust. If your hubby has ramps have him inspect the exhaust (wait 'til it cools or wear gloves). The exhaust on our Mazda 626 rusted apart far before 137k miles.

    2. Could be head gaskets, valve cover gaskets, or front main seal (O-ring). You can re-torque the bolts to try to seal it but keep an eye on that.

    3. I don't think the check-engine light has anything to do with the oil. I bet it's worn out spark plug wires, or something like that. Fouled plugs. Or even a loose gas cap. Try to get the codes read, I bought an ODBII scan tool for under $100. Sears has them, or any auto parts store.

  • We own a 2005 Outback XT Wagon…24K miles. We are experiencing some “strange” occurrences electrically …the trip odometer alternates from showing the mileage to flashing ILL.5 (don’t tell me that the car says it’s sick!)

    I’ve noticed that the lighting for both the radio and heating system will flicker at the same time. This also happened during the first 5K of owning the car, however, we brought into the dealer…and get the response” we can’t duplicate the issue, therefore we can’t fix it”

    Any ideas or topics I should discuss with the service advisor before I make the dealer appointment???

    Thanks in advance...
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    there is a roller to the left of steering column that controls the brightnes of instrument panel. If you change the brightnes of the display it will change ILL.6, ILL.7 or down 5 4 etc.

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