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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • I noticed something sticking out from under the front passenger of my 2002 wagon. Getting under there, it seems that the plastic underlining there has a connection piece that was cut off, and the remaining bigger piece is sticking out and down. I'm fairly sure that it doesnt interfere with anything mechanical, looks like a simple covering, but I'd like to replace it, once I know what it is called. Does anyone know what piece that is?

    Thanks in advance.
  • Well, I'm a bit confused on how this happened but here it is....

    This is facing the left side of undercarriage, with the front of vehicle is the top of the image.

    That's the strap that seems to have been cut. It is the part that tucks under the access hatch.

    Here's another connection that keeps the hatch in place that seemed to have been ripped as well, same orientation as the above pic.

    Here's the view from the front of the vehicle and how it hangs. My hand in the picture so show some perspective. I have very minimal pressure on the piece, if any.

    Here is what it is supposed to do.

    And here's a view of the other side, and what it should look like.

    I just had an oil change on the 3rd. Went to a new place, and just wanted to get it done. Pretty routine thing. Had some minor alarms go when the oil change guy couldnt figure out how to open the hood. Had to go to him and tell him how.

    Its my wife's vehicle, and I only noticed the protruding part as I was doing my routine checking the car for dents and and anything weird as I was driving away in our other vehicle.

    Is it possible that something was hit that dislodged it? It looks alarmingly like it was cut to access the oil filter. I'm heading for the lube place to ask for some explanation, but knowing I have no way of showing fault, I'm going with a "Hey, did you happen to notice this?" demeanor.

    Also 2 of the 3 screw fasteners weren't there as well. Just cant figure out how this can happen with an accidental bottoming out.

  • Apologies for such a late reply, here.

    I had the radio repaired at a Audio/Stereo Shop here in South Jersey. I asked for a recommendation from the dealer, and he went ahead and gave me the guys they use. If you're in the area, and need the actual name, let me know, I'm sure I can look it up.
  • plim77plim77 Posts: 46
    Is this a Legacy or an Outback? I had something similar happen to my wife's 06 Legacy sedan. (I know, because I did it.) I parked the car and the concrete parking bumper scraped the bottom of the car, just behind the bumper. The car was literally on top of the concrete. When I pulled out of the space, it sounded like it scraped the bottom of the car right off and left a similar plastic hanging.

    It's also possible that those screw fasteners not being there are a coicidence. They could have never been there or vibrated out as the car has been driven.
  • Its an Outback. I've been trying to see if I bottomed out recently, and I cant seem to remember. Also, there doesnt seem to be a scraping cut, but an actual knife cut. The remaining piece does not show any scraping either. Also dont know how to explain 2-3 inches of it missing.

    Cant see replacing it, since its part of the big housing. I might have to just cut off that whole piece, and just put in new fasteners.

    Did your end piece have scrapes on it? What did you do with it in the end?
  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    I would put my money on the oil change place being the culprit. they're just too lazy to remove the three screws to access the oil filter. The same thing happened to my car.

    Go back and pitch a fit and send them the bill from the dealer.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Actually you are not correct.

    VDC- limits power by cutting the throttle.
    ABLS- applies the brake to a slipping wheel on an open differential to force the power from the slipping wheel to the wheel with grip, same as a viscous or clutch-pack LSD except that you wear your brakes quicker and it's only a hair less useful than the viscous or mechanical LSDs, it doesn't work well in a track situation because the constant application of the brakes would cause the pads and fluid to overheat (I saw this at Pocono on a MB owned E55AMG they were testing at one of our track days)

    Interestingly, you can disable the VDC on the Nissan implementation, but the ABLS stays active even if the VDC is off.

  • I'v searched on this, and it does sound like several others have had this problem. What was done to solve it, though? I can pour a little water into the sunroof drain holes, and it does go away immediately. However, on the driver's side, it immediately goes into the headliner. On the passenger side, it drips down by the passenger's feet from the lower part of the door seal. Our service person blew out the drain tubes with compressed air when it first started doing it this past summer. That didn't change anything, as it did the exact same thing before he did it.

    To me, it sounds like the drain tubes have come off. Has anyone taken apart the inside corners to fix it? My Haynes book doesn't cover those areas, so if someone has instructions, or can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. Car interiors are always a pain, if you don't know what to take apart first or how to pull on what. We take our car to the dealer for real repairs, but minor things like this, I usually handle them if I can find the info on how to do it.

    By the way, my wife and I are looking to buy a new Forester or Baja. (That wasn't a solicitation for offers.) We love the Sub's!

    Thank you very much!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    That's exactly what happened..the drain tubes inside the trim have come off (or were blown off by air pressure, or someone stuck a coat hanger down there).


  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    I agree. Looking at the photos, it does not look broken but cut. The only "damage" to any of the other plastic just looks to be rock deflections - no gouges or anything that would indicate an impact with something. The screws could have rattled out, but considering that both of the interior screws are missing (it looks like there were 4 across the front of that panel?), I think someone just failed to attach them. Now, whether the screw loss happened last oil change or prior is hard to say.

    I managed to break every bit of plastic off the bottom of my car during the years I owned it and I guarantee you that none of the breaks were anywhere near as clean as that! That plastic is very durable and it does not break willingly (though subzero temperatures "help!").

    How infuriating. A local Jiffy Lube "forgot" to tighten the oil plug on a friend's new Toyota a few years back - she made it about 50 miles and the engine seized up. Initially, the vendor denied any wrong doing! :surprise:
  • The burden of proof is on me, which is the dilemma. It was almost 2 weeks ago, and I noticed it this past Saturday. Would I expect these people to own up, or would I need to throw energy towards this and get nothing in return but more frustration? I feel like Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar. After a few realizations that all his fit is going to cost him more in time and money, he finishes his rant with ".....going to just go ahead and take it up the taaaailll piiiipe....."

    Will, however, make the phone call, and write it up to Better Business Bureau and take my oil changes, and warning to all my friends and fam's, elsewhere.
  • I posted awhile back about a blown head gasket on a 1999 Outback that was diagnosed by the dealer (based on hydrocarbons in coolant - car has never overheated). Rather than pay the estimated $2500+ repair, I took it to a highly rated independent shop for the work. That shop did not detect anything (HC in coolant, overheat, etc) that suggested a blown HG and passed up a $1,400+ (their estimate) repair job.

    Two months later (1K miles) and the car runs fine. However, after a long trip discovered a full coolant reservoir that had small, clear air bubbles coming up through the coolant. Concerned about the bubbles I re-checked with the independent shop who says that it's still fine.

    I don't want to have unnecessary work done, but at the same time don't want to be left high and dry on the side of the road. I guess the question is, are the bubbles in the coolant reservoir always a sign of a blown head gasket? Don't know who to trust...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    What I would suggest is to have the indy shop flush the radiator and refill with coolant and the conditioner that Subaru sells.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    That is a good suggestion to start. If the bubbles are small and persistent, though, it would likely suggest that air is being injected into the system somewhere... possibly a head gasket. If you do not see any black gunk or discoloration of the coolant then it must be a very small leak (if, indeed, it is a HG).
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732

    Just catching up after being absent for a while. Wow! You guys were really lucky based on what your wagon looks like. Too bad, as I know how much you were attached to the OB, and how much care and effort you invested in keeping her running well.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I went thru the dealer a couple of times on brake problems on my '02 OBW ("warped" rotors, sticking pads, uneven wear), then finally took on the issue myself.

    I spent $450 on PowerSlot 'frozen' rotors and Hawk HPS pads, removed and cleaned the stainless steel springs and the slots they fit into, cleaned and lubed the sliders, etc. Amazing difference in performance, and no re-occurance in any of the above mentioned issues.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I ended up removing the plastic under mine. It got in the way of oil changes.

    You can probably rig a screw to hold it together, if you want.

  • The car: 2005 Outback 2.5i
    The issue: The air coming out of the passenger-side vents, with the temperature knob set on maximum, the blower on maximum speed, and all dashboard-vents open, is not warm, while the air coming out of the driver's side vents is warm.
    The question: What could be the origin?
    Thanks, Marc
  • With the fan on maximum speed and the temperature knob turned to maximum, the air coming from the driver's side vents is hot, but the air coming from the passenger's side vents is not warm at all. The flows are comparable, just the temperature differs.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Saw your post in several thread - stick to the Problems & Solutions threads, which get the most traffic.

    Not sure about the problem, but it may just be that the system can't supply enough heat for all vents on full blast.

    Is it warm with the vent on 1 or 2?

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