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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I had a misfire on my Forester, people told me to change the 02 sensor.

    That wasn't it. After investigating I found a chip munk had chewed up some wires under the hood! Needed new plug wires and a new ignition coil.

    Car ran fine for 2 years after that, all with the original 02 sensor.
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    recently tried to replace a factory radio with a VR3. The VR3 radio has only one illumination wire but there is a positive wire and a negative wire from the factory. If I only hook up the positive the stereo works fine but I have no speedometer/tachometer lights... unless i blew a fuse somewhere? Anyone know anything about this "illumination" hook up... i'm not much of an electrician.

    In some vehicles, OEM uses PWM + (dim plus) and PWM- (dim -) to light up all light bulbs for radio buttons. Note that the dim- wire is isolated from GROUND to isolate dim noise from affecting radio performance.

    So with the VR3 connected, did you get the radio buttons lighted at night? Note that if you do not hook the dim+ and dim- to the VR3 radio, it should work but without the back lighting of the radio buttons. Doing so may get you back the Tach/Speedometer lighting. You could have blown the fuses during the process.

  • Follow up news: Brought the outback in to the dealer for further analysis. Since leaving the dealership the check engine light was off. When I brought it in today...low and turns out that the computer is telling us now that it is indeed the knock sensor. I was told that this also plays a role with gasoline to make it lean or not...and if I had put in some bad gas at some may have triggered this sensor...but, because of the fact that I waited a while to get into the shop....the 02 sensor was compensating. It's really complicated, I suppose. Anyway...let's hope that this cures it. It's $200.00 that I could use for xmas...but, I guess....I can't afford to waste gas now either.
  • I have a auto transmission w/ approx 80k miles on it. When I bought the car it had the wrong fluid in the tranny. I had it serviced about 20k miles ago. Here is the issue. When I put the car in drive or reverse when I start out in the AM it does not engage right away. If I give it some gas it engages hard no slippage ever. After it is worn the chance of occurring is less likely. The dealership speculated that there is an internal leak and need a new tranny $4k. A friend of mine was in the car when it did it and said it did not feel like an internal leak and thought it might be a selenoid that is bad on the tranny or did he say servo? Anyway, Any ideas or things I can check to to narrow down the problem. Thanks in advance!
  • My 74 year mother and I just got off the phone. The 2001 Legacy she recently purchased is throwing a check engine code. The dealer she bought it from has been trying to fix a slow tank fill issue that he says is related. There are a miriad of valves(?) that he has replaced and he still has not solved it. This is all second hand from my (non-technical) mother. Is there a known related issue? What is the fix. Are there related recalls?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There is probably a leak in the fuel vapor recovery system. My Forester had a canister under the fuel fill door that you could see from underneath.

    All those hoses need and air tight seal, or it will throw a code, some even will disable the engine so it won't run.

    I found out by accident, while installing a hitch, I did not connect the hoses properly. I re-connected them and that resolved it.
  • markk1markk1 Posts: 30
    My tranny failed in a similar manner a little earlier in its life (luckily) as Subaru picked up the replacement cost. The only difference I see is that in my case i don't remember it engaging better after it warmed up. The issue typically occurred at a stop light. You might look back a couple of years in this archive there was a big discussion about the transmission problems.

    You might want to get some other quotes for a rebuilt transmission 4k sounds a little high.
  • it is winter now here in colorado and i have started using the heater in outback. this is my first subaru so i am uneducated. when i stop and have the heater on after driving for awhile there is a burning rubber smell that come in the car. just wondering what that could be? also, when i turn the vent preference from one setting to another, like from feet only to defrost and feet, air always comes out from the dash vents, i was wondering if this is normal?
  • I need information on removing the glovebox in order to change the cabin filter. I think I need to remove the console panel and don't know how. Any help would be appreciated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I smelled some undercoating burning off for the first few months, but yours it 2 years old now, so that's strange.

    The climate control has a mind of its own, that was discussed a lot when the 2005s came out. Go to the 05+ Legacy/Outback thread and ask there.
  • ncc4ncc4 Posts: 16
    I have a 2007 Outback and have found/done the following which might help some of you.
    The wiper blade refills for a 2004 Toyota Corolla are an exact fit for my Outback, and cheaper.
    My car is Moss Green with the Tan interior. Living in Canada, with lots of snow and slush, I tried the Subaru rubber mats to try to keep the carpeting cleaner, but found when you parked on a slope, all the melted slush from my boots would drain over the back of the rubber mats and get the carpet dirty anyway so I did a couple of things.
    One, I bought a set of black carpeted Outback mats. With the black dash and upper door mouldings they don't look out of place, and are much better at hiding the mess.
    Two, I kept catching my foot on the floor mat retaining hook and rather than waiting till I broke it I cut off the "hook" with a hacksaw blade leaving enough of a stub to make sure the mat stays in place.
    Thirdly, I bought some vinyl floor runnner ( in the carpet section ) from Canadian Tire and cut a piece approximately 9"x41/2" and used some silicon to hold it in place over the drivers footrest. The little piece of vinyl the factory used didn't do much, and the tan carpeting soon got filthy. This black runner has some light ridges in it that lets water run down, and I left it long enough so that it goes out onto the floor mat.

    I don't like rattles so I bought a square of white adhesive back felt from a local craft shop and lined the glove box. I couldn't get 100% coverage because of all the curves/angles, but it certainly helped. Being white it also helps my middle aged, bi-focaled eye sight find what I'm looking for!

    I try to do as much of my own servicing as I can, and have been doing so for 35 plus years. I use a set of ramps for oil changes but found that, because of the angle, when you remove the oil filter you get oil down onto the exhaust. To stop this mess I made a shield out of 3" heat duct that I bought at Home Depot. I cut it to approximately 10", and notched the top corners about 11/2" each way to fit around the oil filter housing. The duct isn't snapped together when you buy it, and this allows it to stay in place just through tension.

    I have photo's of these modifications but am not sure if they can be posted. I don't mind being e-mailed but I'm not sure if that's allowed?

    Perhaps the host can help??

  • The link covers up to 2006. It should work for 07 model.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a 2007 Outback and have found/done the following which might help some of you.
    The wiper blade refills for a 2004 Toyota Corolla are an exact fit for my Outback, and cheaper.

    You can also use the '08 wipers which don't have the little spoiler on it and they should be the same price as any wipers of that length.

  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    It is customary when someone buys a car that the vehicle comes with the Owner’s Manual (free). Equally, many brands (e.g. Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Kia, etc) also publish something called “Shop Manual” or “Repair Manual” that can be ordered from the brand Part’s Department. Does Subaru also publish these types of manuals for its different brands? I found these publications very useful indeed. There are cases like for example Hyundai that allow Hyundai owners vehicles to access its part’s database on Line. Has someone in this forum bought some of these manuals?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm not sure you can buy the paper shop manuals, however I know you can order and download the shop manuals directly from SOA for the subarus for 1997 and newer OBDII equipped cars.

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346
    I purchased a few sections of the "Service Manual" for the 2000 Legacy and Outback. Back then, it was an eight(?) volume set with a total price about $200 (or more).

    I only bought 4 of the 8 volumes.
    See if you can find it online at They also accept Subaru bucks you earn from a Subaru credit card. The bucks can be used for parts, service, or towards a new car.

  • On another Subaru topic it was mentioned that some Subaru turbo engines suffer from boost "stutter" that cannot be repaired or adjusted away.

    Has anyone seen this in the '08 Outback? I am considering an Outback XT Limited, and would not appreciate like turbo stutter, etc. in a nearly $34 K automobile.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Honestly, I've never heard anyone complain about that. :confuse:

    The only stutter complaints I've heard were from the clutches on late 90s models.

    The WRXs and Legacy GTs and Forester XTs I've driven were all very smooth, in fact I'd argue the turbos are a bit smoother than the normally aspirated engines.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There is a very small drop in the hp/torque curve on the turbo models, but it is in no way noticeable except on paper at the dyno shop. I don't have an issue on my unmodified 05 LGT, and none of my customer's unmodified cars either.

  • Alland, Thanks for the info. I checked out the site but it leaves a bit to be desired. The instructions that come with the filter don't help much either. They just aren't clear enough to give me the confidence to remove parts without breaking them.
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