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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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Comments

  • nmsubarunmsubaru Posts: 5
    So if the alternator is failing, should I risk driving it the 15 minutes to the dealer or just have it towed?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If the battery is fully charged then 15 min shouldn't be a problem to get there.

    -mike
  • nmsubarunmsubaru Posts: 5
    Okay Mike I'll let you know what happens. I guess after 8 years I can expect a few things to start breaking down. Still love the car however.

    Greg
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    Hello, I have this rattling noise under the car in my '01 Outback Ltd Wagon. It currently has 120,000 miles and has had the 120k full service and the special Subaru 50-point inspection in the last few months.

    No ones seem to have found this rattling sound that I hear- especially when you are starting to slow down and the car starts to idle again. Funny enough, I was running the other night and I heard the infamous 'Subie" car sound coming up behind me. Then, as it passed, it made the same tiny rattling sound!! With very little mechanical backing, I would guess the heat shield and something in the muffler. Any other thoughts?

    I am not about to take it back to the dealer for hundreds more dollars- just curious.
  • subiegtsubiegt Posts: 1
    I have had to subaru's a 97 legacy GT and my 04 outback. I can tell you this its more than likely the heat shield. On my 97 they actually removed it. I've noticed on my 04 it rattles when I'm in second and going really slow or when its idling with the A/C on.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    I'm in the process now to purchase a 2009 legacy (once they reach the local dealer...), can you clue me in on:

    "Funny enough, I was running the other night and I heard the infamous 'Subie" car sound coming up behind me."

    What's the infamous "Subie" sound? Is there something that's mechanically prone to failure?
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Shouldn't the Battery Light illuminate if there's a problem with the alternator? I've seen this on other cars that shows a problem with the battery (IE, losing a charge or not maintaining one...)... Or do they not have a battery fault light?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It's not a specific subie rumble. Porsches, Subies, the original VW Beetle and the Ferrari Testarosa all had the sound, the sound of a Boxer Engine!

    The rattleing is in fact a heat shield you will hear it in the 100-120k mile area and is fairly common on the subies.

    -mike
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    Does the heat shield need to be replaced or does it just get that way over time?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The welds loosen up over time/weather, so it's easier just to remove them. That's what I've done over the years.

    -mike
  • nmsubarunmsubaru Posts: 5
    Okay, I made it to the mechanic and as expected it was the alternator. So after 84,000 miles and almost eight years I have had the following issues the past 18 months: right cv boot (replaced), noc sensor (replaced), alternator (replaced)exterior door lock fell inside front right door (fixed by family friend) and failure of window switch in door (same friend bailed me out). A run of repairs that is a bit irritating, but all in all I still like the car and would consider buying another one. Just need to keep an eye on the cooling system and hope to avoid a head gasket issue.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Things'll happen when the car passes around 5 years old - but that's any car from what I've seen. My Honda Civic - which is supposed to be very reliable, has been finicky lately.

    I suppose as long as your repairs are less per year than a year's worth of car payments, you're good to go.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Did the "Charge warning light" come on when the engine is
    running?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    For next time---never, ever try to charge up a completely dead battery with only your alternator as the charging medium. This often puts a big strain on the alternator and the battery, and since your alternator was old, this may have pushed it over the edge. Also, never jump start a battery that has gone completely totally dead. This can be dangerous. It should be taken out and charged.

    Visiting Host, Subaru owner as well
  • lostohnlostohn Posts: 1
    Help my 2001 Subaru Outback is having electrical problems. In one year I have replaced three alternators and three batteries and now I cannot trust my vehicle
    A year ago I left the car sitting in my driveway for three weeks. After that while driving the ABS light came on and the gauges fluttered. Then the car suddenly stopped running. I brought it to an independent garage. They told me the alternator was not charging. They replaced the alternator and the battery. After only a few weeks it quit on me. I was out of town and I brought it into a CT. They tested and told me the alternator was not charging. They replaced the alternator. A few weeks later it quit again. I brought it a local CT. After testing they told me the alternator was not charging and replaced it.
    Then I brought the car into my local Subaru dealer. They tested and told me the battery was defective. I replaced it but the garage that had sold it they told me it tested fine. After that, I drove for ten months without problems. Last week the problem came back. I was on a trip and I brought the car into another CT. They tested and said that the battery was low and not charging. I replaced the battery and completed my trip under some duress because I was concerned the problem would reoccur. Again the garage told me the battery tested fine. I have noticed that the charge warning light does not always come on when I start the car.
  • nmsubarunmsubaru Posts: 5
    To clarify, the charge warning light is what came on along with the brake light after I got the car running again after I reinstalled the the battery I got recharged at Autozone.

    We seem to be doing okay after getting the alternator replaced on Monday.

    I'll remember the advice from Mr. Shiftright about avoiding jump starting a completely dead battery--it was obvious that the alternator could not keep up with the power demand when I got the car going again.

    Greg
  • carmaven18carmaven18 Posts: 21
    We have a 2002 Outback Sedan H6-3.0 . Today we noticed that the right brakelights were not working. We tried replacing the bulbs and fuses, but nothing worked. The wires seem to be connected, although it is possible that somewhere along the line they are not and we just can't see it. Although the tail light does not work, the right turn signal functions properly. Does anyone have any idea as to what is causing this problem, and what can be done to fix it? Thanks.
  • ramone899ramone899 Posts: 3
    Hi. I have a 1997 Outback wagon with about 112,000 miles on it. It has had all of it's major required services since I bought it new. While driving it on a highway recently the "check engine" light came on, in yellow rather than red letters (someone told me that the color is significant and that red is worse than yellow). The light stayed on until I had to refuel the car, after which the light went out. I thought it must have been something with the gas cap but then the light came back on. The car has been starting and running great the whole time.
    Before I take it somewhere to be charged $100+ for checking codes, does anyone have any opinions as to what might make the check engine light come on, go off, come back on, etc.? Thanks.
  • cd68cd68 Posts: 11
    Has anyone replaced the standard Legacy wheels and tires with something larger? What has been the overall driving difference?

    I'm going to be purchasing a 3.0R later this year, but the standard tires seem a bit small. I was thinking 18 inch wheels (perhaps 7.5 or 8), with something like a 235 tire.

    Any recommendations???
  • cd68cd68 Posts: 11
    This will be about 75 miles away, and I'm sure you're looking for something a bit closer to the Silicon Valley region, but I highly recommend California Auto Repair in Modesto. I've been taking my cars there for over 20 years.
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