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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • My starter brushes need changing every few years..... give just that symptom.

    A few smacks upside the starter may help from the first few times.
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,335
    That's how the brakes were on my 2000 Legacy. The rear pads wore down much faster than the fronts. Can't understand why. I think I replaced both at around 60k miles, but could easily have replaced the rears only and kept going on the fronts...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not on my 98 Forester, wise guy. ;)

    Drum brakes.

    Though his 03 Legacy would have discs, so your point is valid in the OP's case.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Ok sorry 98% of all subies produced in the past 10 years don't have drums..... :)

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Fortunately they are moving away from drums, for the most part.
  • getimbgetimb Posts: 2
    Hello all , I have a 1996 Subaru Outback Wagon . When the car is first started the engine will run OK but after about half a mile it will loose power. The engine will kill if you come to a stop. If you put the petal all the way down it will keep running but still with no power. The Check Engine light flashes during the time it has no power and then is ON steady after the car is running fine. After it gets warm, it runs great. It does this in all types of weather from hot to cold. I have used an analyzer and corrected a faulty spark plug wire with a new set of wires and spark plugs. I also replaced the Knock Sensor which the analyzer said was bad. I cleared the problem codes with the analyzer. The analyzer now reports that there is a misfire on cylinder #4. I replaced the spark plug on cylinder #4 and verified the new wire was good. The analyzer still reports a misfire on cylinder #4. Any thoughts???. Thanks
  • The back hatch door on my 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback wagon is locked and won't open with the key or remote. All the other doors respond to remote. Any hints as to how I might get door to open and keep this problem from happening again.
  • If you crawl in from the back seat, isn't there a little hatch door with a sliding knob so that you can possibly pull the wire or rod that unlocks the tailgate? Once you do that, you can pop off the back panel and see what's what in there. Must be a bad lock actuator I'd guess or maybe a part fell off in there.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Check your mass airflow sensor. It may be fouled (faulty readings), have a bad plug connection, etc. If it is providing bad feedback, you are going to have an abnormal fuel/air mixture, and that could lead to misfires, retarded timing (based on knock sensor feedback), etc.

    When I was having problems with mine (also a '96 Outback), it never once recorded a code that indicated a possible problem with the MAS.
  • Crawled in back of wagon and found 2 little doors that just led to bulb replacement areas. Can't see any wire or rod from little doors. Looks like I'll probably have to try and get entire back panel off.
  • Ah too bad. I guess you're right then. Lemme look a second at my database and see if there are any further hints for right back.....

    Nah, didn't find anything....very annoying.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Yeah, I have never found a way to open the lift gate from the inside. Rarely is it needed, but it would be a helpful tool to have available. Somewhat akin to an internal trunk release in a car. I mean, the vast majority of them would never be used, yet there they are, just in case someone ever gets locked in the trunk. Hell, they are even glow in the dark these days!
  • I guess if you can't find your way out of the back seat of a Subaru wagon, you might have problems that cannot be addressed by an escape lever on the tailgate? :P

    BUT STILL, all kidding aside, all tailgates should have a little knob or at least an access hole so that you can manually release the lock.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Hahah, yeah, I knew you were going to come back at me with that. :(

    However, it can be a very awkward maneuver to perform. I had to do it several times with my '96 Outback, as the gas struts were shot on the gate and I held it open with a prop pole. More than once, I locked myself in while adjusting a load in there (with rear seats folded down) by bumping the pole from the inside. A few times, I managed to not lock myself in by having a strategically placed body part to keep the gate from closing. Personally, I preferred being locked in over that. ;)
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    my 98 used to do that a lot, spray some WD40 into the latch on the outside, it usually worked with my car. good luck.
  • rgowenrgowen Posts: 3
    Does anyone have any secrets about how to cut down the wind noise while driving at highway speeds? My car sounds like the windows are cracked all the time (they are not). I tried the "lower and raise the window" trick with no benefit. I read somewhere that the noise is actually from the side view mirrors. Thoughts?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The angles of the glass can be adjusted, I think bitman documented how in the Legacy/Outback threads a while ago.
  • gjksngjksn Posts: 35
    This must be what my dealership had to do with my first Legacy wagon. I noticed the wind noise, but when I went a car wash and got drenched, I thought, "This is absurd" and went and had them re-adjust how the window lined up when it went up & down. After that, no problems, although Subies are a little noisy. At least the engine growl under full throttle sounds cool.
  • gjksngjksn Posts: 35
    I thought I had read somewhere (pre-senility keeps me from remembering where) that the next generation Legacy/Outback would be larger. However, now that I've seen some photos and perused other information, it doesn't seem accurate. The car doesn't look a whole bunch different in size or overall design. I also didn't think current generation didn't look remarkably different from the previous generation which includes my 2003 Legacy wagon. It's evolving, yes, but is it not changing much in size?
  • gjksngjksn Posts: 35
    Oops. I meant: went through a car wash.
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