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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Rats, it was worth a try I suppose.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    edited June 2010
    No. If you have the valet key, it is not going to allow you to do the programming. Think of it like a computer with an "administrator" account versus a "guest" account.... you cannot install programs or change the system configuration with the guest account! ;)

    Is they plastic portion of the key grey? The valet keys usually are - the masters are black. Why you would get a car with only a valet key is beyond me, though. Sounds fishy. Did you get a "shady dealer" discount so you have enough money to deal with all the crap that you will undoubtedly encounter during your ownership experience?!
  • camp8camp8 Posts: 10
    Key has no plastic, it is all metal, like a copy you have made at a hardware store. I was able to turn the alarm off with this key. Will a valet key turn the alarm off, but not enter program mode?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the chip is embedded in the plastic part of the key.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    That's crazy. So, you have a hardware store copy of a valet key. Nice. If the car runs, one of the original keys must be tucked up under the dash somewhere (though this could be the original valet key). The car will not run without the chip in one of the original keys very close to the ignition (when I was testing this with the "door keys" on my 2007 Outback, I had to have an original key within about 6" if the ignition - I could set one at the base of the instrument cluster and it would work, but that is about as far away as it could get).

    The question is, why would someone do that? It is common practice locally when installing aftermarket auto-starts, but beyond that....
  • camp8camp8 Posts: 10
    I have a 2003 outback, I don't think they were putting chips in the key back then.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Hahah... sorry. I was thinking it was a 4th gen car. I think you're right; they started the chipped keys in 2005.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Maybe, maybe not. My wife's 07 Forester - which we bought new, has an all-metal factory valet key. My 09 Outback factory valet key has a plastic upper - but whether it is purely decorative or contains a chip, I don't know.

    I don't understand trading in a car without the original keys. I hope you made a fuss about it and got the price of the car reduced a few hundred for that screw-up alone. To me, its suspicious and I might have walked on the deal.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    My '02 came with three keys:
    A bare metal key stamped Subaru which I carry, a black plastic key (wife), and the grey (IIRC) valet key which is somewhere in my desk draw. No chips in '02, as the security system was an option.

    You might consider talking to your insurance agent about the problems you are having and see if they can look into the DMV database for a lead on the previous owner. Appeal to them on the fact that the asset is at risk for theft as someone has viable programmed remotes out there that you cannot clear out of the system. In many states they have to power to obtain this info, but often will not do it based on privacy concerns.
  • dguierdguier Posts: 2
    After Replacing a blown head gasket on my 96 OB the engine fails to start. I have checked spark and fuel both. Engine will turn over but will not start. Any ideas?

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Okay, if you are sure you have fuel, spark and an injector pulse, the car should start, even running badly---but if there's nothing then we have to look at how you worked with the timing belt. So maybe a compression test is in order here.

    You can double check for fuel or injector problems by squirting some starting fluid in the intake---if the engine kicks off momentarily, you might have fuel pressure in the rail but no injectors opening.

    You might also pull a spark plug and try to see/smell fuel on it. You can also buy inexpensive spark testers.

    I'd try all these double-checks before you go tearing off the timing case cover.

    visiting host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Make sure all the hoses are connected, even a little emissions vapor hose can cause it not to start.
  • dguierdguier Posts: 2
    Thank you for the advice. I am checking everything again and have determined that the primary resistance on the coil pack is right at the limit and I am getting weak (yellow/orange) spark. should I replace this or save the $100?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    I haven't had a spark plug out at the end of a wire in a very long time, but my gut says the arc should be blue-white.
  • jhdjhd Posts: 20
    What do you guys use to condition moon roof seal? I do not want that thing to leak water one day. I heard that you should not use silicone based conditioner on that seal, since it dries out.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    My current cars don't have moonroofs, but on previous moonroof seals, I used 303 Aerospace Protectant for up to 11 years and never had a problem. I still use it on my Subaru door seals & yes, I believe it is silicone free. We had a 94 Legacy that was treated every 3-4 months with 303 and the seals looked as good as new 16 years later when we sold it, with no cracking or drying.
  • aiwa112aiwa112 Posts: 7
    I am looking to buy a Legacy their are other awd cars on my list too ie: cr-v, matrix. I would like to know what everyones experience with maintenance costs were like with subaru. I need awd cause I live in NJ and the snow storms we had this year were horrible
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's pretty similar to other cars, the only real difference in service is the rear differential gear oil needs to be changed (30k or 60k miles, depending upon how crazy you are about maintenance).

    It's easy, though. 2 bolts, one quart of 75w90 gear oil. Easier than an oil change.

    That's it.

    What surprises me is you list the CR-V, which competes more with the Forester, and the Matrix, which was discontinued and competed with the Impreza and Outback Sport. Avoid the Matrix, because the AWD model made only 123hp last time I looked. You can't get out of your own way. The Impreza has been at 165hp since 2002.
  • doctortdoctort Posts: 1
    A similar problem is stumping me with my 2003 Outback wagon. The power door locks work manually from inside, but the remote key has no effect at all. I've replaced the remote control and reprogrammed it, but still nothing! It's tough to have a small baby and have to use the key in the door to lock and unlock the car. What could be wrong? :cry:
  • I had the same problem with my 2001 Outback remote. I went into Radio Shack to replace the battery and the clerk told me that he was noticing the same trouble with other people and their remotes, and that it was a broken solder point inside the remote which is causing the batter to not connect to the circuit. He took out a solder gun and re-soldered the connection and my remote has worked perfectly since.
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