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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair

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Comments

  • peterson10peterson10 Posts: 116
    Yup, I'm plenty happy with the OEM pads, but if there's something better out there, its not much of an investment to give it a try. What I DON'T want are pads that glaze up, squeal, and cut my rotors. The "alleged" OEM pads I had installed on a Legacy a few years back did exactly that. After 20k they appeared to have not worn at all; too bad the same couldn't be said for my rotors (and hearing). I plan to replace my own pads from now.
    YetAnotherDave
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    I have about 21K on my 01OB (auto) and no noticeable problems. Had the car inspected yesterday (and rotated tires) and there was no mention on pad wear. Therefore good?

    Greg
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Does anyone notice a slight dip in coolant level over time? It appears that my level in the overflow container has dropped about 1-2" over the past 6 months. Looked at under similar conditions (temp, level, etc). The only thing that makes sense is that some trapped air in the engine was purged out (outside of actually having a problem). There are no visible leaks.

    Greg
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Great, Greg. My pads look like they'll last forever, too.

    It's "burping". I'd top it off.

    -juice
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    I have the same thing on my OB VDC. Over 13000 miles, it has dropped from the full to the add mark twice. the dealer leaked checked it, found nothing. They deducted it was probably an air bubble the first time. At the 15k service, they are going to do some more checking; the service manager seems puzzled and does not consider it normal. Any thoughts from anyone would be helpful.

    Mike
  • I am the person that questioned the durability of the front brake pads on my 01 Ltd Outback. I have decided to "peek" at all my pads this weekend to check them myself. It is confusing since the only data I have indicates that 95% of the pad was present at 10K and only 25% now at 19K. As some would say, this does not compute since my driving habits have not changed. For some reason the mechanic did not cite the amount present at the 15K inspection. I am wondering whether the dealer was trying to sell new pads now, but no real pressure was applied during the FREE inspection. Oh well!
    Does any one have the recommendations of SOA on wear limits of the pads and the original pad thickness? Are the rear pads the same as the front with regard to the wear limits and original thickness?
    Also since I will be removing the wheels I will need the recommended torque of the lugs.
    While I have the wheels off I will of course WAX the insides of the wheels.
    Thanks in advance for the information.
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Posts: 287
    Noticed this twice with my wife's 00 OB and added coolant. A few months later it dropped again. Took it to the dealer and they checked for leaks and found none. Still dropping, but more slowly. Same thing happening on my 02 OB. In 3500 miles, its dropped from "full" to halfway between "full" and "add". Haven't asked the dealer to check it yet.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Use 65 ft-lbs for alloys, 75 ft-lbs if you have steel wheels.

    Glad to see you're waxing your wheels. You will love how easy they are to keep clean after that.

    -juice
  • peterson10peterson10 Posts: 116
    Juice, are you sure about that? I thought it was 75 ft-lbs on the alloys as well. That's where I have mine, so if I'm mistaken I'll need to get busy with the torque wrench. I thought the concern of over-torquing had more to do with the rotors than the wheels. Any insight?
    YetAnotherDave
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    I thought it was 75 lbs also. My Sienna is 80 lbs (alloys)

    Greg
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, I think it was 65-70 for alloys, 70-75 for steel, but no, I'm not 100% sure.

    Even so, 75 is close enough. I'm sure some tire shops don't change them from car to car, and I know the M-Class needs more than 100 lb-ft!

    -juice
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,940
    I think you will find that if you tighten the lug nuts with the wrench provided with the car, (and I mean tighten in a sane manner) you will find if you check that it is pretty close to the recommended torque.

    BTW. when I say tighten in a sane manner that means no standing on the wrench to tighten it.

    Don,t laugh I have seen idiots 250 lbs. and more up jumping on the damn lug wrench when tightening the the lug nuts, mind you I have often said thats a bigger lug nut jumping on the end of the wrench.

    Cheers Pat.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They'll have warped rotors a few months later.

    -juice
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,940
    The idiots will, but not if you tighten them in the manner I described.

    Cheers Pat.
  • smaranosmarano Posts: 1
    First time I've ever been at this forum so excuse me if this problem has been addressed before...

    I own a 1999 Subaru Outback Legacy wagon. In early January I noticed a 'subtle' engine vibration - as if a cylinder was misfiring - whenever I accelerated between 30 and 35mph. The problem is slightly more pronounced in cold weather, but it exists at virtually all temperatures below 80 degrees, and remains even when the car is fully warmed up.

    At first I thought it was an unbalanced tire, as it appeared as if the car vibrated slightly as well, but I had all of the tires checked and rebalanced.

    I brought the car to my Subaru dealer and they claimed they could not duplicate the problem. I am near 100% positive that they did not bother to road-test the car, however.

    I then brought the car to an independent mechanic who immediately noticed the problem when he roadtested it. He thought it was a broken ignition wire or a bad plug, and I gave him the OK to change all spark plugs and ignition wires. The vibration continued.

    This mechanic contacted a national repair complaint reporting service to which he subscribed (they apparently maintain a database of car owner complaints for virtually every automobile make and model) to see if other Outback owners had reported this problem. The service bureau researched the complaint and stated that a relatively small number of 1999 Outbacks were plagued by 'loose engine valve seats' that manifested themselves with the same engine vibration symptom.
    The bureau reported that the problem was eliminated only after the engine valve seats were overhauled.

    The independent mechanic then offered to contact my local Subaru dealer and explain what he had been told by the service bureau. The Subaru service tech claimed he had never heard of this situation with 1999 Outbacks.

    The engine vibration problem still persists and in fact has become slightly more pronounced - though it sometimes has disappeared on a couple of the 85 degree plus days that we've had here in New Jersey this spring.

    Any insight or advice on this problem would be greatly appreciated.
  • emmalineemmaline Posts: 27
    The "check engine" light on my 2002 Legacy Wagon keeps coming on (purchased 10/01, less than 5000 miles). I've taken it into the dealer a couple of times. They "fix" it for awhile, but then it comes back on. After the last "fix, I heard a funny whirring noise seeming to come from under the center of my car. Took it back, the whirring noise is gone, but the "check engine" light came back on. I'm taking the car in Monday, the dealer is going to keep it for a couple of days (and take care of the cost of a rental car for me). The service manager said this is a difficult problem to solve because of ever increasing emission regulations. I'm very disappointed that a new car is taking up so much time. Working the drop-offs and pick-ups around a busy work schedule is inconvenient, and not something I expected with a new car. I've only ever owned Hondas and Toyotas, and never had an annoying problem like this.
  • I "peeked" at the pads and cleaned and waxed the insides of my alloy wheels yesterday. I have some thickness information as measured at the "flat" at the end of the pad. I also photographed the brake assembly in case my description of the "flat" is poor. Both front pads were 16/32" from the "flat" to the surface of the rotor. Similarly both of the rear pads measured 14/32". Based on visual observations I think the front and rear pads and assemblies are different. I suspect that is because more braking occurs in the front. I was able to see a "notch" in the pad surface on the front pads that, based on other brakes I have seen over the years, was at least 1/8" deep indicating to me I am not near the wear limit of the pads or down to my last 25% of useful pad.

    Does anyone have a service manual that might indicate what the "new" and "worn out" or "wear limit" thicknesses might be?

    Regarding the cleanup and waxing of the insides of the wheels, that was a tough job. Still looking for the "right" brush or tool to remove the corrosion or dirt on the backsides and holes of the spokes. It was fairly easy to clean the inside diameter of the wheels but the spokes were tough. I scrubbed the spokes with an old toothbrush and used a wax cleaner to remove most of the dirt. I guess I should of done it earlier, right after I took delivery of the car new.
    Thanks in advance for the thickness information and any advice on round two of the wheel cleaning activity that I might attempt in the future. If any of the photos showing the "flat" are needed let me know.
  • peterson10peterson10 Posts: 116
    Secret weapon (well, not so secret)= SIMPLE GREEN! Simple Green is a powerful yet very safe degreaser/detergent which can be diluted to suit your needs. I would be careful using it at full concentration, for prolonged periods, on delicate paint and the like, but on alloy wheels it is unbeatable. Spray it on, let it sit for 30 seconds or so, hit it with a soft brush (worn out toothbrushes are ideal), and everything, including the tar, underbody goop, and bugs rinse right off. Hey, do I get a commission on this?

    YetAnotherDave
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Steve: call your dealer and ask to schedule a ride-a-long with the service manager, then show them. Could be an injector, or the ECU, is my guess. If the dealer drags their feet, call 800-SUBARU3 and open a case number with them.

    Emma: CELs are very common today, much more so than a few years ago because of much stricter OBDII regulations. Federal law requires that the light be triggered even for a single misfire - perhaps caused by water in the gas tank from condensation, or even a loose gas cap causing a vacuum leak in the fuel system.

    I'd advise two things: don't run on empty, fill your tank once it's less than 1/4 full, especially in the winter. Also, tighten that gas cap until it clicks - a few times.

    The good news? A solid lights means little or nothing. A more serious problem would have the CEL blinking. In that case I'd be more concerned.

    Black: you may want to ask in the Subaru Crew - Modifications thread about the brake pad specs, I bet Colin knows and he hangs out there.

    -juice
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Paisan hit the nail on the head. btw, didn't see if you have an automatic or manual OB? Automatics almost always go through brakes faster due to a lack of engine braking.

    Anyway, I don't know what the service limit is on pad thickness but 1/2" sounds like quite a lot of pad to me. You could call 1-800-SUBARU3 and ask what it is.

    If you feel you're being taken advantage of after learning the service limit yourself, complain aobut it to the dealer and SOA via a professionally written snail mail. And even if your pads are nearly worn out-- which it sure doesn't sound like they are-- you can change them yourself in literally minutes. Buy a can of Brake-Kleen and give the pistons a squirt while you swap the pads, that's all it takes...at least the first time-- you may eventually want to have more thorough service done on the calipers.

    -Colin
  • gecko_szgecko_sz Posts: 2
    My 2000 GT wagon (automatic) is going in for its final check before the 36k warranty expires. I wanted to see if others have had some of these issues. I won't repost some of my problems that I've already seen on this list.

    1. Body makes creaking noises when driving very slowly. It probably does it at higher speeds too but the road noise drowns it out.

    2. Rear tailgate release lever won’t work when weather is very warm. Can’t open the tailgate under those conditions.

    3. Front suspension feels loose when going over bumps. It makes rattling noises.

    4. Transmission shifts hard before warmup.

    5. On very cold startup it is slow to crank and the idle speed fluctuates (between 1800-1900 RPM?). If car is not completely warmed up it seems to run quite rough. NOTE: I live in MN--it gets really cold.

    6. When braking from higher speeds there is a sound like the rotors are warped but I can’t feel anything in the brake pedal.

    7. When accelerating (rapid) on slippery surfaces the rear drive is noticeably slammed. You can feel the car shake hard and a loud thud can be heard. Is this the LSD?

    Thanks for any feedback you might have.

    Scott
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    4: Normal for these transmissions, also it won't shift to 4th before the ATF is above 32degrees

    5: Probably need a new battery, and 1800-1900 is normal at startup when cold.

    7: That is the power being shifted from the front (80% torque) to the rear due to slippage, normal on AT subies

    -mike
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    I agree on 4,5, and 7. On #4 I think its just the torque converter not kicking in until its warm. I noticed this all winter. The RPMs are about 250 to 300 (3100? @ 70mph) higher for about the first 5 to 10 miles, then it drops down to normal (2800? @ 70mph).

    #6 HOw long of a commute do you have? From what your discribing it might be similar to what our van had. Since my wife drives the van the most it has short trips and some days doesn't go anywhere. The brake rotors actually get surface rust on them which makes them have a rough grinding noise and some pulse feel.

    --Jay
    (northern WI)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My response was as per the manual, at least the one in my XT6s and I believe my dad's '97 Legacy as well.

    -mike
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    I had heard many cars/trucks stay in 3rd when its cold too. This past winter I shifted to 3rd when the traphic was a bit slower at about 55 and the car was still fairly cold. The RPMs jumped to around 4000ish. So, I figure from my experiment it must be just the torque converter not locking up. Then again I'm not a tranny expert....

    side note (off topic): I saw one of your posts over in the chevy trail blazer section. You got one? if so how do you like it? I'm looking for something to tow my camper and haul 5 people.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a Trooper. If you are looking for an excellent 5-person hauler for your camper, go for a 2002 Trooper. Very low cost, high-quality, long lasting trucks. You can get a loaded one w/o leather for around $26K currently. I tow 5200lb car trailers with mine and carry 5-paisan sized passengers on a regular basis. Hop over to the Isuzu owners club on here and they'll let you know exactly how good they are. :)

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Lube the sway bar bushings to cure the creaking. Maybe some lithium grease on the spring base and around other moving parts. I cured a nasty squeek on our 626 that way.

    Have the dealer adjust the striker plate for the hatch.

    You may want to flush the ATF, though this will cost you because it's maintenance.

    I'd clean the brakes, and yes I bet that is the LSD or maybe the AWD you feel kicking in.

    I got a new battery and my Forester starts up much better. OE battery only had 260 CCAs, I now have 535 and the difference is like night and day. Just $30 at Wal Mart.

    -juice
  • my95submy95sub Posts: 1
    I have a 1995 AWD Subaru Legacy wagon. It appears that the AWD is not working, only front wheel drive. I have checked to make sure there is no fuse in the fuse holder, under the hood, which disables AWD for towing purposes. Has anyone else experiecnce this problem? And what was the solution. Thanks
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    my95sub, sounds like a problem my aunt had once with her SVX. I believe the problem was with the rear diffy. They replaced it and worked fine ever since.

    -mike
  • emmalineemmaline Posts: 27
    Thanks for your advice, Juice, about how to live with the CEL problem. I have been "triple" and "quadruple" clicking the gas cap ever since the CEL came on the first time, on the advice of the dealer and service department. BTW, on the second visit for this problem, the air assist valve was replaced. I took the car in yesterday, and received a call from the service dept today saying that the computer for my car is going to be returned to the factory to be reset, and I should get my car back this Friday. I'm wondering if this is a problem unique to Subaru, or if other makes are experiencing the same problems with CELs. Seems like the purpose of the CEL is being lost (as in, pull over, something serious is wrong with your car). I'd sure appreciate knowing if other Subaru owners are dealing with this. Emma
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