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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,552

    The washer nozzles have a ball type outlet in them that can be adjuted by putting a fine needle in them and wiggling a bit. They should be hitting the screen toward the top so that the water deflects ontpo the screen as it is being used at speed. However, it should not be going over the top. Typically for each side there are two nozzles and one should be aimed a bit lowerr and to one side of the other.

    One possible problem is small bits of gunk in the washer bottle. These can be sucked up andclog the nozzle. It loooks daft but you can usually blow this back by leaning over the washer nozzle and blowing really hard. It helps if you have Satchmo lips! There is also some points where you can separate the tubing and avoid blowing all the way back to the washer bottle. Repeat a few times to really persuade the neighbours you've gone mad.

    Flushing the washer bottle once in a while is a good idea. It get rid of the cruud that inevitably builds up over time.


  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    Ditto Graham. You should be able to adjust the ball with a pin. If the adjustment doesn't work, just use very quick repeated taps of the washer button. This prevents the pump from getting to full power and washing your roof instead of your windshield.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    On the three Subarus I have, there does not seem to be an adjustment -- it's just a single rectangular orifice molded into each plastic washer "pod" on the hood. Are you saying there is a ball inside that, because I can't see one? Some of my past cars have had a little stainless ball that you can position, but not these newer Subarus.

  • b7857b7857 Posts: 1
    I own a 2003 Outback and have had problems with the transmission when driving speeds between 35-40mph. I have had to 2 dealers and they found that the fault codes were okay for both the engine and transmission. the last dealer did drvie it for 100 miles and did get the transmission to act up...It surges, shutters, hesitates, call it what you want....The car now has 15000 miles on it. Anyone else having this problem.?
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Any ideas for this situation?

    On occasion, less than a minute after starting the cold engine (it never happens when it's warm), the engine is slow to respond to the gas pedal. By slow to respond I mean that I press on the gas pedal, but the engine doesn't respond. There is no acceleration sound, and the car feels like it is going forward (if it *is* going forward) solely due to the gas it was given when it was started -- almost like it's coasting on fumes. Sometimes it "stutters" like this even when I've floored the gas, so I know it's not a case of me having a feather touch on the gas. Today it felt like it was actually going to stall. The stutter lasts for a couple of seconds, then the engine responds, and the problem is gone again. The problem is intermittent. The outside temperature doesn't seem to matter. It's always happened when I've changed to drive after reversing out of a parking position, but that might be because I almost always have to reverse out of parking. I should note that the problem doesn't seem to happen when I'm back up, but after I change gears to go forward.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I notice the same thing on my LL Bean every once and a while (probably once every 2-3 months). It only happens after I start the engine first thing in the morning. It's so infrequent, I have not worried about it.

    Definitely seems fuel related to me, but I have not done much in the way of investigating the problem. I did replace my fuel filter recently for the 30,000 mile service, so 2-3 months from now, maybe I can comment if that was the problem.

  • sebberrysebberry Posts: 148
    When they were replaced, the dealer mentioned that they used to be adjustable, but not the new ones.

    I did take it upon myself to try with a little pin to see if they would move, but no luck.

    Graham, if you are feeling generous, maybe you could send me a couple of the Australian ones :)

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Thanks! Lets hope it is something simple like the fuel filter.

    I do notice that when starting you have to let the fuel pump do a little dance first before turning the key. Perhaps indicative of under-engineered fuel system on the Bean?
  • I'm looking to upgrade my stereo in 99 obw. Does anyone know if the factory high-end (80 watts) unit has an external amp. If so any idea where?
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I have noticed that all fuel injected cars start easier if you let the pump pressurize the system first. Whenever I remember, I let the pump run 1-2 sec before cranking the engine over.

  • My 2001 OB seat heater switch has a burned out white lamp. The dealer indicated its a new switch at $30 to fix the problem. Has any one replaced just the lamp and if so what is the P/N for the lamp. Or any one with a bad switch and a good lamp? If I knew the P?N I might be able to find one at an electronics supply house. I have 60K mile and the only problems were front brakes (pads and rotors) at 47K and new Nokian tires. OH and a CV joint repack under warranty at 56K. I just got 28.7 MPG from the last tank on the interstate.
    Has any one had any problems with the samll galvanized metal bracket on the drives side near the strut rusting? It holds two emission items. Thanks Mike
  • 27k27k Posts: 1
    My 02 Bean has 25,460 miles. I have had the front rotors resurfaced twice, then replaced the front rotors and brakes, and now 4K miles after replacing front rotor and brakes---I again had to have the front rotors and brakes resurfaced.

    Today I filed a complaint with NHTSA and I encourage others to do the same. If enough compliants are received an investigation may be conducted.

    In the mean time, I would appreciate feedback on what aftermarket rotors to buy.
  • We have a 2001 Outback LL Bean wagon that we bought used a few months ago. There is still warrenty left on the vehicle so we want to fix the leak as soon as we can. The only problem we are having with the vehicle is a leak from the roof area in the rear of the wagon after a heavy rain. It has happened a few times now. The water pours into the rear of the wagon through 4 openings -- the roof-mounted seatbelt area and the three plastic roof-mounted brackets. It happens when we are breaking as we transition from reverse to drive when backing out of the driveway. It does not leak at any other time.

    We tried to make it leak using the garden hose and then backing up, but we could not duplicate it. The dealer also looked at it and could not duplicate it or find anything that looked like it needed attention.

    Has anyone else had this problem? Better yet, any recommendations on what needs to be fixed?


  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    I would check the gasket around the roof rack mounting holes.

  • As for the water leakage, a definitely possibility is the sunroof. I have known many people with leaky sunroofs, and the water can flow back into the headliner.

    As for the transmission after backing up, I find if I wait for 1-2 seconds it does not have that no power/going to stall feeling. Seems to be slow to shift from reverse to 1st.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    If you have a sunroof/moonroof, make sure the drain lines are not plugged. If they are, it could definitely create other problems.

    That said, I don't exactly know where the drain lines are on Outbacks. Anybody else know?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For the body shop, I would ask for references and talk to previous customers. All work is not the same. Ask if you can see some of their work. The shop that worked on my Forester did a great job, they're in Kensington, MD.

    For that tranny: first, make sure to document the issue, 800-SUBARU3. Did the dealer try flushing the fluid? I also suspect the ECU may be at fault, you could reset it to see.

    External amp? I don't think so, not unless you have a subwoofer/amp under the seat.

  • MSG #1971 I have a LL Bean OB 03 and I too had my brakes warp at only 7000 miles. They resurfaced them and it's time to bring them in again at 10,000 miles. Also on both my 1997 and the 2003 vehicle I continue to have unexpected acceleration. Just yesterday when I turned on the 03 OB and backed it up in the parking lot, I put it into drive and without touching the gas pedal the car took off, shifted into second on it's own and was at 25 mph before I had to hit the brake pedal for a stop sign. The 97 tried to take off on it's own at a stop sign while my son was driving it. The 3rd problem in both cars is the wind coming through the driver's side door/window. I've had teh dealer adjust it several times but it never works. Apparently the rubber seal is not doing the job. Anyone else experiencing one of these problems?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I find it odd, that 2 of your cars almost 4 model years apart both have acceleration problems? That is weird, maybe you live in area 52 or something? ;)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hang on a sec, there is a brake interlock on the shifter, you can't get into drive without having your foot on the brake. We can thank the Audi controversy for that.

    There's no way the engine can outpower the brakes, so just make sure you don't let off the brakes until the engine is fully in gear.

    I would reset the ECU if your idle speed is that high or fluctuates that much. Disconnect the negative battery terminal, wait 20 minutes, reconnect, idle until warm. Have your keyless ready to lock/unlock and turn off any alarms.

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