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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • dmanzidmanzi Posts: 12
    Sorry if my messages seem disjointed, but I'm having trouble determining who is replying to me and who isn't. I have spoken with Subaru of America, and they offered no relief. The car will be fixed (again) tomorrow, and when I can, I'll be looking for a replacement. Not a Subaru, for sure. I've never had to spend this much to fix a car with less than 50K on it, and it's leaving a real sour taste. Maybe having to tell my 9 year old that the trip to Orlando is off this April has something to do with it. FWIW, the customer rep from Subaru was very polite, he simply couldn't help.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    And there I would agree with you Cliffy, I would advise any sane person to avoid quick lubes. Non-existent or poor formal training, no vested intereste in your vehicle, just bad news all around.

    Change your oil yourself or have a dealer OR independent servicer do it. I mean a real shop, not a quick lube.

    For things beyond oil and air filter changes, then definitely ask yourself: can I do this? If you have a manual or previous experience, the answer is probably yes. If you have doubts or don't have the time, again see a qualified service provider.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Are bad. I have had excellent service at my local Quaker State place. In and out in like 15 minutes, never any problems. I make sure they put everything back properly etc. But after about 250K+ of Quick-Lube places w/o any problems. You have to be prudent in which one you choose though. I've been to some poor ones.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Before you bring your car in for an oil change, there is one thing you may want to do. Take a grease pencil and put a mark on your oil filter. When you get your car back, make sure that the oil is fresh and that the filter with the mark is gone.

    This applies no matter if you use a dealer, service center or quick lube. It is very easy to do and will protect you down the road.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We agree there - the quick lube places are known to drain the tranny fluid instead of the engine oil on Subies. DOH!

    I guess I don't worry about warranty denials because we have Patti. :-)

    Good suggestion on the grease pencil.

    David: I'm not sure how you expect people to respond. Doesn't sound like anything will make a difference. I was discussing the issue in general. Your case is unfortunate, and probably an exception. I can't blame you if you buy something else next time.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I e-mailed you privately re: Isuzu, check your mail.


    Thanks for the response. Too bad you don't remember the details of the problem :(

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    I'd be wary of anyone (dealer or quick lube) that does oil changes too fast. After changing my own oil, I've noticed that it takes 10 minutes or more for all of the oil to drain. Most quick lubes have a limited warranty covering their work if that's a concern.

    Before I started changing my oil, I had bad experiences at quick lube places and my former dealer.
    Wal-Mart apparently tried to take off the tranny filter and damaged it. A few thousand miles later, most of the tranny oil leaked out and my wife had to call AAA. That dealer had the nerve to blame me.

    The same dealer always overfilled both cars, and forgot to add gear oil (or enough) on my 15k visit.

  • owellsowells Posts: 16
    My experience at the local Subaru dealer for oil/filter service was worse than a quick lube. The tech used the wrong volume specs and overfilled the crankcase. Nor did they check/fill other fluids even though the work order specifically called for same. After two more tries contending with clueless and arrogant service writers and overfilled oil, I now do all oil changes myself. The dealer has a clean shop, however, and I can only hope that an upcoming 30k service goes better.
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I did find your case. It is still open and your Customer Service Rep. is still working on it. Hang in there! I'm sure it will work out okay.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Dave Manzi reports two head gasket changes, then a blown heater core. Sounds like combustion chamber gases are overpressurizing the cooling system to me. If the cap cannot vent the pressure fast enough, the next weak link is likely to blow.....

  • dmanzidmanzi Posts: 12
    I was contacted by Subaru, and they have agreed to pay for my heter coil repair. For this, I am very grateful. Getting the part has been a problem, and the dealer still doesn't have it, but they hope to have it today. What I'm curious about is the cause of these problems. Another gentlemen mentioned that it might be an overpressurized cooling system. What could cause that? If the head gaskets are blown, then I can understand the blow-by into the cooling system, but what would cause premature failure of the head gaskets? Is it possible that some corrosive substance was present in the cooling system and has caused the damage? Anyway, with luck I'll have the car back in a few days.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good to hear. Express those concerns to the service tech.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    At 85K I replaced the timing belt when it broke. At the same time I also repacked the CV boots and replaced the Cam and Crankshaft Seals.

    A mere 40K later I have to replace both the cam and crankshaft seals, and the outer CV boots. And it's )((*&^%#F%^&**( expensive. Now I also have to replace the oil pump seals as well. And of course I'm replacing the timing belt for the 3rd time in 40k because the heavy labor involves removing and replacing the belt. Both Subaru specialist mechanics in 2 separate independant shops say that replacing seals is a common thing, even with the newer models. What's with that?

    Other than these persistent issues the car is a dream.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I have strong doubts that the timing belt needs to be replaced again! Removed and reinstalled as part of the seal work, no doubt about that. Replaced-- no way. Look here to see my efforts and look at the timing belt after 41k miles (you can click on a pic to see it fullsize):

    it's in reverse chronological order, sorry. but yes, I've no idea what Subaru's hang up is but I would agree, the front crankshaft oil seal and the cam seals fail often on any EJ series motor at least through 1999 or so.


  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    While I am not a mechanic, nor a Subaru expert, I would assume that you are replacing the timing belt only because the front of the engine will already be open. The cost of the belt should be pretty low and since the labor is already being done for the other issues, you might as well replace it.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I doubt the timing belt is that cheap. If it were $50 and the existing one was in perfect condition doesn't that seem wasteful to you?

    I mean $50 versus the whole cost of the repairs he is faced with, no that's not a huge deal. But if you have the choice between $50 in your wallet and not, what would you pick?

  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    My $.02 worth.

    Well, if I had 40k on a 90k timing belt, I would replace it. Sure it still has life on it, but I could push out the replacement expense a couple of years farther down the road - assuming that nothing else requires disassembly again.

    But mrdetailer mentions this will be the third belt in 40k miles. If that's not a typo, he might only have 5k to 10k on the belt and the decision become a little more difficult. (And why have they been replaced so often?).

  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    the material the oil seals gaskets are made of in the Sube engines was made of something which they found deteriorated with age and cuased leaks - they changed the material a few years ago - the new ones are a different color from the old ones. so any seal prior to this new one has this potential leak problem. My 92 had one replaced 3-4 years ago but before the new material and another but different one has just started to leak, the replaced one may be a problem eventually if I keep it long enough. it is a pain in the you know where.
    actually I think I will stop checking my oil, when this car dies I can get my WRX :-)!
  • subiemansubieman Posts: 10
    For all the critics of the belly pan, I've just had some real life usage of it. With my 2000 Subaru Forester (with brush guard) I crashed into a rock ledge at about 10 mph today.

    The brush guard was bowed inwards, belly pan torn, but engine and oil filter well protected. Only worry is the exhaust manifold pipe has a slight dent in it, at the area right after the belly pan (before the cat. converter). But I must say, even though the belly pan is plastic, it saved my engine.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    In the case above with 1/2 the life of the TB gone, I'd spring for the $50 for belt while the case is open. Just my 2 cents.

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