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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • ltcolumboltcolumbo Posts: 40
    Piston slap is rhythmic to engine rpms.....loose timing belt tensioner would be more random (never acutally "heard" one). I've had piston slap in other engines ('86 Camry, overheated Renault R5....not mine ;) and am familiar with the sound. I don't think the dealers in my area are familiar enough with this.....they probably don't even have the tool to adjust the valves!!
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    The timing belt slapping the cover is RPM dependent as well.

  • ltcolumboltcolumbo Posts: 40
    I would think that a rhythmic metal knocking or rattle would be distinctively different from a rubber belt hitting plastic sound.
  • Hi all, got a quick question for everyone and anyone. Where is the ATF Filter? I changed the ATF at 30K w/o changing the filter, now I am comming on to the 60K service and I would really like to change the ATF filter if it is at all possible. Thanks in advance for any info.

  • dmanzidmanzi Posts: 12
    Here I go again. Three months ago it was new head gaskets. Last month, a new heater coil. Now, another heater coil. The steam bath inside my 2000 Outback returned, as did a pinned temperature gauge. It's back to the dealer tomorrow, and who knows for how long this time? One thing is for sure, once this thing is fixed this time, it's gone. I've had it with this car.
  • wstongewstonge Posts: 1
    I do most of my own minor maintenance, oil and filter changes, etc. Rotating tires, checking brake pads etc. I'm now coming to a service point that says to lubricate the chassis on my 2001 Impreza. Most new cars don't have many fittings to grease (not like the old days), but does anyone know what points on the chassis need lubrication ..per Subaru service policy?
  • jimmyp1jimmyp1 Posts: 640
    I don't blame you, and I'm sorry for all the trouble you've had.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I don't mean to nitpick, but it is a heater "core". The only explanation for repeatedly blowing them is that combustion gasses are overpressuring the coolant system.

    Combustion gasses should not be in the coolant system at all. IMO it's time for a new engine, under warranty of course. You could easily have warped or cracked the cylinder heads or block... if the dealer doesn't realize this they are pretty poor. Whatever happened with SOA getting involved?

  • theobtheob Posts: 148
    Finally got a chance to look over the car after the hood deflector disintegrated. It appears that it DID put a scratch in the hood about 6 inches long. It made a small indentation in the hood at the impact point. So what do I do now?

    BTW, it did have the bump-ons and clear stickers for the bump-ons to rub against. When it oscillated, it would do so primarily on the back side of the middle, where there aren't any bump-ons. But where it broke is on the side where there were bump-ons.

    Theo in Colo.
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I advised the Rep. of your post. I don't know what is going on, but I'm requesting some tech. assistance to your dealer. I'm really sorry.

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    Please have your dealer call us when it goes in for inspection.


  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    maverick1017 Apr 1, 2002 2:36pm

    I think your '98 Forester would be similar to my '98 OB. As in that case, sad to say that the filter is inside of the transmission pan :( The job didn't look like something a do-it-yourself'er would attempt (especially me).

  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    What year is your Forester. If its a 98 there is no external filter but an internal filter screen. If you have a 99 and newer is when they changed the AT to the 4EAT and it has an external filter. Looking at the tranny from under the Forester on the drivers side It looks like a oil filter and the drain plug is on that side as well. Don't get it confused with the oil pan plug. If your going to change the ATF filter you might as well drain the tranny and refill. You won't be able drain all of it but you can get most of it. I went to Mobil 1 ATF and I notice big difference of the tranny shifting smoothly. Hope this helps.
  • dmanzidmanzi Posts: 12
    I've had the cylinder heads checked, and compression is normal. Also, the dealer did check for combustion gases overpressurizing the cooling system. At this point, I simply can't rely on this car. I use it for commuting and family travel, and I need something more reliable than this car. Something is very wrong with this car, and unless it's discovered during this next visit, it's history for me.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It's not a mystery, I mean a competant subaru shop should be able to fix it no questions asked. Maybe you should try a different dealer?

  • Seriously. Cold starting this car in 45 F degree weather and attempting to roll away in first gear with no more power applied than what the fast idle gives, and the car jounces around on its tall springs like a burro with a wasp on his privates.

    This has developed at approximately 16K miles.

    The only way to safely handle this is to pour in way too much power, and brutalize the drivetrain into forward motion-never my style. This problem goes away after a few lurching visits to stop signs. Once things are warm, the car will pull away smoothly with as little as 600 rpm.

    It is shaking my nice, tight cabin trim apart, and can't be doing any favors to the powertrain.

    SF Bay Area dealer says the clutch went out of warranty at 12K miles. They also suggested that cold fluid in the car's viscous coupling could be the problem. At 45 degrees? Their other answer was that clutch chatter is typical of the make.

    My car never carries heavy loads, has been on dirt exactly two times, and has had fully synthetic oil in its sump from 1800 miles. The car had 90% of its brakes remaining at its 15K service. This sounds like an easy life to me...

    I have used quite byzantine, unsynchronized gearboxes in a variety of trucks in my past life as a packer in the Eastern Sierra, but this 2001 Forester S' morning tantrum makes them all seem like lap dogs.

    Love the car, and don't want to see this become cataclysmic. Anybody know anything?
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    Per, the '01 Forester clutch warranty is 3yrs/36000 miles. Check it out.

    If this problem can be duplicated for the dealer, it sounds like a no-brainer. If the dealer balks, call Subaru, open a case, and get Patti involved.

    FWIW, we have an (early - May of) '01 with 24k miles, and tow with it in the Rockies. No clutch issues. I did my homework before we purchased, and the clutch problems reported in the early Foresters (per SOA) were resolved with a redesigned pressure plate. CR seems to confirm this with their surveys.

    I took the increase in the warranty from '00 to '01 as an indication that they thought they had indeed addressed it, although one might look at that differently. Some here have had some problems too, but most of those cases are older model years to my knowledge.

    hth, and good luck

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Clutch chatter is sadly a problem for many 2.5L Subarus and the WRX as well. There have been several revisions of the pressure plate; the WRX uses a totally different clutch and it has problems to.

    Root cause: fragile 5 speed gearbox originally engineered to live behind a 110HP 1.8L still being used behind much more powerful engines. This causes Fuji Heavy to use a soft clutch--a weak pressure plate, to be specific--to keep the gearbox alive under clueless or hard use/abuse.

    This results in the current situation, where many owners who have never had a problem with chatter or premature clutch failure in any previous vehicles find themselves with severe chatter and dealers saying "they all do that" or "what have you been doing to it?".

    Patti might be able to help. With luck, a new factory pressure plate and flywheel (it is probably uneven, and Subaru never advocates turning them on the lathe-- new flywheels only) might help. If it doesn't, you can either figure out how to drive around the problem or install a slightly uprated aftermarket clutch like an ACT Street, which uses a stock Exedy organic clutch disc and a firmer pressure plate.

    re: driving around the problem, we've discussed it here several times and it's too bad there's not a real search function where you could find these posts easily.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Colin and bv pretty much summed it all up. The only thing I'd like to add is trying a different dealer? Which one have you been going to? I live in the Bay Area and have found Santa Cruz Subaru to be outstanding. I know it's a haul to get over 17, but it's well worth the trip.

  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,264
    My husband took his Accord'97 for 60K service, to the local mechanic known for reasonable prices... we ended up paying nearly $900, all maintenance but still -- $900? Timing belt had to be replaced, engine tuned up, brake rotors replaced (2nd time for that car!), etc.

    Did I mention the car had to be towed to the shop? Turned out to be a blown fuse, and such that shop had to special-order it from Honda and wait 2 days for it to arrive... My old Loyale never gave us so much trouble.

    So I guess they don't make 100% reliable cars anymore, at least I consider Honda's reliability a myth by now.
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