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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    Went to dealership this morning at 7:30 AM for repair attempt #9 on the rotten egg smell odyssey.

    I found out yesterday that the rep and mechanic from Subaru I was supposed to meet at 7:30AM wouldn't be there until 9:30 (after I left for work). Also, the loaner car I was assured would be there wasn't, and the man behind the counter had no idea what I was talking about. When they finally got me to the car rental place, they wanted my credit card (for a deposit) or a PO# from the dealer. The dealer wouldn't provide one. I left very angry after an hour of nonsense. Out of everything I was assured would happen, not one actually did.

    The dealership just called to tell me the car was ready and that the folks from Subaru had left. I'm told they did something to the tailpipe so the smell wouldn't come in the car anymore, and that it needs an ECU update that I have to go back for because they're too busy today.

    I left a message for the person at Subaru dealing with my case to call me back. That was 1 1/2 hours ago.

    Draw your own conclusions. I certainly have.
  • grugrugrugru Posts: 20
    Hello - lurked for a while a while ago
    Took my subie for a drive in the snow
    got me home i never got lost
    now, how much did YOUR 30k maintenance cost?

    Also, what's a good replacement for the Geolandars? Popped a 1/2-dollar size hole in the inside sidewall; got a used replacement, but they're @^%#$^ noisy. Suggestions for Oregon climate, please.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That stinks. The dealer should lose their franchise. They call that service?

    Are there others dealers in your area? I guess we're spoiled here in DC, there are 7 within driving distance of me.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not my expertise at all, we get only a couple of inches of snow this year. I'm on touring tires that are lousy in snow.

  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    Some gas companies sell "gasahol" which contains 10% or more methyl alcohol. Arco is one that I know of. I think some others do it in the winter because alcohol is "miscible" (mixes completely) with both gas and water. You've heard of gas-dryer? Same stuff.

    Anyway, alcohol has less energy in it than gasoline. The higher the percentage of alcohol, the greater the reduction in gas mileage. I think the alcohol content may be posted on the pump.

  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    I've had SoA involved in this project for 5 months, and I still don't have a car that works.

    I think this sort of thing works from the top down...
  • quonquon Posts: 7

    I would like to flush the brake fluid on
    my 99 Forester. I have the service manuals
    and the procedure looks pretty straightforward,
    however, I'm concerned that there may be
    some complications due to ABS. For example,
    I read that on some ABS systems (not necessarily
    Subaru), if air somehow finds its way into the
    braking control system, you will need to take
    it to the dealer. The Subarau service manual,
    however, does *NOT* have any special warning
    messages for cars equipped with ABS.

    Does anyone have any practical experience
    flushing the brake fluid on an ABS system?

    Any info appreciated.


  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I have bled the brakes many times on my (former) '99 Impreza RS and on friends Imprezas as well.

    There's nothing to it. There is a recommended order mentioned in the FSM but I always used RR, RL, FR, FL and it worked well.

    If you do get air in the ABS system, a dealer can purge it by using the ScanTool. It's neat.

    I never had any problems though. I recommend Valvoline SynPower brake fluid-- cheap, available at Wal-Mart and most autoparts chains, and very good performance. The complete volume of the braking system (1999 with ABS) is 10.1 ounces, so only buy a 16oz bottle. You want to be out or nearly that after one shot, an open bottle of brake fluid absorbs moisture WAY worse than what's in the car.

  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    The solution to all my problems seems to have been that the car needed a chrome tailpipe cover. Subaru's regional rep and their technical instructor came all the way to Brooklyn to install that on my car.

    Of course, I got not one block from the dealership when the rotten egg fumes filled the inside of the car. I had to open the vents first, though. Apparently, the folks from Subaru closed them for their test drive. I'm not sure how they could expect to smell anything that way, but what do I know.

    The customer service rep finally returned my call at 4:00PM to let me know she was leaving at 4:30 and would return on Monday. Of course, what with leaving work early (again) to pick up the car, I didn't get the message until too late. I guess we'll see if they have someone else contact me tomorrow.

    Oh yeah. They dealer also said the car needs to go in for an ECU update next week. They couldn't do it today because they were "too busy".

    I know it can't be the WWF89 update, because that one doesn't apply to my car (built later in the year). Has anyone else heard about an update for 2002 Foresters?
  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537

    How do you like the factory manuals? How many manuals are there and what did it cost you? I've looked at the one for my '97 and it seemed to be several bulky manuals vs an after market Haynes.

    On the brakes, I think you'd have to really screw up to get air into the ABS controller. Just keep the reservoir reasonably full and you'll be fine. I've done several ABS vehicles at home with no problems, will echo the Synpower synthetic recommendation and the freshly opened bottle only comment. Some vehicles have a proportioning valve near the rear axle with a bleed valve as well. If yours has this, I believe it was recommended as the last bleed after the wheel calipers were done on vehicles I've done.

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346
    IdahoDoug - I see you got your moniker back. 8~)

    For 2000, it's 8 manuals. Total cost around $275. (Ouch!) I only got three volumes.

    Vol 1 General Overview - Not much detail in some areas. No detail on how to change brake pads but specified the proper order for bleeding brakes. (I'd figure more people change pads at home than bleed brakes.) Did have lots of specs though. (Want to know all the gear ratios???)

    Vol 7? Body & Interior - Same thing. Details in some areas but absolutely nothing about outside mirrors!

    Vol 8? Wiring Diagrams

    They're somewhat helpful but no where near a Haynes. As popular as Subarus are in the UK, I would have thought Haynes would have manuals for them.

  • jresjres Posts: 69
    Well, I've had the car back for a day and a half and so far so good. She has a rock steady idle. It turns out that the service techs who worked on installing the new throttle position sensor didn't realize it had to be calibrated and once they did that all seems well.

    Let's hope it lasts this time, I really like the car otherwise and Subaru has been great at fixing things under warranty, my issues have been more dealer related than car related.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not me. My wife's 2002 Legacy was not affected, and has your same engine.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I noticed that under hard acceleration (oh well if you got it flaunt it if you don't fake it), my 01 Legacy GT's AC cuts out. Is that a design or flaw?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think that's cool. On my Miata, I often manually cut out the A/C when I know I'm approaching a favorite corner.

  • patdadpatdad Posts: 9
    I have a habit of replacing the PCV valve on my cars every year or two. Thinking that it was about time to replace the original PCV valve in my 01 OB, I started looking for an aftermarket replacement from Fram or Purolator, but it seems that the usual aftermarket companies don't make a PCV valve for the OB. Then I stopped at a local dealer, where the parts dept guy had some trouble figuring out what the right part is. He showed me a diagram that illustrates the valve (maybe) as well as a complex of hoses all together as one assembly. He told me the assembly was $24. Since he didn't seem too convinced that this was the right part and the price seemed abnormally high for a PCV valve I told him I would come back.

    Looking at the engine itself, it looks like the PCV valve is a typical single part though it does thread into the valve cover (many other manufacturers have a valve that is just a friction fit).
    Anyone ever replace their own PCV valve and happen to know the right part number?

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    Where the PCV is, what the part number is. There's gold to be found on the iClub if you sift the silt enough.



  • quonquon Posts: 7
    I have the 1999 Subaru Forester Service Manuals.
    They consist of 6 volumes:
    1: General information
    2: Engine Section
    3: Transmission/Differential
    4: Mechanical components
    5: Body Section
    6: Electrical Section

    The whole set costs around $250 from

    For general maintenance, you can get by
    with just Vol. 1, however, you can ususally find
    more details on the specific procedure in
    the appropriate volume.

    So far, I think that purchasing the set has
    been worth it. But then again, it keeps getting
    more expensive every year!

  • patdadpatdad Posts: 9
    Wow - I couldn't have imagined a better response. The pictures confirmed that I wasn't mistaken about the location of the part. I'm tempted to take the picture of the part itself to the dealer's part department but I don't think I'd score too many points that way.
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