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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    wheel bearing noise can be hard to diagnose. Generally not a squeal, no. Much more subtle. More like a "ballsy-rumble" sound, a grinding noise that gets faster as the car goes faster, kinda like a washing machine pulse but far away in the next room in the closet.


  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    my opinion on an oxygen sensor is that given a good sensor, no exhaust leaks, and good low sulfur fuel they'll last upwards of 100k miles or more.

    if you haven't replaced one and you start experiencing driveability or economy problems it's something to try. they can be difficult to replace due to heat & cooling of the sensor and exhaust pipe...

    out of warranty, I would recommend Bosche oxygen sensors for any vehicle. you can get them at most autoparts stores.

  • woodsedgewoodsedge Posts: 2
    Hi, I bought a 2002 Subaru Forester L about 8 months ago. I can't begin to tell you how much I regret that purchase. It's a shame because I had a 1986 Subaru GL which I just loved and all the research I did suggested that I would have a similar experience with a Subaru GL. Quite the opposite. Outlined below are the problems my car is having:

    1. Gas tank: it doesn't fill completely. At first it filled to 3/4 tank. I took it to the dealer, who told me that the gas tank is in the shape of a horseshoe and goes around the transmission. In the middle of the horseshoe is a small valve, which apparently got clogged in my car. They had to take off the wheels and transmission to get to the gas tank, by the way. Anyway, the situation only got worse. Now I can only fill the tank to 1/2 tank. I took it back to the service guy who says it's a "trait of the car" and he won't try to fix it anymore.

    Air conditioning: It "cools" to 85 degrees. Service guy says that "everything works fine".

    Paint: the paint is chipping off on my 8 month old car. Dealer says that it's "normal" wear and not covered under warranty.

    Does anyone else have these problems?

    Can anyone give me any advice?

    I've contacted Subaru of America twice now. The first time I called and spoke to someone who was incredibly rude to me. She took down all the information and said someone would call me back, but they never did.

    The second time, I wrote them a letter. A different amazingly rude woman called me and told me that the Regional Service Manager would have to look at the car. I took it to him at the appointed hour. I was really excited, hoping that I'd get my problems resolved. I took him for a test drive, welcoming him into my Subaru world. Naturally, that was the ONLY time (honestly!) that the gas tank filled completely. Murphy's law, I guess.

    Interestingly, the air conditioning problem seemed to resolve itself for the moment. I have no doubts that it'll return.

    Any advice or help is welcome. Patti, I really hope to hear from you. Can you help?

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346

  • rayfbairdrayfbaird Posts: 183
    as the best used midsize value. See the home page for details.
  • I'm afraid I have no advice. But I can assure you that our 2002 Forester is just great. We've had it about 9 months. No fuel related problems; great fuel efficiency; no problems at all. The air conditioner is fantastic, icy cold, and we are in southern New Mexico where the summer temps rise to over 100 on a regular basis.

    We have had regular contact with Subaru of America -- as I say, no problems, just for various non-problem reasons before and after our purchase -- and everyone at Subaru of America has always gone out of their way to be polite and helpful.

    I suppose there can be problem vehicles with every manufacturer, and it sounds like you've had the bad luck to get one. It sounds absolutely unbelievable that a dealer would try to tell you the things you've said were wrong with your car are normal! If you pursue getting these problems fixed, I'm confident that Subaru will straighten it out for you. From all I've seen on these boards Subaru does an excellent job at standing behind what they make and sell. Patti is a wonder and a blessing (as my mother would say). I know that in my family Subaru is what we drive: me, my brother, and my sister (Sis has two). Statistically (consulting Consumer Reports, for example) Subaru vehicles are very reliable and are recommended as used vehicles -- Subaru makes great cars, and the Foresters have proven to be very good cars, looking at the model as a whole.

    Good luck! I'm sure it will all work out.
  • ejharaejhara Posts: 8
    2001 Outback Wagon, 20K, 2.5 4 cylinder, auto--good car, very fast, 27 mpg.,valuable to have on icy days, etc. But . . . several small problems, and before I take it to dealer I'd like some advice. One: It pings on most gas, most of the time, esp. in summer. We're talking mid-grade here. Two: Engine hesitates upon first starting up in drive, almost stalls. Three: brakes continue to grind and squalk, esp. when car is cold. All of these problems cause me to "lose face" in the neighborhood. It doesn't sound like an almost-new car. It has had regular maintenance, is driven easily, and has displayed these characteristics since new. Again, thanks for any help.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, about $70. I replaced the one on my Miata and the mileage went up slightly, though it could have been attributed to other factors.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    One other person had trouble with their gas tank, somethig about the vapor recovery system, I think. I'd have a different dealer check it out, if you have another one no too far away.

    The newer A/C systems no longer use Freon and aren't quite as cold, but they should still cool well. If you park in the sun on a humid day, of course, it'll take a while for it to catch up. Consider tinted windows if you park in the sun every day, better yet find a garage. :-)

    Paint chips are a common complaint. But the cladding on the L model should help there. You might want to consider Invisibra or similar stick-on protection.

    ejhara: try resetting the ECU. Disconnect the negative terminal on your battery, wait 30 minutes, then reconnect. Idle until warm. I bet that makes a difference. Your first tank will have low gas mileage, since it runs rich until it leans out the fuel mixture.

    Subaru came out with a "shim kit" fix for squeeky brakes, and those that got it reported good results. Ask your dealer about it.

  • voochvooch Posts: 92
    joe_sin: I read your problems and they are pretty much the same thing I've been having. I have a 2000 Toyota Celica though. My gas mileage has been less than stellar. I've had two '84 Celicas that both got better mpg than this new one, which kinda irks me. I also get the rotten egg smell sometimes but I can only smell it when I am outside the car. I am really curious to find out if you can resolve the problem.

    I have had the car for a year and a half. I have gotten the egg smell less and less frequently over time while the mpg has been getting slowly better. It started at around 20-22 mpg, and I have a manual. I was expecting to get high 20's, 26 at the minimum with a standard and a 4 cylinder. At least like I've gotten with all the 4 cylinders I've owned in the past. Now I get around 23-24, 25-27 maybe if I do a lot of highway. I do 90% city driving though so I don't expect it to be 30+ unless I do all highway. I figured that I was just on the real low end of the average, since that's what the law of averages is all about. =)

    I will definitely be checking this board to see how your situation turns out! Good luck with it!
  • outback_97outback_97 Posts: 130
    Old news, right? I just had this recall installed, and I have a simple question. Is it possible for the dealership to perform the installation WITHOUT removing the wheels?

    I had wheel studs damaged recently, and I think it was from this procedure, as they were fine (lug nuts and studs that is) a few months back and this has been the only service performed since then that should involve wheel removal.

    I got my hands on a copy of the Repair Procedures WWE-88: Step #1 Raise vehicle on a lift. Step #2 Remove the left and right front wheels. Seems pretty clear to me, but the dealership says they don't have to remove the wheel to perform the install. Who's right? Any opinions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • dry_flydry_fly Posts: 12

    I have Yokohama H/T tires on my Forester S. They only have 27000 miles on them, but seem pretty worn down (eyeball).

    I am thinking of replacing them. I live in Oregon so there are both national and local tire dealers here: Firestone, Sears, Les Schwab, Beggs, Big O. I have looked on the web, and it seems that the Michelin Pilot XGT V4 or H4 are good tires, but expensive. should I get these or are the local/regional companies as good?

    I am coming up to the 30K mile checkup. It looks like they will change fuel filters, plugs, check brakes, and several other things I don't recollect. Are there items I should get or not get? It looks like they will change the air filter, but a friend recommended getting a K&N air filter which he says will last a lifetime. I don't know this brand, any comments?

    Thanks for any help.

    BTW, my previous problem with the Check Engine Light was because the gas cap was not on tight enough. The dealer also tighten the charcoal filter clamps and the fuel filter clamps.
  • vincer2vincer2 Posts: 97
    Subaru implemented a fix for 2000 and newer 4 cyls that have a pinging problem which surfaces in the warm weather. Take your car to the dealer and have the service department send the ECU back to SOA so revised software can be downloaded onto the ECU. You'll be without your car for at least 2 days.

    Don't expect the pinging to completely disappear but it will be reduced to a much more tolerable level. When the weather cools off (<70) the pinging will again disappear.

    Save your money - use regular gas. Higher octane won't correct your pinging problem.

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Even if it costs a little more. Drain and refill the transmission oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and consider also replacing the radiator coolant.

    In the Mid 80's I had a pickup that I took in yearly for servicing. They followed the schedule and nothing more. So with Tranny fluid they only inspected it. at 90K had to replace a transmission. On subsequent vehicles I have maintained a rigid 15K transmission drain and refill ever since without problems. and my Dodge has 175K on it.

    In light of recent experience, I also change the PCV valve every 2 years regardless. I didn't change the valve regularly. At one oil change it was fine, then next time, when I checked the air filter it was filled with oil. PCV valve replacement completely fixed that issue, and not surprisingly, the rough running stopped immediately.
  • ejharaejhara Posts: 8
    Two replies in 24 hrs. Thanks! I'll have some intelligent suggestions when I take the car in for service.
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    If you want to have to bother with regularly removing, washing and drying a dirty, oily air filter element, reoiling it and reassembling the whole thing, the K&N air filter is for you. I gave up that routine in the 1970's when ALL of the automobile manufacturers switched to pleated paper filters that filter out much finer particles of dirt much more reliably, with much greater convenience when they need scheduled replacement. K&N does do a great job of advertising though.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I use K&N and for one thing they are re-usable so I don't have to fill up the landfills with my air filters. 2nd advanatage is that they are much more water resistant than the paper ones. For me who does a lot of offroading this makes it more favorable because after a romp through a stream, I can take it home and clean it out w/o purchasing a whole new one.

  • grugrugrugru Posts: 20
    Wentworth did our 30k service which included the stuff you mentioned and the "aggressive" stuff from mrdetailer. Not cheap but easily amortized. The did a good job (even cleaned the motor up a little) but WATCH OUT b/c they forgot to reconnect my washer fluid pump.

    I'm in the same tire boat as you - my geolandars have gotten a pretty good workout esp on logging roads; also my wife parks a lil close to the curb at times.
  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    That's how many miles are on my 2000 Legacy GT, and much I just spent to get it to run right again. It was missing, backfiring, markedly down on power. It happened all of a sudden. 1 coil, 4 ignition wires, 1 fuel injector, and some labor later, it's fixed.

    Misaligned from the factory, warped rotors (twice), clutch chatter -- the last two of which, despite being widely reported by owners, Subaru won't own up to -- and now misfires, backfires, and hundreds of dollars out of pocket to make it right. This is the legendary Subaru reliability and bulletproof build quality? Hmmm. I sure hope all those people I recommended look at Subies fare better.

    The good news, such as it is, is that the car has found its old punch once again. From approximately 3300 RPMs up to 5000, it really rocks.

    I wonder how long it will last this time.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    isn't that stuff covered under the powertrain warranty? you are under the 60K warranty period.

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