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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • celica115celica115 Posts: 169
    I will keep check the oil level from now on. Some infomation I want to connect from you guys. Which gas station (Mobil, Shell ... etc) you used to go? It is interesting. So far I have tried 3 different gas stations since I bought this car (11 months ago). I always use 93 and I have different result. Mobil = 17/local, 25/highway. Amoco = 19/local, 25/highway. Exxon = 20/local, 35/highway. Dose anyone try the new Shell's gas?
  • stoner420stoner420 Posts: 165
    in a wrx? are you sure that wasn't a typo..? I've personally never found exxon to be that much better than most of the other stuff around here (I usually use getty cuz it's much cheaper and works just as well) I do like Amoco, but I tried a tank (of the 93, only kind of high grade you pretty much find in SW CT really) and it didn't do anything better than the getty gas. Anyhow, this is probably getting off topic..
  • celica115celica115 Posts: 169
    I was driving from Queens to Riverhead. 2 hours driving at 70mph. You will feel a little bit better with K&N filter installed. How many MPG you have by Getty's gas? I would try on my next tank.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Never experienced above 25 myself, but could see 35. If you have the cruse control pegged at 70 mph (tack is around 2600 rpms), constantly flowing, with a better Oil filter, I guess it could be possible.
  • oclvframeoclvframe Posts: 121
    I just finished performing a 30k mi service on my LLBean and thought I'd share the experience.

    Originally I thought I'd just let the dealer do it since the 30k service on these cars is a little more involved than your ordinary FWD vehicle. But, when I saw the $500 price tag I decided that I'd do it myself.

    I based what needed to be done on a combination of the recommended service by the owners manual and the recommended items from my dealer (Classic Cadillac and Subaru, Sandy Springs, GA).

    The list included lots of the usual inspections, but, it also included flushing and replacing most of the vehicles fluids: Coolant, ATF, brake fluid, engine oil, and front and rear diff oil. It also included other usuals such as cabin air filter, engine air filter, oil filter. And last it included some not so usual...PCV valve.

    I ordered all my parts from Liberty Subaru. I got a great deal on the parts including the general information section of the service manual (which is actually not necessary if you buy the H-6 supplement manual which is tremendously handy and comprehensive).

    I started off early Saturday morning. I backed the Ody out of the garage and drove the Bean to dump the old oil I had in my catch pan and to get some distilled water to mix with the new coolant. The trip also served to heat up the engine enough for the fluid to be drained nicely. When I returned, I jacked the car up and stood it on 4 jack-stands in the middle of the garage. I proceeded to drain the engine oil first, then the front diff. Both were easy. The ATF was tough...not knowing how much I had drained, it was tough to get the level back correctly since it requires a hot engine that has been run through the gears to get it right...after draining some, then overfilling and a final additional draining, I got it to the exact level required...that took a few days of waiting for the oil to cool, then filling with the engine hot. I will know better next time.

    The coolant was especially easy since it drains the entire engine from one location and since the filler nozzle is above any single part of the engine. I only added an addition cup or two to top it off once it'd had a chance to warm up and burp. The brakes went well too. I bought a turkey baster to suck the existing fluid I could out of the reservoir. I then refilled it with new fluid. I attached a 18" length of clear tubing to each drain nipple and opened all of them to let gravity do its thing. I refilled the reservoir numerous times (without letting it drain completely of course) and after about 4-5 refils I closed them all off and had my wife assist me with a typical break bleed proceedure.

    I took advantage of all wheels being off the car to clean them up on the inside and out and rotate them.

    Once off the jacks, I replaced the cabin air filter (which was dirty but not too bad). Of course, with as much bypass as it allows....well that is another story.

    I have not replaced the air filter or the pcv valve because unfortunately, the wrong ones were sent. The good news, though, is that the correct ones are on the way along with a call tag for the incorrect ones. Also, since I had already replaced the engine air filter back at 15k, it wasn't tremendously dirty anyway. (BTW I did vacuum it off with a shop vac, as well as the inside of the filter box, before placing the filter back in.

    So all in all, it went very well. I learned some things that will make the 60K mile service easier and saved a lot of money while doing it. I put Mobil 1 synthetic in the crankase as well as the differentials but just regular Dextron III in the ATF. I used Valvoline Synthetic Dot 3 fluid for the brakes and regular ole Prestone.

    I strongly recommend the H-6 supplement manual since it covers lots of maintenance type issues as well as some serious engine tear-down/trouble shooting info. It can be gotten for about $90 from Liberty. The general info manual was not necessary but it only cost me $12.

    I have always done most of the maintenance on my cars myself, but, at first I was intimidated by the thought of doing all this. Now that I have done it, I am glad I did.

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,335
    Thanks for the service summary. Now I know what I have to look forward to. As well as a pretty good shopping list. 8~)
  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537

    Funny you asked about that filter crush washer - sorry been off this thread for a few days. I have a hard time with the way this site is organized and confess that in the couple months I've been here there have been a few times where I've grumbled to myself "Where was that thread about the Legacy heater bulbs I posted...?"

    The reason it's funny is that yesterday I bought a couple more factory oil filters and I intentionally did not ask for the little seal crush washers they'd give me the first time. Sure enough the parts guy was careful to put one in with the filter and I asked him to again show me where it goes. It's a normal crush washer, and on the factory oil filter there's a circular depression it fits into around the threaded center hole. The bulge goes against the block as would be standard crush washer practice on a drain plug or other. So, seemed like unprompted reinforcement of this feature. I asked him why a Fram or other aftermarket filter for my car did not have this feature and he didn't know.

    Before posting, I went to the garage and carefully looked at one, comparing it to the factory Toyota LandCruiser filters I also have out there. It's quite clear that the crush washer is a part of the Subaru filter design and without it there would be considerable bypass opportunity for the oil to avoid the filter as the result of a sizeable gap where the washer should be. The gap would be on the order of a sixteenth of an inch and that's a lot of oil bypass. By comparison, the LandCruiser filter (also a very high quality factory unit that I special order from a dealer who hoarded the last few hundred cases of the original good ones before Toyota sold out and went to a generic fits-all strategy a year ago) uses a metal flange that is clearly designed to mate with the same surface on the block the Subaru's does around the center threaded hole. The flange is designed to flex and create a tight seal as it contacts the block.

    So, this is a very interesting finding and I'm glad you asked me about it. Next time I'm in the auto parts store, I'm going to bring a straight edge in and see if the aftermarket filters indeed would leave a gap as I surmise without some type of crush washer strategy. It would be a simple matter to see if they have a flexy mating surface, and if the filter's mating surface is close enough to the plan of the rubber perimeter seal to hit the block and seal off oil bypass. Can you imagine? The aftermarket filters could be made in such a way that they don't effectively filter due to their generic design?

    On the 30k service described above - bravo! Well done. You didn't mention what you saved, but it has to be in the $400 range, eh? One quick comment - be sure to use the bleeder to purge any air from the cooling system if there is one - look for a black circular plastic piece the size of a dime with a deeply embossed cross on it. You used the word 'burp', so you may already know about this feature. Anyhow, well done.

  • I've run 93 premium in a variety of Lexuses over the past 7 years and found no difference in performance between cheapie stations and Shell, BP, etc.

    My uncle was a Gulf Oil distributor and eventually went independent. He said his tank truck would pull up in line with the Shell and Standard(at the time, now Amoco/BP). They distributed the same fuel to all companies.

    The power of marketing...TC
  • Several weeks ago I posted a litany of problems related to my '00 Forester. One of the primary problems is rear wheel bearings. SOA has not responded to my questions, so I am again turning to this forum.

    I have had three right rear bearings replaced on my vehicle. This past Saturday I had the car at the dealership to have the catalytic convertor replaced under warranty and I asked them to checkout the noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. The diagnosis was a failing LEFT rear wheel bearing. The service guy said to expect a $400 bill to replace the bearing.

    Does anyone have any experience with after market bearings on this vehicle, i.e. cost & reliability? Does anyone have a good way to determine if the failing bearing is on the left- vs right-hand side?

    I have been driving for 35 years. In all of that time I have had 5 wheel bearings go out - four of them were on my current vehicle!! I can't believe that I have just been lucky up to now - it's got to be the car!
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    who have had their bearings go out on pre - '01 Forester wheel bearings. It is a weakness in the car design that was fixed in '01.

    Supposedly, either the current Imressa or legacy bearings would fit the Forester, and are much more stout.

    If you scroll up a few posts (20+), this item is talked about at length.

    I am sure some of the more informative and technical posters on this board can fill you in, and correct me if I am wrong.
  • ronc7ronc7 Posts: 2
    My 96 L wagon failed to re-start when "warm" and smelled of fuel. After sitting awhile, it started right up but had a check engine light. AutoZone read(and rest) the code for me (free) and it was P340 "cam pos sensor ckt fault". Dealer said I should change both Cam & Crank position sensors. This is EASY to do yourself (dealer wanted $120)
    which is crazy. A week later, ANTOHER check eng light .. this time 420 "Catalyst below threshold #1 side" ... I've had it reset but, suspect that this latest prob may be the result of the earlier one and hope it will "pass" (not come back "on").
    Any similar experience with multiple codes ??
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What is your current mileage? If you are under 60k, the powertrain warranty may still apply.

    Call 800-SUBARU3 and ask for them to open up a case. I bet they'll provide some help. At least push for the newer replacements.

  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537

    I'm not clear on whether you replaced the cam sensors or??..

    The second code could be the result of pumping raw gas into the cats, but I don't understand why it would have taken a week for the engine to throw a code or it.

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    It looks like Felicia is still working on your case. Monday's can get a bit crazy, but you should hear from her soon. Sorry for the delay.

  • Everything OK now? No explosions?

  • ronc7ronc7 Posts: 2
    Actually I did change the cam pos sensor and have no further occurance of that code (P340) AND... it was super-easy to do(a 5 min job). My new code (cat convertor below threshold # 1 side (#420)) may actually have been caused by cleaning my engine ? I recently used the Castrol SuperClean product (great stuff) and the high-pressure car wash spray to clean the whole engine compartment. Unfortunately, now I read that one should never get any cleaning solvents on the Oxygen sensor and wonder if this could be why i got the light.
  • gjoygjoy Posts: 2
    It went well except ...

    I'm still furious that i couldn't remove the drain plug myself. Granted i was using just a short, cheesey socket wrench, but i couldn't budge the thing. Had to call a friend and he takes it off without missing a beat and patronizingly says "it was on too tight" ... uugh ... what's a girl to do ... more push ups i guess.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually, it's just a matter of leverage. A longer handle give you better torque.

    Or a breaker bar that can slide onto your socket wrench.

    When you reinstall the plug, use a crush washer and only use enough torque to crush that washer.

  • I am the proud owner of a brand new '02 Outback. It's the first new car I've owned and has generated in me (for the first time) a desire to understand how the car works and how to perform maintenance on it. I've never even been interested in cars/motors/etc... before so I guess I'm a late bloomer. Does anyone have suggestions as to how I could learn basic Subaru maintenance short of taking a few months off from work and enrolling in a trade school?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try little things at first, using hints from here and I'm self-taught and have done most basic maintenance, a little at a time.

    First things first, you should change the oil at 3k miles. Go ahead and get a filter now, Purolator makes the OE filter, or grab one from a dealer. Plus 5 quarts of 10w30 oil, and oil pan, a crescent wrench to remove the drain plug. Grab a 17mm crush washer from the dealer or parts store, too. You may (or may not) need an oil filter wrench. I can usually get them out by hand. Make yourself a check list.

    When you are ready, we'll show you photos and tips for changing the oil.

    That ought to build your confidence. At 7500 miles you should do another oil change and rotate your tires as well. For that you'll need a torque wrench, and I'd recommend a floor jack, but I say tackle one task at a time, so don't worry about that until closer to the time you do it.

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