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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537
    With today's engine electronics, a bit of caution in randomly picking plugs du jour is in order. Don't get sucked into the neato ads with lightning flashing in the background and the Escort beating the Corvette crap. The plugs in your vehicle were matched to its engine in terms of length of electrode, resistance, heat range and other factors. Some of the newer multi point plugs (splitfires, triple electrodes, etc) can cause electrical pulses the sensitive electronics interpret as a misfire and the like.

    Personally, I'd stick with the NGKs named in your owner's manual. Truth be told, there's really no measurable difference in performance from a spark plug. If it's clean and in good shape, a spark is a spark. Don't tell me the special plugs have a hotter or faster spark - it's all up to the power coming through the plug wire and the spark plug cannot change this.

    Save your money for better oil, or something else...

  • joaynjoayn Posts: 2
    Thanks so much for your answers! I'll try having the wheels retorqued to 70 ft lbs, then if the problem remains, I'll follow Patti's advice.
    :) Joayn
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346
    Good points, Doug. Electricity usually sparks at the most convenient point. Multiple electrodes will not necessarily have multiple sparks!

    The same goes for "hotter" plugs. All that means is that there's less of a heat sink to help remove heat. Therefore, the temperature of the plug is higher. It has nothing to do with the spark.

  • lcklcklcklck Posts: 3
    Hi, I have a '96 Legacy wagon. The light illuminating the LCD display on the radio has burned out. I inquired at the dealer and he said they have no parts and I should buy a new radio (at $900.00). Well, that's a very good answer for the dealer, but it didn't help me much.

    I have taken the radio out, and it has no manufacturer name on it. I need the circuit board which holds the LCD and the little LEDs that light up the front.

    Does anyone know who makes the radios, or where I might get parts for such. OR where I might buy some of the LEDs which I could solder onto the board to fix this thing!!


  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537
    A couple months ago, I spent around $170 for an upper line Pioneer AM/FM/CD player and an adapter for the wiring harness in my '97. By the time you get done messing around with your stock radio, you'll spend $30 and a lot of time/hassle to have only the original radio in it. Personally, I'd consider this upgrade option over repairing the stock radio. You could get lesser models (still with CD/AM/FM) for a little over $100. Or, you might call a few salvage yards who'll probably sell you an original radio for around $50. Unless you're real handy with a soldering iron, reconsider trying a repair.

    As for the dealer, that's just plain stupidity on his part. Ask him if he'd spend $900 on a factory radio if it were his car. You could get one of the finest audiophile level systems installed in your car for that.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's great mileage for the H6. It's really geared for cruising speeds.

  • Check Engine light came on at about 32,000 miles. Dealer replaced the Air Assist Injector Solenoid under warranty.

    Is this a common problem? I did some research on edmunds and i-club but did not find much.

  • flasksflasks Posts: 14
    My ONLY fault with the Soobie which might be normal (at least I hope so) is that when I start a cold engine it seems to roll over 2 or 3 times before starting and then it comes right up to proper warm up RPM. If the engine is at normal operating temperature it starts immediately. My past experience was with a Ford Ranger and a Ford Explorer (took me awhile to "get it"), anyhow, both of those vehicles started instantly when cold. Am I wrong in assuming my VDC should start immediately when cold like the others I just mentioned? ..all help appreciated. Thanks all, Don
  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537
    This is a symptom of a fuel injection system that's got a seal leak somewhere. Normally, the high pressures of the system are available for starting still hours later. With the leak pressures will drop and must be repressurized before the injectors fire. It's a simple and cheap test called a "leak down' test. They put the equipment on the system, fire up the car, note the pressure and shut it off. Then they go to lunch and if the pressure is holding this is not the problem. Try it.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is to turn the key to the "on" position for 5 seconds before turning over the key. This will allow the fuel pump to pressurize the line before starting.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    Well I installed the 8.5 mm Magnacore wires in my '01 Legacy GT but decided to leave the Boch platinum plugs in (they only have about 35K on them). Noticed a significant difference at low rpm, the engine seems to run smoother and pull better. Also notice that I got better shifting, does not seem to loose momentum while shifting with the new wires. I just wonder if it is all in my mind or a set of new, better wires can make this kind of difference. ALso the exhaust noise seems quiter also.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    be careful asking for a "leak down" test at your dealership or independent servicer. if someone came to me asking for that, they'd get a pressurized combustion chamber. this is the only test I've ever heard of called a "leak down" test and it is used to determine the rate of pressure loss in the combustion chamber. this tells you how healthy the rings, valvesprings, valves and valve seals are; it's a more thorough test than a simple compression test.

    I never owned an H6 subaru, but my four cylinder did take a just a few seconds to fire when cold. I'd be inclined to call it normal versus immediately suspecting a fuel injector or other fuel delivery problem.

  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537
    test would be more appropriate if you're worried the mechanic would be confused. Paisan's got an excellent suggestion. Try turning the key to 'on' (dash warning lights on) for about 5 seconds. If the car starts instantly after you then turn further to engage the starter, it's a good indication of low startup pressure being the culprit. By doing this, you "pre pressurized" the system.

    If the leak is caused by a faulty injector, this test would not reveal it as the flooded cylinder would still hinder starting even after the 5 seconds. If this is the case, you'll hear a dead cylinder for a few seconds before the cylinder clears and starts burning correctly.

    Good call, Mike.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    sjs: CELs are common, but not what you describe. If the dealer fixed it, don't worry about it.

    Don: I'd suspect the battery. My new battery has almost twice the CCAs as my original, and it starts better now, FWIW. Cheap, too, at $40 from Wal Mart.

  • Turning the key to on you can actually hear the fuel pump pressurizing and when it stops. This is how I always start my Soob. Works perfect. If I just start without waiting it does take a few cranks to fire.

  • pgh4pgh4 Posts: 13
    I have a 2000 Legacy Outback wagon. Does anyone have suggestions for a good maintenance manual for this model..? Mainly looking for somthing that covers routine maintenace practices that I can tackle myself.

    Looking to change the spark plugs very soon. They look alittle difficult to access. Any thoughts or experiences on this..? Thanks
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    Yes it does look difficult at first but by removing the windshield washer bottle (2 bolts) and the air cleaner box (2 bolts) you can get to it easy. Just make sure you have long extensions and a swiwel attachement.
  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,246
    Hi Paul,

    Currently, Chilton's and Haynes have no repair manuals for the 3rd generation (MY2000-current) Legacy/Outback. Per email in 2001-09:

    Chilton's: "[has] no information as to when or if this manual will be available"
    Haynes: "It is in review at this time for an update in mid 2002."

    An expensive alternative is the 2000 Legacy/Outback Factory Service Manual. Tacoma Subaru ( sells it for $288.07 + $29 shipping. It may be less expensive at Liberty Subaru (no online catalog). Contact info:

    Liberty Subaru
    66 Kinderkamack Rd.
    Oradell, NJ 07649
    888-782-9493 (888-SUBY4WD), 201-261-7495, fax 201-261-3261

    Tacoma Subaru
    3838 South Tacoma Way
    Tacoma, WA 98409

    If you call Liberty for the price, please post it here.

    Hope this helps.



  • jfljfl Posts: 1,346
    are available as individual volumes. Vol 1 is the one for specifications, dealer prep, and general maintenance.

    I think it's a little "hit & miss". It gives info on bleeding the brakes but not about changing pads (that's found in the volume I didn't buy). The volume on body & interior makes no mention of outside mirrors at all!

    Someone listed what each volume covered, perhaps 6 to 9 months ago?, on this thread and possibly the cost of each volume.


  • lakepoplakepop Posts: 221
    Go over to the i-club.....service and maintenance forum just had some inputs on the manuals.

    Hope this helps.
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