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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • My 1999 Forester sounds like a washing machine during cold weather starts---I am told this is normal. I hate it because it sounds like a previous Rabbit deisel I once owned.

    I am considering a 2003 or a 2004--My dealer tells me that they have eliminated this problem--Should I believe him??
  • axp696axp696 Posts: 90
    I'd ask what exactly was the problem, and see whether the parts involved are warranteed and if a deal can be struck on fixing it. Your car is only 3 years old, I think upgrading to a new model because something is obviously broken on yours is a bit premature.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Doug, mixed bag on this one. While my Honda Odyssey has them, the OB does not. I don't believe that the wheels I bought (house brand from Tire Rack made by FOMB in Italy - makers of Mille Miglia, etc.) have them either. Thus the steel nuts are indeed compressing aluminum alloy. All the more reason to check them periodically.

    David/John (?) Lakepop: Thanks for your comments! Actually the use of antisieze on the hub mounting surface was new news to me also. Both my new Honda and Subi had it - the first time I had seen it on any of my new cars.

    Steve
  • I have an automatic 2002 2.5RS with 29000 miles on it. At 22,000 miles I had to replace the back tires because of extreme wear on the inside edge. The dealer said it was alignment and that I hadn't rotated them as often as I should of (only once in that time period). I had the dealer do the 4 wheel alignment. It is now only 7000 miles later and I have the exact same wear problem. 7000 miles is way too quick as I had just had it aligned and I don't drive the car hard. Has anyone else seen wear like this on just the inside of the rear tires?

    Other problems:

    My check engine light just came on, gas tank cover was tight.

    Cold start hesitation - when first starting off the car hesitates and then accelerates quicker than I expect - dealer said Subaru is aware of the problem but doesn't have a fix yet.

    Driver's side window got stuck half way up. Dealer fixed under warranty.

    Rubber window seals slip out of place allowing leaks- so far able to get back into place myself.

    I really like the car, but am not used to having as many problems in a new car.

    Taking car to dealer 12/16/03 for CEL and to look at tire wear. If anyone has had problems with tire wear or alignment please email me at sknowlen@cianbro.com. Thanks!
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Perhaps you might want to get a dealer to take a closer look at it or even take it to another one for a different opinion. While piston slap is not unheard of, I think it's rare with the Phase II engine that's found in your 1999 model. It's also the same engine in the 2003 model so I don't think trading-in is going to really make a difference.

    Boxer engines are a little noisy on cold startups, but if the sound goes away after 5 minutes or so, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Ken
  • joybelljoybell Posts: 275
    My family has owned Subarus for years. I've had a Chaser and a Loyale Wagon, Mom still has an Impreza Wagon. I would love a new Subie but can't afford the price anymore, so I went shopping for a Forester (the only Subaru wagon type made in Japan). I found one, a 1998 model, and the salesman told me that they are replacing the engine after 140,000km and that this sometimes happens on Subies from the years 1997 to 1999!!! We have had very reliable Subies, so what happened? Did they have a Domestic (non Japan made) engine in there?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Didn't some of the first year Phase II engines get a Phase I block, something like that? You probably have one of those.

    IMO a trade-in would resolve the problem either way, because only a small percentage of vehicles were affected.

    knowlen: it's probably still the alignment. Go to a specialty shop. Usually they have a range it has to fall within, instead ask them to get it exactly right, even show them your tires.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's the Phase I engine. A small percentage had piston slap, and a few also had front main seal issues (oil could leak). We're talking a few, most didn't of course. I have a '98 and it's only even been to the dealer once in almost 5 years.

    All Forester were made in Gunma, Japan, including the engine. It's been the most reliable Subaru in the lineup.

    I doubt they are replacing the actual engine. They might be changing the seals and/or gaskets, but that's perfectly normal for the mileage (87,500). In fact, while they are at it they should probably go ahead and do the timing belt, all other accessory belts, and the hoses too.

    -juice
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    actually the front main seal is not rare and it is not limited to the 97-99 DOHC 2.5L.

    the front main seal will go on nearly all EJ series engines produced to date at some point. many before 100k miles, some as early as 30k.

    it's a known weakness. not a critical concern because it's easy to replace, so long as you don't let it go or consistently run the engine low on oil.

    -Colin
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is it more common on the RS, vs. the Forester? I just haven't heard of many cases in the Forester threads. Perhaps RS owners push their engines much harder?

    -juice
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    ah, no Juice my comment was not based only on RS experience.

    a few 1.8L guys were grumbling about it and a few Subaru dealership techs posted in one of the threads that they replace front main seals all the time.

    -Colin
  • axp696axp696 Posts: 90
    A friend of mine has a 2002 WRX sedan that had the same problem, but with the front tires. He noticed it 4 months after buying it. He said taking it to the dealer to realign it appears to have fixed the issue, so maybe yell at them good so they'll take 10 extra minutes to do it right?
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Well, if the dealer is indeed "replacing the engine" I would guess it's the shortblock. In that case, you would probably be getting the newer Phase II shortblock which is generally more robust than the Phase I model.

    Actually, the Impreza wagon is also manufactured in Gunma as well.

    Ken
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    What is involved with replacing it? Remove timing belt, remove crankcase pulley, then what?

    Greg
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I think it was the tail end of the Phase I engines were getting Phase II blocks, but not the other way around.

    I personally use only alignment speciality shops. While any shop can do alignments, I've found that only a few can do them right.

    Ken
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I have an older friend who owns a garage in town. Many years ago I was struggling with removing the harmonic balancer on my Datsun 810 after the rubber coupling failed at something around 100k miles. Ed saw me working on it, and came over to lend a hand. When we got it off, he picked up a screw driver and rammed it into the front oil seal. My jaw dropped as I watched my supposed friend intentionally damage my car! He smiled, and told me to pick up a new seal when I ordered the balancer. I have mixed feelings about his approach, but understood the message.

    Steve
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're probably right, Ken.

    That wouldn't explain his problem, then.

    -juice
  • Subaru dealers often receive bulletins about special problems that we might have, but we are unaware of these bulletins because they are not made readily available.

    How can one get access to bulletins that relate to specific problems and remedies?

    Is there a particular subaru web?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Those TSBs are like the 'holy grail' of autodome. Sometimes you can get some info from the NHTSA site, but even then only an intro to the problem, but no data on the solution. There are some subscription services available for the private repair shops, but on a fee basis. On the Honda board there are some service techs who sometimes share that data, but nobody here on the Subaru board that I have seen. Patti sometimes advises a person to call the 800# when she sees a particular problem mentioned, but again, she does that in an unofficial capacity, and carefully.

    Steve
  • Thanks Steve--maybe someone would like to compile a list as a servide rep from Subaru---wishful thinking.
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