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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    The rule of thumb with oil is to choose the narrowest viscosity range that meets your needs. The bigger the spread between the first and second number (ie. 5 vs. 30) the more additives the oil requires to keep that difference. Over time, the additives break down and the actual range diminishes. By this reasoning, 10W30 protects better than 5W30 over the relevant operating temperature range.

    Since 5W30 flows slighlty better at cold temperatures, it should protect better in colder climates. Also, it should work better with newer engines since the tolerances are tighter.

  • I own a 97 outback limited which makes the same whistling noise you describe. I have not been able to figure it out yet, either. it's frustrating because it means that I HAVE to keep my radio turned up while driving, lest I lose my mind from the sound.
  • lspivalspiva Posts: 49
    There is no hard feelings. Thanks a lot for your advice. I just change the oil (last Monday) so there is no reason to check the oil level so soon again. I will try again in a few weeks by following your strategy.
  • schizaschiza Posts: 31
    I noticed a strong gasoline smell this morning in the cabin. I opened the hood and it was coming from the engine bay. The smell has gone away. I've smelled gasoline from time to time before, but though it was coming from another car. I'm taking it in for service. has anyone else experienced this?
  • Leo,

    I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, but you still seem to be missing my point. Here is my point: Check the oil level after the first time the car is run when you've changed the oil. That way you know EXACTLY how much oil is in the engine before putting miles on it.

    As to the whistle. Open your hoods and look for a small box in the right rear of the engine bay labeled "FWD". Open it and put a fuse in the slot you see. Start the car and you're now operating in front wheel drive only. Go drive the car and see if the whistle is there. Since the rear differential is not getting any power, if the noise goes away, then it is either the rear drive shaft (unlikely), the rear diff (very likely) or a rear axle CV joint (somewhat less likely). If you're in a slippery area, take care as you do not have as much traction as normal and remove the fuse as soon as you've finished this test.

  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    looks like the Outback is popping her front crank seal, in good old fashioned Phase I style. Oil leaking arounf the front end, I don't see anything around the heads themselves but, feh, it is dark out. Drips coming from the front. SO we're headed for service tomorrow. We're still inside warranty on this one so I hope it qualifies as a "powertrain" issue.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I hope the front seal is covered. Did you change the belts recently? If you're going to get the front seal replaced, you might as well get a fresh t-belt in there.

  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    Yea the belts are new :( I'll go ahead and get a t belt I suppose, the car has about 50k on it.
  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    I haven't gotten tires for the GT yet, the leak is now critical (I was going to take care of it tomorrow and/or thursday). BUT Kirsten has a rehearsal and concert in Lancaster freakin' PA tomorrow, has to leave by 12:30pm. Ugh. The OB is out of the question, as that seal could strand her out there. The only solution I have time to execute is to get the auto-x Azenis I have mounted and balanced on the RS rims while we take the OB to the service dept. Then pick up the rims and bolt em onto the GT and hope it doesn't rain to hard tomorrow night. :( Stupid waiting till the last minute on this tire issue.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    there's no question the crank and cam seals are part of the engine covered under the 5/60k powertrain warranty.

    and it's mileage and age; phaseII engines will do it also. they say the seal material has improved... feh.

  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    I'll know how to deeal with Gruff Gus the service writer now.
  • Hi IdahoDoug, I never knew the Subaru can be set to run FWD only. I read the manual and did not find any thing about it. Would that save more gas for long trip if you set to FWD only?

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,652
    I think that's to be used only in emergency situations, such as if you need to be towed, but a rollback tow vehicle is not available.

  • No I don't think it will save any MPG as you're still obviously carrying the weight. There's some evidence that applying torque to all wheels actually saves gas by changing the shape of the contact patch. This also provides superior stability at speed. I categorically do NOT recommend a vehicle be driven this way other than for a brief test. I have done it myself for 170 miles and would do it again, but there are too many variables for this to be something I'd recommed to anyone. It's a great troubleshooting tool, however.

  • lspivalspiva Posts: 49
    I got your point about oil level check. As soon as I changed oil I took car for a 30 miles freeway ride and then checked oil level the next morning. I now sure that the oil level is at appropriate level. The only thing that still confuses me is that one side of the oil dipstick has more oil on it than another and then on one side were oil level is lower the oil level is not shown as a horizontal line but more like "V" shape. So for now I set the lower point of "V" to full and will continue monitor the oil level every 2 weeks. Thanks for your advise and comments. Leo
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    That's right -- seals are covered under 5/60. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you, but at least Kirsten has alternative means of transportation. What are you going to do after you drop off the OB at the dealer?

    While the front cover and t-belt is off, how about the water pump? It's probably a little early, but it might make sense with a new t-belt in there.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Getting the uneven oil levels on both sides of the dipstick is fairly common with our Subaru engines. I always use the lower of the two readings as well.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Been there, done that. The crank/cam seal on my wife's OB was replaced under warranty at 50-something. Replaced the timing belt as well and didn't have to pay for the labor on it. :-)

  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    Actually Ken, the KDWs that are on the RS rims will get her there fine it looks like. So I already did the swap this morning (and I have to say, as much as I like the stock GT rims, That extra .5" on the RS rims really looks great on the car, fills out the wells a bit more, and results in a proportionally nicer look).

    We're taking the OB in about a half hour, then she leaves for PA and I am car-less until late tonight.

    Then I gotta get tires. Still paralysed by the M+S / Summer indecision. Especially sice I haven't read exactly the most glowing reviews of any of the "summer" tires I can afford (712, ES100). May have to spring a little more cash and get those Proxxes hell, too many choices!! :)
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