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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • forestergumpforestergump Posts: 119
    I just replaced the OEM Yokohama tires with two pair of the orginals at 53K and they seem great. I didn't have any problems with the stock tires, and the new ones seem fine.
  • mrbo3mrbo3 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Outback LTD Sedan with 20K. The car has been in the shop more than out and the dealership has blamed me for all it's problems, so I'm sorry to say that I'm glad to read these posts and see that others have had the same problems and it's not me. I purchased the car new and at 10K had front rotors replaced at 17K rear rotors replaced as well as all brake pads. Tires have all been checked out and are balanced and rotated. Now the steering shakes starting at 30 mph and continues. Any suggestions before I go back to the dealership and they tell me it's something I'm doing wrong or it's the roads that I'm driving on?
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    If it's shaking without applying the brakes, then you likely need to have the wheels balanced. Possible that one of the existing wheel weights fell off causing the vibration now.

    Try to find a service place with Hunter equipment - it's probably the best balancing equipment out there. - the site has a locator for finding a place near you that has one.

    Also, don't let the dealer bully you around like that. Take your business elsewhere (hopefully another Subie dealer is nearby).

  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    sometimes you think that all these quality evaluations are B@, but when it time comes and you are looking for a deal - head spinns.. What would you guys say to '02 brand new Impreza RS with 50 miles for $15G's? At the moment I am trying to talk dealer into 14G's - can hear their teeth chirp - but they are talking to me - every day works against them, as I understand... I am afraid to have clutch problems on 02 car - I understand, that 04 car clutch was changed to the better.
  • I am wondering if anyone has experienced a complete failure of vehicle while driving???? Three(3) times, my 2003 Outback LLBEAN has completely shutdown while driving, including 1x on a major highway!!!

    When I brought my car in to the dealer for service, I was told that they were astonished and had never heard of the problem previously. Then, the service manager called to tell me he was in touch with Subaru USA and "you are 1 of 4 cases nationally." My car spent thirteen day in service. The Fuel pump relay was replaced. This is the most serious problem I have ever had with a car. I have become afraid to drive the car, not knowing when it is going to shutdown. This is one of several problems with this car. I am getting no more than 15 MPG and the service department answer is my mileage is unacceptable."

    Do I have a lemon? Has anyone else heard of OR experienced similar problems?
  • jimbob17jimbob17 Posts: 77
    I never had complete failure but my 87 GL would stall going to or from work. It would be out of commission for five to twenty minutes then it would start up again. The dealer couldn't find the problem by scanning the computer. My local mechanic didnt have a diagnostic computer but found the problem with luck and I guess vulcan mind meld. I think it was a oxygen sensor. After it was replaced no problems till I put her out to pasture.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    I've seen on these boards a couple of instances of something like this happening - but in those cases the owner had an aftermarket security alarm installed by the dealer.

    It's possible in that case that the aftermarket alarm is interfering with the system electronics. If you happen to have an aftermarket alarm (not the OEM Subaru Security Upgrade), then perhaps this will help point them in the right direction.

    If it is not aftermarket, then give Subaru a call (1-800-SUBARU3) and start a case with Customer Service.

    Regarding the mileage, are you doing a lot of city mileage (stop/go, short trips)? Do you drive with the vehicle in 'D' or '3'? How does the engine run otherwise (smooth reving, smell of rich burning exhaust)?

  • mws1672002mws1672002 Posts: 19
    My wife purchased a 2003 Outback Sedan with the H-6 engine. It quit on her six times in three months. No warning just the engine shut off, and all the lights on the dash came on. Subaru tried to fix the vehicle but could never find the cause. In April they gave her a new Outback, the identical car with the H-6 motor. After 1000 miles the car exhibited the same problem. It shuts off for no apparent reason. I believe there must be something wrong with this engine. Does your L.L. Bean also have the H-6 engine?
  • Brian-
    Thank you for your input. Unfortunately, the problem is not so simple. The dealer says that Subaru USA is aware of the problem. I have no OEM security system, except for the one that came with the car as standard equipment. The mileage problem is frustrating because I am getting nowhere near the average mileage listed on sticker. Anyway, the car is back in the shop. Thanks again.
  • Wow-
    That problem seems similar to mine except the entire electrical also shutdown. I had to put the car in Neutral while driving and restart the car. I believe that it is an H-6 engine. How many times did you have to send the car in for service? I wonder if you were one of the four problems nationally? Do you know of anyone else? What did they tell you?
  • mws1672002mws1672002 Posts: 19
    I think it sounds like the exact same problem we had to stop the car and put it in park in order to start the car. If you want to email me at I will fill you in on what we have experienced.
  • huzunhuzun Posts: 1
    Hi all

    First, thanks for all the messages in this and other forums. Very useful information.

    I am planning to buy a Forester, but I have a big decision to make. I am thinking of a 2003 XS Premium (manual). These days, one can buy it for a reasonable price. The only problem is that I will be out of country for 6 weeks around October. I am just wondering if parking the car for 6 weeks, 4 months after buying it, would cause any problems for the car. My other option is to wait until I am back and then buy a 2004 model. Any ideas?

    (Of course, I am still thinking if I should get an XT instead. That's another cause of a headache for me...)

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Still, it doesn't hurt to open up a case with Subaru Customer Service using that 800#. Sometimes the dealer try to figure out a solution on their own and not enlist the help of SOA. It's a free call too! ;-)

    Regarding the mileage, with the electrical problems you've had, I'd fix that before looking into the MPG. Easier to investigate that way.

    Also, please join us in the Subaru Crew discussions or through the Owner's Club topics.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like a bad ECU. I think they reprogrammed some of the early ones, not a lot though. Has it happened again since the dealer looked at it?

    huzun: I'd change the oil right before I left, and then again when I got back. It should be OK. You might need to charge the battery when you get back, or maybe disconnect the negative battery terminal before you leave.

    Now is a good time to buy if you want a good price. The 2004s are coming and incentives are up on the 2003s. I helped my sister buy one this weekend for invoice minus the regional incentive, plus 6 free oil changes.

  • georgeinmdgeorgeinmd Posts: 27
    There was a discussion on clutch shudder in Foresters on the NASIOC board a few days ago
    ( 6 ), though I can't find the thread now. Someone posted a scanned copy of a TSB, # 03-51-02, dated 1/15/03, which prescribed replacent of flywheel, disc and pressure plate with updated parts on all '99 - '03 vehicles with a shudder problem. I saved the scanned copy, if anyone would like to see it; obviously, I can't vouch for its authenticity. With my '99 out of warrenty, would I have a ghost of a chance of free replacement?
    Thanx! -- George
  • junkherjunkher Posts: 27
    I think JD gave Subaru a break!
    My wife and I have had more wrong with our 2002 Outback than right. Back in the shop again!
    (NUMBER 5) Car has less than 20000 miles. Worst most unreliable vehicle we have ever owned.

    The shutting off thing . I would prefer that to what our crappy car does.
    Ours shutters first, bucks like a damn bronco then accelerates by itself rapidly forward. Be quick on the brake or you'll smash into someone....... Scares the bajeebers out of you. Ours sits parked a lot 'cause my wife is afraid of it. I prefer our gas sucking p-up truck.

    P.S. For those of you who love Subs..
    I am happy for you ..
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you're not driving it, trade it in soon. There's a bad apple in every batch, and if you're the one that got it, cut your losses.

    I'm tempted to ask for a free new clutch, though mine is OK. ;-)

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Or as a last resort... if you can't get any satisfaction from the dealer or Subaru, check out your state's "Lemon" law. No one should be saddled with an unreliable car.

    -Frank P.

    P.S. Sorry your Subaru experience has been so bad. Hope you have better luck with whatever you replace it with.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Here is a summary by state:

    Though the word "lemon" is overused, often it has to be less than a year old to qualify for that term (legally).

  • junkherjunkher Posts: 27
    Although the car has about 20,000 miles on it, it is only 7 months old.

    The mistuned AM radio noise the transmission makes is present on all the the Subaru Outback cars I have been in. When you get over ~60mph the car tranny sounds like the radio is between AM stations. The shop does not know WHY they do it. They even tried replacing the transmission...... They cant fix it. Some are worse than others. The rest of the stuff the car is doing is plain dangerous, not JUST annoying.
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