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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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  • I bought my daughter an '04 Impreza Outback Sport (OBS) from Irvine (CA) Subaru in July as a college graduation present. The car was fine until a week ago when she moved from Irvine to Mammoth Lakes, CA (elev 7000'). The car now has trouble starting almost every morning where the outside temp is in the 20's. The engine turns over (weakly?) and sometimes starts but then dies. When she leaves work (a few miles away - same elev or higher) in the late afternoon (temp in the 40's) the car starts fine. The oil was changed in October at 3,000 mi and I specifically asked the dealer to use 5W-30 as recommended by the manual.

    Are there any known issues with the '04 OBS that could account for this behavior? I'm suspecting a defective battery. The nearest dealer is in Reno, NV, a 3 hr drive.
  • Definitely sounds like a bad cell in the battery.
  • edunnettedunnett Posts: 552
    Ugh. The wind noise problem. If you have more than 36K on the car then yes, you are out of warranty for this problem. The window gusset is the thing that's torn. I think the cost of replacing it is only $50 and someone on this forum has replaced it himself in his wife's WRX. He has instructions and photos available if I'm not mistaken... Try searching the forum for window gusset replacement. Would likely be an hour of labor to pay someone to do it for you.
    Elissa
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Question about the '05 ACC.
    When your cabin temp regulates, does your fan ever come down to "1"?
    Mine doesn't and I prefer to have the fan on "1".

    With my luck, the dealer will probably just fix HAL back to his normal eccentric self.

    -Dennis
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    My fan comes down to the lowest setting, yes. There is no "1" on the '05 ACC, however.

    Ed
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    3000 miles is easier to remember, that's the practical advantage of that interval.

    For that gusset, maybe you could find one from a wrecked car, try these folks:

    http://www.fsautoparts.com/

    -juice
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    Would you like to adopt me? I could use a new car... (just kidding)...

    Steve
  • I bought my first Subaru,' 05 Legacy GT, last July. It was a Subaru's special lease that included free maintenance. When my car's first scheduled oil change was performed, I was asked to pay $35. Pay for a deal was suppose to be free?. Service and sales departments told there was no such a thing as free oil change. I contacted the dealer where I had made the purchase, who promised to resolve the issue but weeks later there is still no conclusion. I contacted Subaru America who acknowledge the offer but very slow to address my concern. They do not even know who and how should I be reimbursed for the oil change I paid for.
    Subaru cars are going for the entry level luxury market customers but their dealers and themselves are not ready to serve accordingly. If they are to target Volvo, Acura and Audi buyers, they have a long way to improve themselves beyond just producing good cars.

    My car's second service is due in a month, I will have to pay for this as well. It was a mistake building free maintenance into cost reduction.

    Regards,
    Timur
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Call 800-SUBARU3 and be polite but persistent.

    Some people got coupon books, but that might have been for the other offer, not the lease deal.

    This is new to Subaru so maybe they're having some growing pains.

    -juice
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    If it's a lease with that deal, then your dealer should not have charged you. It is up to the selling dealer to take care of this for you and enforce it for you since they are the ones who set up the lease agreement.

    I hope someone else with a lease can comment on how the free maintenance works. I have never had a lease myself.

    I got the free maintenace deal on a purchase, and they sent me a coupon book with coupons for each scheduled service. I assume the lease deal is similar, and that your selling dealer should have done the paperwork so you'd get the coupon book.

    Craig
  • Everyone has been helpful in the past, so here’s a new problem in need of a diagnosis.
    My wife’s Subaru Forester S (manual) seems to be losing power when driving in the rain (with puddles on the roadway). When she steps on the gas, there is a delay or hesitation – almost like its going to stop, then the power will kick in, then out, etc. She has replaced the idle control value and the MAF sensor (2x) in the recent past 12 months and says the feeling is very similar to when those were malfunctioning – but without the CEL.

    For my two cents, when she goes through a puddle (even a very shallow, typical rain-type) and the hesitation starts, it feels more like slipping out of gear or loss of power to the rear diff, which then catches up. It’s hard to tell for me whether it’s a fuel/O2 related problem or transmission – somewhere in between? But for now, it only happens in the rain. Any thoughts?
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    park the car and set the handbrake. get out and lay down next the the car on the side.

    any exhaust noise up front? listen for leaking type sounds from the catalyst area forward to the headers. have your wife rev lightly if needed, but if there is a leak you should be able to hear it while idling.

    ~Colin
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    I very much doubt that anything that is purely mechanical is being affected by the change in humidity / being wet. It is far more likely to be an electrical component. A bad connector or insulation breakdown is causing a leakage to ground, and a loss of proper functionality. You might try looking under the hood in the dark on a wet day, maybe even spray some parts (ignition wires, etc.) with a water mister, and look for the glow of arcing.

    Steve
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 808
    I would pop the plug wires from the ignition coil, and check for corrosion/arcing.

    I had chronic problems with this on my 99 GT. I would get a vibration and power loss on a long hill when the engine was cold, and the conditions were wet. It was enough to shake the coffee out of the cup in the cupholder. The dealer would not do anything because it never set off a CEL or store a code. I just kept cleaning the contacts with steel wool until I paid to replace the coil and wires.
  • I have something rolling in the bottom of my drivers seat. I need to take apart the panel on the left hand side (where the seat position controls are).

    My question is: how do I do it?

    There seems to be a screw that secures the panel, but it is in a position where a screwdriver cannot get to unless I completely remove the seat.

    Here is a picture of the panel that I want to remove.

    home.comcast.net/~anthonycheng/seat.jpg
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I have a very critical question -- what do the RPMs do when this happens???

    Craig
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Welcome and congratulations on your new Forester. There are a number forums that you might be interested in:

    - one for discussing just the Forester
    - one for discussing all things Subaru
    - this one for help resolving problems with Subarus
    - one for future Subaru models
    - one for making suggestions to Subaru
    - and finally, one to get in touch with a Subaru Rep (Patti)

    There are others but these are a good sampling.

    As far as resolving problems, you can always post here and see if anyone readily knows the answer (there's a fair bit of technical expertise here) but your dealer will normally be your first option. If you don't get satisfaction there, then escalating the problem to SOA by calling 1-800-SUBARU3 is your next step. And finally as a really last resort, you can ask Patti to look into your case (first preference being to make the system work).

    Finally a word of advice, human nature is to only post when you have a problem so by reading these posts, things like leaky head gaskets or early brake wear seem to be more prevalent than they really are. The flip side is that there are plenty of satisfied Subaru owners who never have cause to post about a problem (don't expect your brake pads to last 120k though!). Subaru has a pretty good reputation for building reliable cars so I recommend you simply enjoy your new Forester and please join us as a full-fledged member of the Subaru Crew!

    -Frank
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,687
    I am not sure how deep that screw is set into the panel, but I have had moderate success when working in tight areas like this to just take a phillips bit (like one you would insert into a cordless screwdriver/drill) and operate it with a set of channel locks / vice grips (or similar). The locks have a good enough grip that you can use one hand to apply pressure to the bit and the other hand (gripping the locks) to turn the screw out. Just looking at it from the photo, there's probably either add'l screws or anchors under the two caps that will need to be removed as well.

    The seat is probably an easy removal too. Usually just 4 accessible bolts and viola...
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • Thanks for the info Frank. I do know what you mean about the posts. These forums do give you alot of information but it did make it hard to pick a car to buy. With every car that I was considering many problems were posted. I started feeling that no car was well built.It was almost too much information. The nice thing about the Subaru folks is that I did feel that overall they were happy with their cars and that the company was somewhat responsive if there was a problem.

    As I am settling into owning my Forester I have had time to see how I am really feeling about it. I drive alot and already have 1000 miles on it (in 2 weeks). The car is smooth, responsive, quiet and fun. Oh, and looks good too.

    It is good to know that if problems arise there is a whole support system here at Edmunds. I have been having fun reading new posts to the forums.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    rangner Nov 1, 2004 3:18pm

    If the squeal sounds like birds chirping away that gets livelier as speed progresses and it's coming from the wheel area, it might be the wheel seal.

    -Dave
  • Thanks for the link. I'll try them and see what they have.
  • hello from Cape Breton NS Canada-
    bought a used 2000 Forester L automatic-
    never ending CE lite problems!; how can
    I find out what parts/service was done on this
    rig before I bought it used!!!!
    thanks Mike Little
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ignition is distriburtorless, so that's not it. My wife's old Mirage had that problem.

    So my money's on the plug wires. Happens on Miatas often.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Call 800-SUBARU3. Ask them for a history of repairs.

    Also, can't hurt, ask if they'll cover it this one time for you.

    -juice
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    You Juice, you wouldn't think that someone from Brazil living in th US would need a geography lesson but... hello from Cape Breton NS Canada is clearly not in the US so calling SOA's customer service wouldn't accomplish much :-P

    -Frank
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can find out if they traveled to the USA and had any work done by US dealers. ;-)

    My bad!

    -juice
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,687
    Well, "Subaru of America" could just as easily be "North" America as "United States of" America. :P
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Well, "Subaru of America" could just as easily be "North" America as "United States of" America. :P

    If only! I'm pretty sure that our northen neighbors would love it if SOA took care of all North America since SOC doesn't have nearly the reputation for customer service that SOA does :-)

    -Frank
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