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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    To be honest, the price to fix it sounds DIRT CHEAP to me, accept it and run!

    Any leak is very serious, so fix this ASAP. If you let the engine overheat and blow the heads, you'll be talking $2-3 grand at least.

    Fix it ASAP, seriously. My dealer's labor charge is $92 per hour, with a 1 hour minimum, so they are actually charging you far less than I would be paying.

  • I just had an oil change done at 42548k miles and they noticed that the coolant plug on the block was corroding and the car is leaking coolant. Of course, I'm out of warranty so it's gonna cost over $100 to replace a $13 part. I am told this is a very rare occurence (Subaru did not have the part in stock in the state of California!) and something that should not happen until there are 100's of k's on a car...any ideas, reasons? Just bad luck?


  • Thanks juice. I take it to a local mechanic and not the dealer...I'm getting it fixed tomorrow as the part finally came in.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Just a thought. The block is aluminum alloy, the plug is probably something different. Corrosion of dissimilar metals takes place faster if the ph of the coolant is off (probably acidic). Flush and refill with fresh stuff while your doing the plug to reduce the chance of having to do it again!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ah, that explains the lower price. By my calculations it would cost you at least $105, and that's if your parts price is the MSRP for the OE part.

  • A few weeks ago I complained on here about the 'rough ride' of the new Forester. Aside from someone who seemed to think the fact that I was used to GM cars was the cause for it, someone suggested that the tire pressure was inflated wrong by the dealer.

    Sure enough, that was the problem. Tire pressure was at 42 psi (!). I haven't actually driven the car since my dad fixed it, but he says its much better. Apparenly the tire mentions 41 or 42 psi on it someplace (maybe as a max pressure?) but that is not the recommened pressure for the Forester. So, problem solved, thanks for the advice.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, Matt, let us know how you like the ride once you get some seat time.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    FYI: Tires are intentionally over-inflated for the boat ride over so they don't develop flat spots. The dealer is suppose to air them down during the PDI but frequently doesn't.

    -Frank P.
  • 3 weeks ago I took my 2003 Forester back to the dealer because when I checked the oil there was nothing on the dip stick. They topped it off and said they were starting an oil consumption test and to call them in 500 miles to tell them what was showing on the dip stick.

    Well, 500 miles is up and I checked the oil this morning ( i have been checking it once a week just to keep track) and it is just a hair above the "L". I called the dealer to report this and they asked when I wanted to bring it in. When I said I was calling to report the oil level they told me they have to check it, they can't go on my word. I live an hour from the dealer and I work 1 1/2 hours from the dealer. Besides, how can they check the oil after I have driven it there when they told me to check the oil first thing in the morning before I drive the car? Not only that,they looked for the oil consumption chart and could not find it!

    So 3 weeks and 500 miles wasted. Is this something I should call 1-800-SUBARU3 for?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They can check it, just by waiting a few minutes until the oil drains back into the pan.

    It won't hurt to call 800-SUBARU3 so they have records of this. If you have problems with the lubrication later on, you'll have it on record that it happened when the vehicle was under warranty.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Actually, it's typical to have to bring your vehicle in for an oil consumption test. The dealer will also mark the drain plug to make sure that the results aren't tampered with.

    They probably had you check at 500 miles to see if it was soon enough to bring in.

    I wouldn't sweat the chart. Since this is the first measurement, it shouldn't be hard to create a new one.

  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    I had posted of my steering wheel being offcenter towards the direction of the last turn. Diane and Ed at Flemington Subaru were more than helpful at trying to fix it. They replaced the steering rack bushings, then the whole steering rack. Subaru claimed it was normal and their regional rep and regional tech person also looked at the car and claimed it 'normal'. Flemington Subaru installed aftermarket bushings I provided at no cost and the problem is fixed. I have put on 215/45/17 tires on 7 1/2 rims with a +48mm offset and I can not even get a trace movement off center.
    I can not feel any extra harshness or vibration. The car seems to turn in quicker but that may be a part of my imagination...I am too lazy to experiment with one side stock and one side aftermarket to confirm.
    I thank all those who have helped here and in the wrx forum with this problem.
  • masanmasan Posts: 77
    The dealer sent a technician to my house with a loaner car so I could go on to work. After adding transmission fluid to the 2003 Forester, he drove it 40 miles back to the dealership where they supposedly fixed it. I picked it up thinking everything was fine. Well, it's still leaking transmission fluid! This experience is making me lose confidence in Subaru. I can't keep going in to work late and leaving early to deal with this car.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    I think what you mean is that you are losing faith in your dealer, not Subaru the car mfgr. The pawl recall requires dropping the pan, and resealing with a new gasket, and/or RTV. Getting it to be leak-free should not be that terribly difficult if they are properly cleaning the mating surfaces prior to re-assembly.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    What bushings did you get?

  • I bought a new 2003 Outback a year ago last spring. I have had a variety of problems with it since. First, the steering wheel will shimmy back and forth when the breaks are applied. The dealer rotated and balanced the tires. Stopped some of the shimmy, but now coming back and a shimmy at 85 mph. This problem is intermittent. The air conditioner has quit twice. First time a dealer replaced a schratter (sp?) valve. That was in June of this year. Now it is not working again. One of the fog light grills fell off while traveling. The dealer gave me a new one. I live about 100 miles from the nearest dealer and have stayed in a motel overnight to get serviced the next day. I have never had a new car with so many problems. Not even a Vega I bought in 1975. I did call Subaru and got a case number. And will keep you posted on results when I take it in next week. The Outback has about 27,000 miles on it.
  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    Dennis, I went with whiteline bushings.
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    Well after trying many auto parts stories I finally went to my dealer. the 1st one they gave me was the same the auto parts stories gave me . I finally got the parts manager to come out to my car and show him that it was wrong . He scratched his head and went and got the mechanic and they both scratched there heads . the mechanic went and got another mechanic and guess what he did the same thing ,scratched his head . I said haven't you ever changed these on the 02 outbacks . They said they just take and clean them out and put them back in .the parts manager called the subaru tech line and told them about the problem with the valve for the 2.5 liters. he was told that the valve is the same as the one used on the 3.0 liter but the last 2 #'s are 40 instead of 00 in the parts # . Finally found the right one and it cost 19.95 . So I get home take mine out and it looks like new so I put it back in and I'll keep the new one for later . I also got around to changing the diff fliuds today . What a PIA it was to loosen up the drain plugs . I started with a 1/2' socket but it was very loose and started to spin and tear up the plug . So I used a 10" pipe wrench in it with the help from my jack . Cut into the threads alittle but finally came out . I had no metal on the magnet on the bottom plug which mede me feel good .I used Valvaline semi synthetic 80w90 gear oil from advanced auto .Have to go back and get more because the front takes 1.3 quarts and I only bought 1 quart for each. I am going to tackle the spark plugs tomorrow wish me and my knuckles luck.

    Mike k
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    Well got the front diff fluid changed so much easier then rear diff . I also got the sparks plugs changed, and not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be . The hard part is taking all the stuff out to get to the plugs . The plug boots were acually kinda easy to get off . A twist to the left a twist to the right and pull all four came right out ,and I didn't cut up any of my knuckles either . Funny thing is that all four plugs I removed had a different gap measurment. #1 gap was 40,#2 gap was 35,#3 gap was 30, #4 gap was 44 the only right one . Now its time to make an appointment with the dealer to do the coolant/trans/brake fluid .

    Mike k
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,334
    With all you've already done, I'd suggest you buy volume 1 of the Service Manual and at least do the coolant and tranny yourself. You are clearly capable of handling it.

    I don't recall if has anything on bleeding brakes, but it's also not that complicated . . . once you clearly understand the process.

    I'll try your technique with the spark plug boots at my next plug change.

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