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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • ladywclassladywclass Posts: 1,684
    guess I wonder what you were driving before and what kind of mileage you were getting in that car .. there are just so many variables ...
  • ddunbarddunbar Posts: 31
    My wife mostly drives it. She drives it daily but only for 3-4 miles at a time around town. We drive it a bit farther on the weekends with some of that on the Interstate.

    I drive a 95 Accord back and forth to work (45 miles round trip) and consistently get 23 MPG.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That's probably it. The car is not even warmed up in 3-4 miles and at that it's around town.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    I agree. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to swap cars for a week or two (if possible) and see what results, for both cars, follow.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Take it on a long highway trip. Fill up right before and right after, then calculate your MPG. If the MPG is in the 25+ range, the car is fine.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Engine is stuttering at high speed as well as at idle.
    RPM on Tach is constant.
    Speedometer bounces some.
    Needle on the Boost gauge will bounce up and down.
    At idle, when the stutter occurs, the rpm stays steady and the boost gauge will bounce between -0.5 bar and -0.25 bar.

    Checked all the hoses that I could visibly inspect and don't see anything out of norm.
    Bad gas? Discounted that. I'm down to 1/4 tank of my last fill up.

    Another thing, may not be related. My exhaust between 1000 - 2000 rpm does not sound like the STi muffler should - Low mild rumble. Now it is louder and lower pitch than when at WOT. Loud enough to chirp car alarms when I drive by.

    -Dave
    '03 WRX wagon
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Sounds like an exhaust leak to me. Possibly around the turbo.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Looks like I've to wait till this weekend to check on that.

    Oddly, this morning's drive to work didn't not yield any symptom. Will see how the drive home is.

    Thanks :)

    -Dave
  • mike205mike205 Posts: 3
    For what it may be worth, I have a 2006 Legacy 2.5i SE wagon bought new with an automatic tranmission. On the highway long-haul I can get 26 - 29 MPG but around town point-to-point driving I consider myself LUCKY to get 17 mpg. At first I thought it was the AWD (first for me), and then the size of the engine relative to the car (had a lighter Mercury Topaz with a 6 cylinder engine / auto that got 21 / 26 real life).

    Had it checked by the dealer, who found nothing untoward.

    I understand that government mileage ratings are inflated (mine were 23 - 30mpg). It is the only bone I have to pick with the car, but unfortunately it is a big one. I thought it was only me until a friend down the block validated similar experience with an '06 Forester.
  • calessancalessan Posts: 18
    I had an oil change and a few other things done on my '01 Forester two months ago at a local Valvoline. My car stank when I brought it home, so I called, but they told me it was normal and should disappear within a few days. It never did, but it did diminish enough for me to forget about it (I have a 1-year-old, so my car smell is not on my radar!). My husband noticed it was very strong a few days ago, could be the hotter weather. I went back today and they told me the CV joint was nicked and leaking grease onto the exhaust pipe, but that their work wouldn't have broken the CV joint. My car did NOT smell before they did their work, and has smelled ever since. I know it was them but I can't prove it. They say I have to replace both front axles...

    Anyway... can any of the following work have brought them close to that joint?
    -- cooling system fluid replacement
    -- rear diff fluid replacement
    -- fuel filter replacement
    -- oil change
    -- front diff fluid replacement
    -- auto trans fluid replacement
    -- fitting sealed

    Can I build any sort of case against them? I searched back in this thread and found that an axle replacement could cost between $500 and $1100!

    Thanks for any help...!
    Cristina
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    Fluid replacement in the front differential and transmission would get them reasonably close, but it would take some real carelessness or intent to cause damage to the boot. We are talking about a quick lube place, though, so anything is possible. The real problem here is being able to hold them liable if they are not willing to cooperate. My guess is that a case is not going to get anywhere and you will just have to get even by NOT doing business there any longer (and encouraging your friends, neighbors, complete strangers, etc., to do the same).

    But, have someone inspect the damage as it may be possible to determine if the boot was torn or cut by artificial means. Usually if it breaks due to age or undercarriage damage (like you hit something), there will be extensive cracking or subsidiary damage around the point of failure. And.... both axles?! Sounds quite unusual.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I agree with wes that it's highly unlikely to have both front axles fail on their own accord. However coincidental failure at the same time as the oil change is also unlikely but not out of the question.

    As for price, depends on who does em. It shouldn't take more than 1hr per side and cost of the axle/boot/cv assembly runs in the $75-150 range, so you are looking at about $150-300 in parts and another $200 for labor for bother sides.

    -mike
  • calessancalessan Posts: 18
    It's only the passenger side that is damaged, but they said that usually when you replace one axle, you should replace both. My car has about 70k miles on it and my husband is leaning towards having both replaced. Do you think it's necessary?

    Should I go to the dealer for this? The oil change place recommends the garage next to them for axle work. It's definitely more convenient than the dealership, but I trust no one at this point...

    Cristina
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    My wife's '03 Outback just had the same problem, at about 80K miles. The passenger side front axle boot had torn and was leaking grease. I replaced only that axle, as there was nothing wrong with the driver's side. The same thing happened on my '01 Forester about 1 1/2 years ago (passenger side). It was replaced and the driver's side is still the original, at about 163K miles.

    These boots do split on their own, though the Quickie Lube place may have been responsible. I think that you may have a hard time proving that, however.

    Don't let anyone tell you to replace the driver's side axle if there is nothing wrong with it. Even if the boot does split at some time in the future, you can have it fixed at that time. No need to pay for something you don't need.

    Good luck.

    Len
  • rondo320rondo320 Posts: 10
    This is an update on my 96 Outback that had a complete electrical failure in January. After replacing the blown fusible link, multiple fuses and relays and wiper motor, I replaced the alternator to get the car to charge the battery and the ignitor so that it would run on 4 not 2 cylinders. I've also replaced the computer and ignition coil only to find they weren't part of the problem. Along the way I've found out that if the battery bulb is burned out on the instrument cluster the alternator will not charge. The dealer is totally worthless as a source even for the bulbs. I had to get them from a electrical distributor since the dealer wanted $10 a bulb and no car part store (Checker and Auto Zone) carry that bulb.
    When I realized the speedometer and odometer were also not working, I replaced the speed sensor only to find out that it was the instrument cluster which I then replaced. That fixed that problem but now the airbag light comes on intermittently. Any suggestions on that?
    The other two problems that I know of that are left are the climate control is frozen (pushing the buttons has no effect) in the setting that it was in when the electrical failure happened and the cassette mechanism on the radio is operating continuously without a cassette inserted which blocks out the cd and radio functions. I'm going to replace the climate control box and the radio since I'll be able to get at both at the same time. Thank God for junkyards since all these components new would have been more than the car is worth.
    After this experience I've lost faith in the reliability of Subarus. I had just put in over $3000 in service (clutch, timing belt, water pump, windshield, exhaust, eic. etc.) into this car before the electrical disaster because I thought it was reliable transportation. What a Subaru nightmare!
    Rondo320
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    You're right, that is a nightmare! Keep in mind your car is 11 years old now - no spring chicken. ;) Has the reliability been good for 10 years?

    Do you know what caused the original electrical failure?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    The oil change place recommends the garage next to them for axle work.

    Hmm.... why is that not so surprising?! :mad:

    Go with a single axle replacement if there is only one problem spot. There is very little duplication of effort by changing the axles separately vs. together, except perhaps putting the car on a lift! I replaced one of my axles on the '96 Outback at 120K miles and the other one at 144K. I had the first one done at a dealer's shop due to a lack of tools, then did the second one myself while I had the engine out of the car (boy, was that replacement a breeze!). I cannot remember the price of the single axle replacement, but I want to say it was somewhere within the $300 range including parts and labor. I could hunt it down if you were extremely curious, but that was in 2002 in Fairbanks, AK, so I am not sure how relevant it would be for your situation.

    If you are quoted $400 or more for the one axle, just laugh (boisterously) and walk away. If this just happened you can probably put another 5,000 miles on the car before the axle gets really bad and must be replaced.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    No kidding... and it sounds like it happened at about the worst possible time, coming on the heels of a significant re-investment in the vehicle. Could a bad voltage regulator have caused that? It almost seems like the surge must have happened from an external source, like a lightning strike, rather than from within the system if the "upstream" fuses, etc., did not prevent damage to the components. :sick:
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Based on the wide range of services you had done, I would not trust the Valvoline place. No doubt they recommended all those services, correct? I have a hard time believing the car really needed them all done at once at 70K (unless the previous services were neglected). You have to be careful with these places or they will take your wallet for a ride.

    In my world, cause and effect are hard to argue with. If the car never made the smell before the service but made the smell right after the service, you can at least conclude the damage happened in that time interval. Whether or not the Valvoline place caused it would not be possible to conclude, but the odds are that they did, since they had possession of the vehicle in that time frame. There are dozens of horror stories here on Edmunds where quickie-lube shops messed up perfectly working vehicles, and a torn CV joint boot would be casual damage compared to some of the things people have reported here (wrecked engines, transmissions, sometimes both at the same time). It wouldn't take more than a careless move to tear a boot. Who knows, maybe they lowered your car off the lift onto a toolcart or something.

    You can repair only the boot if the axle is otherwise OK. Split boots are about $30 and easy to install. I used them many years ago (on a high mileage vehicle that had the original boots rot away). The replacement boots did fine for the additional 4-5 years we owned the car. I had considered an axle replacement but the local dealer mechanic (who was an old-timer car guy) told me to give the split boot a try first.

    The procedure is to remove the old boot, clean the joint thoroughly with alcohol and a paint brush to get the old grease out, repack with new grease, install the new boot over the joint, join the seam (with adhesive and/or small fasteners that come in the kit), then crimp the bands around the ends. That's it.

    Obviously, if the old joint is shot or making noise, or it collected sand/grime/water because the boot was open a long time, then you may want to pursue replacement. In that case, I agree with the other guys to only replace the damaged side.

    Good luck!
    Craig
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    You have a lot of fortitude to do all that work! I am also curious, what was the original cause/indicator?

    I wouldn't blame Subaru in general -- it sounds like the electrical system self destructed in an abnormal way. I mean to say, we don't usually hear about problems like this, or hear about problems that are this bad.

    Craig
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Time to get rid of the car.
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    I just bought a pair of fog lamps on eBay for my '02 Legacy L. Factory lamps, to fit the openings in the front bumper. Does anyone know if the wiring for those lamps is already in the car, or if I'll have to run it from scratch? I would expect the wiring is there, but the relays and switches are not. Does anyone know from experience?

    Thanks!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dunno - we own the same car and somehow lost a fog light cover, though. I've peeked in there and haven't seen any wires. Maybe they're just well hidden.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    In my world, cause and effect are hard to argue with. If the car never made the smell before the service but made the smell right after the service, you can at least conclude the damage happened in that time interval. Whether or not the Valvoline place caused it would not be possible to conclude, but the odds are that they did, since they had possession of the vehicle in that time frame. There are dozens of horror stories here on Edmunds where quickie-lube shops messed up perfectly working vehicles, and a torn CV joint boot would be casual damage compared to some of the things people have reported here (wrecked engines, transmissions, sometimes both at the same time). It wouldn't take more than a careless move to tear a boot. Who knows, maybe they lowered your car off the lift onto a toolcart or something.

    I would say that if they lifted the car up on a lift, this may have triggered a bad boot to crack completely. Generally when your car is on the ground it doesn't get a whole lot of suspension travel and hence not a whole lot of angle on the CV joints. However if they lifted it to do the oil change this would allow the wheels to travel down their full travel and thus may have triggered the bad boot to crack completely. So it may not have been the fault of the oil change place at all.

    -mike
  • georgiamangeorgiaman Posts: 16
    The Air Conditioner on my 2005 Subaru Forester 2.5X seems to be very weak for the Georgia Sun. I am thinking of getting the windows tinted. I was told if I get a metallic window film, it will interfere with AM radio reception since the radio antenna is embedded in the rear quarter window. Is that true? What kind (Brand, Type) of window tinting film is recommended for this vehicle?

    Thanks
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    OK, I'm differing from Vaccum leak, and am also sceptical that it could be an exhaust leak.

    The stutter do not occur on each of my 40+ mile leg to work in the morning.
    Will occur each time during the commute home during 80-90+ degree F outside temps.
    None during rainy or down pouring conditions.

    New observation. Headlight/DRL dims when stutter occurs.
    My headlights normally don't dim, except when brakes depressed.

    Thoughts?

    -Dave
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Huper Optik.

    I do not personally have them on my vehicle, but the solar heat rejection numbers looks very good and they use ceramic technology vs metallic.

    I do not believe the metallic film will have any impact on the in-window antenna. The tint is applied on the inside surface of the window and will be behind the embedded antenna. If any, it probably enhance capture of signals.

    -Dave
  • georgiamangeorgiaman Posts: 16
    hypov:

    Thanks for your reply. I checked on the prices, and Huper Optic costs ($550 installed) more than double what metallic (approx $250 installed) film costs.

    I don't have any fancy electronic gadgets (navigation etc) in my Forester. All I have is the AM/FM radio that came with the car, and my Sprint cellphone. From your reply it seems I can go for the metallic film without much risk of losing radio signal.

    Can anyone else confirm that?

    Thanks in Advance
  • calessancalessan Posts: 18
    At this particular place, they work on your car from underground while you wait in the car. No lift was involved. I'm not going to pursue anything with them... I found a garage that will replace the axle for around $200 total.

    Thanks for all your replies!
    Cristina
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    I would've gone for ceramic if I could've found it anywhere around here. I'm pleased with the tint itself (Johnson, I think). The AM reception in my tinted vehicle is worse than before tinting... I'd guesstimate about 25% weaker. Seems much more likely to have interference around power lines than before. If you listen to a lot of AM, and you're gonna drive this car for a few years, the ceramic might be worth it.

    I think the most important thing in tinting, however, is choosing a quality, experienced installer and not just the cheapest. Odds are, a shop that installs a high-end product like the ceramic tint will be used to satisfying customers that expect the best.
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