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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Should be plug and play.

    -mike
  • So get this... the were test driving my Outback with the diagnostic computer hooked up and the car shut-down again. They were able to get a freeze frame of the ECU during the shut-down and figured out that two sensors in the throttle mechanism were faulty. They swapped them out and test drove the car again... another shut-down!

    It was Halloween... perhaps its haunted?

    So the service tech is totally stumped and sent all the info to Subaru of America who is trying to solve the mystery of the Outrageous Outback.

    Last I heard, SOA said they've never seen this issue before. Lucky me. Now what?
  • i have a 2000 subaru legacy outback and in the last week i've been having a recurring problems while trying to accelerate. when i am driving at 40mph or below it drops in rpms and will refuse to accelerate then when i push on the gas more it will skip a bit and accelerate as normal. this doesnt happen all the time. also sometimes it will seem to sputter.

    ive read other discussions on this forum that seem similar to my problem, and i came to the conclusion that it may be the fuel injector, my dad also suggested that that may be the problem. last night i purchased a fuel system cleaner so i'm just waiting for it to do its job to see if thats the problem. if anyone has any suggestions as to what the problem might be that would be great.
  • That sounds like a fuel filter to me... I'd start there, swap it out for $15 rather than tear everything apart. See if that does the trick.
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    That is what I thought
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Starting to look more and more to be the ECU.
    A bad ECU will send the Techs on a wild goose chase.

    My case:
    Engine startles and hesitates, at first. No CEL.
    When CEL finally shows up, flashing and then steady,
    the code was misfire on all four cylinders.
    By that time, the engine will stall anywhere anytime after 40+ miles of driving.

    Changed the plugs. No change.
    Code still showing misfire all four.

    Tried changing relay. No change.
    Put old relay back.

    Diagnosed with computer and it showed that engine is running lean but code still showing misfire all 4. Tried swapping O2 sensor. No change. Put old one back.

    Stuck an ECU from another car. Everything back to normal.
    Ordered new ECU. Good as new since then.
  • I think you're right because i was able to find out which codes were shown the first time and they don't match the codes that are showing after the most recent shut-downs. Seems like the ECU is screwed up and just spitting out random codes as its sputters out.

    I'm sure that they'll determine the best course of action is an ECU swap. I don't think there's much else they can do.

    I'll be sure to keep this message board posted in case anyone runs into the same problem in the future.
  • I hope someone someone could offer feedback if they have the same issue. 06 outback 2.5i auto w/7,900 miles. In one year the coolant level in resevoir tank has gone from full to low mark and I've added a bit of coolant in between. The level is check when car is "cold". What is "normal" coolant consumption? Should I ever have to add any? No coolant on floor, think it might be internal. Taking it to dealer today, to have them check for coolant in oil and a pressurization test. From day one, I've noticed the car when stopped at light on a hill,step on gas and it hesitates as if to stall but doesn't, also does it on flat surfaces sometimes,tough to describe. Service manager took it for test drive w/me and said couldn't feel anything. Quite frustrating when you know it's not normal,should I keep pursuing until they find it? They didn't run diagnostics on it. This is 3rd subie (1st outback) the others never did this. Thank you very much.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    In some earlier Legacys (like my old 1997) there were problems with the engine knock sensor. Replacement of the sensor and/or the bonding of the sensor to the block was the fix for the hesitation.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree with mike.

    It was very easy on my 98 Forester.

    On our 02 Legacy is was a bit harder because you need a very long screw driver to remove one bolt in the back, but the Impreza is more like the Forester.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,529
    I was changing my oil tonight on my 1997 Outback Ltd with the 2.5l. Looks like a bit of oil leaking around the front of what I assume to be the oil pump cover.

    Can y'all take a look at my pic and give me a diagnosis?

    leaky photo

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  • When your car is hot does it smell like burnt rubber or some other odd smell? My 95 Impreza had an oil seal/gasket fail at 34,000 which was replaced easily. This is just a guess, though always best to take it to your mechanic. Good Luck!
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,529
    Haven't noticed any unusual smells.

    I haven't parked the Outback in the garage for 3 months (thanks to the table saw taking up half the space) so I haven't noticed any oil leaks either, until I was changing the oil yesterday and saw what looks like the seal weeping a bit.

    Steve, just a visiting host here

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  • So here's the latest update on my 07 outback XT that has been suffering from some sort of electrical issue that causes it to revert to 'fail safe mode'.

    The car has been at the dealer for 3 weeks while they are trying to figure out what is going on with it. They have even brought in the factory tech and a number of engineers who have take the computer readouts back with them to try and find a solution. They have replaced the entire throttle mechanism, a whole host of sensors and harnesses with no luck at all.

    So now, a brand spanking new ECU or "brain" is being installed today.They apparently hooked up an auxiliary ground wire to the old ECU and the car ran perfectly so they think the ECU's ground was faulty which should be repaired by replacing it completely.

    Any thoughts? I know that we had originally suspected the ECU as the root of all evil in this case. I hope they've figured it out because I have forgotten what the car looks like after 3 weeks. Although, they did hook me up with a peppy little Forester Sport to cruise around in.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Steve, the most likely source of that particular leak is the front seal on the crankshaft. If you notice in the photo, the main "wetness" from the oil is on the rubber "seal" around the timing cover. This seal is meant as a dust seal, not a fluid seal. Oil will pass through there with little resistance. It is possible that one or more crankshaft seals are the culprit as well, but given the marginal ability of the timing cover to retain oil (not in its best interest to do so!), the leak you see from the bottom of the cover would likely be closer to the point of origin. It is not the oil pump seal, which is located between the block and the oil pump (those two capped ports just in front of your oil pan are on the bottom of the oil pump). If it were, your leak would source further back and the timing cover and seal would be dry.

    I also noticed, from the photo, that there appears to be some coolant residue on the bottom of the water pump. Is your thermostat housing gasket leaking? I ask that because there is also a weep hole on the bottom of the water pump that indicates failure of the bearing seals in the water pump. If it is the weep hole leaking the coolant, you should DEFINITELY replace the water pump when you are in there to fix the oil leak.

    At this point, the oil leak looks to be just starting, but it will get worse. As you will have to dig into the engine all the way to the timing belt, plan to replace the belt while you are there.

    -Wes-
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,529
    Thanks Wes!

    Enjoy your spruce grouse Thanksgiving dinner. :shades:

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  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Wait. Did the car run fine with the new ECU installed?
    They reinstalled the old ECU, rigged an auxilary ground and the car ran fine.
    Was SoA referring to a fault with the wiring harness to the ECU?

    -Dave
  • With the original ECU (which was faulty) they wired in an aux ground and the car ran properly. This being said, they have installed a new ECU and are test-driving it over the weekend to see if the car run without any hiccups. Hopefully it does and I'll finally get my car back.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I had the same problem. Two weeks ago the pulley went and cause the timing belt to jump. Repair ran $775.00 on my 2000 Forester. But the engine misses now and the dealer (who I am not happy with) said I have valve damage but did not say which ones. I wonder did he put the belt on correctly. The engine had 254,000 on it. :(
  • Hi, I have been reading this most informative forum so hoping you can assist. I have a 2006 Forester 2.5 x Auto w/40k miles that has a possible suspension problem. The noise seems to be coming from the passenger side front area. I hear the noise when backing up, going over bumps and occasionally while applying the brakes. If I go over a speed bump with the left tire only no noise so it’s definitely associated with the right front tire. The noise is like a short crack and always comes from the same area.

    I’ve been trying to resolve this w/dealer and the possible suspect is the control arm. They replaced the bushing and made some adjustments that have reduced the noise but it’s still there. After picking up the car all symptoms were gone for a day or two but now reappeared to some extent. One thing I now hear is a rattling noise coming from the center counsel when going over rough pavement so it seems the suspension has changed with the adjustments. I’m hoping they will replace the control arm and put everything back to original specs to see if the problem is solved. If you have any experience with this type of problem please let me know to expedite the repair of my car. Thanks!!
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I need an opinion. Two weeks ago the pulley went and cause the timing belt to jump. Repair ran $775.00 on my 2000 Forester. But the engine misses now and the dealer (who I am not happy with) said I have valve damage but did not say which ones. I wonder did he put the belt on correctly. The engine had 254,000 on it. Also should I get the repair manuals off of eBay? :(
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Do you recommend buying the service manual cd off of eBay?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're a bit beyond my expertise, especially given they claim there is internal damage. I do recommend a pressure test of each cylinder. The one that reads low would be the one with the bad valve.

    At that mileage I doubt it would be worth rebuilding that engine, so I would start looking for a salvage wreck.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I would like to do the test but I do not know how to get a sock on to those plugs with this engine layout. I had an 85 Chrysler Laser that needed a ring job with 176K mi and I rebuilt that engine. I drove it for another 20,000 before a piston rod went through the block. So I am thinking of doing the same thing here with the Forester. The Forester's engine is way more complicated to work on, hence the manuals. I have price used engines ($1,200-$1,650). What do you think? Thanks
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Make sure the used engine never had a gasket failure/overheating problems.

    And they come with a warranty.

    It'll probably be cheaper that route.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    How would I know about either problem? About three years ago the 5th gear went and I went to Japan Direct and got a transmission for $825.00. Had the clutch done at the same time. No problems there. So any insight would be good. Thanks
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That too is a bit beyond my expertise.

    Basically what you don't want is a block that has overheated and warped. You want a true, flat surface so the head gasket seals properly.

    Ask if they offer a warranty.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Well hey, I am full of opinions just so long as you do not take them for gospel!! :blush:

    I will start from the bottom up. Repair manuals: A Haynes manual will serve you well. It does a very good job covering anything you would likely want to attempt, including a complete engine overhaul.

    As for valve damage, which engine does the 2000 Forester have? Single or double overhead cam? If it is the double overhead cam, it is possible that there was valve interference, but unless the belt came off, it is highly unlikely. The valve interference comes from the intake and exhaust valves contacting each other, not from the piston contacting the valves. If there is valve damage, you should be able to hear ticking or crunching noises that did not previously exist. If the car is just missing, stumbling, etc., it is entirely possible that the belt was simply not aligned properly. It is an extremely simple task to actually check/correct this, but is a good 45 minutes to an hour worth of work to dig all the way back into the the timing belt in order to do so. As a general rule, it is always better to double-check the alignment before buttoning the car back up. One can even start the car for a few revolutions to check it in action before closing things up; keep it brief, though, to avoid engine hot-spotting! The only things that need to be removed for the timing belt are the accessories (power steering, alternator, A/C) and the radiator/fans. Easy, but time consuming.

    Good luck with it. Were I to still have my beloved '96 Outback, I would have real close to the same mileage as your Forester. With care, they are great cars.

    -Wes-
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,461
    Phil, I did a compression test on my '96, and I agree - it was difficult to get the tester into the plug sockets. However, I was using a tester that screwed into the socket, with about a 12" hose that then connected to the pressure gauge. I would just hold the hose at the entrance to the opening and gently turn it, trying to keep it relatively centered, until it would eventually thread. Once in, I could just attach the gauge and run the test. Simple, if not frustrating. :mad:

    You obviously know your way around an engine, so do not think for one moment that the Subaru engine is "more complicated." Strip all the extras away and you still have a mechanical engine. I have a summary of the head gasket replacement I did on my '96 Outback in Sept '05 on the web, I think. I have not updated that site in almost a year now. Just search "Theis 1996 Subaru" and scroll to the bottom of the linked page, if it comes up.
  • sam92sam92 Posts: 3
    I just bought a new Forester 2007 2.5 xt limited with turbo engine. It is the last one in the dealer. I found that there is black dust in the exhaust pipe, not as clean as my 2005 toyota matrix.

    Is it normal? How could I fix it?

    Thanks
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