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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    My '06 Outback makes a fairly loud "clack" noise in similar situations. It is the brake pad sliding in the clip. Perhaps it could be this and not the suspension at all? Worth checking, anyway. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I saw some manuals on CDs on eBay are they worth getting or the Haynes Repair Manuals from Pep Boys and the like?

    I have a DOHC. I have an oil smell when I stop at traffic signals that did not exist before. It dissappears when the car is in motion. I checked the mileage and am getting approx. 20 mpg. I remembered an old test for a bad cylinder. Pull one spark plug wire at a time and see if the engine still misses. On the Forester, I would have to start the car each time.

    Once I find the right avenue for the manuals. I'll get started. Thanks
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    That is the type of compression tester I have and it has been a decade since I used it (I got rid of the car I used it on to buy the Forester).

    Complicated may have been the wrong term. More involved may be appropriate. My 85 Laser was easier to work on. The plugs stared me in the face when I opened the hood. In about four hours I could have the head assembly off. On the Forester I could only get to one plug with out taking anything else apart. Plus back then I have a 91 Sentra as a primary car so I had time to work on the Laser. The Forester is my on and only so any work would have to be done in a day.

    I will take a look at your site. Hey, is the Forester engine used in any other models from Subaru? Thanks
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    In 2000, the Legacy, Outback and Impreza RS had the same 2.5L as the Forester. (And it's still the case in 2007 - Legacy, Outback, Impreza & Forester all have the 2.5L H4 as their base engine.) Maybe a technical pro here could comment on the possibility of putting a more advanced 2.5 from a newer model into your 2000, eliminating the risk of getting an older one with the infamous "head gasket issue" at the same time.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a DOHC. I have an oil smell when I stop at traffic signals that did not exist before. It dissappears when the car is in motion. I checked the mileage and am getting approx. 20 mpg. I remembered an old test for a bad cylinder. Pull one spark plug wire at a time and see if the engine still misses. On the Forester, I would have to start the car each time.

    Are you sure it's oil you are smelling? Can you see it coming out the tailpipe? My guess is that it might be grease from the CV joint hitting the hot exhaust pipe.

    -mike
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I look at your web page. The pictures were fantastic, it gave me an idea of what I had to do. Though, I do not have your setup for pulling the engine and working on it. Maybe I have pull the head off in the car. I heard clicking sounds on the passenger/curb side of the engine so I believe my problem is limited to one cylinder. Over the next two fill ups I will verify my mileage/engine performance. And the smell maybe telling me that the intake valve is not seating completely. Hence, un-ignited combustion gas are being force back through the intake manifold into the engine compartment. Then sucked through the air vents. I plan going to Tradebit to get the Factory Shop Manuals the sell for download ($15). What are your thoughts on this? Thanks
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I was going see if I could get some additional information from one of the other forums (Legacy, Outback and Impreza). Since the use the same engine, I can get more help with fixing the problem myself. Thanks
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Good thinkin'. :)
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,679
    G'day

    Might be worth checking that the oil level is not too high. I had similar problems when servicing garage overfilled the sump on my 99 Outback. Erratic performance, odd smells and dramatically reduced fuel economy as the mmajor moving parts were operating in oil bath rather than splashed or sprayed oil.

    Cheers

    Graham
  • So, in a final attempt to fix my 07 Outback XT that has been shutting down and resorting to 'fail safe mode', the dealer has replaced the throttle sensors, throttle body, wiring harness and finally the entire ECU. Only to have me pick up the car and have it shut down again on my way out of town for Thanksgiving.

    Frankly... this blows.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,687
    That there is what is known as a lemon. You have waited in good faith for it to be repaired and they have done what they can do to fix it. I think, at this point, you should simply ask for a replacement. It is nearly inconceivable that you will experience anything coming close to this headache you now know.

    Best wishes, as you certainly deserve better! ;)
    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: 8,687
    It sounds to me like you are on the right track. I have not used the shop manuals for a Subaru, so I cannot comment on them. But, as long as they cover the work you need to perform, the price certainly seems reasonable to me.

    You can pull the heads with the engine in the car. The clearance between the engine and the frame certainly leaves much to be desired, but you already know that from accessing the spark plugs! If I remember right, always needed to remove the air cleaner housing, washer bottle, and battery when changing plugs in the '96. It had the same engine as your 2000 Forester (2.5L DOHC).

    Also, when you first dig in to it, pull the timing cover off and check to ensure all the cam sprockets are lined up appropriately. If there is one off by a tooth or two, that could be causing your fit.

    As for the oil smell, something is (or was) dripping on your exhaust. If it is currently dripping, you should be able to trace the leak back to origin from under the car. The most likely sources include valve (head) cover gaskets, camshaft seals, or front crankshaft seal. Otherwise, it is likely due to insufficient cleaning of the external components after the work was performed on the vehicle. If so, the smell will lessen, but it takes a while to burn off all the residue. You can smell it while stopped because there is no wind to keep it from wafting straight up to the cabin's air intake.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    After looking at the pictures on your website, I have decided to do the repair myself. I found a shop that will do the valve job for $180 plus parts (2-3 day turnaround). A dealership said all the gaskets I need will run about $150. All I need now is the manuals and another car for about 10 days. Compression should be 140-165 they told me and I can get an after market tool to use with compression gauge. I am not sure when I can start, the original problem and repair seriously set me back financially and trying to recover especially with the holidays coming looks impossible. Pray for me. Thanks

    Phil
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    oh brother :(

    Looks like you'll need to go the lemon route.
    Contact SOA CDS and open up a case file. They probably already have one.

    An '08 Outback XT would be a good exchange.... maybe have a free In-Dash Nav thrown in ;)

    -Dave
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Something I found interesting just today. These numbers were compiled from my last two fillup. 210.3 miles on 8.568 gallons of regular yields an average of 24.5448 mpg next fillup 11.844 gallons after traveling 296.6 miles resulted in a 25.0422 mpg rating. The combined fuel economy number was 24.83 mpg. The problem that I have doesn't seem to be that bad at all. Prior to the 8th of November (date the pulley went bad) I was getting 25-26 mpg. I don't know what this is telling me. But the first thing I am going to check and soon is the compression. I might just be off a tooth. What does it look like to you guys?
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I thought about the lemon route. I would probably get it for 2 months or so. Register it then put it on my insurance. Then drop the Forester all to save some money. Then get rid of the lemon once the repairs are complete.

    What is CDS? And are you saying they will give me another car in exchange? Why?
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,356
    Phil,

    I have the 2000 shop manuals (half of them) for the Subaru Legacy and Outback. I don't think they're very specific.

    Given a choice, I'd go for a Haynes manual. Even if it's a different year, what you're doing on the engine won't change. I think the Haynes step-by-step instructions are the best.

    You've got my prayers.

    Jim
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,687
    Phil, Dave was replying to a post by another individual regarding an '07 XT (turbo) that has a serious "ghost" problem. Your car, unfortunately, would not fall in this category. I do not think your car is a lemon. Yours is just suffering a maintenance issue.

    Depending on what you find when you get in there, it might just be a timing issue. If so, that is a problem left there by the shop that performed the work. A good faith "discount" would be in order from that shop, I would think. The good part is that you HAVE to open up the timing covers to get to the heads anyway, so you will discover if the timing is the problem long before you crack the engine itself open. ;)

    If the shop manuals do not have photograph-supported step-by-step, Haynes will do you well. This is especially so if you are going to have a shop seat new valves for you.

    I know exactly how you feel regarding finances; time of year is somewhat less significant for me though, as I feel no holiday-relegated obligation in the gift-giving department. Ah, life. Gotta love it!

    Wishing you the best,

    -Wes-
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Wes,
    What do you think about the numbers I compiled from my last two fillup. 210.3 miles on 8.568 gallons of regular yields an average of 24.5448 mpg next fillup 11.844 gallons after traveling 296.6 miles resulted in a 25.0422 mpg rating. The combined fuel economy number was 24.83 mpg. The problem that I have doesn't seem to be that bad at all. Prior to the 8th of November (date the pulley went bad) I was getting 25-26 mpg. I don't know what this is telling me. But the first thing I am going to check and soon is the compression. I might just be off a tooth. What does it look like to you? Thursday (it will be in the mid 50s), I am going to checking the timing before I do the compression test. I downloaded a PDF version of the service manual, it reminds me of the manuals I had for my Laser. I am ready to get to it.
  • this may be wrong forum for this but I am contemplating an '08 Outback XT Limited (the i version was simply too sluggish), and while impressed with its AWD, am concerned about:

    1. fuel mileage (what kind of mileage does the 5 speed auto offer?)
    2. turbo "stutter" (apparently intermittant, and something Subaru seems to have trouble fixing)
    3. Low end torque (when does the engine actually begin to make power).
    4. Seat comfort (how do people fare with long trips in this vehicle).
    5. spin out (the outbacks don't have the new double wishbone rear the Imprezas do).

    FYI I am also considering an Impreza WRX (good: better performance and smaller size, bad: less comfortable seat, 4 speed auto trans).

    And no I'm not a wild and crazy driver, but have to deal with rain, ice, and lots of fog.
  • I have an 07 Outback XT Limited and I think its a great car. I live in So. Cal and drive it about 10 miles to work each way and running errands it usually gets around 21mpg which isn't spectacular but compared to a naturally aspirated 4cyl I have no problem sacrificing some mileage for better performance.

    Off the line, the car is quick while in 'sport sharp' and about average in the lower settings when the turbo-lag is a more noticeable

    The seats are super comfy. My wife and I drive to Mammoth (about 300miles each way) a few times a month and we're comfy the whole way, my wife absolutely loves the heated seats as well.

    As long as you're not planning to rally the car, I doubt you'd have any issues with spin out. The car's dynamic control feature is top notch. There is a sense of price you feel while you cruise past all the lifted trucks and high-end SUV's that can't handle slick streets. My car has been awesome on Mammoth's snow blanketed streets. I've even driven it in 6+inches without any problems.

    Hopefully this helps. The WRX is a fun car to drive but if you're looking for something a little classier, with some extra room and a comfy ride, the Outback XT might be your dawg.

    Take care dude.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,687
    They seem quite reasonable to me. I would think that with poor compression in one or more cylinders, you would notice both an economy hit and a power hit.

    Does anyone know if the 2000 Forester's DOHC still used hydraulic lifters? If so, maybe the ticking noise is due to a lifter rather than valve.

    At this point, starting with the compression test is a good plan of action. If you do get deeper than that, you come across things in the order you need to check them, so you should not end up deeper than you need to go (timing belt, then the valve covers to expose the lifters & camshafts, then removal of the heads themselves to expose valves).
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • Kurtamaxxx,

    1. Mileage on today's Subarus isn't worth a damn. They might as well be made in Detroit. (I had a 1987 Subaru wagon that clocked a consistent 30mpg city, and 32 mpg highway, for 465,000 miles before I reluctantly retired it.) My 2006 Subaru is lucky to make 25 mpg under the exact same conditions.)

    2. Turbo systems on small engines are an additional complication. Any benefit(?) of short-duration power will be offset by reduced mileage, hotter cylinder temps and increased wear and tear. Toss in the additional sensors and decision-table programming, and its not a good thing, financially. Suggestion: Let someone else be the beta tester. Buy one only after the fix is known; and applied. Maybe in another ten years.

    3. Every engine has an associated 'torque curve' published. Contact Subaru of America for your particular model of interest. Keep the rpm's within 70% of peak torque, and you will maximize your benefits. (I'm assuming a standard transmission, and a driver who can read a tachometer. Otherwise, let the automatic handle it.)

    4. Long-term driving and seat comfort: I can't speak to that one except by my own cars. The old and the new have made long-haul trips across the country, and I was happy with them both. (I tend to stop and walk around a bit after about every two hour's worth of driving, on all-day hauls.)

    5. Spin-out: The AWD system will keep this to a minimum. However, if you do break traction, the AWD will go bananas attempting to recover. Compound this situation with the added (over-steer) input of a frantic driver attempting to counter-steer, and the ABS being applied (equally frantically), and you'll *never* regain control before you hit something! (Don't ask how I know this...) In retrospect, your best bet is to let go of the steering wheel, hit the brakes solid, and pray.

    Ice and snow are merely the slow-motion version of driving the western deserts at speed. At speed, I'd guess the traction loss is about the same.

    Gaucho
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I my Forester is an SOHC if that makes a difference in your reply above. Tonight, I am going to check the timing belt. It is the easiest thing to do and if it is off by a tooth the story ends there.

    As stated above, then I can dig deeper. Compression test to find the suspect cylinder and so forth.

    It is just so interesting about the economy. I check my fuel receipts for the last two months before the 8th of November and I average 26.09mpg. Subaru really built a good engine if you only take a 1.26 mpg hit with a bad valve.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    1. Mileage on today's Subarus isn't worth a damn. They might as well be made in Detroit. (I had a 1987 Subaru wagon that clocked a consistent 30mpg city, and 32 mpg highway, for 465,000 miles before I reluctantly retired it.) My 2006 Subaru is lucky to make 25 mpg under the exact same conditions.)

    In 1987 your Subaru wagon weighed significantly less, had almost no safety features, had 90hp or 115hp and was NOT AWD. It was FWD with part-time 4wd at best. So let's compare apples to apples.

    2. Turbo systems on small engines are an additional complication. Any benefit(?) of short-duration power will be offset by reduced mileage, hotter cylinder temps and increased wear and tear. Toss in the additional sensors and decision-table programming, and its not a good thing, financially. Suggestion: Let someone else be the beta tester. Buy one only after the fix is known; and applied. Maybe in another ten years.

    I'm not sure I follow. I road race a completely stock 1994 Legacy Turbo with 150k street miles and about 10-15k track miles. We are talking at or near redline for 1hr+ sessions. I also track my 05 LGT Wagon which has a turbo and neither has blown up or had decreased life spans (which on most cars is about 150-175k miles these days) Subaru has been making turbo cars for a long time, so it's not like you are a beta tester in any size shape or form.

    5. Spin-out: The AWD system will keep this to a minimum. However, if you do break traction, the AWD will go bananas attempting to recover. Compound this situation with the added (over-steer) input of a frantic driver attempting to counter-steer, and the ABS being applied (equally frantically), and you'll *never* regain control before you hit something! (Don't ask how I know this...) In retrospect, your best bet is to let go of the steering wheel, hit the brakes solid, and pray.

    Again, you are driving this car like it's the 70s and 80s. In today's world, with VDC, Traction Control and ABS, if you simply apply the brakes or gas and steer where you want to go, the AWD system will apply the power to the wheels that grip. Perhaps a snow/low traction driving course with ABS/AWD/TractionControl cars is in order?

    Overall the turbo won't kill your milage if you don't drive it hard all the time. I get consistently 19mpg with my LGT in the city/commuting but I'm running wider, stickier tires than stock, and I push it through the corners and on/off ramps constantly. When I had normal tires I was getting 23mpg in city/commute and 26-27 at 75 on the highway.

    -mike
  • 5. Spin-out: The AWD system will keep this to a minimum. However, if you do break traction, the AWD will go bananas attempting to recover. Compound this situation with the added (over-steer) input of a frantic driver attempting to counter-steer, and the ABS being applied (equally frantically), and you'll *never* regain control before you hit something! (Don't ask how I know this...) In retrospect, your best bet is to let go of the steering wheel, hit the brakes solid, and pray

    I respectfully disagree.
    Fresh snow/ice here, and I just took my almost 16-year old son out for a little driving practice. Smooth & gentle applications of both accelerator and brake, steering through a problem with the ABS engaged (you CAN steer with the ABS in full-on mode), and pointing the front wheels in the direction you want to go with a smooth gentle application of power... all those attributes certainly beat the 'let go of the steering wheel' mentality. At least that's what I'm trying to teach my son.

    Cheers!
    Paul
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Paul to follow that up, you should teach him a bit about powering through a skid with AWD. If you are completely off the accelerator, the AWD system cannot and will not re-distribute power to various wheels and axles. In order to force the AWD system to do it's work, a lightly applied throttle will allow it to sense slippage and grip and transfer the power.

    In racing, I've had an "off" on more occasions than I care to remember which puts you from very sticky asphalt to grass/dirt/snow/mud/etc and on both my 1994 Legacy Race car as well as my 2005 LGT Wagon, lightly applying power allowed me to grip and continue in the direction of movement and gently come back on track w/o a problem. In fact recently, a fellow instructor in a camaro following me when I went off saw it was me with AWD and left me enough room to come back ontrack, he talked to me afterward saying I knew you'd come right back on track cause you have the AWD and kept your foot in it.

    -mike
  • Mike - we did exactly that this afternoon... although the MT doesn't sense & adjust, it still 'powers through' & pulls in the intended direction. We tried it both ways, and he was able to see the obvious differences. (emphasis on the light throttle) :)

    Forecast here calls for up to 6 inches of snow through tomorrow, so we'll probably have more opportunities for practice. He's done with driver's ed, has had lots of fair-weather practice, but needs the work on the slippery.

    Cheers!
    Paul
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Cool Cool.

    On my MTs (both my LGT and the Race car) while the power won't adjust to an individual wheel it will move it front to back based on traction.

    -mike
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