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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 303
    Sorry to hear about your friend's accident. Yes, I can commiserate. I was caught in a snowstorm the first time the windshield fogged up. Very dangerous situation. Luckily, I didn't get in an accident like your friend did. Yet, it kept re-fogging as you used the defrost.

    I ended up doing lemon law and got $$ from mfg to get another car. They had offered to buy the car back. At the time, it was better financially to get another car than to have them buy it back. The bad thing was it took 5 months of negotiation to have that happen, so I just got sicker & sicker.

    Praying this new car won't have the same problems, but was told this has a different heater box in it. We'll see.

    I wish your friend good luck!!!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    I am sorry that it took so long, but am glad you were able to find resolution. I also have a 2010 Forester now, and with 4500 miles on it, have had no fogging issues at all (certainly not sudden, but also none of the somewhat minor "filming" that I had experienced with the '07 and '08 Outbacks).

    So far the glass is perfectly clear, and we use the defrost at all times when the car is running.
  • gdocgdoc Posts: 22
    2010 Forester XT in Toronto. Any suggestions for the best winter tires that give a good ride, decent handling, low noise and good grip. I had some Michelin pilots on my last car that were good. Any thoughts would be very appreciated.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 303
    Glad to hear that XwesX!

    I still have under 2k on m new one, so haven't been driving it much yet. A long drive with the defrost on will be a good test. Going into the shop tomorrow for the first warranty work.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    I am using BS Blizzak WS60 and like it very much. Below is Winter Pkg recommended for 2010 Subie Forester XT by

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Yes, the Blizzaks are a good choice. I am using Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice on my Forester, which are my first dedicated winter studless tire, and they are amazing. After a constant six weeks on snow and ice, I have yet to slip a tire; it is even difficult to do it when trying! I have a set of mediocre studded tires on my other car, and I slip and slide all over the place.

    For snow, the UGI perform very well due to their open block design - in this regard, I expect they perform better than the Blizzak WS-60 or X-Ice2, but both those are also excellent choices for ice.

    For handling, I don't think any of those three will be your best choice. There are several winter performance tires recommended on Tire Rack that are good choices. Nokian makes a few performance tires that are excellent as well. It all depends on how much you want to spend.... ;)
  • I installed brand new winter tires on my 2009 Subaru Forester about two weeks ago. The tires came from, mounted and balanced on brand new wheels.
    I noticed:
    1- a slight unbalanced-like vibration as soon as I started driving after they were installed.
    2- a more than slight burning rubber smell during a quick stop after 200 miles on a highway.
    3- mileage dropped 4mpg from usual all season tire driving.
    Please advise.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    What are the tires?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    If this is on dry roads.... yes, they will definitely do a number on your fuel economy. Feel the tread on those tires! It is soft. That equates to excellent grip on ice, but it causes a lot more friction with the road surface, which in turn takes more energy to overcome.

    As for the out-of-balance situation, you will likely have to take that up with Tire Rack.

    If you live in an area with only occasional snow/ice conditions, I would recommend keeping them off the car as much as possible when they are not needed. You will also get a lot more life out of the tires, as they wear quickly on dry roads. Oh, and that may also be why you smell burning. Again, the compound is soft and is designed for cold conditions. If you are driving in a situation that combines warm temperatures with dry roads, they will wear very quickly (even burn?). Once the first 50% of the tread is gone, though, they are just regular all-seasons and should not affect your fuel economy like that nor wear nearly as fast. Of course, then you no longer have winter tires, either.... :(
  • Thanks!
    Any comments on the smell? Is it just normal wear smell?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Hah! You're fast! I just edited my last reply above (#18401).

  • Thanks, Wes!
    Yep! Snow is taking its time to come to Central New York. I often drive to Vermont, and they were very useful on my Mazda Protege. In the past I changed them once I had already spun a couple of times, and I did not want this to happen driving my brand new Forester.
    I appreciate your advice.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    That's a good move. I hit a little snow/ice outside of Tok when I first brought my new Forester home from Seattle this Fall. With the Geolandars on there, it was not all that sure-footed. I went the same route as you and put the UGIs on a set of dedicated rims.

    A lady who parks in the same lot as me purchased the same car (color and everything!) a week later, but did not opt to put winter tires on it. About a month ago, she came to work with a sizable crease in one of her front fenders. Two days later, there were Blizzaks on it. I asked her about the crease, and she said she hit a tree in her driveway when the car failed to shift direction as she tried to negotiate a curve. :cry: That changed her mind about the winter tires....
  • Thanks, Wes!
    Snow is falling now, and I'll be driving to VT this weekend again. Looking forward to it!
    I just noticed that you are in Alaska... building your own house...
    Architect, Vermonter-wannabe here, dreaming of building my own house...
    Good luck!
  • I investigated the differences between the 2010 Subaru Outback Sport and the 2010 Subaru Impreza hatchback. I found that the suspensions are exactly the same. The difference in height comes from the difference in wheel sizes. The Outback Sport has the 17 inch wheels, and the regular hatchback (and sedan) has the 16 inch wheels. I was able to verify this with a Subaru dealership, where I was considering the Outback Sport and the regular hatchback, and took physical measurements myself with my own tape measure. The net hight increase of the Outback Sport is about 1/2 inch.

    By the way, the actual ground clearance (except for some minor protruding aspects) of the regular Impreza hatchback was 7.5 inches, and the Outback Sport was 8 inches. The reason why the manufacture does not use those figures is because they measure from the ground to the lowest aspect of the chassis, which is usually a bolt or an articulation of the drive train.

    I hope this helps.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    That I am. Embarrassingly, if you obtained your information from the "bio," I wrote that in 2004 and am, indeed, still building the house. Out-of-pocket is not always the fastest method....

    I hope that you do end up building your dream and, if you can, do it yourself (or substantially so)! It is quite an experience and a joy (most of the time!). We finally put windows in the house this summer, which was seven years after we started building. :blush:

    Regarding the burning smell from the tires, it may be a good idea to ask a Tire Rack rep about it if it continues for more than the first thousand miles or so.
  • I have a 2005 Forester. It has 120,000 miles on it. It has been maintained well and I had all belts and water pump replaced at about 100,000 miles. The only problems I have had are with the air conditioning. Had to have the evaporator replaced at the beginning of the summer. The air never worked great after that.

    My problem now seems to be the heater. I don't know if it is my imagination, but the heater seems very hot. It was freezing today and I had to drive with the heater position in the beginning of the hot range. I seem to recall that I always used to have the setting well into the red range. I don't know if this indicative of a problem or not I also notice that the dial turns easily at times and at other times it is harder to turn.

    Any feedback will be appreciated
  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    Hey wow, I get to post a question!

    So yesterday morning at a stop light, the OB died. all the idiot lights came on, I cranked it and it fired right back up. Then on the way home from work, the car died as I was approaching a red light at about 30mph. I believe I did have the clutch in and was coasting in. All the idiot lights came on...while coasting, I cranked it and she fired right back up again. Battery time? It is cold here all the sudden.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like a battery or alternator.

    Have the battery load tested (usually free), and if it's bad just replace that.

    If it's OK, could be the alternator.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Are you getting a CEL?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Curious. Is your temp gauge reading normal? You should also be able to hook the car to a diagnostics machine to read out the actual temperature of the engine during operation.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If so I have an OBD2 scanner he can borrow.
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Bridgestone Blizzaks. Have them for the '98 OBW and on the 2008 Tribeca.
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    On my '98 OBW after the initial warm up, I always put the lever at the beginning of the hot (red) zone. Also turn down the seat heater (love these with leather seats).

    We lucked out this morning, it was only 11° F this morning vs -8° F yesterday morning. Winter is here. More snow tomorrow and Monday. :)
  • jbur1jbur1 Posts: 14
    I have a 2003 Forester XS that loses coolant in extreme cold weather and I can't determine where I am losing it from. I checked the radiator hoses and they are ok. I haven't noticed any puddles under the vehicle either. One day last winter the car sat outside for eight hours on a zero degree day. After starting the car and driving about two miles I noticed smoke coming up from under the hood. I pulled over and checked under the hood and noticed that some coolant had landed on top of the exhaust heat shield on the driver's side of the car thus causing the smoke and typical sweet smell of burning coolant. When I got home I checked the coolant level and found that I had lost about six ounces of coolant. I have had no problem at all this past summer but now we just had a day where the temperature was in the single digits and I lost about two ounces of coolant (reservoir had emptied). I have 80,000 miles on the car and even though this vehicle was not included in the head gasket issue I have added the Subaru coolant conditioner each time I changed coolant at 30,000 and 60,000 miles to be on the safe side. Has anyone experienced a similar issue? Any feedback would be appreciated. :confuse:
  • gdocgdoc Posts: 22
    Thanks. Just got them put on. What a difference. I live in Toronto and we had our first snow storm. With the all seasons, I was making a turn off the highway and fish tailed the back end ( no, I was not trying to!). Had the Blizzak tires put on and took some turns rather quick with no breaking and the truck was planted much better.
  • gdocgdoc Posts: 22
    I have an opportunity to buy 18" STI rims (5 spoke version on base STI). Any thoughts on how moving up to 18" would influence road noise and would this in anyway effect warranty? I would also have to get new tires and sell the Yokayama 17" that came with the truck. I don't go off roading, but wondering if moving to 18" rims with performance tires would give the vehicle a harsh ride.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    What did you do for the Blizzaks you just put on the car? Are those on their own rims, or on the stock 17s? The 18" wheels are going to transmit more vibration to the car, but I doubt it is going to be unbearable. Given the amount of body roll, you likely will not see any improvement in handling just by changing the wheels. It will not impact your warranty assuming you put an appropriately sized tire on the car and all tires have the same diameter, as would be the case with any size rim.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    This one sounds familiar to me, though I do not see why yours would be cold-related (or, perhaps, it is not related to the cold but just started... when it happened to be cold!). If you can, put the car on ramps and get underneath it in order to look up at the thermostat housing. Just in front and above that housing is the water pump. It may be that the fluid is coming from the weep hole on the water pump housing. If so, it means the seal on the impeller shaft has failed and coolant is leaking into shaft housing and out the weep hole.

    Should this be the case, it is an early warning that your water pump is going to fail. I had this on a '96 Outback, but did not realize or heed that warning. 25,000 miles later, the pump failed at 0200 on a Sunday morning in January, at twenty degrees below zero. It was not all that fun; I should have heeded the warning. :blush: ;)
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