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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    I will have a bunch of updates to report in the coming days. But, I tried to have my radiator flushed and the leak still existed. I called 800-SUBARU3 as I replaced the head gaskets at 106,000 miles and now with 144,000 miles they need to be replaced AGAIN.

    So, Subaru has been INCREDIBLE about helping me and I will detail for everyone soon. Just wanted to give you all big thanks!

    My loaner is a 2011 Outback. LOVE the dimensions of the new version! But, I have to say, I like the steering feel and feedback of my 2001 better!! I know they changed it for the 'masses'...but I will miss my steering when I buy my next Outback! :)
  • hammerheadhammerhead Posts: 889
    I wonder if a change of tires would improve the steering feel & feedback... what's the factory rubber?
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    Are you getting a new longblock or entire engine out of this?

    I can't imagine that subsequent head gaskets are going to last longer than the most recent set's... what, 38k miles?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    You guys are really scaring me! I went thru HG's at 15k & 62k. I'm now at 86k. What does my future look like? Crystal ball, anybody?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    edited April 2011
    Eventually, those gaskets will need replacing again. ;)
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    They are replacing my head gaskets free of charge! That is the really good part. I have done ALL of the recommended services including timing belt and water pump replacement at 103,000. Head gaskets replaced at 106,000.

    Now, the dealership called me back and said that my water pump is spewing all over the timing belt. Sooo...I have to get those replaced as well...and I have to purchase those parts out of pocket.

    So, the long and short of it...I am a VERY GRATEFUL that Subaru is picking up the parts and labor for the head gaskets.

    My real concerns as noted above:
    - If I am RELIGIOUS about all service and have done EVERYTHING Subaru recommends and serviced at a reputable NH dealership... why should I have to replace my head gaskets, water pump and timing belt after AT MOST... 40,000 miles?

    This will be my last year with the trusty beast... I plan on purchasing a 2012 Outback... so just need it to get through another NH winter....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Knock on wood but half a dozen Subarus in my family, most of the vintage prone to HG issues, and not a single problem here.

    Everyone kept scaring me the same way, but the issue simply never came up. We still have an 02 (dad's) and an 03 (sister's) running like a top.
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    You'll easily make it through another winter. But I would firm up those 2012 plans!

    Subaru had several bad years for head gaskets and they made changes. My point is that when you have an all-aluminum engine and it has bad headgaskets-- especially if it severely overheats-- it's likely something is warped and you're going to keep blowing head gaskets.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Can't they true up the heads? Machine shop, I mean.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I have a 2000 Forester and only starting having problems after the idler pulley went bad a caused the timing belt to jump. This was past the 200K mark.

    I like Subaru's so much, I bought a 2011 Outback despite the fact I hate car notes/payments. And have not had one in 10 years.
  • ah ha, someone asked the good question! To be blunt, dealerships that I have followed on repair work have been graded poorly. The guys are demanded to work fast and head jobs are something you do not do fast! No machine shop there! Chances are, the head has not even been shaved! Then there is the question about the block. Is it true? That would require tearing the engine down to machine it. We are talking some precise measuring tools here. Remember dealers make money selling cars!!!!

    Given all of the trouble you are having, I still say it is dealer caused, "prove it." or something is warped. Usually when you strip a bolt you damage the nut as well! Same applies when you warp a head, you do the same to a block! Question becomes, how much? Only takes once and the problem never goes away.

    Bottom line, someone is missing something very small when they are working on it. It is the small stuff that will screw you over every time!
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    This was quite a good post in a number of ways in my opinion. When working on an engine and you are being paid piece work, and delays come out of your own pocket, I have been in shops and seen a 'mechanic' discover that a block thread was stripped previously and wouldn't torque up properly, but continued to nudge torque as much as dared and continue on with 'repair'. You do this with a headgasket bolt for example and it will give trouble prematurely as in what seems to be what you are experiencing. I would be tempted to chat with the mechanic doing the repair and tell him straight up that if he encounters what he suspects may be a similar situation, that you will pay him extra out of your own pocket to take measures to address a possible stripped thread, by using JB Weld or some other measure to help ensure greater longevity. This holds true down the road when some unsuspecting purchaser decides on the cleanest looking and cared for car that has ver 160k miles because high miles is what is his budget. That extra step might make the difference for him to actually get 50k miles out of your old car when he buys it at, say, 160k, rather than find out he just bought a car that 5 or 10k later he too is doing yet another HG, thinking that if he invests in that then hopefully he can get another 70k+ out of the car.

    HG's (that contaminate other components) every 40k miles (2 to 3 years) is considered pretty expen$ive repairs.

    Sam
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Hi all,

    I took my car to the dealer to fix what i thought was a rear wheel bearing. They confirmed that problem, but said that in addition to that, I need a "trans diff clutch and seal kit" (that's what they wrote on the repair order). I did hear 2 different kind of noises from the back, one fairly constant, at highway speeds, like a propeller plane, and another one more like thumping that I could hear at speeds as low as 35 mph.

    My question is, what is a "trans diff clutch and seal kit"? What would be the symptoms of that failing?

    Dealer wants about $1460 + tax for these 2 repairs.

    Thanks,
    Daniel
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    Daniel,

    What year & model is your car? How many miles? Is it manual or automatic?
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Hi Colin,

    It's a 2002 Forester S, 92k miles, automatic.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    I'm not sure about the kit mentioned by the dealer. Is the thumping you mentioned a constant thing at speeds over 35 mph? I once experienced a thumping in my '96 Outback, which could even be felt reverberating through the car. It was the result of a bad drive shaft bushing. The repair is simple, if not a little time consuming. The factory part, which includes the front half of the drive shaft attached to the bushing/bearing component is perhaps $250. Mine didn't make any noise while driving at any given speed, but it would thump when heavy torque was applied to the car, such as when accelerating while turning a corner or downshifting and romping on the gas.
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Yes, it's constant above 35 mph, does not depend on torque, or direction. Actually it's easiest to hear when coasting (less engine noise).
  • hammerheadhammerhead Posts: 889
    Is the 'thumping' occurring while turning corners after the running gear is warm?

    And is the constant noise a higher-pitched, speed-dependent whine?

    If so, like me, your center diff is shot. $1500 dealer repair is about right.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    edited April 2011
    My wife drives a 2001 Subaru Forester with 185,000 miles on it. For the last few months, the car will stall out if she has to brake moderately or heavily when the car has not been running for very long. Once the car is warmed up a little (not even all the way to the regular operating temp) it will no longer stall at all. It only does this during the first few minutes after it is started.

    We have replaced plugs, plug wires, fuel filter recently. We also had both catalytic coverters replaced not too long ago due to a check engine problem.

    Anyone have any idea what could be causing this?

    Thanks!
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Nope, no connection to turning... I can hear right after the car has started or later, going straight or turning.

    I would say that the constant noise is medium pitched. Like a WWII bomber. But it does change pitch a bit with speed.
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    Are you able to confirm there are no vacuum leaks around the power brake booster?

    Sam
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    I can't say that I know what a power brake booster is. Is that around the master cylinder?
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    edited April 2011
    The first thing I would check is the Idle Air Control solenoid (IAC). Very detailed description of cleaning and/or replacing it here:
    http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781242
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Thanks so much. I will give that a try.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,507
    Sadly, it could be a differential. The car has more than one, though, so it would be good to isolate the sound as either rear or front/center (I'm not sure that those two are located far enough apart that you could distinguish one from the other). Rear differentials are not terribly expensive or difficult to replace; front or center differentials are a completely different animal.

    Actually, "trans diff clutch & seal kit" could be translated on this basis: the front and center differentials share a housing with the transmission (front is located fore of the transmission and center differential is aft), the center differential uses a series of clutch plates to regulate power to the front and rear axles, and you'd want to replace the seals that isolate the differentials from the transmission as long as you're in there doing work.

    I'm guessing the shop feels there is a problem with the center differential, though I'm surprised it was not discussed with you. I would go back to them and ask for an explanation of the diagnosis (in plain English).
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    edited April 2011
    Thank you for the detailed answer.

    The mechanic said something about power not going to the rear wheels (which would point to a center differential problem, indeed). Also said that if it doesn't get fixed, it will ruin the transmission.

    Here is the list of parts for the repairs:
    - wheel bearing $127.03
    - hub $129.55
    - trans diff clutch & seal kit $260 (NIS)
    - 6 ATF $52.00
    - long rear control arm bolt and nut $36.00

    The 6 ATF quarts also would point to something related to transmission or a part that connects to the transmission.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Those are expensive parts. You can get Timken wheel bearings from Auto Zone that cost less. And Timken is an excellent wheel bearing manufacturer. I have replace a wheel bearing on my wife's 2001 Forester and used the Timken bearing. I think it was about $55.

    :)
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    2x retail/autoparts store cost is not unusual for dealerships. However, you rarely can "carry in" your own part.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Yes, you cannot usually carry-in your own part to a dealership, but if you have a good, honest mechanic, no problem. Luckily I found one, although it is 22 miles from my house and not on my way to work at all. :)
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I'm wondering if it isn't a leak in the vacuum brake booster itself. If manifold pressure drops dramatically, especially when the engine is still below around 125' F and the fuel system is running open loop, it cannot compensate for the sudden mixture change and stalls.

    Once warm, one of two things happen. Either the leak is temperature dependent, like a worn seal, and it now mates better and no longer leaks. Or, once engine management is running closed loop, the feedback compensates for the pressure drop and corrects the mixture.

    Just another guess, as we cannot see it in action....
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