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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounded familiar so I wanted to share what happened to us...

    We had a 626, and an axle boot was damaged and leaked grease. The grease ended up shorting out an O2 sensor and gave a check engine light (plus the axle was noisy).

    So one problem had a domino effect and created another. I think it was a rock or something that cut the rubber axle boot.
  • Being a 93, I could rattle off a bunch of things. Like some one said before, check the drive shaft boots. That is a good start. Damaged boots will cause vibrations at high speeds. Subaru's not cared for will develope a lot of leaks in many areas, so you better know how to deal with them. One of them, the parts are cheap, but the labor to correct is not.

    Now, based on what you said I assume a manual transmission? Is the leak over the first cat or second cat. If you can not determine where it is coming from, then you need to clean house. Get a can of engine cleaner, follow directions and clean up everything under there. Then you start watching what and where the leak is as you use the car. Tip, put cardboard underneath when it is parked at home and mark how it fits under the car. Where the drips are is where the leaks starts. Oil will also blow back from air flowing underneath as the car runs.

    Common leak points to watch on Subies are: valve cover gaskets, power steering systems and the dreaded oil galley seal. The first can be tighten a little bit, the first second and third I live with until it threatens serviceability of the vehicle. There are other sources, but these are the most common and have engine oil of power steering fluid.

    So again, I need more info, mileage, engine, model and transmission type. By the way....won't start? Oil leak? That old of a Subaru does not use "clutch oil." Are the tires in good shape also? Any bulges in any of them? Look at them carefully especially in the tread surface. Spin them and watch the tire tread for eveness. Tha year is OBD I, so check the oil level.
  • curiousengcuriouseng Posts: 2
    I have Outback 2004, basic model with manual transmission/ At ~101k, started getting road noise that is proportional in pitch to road speed. It is not changing with engine rpm's (absent when engine is rev-ed up at idle), it is not changing with turning or breaking or acceleration, just the road speed.

    I brought it to Subaru dealer for diagnostics thinking that they will find a bearing problem. Instead, I am hearing over the phone that they are still looking into this, dropped the oil pan, and are finding possible issue with "turbo". My engine is not turbo-charged. It seems like complete nonsense, like they are confusing my car with someone elsse's. But then I got confused by a Yahoo/answers comment "all Subarus have turbo". Is there some other part of the Outback engine/transmission that can be called "turbo" ? Is it feasible that such part would move with the road speed and not with engine speed ?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    No to the turbo.

    What sort of noise is it? A whine? Is there any vibration?

    I had an old outback that produced a bit of a whine from the rear differential the last 50,000 miles or so that I owned it (started at about 170,000). It grew progressively louder as the mileage advanced, but was constantly there, varying with speed and, to some degree, temperature (it didn't produce the noise during the winter months until the differential warmed up).
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    I am trying to sell back my 2008 Outback to a Subaru dealer. Ready to give up on it. I have a summer car to get me through a few months while i decide what else to buy. Still making odd noises, and the radio and HVAC controls occasionally don't work.

    They tested it today and gave me a low ball offer. Apparently my rear trailing bushings are going and they need replacement. I have an extended warranty from a different dealership with no deductible so should this be covered? They said it is a $500 fix. ...with 44,500 miles on the car?

    Would this bushing thing make it shake on the highway?

    I just can't sell this on my own with a clear conscience knowing how annoying these issues are. :lemon:
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    Here's a photo of the bushing - the cylindrical rubber cushion around the bolt that holds the trailing arm to the bracket that mounts to the car.
    http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a383/Kostamojen/Impreza%20Suspension%20Lift/tr- ailingarmbrackets.jpg
    A worn and loose bushing would allow play in the rear suspension and drive that affects alignment and could cause shaking on the highway.
    Seems unusual for the bushing(s) to wear out at 44K. Maybe the car has been cornered hard or used off-road.
    Here is a comment on another forum about these bushings:
    http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/rear-trailing-arms-bushings-104446/
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    Well, they lasted langer than most 2001 Subaru headgaskets do. Oil had been leaking a bit coolant seems just a touch low. Shop says $1500 to fix both gaskets and machine heads. He said something about doing some value work too, just because the engine is out of it, but I can't remember much beyond the $1500. They thought its an external leak at this point but haven't confirmed it fully.
    10 hours of labor cost. Is the price out of line? Is it worth it?
    2001 outback with 200K miles.

    --Jay
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    $1500 for both? That's the best I have heard in a long while.... if they do quality work!
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    They seem to do OK work. They had the car 3 weeks ago for other work. Just wish they would have noticed then. The coolant wouldn't need to be replaced again along with another oil change. Maybe they can throw them in. They've always been honest on other stuff and just about always get it right the first time.

    I think its both, but I need to double check that and get a complete list of what they are doing.

    Last summer the car never over heated but ran slightly warmer than normal. I started wondering then....sort of hoped if I ignore it long enough it would go away. :blush: Guess not. Its a 3rd car now and other than this is in good shape and ran good.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    Yeah, I did mine at 192K on my '96 Outback. That was good life, I think, before that sort of work needed to be done. If you haven't replaced the water pump, now is a great time for that, too.

    I put another 28K on my car with no further problems, until the fateful night it was destroyed at 220K.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • curiousengcuriouseng Posts: 2
    Thank you for response, it is good to know that the differential noise can progress quite a bit and the car still drives OK.

    It was a whine initially, with pitch proportional to speed. Dealership finally opened up transmission and replaced some bearings in there, and it surely removed 90% of the noise. Kudo's to them, they did it free of charge, because they already worked on that transmission half a year ago. There is some residual component of the noise remaining, this time it is more like a very weak radio-static hiss, almost like noise from air conditioner fluids moving, except that it is absent when car is stopped, and it is still present when car is moving and radio and AC are turned off. I presume this is about some other bearing that did not get replaced, right now it is almost imperceptible, I will have to see if it develops into something more serious over time.
  • irish_girlirish_girl Posts: 3
    Will a 2011 Subaru Impreza hatchback hold a fully assembled bicycle (don't have to take off the front wheel)? By the way, I KNOW how to take off the front wheel. I don't want to have to take off the front wheel!
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    Well, it turns out I had two issues going on.

    - Rear Trailing Arm Bushing
    - Front Control Arm

    The shaking on the highway is gone at least.

    Again, I bought this CPO last year and also purchased an extended warranty up to 100k. So, naturally, I didn't have to pay the $750 bill. The service department tried to make it seem so great how easy that was...I was thinking... a $750 fix for a 45k mile car?

    Now, I am just hoping the transmission fails sooner than later so the chugging and body shakes I experience almost all the time can be fixed! 4 techs and a regional manager said it was normal operating conditions for the H6.
  • mseramsera Posts: 23
    2001 Forester S. 110K miles. As i need to raplace the cat pipe, thinking about the Walker with extra precious metals part #54760, I noticed that the flange to my engine pipe where I need to connect too is not in great shape. Wondering if these last a lifetime of how long i should expect it to last. I can get a replacement Y pipe for 150 bucks and wiondered if i should mess with a welder putting on a new flange so i can keep it. Thanks."> I have pics of the flange but not sure how to attach. Thanks
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    I would have an independent exhaust shop -- not a chain like Midas, someone that actually knows how to weld-- replace all that stuff.

    It won't cost that much and they will do a professional job. Your year of Subaru was fairly known for rusting exhausts in that location.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    edited October 2012
    Location makes a huge difference on how long exhaust systems last. After 220,000 on my '96 Outback, the exhaust system looked excellent. I was looking at some Outback with a third the miles, but from the NE and midwest, and they were heavily rusted. :sick:

    My advice... if the flange is rusted out, do as Colin suggested because the rest probably isn't far behind!
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    At 11 years and 100K miles my Y pipe and center (with cat) was still fine, but the flange on the muffler pipe (over the rear axle area) was rusted out and beyond repair this past summer. A shame, because the muffler itself was still fine. I debated cutting off the flanges and sleeving the pipes with some universal stock from the rack in the exhaust isle, but figured that would be a temporary fix at best.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    So, what did you end up doing?
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    Why I did as my dear wife instructed, got out from under the car, gave it to a shop to replace the muffler at totally exorbitant prices, and used my new found spare time to work on her honey-do list!!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,651
    Hahah; you're a good man, Steve. :P
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • Hey guys and gals. I want to change the bulb on driver side headlamp. I typically twist stuff till it breaks.... Can someone tell me how to get at the bulb. I am sure it is obvious but the bulb may be brighter than me at this point!
    Thanks in advance
    Peter
  • My pic is 4mg on Shutterfly - is that why it didn't show?
  • Bulb socket should quarter-turn twist (gently!) out from the back of the housing. Unclip, pull out, replace, re-clip, re install. Gently (again) :)

    I might suggest doing both sides at the same time, depending on the age of the bulbs. If one's gone, the other one might not be far behind..
  • Nothing seems to be budging and I am also unsure what is suppose to come off - hence my fear about applying torque......I have never had to replace my headlight so it's probably stuck....what on this pic do I turn?

    Thanks
  • My bad - confused models & years. I've changed a bunch of headlight bulbs lately :confuse:
    Release that little metal retaining clip holding the socket to the housing. The bulb & socket should come straight out. No twisting needed.
    Don't touch the new bulbs during install - the fingerprints on the bulb will create hot spots leading to premature bulb failure
  • Hammer, If the clip that are you talking about is the black plastic tab with vertically rectangular hole in it - that won't move.....from the picture I was able to see an arrow pointing to "on". Is the entire unit inside the serrated outer ring suppose to twist or possibly twist the serrated outer ring itself?

    Maybe I should check the passenger side.....but I think I need an 11mm wrench to take the air cover off .....which I can't find.

    The "bright" light works but not the regular beam - so I guess the single bulb on my model performs both functions?

    The good news is the dead bulb forced me to take my battery out and clean my posts! :D
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    Wear thin gloves when handling the bulb, or be very careful not to touch the bulb with your hands. The oils from your skin can (probably will) make hot spots on the bulb and lead to a pre-mature failure.
  • Now I'm stumped. Looks like that tab should do it.
    The only other thing I can offer is if that rubber boot pulls off at that tab on top, which would expose the bulb enough to replace it.
    I found a couple 'how-to's' on youtube. Here's one, but it doesn't look anything at all like yours: :confuse:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xu2Sae3BDPU
  • Thanks for the effort Hammer. I am guessing something gets turned but I can't figure out what. Nothing is budging.......
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