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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If you have the light on when it gets cold, your tires are too low on air pressure.

    With the colder temperatures, the PSI COLD goes down. This will trigger the TPMS light to come on. You should inflate your tires to the proper tire pressure when COLD (in other words if you drive to the gas station and put air in, bump it up about 5psi or so because now the tires are "warm").

    Once you fill them you need to drive a few miles in order for the TPMS computer to register the new PSI.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • I'd have a friendly competent mechanic look it over just to be sure: if he/she says ok, then sounds fine as a second car, etc.
    A vehicle that old could be difficult to get spare parts for, though. Usually manufacturers keep parts for 7 - 8 years from a vehicles' introduction. For one that old, I don't know.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,275
    Yeah, at $500, it would be tough to say it is not worth it, especially if the car runs. Depending on where you live, (used) parts could be plentiful or scarce, but there is somewhat of a cult following for them, so I am sure you could get parts from somewhere.

    The thing I notice most about old Subaru vehicles is lifter noise. If it does not have said noise, then you are probably ahead of the game. ;)
  • I'm having a terrible day! Our 2001 Outback with 150,000 miles, has been making a grinding sound when we shift into 1st or from 1st into 2nd. We thought probably a gear/transmission thing...we are definately not car mechanics can tell us anything. We've just moved here and don't know anyone to refer us to a good mechanic. Anyway, we took it to AAMCO in Manassas, Va.

    They just called and said it was probably the synchronizer and that to fix it the labor would be $1017.00. They couldn't say what the parts cost would be until they opened it up. We just had a new clutch installed last month--at a different shop. AAMCO told us that the flywheel should have been retooled when the clutch was done, but wasn't. AAMCO said they could do it for us while they had the car.

    Does their diagnosis of the grinding sound reasonable, and is the $1017 for labor sound reasonable. Could it be something else? We just had a new baby last week and this expense is the last thing we needed! We're going to have to borrow the money from my parents.

    Thank you--Lori
  • First thing I'd suggest is doing a BBB check on those folks. AAMCO has had a bad reputation in the past of overcharging for unneeded services. If they come up with clean bill of health, or you've done business with them before and had good service experiences, they may be ok.

    Grinding when shifting is often a Synchronizer issue (synchronizers match gear speeds to avoid grinding). Synchros do wear out over time.
  • If someone had just repaired my clutch within the last month, and my gears are grinding, I'd want to go back there first, and see what they had to say..

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • The cause may sound reasonable, I can't speak to cost... for a reliable NoVA shop I can recommend RPM in Newington/Lorton, 703-550-8240 (near the Springfield Metro). I have no connection with them other than as a long time customer but they are honest and reliable and very competent.

    At 150k miles, it sure could be synchros but the fact that it follows on clutch work may or may not be related to that work and I agree that the 1st thing I'd do is go back to the shop that did the clutch work. Good luck
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I agree with going back to the original shop. Having worked on subies, 150k for synchros is not out of the question at all. Heck I'm suprised they lasted that long!

    I'd also be very suprised if the shop that put in the clutch messed up the synchros, if anything you may have damaged them when the clutch was worn down, but even that isn't likely.

    I had a very bad experience with AAMCO, they had to buy back my 1991 Escort because they damaged it so badly.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • I had a similar problem with my 2006 OBW. I asked for everybody's advice that I could find including the local radio car program. Most of the suggestions were expensive and wrong. It turned out that the transmission wasn't properly remounted after the repair and caused the grinding and difficulty shifting.
    As far as AAMCO goes, in my opinion based on my experience with a different car and problem, I would immediately remove my car from their shop and never set foot in an AAMCO store again. I wound up suing, winning and collecting but it wasn't easy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    bit! Long time, no see my friend!

    Pop in and say hi to the Subaru Crew - Meet the Members II thread.
  • In 2009 Outback with Harmon Kardon (limited model and up) there is suppose to be feature that will increase the volume as the vehicle speed increases.

    I have seen it work in 2009 Legacy (same HK system), but does not work in an outback although the subaru brochure and site says it should (

    If you have a 2009 outback limited+ can you check and let me know.
  • This is called SCV, or Speed Compensated Volume. I had it on a `98 Chevy Malibu. It's mainly for when you're driving to compensate for air noise/road noise at higher speeds.

    I don't have the Outback, but as you mentioned, it's working on my Legacy.
  • I am having an issue with my '96 Subaru Legacy Outback. It is lacking acceleration power, especially at lower RPMs and when driving up a hill. I have just had the fuel injection system cleaned and fuel filter replaced, but still have an issue.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.
  • I am having an issue with my '96 Subaru Legacy Outback. It is lacking acceleration power, especially at lower RPMs and when driving up a hill. I have just had the fuel injection system cleaned and fuel filter replaced, but still have an issue.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There is a setting for it. I have it on my Armada but you need to have it set to work properly.

  • could be many things....

    was power loss sudden or gradual?

    manual or auto trans?
    Air filter cleaned?
    Idle smooth or rough?
    Smoke coming from exhaust when accelerating or de-accelerating?
  • Hello,

    See below in response to your questions.
    I appreciate your help.


    was power loss sudden or gradual?
    Sudden - just happened 2 weeks ago.

    manual or auto trans?
    auto trans

    Air filter cleaned?
    air filter clean

    Idle smooth or rough?
    idle is smooth

    Smoke coming from exhaust when accelerating or de-accelerating?
    I have noticed some darker smoke coming from exhaust when accelerating.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 680
    Some years ago I had a Legacy with a bad knock sensor (as delivered new). Replacement sensor got rid of hesitation. I don't know if those sensors are still in use, but it might be worth checking.
  • Thank you for this feedback. This is helpful. I will check this out.
  • Just thought I'd follow up with the outcome of this situation. I ended up taking my car back to my independent mechanic. I gave up on having any work done at the Subaru dealership when the service manager told me, honestly, that I would probably get no help from Subaru with three things working against me: 1) not being the original owner, 2) not buying the car from Subaru dealer, and 3) having over 100K miles on the car. I decided risking $850 for the teardown was not worth it. So, my mechanic installed a used engine from another '04 Forester with 32K miles on it. I just got my car back a week ago. It seems OK but it has a "lifter tick". It's quite audible. My mechanic wants me to drive it a lot to see if the tick goes away. This weekend I put about 400 miles on the car and the tick is still there. The total for this job came to $4660 for the engine and labor. The engine has a 90 day warranty on parts, so I guess I'll keep driving it and see if the tick lessens.
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