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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    There should be a note in your owners manual about replacing tires. IIRC, replacement tires should have the same or nearly the same tread depth as the other tires. something to do with the AWD. I'm sure that someone with more knowledge will have something to add.

  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    My guess is the new tire you had mounted is not the same as the one you have on the other side. In AWD Subarus, all 4 tires should have the same circumference with a 1/4 inch deviation tolerance. The faster the speed, the more the disparity will show and wreac havoc with the AWD system, which, in turn, can cause fishtailing.

    Just because the tire may have the same spec size such as 215/60R16, it doesn't mean the circumference will be the same. Have a dealer check this out ASAP before the AWD system gets damaged.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    I think Ill 5 = ILL 5 = ILLUMINATION level 5 = dashboard illumination control.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "07 Impreza AWD 11,000 miles Automatic... rear passenger tire flat... nail sticking out of the sidewall... had to have the tire replaced locally. I couldn't find the exact match for the factory tires (Bridgestone). So, I had to have a BF Goodrich with the same specs installed... took my car (50 miles) to Subaru... for other service... This morning, I got in my car and on to the interstate. I was going about 70 and the rear end of my car just started coming out from behind me. It was like I was driving on ice. There is no ice. It's too warm for ice. The roads were a little damp... The rear end of my car just start skipping/jumping and shuddering...."

    Page 11-36 of my 2008 Forester Owners Manual says:
    "Mixing tires of
    different types, sizes or degrees
    of wear can result in damage to
    vehicle’s power train."

    It sounds like the new tire could be mismatched enough to damage the AWD after the fast 100-mile trip to the dealer. Perhaps the new tread increased the diameter too much, or perhaps the new tire is even a size larger (check it). In those cases, I would think the Tire Pressure Monitoring System would detect a mismatch in diameter -- which is how it monitors pressure. If your car has TPMS and the new tire was a problem, a warning light should have showed.
  • The '09 Forester manuals warn of the same condition wrt mismatched tires.

    There should be mention in the Drivers manual of a fuse you can install to disable the AWD system (in the Forester, I believe that fuse is inside the car on the fuse panel near the driver's left knee). Once that fuxe is inserted (you can get spare fuses in the fuse compartment under the hood), the vehicle reverts to FWD only and an AWD symbol, indicating AWD shutoff, should appear in the instrument console.
    If your shudder / fishtailing goes away when in FWD mode, that would suggest the problem is with AWD imbalance or possibly the rear differential.
  • saywhatsaywhat Posts: 61
    Thanks samiam 68, it was driving me nuts!

    Bob G
  • these days anyone w/ internet access should be able to match tires easily... if you have a spare (even a donut), go to someplace like Tire Rack ( and have them ship you a replacement (assuming they can still get it); even if they can't get it they can tell you what tires match the diameter of your current ones.

    I almost always buy from tire rack and have them drop ship to my local installer.
  • Hi. New to this forum, but have been a motorhead for 50 years. I'm trying to fix a 97 Postal Legacy that gets no drive to the rear wheels. My wife used to be a rural mail carrier and bought this rather hammered Legacy from a guy on Ebay for $5000. Winter came and the car would get stuck in its own shadow. I got to know the local dealer service manager and they ran some codes and decided it was either the transfer clutch solenoid or perhaps one of the VSS's. I ripped the rear housing off the tranny and replaced the solenoid. ( I took the old solenoid apart and could find nothing wrong, BTW.) I took the transfer clutch drum off and all looked kosher, but I did not take the assembly apart. When I reassembled, it SEEMED like it was working great. About a day later it was back to its old ways and I got stuck.
    I just ended up driving the thing in FWD till this December, when I got under it and took off the pan. Some fine steel swarf on the magnet, but not bad for 210k miles. I pulled the filter and flushed it and found many pieces of a plastic electrical connector shell that appeared to be the connector to the part I'd fixed earlier. So, I pulled the tailhousing back off and, OOPS!, the connector had got tangled up with the parking pawl cogs. So maybe that explained why it seemed to work briefly.
    So, I put it all back together, glued the connector. And it still doesn't work! I put a tester on the TCM wire that controls the transfer clutch and seems to get no signal.( This with the car up on 4 stands and someone else pushing the gas pedal and applying the E-brake. It seems like this scenario would make the transfer clutch apply as the TCM should think the front wheels are spinning and the rear have traction.) What's next? VSS's?
    If you know of any other forums that might help me more, please let me know.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Is the FWD light on on the dashboard? Could be a fuse keeps blowing.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    >In those cases, I would think the Tire Pressure Monitoring System would detect a mismatch in diameter -- which is how it monitors pressure. If your car has TPMS and the new tire was a problem, a warning light should have showed.

    07 TPMS measures pressure directy (does not use the ABS to detect differences in rotational speed like some earlier TPMS systems)

    as others have said, make sure there is not a huge difference in tread depth between your new tire and your old or your diff is toast
  • jiromojiromo Posts: 3
    My husband took out my car today. He said that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my car. He's used to driving rear wheel drive, so he didn't feel everytime the car got loose in a curve. He essentially called me stupid, without saying it. (I would like to note that my husband knows exactly NOTHING about cars. And, he wouldn't believe me when 2 of his cylinders were going out of his expedition. He continued to drive it... eventually the check engine light came on and it stalled. Then, he purchased a new motor.)

    Unfortunately, the roads are bone dry today. I made him get out and I took it back out myself. I got up to 85 mph before it started handling funny again. The only time it really acted up was in curves and it just felt really loose.

    I am calling the dealership tomorrow and seeing what I need to do.

    I have no clue where to find a used Bridgestone Potenza with 11,000 miles on it. (They are currently measuring at 7/32nds). If I find a place around here that stocks new ones, or have a new one shipped here, then I am going to have a tread depth issue still right???
    I am just going to have to buy a whole new set?
  • I don't remember seeing a FWD light. What fuse would control the AWD part?
    It's not a REAL big job taking the tail housing off and accessing the transfer clutch parts.
    But I'm looking for electrical answers first.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    The FWD fuse is only available on automatic transmission Subarus and should be located in the engine compartment near passenger side firewall. It's not in the fusebox, located separately. With the fuse IN, the car goes into FWD mode, good for towing or running on a compact spare donut. With the fuse OUT, the car should operate normally in AWD mode. Just something easy for you to check. Good luck.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391

    Unfortunately, you are probably going to have to buy a whole new set. You might be able to get the new tire shaved, but unless it has the exact same wear characteristics of the old tires, it is going to wear faster, slower, etc, and cause problems down the road.

    Since the tire is new at this point, it may be a good time to get three more. Frustrating, I know, but far less expensive in the long run. If damage is caused by this, it will not be covered by the warranty.

    Also keep in mind that faster speeds cause more strain on the system, as do dry roads. You are going to feel less stability on slick surfaces, but that is because the stress in the system is most easily vented through wheel slippage, and slick roads allow this to happen at lower stress levels than a dry, hard surface.

    In the meantime, keep speeds down and/or trips short.

    Oh, and this is definitely one of those times when you should *not* listen to your husband... no offense to him. ;)
  • w8ifiw8ifi Posts: 78
    I had a sound like a whirring noise under the hood. Mechanic said it appeared the clutches on the air conditioning unit had gone out. He showed some excessive residue near the pump and tried the controls and the system is not operating.
    Can the clutches be replaced or does the whole compressor have to be changed?

    (85000 miles.)
    Jim :confuse:
  • Hi, I have a 2001 Forester with 101K miles that also had a Cat Converter code read recently (after the CEL was on for a few weeks). He cleared the code and it's been a week since and the CEL hasn't come back on. Does this mean I don't have to worry about the Cat Converter unless the CEL returns?
  • I'm noticing a lot of dust around Portland, which is a byproduct of the gravel they used for snow traction. Indeed, the engine bay has become very dusty - was not true through all of the summer months!

    One high tech shop here is advertising AVO High Flow Panel Filters, which they claim have a dramatic improvement in airflow without loss of filtration.

    But I am leery. The design seems similar to K & M filters which, while being higher flow than stock, let a lot more dust and dirt get into the engine. I'm not particularly interested in filling engine and oil with dirt and dust !!!

    Any of the performance folks here know if AVO filters do what they say (increase air flow without loss of filtration)? I could just buy stock filters more often to be on the safe side!
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    Do you think the snow gravel dust is affecting your air filter already? I thought Foresters were designed with gravel roads in mind. I suspect the stock filter is good until its scheduled change, for all types of roads.
  • Hello to all of you who have had problems with your foresters,
    When do these issues happen?? after 60K, 80K.
    I am almost to 36K and am wondering if I should purchase this ext. warranty??
    any thoughts are appreciated.
  • I checked my XT engine air filter and found it surprisingly unrestrictive. It's made of a 1/4" thick , folded polyester batting that appears to be electrostatic. There were some debris and dust on it, but not anywhere as restricted as I suspected. All I did was shake and reverse-air-blast most of the larger dust particles out of it.

    There also seems to be a large whitish plastic container just below the main air filter housing...what that is there for, I am not sure. A Vacuum reservoir?

    The internal Cabin filter, though, was far thinner (if more pleated) and seemingly more porous. I was able to gently brush and air blast the loose stuff and larger particles out of it. I doubt it will do much good for pollen sufferers, given its relatively coarse weave.
    On other hand, it will not block up as fast as the GM cabin air filters for the ION and (by special assembly) Mailbu, which would turn gray within two weeks of installation.
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