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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • Coffee has not set in yet.....but I recall yours being new enough to be an OBD unit. You are looking at the beginnings of the signal generation for everything from ignition spark, fuel injection, air mixture control and so on. Look right above that and you will see the crankshaft sensor that picks up the magnetism from those points to make that signal.

    There is also another sensor on one or both of the camshafts. Be careful around them. They not cheap, $50 and up to priceless depending on year make and model. Priceless meaning if one can be found!
  • My compliments on your electrical tracing abilities. Getting into that fuse block requires a lot of care. Must be nice to keep that $700 in your pocket as well! I assume the SBF-2 to be some kind of terminal strip everything attaches to.

    Reminds me of an old tv I worked on years ago. Hard headed back then. Learned a lot as well. Screen kept going red every so often. Had the problem down to one circuit, but could not isolate the component. Must have spent 120 hours looking for it. Finally ripped the entire circuit putting in new parts one by one. Pulled one power resistor. On the back side, there it was, a small crack in the housing causing that thing to open up when it got hot enough. These "now you see it, now you don't's" will drive any good tech nuts. But a lot of good ole sleuthing over time and a few cold ones will always crack the case. Then again, I learned to finally trash a few sets back then! It just comes to a point of no return. Guess I turned to cars at that point where you can rip out the entire assembly and let someone else deal with it! Thank you A1 Cardone!

    Next tip for any one else following this post, mark your info that there is a failure possibility in that fuse panel. Will make your life easier when you see this come up!

    Getting ready to drop a lot of $$$$ on a new Toyota. Guess it is time to pay up after the last one, still here at almost 24 years. Something about parts availabilty!

    Happy 4th!
  • Just got a 2006 Impreza 2.5i. Manual tranny. Just lookin for some non bank breaking upgrades, any Ideas?
  • Yup, don't mess with her! Let me explain. The engines in these girls can put out a high rpm very quickly! But the cost is too high when things go breaking, like a flying clutch disc from racing.

    I am aware of one guy blowing a tranny. Had to get a new one from the dealer. If $ 4-5K is not a bank break for you, have fun! If it is, behave.

    All the Japanese girls I have dealt with during the years can give you grief right back if you give them too much hell. So I go easy on mine, until I really need her.

    Recently, while on LSU campus doing the speed limit, we got hit by a guy. Road rage. He ran in a late model GMC, we got most of the license plate. He had almost a whole block head start on me, when I realized he was not going to a parking lot to exchange info. At 240K, a 2.2 liter woke up and gave him hell to get those digits. He had to really get too dangerous crazy for me to break pursuit after 5 city blocks. I was not going to be the cause another accident, so we ceased. I doubt he will ever pick on another Subaru after that!

    JUnk yard sheet metal, grille and headlamps went for $100, bumper for another $40. still need a little paint. I doubt he will get by that cheap either when his gets fixed paying for late model parts, not to mention if they catch him, he has a felony charge to face.

    Why do I tell you this. Most traffic does not really need for you to get crazy. if you do, it will cost you somehow. A wise person uses the power they have carefully and knows when to use it. As for these American truck drivers who think they own the road, they better think again. One hard side hit into them with a 3000 pound car in a t bone, they are going to get rolled! See it everytime!

    Oh, if you have been reading, those of us who do behave are pushing way up to 300K so far in this forum. One trick is to keep those rpm's low!
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I am beginning to think that is where my problem maybe. When I reset the timing belt (off on tooth), I notice that it had shinny end that was evidence that it was rubbing something(I think the belt tensioner with the piston). If it is worn down enough, the crankshaft sensor may not be picking up change in mag field under certain circumstances.

    Can I lower the sensor? I will check with Subaru for a replacement.
  • No. Leave the sensor as mounted. It is possible that the magnet may have lost some magnetism after lots of high mileage/heat, but no one has had that problem yet on any of these units. It has happen though on other models/brands. Not sure at this time what kind of problem we are dealing with? Misfire? Not likely from this part of the system. But like I always say, after 200K anything goes and this is where the pros get separated from the real pros. Some weird stuff happens also! Is the fit of the crank gear tight on the crankshaft?

    If you are still questioning signal pickup here, get a scope if you know how to use one and check it for signal.

    Timing off a tooth, on a crank, on cam? late or early? Not going to cause a misfire with that. Just like the old carb systems, you will see the problems in lack of performance. It will either run, lousy or not at all. Assuming no valves dancing on piston tops! One tooth will not do that.... usually.

    Shiny spot on tooth, it has too be clear that it has been hitting something? If so, it would have marks on it, what? Most dealers are totally lost before 200K in service. rare they see units with that kind of miles. The local dealer here gets info from me on those! Check the dealer exploded view to see if there is a missing spacer between gear and pump. I doubt there is one.

    Dang memory, trying to remember this car. Is this the same one with the compression readings that are uneven? Once in a blue moon misfire code? If so, pull that coil and check the underside of it for flash marks. If possible, try substituting it with another one with a known performance. Aging spark plugs go up in resistance which would aggravate a flash over problem on any coil. I had a weird occasional misfire on a 86 Toyota Tercel that drove me nuts a while back. Turned out to be a flash over problem on the coil on the back side of it. New coil made her purr nicely after that.

    If this is the same car, a valve would only have to hang up once in a blue moon to throw that stupid code out again. I have one in the fleet right now, a 97 that tosses a code once in a blue moon. It will slowly get worse, that is when I will deal with it. No sense chasing something until it really comes to a head. Monitor it, watch it to see what it is doing. When it gets bad enough, you have enough info to nail the problem. We call it a watch status. Not uncommon for the higher mileage units to have a couple of them at any given time.

    Just the nature of the mechanical beast as OBD II tries to make something old be perfect all of the time. Not realistic.
  • I notice that it had shinny end that was evidence that it was rubbing something(I think the belt tensioner with the piston).Are we speaking of the piston in the hydraulic tensioner?

    Not sure what this part above meant. BUT, An after thought came up, the timing belt hydraulic tensioners do become a problem after 2 belt changes or 210K miles. That could cause some slack in the timing belt. Which could create a fluctuation in operation. Doubt it to be enough to cause a code to toss out. But who knows? Just a thought, might be worth something.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Yes, we are talking about my 2000 Forester. It throws out a cyl. 1 misfire code, that prevents me from getting an inspections. I am still averaging 24 mpg. How bad can this car be. I wish the state would appreciate that my car is better on the environment that some cars rolling out of new car lots now.

    I checked the coil pack no flash marks of carbon scaring. Plugs are brand new, swapped cables, problem did not move. Tried Lucas additive, code P0301 still popped up. I do not know where to get a good coil pack to try out.

    The crankshaft sprocket has on the back something that looks like a bicycle gear. The tips are shiny, which tells me it was rubbing something. The teeth of the sprocket will be shiny (that is what the belt ride on). I think that the hydraulic tensioner pulley (which showed slight wear) was coming in contact with the gear spokes.
  • Okay, got me back on track, come to think of it I could have clicked on your user name and got the history of posts. Yesterday was one of those days.

    For starters, if that is the original tensioner, at almost 300K, it is past due for tossing knowing the few I have dealt with. Check for the best price.

    Get the gear to compare to a new one at an auto parts store. If it looks different, replace it. Keep the old one for now, tag it: not a confirmed defective part yet. Wish I could physically look at it. Could still have a magnetism problem with it, but I suspect problems from this area to be less likely. Usually it is go/no go.

    Now, lets return to the coil. No external flashovers visible. Being a multiple coil pack, I am wondering if it is breaking down internally. If it is original, I highly suspect it to be: Years ago, 100K was doing good. The Toy had 180K, but the misfire problem had been around since 150K. As you gather, you are almost twice that now. Maybe there is a wrecked unit in a junk yard. I am seeing them new available at Rockauto for about $150, ouch. which means people are buying them: does not mean they are failing though. Educated guess, based on working on too many during the years. I would say somewhere between 50- 75% of being right. That low, because Subaru quality has proved me wrong before, but the 2000 if made in USA is also most likely made in USA parts. Reason why the next new car is coming from Japan. This is what I would look at real hard.

    Hopefully, but not likely, a valve is sticking from gunk or beginning to burn/warp. This may have to be ruled out over time. Good oil and that valve job a while back should rule that out. Compression readings do not help the problem from way back then. I wonder what those readings are now.

    Another thought would be to see if you could lay your hands on a real time code reading system like has. You need to be able to see what else the computer might be able to tell you that is not tossing out a code.

    From what I recall, the code comes up within a 100 mile run, which forces it to be dealt with.

    Yup, I agree with you about emissions. I am still amused by the rebates placed out there. 86 Toy may run well, but I seriously doubt it would pass an OBD II computer pain in the butt.
  • jasvicjasvic Posts: 13
    Hi All,

    I'm leasing an 09 Impreza premium.... Since day one there has been a lot of vibration in the shift knob, even when stopped and idling. Is this normal for the model or is something up?

    Thanks in advance
  • Somethings up! Everything I have driven new, excluding Subaru's never had that problem.

    I suspect the clutch assembly or something is out of balance if the engine is running fine. No codes being tossed out? Like a misfire code?
  • smudgejetsmudgejet Posts: 11
    Is replacing a (passenger side) seat belt a do-it-yourself project?

    My 2-yr old lab/mix decided it was better than his chew toy.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,613
    My '08 has a pretty pronounced vibration in the gearshift... at idle.. in neutral..

    I chalk it up to the flat-four engine... which isn't the smoothest thing going..

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  • Yes it is in most cases. generally the retractor assembly is located inside the door trim. You may not like the price though from the dealer though. You may wish to check the junk yards. seat belts tend to be something that does not change much during the years. Be ready to compare what is left of yours with any donor prospects. Make sure you bolt back to the same spots the OEM unit came from.

    Also, there is JC Whitney you can google. One of our units has belts from there and they have worked just fine for the past 150K.
  • I thought I would shed a bit more light into this topic. I agree it is most likely something clutch assembly forward. When H-4 engines were smaller, the differences in piston weights were much closer together. the tolerances in weights even though allowed in percentage of weight of what is accepted versus what is rejected being the same. Hang on while I speak Greek. You get two opposing pistons with one weighing in on the upper tolerance scale and the other on the lower end....vibration. Now for some simple numbers, but not very realistic. Lets say the acceptable ideal weight is 10 ounces. The acceptable tolerance is +/- 10 percent. Now you could have a piston weighing in on high side at 11 ounces and the low at 9! You got it, shake, rattle or roll.

    Generally this does not happen often, but it does. H-4's are more prone to problems with this especially if someone was sleeping on the job when they were supposed to be balancing! Why? The opposing piston is the counter weight. Where as in another configuation, crankshaft throws and sometimes additional counterweight shafts deal with this problem more. You still have to balance them as needed.

    So far, there are 3 Subaru's currently in service that have not had this problem. 1 at 170K, another 215K and the last at 240K. Engine sizes 2.2, 2.5L. Neither have any in the past service/ownership. But when it comes to any engine being assembled, it can happen.

    My biggest concern about an engine like this is overall lifespan reduction of the engine and when that heaviest piston begins to toss out a misfire code with the addition of any other varibles that become a problem.

    Not sure what you could do to resolve this issue. dealer would probably blow it off as being "normal.' I would not buy that answer, but recourse is hard to prove short of a complete teardown. That is not worth it.
  • smudgejetsmudgejet Posts: 11

    I'll check around at the junkyards and with JC Whitney for the best price.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    A new seat belt is about $300-$350. Be careful replacing it - newer models have explosive pre-tensioners built into the assembly. I would disconnect the battery just to be on the safe side.
  • picachupicachu Posts: 7
    Just purchased the car two weeks ago. This week I noticed the A/C cycles between real cold and lukewarm every 20 to 30 seconds. Real annoying to say the least. The cycling occurs while driving at all speeds and while parked. No automatic climate control and the system is set to recirculate at the max cold setting. Just hit 700 miles today.

    Just wondering if anyone with an 09 has had the same experience. Will be taking the car to the dealer as soon as I can make an appointment.

    Thanks in advance for any information.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,613
    Interesting.... Considering that I'm half-way through a 24-month lease on the car, not too worried.. ;)

    Actually, the more irritating thing is the throttle.. It hangs on to revs way too long, making smooth shifts difficult... If you wind it out to 4000-4500 rpms before shifting, then no problem... But, otherwise, it's pretty jerky... There was a TSB, but it made only a minimal improvement to the problem..

    I won't be sad to give this car back, next year... :)

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  • danielldaniell Posts: 128

    I have a 2002 Forester S (bought August 2001), auto, 71k miles, original owner. For a while I have been noticing drops of fluid between the front wheels, so today when I had the car at the dealer for an oil change, I asked them to look into it. Apparently the motor needs new head gaskets and is leaking oil. They said since it's not leaking coolant, the repair is not covered by the Subaru 100k warranty for head gaskets. They also want to replace the timing belt, at this time, and the total cost is $1850. The car has been maintained regularly at the dealer, never towed anything, never abused it, and the head gasket problem is known. Is there any way I can get Subaru to cover this, at least partially? Which number should I call?

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