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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,273
    Typically, when the fuel filter is in need of replacement (starts to get clogged), you will notice hesitation, perhaps stutters, etc., due to restricted fuel supply - especially under high-demand situations, such as a down-shift on the highway to pass another vehicle.

    At least, that is my experience. I replaced the fuel filter on my '96 Outback once - at about 120,000 miles, and never had any problems. That replacement was merely preventative. I don't know if it had been replaced before that, but I bought it at 83,000 and drove it to 220,000 (so that new filter had 100,000 miles on it, too!).
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    On my Chrysler Laser the filter was underneath the car just forward of the rear passenger tire.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks for the info, mike.

    It was an easy task on my 98 Forester and our 02 Legacy. Guess it's not even needed any more (good to know).

    On my 93 Miata it was under the car, near the passenger side rear tire. That job was SUCH A PAIN, I couldn't believe it. Even the 2nd time around, it still seemed nearly impossible. Everything else was simple, it was just that $#up!d fuel filter...
  • Idle Control System Malfunction (Fail Safe), code 1507 came up a week ago on my 2002 Subaru Legacy Wagon. I reset check engine light. A week later the check engine light came on again with the same code. Is there anyone out there that can give me some advice on what might be causing this?
    Thanks.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    Have you noticed any change in idle? DTC 1507 is related to the Intake Air Control valve. The IAC valve controls idle speed by controlling air bypassing the throttle plate. It can be affected by deposits and require cleaning.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    IAC is easy to change but pretty expensive part.

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Typically, when the fuel filter is in need of replacement (starts to get clogged), you will notice hesitation, perhaps stutters, etc., due to restricted fuel supply - especially under high-demand situations, such as a down-shift on the highway to pass another vehicle.

    At least, that is my experience. I replaced the fuel filter on my '96 Outback once - at about 120,000 miles, and never had any problems. That replacement was merely preventative. I don't know if it had been replaced before that, but I bought it at 83,000 and drove it to 220,000 (so that new filter had 100,000 miles on it, too!).


    I'm not 100% positive, but if you don't replace it, a bypass valve will kick in, so you won't get stuck or have decreased performance, but you will have dirty fuel flowing into your injectors.

    -mike
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    The last time I recorded that is was replaced was on the 18 February 2004 with 143,673 miles on the car. Yeah, 160,000 miles ago.

    My radiator is leaking around the seams, after replacing it, should I replace the cap and/or the thermostat?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Maybe the cap, T-stat should be fine if it wasn't overheating before hand.

    -mike
  • machiusmachius Posts: 28
    Hi - I've got this whining noise from my engine, and I can also smell something metallic/acidic. I figure it's the alternator not working properly, possibly even overcharging the battery. I found some wet gunk on top of the battery and on one of the terminals. Looks like the battery is boiling. I think that can be quite dangerous...

    I'll replace the alternator and possibly the battery as well. I was wondering if it would be worth getting a completely new alternator, or if a refurbished one would be just as good.

    Any special tips as to how to go about the whole thing would be greatly appreciated. I am pretty much a klutz, but a friend of mine has changed dozens of alternators over the years, and his cars run quite smoothly. He has no experience with Subarus, though.

    Thanks - MM
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,273
    Sounds like it is an issue with the voltage regulator which, I think, is integrated into the alternator unit. These are incredibly simple to replace; it might take twenty minutes, tops. There isn't really anything to know.... just remove the two electrical connectors, loosen the belt w/ the alternator adjustment screw, pull the two bolts, pop the old unit out and new one in, and do the reverse to finish up. Simple.

    About replacing the battery.... for me it depends on the length/severity of the issue. If the battery was low on water the lead cores could have warped, in which case I would replace it. Also, if a lot of (acidic) fluid escaped, topping it off with water will dilute the battery's acidity and reduce its holding capacity. Okay, so you can keep it and see how it performs, or just replace it. I'm almost convincing myself just to replace it. :P
  • Looks like you've already received excellent advice. One comment though: Pick up a cheap voltmeter (DMM), maybe as little as $10, no more than $25 (RadioShack, Sears, etc). Put it on DC Volts and read the battery voltage (one probe to red, other to black terminal on battery). Engine off you should see 12-13 volts, engine on (normal alternator charging) maybe 13.5 to 14.5 Volts. Sounds like you'll be at 15-20 Volts, does sound like your regulator is shot and really over charging the battery. Also some chance it's just a bad battery, but the voltmeter (DVM or DMM) should sort that out.

    PS- If your interested in modern cars at all get an OBD2 Code Reader (Amazon for about $50), for when that Check Engine Light comes on someday. Actually hadn't thought about it, seems like OBD2 should give us a voltage reading, but maybe not.
  • machiusmachius Posts: 28
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Regarding testing the system, I do have a voltmeter, so I could do these basic checks. I do not have an ammeter, though. In any case, I am a bit reluctant to turn on the engine if it's indeed the case that the alternator is over-charging the battery. How long does it take for hydrogen to accumulate so that it might explode? If I do it outside, would I have a couple of minutes to check everything out? Mind you, I drove over 30 miles with that issue, according to when I detected the smell for the first time, and I survived...

    Thanks again - MM
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,273
    You should be fine. Maybe I got lucky, but I had a voltage regulator go out on my truck (actually, it was unintentionally sabotaged by a shop that was doing some wiring on the truck), a 1969 Chevy C20, before heading out on a trip down to Oregon (from Anchorage, Alaska). When I arrived in Oregon, I did some basic maintenance like replacing/checking fluids, etc. When I popped my battery covers, there was almost no fluid in it! I replaced the regulator (not part of the alternator on that vehicle), filled the battery with automotive-battery-grade sulfuric acid, and had no problems with it for the rest of that 11,000-mile trip (I had put about 2,500 miles on at that point). When I arrived home, though, I replaced the battery. Anyway, no problem with explosions.

    For what it's worth, that was July of 1999. I finally retired that battery this spring when it did not have enough juice to crank the truck after the winter and would not hold a charge for more than about 24 hours. :( It was time, though; it was time.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... Pick up a cheap voltmeter... Put it on DC Volts and read the battery voltage.... Actually hadn't thought about it, seems like OBD2 should give us a voltage reading, but maybe not..."
    The OBD2 port gives a voltage reading to the ScanGauge in my old Scion xB, so it should do the same for a Forester. It can't measure voltage with engine off, of course, so engine must be running.
  • Long time lurker although haven't been on on a while-
    2003 OB with 126K miles- took my car to get oil change and rotation and also for noise on right front where I got a basketball hung up in my wheel- well- gotta love kids.
    So the "inspection" listed a bunch of stuff i should get done- some things I'm iffy about so I'll run it by here:
    Fuel Injector service for $75
    Coolant Flush for $90 given they told that my upper and lower radiator hoses loooked "soft" and needed replacement
    Brake fluid exchange for $80 as part of brake service.
    These real and/or necessary or just upsale opportunities?
    Thanks

    RT
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 680
    Brake fluid exchange for $80 as part of brake service This one agrees with factory ...gets rid of accumulated moisture that can corrode brake parts.

    Injector service is a usual service dept profit maker.

    Radiator hoses? Can't tell.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,273
    Yeah, same here.

    Regular brake fluid replacement (about once every three years) is important as the fluid is hydroscopic, meaning it imbibes water over time.

    Injector service is just a profit-maker. Especially if you regularly use a fuel additive injector cleaner (once every 4 or 5K miles), you should never need an "injector service."

    Can't tell on the radiator hoses, but depending on mileage and age, they are a service item. I wouldn't think you should need to replace them or the fluid any more often than once every 100,000 miles though.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Subaru calls for Coolant to be replaced every 30k miles, so that's not out of the question. Same goes for the Brake fluid 3yr/30k miles for replacement.

    Injector stuff is a waste.

    Also if you haven't had the Timing belt done, you should have that done (due at 105k miles).

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Fuel Injector service for $75

    That's either too cheap, or too expensive.

    If they're just putting in a bottle of Techron, it's too expensive.

    Plus it's too cheap for them to truly do a throttle body cleaning. Mazda charged my wife a few hundred to do that on our old 626 (it did correct a major hesitation).

    My guess is it's the first case - they are overcharging to pour a bottle of fuel injection cleaner in your gas tank. Do it yourself for $5-8 or so.
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