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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • mhooksmhooks Posts: 2
    A little embarassed to ask, but is there anything tricky to replaceing brakes on a 2005 Impreza 2.5 RS (Wagon)? Specifically I was conserned with the ABS, i.e. do I simply disconnect the negative lead on the battery, or is there more to it?.. Never done it before, and I just wanted to make sure I don't screw anything up.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Unless there is something new added that I'm not aware of, you really needn't worry about the ABS system. In addition to the normal hydraulic line going to the piston, there will be a single wire going to a speed sensor mounted on the hub. In a normal brake service, even if you are pulling the rotor for resurfacing or replacement, you won't be disturbing the hub & sensor setup itself.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I did my Forester and it was pretty standard.

    The only reason it was tougher than my Miata was that it had dual piston calipers, so it's a bit more effort to retract those.
  • mhooksmhooks Posts: 2
    Should I worry about bleeding the caliper? just don't want to mess anything up.

    I don't intend on changing the brake fluid quite yet......just need a fix for about a month or so

    Thanks again.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    A full fluid change periodically is highly recommended. That said, I am guilty of occasionally just slowly and carefully pushing in the piston with a wood block and a C-clamp without opening the bleeders. I recently bought a tool from Harbor Freight that should get this done with less risk than the big C-clamp approach.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Same here, the tool was cheap and paid for itself in time and hassle the first time I used it.
  • It's been a long time since I've been on here which I think is a good thing! Anyway, my 02 Bugeye has about 103k miles on it (w/no problems other than the somewhat common: cold weather gas replaced some gas lines, etc.) and I've had the reverse gear pop out while reversing about 3 times in the last couple months. All times were under heavy load (deep snow or quick reversing.) I'm just wondering if there is any consensus as to what my future repair might involve?

    Moving through the gears going forward seems the slightest bit more clunky lately but it could be b/c I'm trying to pay attention to it.

    Thanks in advance.
  • jbur1jbur1 Posts: 14
    I finally got a decent day (around 40 degrees) to investigate the coolant leak further. I noticed some areas wet with coolant but did not see any hoses in the vicinity. I hate to think that it may be a head gasket based on the photos posted below.


  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    I wish I could annotate your pictures and repost them, but I'm afraid that I don't know how. Your top image tells me a lot. You are looking down on a pair of hoses that go to your cabin heater, and right below that is the steering box. The box is wet. Do you see a philips head screw on the steering box to the left of the steering shaft? Move an inch to the left of the screw, dead center in the photo, about an inch off of the left margin. That is the back of the head, and it looks like there is a paper/plastic barcode tag glued to it. Just 'north' of that spot you can see a crease line - that's the edge of the head gasket, and beyond that the block. The tag area looks yellowish and wet. That is exactly where mine leaked from on both occasions.

    Below that spot, but above the steering box is a greyish curved heavy piece of metal that is part of the subframe. The cutout in this brace is what enables you to see down to the steering box. It looks coated in green and quite dirty as well - almost exactly as mine did. Guess what the 'green' is....

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I think you already knew the score.
  • rebel71rebel71 Posts: 87
    Is it standard practice for the dealer to charge you a diagnostic fee, even if your vehicle is under warranty.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    I've had this complaint for years, and talked to Service Managers about it. The net is that policies constantly change, but in general the manufacturers reimburse the dealer at a very low rate, or sometimes not at all for service visits that result in a "No Trouble Found" diagnosis. This means that the dealership, who is an independent business and essentially the middleman in this transaction ends up eating the cost of you coming in with a complaint that doesn't result in a repair that can be billed to the maker. Depending on the issue, they may eat it, or pass the cost on to you. It depends a lot on the nature of the complaint, how well you document and/or demonstrate it, etc.

    I don't like it, but I am coming to understand it.
  • my 06 with just 24K miles does a bad shift, hard with a bang, think it's 3rd to 4th, usually at 30-35 mph, when under 40F, often lightly loaded on the throttle.

    Tranny fluid on this auto was very yellow by 15K miles. I did a partial change (3 drains, fills), that helped, changed the $40 filter last week, that improved things too but still getting that hard clunk shift sometimes (but fluid-filter definitely helped).

    Is this typical in anyway or do I have a tranny failure coming? (under 6/60 warranty I hope). Thanks for any opinion or advice.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    The sudden advent of 'shift shock' can mean that the clutches are burned/contaminted so that they grab too fast, or the fluid pressure on the actuator is suddenly too high (valve body issue?). Either way, it can signal coming major trouble. I'd get it looked at, especially if you are still under warranty coverage.

    However, see my post above yours for the possible outcome if the dealer doesn't agree that the tranny is bad! I went thru this exact same scenario on a Toyota for multiple visits until just beyond the 5/60 warranty. Amazingly at something like 62k, the tranny was now declared a total loss, and the district mgr denied the claim! I don't think Subaru would be so arrogant, but it's best to build your case carefully and methodically. Note that I don't presently own a Toyota....
  • jbur1jbur1 Posts: 14
    Thanks for the confirmation of my suspicion. Or should I say thanks -not! Since my vehicle (2003 Forester) was not included in the Subaru extended warranty I guess I need to make a decision since I have about 81,000 miles on the vehicle. Whether or not to purchase a new vehicle or to invest in this repair along with other service needs in the near future (i.e. timing belt, water pump, etc.). The other unknown is how long the head gasket repair would last since this seems to be an ongoing issue with this engine.
  • My 99 LGT wagon had both head gaskets replaced at about 119K (before I bought it, per the paperwork that came with the car). IIRC, the bill was about $2K. Car has 176K miles now, with absolutely no sign of HG issues.

  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    had to do ours at 130k, but the car only has 140ish on it now. So yea, no probs ;-)
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Sorry to have been the bearer of bad news... Nice pixs, by the way.

    Unfortunately, I am on the unlucky end of the spectrum, and have had two failures - first at 15k, then again at 63k. Even though my car is an '02, my VIN was exempted from the extended warranty. Only '00 & '01 were covered in full, '02 partially, yet SOA picked up the full tab. I have a friend with a '99 that was also taken care of as a courtesy.

    My suggestion is that you call 1-800-Subaru3 and open a case prior to bringing it in for service. When you take it in, give the service mgr the case number, and ask them to call SOA and go to bat for you. If you have any kind of positive relationship at all with the dealer, you might get at least some of it covered.

    While mine was apart, I had them do the timing & accessory belts, paying only for these extra parts. It all has to come off anyhow, so it's the time to do it. Labor was already covered.

    See if you can turn your 'lemons' into lemonade and get to drive the car a while longer.
  • The other option is hose it down well, then drive it to the dealer on a rainy day and purchase a new vehicle without wheeling and dealing too much. You get a new vehicle; they get to fix or auction your old one. Save the hassle and go new if you can afford it. At the price they want for repairs, I'd prefer to put that into a new vehicle and knock on wood, hopefully be problem free.
  • Sorry to hear about your problem.I had my head gasket go at 63,000 just after warranty even after had it there earlier to check it out but of course they found nothing until had that nice over heating problems.I found every site I could find talking about bad head gasket on their 2.5 L which seem to be the case from 1999-2009.Oh make sure you copy all links to complaints about head gasket failure and send them too Subaru head quarters it's what I did and finally got them to cough up some money but still cost me a lot to fix it.A Subaru mechanic I know said they just finally change the head gaskets in the 2010 models.If you get the head fix then do rear end seal,serpentine belt,timing chain,water pump but these depend on if your over 60,000 if you are they have to take most of these off to get to them anyway so replace them so 10,000 down road don't have to pay for labor again.Oh yeah make sure change coolant sensor it's $15 and I had all kinds of problems still with temp gauge turns out the sensor wide open easy fix.Oh do not do not do not let them put any of their coolant conditioner in your coolant system.It's just Holts leak seal with their sticker from what I found out from talking to more them a few EX-Subaru mechanics.That stuff over time clogs the radiator and causes much of the over heating down the road.I learned the hard way.Get something called RMI25 that's the letter i not a one in the RMI25.It's a coolant system cleaner that removes all the build gunk over the years and puts it in your overflow which you have to empty out a lot until all gone.This stuff been around for about 30 years it causes the water to become akaline gets rid of electrolysis.My heater always took forever to warm up now it could cook eggs.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It was a long time ago, but I'm pretty sure early Foresters had an issue with popping out of gear, not many of them but a few.

    Search for a TSB on that, though I don't think it was as recent as model year 2002.
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