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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • ths258ths258 Posts: 10
    With the 2009 Outback Limited climate control system, I get air flow from the vents even when the system is off. The temperature of the air flow matches the temperature setting at the time of being turned off. Changing to recirculate before shutting off seems to have no effect, as there still air flow from the center vents.

    Is anyone else having this issue? I want to determine whether it is a problem that can be fixed or is just a 'works-as-designed' function.

    Thank you.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Subaru climate control systems are designed by aliens. Mean ones. With many sharp teeth. By design, they don't work. Sorry, but you are stuck with it and not much you can do.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I call it HAL. ;)
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    3 to 5 years ...
  • drkwcdrkwc Posts: 2
    Issue solved.

    It was the Idle Air Bypass Valve.

    I unbolted it, disconnected the air lines, but not the coolant lines, sprayed out the lines and the innards with carb cleaner, then reconnected it. Works like a charm now.

    There WAS quite a bit of gunk in one of the air inlets.

    If the problem returns, I'll pick up one of these valve assemblies at the junkyard and replace mine.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Interesting find! On that older model, is it remote from the engine? Far enough away that the condition didn't get better as the engine heated up (thermally isolated)?
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    My overflow tank keeps filling, but the radiator does not draw it back in. Every two days, I remove the tank and pour the coolant back into the radiator.

    I am thinking about removing the lower seal on the radiator cap. This is a new cap from Pep Boys. It is stamped with 16 lbs.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Subaru OEM Thermostat is specially designed and unique. Do NOT buy other brand or they open & close different the the spec.
    Also change the radiator cap same time as it is cheap.
    Subaru also suggests to use OEM coolant as other coolant may not treat as well to Subie's internal aluminum parts as the OEM coolant.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Open the radiator cap, with engine running, fill the coolant from the raditor slowly. Top it off then close the cap. Repeat if needed.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    That which gets pushed out into the overflow tank as a result of coolant expansion should get sucked right back into the radiator as the coolant contracts, unless there is a leak in the system somewhere. Most likely it is the new radiator cap's upper seal is not tight against the new radiators upper flange. One of them has a burr or other imperfection. The other possibility is that the hose is not sealed to the nipple/barb on the radiator filler neck, or the hose has a crack.

    When the coolant expands, it pushes out against the 16 lbs (yes, I recently realized that Subi systems run at 1.1 - 1.2 ATM pressure). Older caps were 1.0 ATM, or 14.7 lbs. That probably buys you another 10'F upper end on boiling. Anyhow, it is easy once fluid pushes past the lower seal to run out the barb and down the hose into the overflow. It really stays below the top seal without any pressure - gravity does the job. But if the upper seal isn't 100%, when the radiator pressure goes negative, air is pulled in past the upper seal or hose nipple, and no fluid is sucked back against gravity out of the bottle.

    Look for the simple first. If everything is perfect here, it could still be a failed engine gasket that is providing the one way leak of air back into the system.

    Make sense?
  • dryboatdryboat Posts: 1
    I have a chance to buy a 1997 Impreza cheap because the rear wheel seems to lock up then release in slow full loch turns. It acts like it has different diameter tires, that can't spin at the same speed. I put the underhood 4wd fuse in , hoping disconnecting the 4wd would prove my tire theory correct. But to my surprise the FWD light didn't appear on the dash, and the rear wheels were still engaged? Secondary fuse?
    Also, can someone tell me the symptoms of a auto trans that has been towed over 20 mph, or has been towed on 2 wheels with 4WD engaged?
    I would appreciate any advice!
  • hammerheadhammerhead Posts: 885
    edited March 2010
    My 99 LGT exhibits similar behavior, but not to the same degree, and only when thoroughly warm - my shop tells me it's the viscous coupling/center diff. I thought it might be something in the rear differential, since it only seems to affect the rear wheels. They suggested I wait til it quits completely, because it's about a $1500 fix.

    Not sure if this helps or hinders your decision, though.

  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I did change the radiator cap.

    I went cheap on the thermostat though ($11 from Advance, $35 from Subaru). I am now changing my replacement philosphy. Since I am saving money on doing the repairs myself, I can purchase the parts from Subaru. That would eliminate some of the problems I have had.

    I still plan on having Subaru do the Coolant Service, after I replace three more hoses(bypass, supply & return heater).
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    Phil, remember that even new parts can be bad. As I wrote to you previously, it sounds like the upper seal isn't, well, sealing to produce the vacuum required to suck fluid back out of the overflow.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    This morning I checked the overflow tank.

    It was full (yesterday it was empty), When I took off the radiator cap, I heard a rush of air and bubbles gurgled up in the overflow tank.

    The radiator cap is from Pep Boys, I am going to Subaru and get another one. It seems like the seal is a little deformed now.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    One other thing to check that I have seen before. Take the lid and hose completely out of the the overflow tank, wrap it in a towel, and set it aside. There is a single 10mm bolt holding the overflow tank in place. Remove it, and gently lift the tank off of the lower retainer. Empty it and clean the insides thoroughly.

    The constant fill and suck out tends to have a cleaning effect on the radiator, depositing a thick layer of sludge in the bottom of the overflow tank. If you used it, that is where a lot of the Subaru Coolant Conditioning (ie stop leak) ends up, along with other garbage. If this level rises above the level of the bottom of the hose, it will clog the end. Coolant will flow into the tank, but no get siphoned back out.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    Can I change the rear wheel bearings myself? Or is it something I can trust my local garage to do? The dealer ship will want $200+ to do it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've heard it's not simple, you have to press in the bearings. Let the pros do it.
  • girlcarbuildergirlcarbuilder Posts: 218
    edited March 2010
    If you have FWD only, then chances are you have a non servicable hub unit which can be pulled off and replaced with a new one. $50-$70 each. The nut that holds it on has to be carefuly unbent to unscrew it. When you put the replacement on, make sure you stake the new nut on. Only replace when it gets noisy. If you are real good at taking one apart without removing seals. It is possible to disassemble and clean, repack before the unit fails.

    Now, if you have AWD or need a bearing press and a good bit of experience with such tool. Otherwise, you could have an assembly suddenly breaking in the press and flying who knows where. Best left to someone who has done these before. Here again, if you repack around 150-170K, you can avoid having to press in new bearings! Same interval applies to the hubs!

    Be careful not to drive too long with little grease in them. Because if you over heat the knuckles, the bearing opening will distort and the new bearing will fail early. trick to avoid that is to service early again.

    Two choices basically. Drive till it fails, 240K or more and replace everything including possibly the knuckle. Or service around 150K-170K and just have new seals, some cleaner and new grease. Currently using the Valvoline full synthetic in road tests. About $8 for a small can.
  • sus77sus77 Posts: 1
    edited March 2010
    I am hoping the Subaru crew can help me out once again.

    My 1999 2.5 Subaru has never had any problems except for the known separator plate leak. My mechanic fixed the plate with the new metal one. When he fixed the plate problem, he took the engine out and then put it back in the car. The leaks are gone, but I have a new issue.

    It happens (usually) once a day and the problem happens at different times and road conditions. After I come to a complete stop, I can try to accelerate and the car starts moving with heavy hesitation. Its almost like someone is grabbing the front wheels. If you apply more pressure to the gas pedal, the car will continue to accelerate at a slow pace. Eventually when the car gets to 2nd or 3rd gear, the car accelerates at an expected pace. There are no noises or smells. When this problem happens, it is like the car is operating on a 40 to 50% acceleration reduction.

    The mechanic did change my transmission fluid and he is a trusted mechanic. But the problem will not replicate on demand and the car is not giving any error codes.

    Help - any ideas?
    Jason Nance
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