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Subaru Legacy/Outback 2005+



  • rwoodsrwoods Posts: 129


    My wife went into the dealer to test drive the Forester since they sent her a $25 debit card. She also tried the OBXT Ltd Wagon and that sold her. We purchased the OB and have been delighted with it.


  • Hey Greedyspeed-


    I'm with 'qbrozen'...out of curiosity, what "need" are you looking to fulfill with a CAI; a more audible engine sound under full-throttle, or do you truly believe your OEM airbox is somehow restricting your motor's performance? Are you planning on upgrading your AFM, too?


    Tim G.

    '05 OBXTL-5MT
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Don't do it. Any car with a mass-air or volume-air metering system should NOT replace the stock airbox or tamper with any of the plumbing up to the throttle body.


    Changing it will often cause sensor misreads causing any of the following: lower performance at part throttle, poor economy, lean/rich condition, poor driveability.


    Get a sporty muffler instead.


  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    This is a turbo motor with an intercooler. Any benefits of a CAI are negligible at best.


    The reason is that the turbo heats the intake air up quite a bit (the turbo itself gets very hot, like hundreds of degrees C). The intercooler's job is to cool it back down. Compared to this huge see-saw in temperature, a few degrees change at the intake is not even going to matter. On a turbo motor, the best place to work the cold-air angle is at the intercooler -- meaning bigger flow passages, more volume, etc...


    On top of that, Subaru uses an intake resonator, which tunes the standing wave pattern in the intake. This effectively cancels out pressure losses due to friction in the intake. I doubt any other intake system will do better; in fact most will do worse. I believe that either Cobb or Vishnu has dyno data showing the stock intake performed the best on a WRX.


  • Can someone help me with this?


    I noticed a considerable amount of used 2005 Outbacks on the market that were used as demos by the Subaru dealers. A smart buyer could buy a new one for the price they are selling the cars at with 5-10K miles on them. Does Subaru North America sell these cars to the dealers for less than the other cars so that the dealers will have them available to drive? Can you negotiate below invoice?


    Also, I saw a 2.5I (non Limited) with the larger wheels and leather. I had a chance to walk around the car and it was a base model 2.5I (no sun roof, non matching door handles, etc). Is it possible to buy this car with the larger tires and leather?


    Thank you.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Many dealers add aftermarket leather, so that was probably what you saw. Not sure about the wheels -- maybe they were takeoffs from another car (or maybe an XT or 3.0R buyer wanted 16" wheels and they made a swap). This is not a normal configuration, so I am guessing it was a dealer special.


    I got my OB XT Ltd for invoice price back in July. Nowadays, you can often find Outbacks for a few hundred less than invoice (depending on supply and demand).


    A good place to check prices is at -- I actually bought there, but in the past, have asked other dealers to meet these prices. I have found fitzmall to be a good barometer of pricing.


  • Craig,

    Thanks for the note. I will check out that site. And yes, I do think they must have swapped with an XT. Car looked great but not as good as yours. Are you happy with it?


  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    Whoa! Not advisable to stay away from this thread too long...too much catching up!!


    Sly, good tip. Thanks.


    Just to take it one step further, I put the Auto on, then pressed the A/C on, then off again, and it seems to have the same effect. In otherwords, there is no need to wait for the HAL to go thru the routine. I started my car after work, and the fan was on low and slowly increased as the engine warmed up even though the "AUTO" was not displayed. Give it a try and let me know if this works for you. Perhaps I'm missing something and don't know it.



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd want to know how the demo was used. If it's the dealer owners' wife's car, fine.


    But we took some GTs to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and drove them pretty hard. Pro drivers took them around the oval at 125 or so. The tires were history.


    Slap on new tires, sell it as a program car.


    Then again, some say you should drive hard to break 'em in, and the warranty is the same. Plus, if any problems were going to creep up, they'd be more likely to creep up at 125 mph vs. with you driving it.


  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,541
    DaveM <temporary swampy imposter>
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I love my XT. Gas mileage could be better (get 20-23 typically); if the car had a larger gas tank, it would be perfect. Otherwise, it's a blast to drive.


  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    You're absolutely right Jay, that works just the same. I just didn't think of it :)


  • Has anyone else tried to mount a cartop box on their 05 Outback? I have had the incredibly frustrating experience of finding that the box prevents the rear hatch from opening fully. After putting some impressive scratches in the unnecessarily big rear "spoiler" I tried moving the box as far forward as I can--it still hits! Does this problem sound familiar to anyone? If so, what have you done to correct? Thanks.
  • 3 days into new life with 2.5i. Was wondering if anyone has gotten the 22 miles per gallon as advertised in town. I live in the suburbs and drive about 15 highway miles into town each day. I'm going from Jeep Cherokee to the Outback. Any comments/recommendations?
  • ssmintonssminton Posts: 155
    I have a Thule Box on my 2005 Outback VDC. I installed it back in November and have had no problems. It is very quiet and convenient of course. I am using the Thule Evolution 1600 model. This model fits the Outback roof profile well as not to interfere with the rear hatch. If you have further questions, please ask.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Well, I can get 20-21 in my XT model if I temper my lead foot, so you'd better get at least 22 in a 2.5i!!


    Maybe Bruce or Joe can pop in and comment -- they have 2.5i models.


  • tsytsy Posts: 1,551
    I think you'll find the mileage goes up as you break the engine in. I've only got 6500 miles on my GT ltd sedan and the mileage continues to improve (got almost 28mpg freeway recently!). My city mileage varies considerably, depending on how hard I push the car, though. ;-)


  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Have had 2.5i Ltd for less than 6 weeks, just turned 4000 miles, so I obviously do mostly highway driving. Just returned from trip Prov RI to Montreal. Trip computer indicated 27.3 for entire trip and actual, based on consumption was 25.6. That has been my experience with this vehicle before & most other cars with trip computers. They always indicate gas mileage at least 5%, maybe up to 8% higher than actual.


    As I put miles on, the car does feel more "broken in" and seems to have more pep. It was sort of a step down from my previous vehicle (2004 Malibu MAXX that did have 200 horsepower but moved out very nicely. Looking back, maybe should have gotten the V6 or Turbo but I was afraid to even try one for fear I would have fallen in love with either. But, I really don't need the turbo or the extra power of the 6. With my present employer I pay for all car expenswes including gas, put a lot of miles on & wanted respectable gas mileage as well as only requiring regular unleaded.


    For the few times I did more local driving, my impression is that I would get somewhere in the low 20's. I got a little less than that one time, but it was bitter cold and several mornings of warming up vehicle first. I would expect that vehicle would get at least the gas mileage advertised.


    I like the vehicle, and am finally getting use to lousy armrest. It is way too low and I am not about to spend $150 to get the extended version. Only other problem is trying to get comforatable on long trips. lGetting better....
  • So, I've been following along on the various ACC threads since late Aug when I got my OBXTL, and other than it not behaving in what I'd consider an intuitive manner, I've learned how to make it work the way I want, as I never use the "Auto" setting.


    The other day I had my first couple experiences with ACC inconsistencies. Example 1: I generally turn off my ACC before turning off my ignition by pressing the OFF button. When I get back into my car, I turn on my ACC by pressing the fan up-arrow. This turns on the ACC using the exact same temperature and vent selection settings as before, with the fan on "low" (e.g., 1 wedgie). This is how it's been working consistently since I bought the car. The other day, this same process resulted in the ACC coming on with totally different settings; although the temp setting was still the same, both "recirculate" and "A/C" were now both enabled, and the vent selection was different. What the ???


    Example 2: In mid-40's degree weather, I've been leaving my ACC temp set to 69 degrees (I'm hot-blooded and don't wear a coat when I drive) with the fan on low. Again, I don't use "Auto". On Tues after about 30 mins in the car, I noticed it seemed unusually warm driving home. It was night and approx 44 degrees outside. The temp settings still showed set to 69 degees, as usual. By turning the temp settings down to 66, there was no change whatsoever in the temp of air coming from the vents, but when I dropped the temp down to 65 degrees, it was now blowing totally unheated, outside air (e.g., "vent only"). Eh???


    Initially after hearing everyone else's "HAL" stories about their ACC's, it made sense to me that maybe just the temp sensors on these ACC units might be the 'weak' point of the system, but I'm now thinking that these units are just plain unreliable and inconsistent.


    I mean, I know that modulating the ambient air temp within the inside of a moving vehicle isn't easy (especially if you're trying to do "dual zones") but temperature aside, why wouldn't the controls work consistently??


    Ok, I'm done...thanks for the "vent" (pun intended) ;-)


    Tim G.

    '05 OBXTL-5MT

    8200 miles
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Tim, I posted a detailed "how to" on the ACC system in the interior/audio forums of another board (can't post a link because Edmunds won't allow it, but you may be familiar with the site, it's focused mostly on the "LegacyGT"). That should answer a couple of your questions, especially the "65" effect.


  • bury the dead horse already
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    someone should design, build and market a HVAC control that kills ACC and lets you use a standard DIN radio too.


  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    samiam's fix seems to address it (make the ACC work) on the F-XT's HAL...


  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    The biggest problem is the poor documentation. If they improved that, 90% of the user-related problems would be solved, and then we could focus our time complaining about the "real" hardware problems!


  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    whaaaat... the problem is not 90% users not knowing how to use it!


    I've said it before, but my '93 Taurus SHO has ACC and it does exactly what it should 95% of the time. the ONLY time I have to mess with it is max-effort defrosting (it tries to leave some air on feet).


  • You're right, Colin, about the SHO. Had a '92 and the ACC was great!
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Yeah, I have to agree with Colin. It's not poor documentation, at least not on the Forester's version. It's the temperature sensor thing near the ignition key that doesn't suck in enough ambient air to correctly read the temp - making it slow to react (overwarming the cabin for instance). Samiam's fix pulls more air in and allows "HAL" to correctly adjust the HVAC as needed.


    I know the '05 Forester introduced more fan speeds and it seems that has eased HAL's behavior a bit.


  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    It's both!


    The user interface is quirky, and the temp sensor is inadequate.


    I've learned to live with the quirkiness, thanks in large part to Craig. But there is nothing I can do to make the temp sensor work better, short of making large changes in temp setting, which defeats the purpose of an ACC in the first place!


  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Seriously, the documentation is horrible and first time users have no idea of all the modes of the system or the quirks. For instance, setting the temp to 65 means "no heat" while setting it to 66 means "target temp of 66F". Setting it to 85 means "max heat" (and will exceed 85F) while 84F means "target temp of 84F". On my wife's Acura, these analogous extremes are labeled "LO" and "HI" respectively, which makes more sense. On Subarus, people just get confused as heck when 66 is warm and 65 blows cold air. But it's actually the correct operation -- 66 is a target temp and 65 means no heat added in winter and max cool in summer.


    The "AC" indicator comes on and means that AC can kick in, but it's not necessarily on all the time. So people see "AC" on when it's 45F outside and are confused as heck even though it's really not running! On my wife's Acura, there is no indicator for AC -- it just cycles on/off in the background and you never know (ignorance=bliss with ACC). However, there is an "AC OFF" indicator when the driver presses the AC button (overrrides it to OFF all the time). Again a case where the Acura implementation makes more sense and is documented.


    The worst is the purgatory mode between full auto and full manual. Here, the system will react every time you tweak a control, because it's still trying to maintain the set temp with every new constraint the driver throws at it. In this crazy mode, it would seem like the system is fighting your every move, but in reality, it's just trying to meet your set temp with fewer ways to do it. Again, a case where the manual doesn't talk about this, nor does it talk about the proper procedure to get into full manual override where you truly have control.


    All of these things (and more) are examples of why people get extremely frustrated with the system and say it doesn't work well. Once you understand the way the system operates, these issues (and more) become non-events and the system is a lot easier to live with. At that point, the only complaints center around hardware issues -- like the systems tendency to overshoot because of poor temp sensors. In fact, you can't truly notice the real hardware issues until the more troubling basic operation issues are out of the way.


    Seriously, if Subaru had better documentation and explained all the modes of the system, it would eliminate most of the complaints I see online.


  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,541
    Seriously, if Subaru had better documentation and explained all the modes of the system, it would eliminate most of the complaints I see online.


    But how many people RT*M?


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