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Subaru Legacy/Outback Engine Issues

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Comments

  • gordon13gordon13 Posts: 2
    thank you so much for the info on that. i was paranoid about it being something worse. soooo cool.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,645
    I doubt it is something worse. The oil, if it leaks in there from the gasket, tends to sit because the plug wire has a big seal on it that is intended to keep dust, debris, etc., out of the plug cavity. When you pull the wire, it releases the oil.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    Yeah, what Wes said. I've had to replace those o-rings around the spark plug holes on both my Forester and my wife's Outback. I find that they are leaking by around the second spark plug change (about 60K miles), so I just figure those parts, as well as new valve cover gaskets, into every other 30K mile service.

    Len
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,645
    That is interesting, Len. Of all the leaks I had on my '96 during it's 220K miles, not once did those inner "o-rings" leak. Probably because the outer VC gaskets and camshaft seals would go first, but still.... :P

    I was keeping my fingers crossed on the '07 Outback. I switched it to 0W-30 Amsoil at about 4500 miles and planned on running that for the duration of the car's life. Not sure if it would have resulted in less or more likelihood of leaks. I will never know at this point!
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    Wes,

    You'd never know there was a leak until you pulled a plug wire. In talking to the parts guy at my local Subaru dealer, he told me they keep lots of those o-rings in stock, because it is such a common problem, and their service guys are changing them all the time. FWIW, I use Castrol GTX 5W30.

    Len
  • i have a 96 subaru legacy wagon with around 150000 miles on it. It has intermittent overheating problems (every couple of weeks). The radiator and thermostat were replaced about 2 months ago, i understand one cause of the overheating besides problems with the head gasket is not properly bleeding/burping air from the system when coolant is refilled. Would air have worked its way out after 2 months or could this still be a problem? How do I tell if this is the problem and how do i fix it if it is?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    sounds like it could be the water pump.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,645
    That is a possibility, for sure. Andrew, how/when does the overheating actually happen? Is it quite gradual? Sudden? After a long drive or at the start of a drive?

    As for the air, park the car on an incline (radiator up) and pull the bleed screw from the left side of the radiator. You should be able to work any air out of the system by initially filling through the upper radiator hose until full, then attach it and continue to fill through the radiator cap. Forcefully squeeze the upper radiator hose every so often to force the fluid around and work out any air. When the system is full and you get no bubbles, you should be good.

    If air then returns to the system, you likely have a head gasket problem. Also, if there is black combustion gunk in the overflow tank, same deal. :sick:
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If it was a bubble then you'd likely overheat everytime you drive it. Since it's random I'm putting my $ on water pump issue which usually is intermittent.

    -mike
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,645
    I think so, too. But, he asked about bubbles, so I offered up my technique for filling the system bubble-free.

    Intermittent, that is, until it fails altogether! :D
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • well i havent seen black combustion gunk in the overflow tanks, and the overheating usually happens after a few minutes of driving. but do you think the air in the radiator would have gotten out after 2 months?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,645
    Not necessarily, especially if flow to that area of the system was retarded as a result of the air, but then if there is trapped air in there causing the overheat, it would be consistent.

    When I had a failing water pump on mine, any overheating problem would manifest itself as soon as the car warmed up. In other words, the pump would not be working properly from the moment I started the car. Often times, when I saw the needle creeping up, a couple of quick revs and the needle would instantly drop back to normal. I never had it overheat after the car was running for a long while (and operating normally). So, it was random in terms of what operating cycle it happened, but not in terms of when during the operating cycle.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • well i have not tried bleeding the air out of the system yet, however, my car does not overheat randomly now, it does it everytime i drive unless the have the heat on full blast which only stalls it from overheating
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,645
    Well, that does not sound like a water pump to me. If the water pump was not circulating, there would be no heat to the heater core. I know this for a fact because I almost froze to death at -20F when mine went out at 0200 one January morning. :(

    So, it might very well be air, but I bet the air is collecting due to a bad head gasket. If so, there are some tests a mechanic can perform to attempt to pinpoint the location of the problem.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    dumb question but are your fans for the radiator spinning? If you need to put the heat on to keep the engine from overheating, often times it can be a result of the fans not bringing air over the radiator.

    -mike
  • I just recently found out my 01 subaru outback ll bean is burning oil. I notice when my car has sat for awhile I will see white smoke blow out the tail pipe. Little info on my car it is 01 with 53,200 miles on it. I called subaru to find out if I still have the powertrain warranty on it and they said it expired jul 31, 07. Talk about bs just missing the warranty by a month. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!!!!

    Michelle
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think that's the H6 model, correct?

    If so, the EZ30 is not known for that type of problem. That's very unusual.
  • Yes, it is the H6 model, I have it in the shop and they are testing it to see if i have a blown head gasket!!! Has anyone heard of this model having head gasket issues?? i don't drive it hard and have never over heated it.

    Michelle
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,645
    White smoke is usually an indication of coolant in the combustion chamber, not oil. Oil creates blue smoke, unburnt fuel creates black smoke.

    If it is coolant, then you likely have a head gasket issue. Alternatively, the car's block could be cracked, but I would think the head gasket to be the more likely problem.

    As juice indicated, that would be a rare duck on the H6. Not that it makes you feel any better, but if the car is repaired, the problem should not recur. Keep on Subaru about it after you find out the mechanic's diagnosis. They may be willing, in good faith, to assist in the expense of the repair. That would not make it free for you, but cheaper nonetheless!
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    And the number for Subaru of America is 800-SUBARU3 by the way. Good luck.
  • Well, I had my car looked at and they said they found no gases in the coolant. So, they don't think it is the head gasket. I was talking to my boyfriend about they smoke and what color he remembers it being and he said a blue and white smoke. I have to take it back to the shop mon for them to do more testing on it. They thought it could be the piston glides???
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,645
    Blue smoke could mean valve seals or piston rings, but if it is just a "puff" when initially starting up, it is nothing to worry about.

    Just because there are no gases in the coolant does not mean the head gaskets are not having a problem. If there is white smoke coming out your exhaust, either the head gaskets or the block have a problem. But, the antifreeze will foul the oxygen sensors quickly (if there is any present), so your check engine light will illuminate before too long. If the car is not experiencing overheating, you do have some time to figure this one out.
    2010 Subaru Forester, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup, 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon
  • Thanks for the info, I haven't noticed any white smoke on start up in at least a week. I have not noticed it overheating either. Some other info I did notice last time I got my oil changed the coolant was a little low, I think they just had to top off the overflow tank. And i just put two quarts of oil in four days ago. What sucks is I don't know if my car really burned that much oil because my dad had checked my oil last weekend and said it was low and I think he left the oil cap off. So, I don't know how much cam out because of that. I will keep you posted on what I find.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    How long did the car sit before you got the "white" smoke?

    What was the temp when you started it?

    Perhaps it was condensation that accumulated in the muffler burning off if it sat for a while and it wasn't too hot.

    My guess is there may be nothing wrong with your car at all.

    -mike
  • I notice more after it has sat for the nite, the other time it did it was when I was at a baby shower and it sat for about 2 hours. I am really hoping nothing is wrong with it. It is at the shop all day today to see if they find anything.
  • Depends on how much you could sell it for. Your current mileage would be a good time to get the most bucks for it.
  • I have a 97 Subaru Outback, 2.5, 4cylinder motor, automatic transmission. For two years now, there are times when the car will not start (the radio and windows will work though). If you let it sit for anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes it will eventually start. Replaced the starter with NAPA starter - thought this starter was bad & replaced with another NAPA starter. Still at times it wouldn't start so we finally put on a Subaru starter. We are still having the same problem & replaced the battery. It seems to have the trouble more when the car & weather are hot - happens less often in the winter. The starter wires and battery cables were checked & good. Could there possibly be a sensor bad or is there a recall that we were not aware of. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Situation: 1998 Sub Outback 2.5 liter overheated to the point it wouldn't start on Oct 7. This occurred after replacing timing belt, idlers, tensioners on September 2O at 194,000. Question One: Dealer says new block will cost $4000 plus another $1000 if heads must be replaced. Two: Should we repair the original engine and recover some of that $950 preventive maintenance investment or replace with re-manufactured unit? Three: Could the work done on September 20 contributed to the failure in October? Car has been well maintained over the years.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think the maintenance caused it, because they only worked on the outside of the engine, not the heads.

    Check the cost of a re-man, 194k miles is a long life already.
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