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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS



  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303
    Only 14 mpg??? Sounds to me like something is clearly wrong. I'm a fairly conservative driver, who lets it fly sometimes. Mix of city/highway. I average about 25-26 most of the time. I've never been under 20 mpg. 20-21 is bad enough, 14 is horrible. I'd say get it to the dealer pronto.

  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Thanks for the heads-up. I have an appointment on Monday with the local dealer to have it checked out. 14mpg certainly is not reasonable.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Definitely sounds off. Worse ever for me was towing 1500 pounds with my Forester, which is heavier, and I still managed 17.3 mpg.

  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Got it checked out at the dealer. They hooked it up to the computer but could not find anything. They recommended that I try a different brand of gas. Let us see.
  • I assume you've also checked the obvious stuff, such as making sure your tires are inflated properly. Also, be sure your air filter is clear. A really clogged filter can hurt mileage. Try taking the crossbars off the roof rack...might help. You don't carry hundreds of pounds worth of stuff in the back, do you? Good luck.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Could be anything that would create extra drag - a bad wheel bearing (common before 2002), sticky brakes, underinflated tire, spent differential oil, etc.

  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Pumped up the tire air pressure to 40PSI (Max press:55 psi) from 31PSI and the gas gauge seems to be dropping a lot slower. Still on the first tank of gas after I boosted the air pressure so will post the mileage during the next fillup.

    My tires are Michelin pilot Sport AS in the stock size - 205/55r16 - and have had it from around 1000 that should not be a contributing factor to lower mileage either, since my mileage was much better earlier on the same set of tires.
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    Today I filled her up again.

    Gallons: 12.89

    This was in a mix of 75 City/25 hwy type of driving. Since I live in a small town, the 75%City miles do not include a lot of idling. This was the first time in a while that the car broke the 200 miles barrier between fill-ups. I also believe I was subconsciously gentling the car, trying to improve the mileage. Will see if it improves further.
  • Ok new issue with a question. This outta be easy.

    The Check Engine Light on my '02 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport (about 53k miles) came on. It's just on solid signifying something with the emission hardware. I called the dealership to schedule an appointment to have it checked out. They put me in for Monday.

    I was fairly certain that it wasn't the gas cap until I read something saying that a CEL can occur even a week after fillup if the cap isn't tightened properly.

    Is this true? If so I might just be able to avoid a trip to the dealer by retightening my gas cap (even though I'm sure I let it click multiple times before walking away and calling it good but then anything's possible)
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    I think you need to tighten the cap, drive around a bit. Switch off the engine. Then drive around a bit and switch off the engine. Repeat this a few times and normally the CEL should go away, if it is due to a loose gas cap. If it still does not go away, you could take it to the dealer.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, it takes a few cycles for an error code to clear itself up.

    If you want, you can reset the ECU. Disconnect the negative battery terminal, wait 20 minutes, reconnect. Have the keyless ready to lock/unlock a few times to stop the lights from blinking.

    The catch is your gas mileage will stink until the ECU leans out the fuel mixture. But it will clear the CEL unless the problem still exists.

  • Thanks for the suggestions on the Check Engine Light.

    It actually went off on it's own on Friday so I watched it Saturday Sunday and Monday. Since it didn't come back on I figured it was a fluke and canceled my appointment at the dealer.

    Well it came on again today. The weather today was very rainy and damp just like on Thursday so I think that may have something to do with it.

    Either way I'm going to be dropping it off tonight.

    The cost to have them figure out what the CEL is on for is $95 which goes towards the actual repair as well.

    Why can't anything cheap go wrong on this thing? :p
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The mechanic has to make his next payment on his VDC. ;-)

  • No kidding hahaha This is a combination Subaru, Mazda, Suzuki, Chrysler, Jeep dealer so he may have a new 300C Hemi to worry about . . .

    I just went out for lunch a few hours ago. Check engine light went off. But now it's sunny. It's a fair weather car! I hope they can still diagnose it.

    For those reading that haven't seen my plight in previous posts . . . My car (an '02 Subaru Impreza bought in June of '01 Currently has 53k miles on it) was in a major accident when it was six months old (12k to repair). Most of my problems have been with the suspension (which is where most of the damage was). One good reason to get a cheap car, it's much easier to total. ;-)

    Since the accident however there've been two sensor issues. Earlier this year the fuel/air mixture ratio sensor (whatever the proper name for it was) went out and started causing the engine to stall. Since it was out of the bumper to bumper warranty that was about $300 to replace at the dealer. I'm hoping I'm not looking at another $300 to fix what's going on with this sensor.

    There's also an issue that just came up a few weeks ago that I haven't bothered to fix yet. When you turn the wheels all the way to the left there's supposed to be a stop to prevent them from turning too far. Well my car doesn't have the stop so the wheels rub on the body. I'm hoping I can make the body shop fix this one.

    Since this is getting to be one thing after another (even more so than before) I'm contemplating replacing the car again (I really wanted to wait until I'm 25 but I'm getting really annoyed). I was going to replace with a Toyota Matrix XR last year but decided to buy a condo instead.

    Since my job is ending here (company got acquired by a much bigger company in Memphis so unless I wanted to move my job ends at the end of November) I'm going to wait a bit and see what ends up happening. If I get a job that's a train commute to Chicago (which I'm really hoping for) I'll probably replace this car with a Scion xA. They're good cars but based on driving one in San Diego . . . I'd have to really think about it before I got one for excessive expressway driving. Though I've heard that after a few thousand miles the engine opens up and they get much quicker. If I do end up doing a lot of driving I'll probably replace with a Matrix, a Scion tC, a Mazda 3 or an Acura RSX.

    I'd replace with another Impreza as I think they're really good cars (provided they don't come back in zombie form after they should have died) but I think that if I'm going to be making car payments again I want something that's a good deal different than what I already had.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    ODB2 should store the codes. Just just be a single misfire, when it's humid.

  • What's ODB2? I'm thinking of that hip hop guy 'Ol Dirty Bas**** (not sure if town hall would have a problem with the full name there)
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Juice meant OBD2 - second-generation On Board Diagnostics :)

    Host - Wagons
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's the son of the rapper you're thinking about. ODB Jr.

    Just kidding. :-)

    On-Board Diagnostics level II. It's basically the emissions equipment, they're required to store failure codes for a certain amount of time.

  • They called to let me know what it was.

    The knock sensor needed replacement, they said right away. THREE HUNDRED BUCKS Needless to say as soon as I hung up the phone I was done using my indoor voice.

    Anyway I told them to go ahead and do it. I think I'll just cut my losses with this car and get something else next year if I can swing it. It seems like every couple of months I have to take it in for something stupid (that I can't prove was accident related), it ends up costing a few hundred bucks and in the end it doesn't matter because something else breaks shortly thereafter lol

    I’m thinking of going the trade in route at that point just to be rid of it (I’d rather unload it on an unsuspecting dealer rather than an individual and go to hell for it). Why does the Kelly Blue Book value give me so much of a lower trade in value on this car in comparison to Edmunds? Edmunds says I should get around 11,500 for it (’02 Outback Sport 53k miles premium audio (Sony system) remote start, keyless entry) while KBB says 9,500 Needless to say I like Edmunds figure better.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ask Terry in the real world trade-in figures thread, he's spot-on.

    Sorry 'bout your stroke of bad luck, we had similar luck with our '95 626, rated highly reliable but ours was problematic.

    And trust me, $300 would've been a dream, we were forking out $800-900 every time. 5 times.

  • Oh yeah I know it's not the worst it could be. At least I can say I really don't think it's Subaru's fault. :-) In fact they've replaced parts under warranty that they could've gotten away with saying "No this is related to your accident" so I have no complaints there. Only real complaint that springs to mind were the dash rattles that they couldn't fix.

    Was '95 the year that they tried putting Ford transmissions in the 626?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That year and others, yes.

    Ours was a manual tranny so that was not affected. Didn't stop many other things from having problems, though (axle boots, fuel injection, wheel bearing, O2 sensor, exhaust, etc).

  • I'm thinking of buying a 1998 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. Its got 145k miles on it. I was wondering if anyone could offer advice as to what things I should be looking out for on Subaru this age/mileage.

    I have not seen the car yet but the brakes / battery / alternator and timing belt are new. The clutch is the original.

    I guess my concern is that some cars still have another 50k of miles left on them at 145k of miles but others totally fall apart after this type of mileage. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    that car is exactly the same as the '97 I used to have. Watch out for clutch chatter - it was common from a young age in this car, and if it is bad enough you may want to factor in the cost of a clutch replacement right off the bat. Apart from that these cars are very durable. Look for leaking oil seals on the engine (as well as behind the timing cover) - they tend to do that and can make a mess, although not be particularly urgent to fix.

    If it still has the original struts, they may be well and truly wasted by this point, and it is quite expensive to replace all four on this car if you can't do it yourself - I was quoted no less than $1000 by several different places two years ago for replacement with OEM shocks. Find out if those have ever been done.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • thanks for the advice 'tis much appreciated
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At that age it's all about the care they took. Ask to see all the receipts for service. By now just about every single wear and tear item should have been replaced (or will need it soon).

  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    On balance, this is a very minor issue--but watch out for the plastic wheel covers! If you're fussy about appearance, the so-called "locking mechanism) (i.e., a piece of plastic) tends to break and the covers fall of models around this time period. I never cease to be amazed at the number of OBS & Imprezas from this generation that I still see with missing wheel covers. I've also been told by a dealer that the cruise control has a relatively high rate of problems, if that option is on the vehicle.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I sold my wife's wheel covers to an OBS owner, so good call!

    We get used alloys to replace the steelies.

  • I just bought a 99 OBS manual transmission with 163000 miles on it from a dealer "economy" lot. I have always wanted one, and having about $5000 to spend on a car I thought I'd look for one, since my old car (89 volvo 740 GL) was having tranny problems. Found this one and since there was another manual Legacy Outback on the lot that just had the clutch replaced I figured they checked everything out on these cars and do what has to be done before they sell them. I test drove it for probably 20 minutes and didn't notice any problems. I have rarely driven a stick before, however so I don't really know exactly how they should behave. I do however love actually driving the car instead of just shifting into drive and pushing the pedal... Anyways, I got them to $3,600 with my trade ($1000) and was happy with it. Came in early a couple days later - since I work in the afternoon - and paid for the car and began driving it home... which is where the fun begins.... leaving the city traffic and beginning the hour and a half drive home from where I bought it, I began a steep climb at 60 mph when the tranny started slipping and the rpm's started pegging. I laid off the gas and climbed the hill at about 45 mph with smoke starting to come off the car. Pulled off first exit, headed back, got to the lot and after telling them what happened and them driving it around and taking it to the shop, gee they say the clutch is burned up. They say they will replace it and make everything right for me and give me my old car back to drive home.


    Isn't this something that should have been caught or just some bad luck and a good job of trading in a vehicle by the previous owner at the right time? I don't know whether to be thankful to have them eat the cost of a clutch (and whatever might be wrong) or worry what else might be lurking for me to fix. Like I said earlier, I got it from a car dealer that was a trade-in so I'm figuring they at least looked at the thing to make sure it was mechanicanlly sound. I might as well have bought private party, at least I might get it home then!


    Anyways, any suggestions or comments (like, buying a car with 163000 miles you moron!) would be appreciated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I bet the previous owner felt it beginning to slip and then traded it in.


    It's possible they would not have known, so I wouldn't worry about it as long as they replace it.


    Think of it this way - your clutch will be newer than the guy that bought a 2005 model yesterday and put 16 miles on it.




This discussion has been closed.