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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • Add me to the clutch shuddering club...
    2000 Outback Limited Wagon, 32,xxx miles

    It's most pronounced in 1st gear when the engine is cold, like most people have said. We've had it back to the dealer 3-4 times for a check, but they always say they can't duplicate the problem.

    Like bbrandle from this morning's post, we've always had manual transmissions and haven't had any trouble, so I doubt it's our driving. Our other car ('98 Passat GLX 5-speed) has no problem either.

  • web3web3 Posts: 10
    Add us to the list of chattering clutch owners. We have an '02 OB Limited with 7700 miles. The clutch chatters intermittently in 1st when cold. We have had Honda sticks for years so I don't think it is bad driving habits. It seems like there are enough owners with this problem to warrant a response from the factory.
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    Hi all! FYI - if there is a characteristic of the car that you do not like, I'd like to recommend that you follow the steps indicated above:

    Notify your dealer and let them test drive and check out the car to confirm the condition.

    If you are not satisfied with the explanation you receive, please contact us at 1-800-SUBARU3. The Representative will create a case file documenting your displeasure.

    We report all customer commentary to various folks around SOA. FHI will often try to find a countermeasure to improve the characteristic, but it can take a bit for them to gather enough data. It's still worth the effort because we take the comments seriously.


  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    The dealer in Ann Arbor, Michigan is offering the base Outback at 5% over invoice. Edmund's TMV indicates 2% over.

    Doeas anyone have a recommended strategy for this deal?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Do you have other dealers near you? Try an e-mail request for quotes, or check the papers for any dealers that have a no-haggle policy.

    5% over is IMO way, way high. Outbacks have a $500 dealer incentive, so you should see prices below the invoice price, not above it. is in MD but check them out for comparison's sake.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If you get the skid plates from primitive, we can put it on @ a Install-fest at my house. I want to have one soon to put in my PS pump and lines and Bedabi has some stuff to install etc.

  • eric102eric102 Posts: 122
    Go to and get their price, then subtract $300-$500 (their fee) to get a price that you should be able to negotiate. Right now in my region (Seattle area) you can get an Outback for invoice through, so I would be able to get one for about $400 under invoice. CarsDirect notes that there is a manufacture to dealer incentive going on now, they don't say how much, but it must be at least $500.

  • jeijei Posts: 143
    Does the front skidplate have to be removed for oil changes? Does it depend on the model?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    From the photos it looks like there are two sections that are plastic or rubber and pop off. I'm sure they are for accessing the drain plug and the oil filter. At least they seem to be in the vicinity.

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Paul does say on his website that you can do the oil change with the skid plate still on. That is one of the things I was hoping to confirm here from anyone who has them.

    Mike- Still not sure, but I will decide by this weekend. If I do go for them, an install-fest sounds good to me.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    SubieGal from i Club has them, maybe you could hop over and ask her?

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Thanks Juice,

    I'll give it a shot.
  • bbrandlebbrandle Posts: 6
    Thanks for the advise, Subaru Team. I will give the car to the dealer to hold overnight and test drive in the am when cold. I am most concerned that this will be a problem over the life of the lease (still 27 months to go) and will, in the end, be charged as excessive wear and tear.

    I think that I will start a case file as you suggested. Doesn't seem like Subaru has an effective fix for this problem. Is the manual in the WRX designed better? Can't see myself buying the car at the end of the lease if I this problem persists.

    Thanks for the attention, in any event. Now if only Volkswagen had customer service like this...
  • mfsbmfsb Posts: 17
    New LLB owner. I bought the rear gate bar and find the instructions vague. I would like to hear some pointers from anybody that has installed this before I dive into the project. Is there some place I might find some detailed instructions? Thanks,

  • oregonmanoregonman Posts: 60
    How do you remove the grill that covers the fog lamp on an outback? 1999 if it matters. If it is not too difficult, I'd like to remove it to clean the lens.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    you turn the fog light cover counter clockwise a bit to get it to pop off.

    somebody will chime in with a '99, but you may want to post over in the Subaru Crew topics (see link at top of page) to get a quicker response.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Sad to say :( you can't remove the grille without dismantling the entire fog lamp. That's for MY98 except SUS, I guess it's the same for MY99. Go to the manual for instructions to remove fog lamp. :)

  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    2k OB Ltd. (auto) is at 3000rpm at 75mph.
  • oregonmanoregonman Posts: 60
    Thanks for the info, Brian and Dave. Looks like I have one more reason to trade in my Outback for a new one!
  • senturisenturi Posts: 27
    My '02 base Outback has a gouge mark in the speaker grille on the driver's side door. This defect came with the car. Can this part be replaced under the 3 yr 36K warranry? Is the speaker grille easily replaced?

  • bhuppertbhuppert Posts: 9
    98 Outback left in driveway while out of town for the weekend. Returned Sun. pm and battery was dead. Put charger on it and turn signal bulbs, glove box light, radio lights and instrument lights began flashing and won't stop. They flash for 30 seconds, stop for 7 seconds and continues to repeat the cycle. The hazard signal and all other lights still work. Hopefully there is a simple fix otherwise I see an expensive solution at the dealer.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Behind the hood release lever, feel for a (reset) button. Depress the button and all will be well again.

  • peterson10peterson10 Posts: 116
    I installed the bar two years ago on my 2000 OB. I agree: the instructions were useless...less than useless; they were DEAD WRONG! I'm accustomed to this however, so I measured and remeasured before drilling. Its actually a very simple installation, just check the template they provide against the gate bar; make sure the holes line up. You need to pop open the trim panel on the inside of the gate (I seem to recall you use a phillips screwdriver to back-off a few plastic screws and then pop it loose, at any rate, it was straight-forward enough). Drill your holes (go easy, start with a small pilot hole and work up; the sheet metal is thin: 18 gauge/1 mm). Apply a healthy dose of silicone sealer to the inner edge of the drill holes (I smeared it on the back of the foam gasket and anywhere else moisture might reach as well). Finally, as you tighten the bolts (from inside the hatch; through the "tight" cut-outs provided: hope you have small hands) keep an eye on the sheet metal: the ends of the bar...mine anyway...are not cut at the exact same angle as the hatch. If you tighten too much you'll buckle the sheet metal slightly (that's the voice of experience). If you notice any distortion just back off the bolts slightly and the metal should recover. After installing mine I started looking closely at the bars on other cars and found quite a few with that slight bit of distortion. As you can tell, I'm what folks call a "detail freak".
    Good luck,
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Great excuse to trade it in? LOL!

    senturi: maybe that happened during a test drive or something. I'd visit your dealer and see what they can do for you.

  • bhuppertbhuppert Posts: 9
    Dave, thanks for your response but I tried locating a reset button behind the hood release to no avail. Maybe the 98 Outbacks have it located in another place. The lights are still blinking when I reconnect the battery.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    ??? It shouldn't be somewhere else...
    I have a '98 OB too. It's behind the lever in the void. Try to feel around, it's towards the left. It's not a big button.
    Good Luck


    p/s reset after re-connecting battery :)

    OK, anyone with their '98 OB reset switch located in another place?
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    Thank you to those who offered advice regarding installing my spoiler on an 01 OB wagon...they proved to be very helpful. I finished the job over the past weekend and it went about as well as I expected. The spoiler looks great, but I ended up breaking off one of the plastic tabs on a trim piece on the inside of the hatch and it's not too solidly attached anymore. Crap. I'll work on it more later. Thanks again!
  • kmcleankmclean Posts: 173
    Just returned from a week in Hawaii (nice break - it's still in the 40s in Seattle) - imagine my surprise when my rental car turned out to be: a 2002 OB (base) wagon (we own a 2K OB Ltd.)! Even the color was nearly the same - the deep red follow-on to Winestone. I was pleased not to have to locate all the controls - but I had to be careful not to "shift" the auto (especially into "3rd")! Liked the new cupholders, seatback storage and the key light - thought the cargo mat was flimsy, although perhaps more practical with the raised edges. I couldn't detect any difference in seat comfort (some have posted that the leather is more comfy) - thought it odd that cloth seats would have heaters. The auto seemed fine, but confirmed my choice of a 5-speed. Strangely, on a couple of occasions the car was hard to start (obviously not due to cold temps) - mine has never failed to start instantly. It had been sitting out baking in the sun after having been run to full temp. Reminded me of the bad old days of carburetors and vapor lock. Car had only 5K miles on it.

    I, too, thought that my OB ran at high RPMs at cruise (compared to other 5-speeds I've had), but it gets decent mileage and is quiet enough, so I don't consider it an issue. I had a 1968 Fiat (with a nifty little 1.2 or 1.3L DOHC engine) that turned 4K at 60 MPH in 4th (no 5th). Ate a set of exhaust valves every 25K as a result. Lots of fun anyway!

    I've also noted the cold clutch chatter - we have to back up our drive in the morning, and it will chatter every time unless I'm really trying to avoid it. OK after that.

    I'd guess my Firestones will last well into the 40s at their current rate of wear (21K so far) - I run them at 33-34 PSI. I have had to replace fairly "young" tires with plenty of tread left (Michelins) due to sidewall cracking - in sunny South Texas. Despite regular Armor All.

    Cheers from (soon to be) sunny Seattle!

    Ken M.
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    It seems I've wanted a taller top gear in every car I've ever owned. Therefore, the 3500 rpm at 75 mph doesn't bother me that much.

    The old 1.6L DOHC Fiats would wind to 8k without problems. Mine was a '71 Spider refitted with dual Weber IDFs just like the UK version. Fun cars.

  • mfsbmfsb Posts: 17

    Thanks for your response. I just got through trying to do the install and I wish I would have never attempted this project. Too late now because the holes are drilled. I don't see how I can get to the right hand side hole on the inside to put the washers and nut on. I'm wondering if the 2002 is different than your model. I was able to get the washers and nut on the left hand side but could not get a wrench on it. I thought I might be able to enter where the indented grab handle on the bottom of the gate is to reach the right hand side and in trying to pull this piece of plastic off I cracked it. Needless to say I am not a happy camper. Has anyone tried to do this on a 2002 LLB? I'm going to call the dealer tomorrow to see if they will finish this blotched attempt up for me. If someone knows the way to access this area please let me know.

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