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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • SteveSatchSteveSatch Posts: 20
    I have a '98 Subaru Outback with 63,000 and the original Michelin XW4 tires need replaced. I know nothing about tires. I live in Southern California so the weather is mostly nice, but we do get some decent rain and I do drive on dirt access roads maybe once a month that can be muddy in the winter. My drive to work is on the city streets. I drive somewhat aggressively. I don't want loud tires. I don't want to spend more than $100 per tire out the door. I'd love to hear any suggestions.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    Michelin X one (also sold as radial plus at Sams, Costco etc) depending on size should be under 100.The XW4 must be S rated, or the ones on a minivan we had were, in which case, the Michelin Symmetry (used on lots of minivans and caddys/lincolns where it pretty much replaced the XW4) would be a good bet and cheaper than X one. If you belong to Costco they have Bridgestone Potenza Re930s cheap as they are out of production, had quite good reviews in Tirerack.
  • ssnyder4ssnyder4 Posts: 14
    For those of you with automatic transmissions, what is your impression of the operation regarding the demeanor / smoothness of the auto. transmissions? Is it a peculiar transmission in these cars?

    I'm testing a '00 used OB Limited with 28K miles. The tranny sometimes shifts a little hard and makes a definite audible "click" after making shifts when driving in town (may do so on highway too). I hear it with the windows down and I'm not going much over 35 I'd say. I just want to know if this is normal for the tranny used in the OB line. Just a few times the transmission shifted almost too hard for my taste. Now my Accord's auto. transmission is the fussiest thing I've ever experienced, I just had to get used to it's quirks and now I know how to use it given my experience with it. Perhaps OB's are the same. Should I be concerned?

    Also, I know that the car has been aligned at a local Subaru dealer one time since new. Other than that, the fellow who had the car took it to a private shop for routine maintenance. The tires are unevenly worn for sure. Should this be a concern as well??? If the Subaru dealer with whom I spoke fixed the alignment (he verified so over the phone), is the car going to be okay or does this imply something else could be wrong with the car?

    Other than these two issues, I can't find any reason that would keep me from the investment, it's a fantastic drive.
    Thanks in advance,
  • jregen7243jregen7243 Posts: 91
    On my '00 OB, the auto tranny shifts very hard and slow when going through the gears after a cold start, even in the summer. It may be very durable, but it is far from the most refined transmission I've ever used. Hopefully Subaru has a 5 speed auto in the works.

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    The 'click' you are hearing during shifts may be the torque transfer or the multiplate clutch pack engaging. It is a common noise.

    The transmission does shift hard at times, early especially 1-2. Again, all normal.

    Alignments on 'em can be tricky. It recently took me 2 alignments to get it done correctly. But, it could also be where it's getting performed also. One dealer said it was 'within specs'. Sure, it was in spec, but it wasn't 'correct'. If the tires are worn unevenly, it could be because of the (bad) alignment, or the tires weren't rotated.

  • carseeker4carseeker4 Posts: 228
    Now that we are settled in our new Santa Fe, the time has come for.....what else?... thinking about our NEXT car. My "wife's" (we all know BOTH cars are THEIRS) car is now a 99 Pontiac Grand Am and after 3 years we plan to replace it. Her current favorite candidate is the Outback Sedan (she doesn't want the wagon). Does any one know if these will still be available in three years? Are there any plans for phasing out the Outback (sedan...or wagon, for that matter). I know some might try to recommend the Vibe/Matrix but she doesn't like those. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thx.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    The Outback is Subaru's best seller. It was the start of this whole crossover thing too.

    I haven't heard of any plans to discontinue it and doubt they will. The Baja goes on sale later this year (a pickup based on the Outback).

    Have you considered a Legacy (for which the Outback is based) sedan? The '03 GT gets a VTD automatic transmission with sport-shift. Some have said that the Legacy is kind of a hidden gem in Subaru's lineup, often overlooked.

  • rangerron7rangerron7 Posts: 317
    Brian is right on about the OB AT. We own a 00 OB Ltd and as Brian states the 1-2 shift can be a little hard when cold. I also hear a click (particularly the 1-2 shift).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Chris: my Forester was hit a while ago and I got a similar parts list. When I tried to remove the tail light, access was extremely difficult and I didn't have the tools that made the curves and turns required to access the bolts. Plus, the assembly appeared to be glued into place with some type of sealant. So I gave up and called the body shop.

    Sedans? Subaru has the Impreza RS, Impreza WRX, Legacy L, Legacy GT, GT Limited, Outback Limited, and Outback H6.

    If the size works, get the WRX for the fun of it.

    The Legacy L is a great value. You can get one for $17,300 or so, at least while I was shopping a couple of months ago.

    The GT is nice, both roomy and sporty. And we saw the upcoming 2003 2.5 GT model at the New York Auto Show last year, and loved it. It's sort of like a GT Limited sedan now, except they added heaters to the leather seats, VTD AWD with a 45/55 rear bias, and shiftronic manual controls to the tranny. Sweet. Moonroof too.

    If you like the ground clearance and two-tone paint job of the Outbacks, you can even choose between H4 and H6 engines. For about $25 grand, you can get an H6 sedan, and that includes everything, lots of stuff that is optional on competitors (leather, moonroof, in-dash 6CD).

    So you, I mean, SHE will have plenty to choose from.

    In 3 years? Wow, by then there should be a turbo Legacy of some sort, a WRX STi, and lots of yummy options.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The smoother an AT shifts the more slippage there is in the torque converter. The more slippage there is in the torque converter, the more heat and the more damage to the fins. I have ATs in my subies and trooper, all of them shift hard, but this is normal and lead to most of the ATs in those 2 makes lasting over 200K miles.

  • carseeker4carseeker4 Posts: 228
    can always depend on you, pal! I think the wife likes the higher ride of the Santa Fe, so she'd probably want the Outback sedan. We'd get the H4 since we're replacing a 4-cylinder - with the Santa Fe, I wanted a 6, since we were replacing a 6 (the Lumina). I like having one of each, to give the broadest service range I can get in 2 cars (and I can't afford a Hummer!). As for the Turbo...forget that one! She slapped a curb in the Pontiac while answering the cell phone, causing a blowout! Fortunately, she wasn't going too fast. NO Turbo!! Noooooo....nooooo....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In that case, get an Outback Limited sedan (H4) and invest in a weekend at Bob Bondurant (for her). :-)

  • lizardpuplizardpup Posts: 2
    I bought a 2000 Legacy Brighton automatic with 38k on it today and for my test problem. Of course after I signed all the papers and drove home, I found that sometimes at stoplights, the whole car bucks and shakes and threatens to stall. Once I accelerate and get moving, the shaking stops completely. I can only reproduce it 5% of the time. Also I hear some reverberation in the cockpit that sounds like whistling but the frequency is annoying and noticeable. I see I'm not the only one to have some of these problems, could someone help me? It's only under powertrain warranty now and the mechanic thinks I need to drive it more to "wear the rust off the brakes a bit" since it's been sitting on a lot for awhile???? Sounds fishy. I'd appreciate anyone's help...thank you.
  • hurler4hurler4 Posts: 104
    I was looking for links to 2003 Legacy GT pictures, but couldn't find any. Could someone give me the URL to any pictures? Thanks.
    Also, does anyone know if the 2003 Legacy GT will be available in a manual, or will it just have an auto sports shift?
  • carseeker4carseeker4 Posts: 228
    .. <<grin>>... and by the way, I remember you saying that you had spent some time at OBX and drove on the beach there. We're about to head to the Delmarva, not far from Assateague State Park in MD. Are you familiar with that area? Any areas to try out some beach driving there? Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Elizabeth: I'd ask them to check the idle speed, sounds like it may be idling at too low rpms. Maybe also inspect all the belts to make sure they aren't frayed.

    Rust will form on just about any brake discs if they sit long enough. It actually can happen overnight, and usually does, albeit and very thin layer. That's only surface rust and should go away as you apply the brakes the first couple of times each day.

    It should not affect their effectiveness, though. You can get rotors zinc-coated if the look bothers you, though it's not necessary.

    paisan's web site has pics of that Legacy, anyone have the URL handy?

    Ted: yes, I'm very familiar with that area. I go to Bethany Beach, DE, about 4 times per year with friends that own a place up there. Just north of Bethany are entrances to the beach. You can buy a season pass or just pay each time. You do have to be actively surf fishing, I believe, so take a rod and reel.

    Farther south, there's Assateague, as you mentioned. It's a lot bigger and more fun, plus there are the wild horses there (gorgeous). Take bug spray, though.

    Your Sante Fe (is that right?) has a VC AWD and should be fine as long as you're not dune-hopping. Just take it smoothly and air down. You'll appreciate all the dumb stares from traditional 4WD owners. :-)

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I think it may be a Throttle Position Sensor on the brighton wagon.

    Pics from the NY Auto show are at


  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    You may want to go a bit further south and hit Assateague Island from Chincoteague, VA. You may(?) have more access to the beach in terms of driving. It's been a while since I've been there, however.

    I know you'll have to buy a beach pass for your vehicle, and have the necessary beach-driving stuff: tow strap, jack, board for your jack, shovel, etc.

    Chincoteague is a neat place. It's a little fishing village, just over the VA line, and right next to Wallops Island, where they have the famous pony roundup, and was home to Misty the pony, from the children's book.

    Make sure you bring plenty of bug spray, as it is in a marshy area, with industrial-strength mosquitoes! There's also an area where you can drive through the marsh areas. It's all part of the National Park system. I highly recommend it.

  • carseeker4carseeker4 Posts: 228
    Thank you both very much. I actually got off my lazy mouse pad when I had a moment and rsholland is indeed correct about all the stuff you need to get ORV clearance in Assateague/Chincoteague, that, plus they only offer a $70 annual ORV pass, so that pretty much eliminates me (who's only going for a week...its doesn't make financial sense unless I lived nearby). I think I'll go with Juice's tamer option which I believe in the Delaware Seashore SP - north of Bethany Beach (which is where we are staying). I already have the pump, gauge and fising rods/tackle - just get me some SQUID..... thanks again, guys
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    If you drive on DEL Beaches, I'm almost certain that you need to be FISHING!

    The Park Service there will ticket you if you're on the beach with your vehicle, and not fishing. So just make sure you put your fishing lines out...

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    don't forget to use minnows with that squid! Have a great trip!

  • carseeker4carseeker4 Posts: 228
    I think I'll pass on the minnows for now! Don't know if the wife could deal with that!
  • bird19bird19 Posts: 10
    hurler4, here is a url of a photo and text describing the '03 Legacy models:

    This next url shows a photo of the 03 Outback.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is the squid bait? You may catch flounder there. Tasty.

  • hurler4hurler4 Posts: 104
    Thanks, bird19. Boy, the 2003 doesn't look much different from the 2002, does it? I'll be interested to see the new SE model.

    Anyone hear anything about new exterior colors? I loved the bright red that Subaru had a couple of years ago when the new model just came out. Don't know why they got rid of it...
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The text pertained to the Legacy, not the Outback!?

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    sounds like last year's (base) GT, minus the sport suspension, or, like (earlier) Legacy LS models.

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    The '03 Legacy wasn't supposed to get a new look - just a refreshening. It's the '04 that will reportedly get a newer look (and a turbo would be nice ;) )

    I'm also a bit interested to see what the special edition brings to the L lineup.

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Oh, the new 2.5GT wagon sounds nice. Sportshift, VTD and cold-weather package standard? I'll have to go look at one, even if it still uses the 165hp EJ25. This car is crying for 200+hp!

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    is due for MY05, I believe.

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