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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • david35david35 Posts: 12
    I remember this coming up on this board about a year ago. It seems to be a problem with the BB (at least the 00 BB). As was posted, if the gas cap is not on all the way, the light will come on. If it doesn't disappear after a couple of tanks, take it to the dealer. When it happened to me it turned out to be a bad O2 sensor. I think several other people that were on this board had the same issue then.
  • david35david35 Posts: 12
    Yes, my dog guard comes loose on my 00 OB too. I, being a typical dude, just torqued it down more. This deformed my plastic nicely and it still vibrates loose. The pads at the base of the dog guard bracket that are designed to protect the plastic from being scarred up are glued with an adhesive that melts in the heat. It is a poor design all around. I haven't figured out a way to keep it from vibrating loose and falling on my dogs yet (boy, does that scare the heck out of them). Maybe a second nut added to the screw stems to act as a locking nut would help.

    It would have been nice if they had designed a more stout solution like they did for the various baby seat hooks (they are there if you need them or not). There are probably as many Soobie owners with dogs as there are with kids. Most probably have both:)
    ...maybe in the next model. Heck it took 4 years to get a decent cup holder.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    as a rule of thumb, just give the gas cap a few extra clicks (5 or so sounds good). I believe it takes 3 cycles (on/run/off) for the code to clear.

    If the CE light is steady, it's not a serious problem - usually emissions related. A blinking CE light is bad - means the engine is misfiring or other bad problems.

  • outbacksuwoutbacksuw Posts: 2
    Good evening... just wanted to say hi to you all. I'm on my third Outback Ltd. '98, '00, '01

    Overall these cars are great!

    Someone had inquired about a check engine light problem...I believe there has been a recall on this item. My '00 came on 8x or so within the first year. Faulty sensors is what they called it.

    My '01 is having an idling problem especially at start up. The rpm's shoot up and down for some reason? It also doesn't idle correctly in general. The dealer states that they don't know how to fix the problem? Anyone else having this problem?

    Thanks for your help... Paul
  • mtnshoppermtnshopper Posts: 58
    I took my dog for her first ride in the OB this weekend and found that the 3 head rests on the back seat do a good job of keeping her confined to the cargo area. But she did slobber a little on the back seat. I think that was separation anxiety. She was a little whiney about being way back there in the cargo area. She'll adjust.

    I had trouble starting the car this morning. It was exactly 40 degrees in my garage. The only time I've had trouble starting it is first thing in the morning when the temp is 40 or less. I wonder what it will be like next winter when the temp dips to zero. Trouble starting on chilly mornings is unacceptable.
  • andytandyt Posts: 10
    I do not drive un unusually rough terrain, so my dog guard takes longer to loosen up...but it does eventually. How about applying a little loctite to the threads? Just a thought.

    Another thought...I thought I heard somewhere that while you start the engine, it stops sending power to all the electric sucking sources in the car? This may be why Juice's notebook occasionally crashes. An example that we can all relate to would be how the radio stops playing when you start the engine. (Note that if this is true, then I will be proud of myself all weekend for being able to offer Juice some new knowledge.)

    BTW: I have been runnign my radar detector through the lighter outlet, and sometimes my phone, and never had a problem.

    Finally, why is it that Subaru states emphatically that this outlet can only be used for a lighter, but then they do not provide one with the vehicle?
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Congrats on your new OB. We just purchased a base OB in Winestone. The one problem - my wife really loves the car. :-o OK, so maybe we can get rid of the minivan and get his and her OBs. Our 3 kids can still fit in the back, or, just take both OBs when we go somewhere. :)

  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    While I do not exactly live in the snow belt, I do live near enough to it to justifiably own a snowblower ;-) My '00 Legacy GT likes to have just a couple of seconds pause between turning the ignition ON and turning it the rest of the way over to START, otherwise it takes a few extra cranks before it fires. But it has never given me anything remotely resembling trouble starting, even on 10 degree F days. If the problem persists have your dealer look at it, because it is not normal.

  • I also noticed if I let the fuel pump work a few seconds (you can hear it wen you turn the key... then it stops) I get fire the first turn to start.

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    cold starts: I live in SE Wisconsin - we had a couple of days (I think it was actually several) of below zero temps back in December and January. Our '00 Outback started fine. Sure it started slower due to the colder battery (as did every other car outside), but it started nonetheless.

    I also typically wait for the fuel pump to cycle before I actually crank the engine. I don't think about doing it - it just happens. I guess I've been doing that on every car I've ever owned - so it's habit (a good one, IMHO).

    There was a discussion about some early H6's having trouble starting, but I thought they were taken care of(or in the process of). Your dealer should be able to help resolve it - if not, Patti (our Subaru rep here in Town Hall) would be able to help you. You may want to post in the Subaru Crew - Meet the Members topic to be sure she see's your post.

    power outlet: I've used ours for our cell phones without a problem. Others in the Subaru Crew have also, even radar detectors. One even used a laptop with DVD-ROM! As always, YMMV.

  • mtnshoppermtnshopper Posts: 58
    When you say you let the fuel pump cycle before cranking the engine, how do you do that? I'd like to give it a try. I plan to mention the problem when I take the car in for its first service. I was told it had the new ECM, but I'm a little doubtful now.
    Thanks, Becky
  • drgordodrgordo Posts: 6
    Our 2K OB started this winter without fail, including several nights at -22 degrees in rural North Dakota. It cranked much slower but started at about the same point. Letting the fuel pump pressurize the fuel system probably helps but I would suspect the pressure accumulates rather quickly. I don't know the nature of Subaru's fuel pressure accumulator and in cold weather there is probably a loss of pressure as the fuel and engine cool. Starting at temps above 20 degrees or so should not be a problem and hard starting at 40 degrees would seem to be symptomatic of a problem.

    Our only winter casualty was a crack in the windsheld that appeared spontaneously while sitting at a red light on a -15 degree day. I assume the defroster running at full tilt against the cold window with the vehicle not moving to dissipate heat resulted in excessive stress. There was a very audible snap when it went. No sign of impact and the crack originated under the moulding on the outside glass laminate. The inside laminate is not cracked. The crack has now progressed about 1/4 of the way across the window and about 8 inches up from the base. Bummer (:-(
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    If you turn your key to the ON position (not directly to START), you should hear a faint motor buzz for a second or so. (may be easier to hear it with a window down) This is the fuel pump re-pressurizing the system.

    Whether or not this will help your cold engine starts, I don't know. I wonder if an ECU reset is in order? I've heard you can disconnect the negative battery terminal for 30 minutes to reset the ECU. (I think I also heard you could do this overnight too.) Again, whether or not this will help, I don't know. It's simple enough that it's worth a shot!

  • jgugelmjgugelm Posts: 2
    Hello Everyone. My wife and I just purchased (about a month ago) an '01 cutback with ALP, manual transmission. About a week after I got it home we had a spring snowstorm roll through (we live in CO). All geared up to try out the WAD, we loaded up the parents and the dog to go for a drive. When I got in and turned the key it made an awful noise. It sounded like when someone turns the ignition when the car is already running. It did this two more times and it finally turned over. Since then it has occurred on and off again every time the hemp. dips below about 40F. So I take it to our dealer to get looked at. They agree that it needs a new starter. Unfortunately he tells me at first it will be several weeks to get one. Weeks! I think he saw my reaction so he said he'd call around to see what he could do.' Then I get told he could get one on next Tuesday, which was three days away. How it went from weeks to three days was beyond me. So I called on Wed. and they told me Thursday. I called back again today (Friday) and they told me Mon. He acknowledged that Subaru is having supply problems currently and he didn't know what else he could do.

    So I have two questions: 1. Has anyone else heard of the starter/supplier problems? 2. Is it out of bounds for me to ask them to pull a starter off one of the cars on the lot and give it to me until they get the new one. We had big weekend trips to the mountains planned with this car and now we're hesitant because we don't know if we'll be able to get home.

    Any help much appreciated.
  • jgugelmjgugelm Posts: 2
    That should be AWP instead of ALP and AWD instead of WAD. That's what I get for letting the spell checker do its thing.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    I am well out of the USA (in Australia) but one of the recurrent themes through these pages has been the ecxcellent service you get from most dealers but occassional glitches have appeared. Your problem sounds like one of them.

    Subaru (the manufacturer) support their product far better than most and it is worthwhile calling them direct to expedite this sort of problem. A representative from Subaru (Patti Mickel) posts regularly on the Subaru Crew - Meet the Members pages. Try looking through some of those pages and see just how determined Subaru is to support its product.

    All new products must have an occassional problem. If they can be fixed promptly, you should have no concern. If their is a delay, it damages the ownership experience for you.

    Hope the repair is done soon.

    By the way, most regular posters to these pages abandon the spell checker. Translating poor typing is a lot easier than untangling the spell checker's "corrections".


  • kturner1kturner1 Posts: 33
    Spell checkers are a handy thing and they can be taught new words. How about our hosts teach ours the words "Outback," "OB," "AWD," "ECU" and some of the other commonly used terms in this site?
  • Sorry I can't help you with your problem but I am sure SOA will come to the rescue.

    However I must thank for adding a little humor to the board with spell checker. "try out the WAD" and "every time the hemp. dips below about 40F" are too hilarious for words.


  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    We have an 00 Outback. The light has appeared 4 times in a year. The first time it was simply reset by the dealer with the advice to make sure the gas cap was on securely. The second time it was reset by a Subaru dealer in Prince George and explained as an evap system problem, code P0440, but we were on our BC road trip and didn't want to be delayed, so took no further action. The third time the dealer in Vancouver came up with the same code and found a loose hose on a plastic box behind the right rear wheel.

    A few weeks ago we were notified of a recall of the Engine Control Module (WXV79) for a cold starting problem. We have not experienced such a problem, but it didn't get much below freezing last winter. Then a week ago the damned light came on again. So when we took the car in for 12,000km service two days ago they were asked to fix it. The ECM was replaced and we were told that it was also the cause of the light being on.

    We will see.

    BTW, two articles about the Impreza WRX in today's Vancouver Sun; one a rave review and the other about Pat Richard, a 28 year old who just sold his Vancouver software company Xcert Int'l for US$67 million to RSA Security, and rallys a Subaru sponsored Impreza with great success. Check him out in the Rim of the World Rally this weekend in northern California.
  • parimalparimal Posts: 2

    I am looking for advise on fixing slightly leaky rack & Pinion. Leak is just around the actual box & steering shaft. Are there any re-conditioning kits or servicable parts. The steering rack are not worn. Appreciate any advice.

  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Thanks! I have submitted your list to the management/technical department. It may take a few days to get it into the system. ;-)



    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons Message Boards

  • mtnshoppermtnshopper Posts: 58
    I tried recycling the fuel pump and it seemed to help. It was 38F in the garage this morning and the car started better than it did yesterday morning at 40F. I will still mention it when I go in for service because I suspect I have a bad ECM.

    It's cold and snowy here today. "Springtime in the Rockies" as they say around here. Love those seat heaters!!
  • dle01dle01 Posts: 37
    I'd like to thank those of you who replyed to my post about the transmission failure in my 1995 Legacy at 91,000 miles (see post 1212 for the full story). I suppose what I've gotten out of this is what everyone told me at the time: 91k is alot of miles, and while it is unusual for such a serious problem in a Subaru it is not unheard of in a car that has been driven hard. I may have had a car with a unique flaw in an internal bearing that showed up after 5 years of driving.

    Some specific replys:

    Peterson10 -- Yes, David is my real name. We have alot in common in that we both lost the transmissions in our Subarus, but at least your failed while under warranty. At the time I was very down on Subaru, and swore I would never own another. I've settled down now, and after reading the posts on this list I'm secure in knowing that they are generally good cars. The WRX sport wagon has already caught my attention - I wonder what the insurance is on one of those things?

    Ateixeira -- As you note, 91k is alot of miles. But I've known many cars to go many more miles without such a failure. My father owns a construction company with a fleet of large domestic vans and pickups, and rarely replaces transmissions before 150k, even though they are used in the most severe circumstances. I drove my car hard, but not THAT hard. . .

    Francofile -- Your diagnosis of the input bearing sounds right on. However, the transmission shop noted a similar noise in 3 of the other gears so there were other problems too. It was not a $6000 job. $6000 was for a brand new transmission, direct from Japan or wherever they are made. The repair job would have cost an estimated $2000.

    Other thoughts:

    Reliability -- The tone of this site seems to be an almost fanatical devotion to the brand. One other poster mentioned Saturn as having a similar devotion. However, no car is perfect, nor should we assume that every car will be completely trouble free. My 95 Legacy was the most reliable car I've owned so far, but I'm comparing it to a Chevy Blazer and a Ford Taurus. The repair and maintenance items started really cropping up after the 50k mile mark and included, among other things: A crank sensor which failed, rendering the car unstartable (later recalled, Subaru reimbursed me for the repair); two oxygen sensors which caused the check engine light to appear ($100+ each time); the fuel gauge failed, and was repaired by replacing 2 sensors, one of which was near the gas tank and required the removal of the rear seat ($300+); a nasty oil leak at about 80k miles that required the dealer to remove the tranmission (it took them over a week to fix this because they ordered the wrong parts, and to compensate for my inconvenience pretty much charged me $100 for a $600 repair and gave me a loaner car to drive); and the mass airflow sensor failed rendering the car undrivable ($300+).

    After writing all of that, I wonder if I didn't get some kind of Subaru lemon that was started Friday afternoon and finished Monday. It was the first year for that body style. Again, compared to my domestic cars this experience is acceptable, but then again it did not leave me jumping up and down about how little trouble Subaru's are compared to any other car.

    Regardless, I do not hesitate to recommend Subarus to other people, and may in fact own one again some day.

    Legacy vs. Outback -- somebody recently wrote in with some questions about buying a used Legacy for use on bad roads in Vermont. I would strongly recommend buying the Outback over the Legacy. I was always disappointed with the suspension and ground clearance of my Legacy. The small tires and weak struts were easily overcome by rough roads and off road use. Initially, I thought that the Outback was just an appearance package with "tough" looking fog lights and big tires. But I have since had the chance to drive several of them owned by friends and have found the suspension to be far superior. They ride better too!

    Also, as per the room in the back of the Legacy / Outback -- the seats fold down and the amount of cargo space rivals many small and mid sized SUVs. My wife used to have a Pathfinder at the time when we also owned the Legacy. We would use the Legacy to haul stuff because the cargo area was larger and more accessible.

    Enough ranting for a Saturday morning. Thanks again to all who replied, and for those of you who have not yet read my post 1212 give it a look and let me know what you think.

  • cgd1cgd1 Posts: 2
    Has anybody recently purchased a 2001 outback sedan? I'm wondering what kind of discounts I should expect--does invoice or below sound unreasonable?? We have 2 outback wagons ('96 5-speed and '97 automatic) that we love! Haven't found anything negative yet about the new outback sedan--could this be the "perfect" car??
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Nothing wrong with the Outback sedan, that a little extra horsepower couldn't cure. With that thought in mind, you may want to wait till later this summer when the '02 Outback sedan will also be available with the H-6 and VDC.

  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    My 1990 Taurus gave all that it could but finally became too expensive to maintain. All in the same week it lost the AC and radiator. I looked at the Impreza among other things but I got the Mazda Protege ES 2.0. I needed a commuter that would be super easy to pay for. At under $15k with all the rebates ($900 total) AND 1.9%......I could not pass up the ES. I dont know about reliability but the ES feels like a BMW 325 minus some grunt. My brother who just got an Subaru RS was torn between the two and I can see why. I also had a pretty good offer on the RS too but UNDER $15k for the ES was just too good to pass up.
  • Hi all,

    Just turned 3,000 miles and loving it. Any recommendations on the best bike rack for the wagon?


  • Hey all, Just got a 95 legacy wagon--which is great, by the way--but it's got the factory racks on it. I'd like to put some Thule bars on it, but am not finding any good options for less than $180...any ideas out there? I'd like bars to carry skis, canoe and bike (not at the same time though). thanks for any help...
  • 59er59er Posts: 30
    Hi, I am considering an Outback Limited. I heard that Suburu has had a problem with their manual drive cars-- something about a burning smell. Has this problem been corrected? How do owners of 2001 vehicles like their manual shifters?
  • subyaudidudesubyaudidude Posts: 136
    Okay, here's the dealio - my mom's got a 2001 OB Ltd. wagon. Today she had me look at her driver's side window, and there was this big hunk of black goop at the bottom of the window. It was so big and sticky, it prevented the window from going down. I started picking at it. I sprayed some citrus degreaser on it, which loosened it. Yet, the more I got out the more there seemed to be, deeper down between the window and the door panel. I stopped picking at the stuff, fearing that I might have been pulling out some important insulation. It feels a lot like tar, but it seemed like an awfully big chunk to have gotten down as far as it did. I'm considering taking off the inside door panel to investigate more, so that my parents don't have to pay a dealer if it is actually tar. Anyways, my questions are these: (1) does this sound like just tar, or is it some sort of insulation? and (2) how do I take the door panel off? TIA.
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