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Subaru Outback VDC



  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Hi Ralph,

    My very early production '02 Outback (4 cyl) has the earlier, smaller '01 brakes. I thought I was buying into the upgrade, but got jipped on this item. I went Cryo slotted Frozen Rotors from Tire Rack also, but in combo with the Hawk HPS (iron-carbon) pads last Spring (about 7k miles ago for me...).

    Oddly enough, I am thinking I might go thru the 'bedding' process again. My rotors look squeeky clean again, and stopping distances / pedal effort is on the rise. As though I have somehow stripped off all the transfered material layer that makes brakes work. Very odd...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Strange...must've been a running change they made when they ran out of supply of the old ones.

    Then again, the PCs we buy from Dell are stranger - you never know when some of the components change. Seems like no two are exactly alike!

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    It was pretty annoying. Ordered parts for an '02, and what arrived didn't fit. Product specialist figured it out from dimensions and physical description that they matched the '01 parts.
  • Does anyone know what the most recent year is for the outbacks with the mcintosh stereos? Thanks
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I want to say 2004, just prior to the re-design. Can anyone confirm?
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Posts: 288
    Was on the 04 VDC. Not on 05 or later. I believe it still is available in other markets, such as Japan.
  • Hmm.. I seem to recall looking at the then new 03s and being disappointed that the 6 cd changer was not McIntosh, or was a rebadged one. And from then on, I thought they stopped that relationship. :confuse:
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Posts: 288
    My wife's 04 VDC is McIntosh, at least thats what it says on the faceplate, and thats what the Subaru brochure for that year said.
  • So are brakes on 01 VDC Outbacks not as good as the brakes on 02-on? Can the 01 brakes be replaced with the larger better brakes and at what cost in parts and labor?

    I'm in the market for an 01-04 VDC edition Subaru Outback, so the question is very timely for me. Mostly looking at 01-03 years.
  • I'm in the market right now for an 01-04 VDC Outback - will post some of the vehicles I found with brief notes and really looking forward to your feedback - in the meantime, wanted to ask in general, would you stay away from 01, 02, 03 or 04 model years for any reason?

    I read above the 01 had smaller brakes and wondering how much this affects safety performance, and whether these can be replaced with later larger brakes and at what cost in parts and labor.

    I prefer the 6 cylinder Outback and prefer the VDC edition. Second preference would be the LL Bean H6.
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    01 are smaller diameter discs than 02. Not sure if it made a real-life difference. Don't know if you can upgrade - probably not - you'd have to upgrade all the brake components?

    All I do know is I went to Power Slot Frozen [Cryo] Rotors and ceramic pads and never looked back. It solved my problem of warped rotors - a common problem on many heavy cars...
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    My Black LLBean has 118K - born Jan. 01, delivered Feb. 01. It has been a very reliable car and is still as tight as the day I bought it... Will probably keep it a few more years...
  • snowbeltersnowbelter Posts: 288
    Warped rotors were an annoyance and an expense on my wife's 00 and my 02, but the brakes on both cars worked fine. My wife's 00 had a problem with "frozen" sliders, and I recall there was a design change to deal with that the following year. That problem could be avoided with remembering to have the sliders lubricated a couple of times a year. The brakes on my wife's 04 have caused fewer problems.
  • Power Slot Frozen [Cryo] Rotors and ceramic pads - what do they do? How much are these to add in parts and labor?
  • Hi All,

    Thanks to this forum’s help, I’ve narrowed our Outback search to an H6 VDC edition, roughly 01-05 model years, and would appreciate your feedback on the following VDC vehicles we’re evaluating. I’d like to send the best 1-2 options for a thorough garage inspection right away. Which are the best 1-2 values to send for inspection? Which would you be cautious about/stay away from?

    All are supposed to be in good cosmetic condition, but can’t be sure about the mechanics until an inspection, and the cost of inspections can start to add up.

    Arranged in order of year and asking price, includes mileage and KBB and Edmunds estimates based on temporary assumption of car’s condition based on seller description (before I have inspected).

    A) 2001, Miles 130,000, Asking $8,000, Dealer seller. KBB $10,875, Edmunds $10,528, assuming good condition. Cosmetic condition looks good. Concerned the big delta between the asking price and KBB and Edmunds could mean something is seriously wrong.

    B) 2001, Miles 82,740, Asking $12,000, Individual seller. KBB $12,755, Edmunds $13,168, assuming excellent condition. Cosmetic condition looks good. Seller claims that car was always dealer serviced.

    C) 2001, Miles 60,680, Asking $12,400, Individual seller. KBB is $14,170 Edmunds $13,958 assuming excellent condition. Cosmetic condition looks good. Seller says he bought from previous owner (a son who inherited from father and didn’t need the car). Seller says he buys a few cars/year, cleans them up for resale to make a few bucks. Condition notes - small ding on driver’s side door, tiny paint scratch over rear bumper that was painted over, a little scuffing on outside of driver’s seat.

    D) 2003, Miles 74,800, Asking $14,000, Dealer seller. KBB $14,505, Edmunds $16,176, assuming good condition. Cosmetic condition looks good.

    E) 2003, Miles 65,000, Asking $15,000, Dealer seller. KBB $15,730, Edmunds $16,188, assuming good condition. Cosmetic condition looks good.

    F) 2001, Miles 61,500, Asking $16,000. Dealer Seller. KBB $14,110 and Edmunds $13,849, assuming excellent condition. Cosmetic condition looks good. Looks WAY overpriced.

    G) 2003, 46,000 miles, $17,000, Dealer seller. KBB $19,315 and Edmunds $18,186, assuming excellent condition. Cosmetic condition looks good. Has OnStar system (though could care less about OnStar).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Get the 03+ because they're beyond the head gasket issues.

    To be honest those prices seem high to me, though.

    Only the 2003 with 46k miles would have a warranty remaining.
  • Thanks. I thought there was only a head gasket issue with the 4 cylinder - the VDC in those years was only available with 6 cylinder.

    You think ALL those prices are high? The 46,000 mi 2003 is $2000 below KBB, and there are several others below KBB, though I'd agree the asking prices should be lower.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Of course, I stand corrected.

    Sorry, I skipped the first part and missed that.

    No wonder the prices are higher. The VDC model was way upscale, with the fancy stereo, the H6, stability and traction control, etc.
  • Folks, I am interested in a VDC 2002 OB Wagon, can someone confirm what the towing capacity is for that H6 is it 2000 2400 or 3000 ? when does the H6 go up in capacity, I am looking at a 1650lb camping trailer and want to know what my buffer should be. I am considering a trannie fluid cooler too. Anything else I should think about with that much towing. The current one I am looking at has 129k miles on it. When do folks usually change out the chain on the VDC ? thanks for the comments.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see if Bob, our resident towing expert, can chime in on what year the ratings went up. I'm sure he'll remind you that with over 1000 lbs you're supposed to have trailer brakes.

    I don't think the timing chain has a replacement interval. It should last the life of the engine. Even the belts last 105,000 miles.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Check the owner's manual, as it will be stated in there. My guess is 2000 pounds for a 2002 Outback, and yes, that's if the trailer has brakes.

    2005 and later Outback H6s can tow 3000 (H4 2700), but again with that trailer brake restriction.

  • Hi,

    I am looking for a shop or person that could help me resolve problems with VDC on 2001 Outback Legacy VDC car.

    The symptom of the problem is the VDC and ABS light comes on. When the diagnostic code is read, it is steer wheel sensor error...

    Attempts to replace steering wheel sensor, and calibration of sensor was not successfull.

    Also, the other symptom, is that the VDC turns on when it should not turn on.
  • When I try to pull the lever, the Windshield Washer/Mist is not working. However, the washer button at end of the lever is working fine. Anybody got ideas on how to fix this and/or what the cause of the issue may be?
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