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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Call 800-SUBARU3 and ask what SoA can do to help first.


    When you get adversarial the dealers clam up and stop helping, you tend to get nowhere.


    Just my unscientific observation.


  • Now my HVAC system in my 05 Oyback is making a flittering noise that's getting more pronounced. Thinking it was debris or leaves, I cycled through all the modes and fan speeds over and over with no avail. Sounds like something is coming loose? Anyone else get that?


    It is getting so irritating I don't want to turn on the heat.

    What is it? Did I just call my car an Oyback? That's funny!
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    "When you get adversarial the dealers clam up and stop helping, you tend to get nowhere. "


    Once you're on solid ground with Lemon Law so they HAVE to take it back, you can do whatever. Until then, you have to play ball.


    The switch I'm talking about is just a couple alligator clamps, not permanent, and does not hook into the vehicle's electrical system. Just supplies 12V to the starter solenoid.



    (who always likes to have a Plan B)
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    Hey folks,


    I am about to install the factory subwoofer on my '02 Legacy wagon. I have the written instructions from the website and the illustrated ones that came with the subwoofer, but both cover AT cars, not the MT. Since the MT shift boot is not the same as the AT slider cover, I am a bit stumped. How does the boot/console come off? Anyone been there/done that?


    A reply in the next few minutes would be great if anyone can do that; I am about to head out the door and give it a try.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I did it to replace my wife's stereo.


    IIRC you start at the back of the center console, there should be screws once you lift up the center arm rest.


    I don't remember the details, and didn't take pictures because Pat and/or bitman had showed me photos and instructions I had printed, but I didn't save the URL.


    I do recall that I removed the shift knob, and that the console lifted up and out.


    I wish I'd taken photos. The info might have come from Scoobymods? That sounds familiar for some reason.


    Just don't pry, nothing was hard to remove, and if you use force you might crack the plastics.


  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    A few years ago I took my car in because the HVAC fan was making a strange noise and it wouldn't blow air on "RECIRC". It turns out that the air inlet is located inside the glove box, and I had placed some napkins in there which were sucked up into the fan when I put the HVAC into Recirc. After removing the wad of napkins, all was well again. Perhaps something got sucked up into the intake on your 05 OB?
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    I had 2 of the fuel injectors replaced last January on my 2000 OBW. This happened at the end of last years 48hrs run when my check engine light came on, and stayed on for several days. They never did determine what caused it, but it took them a while to figure out that it was the injectors. Suabru covered everything under warranty, and no problems since.


  • Larry,


    I was experiencing a lower frequency noise from my 2003 Legacy. The noise was somewhat irregular.


    My Subaru mechanic used his 18" screwdriver to diagnose the noise as a rattling cam belt tensioner. He replaced the tensioner and that noise was gone.


    Maybe that is your problem.


    Good luck.


  • Has anyone else had this problem? I'm hoping that it is just a weak spring on mine. We brought home a brand new '05 Outback last night. When closing the glove box from the driver's seat (i.e., pushing up on the left side of the glove box), it doesn't stay closed. If I purposefully push from the middle and do it slowly it usually closes (but not all the time).


    I'm going to bring it up to the dealer next time we bring it in; wanted to make sure it wasn't a widespread flaw.




    Jason Boswell
  • What a great resource this is!!! So here's to my situation. I just bought a used 96 Legacy Outback 2.5L DOHC automatic.

    I took it to my mechanic and he fixed some problems however some still linger:


    (1) The keyless entry doesn't work (the remote control that is). Also, when unlocking/locking the driver's side door with a key or from the inside, not all the doors unlock/lock. I know they should and I can hear a sound as if they are trying but no luck. Is there a fuse or something that I should look to change? Any way to diagnose the problem?


    (2)The car idles a little high after running for a while. When stationary, the car idles a little rough at around 6-800 RPM when i first get in it. However, the longer i drive it, the higher it idles. If it's in drive, it never idles more then 1k RPM. However, if I stop and put it in park or neutral, it usually idles at 1.5k RPM. The mechanic said there is air getting into a valve so fixing it would mean reconstructing the engine. He said it's not a problem and something I'll just have to get used to. Any thoughts?


    (3)Finally, the past two days i've noticed that when i'm not moving or moving very slowly, my temperature gauge goes up to a very high level. However, when I start driving faster, it goes back down to normal (1/3 from the lowest setting). I've read that this is probably a sticking thermostat so I plan on replacing that myself. Any other thoughts?


    Thanks in advance for the help, it's really appreciated!!!


  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Bosman, that happened a few times to me also. Thought I might have caught something in the door but that was not the case. I will run out now for a short while & try it a few times. Let you know....
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    1. Not sure about the keyless entry, I don't have it. I am assuming the battery in the remote is new? However, the door problem is common to Subarus as they age. I have the same problem. The easiest fix for it is to move to a climate where it is colder than 0F all the time. It always works at those temps. The more practical fix is to remove the driver's door panel and adjust the mechanism, though I haven't done it myself. I just live with it and curse at the car when it happens. If you lock/unlock the driver's door about 1-1000 times in quick succession, it will usually unlock the other doors at some point. ;-D


    2. Not sure. It may be worth taking a look at the timing to see if everything is aligned correctly.


    3. Temp running hot during idle and good during higher RPMs, or is it independent of RPMS and literally when the car is in motion at slow speeds? If it is RPM-dependent, I would guess that it is a water pump issue. Mine acted similarly on two separate occasions before it bit the hay altogether. It may be the pump itself, or the timing belt or tensioner may be due for replacement and it is slipping on the surface of the pump pulley. The contact is not "tooth regulated" on the surfact of the pump and it can slip more easily than on the cam sprockets.


    I've never had a thermostat sort-of not work. They either do or they don't and if they don't, the car overheats. That's the only reason I tend to not favor the thermostat idea. The pump controls the flow of coolant, so if that isn't working properly, it can slow the flow of coolant and affect the temperature without necessarily leading directly to a serious overheating of the engine.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Yeah, numerous people have complained about this, and it happened to me once. Apparently, the latch on the door is sticking, so instead of closing the door repeatedly (as I tried), wiggle the lever a few times and see if it helps. Only happened to me that one time.


  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    3) This is exactly how my 98 Outback behaved when the head gaskets were leaking. Hope that it is only a water pump and not this.
  • Thanks for the response. I will try that and see if it helps.


  • subdensubden Posts: 40
    Maybe I missed something, but it sounded to me per his e-mail,like Jun had already filed a case with SoA.


    And the dealer has already basically quit helping (unless it will agree NOW to send a tech out the next time it won't start and I seriously doubt it will agree to do this). So I would definitely take it to the next step with the Utah Department as you JUN) intends to do the next time it won't start. The dealer is basically saying it's a SoA problem, go away.


    A caveat..make sure you follow all SoA administrative procedures (usually outlined in your warranty book) for resolving these types of issues. Failure to do so is called "failure to exhaust administrative remedies" and can make it difficult legally to pursue any subsequent legal action.


    If you are convinced the dealer has just washed its hands of your car, then you can put pressure on the dealer in the meantime by filing a complaint with the local BBB. Hopefully the dealer then goes back and puts pressure on SoA.


    I definitely would not tolerate this on a new car and would definitely not start trying to fix it yourself..that WILL give them a reason not to have to honor a warranty.


    And document..document..document in writing and hopefully with a witness when the car does not start AND all contact with the dealer and SoA. You will need it if you ultimately have to go to the mat legally with SoA and/or the dealer.


    Just my advice after having had to wrangle with two other manufacturers over the years.
  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    Under (3), the car running hot when going very slowly, sounds like failure of the electric cooling fans to kick on. They are controlled by an electronic thermostat, to keep air moving through the radiator at idle and slow speeds. When the car speeds up, they are not needed.


    So check the fan thermostat (not the coolant thermostat) and the fans themselves.


  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    I agree - My comment wasn't to discourage Jun from using a manual start override push button if he wants to, but be cautious that once he touches anything under the hood, they'll be looking to get out from under any warranty claim. It's sad, and wrong IMHO opinion, but that's how I've seen them work over the years.


    To flip that around, from the dealer's perspective, if someone told me they were messing around under the hood, and if I didn't have a history with them as a customer, I'd be inclined to be skeptical as to what damage the customer might have caused.


    That's why I suggested not touching anything until this gets resolved.


  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    Installing the subwoofer was easier than I expected. Total about 2 or 2 1/2 hours, much of it spent snaking the wire under the carpet. Removing the console and such was exactly as in the directions; there WAS a bit on the MT version, but I didn't spot it at first because there was no picture, but unscrewing the shift knob was the only difference.


    Wow! What difference in sound! I tried messing with the hi cut and gain controls, and couldn't decide what was better, so I just reset them mid-range as it came out of the box. My audio test was an organ version of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Major for the low stuff, and some trumpet work by the Canadian Brass for the treble. With the subwoofer, even the organ pedal notes are solidly there (maybe 25Hz?), and the standard door speakers will be fine for mid-range and highs to my old (high-freq loss) ears.


  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Excellent point Stanton!! Now that I think about it, you may have hit on the problem!


  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    Just a tip for those who live in the frozen north. If you experience stiff shifting when the manual trans is cold, change the gear lube to synthetic. I just filled my '02 Legacy MT and rear diff with Red Line 75w-90NS as per their recommendations, and shifting is much lighter and faster under all conditions, but especially when cold. Perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 the shift effort when cold (well, cold for Austin: about 38 degrees). Red Line recommends the NS lube for better shifting, though it is not recommended in a limited-slip diff, so would not be good for the rear diff on a turbo. Their regular 75w-90 has additives for the limited-slip that are not optimal for gear synchronizers, which need a bit of friction to work. The NS version does not use those additives.


    Very worthwhile $40!! And drain and refill on the MT is easy.


    Red Line claims the lube will pay for itself through increased fuel mileage on short trips where the gear lube stays cold. Given the drop in shifting drag, I am inclined to believe it. Regular 75w-90 must be like molasses when it is cold.


  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    Thanks for the tip, Stanton. I will be changing the fluid in my differentials in the next few weeks, so I will certainly keep synthetic in mind before I purchase! I have not changed the fluid on my OB's diffys myself yet...
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I agree that it makes shifting easier in the winter, but the downside is that most of the synthetic gear oils are too slippery for the tranny synchros that Subaru uses. So keep an eye out for any grinding when you shift into gear.


    I put Mobil-1 gear oil in my WRX and loved the lighter shift action, especially in cold weather. But I ocassionally got grinding when going into 2nd gear, so I went back to standard 75w-90 dino gear oil.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have Mobil 1 in the miata's gear box, to be honest I can't say it's any better now. Maybe I just don't remember.


  • stantontstantont Posts: 148


    That is why Red Line specifically recommends the NS oil, which does not have the friction modifiers needed in a limited-slip differential, and which are present in most synthetics (including Mobil One). Any gear lube that says it is compatible with limited-slip differentials is not ideal for gear synchros.


    I've had the stuff in there for three days, and there is no gear scratch when shifting, whether hot or cold. I will keep my eyes and ears open, but so far so good.


    BTW, is it my imagination, or is the Subie MT also synchro in reverse? It is the first manual I've owned that I have NOT had to touch a forward gear or else wait for the gears to spin down, before going into reverse. No crunch, ever. My SHO needed to be touched into any forward gear before going into reverse, or it would crunch. Ditto our Nissan Stanza, my SAAB 99's, Volvo 122, and Triumph TR-3. (Or at least wait a few seconds for the gear to spin down.)


  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    The M1 oil I used was straight gear oil, with no friction modifiers (basically same as straight dino gear oil). Some people actually have had better luck with synthetic oil with friction modifiers, or special blends. The flowing characteristics of synthetics are better, and the friction modifiers make the synchros happy. After my experience, I went back to straight dino since it had worked OK from the factory -- other WRX owners are still experimenting with various cocktails! In the end, stick with whatever works for you!


    I don't think there is a synchro for reverse. In fact, my WRX was super stubborn about getting into reverse. I couldn't get into 1st above about 5 mph either. I became a double-clutch master with that car.


    My 00 Outback, on the other hand, shifted easily into any gear at any speed. The shifter was a lot more sloppy than the WRX, but definitely easier to live with in everyday driving.


  • Looking for info on changing my brake pads. No Chilton or Hayes manual for my Subarus. Would you give me a quick how to, please.




  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,562
    "As to the switch, I can see a dealer invalidating the entire claim because they hooked up anything to the electrical system. I'd agree that's not fair, and dirty pool, but I've seen dealers use any, and every, excuse to get out of a claim."


    Ok. My idea with the remote switch was not a spur-of-the-moment thing; I just bought a beater van with the same problem for m father-in-law, who has trouble finding decent $2 cars any more. Since I made a web page for him (he's 700 miles away and will be flying in), I thought I'd post a link here and illustrate what I meant.


    And heck no, this does NOT invalidate the warranty. How could it? First up, the only new connection is to the starter solenoid, and secondly, you just take it off before you go back.


    If the starter is easily accessible from above, just hook the remote switch up directly. Back in the day, real men just used a screwdriver to bridge the two connectors on the back of the solenoid...


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Haven't done my brakes yet, sorry.


  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    I've got that same Craftsman starter switch. Used to come in handy when I had to check the timing on my '71 Chevelle and needed to bump the starter and get the timing mark around where I could scrape the rust off and make it more reflective for the timing light.


    Two of my old screwdrivers have black marks on them from bridging starter solenoid terminals! It's not an elegant technique, but when you need to get a car off the side of the road and the remote starter switch is at home...


    What you are suggesting shouldn't cause a problem with a warranty claim, but I don't think I would go telling anyone at the dealer about it either.
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