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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • psgpsg Posts: 72
    I ended up putting the window down and taking the mirror cover off. The door panel went right into place. This was an easy upgrade and well worth it. Though, the head unit was a 90% improvement, compared to a 10% improvement for the speakers. I think I'll leave the rear speakers alone and spend the time and money on our 2004 Honda Odyssey's sound system. The Honda's system sounds truly dreadful!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775

    Ditto that.... '02 Ody EX...

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Hmmm... .that does raise questions. I cannot speak for a '99 (I did not go back and reread the posts.... it is a '99 that you have, correct?), but my '96 has no factory paint on the cam sprockets. All of the timing marks, including the belt (NAPA), lined up as specified in the Haynes manual the last time I replaced it. Prior to that..... the second time I had it off.... I did not have the Haynes manual available to me so we put the crank to TDC and used yellow model paint to mark the "up" position of the cam sprockets in relation to the crank. We didn't even bother trying to track the marks on the timing belt.

    It worked okay, but it was a pain in the rear compared to lining up the belt and sprocket marks because we had to position everything perfectly prior to installing the belt - lining up the marks, we could install the belt and align it as we went... much easier.

    Getting back on point, maybe the orange marks are a result of a similar approach. Have you owned the car since new? I think I would tend to ignore the orange marks unless the information Steve provided mentions them....
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • yustryustr Posts: 2
    I apologize if this has been answered already. I'm new to this forum.

    My 1999 Subaru Legacy w/ 95K miles shows the following symptoms: when making a slow-speed full lock turn (say pulling into a parking space) mostly to the left, or backing out of the stall – again full lock mostly to the left, I feel a definite bumping. It feels as if I’m rolling over cobble stones. Another way to describe it – if you’ve ever owned an old style 4x4 it feels kind of like the torque steer effect.

    Here’s the main clue: it only manifests after being driven for some time (20 min or more).

    Minor clue: there is a noticeable vibration through the steering wheel at about 65 mph. (This is probably telling me I need new tires but who knows? I have rotated the tires and the bumping is still there – the vibration went away.)

    Minor clue: I had a new clutch installed <3K miles ago. I don&#146;t remember it doing this before but it certainly could have been.

    I took it to my neighborhood garage (who installed the clutch) and after I had to &#147;make it do it&#148; said it was something called a &#147;viscous coupling&#148;. He then said I should go to the dealer to have it fixed. Which usually translates from mechanic speak to mean &#147;I think that&#146;s it but if it&#146;s not I don&#146;t want to be stuck for the cost&#148;.

    Any one have a guess? Is it safe to drive short distances?
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    Hello everyone,

    I have not posted in a long time. That is a very good thing as I have been continuing my commute of 34k miles/ year. I currently have 89K miles on my 2001 Outback Limited. Knock on wood- this car has been great.

    I am preparing for my 90k tuneup in the coming weeks but noticed an odd thing this morning. I was almost at work, at a stop light. I was totally stopped- then the RFPMs shot up on their own to about 2K and the whole car lurched forward about a foot. Then the RFPMs went back down again. It did this last night on my way home as well. The A/C was and it usually cycles the RPMs but never had that "lurch" before.

    Any help out there???
    Thanks! :confuse:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That acts as a center differential and basically connects the front and rear axles.

    Could be, but we haven't seen that here in the Town Hall.

    I'd suspect a CV joint, or maybe the front differential. Have you changed the diffy fluids at all? If not you should start there. Gear oil is cheap. 75w90.

  • i have a 92 legacy and all of a sudden all of the electric windows except the drivers wont work. i looked at the fuse box under the hood. any ideas. i am not a mechanic and i live on student loans so if it has to go to the shop we will just live with it. thanx gaelicgrl1
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    The security switch on the window controls is not on is it? This prevents the non driver windows on my 98 from functioning. Just a thought.
  • fredp3fredp3 Posts: 1
    My front brakes on '03 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon went bad at 24000. They were replaced by my dealer at no charge. Back brakes now make a scraping noise when backing up and pulsate when stopping but dealer says they are not low enough to replace under warranty. I plan to try again before 36000 mi.

    Does your car feel like the brakes are always on a little? As soon as I take my foot off the gas the car starts to slow down, like it doesn't coast.
  • mfmatuskymfmatusky Posts: 1
    '92 Subaru Legacy. Sudden electrical problem. Driving along and lights, radio fail. Charge light and brake light come on. Charge battery and limp car home. Checked all fusible links. Replaced alternator. Still no charge. Followed alternator harness to check for physical damage. Found two white wires under fuse box with bad corrosion / heat damage. Repaired wires with butt connectors. Put car back together. Car won't even crank. Back to harnesses under fuse box. Found second corroded / hot connection. Repaired with large crimp connector. Put car back together. It starts but still won't charge. Running at idle w/no added drain draws 5 A, headlights, power windows, or AC add about 5-7 A each. Battery voltage is 11.5 to 12.5 depending on how long since I charged it. Batt terminal at alternator harness plug shows battery voltage. S terminal shows 0.3 volts less. IGN terminal shows battery voltage with ignition on. L terminal makes batt light on dash go on EVEN THOUGH IT DOESN"T LIGHT UP WHILE THE CAR IS RUNNING AT A DISCHARGE. It seems the alternator won't ground that wire. Should the alternator have an external ground wire? I wouldn't think so but I have seen such critters. Any help?? Thanks, MFMatusky
  • Hi there. Last month I bought an 02 Outback with 40K miles on it and at that time I purchased the extended warranty, too. Now I'm noticing a very slight "grinding" noise when I turn the steering wheel. I'm not sure if this is worth the trouble of taking it to the dealer. I called them and they were vague about what it might be and whether or not it would be covered by the warranty. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The B2B warranty is 36k so it might not be covered, is my guess. Doesn't sound like it's part of the powertrain (engine/tranny) to me. Hope I'm wrong.

  • Thanks, Juice. I've learned a lot from your postings on the Subaru boards. You're a real asset to these discussions.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're welcome. :)

  • harvptharvpt Posts: 40
    I had the same problem. Apparently rust corrodes the locking mechanism inside the door (at least that's what the dealer told me). $203.00 (including tax) to replace the rod.
  • tomz1tomz1 Posts: 5
    98 legacy wagon...80k mileage...all maintenance up to date....put new rear brakes on at hear a rumble and or vibration in rear ( I think) when taking hard left or right turns....feels like driving over rumble strips..checked brakes and they look fine..noise either getting worse or getting me more frustrated...any suggestions for a shade tree mechanic?
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Your rear diff going or went, or wheel bearings.

  • tomz1tomz1 Posts: 5
    rear diff....easy or hard for the do it your-selfer....wheel bearings i have done although not on a subaru...tom
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    I've done neither and not had the opportunity to watched either being performed, but I have been told that the diff would be a walk in the park compared to bearings.

  • njswamplandsnjswamplands Posts: 1,760
    i havent seen much talk about :lemon: s in here. not bad. i still tremble thinking about my cousins fiat 128 ( fun but always in the shop ) and my bros fiat x 1/9 ( great fun but always in the shop ).
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Wow Swamp! Two milestone posts in two days. How do you do it??? ;) Rob M.

    BTW, to stay on track: no problems to report with the OBW today.
  • robosubrobosub Posts: 1
    My wife just had the front axles/CV joints replaced on her wagon (148K miles). Now it seems that when you turn the wheels sharply, like in a parking lot, the front end is wanting to bind or push. It just doesn't feel smooth anymore. The work was done at our regular mechanic not a dealership. Could he have reassembled something improperly that is messing up the front diff? We have to drive over 600 miles on Wed the 27th of july. Any similar experiance or sugestions? We really can't afford a dealership or a new transmission. Thanks for your help.
  • tomz1tomz1 Posts: 5
    is there a way for the "average joe" to check the CV joints to know if they are bad...have a rumble whenever i turn sharp left or right and it was suggested that could be CV do i check?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Sure sounds like one of these new CV joints is binding. Quite often, axel/cv assemblies are rebuilt and sold at reduced prices to the aftermarket. Usually they are about as good as new, but who knows? I'd go back to your installer and have him take it for a ride.

  • I have a 2003 Outback that has recently started shutting down completley in hot weather. The car turns off and there is no power. It will come back on in about twenty min. They cannot duplicate the problem at the dealer so they wont do anything about it. Has anyone else had the same problem
  • Finally, I have found some other Subarus that are doing what mine is... stalling at 60mph or so! Just wanted to add my two cents and am wondering if there was any solution to your problem. I have a 92 Legacy with 175K miles and it intermittently stalls (when it rains it seems to be more regular) only one time in a day, usually first thing, but not always. I used to think it was rain related, but it does it in any weather now. I had a loose ignition (had to wiggle the key just so to start) and a mechanic diagnosed that as the problem and it seemed to help for a while, but the problem continues. Both mechanics who've looked at it thought it was electrical, but are perplexed. The car will stop moving-- but usually stays running albeit roughly. Then I start coasting and downshifting doesn't do squat. Very dangerous. Yesterday it died on the exit ramp while I was coasting off. If a sticky valve is causing this, I'd be so happy just to know what it is! The car starts right up and behaves like nothing happened, I get back on the freeway and it's fine...
  • I have an 03 Legacy SE Wagon, equipped with a CD Player.

    I have found that when I play CDs I have burned on my home computer, the quality is very poor and songs get skipped over or stuck (long delays when nothing gets played).

    The tech column in today's newspaper had a Q+A about this problem for someone with their home CD player not playing the burned CDs. The writer suggested a Lens Cleaning Disk.

    When I stopped at Staples to pick one up today, the salesman warned me to check with the manufacturer about using one on the auto's CD player. And the disk packaging clearly stated it was not to be used on automobile CD players.

    Does anyone know or has anyone used one of these lens cleaning disk? Did it improve the performance? Why would they not be allowed to be used on car stereo systems?

    Has anyone else had the same problem with home-burned CDs and if so, what has worked

    Many thanks for those who take the time to post and offer ideas and advice.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Both vehicles (MPV and Forester XT) we have play home made cd's no problem for us. Make sure you're using a decent quality cd and burning it to audio (not mp3/wma). I've made audio discs usign Roxio 7 and Windows Media Player 10. You might try a lower burn speed as well.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    I am also wondering if the problem doesn't lie with your computer, and not the car. Fast burned disks, or a weak laser can result in reduced depth of the pock marks that define ones and zeros. As Brian said, try reducing the speed, and make sure that the disks are certified well above the speed you are actually running the drive in burn mode.

    Ask a friend to burn you a disk (different media and computer), and see if it works any better.

    I have no experience with disk laser cleaner, so I cannot comment.

  • rmorgenrmorgen Posts: 1
    When I back up and turn into a tight turn I hear and feel a strong grinding, grabbing noise and vibration throughout the whole car. Went to dealer, no help there only a lecture on my missing the 90K maintenance. I would have to pay them $86.00 an hour just to look at it and then pay them more to fix it. An independent repair shop said it was front axles. Now $700 later it grinds, grabs and vibrates on any turn going any direction. Any ideas folks? I am going back to the independent monday 7/25.
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