Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    ODBII will not turn off the light if the condition (or some condition) still exists. So, you might need to check some wires or at least the code that it's throwing to figure out what next to check.

    Most OBDII scanners can clear the codes, my one does.

  • doug900doug900 Posts: 7
    Thanks Brian, but the only 3 codes that came up, front and rear O2 sensor, and knock sensor, I replaced, within the last week. could these be codes that have to be manually reset with an OBD II scanner? Codes that the ECU can't reset?

    Is there a way to reset them with the diagnostics connectors under the dash below the steering wheel? I read something about that a couple of weeks ago,somewhere.

    Also, I found an OBD II analyser for $200, that interfaces with a laptop. As soon as I get the cash, I buying one! I don't like going to dealers, and have done my own machanical work for years, succesfully.

    In addition to my wife's Subaru, I own a 1999 Saab 9-3, and, that scanner will work on that also, since it comes with an ISO interface, if I choose, amongst others available. Doug
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is it still throwing the same exact codes as it was before?

    At one point Patti told us it took something like 9 cycles for a code to reset itself once it was fixed, but I would have expected the ECU reset to fix that right away. :confuse:

  • doug900doug900 Posts: 7
    I did call a dealer that sells only subaru (in fact it was were we purchased this car several years ago), and the lady that answered said that 70 to 100 miles for the ECU to be happy with everything and reset the check engine light, is not etched in stone. She said that she has seen as much as 500 miles before the check engine light was reset. She said that one option is to reset it manually, with a OBD II reader and start from ground zero, but then everything would have to reset itself (another 50 to 60 miles or so, give or take).

    Also, I wondered about aftermarket O2 sensors (which is what I purchased), and she said that they use them all of the time at there dealership, without any problems.

    Bottom line...Keep driving it to see if it will reset, says she. I may stop at autozone to see what codes come up, just for laughs. Autozone said that they will not reset the ECU because of liability, but they can read it and give you the codes. Doug Brown
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    This doesn't really address your questions, but thought I'd share my most recent OBD-II experience.

    Our '01 Outback had it's CEL on two weeks ago, the code was regarding the knock sensor. I replaced it after verifying there was power on the circuit. Since I had the battery disconnected while I did the work, the CEL was off when I got the car going again with the new sensor installed.

    Since the car's state inspection was also expired last week, I took it to the shop a bit too soon, and it failed because of two ECU test monitors being in a not ready state. Apparently the shop could tell that I had the knock sensor problem (so I assume the code must have still been in there somewhere), but the monitors which were in the not ready state were completely unrelated and caused by not driving it enough after the ECU reset.

    When I got the car back, the shop informed me that some vehicles can be driven through a predetermined drive cycle which can get all the ECU test monitors in a ready state more quickly, but they didn't have information on how to do that with an Outback. So, I got a 10 day extension on my inspection, and they sent me home with instructions to just drive the car normally for a week before coming back, then it should be able to pass. It went in this afternoon for re-inspection, so I'm not sure what the verdict is yet.

    What I still don't know, and should have asked, is if the knock sensor failure event is still going to be stored in the ECU going forward, or if the shop has cleared it manually somehow.

    Good luck with your problem.
  • jac7jac7 Posts: 2
    Dropped my teen daughters car off with a laundry list of complaints today, service rep says the check engine light is on due to a faulty knock +/or oxygen sensor, cost will be $385. Coincidentally the cost to do a 30k mile engine tune up is also $385 to which I replied, must be 385 dollar day at (blank blank) subaru! Does anyone have any feedback as to the accuracy of this diagnosis and cost? If I don't have it done today will there be immediate issues? I did ask the service rep if this was a common problem to which he replied it was not. Called hubby and he didn't have a clue. :confuse:
  • joeb24joeb24 Posts: 111
    I recently purchased an 06 Outback LL Bean Wagon and have a question about the AC and Defogging the front windshield. With the system in manual mode, if I have the AC on and push the MODE button so as to activate the front windshield defogger (and also get AC to my feet), the system works fine (cool air goes up to the front windshield and to my feet). However, if I push the front windshield defroster/defogger button (on the knob to the right), then warm air comes out of the top-front of the dashboard towards the front windshield, even though I have the AC on? The manual says that when in this mode, and with the AC on, the AC should be running. So, I would expect cold air to come out of the top-front of the dashboard? Is the system malfunctioning?
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    No, the system is working correctly. The quickest defogging mode is a mix of heated, dried air.The air conditioner cools the air and moiture precipitates out to drain away. It then passes the heater and is warmed. Try it and be surprised at how quickly the windscreen clears.

    The Climate control function is very good in the Outback and its not really necessary to second guess it. In general, I just left the whole system on Auto with the Air Conditioning on and only ever altered the temperature a little. It always did the setting better than I could manually.


  • My rotors are warped on a 2002 Outback Wagon. They were turned at 33k for free. Now the car has 55k and they are warped beyond belief. I can tell the fronts are shot but do not know about the back.

    I would like 'em replaced. Dealer told me 1 hour to hour and a half repair but I couldn't get a price, parts was closed.

    Anyone have an idea what it would cost to get front and rear rotors and pads replaced?

  • finxfinx Posts: 2
    I have a Subaru Legacy -95. A few days ago the car wouldn't start because the battery was empty. I have done some troubleshooting and found out that the alternator only outputs 12.5 V when motor is running (it's supposed to be 13-14 V). Does anyone have a clue to what might be the problem? It seems that the alternator is working but not at its' full potential. The car has run about 140000 km.

  • stantontstantont Posts: 148
    My understanding of the wording in the shop manual re. the OBDII is that the CEL will reset in a certain number of cycles of whatever condition caused it to be set in the first place. That may be in 5 miles of start/stop/restart driving or in 500 miles of highway use.

    I don't believe disconnecting the battery will erase "hard-set" error codes. OTOH, settings for normal adjustment, like adapting to a new sensor, or resetting idle specs after a battery is replaced, occur in a few miles of normal driving.

    That was what I got from the manual, anyway.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,860
    I had a similar problem. I did not troubleshoot the alternator itself (dig into it and replace the bad part); just replaced with a remanufactured from NAPA. Works great now; I had to make sure all electrical that could be shut off - was shut off, if I was going let the car idle. Otherwise, it would die within 20-30 minutes (max). I made the mistake of having the alternator tested at the local Subaru dealership and they gave me info as to what was actually wrong with it; if I think about it I will look it up and relay the info.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,860
    I haven't had time to monkey around with it or even perform a compression test (head gasket related) at this point.

    I had not considered the possibility of it being gunked up. My '69 C20 is really bad about getting leaves and debris in the fan; it just chucks the stuff out at me without any complications.... the first drive of the spring is always interesting and I even keep the darned thing covered all winter! Anyway, will take a look at that first then see whether there is a fault in the fan wiring.... I'll save the gremlin search for the end.

    Much appreciated,

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    You can check list and discount parts prices at:

  • Hi I was wondering if anyone had this problem before;

    My check engine light came on the other day and now the car idle's rough (but never stalls) and has a clicking sound coming from the engine bay. It also makes a funny sound when I'm starting it: when it's turning with the starter it makes a noise that sounds like it turned too fast at one point. The car seems to have all it's power when running though.

    Has anyone had this problem before ? I live in a pretty remote area and I'm just wondering if it was safe to drive it around to the next sensible mechanic which is about 40 miles away.

  • finxfinx Posts: 2
    I went to car mechanic specialized in electronics today, see what they suggests...
    Perhaps they will replace it as well.
  • No outback rotors there.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Check again. I have ordered Outback rotors from them previously for my 98.

    I think I found what you are looking for under Brakes, Brake Components, Front(or Rear) Brakes, Rotors.

    Or call them.
  • slickdogslickdog Posts: 225
    If the check engine light is on, then the shop should know if the problem is with a knock sensor, O2 sensor or both, because they have different trouble codes. That leads to the question, what exactly is your $385 buying? New knock sensor, new 02 sensor, both? I purchased a replacement knock sensor from NAPA for ~$75 and installed it myself, but to get one from a local Subaru dealer would have cost ~$180, then probably at least 1 hour of labor at $60-$70/hr and a diagnostic fee.

    You may have seen my earlier post about my recent knock sensor replacement, and we drove the car for a week like that without worry. I've driven cars with bad 02 sensors for short periods of time (2-3 wks) without much trouble, too. Over a long period of time the engine may suffer, but your car shouldn't do anything extreme like quit in the middle of the road before you decide what to do with it.

    The knock sensor and O2 sensor issues may be common, it's hard to tell. If you search this forum you'll see some posts about other folks having to replace either one or both. Curiously, MSN autos mentions both sensors as "moderate problems" for the '01 Outback in their reliability ratings.

    The $385 tune-up is hard to comment on much without knowing what work is being offered. For that much money, I hope you would be getting a lot. I know my '01 Outback certainly doesn't need $385 of tune-up work, and it has nearly 60K miles on it. Both the dealers where I purchased my current vehicles offer rather expensive 30/60/90K service visits that might be similar to what you're being offered, but they include work that seems to be unnecessary in my opinion, like replacing expensive spark plugs before they are really worn out. I don't want to steer you away from a tune-up, but you should find out exactly what's provided before spending nearly 400 bucks.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,860
    Hard to say from the seat of my pants, but it sounds like you have a sensor or two that has gone defunct on you. The "turning too fast" you hear upon starting almost sounds like the car is starting to flood a bit before it finally starts.

    I had a similar problem last summer (rough on start up, pinged/ticked excessively, wanted to flood while cranking, etc) and it turned out to be several bad sensors: knock sensor was bad and the crank sensor + upper O2 sensor were working intermittently. After they were replaced, the car ran great again. I think the sensors were about $100 ea for the parts; they are all relatively easy to access (~ 1 hour to dig in to them all, but just accessory removal). Get an OBDII readout - preferably from someone/place that will not charge you for it, and go from there.

    The car will probably keep running for you, but I'd get it fixed sooner rather than later. If it up and floods on you (does the "fast" cranking prolonged rather than just intermittently), push the gas pedal to the floor, crank a few times, let off the pedal - it should start up. Good luck!

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • curtbcurtb Posts: 2
    My three week old outback has failed to crank when attempting to start on four separate occasions.Eventually-- after 4-5 tries--it turns over. Anyone else having this problem?
  • sidmansidman Posts: 10
    The Glove Box on my 2005 Outback XT Limited keeps falling open. I will just take it back over to the dealer for a warranty fix, but I was curious if anyone else had seen this. It looks like the latch does not seem to secure tightly. Kind of annoying in a brand new car...I've been spoiled by Honda and Nissan, I hope little things like this are not the norm.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    See if you can lube the lock mechanism. It's not a common complaint, at least I haven't heard it before.

    05 - gotta be a bad starter. I'd have the dealer look at it before you get stranded somewhere.

  • Anyone having a problem with their XT smelling of burnt something? I've even seen SMOKE (not mist) coming through the vent once. I took the car to the dealership about 2 hours away, and they couldn't find anything wrong.

    The smell is terrible. I had to drive with all the windows and the top open and the AC unit completely off. I couldn't even hardly SEE, the sensation was so bad.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    It's that bad and the dealer didn't notice it? I'd go to another dealer.

    Does it happen all the time, or only under certain conditions? If under certain conditions, what are they? I ask that only because the dealer didn't notice the smell. Maybe it didn't occur while they had it, and that it's an intermittent smell that occurs only sometimes?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The only thing I can think of that smells *that* bad is gear oil. I wonder if they spilled some on hot exhaust components, and it's slowly burning off.

    Inspect the engine bay from the top and from the bottom, see if you can spot any oil stains or signs of a leak somewhere. Some car washes can wash the undercarriage for you. I use a pressure washer on mine.

  • sweet_subiesweet_subie Posts: 1,394
    I have an XT ltd with 3k miles, runs perfectly. no smell.

    are you pushing the new car to high RPMs ? if you are, then the car is not to blame.
  • My 2001 Outback suffers from the infamous head gasket and overheating problem. Because I have not found any vehicle that I really like, even though I have 160K miles on the car, I am keeping it for the time being. Unfortunately, this means driving in hot summer weather with the AC off, since the engine already overheats badly and the car would die if I added the AC to the power draw. After looking at the prices and problems of Audi and Volvo, and needing another AWD wagon, I'm back to thinking about getting another Ru. Some claim Subaru has fixed the head gasket and overheating problem on the newer models (it generally does not show up until about 100K in any case). But I can't find anyone to tell me HOW this problem has been fixed. Anybody know?
  • curtbcurtb Posts: 2
    I had this, too, when I first picked up the car. Service adjusted the latch and now it's better. Doesn't fall open, but must be slammed to keep it shut. Will get it adjusted again next time in service.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    I haven't heard of that happening with other OBs and Legacys. Definetly have the dealer look at it.

    FWIW, I've really had no fit and finish issues with my Legacy GT wagon. And I'm super picky about things like that.

Sign In or Register to comment.