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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 12,773
    Well, not to contradict anyone too much, there were both the 2.2L and 2.5L available on the '96 models. In 1997, the Outback went strictly to the 2.5L. For the '96 2.5L, replacement schedule is 105K (seems like an odd #!) so anywhere between there and 90K is a good time if you are having any other work done on the engine. I have never managed to leave mine in there that long, as I replaced it the first time at 83K when I purchased it, then at 144K (while the engine was out of the car), again at 172K when I had a water pump failure, and again at 193K when I replaced the head gaskets. Even the first time it came out of the engine after 83K of use, the belt looked perfect other than the timing marks being faded on the outside of the belt. That gives me confidence that they can last 100K or more without a problem. In fact, I always keep the previous belt on hand just in case I have a problem and the current belt is damaged somehow. The trick there is just to make sure you mark the belt before you remove it from the sprockets, otherwise getting it back on with proper timing is a crap-shoot. As it is, all of my maintenance and repairs that required belt replacement have happened in a relatively scheduled manner, so I am able to purchase a new belt rather than using the backup. :sick:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • mab6mab6 Posts: 2

    I have a big problem.. my car has 104K , I've changed the timming belt 2 mo ago,.. oil every 3 mo, BUT 2 weeks ago the engine start making a lot of noise and it's even worst whe you accelerate I took it to my mecanic, I start the car and 3 seconds later he tels me that the engine needs to be replaced because some bearing inside the engine is broken or something...Is it possible?? What should I do?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 12,773
    Hmmm... not much to go on here. Do you have any other info such as describing what it sounds like, the conditions surrounding when it started, etc? Also, any performance hits, smoke, check engine light, etc., coupled with the noise? What was the level of the oil when it started?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • stevenm1stevenm1 Posts: 25
    You definitely should get a second opinion. A stethescope will be needed to pinpoint where the noise is coming from. A sticking valve or bearing that is going out or seizing up in your alternator, water pump, idler pulley or air conditioner compressor will also make a lot of noise. The same goes for the idler pulleys used by the timing belt. Has there been any other change in the engine (i.e. performance, oil consumption, overheating, excess smoke in exhaust, mixing of oil and antifreeze, etc.)?
  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    I may be wrong , but I believe it is recommended that the timing belt in the '96 OBW 2.5 be changed at 60,000 miles, and after '96 it jumped to 105K.
  • mab6mab6 Posts: 2
    Thanks xwesx & stevenm1!
    There is no other cchanges in the engine, besides the fact that the engine runs but w/o power. No smoke or oil consumption, oil mixed with antifreeze(it's not the head gasket)... Today or tomorrow another mecanic is going to take a look at it.. I will let you know!
  • 1mr21mr2 Posts: 2
    I made my email address visible. If you do not mind emailing direct, that would be great.
    I wish these groups had server space like Yahoogroups to post pictures for those logged in to see - oh well I guess that was what I was expecting when I logged on the first time.

    Thanks for taking the pics and uploading them.

  • I have the identical problem, where water leaks into my 1999 Subaru Legacy wagon's driver side floor after it rains. Has anyone ever ever found a solution to this problem?
  • I have the identical problem, where water leaks into my 1999 Subaru Legacy wagon's driver side floor after it rains. Has anyone ever ever found a solution to this problem?
  • dwt1dwt1 Posts: 1
    Own a 2000 Outback Wagon, 110,260 miles. Diagnosis from Subaru Dealer shop: possible bearing knock, rod knock. Their recommendation: replace short block. Their parts and labor cost estimate: $3700.
    Has anyone had this problem? Has anyone had a short block replaced in response to this problem? Is this a problem I can live with, or is it a must repair? This problem does not seem to affect performance, but might it not have ramifications for other engine parts?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,478
    You might get a second opinion from an independent Subie shop. A rod or bearing knock is a very loud and startling noise and will result in the destruction of your engine in a short amount of time. A short block is a good way to go but I still wouldn't drive this car, as an engine seizure would be a most unpleasant experience for you, and could destroy the cylinder heads as well....which means MORE than a short block.

    The reason I suggest a second opinion is that there should be no "might be" about this diagnosis. If the dealer isn't sure, perhaps it is piston slap or a loose crankshaft pulley or some such, which may not require a short block.

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  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Timing belt tensioner is a possibility too. Even another Subie dealer, a 2nd analysis is needed on this one.

    Have you owned the car since new? Oil changes regularly? How's the timing belt tension? At that mileage, it should be changed (check your owner manual for things to do at that mileage). If you change the belt, you should do the tensioner and water pump as well.

  • Agreed. It would be nice to share the pics with everyone. Are you listening, Big Brother?
  • masteryodamasteryoda Posts: 41
    A right blinker on my 98 GT Wagon went crazy today, all of a sudden, as it's began blinking way too fast. At first I thought that maybe one of my bulbs burned out, but I checked them out and they are working. My left blinker is just fine. Any ideas on what could that be?
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    You most likely have a bulb burnt out and you are just seeing the parking light filiment glow with the signal. Look again and I suspect that you will see that one direction (the normal speed) will be brighter then the other (fast blinking)
  • geneobgeneob Posts: 5
    Thanks for the info. The gas mileage doesnt really seem to be suffering, about 23mpg in mixed driving. It just appears on quick or heavy acceleration, that its starving for fuel.
  • masteryodamasteryoda Posts: 41
    tkanic, thanks for the reply. I'll double check again, but what puzzles me is that when I turned on emergency lights on, both blinkers were blinking at the same, normal, speed.
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    On other cars I have seen the hazard lights are a seperate relay, I suspect this car has a seperate one also.
  • masteryodamasteryoda Posts: 41
    Could it be a fuse issue?
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    I'm not saying it's impossiable, as cars sometimes have wierd stuff, but highly unlikely.
  • heynowheynow Posts: 4
    I have a new 2006 outback wagon, auto, base model. I was checking out the car tonight and have a question about the interior. When I put on the headlights everything inside that should illuminate appears to light up except the "set" , "+", and "-" buttons for the clock. Could someone tell me if they are supposed to light up.

    Also, the end of the weatherstrip above the right side rear window is not flush against the body (it sticks out a little). Would it be ok to apply some sealant to hold it in?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    I don't know about the lighting, but as to the weatherstripping, aren't you still under the bumper to bumper warranty? I'd just go in and have the dealer fix it for free. Eric
  • masteryodamasteryoda Posts: 41
    This problem is getting more weird by day. I had my wife pressing the brake pedal and turn on blinking signals and while I saw that the right blinker bulb was not as bright as the left one, it was still blinking. I checked the rear lights and all of them other than license plate right light were on. Could the license plate light cause this??? :confuse:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 12,773
    Well, if it is not too much trouble, replace that bulb and you will find out! I would think not, but....
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    Not weird at all, replace that dim bulb and your 'roo will be :D again.

    What is happening is that bulb is dual filament and has 2 modes of operating, the signal and hazzards make the bulb glow the brightest, the parking/headlights make it glow on the low setting. Typically if the bright filamaent breaks the power will backfeed through the other filament. I forgot how it was wired to make this so but know that's what is happening.

    Also replace the licence plate light as well.
  • outbike1outbike1 Posts: 5
    heynow -

    I too have a recently purchased 06 OBW. The answer to your lighting question is "no" - the "set" , "+", and "-" buttons for the clock do not illuminate (at least they don't on my 06 OBW and my brothers 06 OBW - yes, we each bought one within a few months of each other! :) )

    I too am also have some right-sided wheather stripping isses - am debating as to whether I want the dealer to "fix" them or not . . .

  • heynowheynow Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply Outbike. I actually stopped off at the dealer on the way home from work to see if the "set" lights illuminate. I sat in a car in the showroom and found out what you stated. Thanks for the verification.

    The weatherstripping for me is on the side of the car at the top rear side window. It sticks out a little and is not flush/tight like the other side. I made an appointment with the dealer in a week to have them check it out. Hope this doesn't create other problems. I'm the type of guy that does all the work on my own house. Windows, tear down walls, build walls, headers, ect....I just don't trust others too much to do a really good job. If it's not perfect that ok b/c I did it myself, but for almost $23,000 the weatherstripping should fit nice.
  • tkanictkanic Posts: 78
    I had a bit of weatherstripping sticking out a bit. it was easy to just push around the base back into it's track - took all of 1 second. Now I don't know if yours is sticking out the same way, but if it is It's so easy to do and saves so much time to just do it yourself.
  • stuckostucko Posts: 1
    I own a 2004 Outback base model 5 speed.

    When I get the clutch to and past the engagement point, it gets kind of spongy-stiff and makes a squeaking noise (not a wimpy squeak either, more of a groaning squeak - "Skroiiiink!"). I mainly hear it when I am at a stop and shifting into first or reverse, though I suspect it does it all the time, I just can not hear it over the engine and road noise. Also, this problem appears only after it has been driven about 15 minutes... so when I get in the car in the AM, it is nice and quiet.

    It is not coming from the pedal assembly, sounds like it is coming from the slave cylinder (which I believe is the little black do-hicky mounted on top of the tranny, under that big black box do-hicky). I had my GF wang on the pedal while I hunted for the source of the sound under the hood (so obviously it does it if the car is running or not).

    Can’t say when this started as I just got the car used (didn’t do it on the test drive). It has 40K miles.

    Otherwise, the car shifts just fine. No slippage, grinding, lurching, can’t find gears, anything like that. It is just a loud annoying noise that I have never heard on any of the 4 other 5 speeds I have owned.

    So: question is, what if anything can be done about it? How serious is this?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On my Miata, which is a hydraulic system (is yours also?), my clutch slave was worn out and I had to swap it out. The brake fluid (that's what Mazda uses) was contaminated, too. I bought a clutch slave rebuild kit and bled the whole system.

    For yours, if it uses brake fluid, I would consider bleeding the system first, to see if that helps. Ask someone who has done this, because I'm not sure if Subies are the same.

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