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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • hustoncshustoncs Posts: 21
    I’m assuming that you have a four cylinder so did it just start or has it been happening, but getting progressively more apparent. Some things to think about are did you change the brand of gas that you are using and also maybe it’s time to change the plugs and get the timing checked out. I hope this helps one other thing it could be the summer blend of gas

  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    No, it's probably been happening for a couple months now. One other thing, I recently changed the battery and by doing so rebooted the ecu. The way I understand it is the ecu will start with a rich a/f mixture then lean it out over a couple tanks of gas. Granted we had the a/c on so I couldn't listen very well, but I didn't hear any pinging the last 2 tanks. Only recently it came back. Could be the timing--I've long suspected the timing belt tensioner was going bad. I wouldn't think it would be the spark plugs or wires--they were changed 20k miles ago.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Eric, If you have no CEL a scanner will not show a fault code. But perhaps if you use a fancy one that can create a test drive event log for subsequent human analysis it may show something, if you have the skills to interpret the data correctly.

    I too have a 2000 OB. The car is made to run on regular fuel and the ECU will adjust timing to compensate for conditions, so you should never hear pinging. All you are gaining from using premium fuel might be more or better cleaning additives, etc. If what you are hearing really is pinging then your ECU is unable to compensate for some condition it is experiencing.

    I have no experience of the automatic OB, but it seems that perhaps you have a standard if you can go uphill at 1-2k rpm. I hate to appear critical, but I don't think I would drive on the flat at rpm as low as 1k, and certainly not uphill. If you do have an auto, perhaps the shift points are too low.
  • ssteveksstevek Posts: 45
    My 2002 Outback has an exhaust system vibration around 1600 - 1800 rpm. It's pretty much only those rpms. I looked underneath the car, could find anything obviously loose. The heat shield seems to be ok. It's not that bad, just noticeable when the window is down. Is there any general fix for this? It seemed to develop over the last few months. I bought 4 new tires along with front brakes & rotors last week, the mechanic couldn't find anything loose while it was up on the lift.
  • phono13phono13 Posts: 1
    Well I thought the same thing. I have a 2005 Sub Legacy GT Limited Wgn, and had the same issue at about 15,000 miles. I took it in to my dealership, and the first time they were unable to figure out what it was. The whining noise became so annoying that I avoided driving around with my windows down (which I enjoy). I took it back, and they replaced the wheel bearings. It was quiet for about 5K miles, but it's back and louder than ever. They may have improperly installed them or this may be a persistent problem for the car. I don't know, but I'm glad I got the xtended warranty so I can take it in every 5-10k miles to get this taken care of :( . Besides that and the nagging seatbelt chime, I love the car!
  • Hello,

    I am new to this site and having a problem with my 1995 Subaru Legacy. Suddenly my power windows are not working. Nothing happens when I press the buttons and I am assuming that there is a problem with the electrical system. I looked in my Haynes manual, and it seems likely it is a circuit breaker or fuse, but when I looked where those things should be there are so many wires that I was not sure which one was right or how to check it. It was all working fine yesterday. I don't know much at all about cars, but I was hoping that someone could help me out with this so I could avoid taking it to a shop. I live in a town that does not have many foreign car mechanics and so they cost alot.

    Please help! Thank you!!!

  • stevenm1stevenm1 Posts: 25
    Checking for a burned out fuse should be done first. Your Subaru should have its fuse panel under the dash on the drivers side. Your factory-issued owners manual shows how the panel is laid out and what fuses go with what circuit. There is also another fuse box in the engine compartment behind the battery that should be checked if you can't find a burned out fuse in the first panel.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    If you take it to a Subaru dealer I think they will be familiar enough with this problem that they will know where to look and how to fix it. It's usually just a spot weld.

    If you want to find it yourself maybe you need someone in the car revving the engine to the correct rpm while you are underneath. Tricky, what with hot exhaust pipes and the danger of being run over. By the way, mine only did this until the pipes warmed up after which it was OK until the next cold start.
  • cdndrivercdndriver Posts: 86
    I've got a 2003 legacy spec ed wagon. It's been really nice and goes off lease in December. While on a long drive today a prbolem came up which happens anytime I get on the highway around 120kmph (75 mph) and that is that somewhere in the right top part of the dash there's horrible vibrating buzz that happens. It's especially bad when there's a cross wind.
    I've tried switching the vent outlets, closing them, etc. but it persists. Any ideas what could be doing it, or has anyone else had this problem?
    It sounds like a vane or something in the vent system is getting strong air from outside and vibrating, but I can't seem to pin it down.
    I'd appreciate some help.
  • dbell1dbell1 Posts: 40
    I've ordered the 3 new tires (insurance is paying for the 4th since it was damaged in the accident). I've also ordered an undercarriage cover since I needed one. I totally trust my shop (Bob Maguire Chevy in Bordentown, NJ) to do the right thing - they've repaired 3 cars for me so far and I'm getting all new parts for the Subie - they rejected a used door as not good enough. :shades: Can't wait to get the car back.
  • dondalydondaly Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 otback h6 vdc model and the "check engine light" has been coming on and staying on. The mechanic at my service station advises that the codes; po174 and po171 are showing up as problems. He advises that the diagnostic work to track down the trouble could be costly. The car is performing well and gas mileage has not changed. Any comments?
  • gjksngjksn Posts: 35
    This sounds like a problem I've had with the same car. I'd had the windshield replaced sometime before the problem began. At first, I thought there might be a leaf or something stuck in the ventilation system. The noise was quite loud and somewhat high pitched when driving above 70mph in windy conditions. The first time it happened, it was quite startling. The Subaru service manager told me it was most likely the black rubber trim/molding around the right side of the windshield. He thought it looked loose and that it should be glued down (better, as it apparently was on the left side). They sent someone out to do that, but since then I haven't had an opportunity to test it in conditions similar to those in which it usually occurred. I have driven at the speeds at which it occurred and not experienced the problem, but I'm waiting for a highway drive in windy conditions to see if this really did fix things. So, after all of this verbosity, you might want to check the windshield molding, especially if you've had a windshield replacement. Good luck.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I did a Google search and a bunch of Ford problems came up. :D

    Fuel is lean, I think that means. How old is the fuel filter? Check the tension on the belt that powers the fuel pump, too. But it could be any part of the feedback system, maybe an O2 sensor, that is making the ECU lean out the engine too much.

  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    If it is pinging, shouldn't some sort of trouble code be sent? It kind of comes and goes.

    No, I have an automatic transmission. Personally I don't like to drive at 1 to 2k rpm either, but the roads are pretty level around here and the speed limit is really low and stricly enforced; the city police are out in force :sick: if you know what I mean. I didn't mean hill more like on a slight grade (i.e. almost flat but barely uphill).

    That's the devil of it--it only does it on a slight grade in that rpm range. If I go up a steep hill, I usually rev it pretty good 2.5 to 4k rpm and it doesn't ping, though I understand that this engine runs more richly the higher the rpms go.

    I've been thinking about buying some of that BG44K or Seafoam fuel injector/ engine cleaner to see if it helps.

  • cdndrivercdndriver Posts: 86
    Thanks, I'll check that. We did, in fact, have the windshield replaced after we got hit. (Twice within three weeks, both their fault.) I've got to take it in for service soon, so I'll have them check it.
    thanks for the tip.
    John "cdndriver"
  • dondalydondaly Posts: 2
    Thank you for the reply and assistance.
  • ssteveksstevek Posts: 45
    Thanks, it wasn't a Subaru dealer that looked at it. Fortunately there's one close by. I just don't want to look around too much or I'll want to but a new Outback.
  • ssteveksstevek Posts: 45
    Mine does the exact same thing! I have an '02 with 70k. I notice the ping when climbing a slight grade, it's especially noticeable with the windows down. I'll read the rest of the replies to your post.
  • ssteveksstevek Posts: 45
    Please let me know if you end up trying the injector cleaner. I also tried mid grade fuel, also with no difference. I won't try premium as it's probably not a good idea for the engine, and regular has been running around $3.17 the last few days in Conn. I have a few weeks off in a few weeks and may make an appointment for service at the dealership. Otherwise everything seems fine, power and fuel mileage are good. Mileage probably 24-26 mpg.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    I know that feeling. I avoid looking at most new cars for exactly that reason. But I can make the feeling go away by looking at new domestics and realizing how crappy they really are.
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    I'm not sure if you get a trouble code for occasional pinging. I think there has to be a defective component or a persistent problem for a code. There is a lot of information about OBDII on the web and you might be able to find out.

    All I can tell you is that there are the standard mandated codes, and manufacturer-specific ones that are optional. Which is why you can take your car to different hole-in-the-wall repair places and get different explanations for the same code, or even no explanation at all. Scanner software is different, not up to date, or doesn't have Subaru-specific codes. I strongly recommend using a Subaru dealer for Subaru code interpretation.
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    Hey all been a while since I was on . I also have the pinging . I have a 02 outback with 67 k miles on it . I have had it to the dealer and they reflashed the ecm. It did help with my hesitation on acceleration. It did nothing to the pinging. My dealer sts that it is normal as long as you don't hear it all the time . I really only notice it if I have the a/c on and am going up a steep hill.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 62,448
    It's not normal if it is constant. A brief ping during accleration is okay, but if you hear it going all the way up the hill, this is definitely not good for your engine.

    What are you hearing? That ping is your internal engine parts rattling around in protest. Not good if prolonged and loud.

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  • rangnerrangner Posts: 336
    Did they charge alot to do the reflash? Maybe I oughtta try it and see if it helps. Mine kinda is the same way: I don't notice it with the A/C on and if I get on the accelerator, it goes away.

    I've heard that the engine is designed to run richer the higher the rpm, so maybe that's why it doesn't ping then. Only at 1500 to 2000. Or maybe since the engine get louder when I rev it, I can't distinguish a ping. :confuse:

    I don't know, it didn't do it the last time I drove so I'm thinking it must be computer/sensor related. I've been contemplating taking it in, but if they weren't too concerned maybe I shouldn't be either. Eric
  • icbutlericbutler Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Subaru Outback wagon, 62,100 miles. Over the last few weeks, it has started running hot and it has now become a consistent problem, with the needle moving the hot zone and staying there after driving for about 35-40 minutes. I have taken into a shop several times already. Initially, I thought it was just low on coolant, but that was not the problem. Then the gaskets and hoses were changed, but that did not fix it. Finally, two days ago I had them put in a new radiator - but it's still happening - it will run fine for a while, with the needle staying at the halfway point; then it will move up, approach the red area, cool off, move up again, etc., finally getting into the red area and staying there.

    What is causing this? Is it the fan (or fans- are there more than one)? My mechanic hasn't found a problem with it/them, but is there anything else it COULD be? Could it be the water pump? (My mechanic hasn't touched that yet, saying the way it's positioned makes it difficult to get to without taking major portions of the engine apart.)

    I've been using my regular mechanic, not a Subaru service dealer, but plan on taking it in to a Subaru service station next. But any ideas on what I need to do to fix this once and for all?

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,388
    "Then the gaskets and hoses were changed"

    What gaskets were changed? If you did the coolant additive thing that Subaru sent out a year or two ago, then I believe your headgaskets are covered to 100,000 miles. Sounds like a HG issue.

  • ssteveksstevek Posts: 45
    I have the same thing with my '02 with 70k. First I wasn't even sure it was pinging since it was really only noticeable with the windows down. It must be pinging though, because like others it's really only when there's a slight load on the engine as when going up a slight grade. I've got no other symptoms. I may take into the dealer next week, or at least see if what they say. When I brought it in awhile ago for a small head gasket leak asked that they check pinging. They said they couldn't reproduce it and try a different brand of gas. I'd like to believe it's normal if intermittent but it sounds like that could cause some damage over time.
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I would try running a tank of premium unleaded to see if the pinging stops. Normally, I would never suggest putting higher octane in the tank than what is recommended by the manufacturer as it is generally a waste of money, but I tried it on my Nissan pickup and it stopped the pinging almost immediately.

    I had been getting a slight pinging when I accelerated moderately and had read online that dirty valves (and associated areas of the combustion chamber) could be the culprit. Several treatments of "fuel injector cleaner" did nothing for the pinging, so on a whim I tried a tank of premium...the ping stopped that day (within about 20 miles of driving). The $2-$3 more it costs me at each fillup for premium is still much cheaper than a trip to the mechanic and seems to have completely eliminated the noise that I was getting.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The heads may be warped if the engine overheated badly, so the new gaskets may not be making a good seal. The mechanic may have to machine the heads down so they're true and perfectly flat again.

  • stevenm1stevenm1 Posts: 25
    You didn't mention anything about the thermostat. If it doesn't open when the proper temperature is reached, your engine will run hotter than it should. Getting to the water pump doesn't require major engine disassembly; you do need to remove the timing belts, lower radiator hose and thermostat.
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