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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What did you expect? This is a problems thread. That's all you'll read here.

    Check out the driving experience threads if you want balanced commentary. Even then, people seek out forums like these to complain.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    This is like the ER don't see all the healthy ones ;)

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • madhtrmadhtr Posts: 5
    about 210K, I have started experiencing the same issue. I'm about to replace the starter, since the battery is new and charged, and we had the starter off when we did a clutch job recently. I'm just a bit befuddled, because in all other cars I've seen, bad solenoids click and buzz cause they aren't extending far enough. My problem is more like the solenoid engages the ring gear, but just does not have enough juice to turn the engine and just sticks. could this still be a bad starter? Anyone know how I can test it?

  • stevenm1stevenm1 Posts: 25
    Starters draw a lot of current, so you should check all your battery and starter cable, and grounding connections before you pull the starter off. The problem could still be in the solenoid. It may be extending out far enough to engage the ring gear, but the internal contacts inside the solenoid may not be allowing enough current through to turn over the starter.
  • kavav00kavav00 Posts: 1
    I just bought an 07 Legacy and the climate control does not turn on early in the morning. It works in the afternoon when it is warmer out. Has anyone experienced this problem? The dealer thought they fixed it but apparently not.
  • Hi I have a stain from a ensure drink on the seat of my car and I was wondering what sort of remover I should use. The seat is not leather or vinal its a fabric of some sort.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would use a wet vacuum to remove as much as possible, then an enzymatic cleaner.
  • chakichaki Posts: 3
    Had my first major oil change at 6,750 miles. 1,250 miles later, the engine oil level is back at the low limit. Engine still warm. My dealer says that it is normal for a new engine to consume oil while being broken in.

    Is this normal? Unfortunately, I did not check the oil level right after the oil change.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Most manufactures will specify that if it uses less than 1Q per 1000 miles it's considered "normal".

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just make sure there's no oil in the coolant. Also inspect the bottom of the block for any oil stains.

    If you don't see anything strange, it's normal.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Are you sure that the level has dropped, and was not always low? I change my own oil on my 06 3.0 and the oil dipstick is total crap. If I put in 6 quarts of oil (5.8 recommended), it barely registers on the dipstick. At best it is at the low mark. You may not be burning any oil at all.
  • Here's a follow-up to my water leak problem on the driver's side floorwell of our 1999 Subaru Legacy GL with sunroof...

    The problem was that the driver's side floorwell was getting soaked with water whenever it rained. The ceiling was always dry.

    The dealer found that the sunroof drainage tube (on the driver's side) had become disconnected. Rainwater was bypassing the drainage tube and flowing into the floorwell. Once exposed, it was very easy to simply reconnect the drainage tube, but it was a lot of labor to get to it. For one thing, they had to remove the dashboard. Total cost of the repair was $305. Ouch!

    They said that over time, the tube can work its way loose. Unfortunately, there are no maintenance bulletins (to my knowledge) that warn about this -- probably because it happens mainly in older cars that are out of warranty.

    When I first called the dealer about this several months ago, they said there were no maintenance notes or bulletins that addressed this problem. I'm going to report this to them, with the hopes that they record it as a maintenance issue, and so that maybe they can look into redesigning it.

    I realize I'm being ridiculously optimistic that they'll care, but I have nothing to lose.

    -- Peter
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    If nothing else, it seems like clamps on the connection points should prevent that from happening. IIRC, the photos posted a couple years ago by a Forester owner showed that these tubes just fit over the connectors and were held on by friction alone...
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • 1996 Subaru Outback -- every time I change the battery or jump the battery, my hazards start flashing. I believe there is an easy fix for this but I can't remember what it is.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    The old Honda Accord had a similar issue with the drain rails from the sunroof and the back window leaking into the trunk, so the Subie isn't alone in this.
  • We have a 1999 Legacy Outback which overheats every couple of weeks. The mechanic can't recreate the problem and is hesistant to fix anything. Here is what happens:

    1. We are usually driving on the highways, over 60 MPH for an extended period of time.
    2. When we start to slow down for an exit or traffic the temperature gauge slowly increases until eventually reaching the top.
    3. The heat coming into the car does not work, only cold air comes in, even though the engine temperature guage says "Hot" and we had been driving for hours.
    4. After sitting and waiting for the engine to cool, usually waiting over 15 minutes, the car returns to working correctly: we have heat and the engine temps are normal.
    5. There is plenty of coolant.

    Any help or advice is appreciated. Even a pointer of where we should start when replacing parts. Thank you!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Seems like it could be the water pump is flaky. If it were a bubble, then you'd get it all the time, if it were the T-stat you'd still have heat, if it were the fan's you'd also still have heat.

    Someone on here had a bad waterpump recently on a 96 legacy/outback with similar symptoms.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    This is most likely the alarm/remote entry. There should be a button, mounted under the dash just forward of the hood release, that can be pressed to reset it. If you have a key fob for it, cycling the locks a few times should reset as well.
    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: 10,925
    Yeah, I am just speculating, but I know that many makes have problems with sunroof leaks - usually as a result of drainage tubes either being blocked or coming loose. :sick:
    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: 10,925
    Agreed. The lack of heat makes me think it could be the water pump, but the symptoms are also similar to a head gasket problem. You should pop the overflow cap and see if there are any bubbles coming up through the excess coolant in the reservoir, or if there are any black flakes in there. If so, a head gasket is definitely to blame. If the engine compression is pumping gas into the coolant, you could get breaks in flow when the RPM of the engine drops (like when coming off the highway!).

    Check for a head gasket problem first, then if no symptoms are found, go for the water pump.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Thanks for your help. I now can give the mechanic a place to start looking.
  • dwoodrowdwoodrow Posts: 3
    Have a brand new 07 outback and i have a question about the AC before I take it in. It seems that the compressor is turning on/off in a 15-10-15-10 second cycle. this happens both when parked and when on the highway. I can hold my hand up to the vent and feel cold air turn to warm air to cold air, etc. I am assuming that this is not correct but wanted some advice before the service guys tell me it is standard. thanks guys and gals
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Behavior sounds off, definitely take it in. If nothing else you want it documented this early on, so later on any fix is covered.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Do the timing belt now if you haven't already, given the age. Then change the water pump while the mechanic is in there. You'll save on labor overall.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yup probably needs a charge or has a leak, could have not been charged from the factory.

  • dwoodrowdwoodrow Posts: 3
    took it to the dealer this afternoon. service advisor and tech had a puzzled look on their faces when i explained the issue. 1 hour later they tell me it is operating correctly and the compressor shuts off so the coil does not get ice on it. temp in atlanta now is about 75 degrees so i do understand we are in a transition period right now, but not really buying their explanation. apparantly i am the first person who has ever complained about this issue :confuse: when even my wife notices i know something is not working correctly. when it it cold it is REALLY cold, but then warms up again. the compressor is definately cutting on/off, i can hear the relay clicking...

    time for more research and a different dealer for questions.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Does your car have the automatic climate control? That is the only system where I have heard of people complaining about this same thing. If it is not the ACC, then I will have to engage mine (for the first time) just to note how it behaves.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • steveb10steveb10 Posts: 13
    I experience similar AC performance from my 2006 Outback 2.5i. It has the base climate control system- nothing automatic. When I first bought the car I noticed what I thought (and still think) was a mediocre AC system. My dealer recharged the system and said it's "operating as designed". There was no difference in the operation of the AC after I got it back. I will say though that on a really hot day, the car will eventually cool down and you can be comfortable on a long trip. It is not however, capable of cooling off a hot cabin in a short period of time.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    I will make a point to use mine this evening. It is only 60 here, but I should still be able to determine if it is chilling down the cabin quickly or not.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • bohappabohappa Posts: 2
    My friend bought a 2006 Outback 7 months ago but recently it has stalled on him while on the highway in rush hour traffic. Quite scary. Dealership and Subaru have not been helpful. I was wondering if anyone else has had such major problems.
    (Dis)-Service History:
    The first time, they said it was an ECM and replaced it. This was after they said they couldn't find the problem and my friend got in the car and stalled 30 feet from their driveway. Seriously!
    The second time, after driving it hundreds of miles, they said it was a bent tong in the fuse box. Seriously! :mad:
    My friend has driven the car for a few weeks so far and all is good but he doesn't have much confidence. A bent tong? How did it get bent? This sound familiar to anyone? :confuse:
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