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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • ncc4ncc4 Posts: 16
    I have a 2007 Outback and have found/done the following which might help some of you.
    The wiper blade refills for a 2004 Toyota Corolla are an exact fit for my Outback, and cheaper.
    My car is Moss Green with the Tan interior. Living in Canada, with lots of snow and slush, I tried the Subaru rubber mats to try to keep the carpeting cleaner, but found when you parked on a slope, all the melted slush from my boots would drain over the back of the rubber mats and get the carpet dirty anyway so I did a couple of things.
    One, I bought a set of black carpeted Outback mats. With the black dash and upper door mouldings they don't look out of place, and are much better at hiding the mess.
    Two, I kept catching my foot on the floor mat retaining hook and rather than waiting till I broke it I cut off the "hook" with a hacksaw blade leaving enough of a stub to make sure the mat stays in place.
    Thirdly, I bought some vinyl floor runnner ( in the carpet section ) from Canadian Tire and cut a piece approximately 9"x41/2" and used some silicon to hold it in place over the drivers footrest. The little piece of vinyl the factory used didn't do much, and the tan carpeting soon got filthy. This black runner has some light ridges in it that lets water run down, and I left it long enough so that it goes out onto the floor mat.

    I don't like rattles so I bought a square of white adhesive back felt from a local craft shop and lined the glove box. I couldn't get 100% coverage because of all the curves/angles, but it certainly helped. Being white it also helps my middle aged, bi-focaled eye sight find what I'm looking for!

    I try to do as much of my own servicing as I can, and have been doing so for 35 plus years. I use a set of ramps for oil changes but found that, because of the angle, when you remove the oil filter you get oil down onto the exhaust. To stop this mess I made a shield out of 3" heat duct that I bought at Home Depot. I cut it to approximately 10", and notched the top corners about 11/2" each way to fit around the oil filter housing. The duct isn't snapped together when you buy it, and this allows it to stay in place just through tension.

    I have photo's of these modifications but am not sure if they can be posted. I don't mind being e-mailed but I'm not sure if that's allowed?

    Perhaps the host can help??

  • The link covers up to 2006. It should work for 07 model.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a 2007 Outback and have found/done the following which might help some of you.
    The wiper blade refills for a 2004 Toyota Corolla are an exact fit for my Outback, and cheaper.

    You can also use the '08 wipers which don't have the little spoiler on it and they should be the same price as any wipers of that length.

  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    It is customary when someone buys a car that the vehicle comes with the Owner’s Manual (free). Equally, many brands (e.g. Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Kia, etc) also publish something called “Shop Manual” or “Repair Manual” that can be ordered from the brand Part’s Department. Does Subaru also publish these types of manuals for its different brands? I found these publications very useful indeed. There are cases like for example Hyundai that allow Hyundai owners vehicles to access its part’s database on Line. Has someone in this forum bought some of these manuals?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'm not sure you can buy the paper shop manuals, however I know you can order and download the shop manuals directly from SOA for the subarus for 1997 and newer OBDII equipped cars.

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    I purchased a few sections of the "Service Manual" for the 2000 Legacy and Outback. Back then, it was an eight(?) volume set with a total price about $200 (or more).

    I only bought 4 of the 8 volumes.
    See if you can find it online at They also accept Subaru bucks you earn from a Subaru credit card. The bucks can be used for parts, service, or towards a new car.

  • On another Subaru topic it was mentioned that some Subaru turbo engines suffer from boost "stutter" that cannot be repaired or adjusted away.

    Has anyone seen this in the '08 Outback? I am considering an Outback XT Limited, and would not appreciate like turbo stutter, etc. in a nearly $34 K automobile.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Honestly, I've never heard anyone complain about that. :confuse:

    The only stutter complaints I've heard were from the clutches on late 90s models.

    The WRXs and Legacy GTs and Forester XTs I've driven were all very smooth, in fact I'd argue the turbos are a bit smoother than the normally aspirated engines.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    There is a very small drop in the hp/torque curve on the turbo models, but it is in no way noticeable except on paper at the dyno shop. I don't have an issue on my unmodified 05 LGT, and none of my customer's unmodified cars either.

  • Alland, Thanks for the info. I checked out the site but it leaves a bit to be desired. The instructions that come with the filter don't help much either. They just aren't clear enough to give me the confidence to remove parts without breaking them.
  • bj69sbj69s Posts: 3
    I have a 97 wagon that is pulling from side to side and the trans don't want to shift into drive it is a automatic its like it don't want to shift up .
  • Sounds like two or three *dfifferent* problems..
  • I REALLY need someones help. I have a outback that has a lot of problems that noone seems to know how to fix or whatnot......anyways right now my car will not start. when it tries the lights flash on and off.....I am assuming that its the security system. When i bought this car from another person it did not have a manual in it nor did it comes with the black keyless entry box. Does anyone know how i can disable or reset the security so my car will start?
    thanks so much.....
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    If the car has a factory alarm system, there should be a button located on the left side of the car, up under the dash. Pressing it should reset the system. If the car's battery was changed or the battery died, the alarm system will need to be reset. I thought the need for reset was accompanied by honking, flashing lights, etc., but have not had one with an alarm, so I cannot say for sure.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • .....well i went out and looked to see if i can find some sort of button and i cant seem to see it.........although i dont know what im looking for either .....under the hood it says it has a security system so im guessing that it also has an alarm as when the battery is hooked up the lights flash on an off and the people i have mentioned this to says when the alarm system has been activated it will shut down the engine so it wont i have to figure out where to reset that system......I will have another look under the dash as it could be somplace else......there has to be somwhere to reset it right? Gosh if i can get this started im getting me an manual for sure so i can figure out this dang car........thanks a lot for the reply.....
  • On my `98 the on/off switch for the security system is to the left of where the clutch pedal is, against the wall. It was too close to where my feet are, that my dealer had to move the switch closer to the door jam, because I kept hitting it with my foot. It looks like a very small cargo switch that you could get at any Radio Shack. If not you could go to any dealer, or sellers of "Code Alarm", to get replacement fobs and instructions.
    -W. ;)
  • Hm thank you...I will have to look although mine is an automatic so its probably somewhere else.........well its good to know that there is a switch somewhere atleast ;) Well i will keep looking........this car of mine is the Limited also if that helps anyone.....thanks!
  • Hi,

    I own an '06 Legacy SE with the 2.5 engine. Lately, the engine has been making a lot of noise for the first couple of minutes/miles when driven after sitting idle for a long time (like overnite). When I say a lot of noise, I mean a LOT of noise. So much so that people turn to stare at it as it passes down the street. I don't know if the colder weather may have something to do with this but I don't remember having this problem last winter.

    Does anyone know if this is normal or is ist something I should be concerned about?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Noisy startups are never good, but what sort of noise is it? Clacking? Screeching? Yodeling? Disco? :P
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Thank goodness its NOT disco! But it is nearly as bad. It's a very loud rumbling/chug-chugging type noise. Like you hear from a loud truck engine. The frequency of the "chug-chugging" increases as I give it gas. I don't know that much about engines but I'm guessing it may be noisy valves. The noise goes away when the engine warms up and my Subie purrs along just beautifully.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would start with an ECU reset. Disconnect the negative battery terminal, wait 20 minutes, reconnect. Have the remote handy, lock/unlock a few times when you reconnect the battery.

    Also note the alarm hints mentioned above.

    I'm a bit surprised it's not also throwing a check-engine light. No light?
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    I would have guessed a tick/clank sound like a old diesel engine. That comes with piston slap that many subies have. Subaru actually replaced 2 pistons in my 2001OB engine because of slap at 45K. 20K miles later it was back. Other than the noise it hasn't been an issue. Now at 115K and still not burning oil and getting 28mpg durng the summer. After 10 minutes of warm up its gone, and it only happens when temps are below 30F. Colder it is the loader and longer it is.

    Subaru has long said not an issue and won't change pistons. I think I just hit a good day when I brought it in and Subaru happened to be curious on if it really was OK. If I recall somebody else on Edmunds also had piston replaced that same week as I did.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    My guess is also piston slap. I equated my 98 OB piston slap to sounding like a sewing machine.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Yep, that might be it - especially if it is present until the car warms up versus going away in a few seconds (or at least quieting down significantly) But, also check to see if you oil level is right at the full mark, as well as verify the type of oil used (5w-30?). My Outback sounds very "raspy" when I start it up at cold, but the sound is, I think, related to the transmission or front differential and goes away when it warms up. Still strange, but the lubricant levels are right on.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • i have a 97 legacy outback 2.5L with an over heating problem when i run the car it only overheats after it has been runn in 20+min. the top radiator hose is hot but the bottom stays cold. i have changed the thermostat, radiator cap and fan relays, the fans only turn on when it is overheating. so i think it may be my temp sensor that engages the fan but my repair manuel does not show where it is it only says under the intake manifold where my top radiator hose leads. i have looked all over there and cannot find anything that looks like it. if you have any helpfull advice please let me know perhaps i have a air bubble in mycooling system. if so how do i get it out?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It is the water pump.

    If the lower rad hose is cold it means that coolant isn't flowing into the engine. I'd say the thremostat but you said you checked that already.

    If it were an air bubble it would manifest itself as a cold upper rad hose, not a lower one.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Full agreement here. Darn water pumps, anyway. Hopefully you are about due for a new timing belt as well, as that is where you must go to replace the water pump. :mad:

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • bj69sbj69s Posts: 3
    My 97 Legacy wagon is pulling side to side but I have no idea what it could be. This is my first Subaru and don't know what to look for.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    That is an odd combo there: your title indicates transmission problems, but you are describing a steering issue. ?

    Anyhow, the steering issue makes me think worn tie rod ends. Is it a fast side-to-side motion, or does the car just randomly drift back and forth in a casual fashion?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • bj69sbj69s Posts: 3
    The reason I think it is in the trans is what it feels like if the brake starts dragging on one side then it will switch to the other side. It don't feel like loose steering like tie rods It is a reel strong pull and then it will switch sides, And another problem is that the trans will not shift from second to drive, I was going to change the filter on the trans to see if that helps on the shifting.
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