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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    Ah too bad. I guess you're right then. Lemme look a second at my database and see if there are any further hints for right back.....

    Nah, didn't find anything....very annoying.

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Yeah, I have never found a way to open the lift gate from the inside. Rarely is it needed, but it would be a helpful tool to have available. Somewhat akin to an internal trunk release in a car. I mean, the vast majority of them would never be used, yet there they are, just in case someone ever gets locked in the trunk. Hell, they are even glow in the dark these days!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    I guess if you can't find your way out of the back seat of a Subaru wagon, you might have problems that cannot be addressed by an escape lever on the tailgate? :P

    BUT STILL, all kidding aside, all tailgates should have a little knob or at least an access hole so that you can manually release the lock.

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Hahah, yeah, I knew you were going to come back at me with that. :(

    However, it can be a very awkward maneuver to perform. I had to do it several times with my '96 Outback, as the gas struts were shot on the gate and I held it open with a prop pole. More than once, I locked myself in while adjusting a load in there (with rear seats folded down) by bumping the pole from the inside. A few times, I managed to not lock myself in by having a strategically placed body part to keep the gate from closing. Personally, I preferred being locked in over that. ;)
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    my 98 used to do that a lot, spray some WD40 into the latch on the outside, it usually worked with my car. good luck.
  • rgowenrgowen Posts: 3
    Does anyone have any secrets about how to cut down the wind noise while driving at highway speeds? My car sounds like the windows are cracked all the time (they are not). I tried the "lower and raise the window" trick with no benefit. I read somewhere that the noise is actually from the side view mirrors. Thoughts?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The angles of the glass can be adjusted, I think bitman documented how in the Legacy/Outback threads a while ago.
  • gjksngjksn Posts: 35
    This must be what my dealership had to do with my first Legacy wagon. I noticed the wind noise, but when I went a car wash and got drenched, I thought, "This is absurd" and went and had them re-adjust how the window lined up when it went up & down. After that, no problems, although Subies are a little noisy. At least the engine growl under full throttle sounds cool.
  • gjksngjksn Posts: 35
    I thought I had read somewhere (pre-senility keeps me from remembering where) that the next generation Legacy/Outback would be larger. However, now that I've seen some photos and perused other information, it doesn't seem accurate. The car doesn't look a whole bunch different in size or overall design. I also didn't think current generation didn't look remarkably different from the previous generation which includes my 2003 Legacy wagon. It's evolving, yes, but is it not changing much in size?
  • gjksngjksn Posts: 35
    Oops. I meant: went through a car wash.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    4in wheelbase and width increase. does that mean the new Legacy jumps tax brackets in Japan?? (the reason the Legacy has always been smaller than US market Accords but same size as Japanese market ones- or the Acura TSX which is a everywhere but N America Accord)
  • getimbgetimb Posts: 2
    Thanks for your advise on this. The way the car was acting poorly only during the warm up phase I also thought it had a Gas / Fuel ratio problem but all the code readout would say was that the # 4 cylinder was misfiring. I bought a used MAS sensor , cleaned it up and the car is running fine during the warm up phase. So I am crossing my fingers and hoping that was the source of the problem.
    Thanks again,
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Fantastic! I hope that it was the source. I am not sure why the computer does not tend to record MAS issues. I think it must have too high of a tolerance setting and therefore does not trip a code. Oddly, I gave the MAS out of my '96 Outback (the one I had replaced) to someone last spring because the MAS on his '97 Impreza had quit entirely, and it works for him. I warned him about it potentially causing other problems with the car and suggested that the clean it thoroughly. He initially insisted on paying for it, but after assuring him that he was doing me the favor (clearing out a small bit of my shed!), he took it off my hands.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    I think that I posted this in the past, and I have reviewed other posts about this topic as well. I first had a gas smell 2 years ago, had my local dealer check everything out and found nothing wrong. Now, that gas smell is back again.

    Here are the current specs:
    2001 Outback Limited (4EAT), 125,000 miles
    Have replaced (within the last 2 years): Water pump, timing belt, fuel pump, head gaskets and ALL work has been done by Subaru.

    The smell happens in winter (only) and my only inkling would be something to do with the sand/salt on our NH roads. We have received a LOT of snow this year and enough cold weather too.

    I am currently unemployed so not really willing to take it to Subaru again to have them tell me (and charge me for) nothing. ;)
  • Although I am not the most qualified person to ask, could it be that the computer is making the car run a little rich due to the cold weather and you are smelling the gas when it is still warming up; i.e., the computer has the "choke" on? I also have a 2001 Outback and when I first start it up when it is cold I sometimes notice a gas smell. I've only noticed this (or perhaps most often) when it is cold (-1 currently in balmy SD).
  • I have a 1999 Legacy Outback, 2.5, auto. I need an evaporative cannister - wondering what other years interchange with this. Dealer wants $130 for it which seems high so I'm looking for a used one.
  • I have a 2002 Legacy wagon, whose driver's side wiper spins freely (that is, it does not go back and forth, and seems not to be connected at all to the post; it is very loose and there is no resistance), although the passenger side works fine.

    Anyone had this issue and know how to address it? Where can I access the assembly to diagnose it? I'm guessing there is some splined fit between the wiper arm and the motor assembly, and that my arm has either (a) become loose from the fitting (i.e., popped up), or (b) the "gears" that fit the 2 together are stripped.

    What's the procedure for disassembling all of this so I can see what's up?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    How hard is it to replace a bulb in gauges? The bulb behind the gas gauge went out a few weeks ago and is a bit of an issue. Beside not seeing thte fuel level the speedometer is also a bit dimmer with the needle not being lit up at the tip.

    2001 OB wagon.

  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I'm glad someone else is having this problem. My neighbor is having this exact issue. she asked me for help. Like you, the passenger wiper works fine. The driver's side jsut sits there. If you lift the driver side wiper when the switch is activated, the wiper will move but after 2-3 full swipes, starts to lag and ultimately stops working. I know you remove the plastic/rubber cover that protects the nut. It appears you can remove the wiper arm by unscrewing the nut. But I would also like to know if replacing the wiper arm is how to fix this repair or is there something else that must be done.

    Thanks for any help.
  • It's an easy fix, took me about 1 minute total.

    As I suspected, the problem is that the wiper assembly/arm has come loose (worked its way up) from the base. To fix it: pop the plastic cover off, loosen the nut, pull the arm off and clean around the base (in my case leaves and things were there), refit the arm, tighten the nut, and pop the cover back on. My grooves on the arm were a bit worn but not enough to make the assembly slip when the nut was tight.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I'll give that a try. Thanks!!!!
  • WD-40 did the trick. Thanks.
  • tomrtomr Posts: 20
    My friend and I bought a total of 3, 2004 Outbacks and all three had coolant leaks from both headgaskets. His two happened at 60k and 70k mine happened at 107k.
    Subaru paid for half of his repair but the first rep I called gave me a real hard time and then offered me $500 dollars in goodwill. I took my car to Colonial Subaru in Danbury Ct and Art the service manager got Subaru to cover the entire headgasket
    repair. I ended paying for the waterpump, timing belt, timing tension adjuster, V - Belt and the very late 90k service. The total price was $980 for everything. I took my car to Colonial because of advice I received from this forum (60k service) and it really paid off. If you are in the Hudson Valley NY area forget about Smith Cairns in Brewster and stay clear of Curry in Yorktown as well. Colonial Danubury is the most professional of all that I have been to. I would like to thank SOA for going above and beyond and I also want to again thank Art Azzarito of Colonial Subaru Danbury.
  • rlm23rlm23 Posts: 2
    I have a 1999 outback legacy with 89,000 miles. I have owned the car for six year and bought it from a honda dealer with just 41,00 miles. The cars original owner is a very good friend of mine and I know it was well maintained. I have kept up with regular scheduled oil changes and had the local dealership VanBortel perform the 60,000 mile service check a few years back.
    I took it in to a local trusted mechanic to have the clutch replaced last week. After completing the job the car began to overheat on the test drive. He thought that air may have gotten into the system and tried everything he new to fix the problem but nothing worked. I had the car towed to Van Bortel yesterday. They tested the engine and found no leaks from the engine or tail pipe. They said that the thermostat was not holding and wanted to try replacing the thermostat and flushing the radiator which would cost $322. They called back to inform me that the radiator was clogged but the thermostat was changed and the car is still overheating. The engine will need to be taken apart and it is either at best case a head gasket problem which will be $1,500 or a major engine problem in which case the engine may need to be replaced for the tune of $4,000-$4,500.

    Any advice??
  • rlm23rlm23 Posts: 2
    Very trusted. I helped him get his new building financed when his prior bank was giving him the run around a few years ago. It is a small family business and he is a stand up guy. No doubts at all.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    Well look if you have a Subaru with the 2.5L engine from the 1990s, and if the mileage is approaching 100,000, you are probably going to have to do the head gaskets, if not now, soon enough. It's a common problem and most of us Subaru 2.5L owners have had to deal with it. I did the gaskets and new radiator, thermostat, belts hoses at 130K and the car's been really sweet since then.

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  • has anyone any information on removing a fuel tank on a 91 legacy wagon? I have had nothing but trouble and any hints would be helpful. Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,613
    1.Fold down rear seat back and turn up carpet.

    2. Remove access hole cover.
    3. Disconnect fuel pump electrical connector.
    4. Start engine.
    5. Crank engine an additional 5 seconds after it stalls.
    6. Turn ignition OFF.
    7. Drain fuel from tank into a suitable container.

    8. Remove clamp and disconnect fuel filler hose from fuel filler pipe.

    9.Remove clamp and disconnect air vent hose from fuel filler pipe.

    10. Loosen clips and disconnect air breather hoses from pipe.

    11. Loosen clamps and disconnect fuel delivery, return and evaporation hoses.

    12. While supporting tank, remove band retaining bolts and remove tank
    13. Reverse procedure to install.

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  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'd say a bad coil-pack, it's about $80+/- andis the coil where the 4 spark plug wires plug into.

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
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