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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • cdk15cdk15 Posts: 9
    go to a hard ware store and buy two pvc white 1' caps, cut a slot to fit and drive a hole for the screw mount wala
  • cdk15cdk15 Posts: 9
    go to a good muffer shop and get a after market welded in for a few hundred bucks.
  • cdk15cdk15 Posts: 9
    BullXXXXXXX , you can get a after market that works fine. the mechanic or muffler shop wants there cut.
  • subie822subie822 Posts: 6
    Hey Guys/gals,
    I need your help,im looking to buy a used 2001 outback limited (2.5 engine) with 41,000 miles on it this week.I've done some researched on the vehicle and found out alot of people have problems with the Head Gasket going out? Anyone had any problems with this on their 2001 Outback? Please share i need to know quickly..i put deposit for the vehicle...Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Well you might have trouble with headgaskets or you might never. A "lot" of people? Relative to all the Subarus sold with a 2.5 motor? Probably a very tiny percentage.

    If you do have trouble, it will show up around 85K--130K, somewhere in there.

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  • subie822subie822 Posts: 6
    i just google 2001 Subaru outback reliability search engine and read the reviews in edmunds and MSN reviews there seems to be alot of people who has complaints of head you think there is a way to test it? i called my mechanic he told me pressure test is not accurate....just trying to be safe thats all....thanks Mr Shiftright
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Pressure test is as good as anything, aside from a crystal ball to predict the future :P

    Is your mechanic discouraging you?

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  • subie822subie822 Posts: 6
    not really....he told me not every Outback he works on has the same problems but he said its out there...i really do like the outbacks and would be good for the family..its just that we have two young kids and dont want to take the risk....Thanks
  • ru1998ru1998 Posts: 1
    Hello, I own a 1998 Subaru Outback wagon. It just died on me at 85K miles. We tried a new themorstat, then a new water pump and then my mechanic found an internet blog. Seems that 1997-1999 Subarus had issues with the head gaskets. Not something that Subaru adknowledges but still an issue. They redesigned them from 2000 on. So if you have a newer than 2000 model you may be okay! As for me, I've sworn off of Subaru for life. Just bought a Mazada!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Look out for the CD4E transmissions if you got a 626. You'll need a new one every 60k miles.

    Every manufacturer has its problem cars...

    I don't think Subaru had the gasket problem behind them until more like 2002-2003 or so, but a compression test will tell you if the head gasket is sealing well for now. If you ever change them you'll get the revised gasket which should not fail a 2nd time, FWIW.
  • subie822subie822 Posts: 6
    Thanks RU1998 and ATEIXEIRA,

    Yeah im gonna have my mechanic do the test when i go see him...thanks guys for your help
  • blackbeanblackbean Posts: 100
    I had the same problem on my '02 Bean. I tried various gasket amendments (the tubing sounds good!). Anywy, the dealer had replaced an internal plastic piece of the gusset with a metal one under warranty in 2004. This worked for about 6 months then wind noise came back. I read elsewhere that if you have this metal piece inside the gusset yu can do the following:
    Open door, lower window all the way, grab top of gusset and bend toward you (about 1/4 inch). I did this over a year ago, and I have had no wind noise since. I assume that this makes a tighter seal and can only be done if the innards are all metal.
  • 1hunter1hunter Posts: 1
    I have a 98 outback I am replacing the back wheel bearing along with the speed sensor. Does any know where the electrical connection is for the speed sensor ?
  • eskeresker Posts: 5
    I have a 98 with 220K and the speedometer/odometer is working intermittently. Is it most likely the sensor, or is there another source?
  • mwilson5mwilson5 Posts: 3
    I just bought a 98 outback with 74k on it. It just had the head gaskets done. It runs good but has a noise that might be piston slap? or valve train? It is a lot quieter when at operating temp. Also now it has thrown a code P0304 engine miss on #4 cyl.

    A friend of the sellers (a subaru mechanic) say it is most likely a cam angle sensor? A knock sensor also came up in conversations.

    The engine has a new coil,wires and plugs and injectors have been swapped side to side.

    The car was overheated and not sure how long or how many times it was operated like this.

    Are the 2.5 engine noise normally?
  • Had wheel bearing replaced 1 side. Still noisy, so mechanic tightened 'loose' ABS bolt. Still noisy especially as we drove more (heating up?). Now he thinks it's heat shield. Is this guy on the right track or is it still a bearing problem -- or something else entirely?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    You will often get some light valve tap on a 2.5 engine when it's cold but this should go away in 2-3 minutes of warm up driving, yes.

    For a P0304, has anyone check for vacuum leaks or disconnected vacuum hoses?

    Has anyone done a compression test on the faulty cylinder?

    Are you saying the car was overheated AFTER new head gaskets were installed? If so, you had better take a compression test or coolant pressure test for a bad head gasket.

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  • mwilson5mwilson5 Posts: 3
    The engine has not overheated after the head gaskets were done. It has had this noise from when they put it together and got frustrated and sold it. The valves have been readjusted.

    I looked over the top of the engine and have not seen any hoses off but will look better and take a compression test on all the cyl. to get a good comparision.

    Have you heard of a bad cam angle sensor giving a p0304 code ????

    I will get back with info on comp. test and vacume leak???

    Thanks Mark
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    The P0304 code doesn't specify that, no, and a cam sensor wouldn't affect just one cylinder anyway, and would have nothing to do with noise either. But I've seen some strange occurrences in my day so I won't say NO.

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  • I am considering two different subaru's. The first is a '98 outback limited - a local, great subaru mechanic just put in a new reconditioned engine. It also has all new belts, fluids and just had a major service. The car has 150,000 miles

    The other is an '00 impezza sport outback and is $1000 more, has 76,490 miles on it and has had no major repairs.

    Any thoughts on which may be more reliable?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    It's hard to say---they are both used cars.

    I can say though that the Outback is a lot more useful (bigger), so if carrying capacity is a consideration, your choice is clear.

    If the Outback has an automatic trans with 150K on it, that's not so good.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What model year was the donor car for that engine?

    Both are pre-2002, when Subaru finally sorted out the gaskets.

    I think I'd search for a higher mileage 2002 Outback Sport, or a 2003+ Legacy/Outback.

    2003 and later Imprezas have the sturdier wheel bearings as well.
  • Thanks for your reply. I'm not sure what year the donor engine is, but it has approx. 40k on it.

    I am now also worried about the pre 2002 automatic transmissions.

    I guess looking for a more recent Subaru is the best option - or go with Toyota.

    Thanks again.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The auto trannies are usually pretty good, not a big concern really.

    Look out for Toyota 6 speed autos and the 3.0l V6 sludge issue, otherwise Yotas are good.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    except for my 06 Siennas tranny which went at 40K as opposed to half a million miles on various subies with no tranny failures or problems except one fluid leak
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Then there's always my 06 3.0 5 speed tranny that went out at 30K.
  • mwilson5mwilson5 Posts: 3
    Sorry it has taken a few days to get back to this.Life and kids.....I have preformed a compression test and got 190 lbs on all 4 cyl. all 4 plugs look great. I preformed a vacume test and the results are as follows.
    At idle 20 hg and steady
    At 2000rpm 22 hg and steady
    Snap test it goes from 20 to 0 to 25 and back to 20hg in a smooth manner.
    I have put a few hundred miles on it over the past week. and nothing has changed. If I clear the codes and keep it under 3000 rpms it will not trigger the check engine light. With in a min. of going over 3000 rpms it will turn on the check light and show a code p0304. Clear it and go keep it under 3000 rpm no light but go over 3000rpms and the light comes on.... I am trying to get a bore a scope for the fun of it. Not expecting to find anything in the cyl. with a comp of 190lbs...Still have the rattle noise when cold do Subarus sound like a bug motor?????when cold.

    My friend suggest the easy way out. use the volume control to fix rattle and a small piece of electrical tape to fix the light......
  • Can anyone describe how to replace a rear stabilizer link on a 2000 outback? I'm not much of a mechanic but would like to do this myself if possible.

  • I do not understand how someone could mistake a heat shield for a wheel bearing or an ABS bolt. I do not claim to be an expert, but I have a 2001 Outback and the heat shield starting making noise last year. You can stick your head under the car and see the heat shield and check to see if it is loose. Did your mechanic take it for a test drive as part of the diagnosis? Although I cannot say for certain, it sounds like you are getting charged for a lot of work when it (perhaps) shouldn't be that difficult to figure out.

    A lot of mechanics will simply remove the heat shield to stop the noise (although do not park it on a big pile of leaves or take it off road if you do so since the heat could ignite dry foilage), but I imagine there are a lot of other options to make the noise stop (I am going to look into misc. things this year once it warms up). Is it worse when you put in in gear (my heat shield makes virtually no noise until I put it in gear).

    Also, my 2.5 has noticeable lifter noise. I've been told that this is somewhat normal for this engine (worse when cold) but that should be pretty easy to diagnose also. It doesn't bother me since it is not so loud as to be annoying. Once again, if this was the problem, that is also relatively easy to diagnose.

    I would look at the heat shield myself and see if it was loose anywhere (look for metal sheet covering parts of the exhaust underneath the car). If not, it could be something else. Good luck.
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