Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    I had a car once that would not engage due to a sensor being tripped by low freon. Not sure if Subaru has such a sensor. Can you check voltage at the clutch connection?

  • gerichogericho Posts: 11
    Tires were underinflated by 5 and 10 psi in front. Proper pressures resolved my concern about the heavy steering, which now feels normal. This 95 checked out fine mechanically and I bought it this evening.
  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537
    Congrats on the Sube! If you have any questions on changing out fluids and the other things many people do when they get a preowned vehicle - let me know. I have done everything on a 96 and 97 which are identical to yours.

    On the A/C - the most likely scenario is the low freon switch has activated to protect your expensive compressor. Your most productive move would be to have the system recharged for around $80 as it should have this done by now anyhow. If it turns out to be something else (unlikely), at least you've gotten this service out of the way.

  • casecom2casecom2 Posts: 72
    Subaru of America on Tuesday announced a voluntary recall of Legacy and Outback wagons and sedans from model years 2000, 2001 and 2002 (plus a handful of 2003 Bajas) because of possible corrosion in the rear suspension.

    Subaru said some rear suspension components were manufactured with poor paint quality, resulting in possible corrosion from road salts. The recall is for cars only in the "salt belt" states in the Midwest, Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

    An estimated 170,000 cars are affected, manufactured from May 1, 1999, to April 30, 2002. Owners will be notified in late June and early July. The affected components will be inspected and rustproofed free of charge.

    No accidents or injuries have been reported; the problem was found in Subaru's quality assurance testing.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    As they had on the front of the legacies for 97-99. Maybe they should get a different get a different paint company!!! :)

  • K9LeaderK9Leader Posts: 112
    My 2000 OB wagon with 34K miles is in the shop today to have the brakes checked. A couple of weeks ago it started a ringing/squealing type of sound from somewhere at the rear of the car. It is a rotational sound - something is rubbing/hitting something that is turning -- but is intermittent and is during regular driving (i.e., not when the brakes are being applied). Applying the brakes will temporarily stop the sound. There is also occasional brake squeal when the brakes are applied.

    The front pads were replaced and the front rotors turned within the past few months (by the previous owner) but it appears nothing was done to the rears. My question: what is the sound that the pads make as the wear warning? Is it a ringing/squealing sound? Or is it a groaning or grinding? Or something else?

  • amsbearamsbear Posts: 147
    Thanks for all your help / suggestions. I now have an appointment with my local dealer to check it out plus a couple of other maintenance items.

    Does my subie know that I just got my first SubaruBucks $100 certificate and wants some TLC now??? I know there are numerous sensors in these vehicles but I don't think that they have documented the "Full Wallet Sensor" in my Haynes manual ;)

    98 OBW Ltd
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, glad it was just tire pressures, gericho.

    LOL paisan, I remember that recall. Wonder if our 2002 L is affected.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    I have not heard a Subi, but on past cars, the sensor sounded a bit like finger nails on a chalk board. Attached to the anti-rattle clip is a small tab of metal that will begin contacting the rotor at about 15% pad remaining. In the beginning, the contact is intermittant with the pads in the 'relaxed' condition. Turns put some side loading on the brake components, so will often make the sensors touch. Applying the brakes should make the sensor sound more evident, but I have actually heard some that were more quiet with the brakes applied than with them off. Probably has to do with how the spring clips were installed and whether the application of brakes dampens the vibration of the spring that helps to make the audible sound.

    If you had the brakes recently serviced, it is more likely that the pads and backing shims are just vibrating slightly and making the ruckus. Sometimes some backing grease will help to quell the movement that induces the sounds. But get them checked anyhow to be sure....

  • K9LeaderK9Leader Posts: 112
    Had the rear brake pads replaced with ceramics, and the rotors turned. Yes, I've seen the comments on the rotors being surface hardened and shouldn't be turned or they will wear faster, but isn't that the case with all rotors? Don't they all wear faster with each machining? It was a choice between (1) machining the old ones now and put new ones on in 8 or 10 or 12 or 15K miles or (2) put new ones on now. These are the rears so I decided to stick with the old ones. The front rotors were turned (and front pads replaced, but not with ceramics) just before I bought the car six weeks ago. Had I needed to do all four brakes, I would have been more likely to go for new rotors and ceramics all around. That is what I will do next time in 8 or 10 or 12 or 15K miles.

    There is still some occasional braking squeal, but very minor, and does appear to be coming from the fronts, which are not ceramics, so will just have to be lived with until the next brake job. The ringing/whistling sound while driving is still there but much less frequent -- before it was maybe 30% of the time, and now it is maybe 5%. Hard to figure out exactly where it is coming from -- front or back? left or right? Maybe I need to strap myself to the roof rack and get my wife to take us out for a spin!
    2000 OB Ltd. wagon
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, the rears do maybe 10% of the work.

    I can actually picture the roof rack idea! ;-)

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    One of my co-workers, John, came to me with a long face yesterday. His '99 OBW with approx 70k miles appears to have blown a head gasket. His car is still with the dealer that has historically done most of the service work. It was John's praise for his OB that helped convince me to buy, so seeing his disappointment hurt a lot. And the dealer isn't helping much at this point. Without doing much diagnostics, they are already suggesting an entire new engine to the tune of $4500.

    Looking for help and advice, John had already placed a call to a private foreign shop nearby, that by coincidence I have used as well. I once worked with the shop owners wife, and know that she drives a '00 OBW. The owner told John that he has replaced blown gaskets on several late model Subi's (assume Ej-25's). Always cylinder #4 (I am not sure - is that the rear drivers side???). He reported that there is usually little damage, but that for some reason the head bolts seem to loosen up here more than others. (Sounds to me like some unusual thermal cycling at this corner of the engine??). He even suggested head bolt retorque as a possible routine maintainance to prevent this from happening. (This does not look like a bad suggestion - remove spark plug wires and crankcase breather tube, remove valve cover and torque head bolts???).

    Anyhow, more as the story progresses. My first suggestion was to open a case with SoA and appeal for help as it seems the dealer is looking to maximize profit on this one.

  • tfoshbonetfoshbone Posts: 18
    Looking to buy my first subie, and would like a little direction on which wagon is better(less problematic). I'm in the $6g range looking at impreza or legacy outback models. Through several sites have seen wheel bearing and cylinder concerns. Any advice/opinions would be appreciated thanks T
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Gasket failure by itself isn't that damaging, it's the resulting overheating of the alloy engine block that is.

    If he stopped before things got too hot, it shouldn't be too bad, but from what the dealer is saying that's probably not the case.

    I would call 800-SUBARU3 and plead my case, 70k is just out of warranty, maybe they'll split the cost. Or get a price quote from an indy mechanic that charges less.

    Tom: pretty clever, come to the problems topic to uncover the real issues! :-)

    Any how, wheel bearing issues affected Imprezas before 2002 and Foresters before 2003, but not Legacys or Outbacks.

    Although if you're going to test drive a car that is more than 5 years old, and it has not happened already, it probably won't. Turn off the radio, open the windows, listen for any strange noises that change pitch with speed. If it's quiet, the bearings should be good.

    Next thing to check is the head gaskets and front seal. Sounds complicated? No, actually it couldn't be simpler. Peek under the car, look at the block towards the sides. There should be no oil stains where the gaskets are. Also look at the front portion of the engine block for any oil stains.

    Make sure if it's a clutch that it operates smoothly.

    Go over those 3 areas and you've hit the most common problem areas.

    BTW, don't think that Honda and Toyota don't have their own set of issues too. Honda has had 24,000 auto tranny failures across several model lines, and Toyota has 3 million engines on the road succeptible to oil sludge.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    But, IMO, Toyota and Honda are still kings of the reliability. Toyota sludge is "susceptible" in 3 million vehicles, but, has only occurred on a small %. Toyota's response was an increase in warranty for sludge to 8 years, unlimited miles. Interestingly, it appears head gasket failures are mainly happening on OBs. Not heard much about Foresters which use the same powertrain. I like the bolt torque theory, which means mine should be good now. Also like the fact that Steve's mechanic said it is always the #10 cylinder (I am assuming this is rear left side). That means my right gasket (that wasn't changed) is fine.


    P.S. I am an incurable optimist.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Toyota's response was an increase in warranty for sludge to 8 years, unlimited miles

    I know we'll never agree on this, but I think Toyota's response was to deny, lie, deceive, lose in court, and then finally realize it would cost more to continue denying the problem existed, so finally they caved in to an already lost cause.

    That was their real response.

    -juice (incurable conspiracy theorist?)

    PS Cylinder 10? They sell H10s now? I want one! :-)
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Cylinder #10 is cylinder #2 in the third engine that has been installed due to piston slap.

    OK, maybe not.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Sorry, my H4 is so responsive I thought it had 10 cylinders. ;) Long couple of days at work. Anyway, I guess we can disagree on Toyota, but I am happy with both Subaru and Toyota. Now that the OB has 40K miles, I am catching myself starting to think about my next Subaru. I like the idea of a turbo Baja, or a turbo Forester or a RS. Of course a B4 would be the winner if offered. Oh well, still a couple of years away.

  • tfoshbonetfoshbone Posts: 18
    A.J. thanks for the complement. I myself dream of the wrx sti but unfortunately am on 6 year old car budget! Comments regarding toyota. Had a pu with r26? motor. Great motor; but they changed to different one? Oh thanks for tips on what to look for on subie.
  • senturisenturi Posts: 27
    I've been reading a number of posts regarding head gaskets failures on Subaru Outbacks. Is there a period of time when this problem first surfaced? Is it confined to just the H4? I have an '02 Base OB with AT. Not sure if there were any head gasket failures reported for this model year.

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,550
    It's primarily '96 to '99 2.5L H4's (Phase I engine). There have been some reports of '00 and '01 2.5L H4 (Phase II engine) head gasket failures. They supposedly redesigned the head gasket to "fix" the problem but I don't know when the redesign took affect.

    FWIW, on this board, there's been about an 8% (per juice) rate of failure reported. YMMV.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That data was from a survey in another forum, but yeah.

    Your 2002 should be fine. I haven't come across any of those. It's mostly Phase I engines that were revved a lot.

  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    My '98 OBW Limited 5 spd has about 52,000 miles. So far no problems with the head gasket, knock on wood.

  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    is the phase 1 the DOHC and the phase 2 SOHC or do the phases refer to something totally different
  • mjansen1mjansen1 Posts: 46
    Haven't been here since our head gasket blew a few months ago. Because of this website (which SOA said they do have a lot of respect for), my cousin who works at a Chev/Sub. parts dept, and other reasons, SOA covered 75% of the cost of our head gasket even though we had 62+K on our 2000 Outback. Had them do the timing belt while they were in there for only the cost of the belt. I was ready to throw in the towel with SOA but they came through with a reasonable compromise
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Chalk another one up for Patti and her crew (CDS) :D

  • typejtypej Posts: 4
    Hello, I own 00' Legacy GT wagon. I have problem with the noise that seems to come from under the car when I am driving. It's sort of like a humming sound that I am guessing is coming from the transmission. It gets really loud enough for me to unable to carry out the conversation. Is every legacy as loud as this? Or does it indicate something is wrong? I only had the car for less than a year. I love everything about this car except the sound proofing and power. I drive on a highway at about 80 mph everyday for about 60 miles. Can anybody let me know if they had similar experience with 00 legacy wagon?
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Can you be a little more specific? When do you hear it? Under power, no power, auto tranny, etc? My 01 OB is very quiet, sans the Dunlop tires.

  • typejtypej Posts: 4
    The noise is not high-pitched sound, it's sort of like a low humming that gets louder as the speed increases. I do about 80mph all the time and it sounds like there is a factory with bunch of machines under my car. I have 00' legacy GT wagon with automatic. I also have aftermarket 15 inch with some no name brand tire (15/60 ?? not sure). My sister has toyota solara and that thing is quiet even at 80mph. This is my first subie and I never driven other subies so I have no idea how the boxer engine suppose to sound.. Maybe it's the tire sound but I doubt it.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    the tires. Mine are. Very noisy. Try rotating your tires in a X pattern and see if the noise changes. Are the pressures OK?

Sign In or Register to comment.