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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    70 ft-lbs is definitely within the stock torque range for those lugs.

  • tfoshbonetfoshbone Posts: 18
    What are the tell tail signs of hg failure (before it's too late) ?? if there any other than oil in water or water in oil or white clouds trailing you thanks T
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    The torque range for the lug nuts on the Outback and Forester is 58-72 ft. lbs., as per the owner's manual.

  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    IIRC, readers here have reported HG failure from the coolant jacket outward, meaning you might not see coolant in the oil and vice versa. Watch for coolant puddles under engine, high temp on guage and strong, hot coolant smell when walking around car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Drive up on ramps and climb under. Check the bottom of the block for oil stains near the gaskets. Also check the front and rear of the block.

    The good news is if you have less than 60k miles, it's covered under warranty. If you have more than 60k, and they haven't failed already, they probably never will.

    Plus, you can change the seals when you do the timing belt. You usually get a one year warranty on service work, so again you're covered a little longer.

  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    AC smells a little funky/musty/dry leafy when first started, but then goes away after a couple minutes. Any way to spray Lysol or something else somewhere to freshen it up? Other suggestions?


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Haven't tried it myself, but I heard you can spary Lysol at the intake point under the wipers.

    Also, change your interior air filter if you haven't done so in the last year.

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I thought someone else recommended running the fan with the A/C off for a minute or so after you stop to clear out any moisture. I have been known to be wrong however.
  • beach2beach2 Posts: 6
    idahodoug and all, thanks for the advice on how to remedy the wet floors of my outback wagon. i have an appointment at the dealer to have them check it out. in the mean time, i got underneath and did notice the black plastic plugs but was hesitant to pop them out for fear of breaking them. when i pull gently on the plastic rocker panel though, LOTS of water starts pouring out. i'm sure what idahodoug described is exactly what is happening with my wagon. my one question is this; should i be worried about premature rusting because that water has been trapped in there for lord knows how long?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Try dropping some baking powder in there, just like you do in the fridge.

  • tfoshbonetfoshbone Posts: 18
    Do they all have interior air filters? If so where are they? Thanks. T
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Behind or under the glove box. It was optional, so you may or may not have it. The installer was *supposed* to put a sticker on your door jamb with the date of the last filter change, but may have forgotten.

  • I've had trouble with the engine starting, especially after a wet spell. Sometimes can take up to ten minutes to start and will smell like turpentine once it does start. All of this continues to happen after a major 120,000 service costing way too much! Also the engine wants to speed up and slow down with the RPM jumping all over the place, This can happen sitting still or driving. even more disturbing, sometimes when driving it seems to want to stick in third gear (this car is an automatic). I've had no luck with any of the subaru people so thought I'd post this and see what the "real minds" think. This is our fourth subaru in the last twenty years and never had any of these problems. But this is the first automatic. Thanks, Larry
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    What did they do during that service? Sounds strange that it began after they worked on it. I wonder if they didn't connect one of the spark plug wires or broke one. What kind of plugs did they use? Maybe a vacuum leak or the air filter canister was not installed properly when they changed the air filter.

  • mjansen1mjansen1 Posts: 46
    After sitting about 20 min. with the AC on in 85 degree weather, my 2000 Outback was "sluggish". At first I was turning and I thought something was up with the AWD but then when driving straight, it tried to stall on me. Any comments? Thanks
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    The Engine Management Unit is adaptive, modifying its fuel and spark maping depending on the use of the vehicle recently. This is measured over about twnety minutes with greatest weighting toward most recent behaviour.

    If the car has been idling for a sustained period, it has likely leaned out. To correct this, accelerate hard through the gears. This modifies ECU mapping rapidly.


  • wmiller4wmiller4 Posts: 97
    Do this at your own risk but, it absolutely works at getting rid of the AC smell! Turn on AC, fan on high, open car windows, and ensure the AC recirc button is not on. Spray Lysol in the fresh air intake right under the driver windshield wiper.

    I did this to my wife's Honda Accord and it worked! The one draw back is the over powering smell of Lysol. It does go away after awhile. Plus the Lysol kills the bacteria and mold causing the smelly problem.

    To help keep the smell from returning too quickly,remember to shut off the AC a few minutes before you reach your destination leaving your fan on high to "dry" the moisture in the AC system.
  • junkherjunkher Posts: 27
    We have had a similar problem with our "Park-It-Outback". My wife and I have come up with this cheery name 'cause both of us hate to drive it because it is so god awfull noisy. I think the only quiet thing is the quartz clock. ANYWAY -
    This bouncing rpm thing was tracked down to a computer problem.
    Ours not only reved up and down by itself but would literally take off by itself. If you did not have your foot on the brake, LOOK OUT!

    Well, According to Subaru, the FUEL TRIM sensor ( one for high trim, one for low) has been out of whack on my particular vehicle. It SHOULD turn on the engine light I am told, but for some reason does not. When the low trim is out of adjustment, it screws up the fuel injection giving to little fuel. The computer senses a dying motor and tries to correct by giving it more fuel, whalla- takes off rapidly by itself! Scary as hell when it does it too! It is very likely a similar problem where the computer keeps manipulating the fuel injection.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Didn't you post the same "problem" and found solution about 1.5 months ago??
  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    nygreg, are you thinking that someone with a moniker of "junkher" might be here trolling for arguments? Gee whiz, maybe so :-)

    When I read stuff like that, especially stuff like the bit about the car "taking off by itself", I figure this is someone who either knows absolutely NOTHING about driving a car or else someone who is trying to set up a lame-brained lawsuit and is fishing for stories to feed their lawyer. In any case it is not someone whose words carry any weight with me.

  • junkherjunkher Posts: 27
    sorry folks, dont be turds...

    I did not post it here, I DID post it elsewhere. Take a pill and mellow out - I am not looking for going after a lawsuit . In case you didnt notice, this IS a Q/A section.
    Am I a SUB lover, ( not in the least, I hate ours - no secrets here ). Is this a necessary function to LIKE the vehicle that you are talking about?
    I am GLAD you like your car.... Buy more of them!

    Others may actually be helped by the solution the mechanics found wrong with my car and the fuel/computer problem with unsteady RPM's. The mechanics at the dealership did an absolutely fantastic job in locating a difficult problem to find. MOST mechanics think in the ( No engine light - No problem ) realm. This was NOT the case with my local Subaru dealer. They appear to be a great crew...... They spent the time and actually found the problem. It is not the way of most dealerships.
    Before the car would barely pull its own weight. It now flies up mtn roads with no problem.
       Kudos to good mechanics!
    For those with car computer brains, WHY or HOW does one computer differ from another in its programming from the factory - Is it faulty sensor information?
  • babaorileybabaoriley Posts: 74
    WARNING, long post:

    After 44K miles, my OB has a problem. During a drive yesterday, it would hesitate and shudder under hard acceleration. Light to moderate acceleration and all other conditions were normal. Later in the drive, at a stop (idle speed) for more than fifteen seconds there would be a buck or two, followed by a rough start. Everything would smooth out very shortly followed by normal engine response, except under hard acceleration. My fuel level was low and I suspected bad gas, so I filled up with 76 regular, making sure the gas cap was on tight. The rest of the trip exhibited the same conditions.

    On my return trip, all seemed normal for about forty miles, then I decided to test the hard acceleration starting from about 30 MPH on an uphill after a toll plaza, and the shuddering and bucking came back bad and the Check Engine light came on and stayed on.

    I drove it the remaining 30 miles home, following the handbooks' suggestions of not driving hard, towing, etc. and took it to the dealer this morning. Before I took it I checked the air filter and all fluid levels. Everything was OK.

    Anyone have any suggestions as to what this may be before the dealer calls back? The first thing the dealer asked was if I wanted the 45K service done, when I declined he stated he may not be able to get to my car today because I don't have an app't. I dislike this treatment, but need to know what's wrong with my OB.

    TIA, Brett
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Typically, when someone has a problem they stay focused on discussing the problem. When that person starts with calling it a "Park-it-Outback" and goes on how they hate the car, well, you start to get suspicious. Your e-mail reads almost, if not exactly, as your earlier one. The problem was solved and I thought it was good input for all of us to learn from. I appreciated that. As I read it now, you were responding to another post. So now that you've been driving it for a while, how do you like it?

  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    Sounds very similar to what happened to my '00 Legacy at similar mileage. It would come and go at first, but it got worse over time. The dealer wound up replacing the plug wires, coil, and one fuel injector, to the tune of $455.

  • I'm new here, so pardon any repeats on my part... haven't had time to explore all the messages.

    My 02 Bean has been great, 'cept for a recurring problem with the brakes wearing fast and rotor warp. Dealer has me thinking it's my "driving habits" and says I need to go with after market "racing" (guessing slotted/drilled) rotors. They replaced pads and turned rotors at about 17K saying Subaru "allows" one fix like this under warranty. But, at 31K, they replaced the pads and turned the rotors without my even my asking. Now, at 35K, the shimmy returns....
    So wassup? Are the stock rotors junk? Is the dealer giving me a story? I've heard other owners getting new rotors under warranty.... any comments?

    Wind noise: this is a classic. First problem was my door panel kept coming loose at the bottom edge and the rubber seal would hang out. After three trips to the dealer ( the first two they just pounded the panel back on and said I shut the door too hard) they finally ordered a new panel. Unfortunately, it didn't match the Bean interior, but the wrench and I used the new rubber and clips on my old panel. Viola! never had floppy panel problem again.
    But... then a nice wind hiss developed near the front of driver's window near the mirror post. Again, after more than 4 visits, they finally replaced the upper rubber seal. That problem is gone, but now a new wind noise is coming from just below where my left shoulder is. ARRRGH!
    Again... wassup wit dis s---? Think mebbe the door is warped? Anyone else experience this rig-a-ma-role?
    This is my third Subie, but I'm losing my patience.
    The only thing that keeps me hanging on was getting to sneak preview the 05 OB totally redesigned body and interior style... yes, I got to touch it and sit in it too. Very sweet! Needless to say, if the dealer and SoA treat me right, I'll be doin the trade-in as soon as it comes out.
  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    Warped rotors have been a hot topic here lately. I think the general consensus is that the OEM rotors are not that great (my rotors are now showing signs of warping at 21k). Since you've had them turned twice and you are still under 36k, I would insist that they replace the rotors under warranty. I also think you should try another dealer if your current one's answer is to replace them with expensive aftermarket racing rotors.

    If you must replace them on your own dime, I don't think you need slotted or drilled rotors. There are very good basic rotors (i.e., Brembo). They're more money that OEM, but not nearly as expensive as slotted or drilled.

    Always make sure that tire lugs are hand-torqued to approx 72 ft-lbs to avoid one possible cause of rotor warpage.

    Good luck and let us know how you make out.

    02 OBW
  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    I just re-read your post. You can't tell us you got to sit in the 05 Outback without giving us some details! Give us the goods.
  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    I have a MY '00 Legacy GT and I like to drive around corners in a spirited manner, which is to say that I use the brakes harder than maybe most people. However I also know how to use brakes without abusing them. My opinion is that the stock Legacy rotors are really only okay for casual use and will warp prematurely with spirited use or misuse. I have had the rotors cut twice, once at 27K miles and again at 52K miles. Considering the way I drive and how I use the brakes I do not consider this to be excessive, however it is perhaps a bit disappointing.

    The first time they were cut was under warranty, and the dealer cut all 4 rotors.

    The second time was during front brake pad replacement; the rotors had actually been warped for some time but not so badly that I felt the need to cut them before the brake replacement. If I had still been under warranty I would have tried to get Subaru to cough up a new set of rotors.

    When the time comes for new rotors I will replace them with something like Brembos. I will probably just get regular smooth finish, although I might get slotted rotors because they are supposed to provide more immediate stopping power in wet conditions. I will not get drilled rotors; from what I have read and learned those are for racing and provide virtually no benefit under normal use.

  • vetmatsvetmats Posts: 71
    I had the same problem at around 63,000. I had my car into the dealer twice, the first time they couldn't find anything wrong, the second time they replaced one fuel injector. Then, the car started stuttering and losing power on a road trip. I ended up having to get the car towed to the nearest Subaru Dealer. That dealer found out that I hadn't changed my fuel filter in a long time. The crud in the fuel filter had gotten loose and ended up in the fuel injectors. I had to get all four fuel injectors replaced.

    After my experience, I would recommend that you ask the dealer to check your fuel filter, if it hasn't been changed in a while. The dealer said I should get it replaced every 15K from now on.
  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    If the fuel filter is not changed regularly, eventually it may clog with material, which means that not enough fuel will be able to pass through it. What will happen is that the engine will starve for fuel, which may manifest itself as stuttering, among other things. What will NOT happen is that the filter will suddenly allow a bunch of junk through. Old fuel filters do NOT suddenly fail to filter the fuel.

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