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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    My 2001 Bean doesn't have that problem - just the general muted wind noise of the large mirrors... Hope Subaru engineers are spending time in the wind tunnel designing a quieter 2005 mirror... N.America market loves quiet...

  • for things like this to be corrected/improved, please send an e-mail to SUBURU.COM so that your opinions are communicated. We've been very successful in getting improvements based on feedback from customers.


  • I continue to read about the rotor warping issue, and I continue to have problems with mine on my 03 Bean. Dealer has re surfaced several times, finally replacing aft units. When I asked why they were replaced, service writer whispered "because they're defective". Yeah, I know that, and I never bought all the prior b.s. I was given about my driving style, puddles, etc.
    Having bought two other Subies new ('86 and '98) I never had these problems. But now, with all the run around, the idea of trading for an '05 OB is being replaced with the thought of Volvo XC.
    Has anyone gotten any satisfaction out of SOA on this issue? Between this and the driver side wind whistle, I'm a tad fed up.
    And on a totally different issue. does anyone know how to calibrate the on board thermometer? My outside temp reads about 4 degrees high...
    Thanks in advance for input
  • I found an old case of yours in our system, but not one about this issue. Could you please call 1-800-SUBARU3 and get a case started about this concern? Please let the Rep. know that I'd like to see the case file.

    Hopefully, we'll get you some answers. Sorry about the repeat problems.


  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    I have a 2001 Bean w/ 47K miles. The car has been flawless (knock on plastic wood) except for the front rotors.

    Subaru turned the front rotors at 10K, then replaced the front rotors AND front pads at 22K. Dealer said the rotors were defective w/ "hot spots" - defective areas in the rotor.

    They've been fine ever since...

  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    Will do. I should have volunteered for a 2005 redesign focus group (if one existed). Would have liked becoming involved in refining the Bean via feedback. Oh well...

  • with Product Planning. We do provide the information that is posted here, so it is a way to get information to the right people. I know that at least 8 things suggested here at Edmunds were incorporated into the re-design of the Forester. So, this counts!

  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    I've been making suggestions over the past 2.5 years, so hopefully they've been passed along...

    [one more time] :-)

    2005 H6 Outback...

    side curtain head bags
    driver seat memory - at least 2 settings (gets tiring going back and forth with wife's setting)
    monotone paint (black!)
    wider body/track
    more noise insulation (my 92 Camry was quieter than my Bean)
    mechanically - less understeer (unless 2003 strut/shock redesign took care of that)

    There. That'll help keep the Outback's niche secure...


  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    if you're going to ask for 2 driver seat memory, better include on your list that a 2 driver ECU memory be incorporated to it :)


    p/s: you shouls be posting your want list in the "Suggestion" thread.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Also check out the Suggestions thread, folks.

  • I am so impressed that SOA actually has someone monitor this place to get feedback. If only the would do focus groups...I had emailed them a couple of months ago to see if they did such a thing. Being a business consultant...I always tell my clients that focus groups are one of the best sources of feedback to allow for improvements.

    And to can use a Cross pen in your Bean. I will have to try a plain old Bic in my GT Ltd! LOL I guess if you can swing the H6 3.0 you have some extra Cross' laying around. Mine have to stay at my desk!!! LOL J/K
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    About a year ago, a number of us reported some coolant loss from the reservoir on the H6 outback. It generated lots of discussion and speculation. Patti actually opened a case file for me, which resulted in more leak testing on my car. The SOA rep and I agreed to just let it fall and see where it stabiliized. That was a year ago, and it seemed to have stabilized at about the low point. The general consensus was that the small overflow tank was not quite sufficient for the H6.

    I rechecked a few days ago and it has finally dropped slightly below the low. I checked my WRX and it was also slightly below low. I added a half pint to each which took it halfway to full. Since I live in Texas (HOT,HOT,HOT), my new conclusion that the loss is from evaporation coupled with the small coolant tank. It doesn't bother me anymore about an engine problem, but I do remain curious whether others, particularly in hot climates, have to ever add coolant. I dunno - maybe I just have a thirsty mouse in my garage with a straw.

    BTW, no problems with either car. Wife loves VDC; I love WRX; I also love that wife doesn't balk when we take the WRX.

  • Any advice how to troubleshoot a 98 outback whose automatic transmission occasionally gets stuck in first gear? Had the transmission serviced (flushed, fluid and filter replaced), problem persists. It only has 65,000 miles on it! This on top of having to replace a crank shaft seal (warranty), timing belt and tensioner, both front bearings (both no longer covered by warranty)....what next??? Subaru dealer will not attempt to diagnose it, just replace it for $2800. Only found one posting suggesting a bad speed sensor on this discussion.

    Beyond frustrated.
  • ray_cray_c Posts: 36

        Anyone try this for their Subaru hesitation problem
  • Ed,

    That's a good sign of an incompetent Service Department when they won't diagnose. Replacing is the easy way out and they are spending your money instead of spending THEIR money on training and good techs.

    My advice is to ask here on the list if there is a good dealer in your area, or find a good independent shop. Perhaps a national transmission shop chain would also be able to do it.

    My feeling as a mechanically inclined person is that a sensor (speed would be a good guess) is not working properly either because it was disturbed by prior engine work (!), or a random failure. If it were a mechanical problem requiring total replacement, it would not be intermittent. Once an auto loses gears physically they don't come back and work fine for a while. Even a half wit mechanic would know this.

  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    I just had my H4 in a month ago because I was noticing slight coolant loss. It was pressure tested with no problems. There's no sign of a leak, and I don't smell coolant in the oil, or see oil in the coolant. I checked yesterday, and the level is a little low again. I'm in New Jersey, and I've run the a/c all summer, so maybe you're right about the evaporation.

  • For those of you who suspect coolant evaporation from the overflow tank caused by excess heat transfer/gain to the tank itself, have you considered experimenting with insulating the tank to minimize this effect?

    There are many products that you could use for this purpose, here's one: "Reflect-A-Cool" from Thermal Tuning Products.
  • Haha - I only had the Cross pen lying around because it was given to me - I actually don't like them - much too skinny! But the Cross pen fit perfectly in the door by the tweeter, didn't have any sharp parts to threaten the integrity of the seal and it was metal so it wouldn't break (the plastic pen might). Next time I bring it in to the dealer I will ask them to try and adjust the tweeter kit or window to seal better.
  • Anyone have any expereince with door dent removal tools like the "Pops-a-dent" tool seen on tv? I have a quater sized door ding (no paint loss) on my door and think that the pops-a-dent thingy - if it works! - would be a LOT cheaper than getting a dentless pro to take out deing.


  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I remember reading about this some time ago. You warm up the area with a hair dryer, then put a small piece of dry ice on the dent. This supposedly causes the dent to pop out with no paint damage. I never tried it, but it sounds like it would work. It might be worth a try. HTH.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Eric: try a local indy mechanic, get references from friends or family members.

    The dealer is going to charge you $800 just to take it apart. That's why they're going straight to the "replace" recommendation. Most consumers aren't willing to pay the $800, is my guess.

  • I, too, am a member of the H-6 coolant loss club. The rate of loss in my 02 VDC has decreased. Took about 8 months to drop from the "full" mark to the "add" mark. I put in about 5 oz a couple of months back to bring it up to just above halfway, and its dropped a tad. My wife's 00 OB has also needed coolant. Her rate of loss is less than that in my car. The dealer just yawns and says "evaporation".
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, I'm glad noone is having problems with their H6 engines.

    If you'll recall, a certain troll was predicting doom and gloom, you'd have thought all H6s would have blown up by now!

  • Back in June I reported that my wife's 00 OB needed new pads and rotor resurfacing at 33k, just 3k after the dealer did the 30k service and found everything fine. The service manager told me it was normal "wear and tear", but the tech who worked on the car told me the sliders had frozen, rust had formed on the rotors and eaten away at the brakes. I complained to SOA about Subaru sliders which the local tech told me were of poor design in 00. SOA is reimbursing me for much of the cost of new pads and resufacing of the rotors. The SOA rep was concerned about the problem and gave me the impression from the beginning that Subaru wants to make sure customers are treated correctly by dealers. I supplied them with documentation and they did some investigation, so it took a while. Seems like the dealer either failed to notice a problem with the sliders at the 30k service or failed to lub the sliders at the service. Before I got SOA involved I tried talking with the Service Manager. Back in July I wrote to the Factory Rep about this problem and problems we have had with this dealer (my car, too) and have never heard from him.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, they may have followed up on your case and seen that is was resolved nicely for you, so that's why he may not have called. I guess he could have followed up, though.

  • Anyone have any expereince with a dent removal tool like pops-a-dent by Simoniz? ( I have a quarter-sized door ding that I go a month after I got my new Bean(ouch!) and would lve to remove it with paying a fortune.

    Leo - I had heard of the dry ice thing, but not so sure that would work...

    Thanks, Matt
  • We are the new happy parents of a 2002 regatta red L.L. Bean.

    Unfortunately we cannot pop the front sunroof. We hold the open switch forever and nothing happens. When we let go and press again the rear sunroof opens. Are we overlooking something?

    Also, do you get a free loaner for warranty work like in this case?

    I feel fortunate buying a used L.L. Bean because of the free three year maintenance. You know at least the car has been serviced regularly.

    While I"m on roll, does any one have any experience or knowledge about bumper repair. I know it's a hot new thing now and relatively inexpensive. Our front bumper on the very bottom is pretty scuffed and all of the corners have the common "garage swipe". Rear bumper has dime to quarter sized pieces of paint scraped off.


  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    I was at a Honda dealer a couple weeks ago. There was a mobile unit of 2 guys redoing the bumpers of 6 used cars - including a 2001 black LLBean (same as mine). They just do plastic bumpers - no sheet metal. Seem to go through the same steps of filling, sanding, etc. - no prime coat though.

    I was just wondering if it was OK with the EPA. They were stinking up the parking lot and paint was drifting onto new nearby Accords. Must be a different type of paint or they're doing it in an illegal manner.

    Results seemed to be pretty good. Makes a used car look like it was pampered (like my car!).

    So, used car buyer beware....

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I believe it's very different due to the elastic properties of the plastic in the bumper.

  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    Anyone change the plugs on a 2000 outback? If so, are any special tools required, and was it difficult to access the plugs?

    Any cautionary tips/advice would be appreciated.

    Also thinking of changing my own coolant. Do the dealers normally flush the entire system, or do they simply drain and re-fill?

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