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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,550

    3 -- 4
    1 -- 2


  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385

    Thanks Dave. I didn't even think of RHD vs LHD.

  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    I also posted this on the problems and solutions chat.I was able to stop by my dealer today on my way home from work to have them look at my heads (lol).Well the mechanic and I are becoming quite friendly these past couple of months . I was able to finally have them change my timing belt tensioner last month .
     Any way back to my heads . The mechanic put the car on the lift and I showed him were i saw the leak . ON my car you can see better from the top of the engine .Mine were leaking from the back and bottom of the block around the # 4 cylinder. When I showed him it said ohh well whats another one when I do about 2 a week .He said that I caught mine early because the gasket didn't fail around the coolant jacket . Mine was only leaking oil. He is going to call SOA and see if he can autherize to have both of my heads done , since he has to pull the engine anyway.He said that there seems to be a problem with the late 01 model builds and the early 02 model builds . Mine 02 outback was built in 6/01.I'm dropping the car off next Monday and he said it will only take 1 day which seems kinda short to me .
    How long did it take to have your head gaskets done . For the people on here that have had this problem .
    Mike k
  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,550
    Thanks for the info Mike.

    My Mom's '02 OBW was also built in 6/01. :-(

    I just changed the oil on 12/31. Looked under the right head (totally clean), checked the front CV boots & steering boots but forgot to look under the left head. Better venture over to Mom's and crawl under the left side and take a peek. She currently has only 15.4k miles on the car.

  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    No problem .Thats why I love this board so much . I'll cross my fingers and hope you don't find anything .
  • Gunk(oil) showed up in the overflow tank. Have done a coolant flush and replaced thermostat to no avail. Vehicle now has sporadic episodes of overheating. You can stop the vehicle, place in neutral, rev engine to 2500-3000 RPMs and temp returns to normal. Have to top off coolant frequently and is nearly impossible to get all trapped air purged. Virtually no oil consumption (130,000 miles on vehicle) and great power. Any definitive testing method to determine if this is a head gasket?? If this is the problem does any one have opinion on engine sealants? Can this stuff harm my engine and make matters worse? Or is it worth a try?
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    sounds like a compression test should give you insight on the condition of your gaskets. I would have it checked out ASAP as overheating can cause major problems.

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    If I recall correctly my head gaskets were also about a day to complete. I think I dropped it off one morning, they diagnosed it, and I had it back early PM the next day.
  • I have to backup the recommendation for Nokian. I got these for my wife's Saturn and we both LOVE them. When I have to replace mine on my 02 OBW, it will be Nokian for sure.
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    A little background:
    On the last leg of the 48hrs Sunday a CEL came on my 2000 OBW 5MT. Mike was able to scan it and told me that cylinders 1 & 2 had misfired. After cleaning the plugs everything went back to normal for a short period of time, before having the CEL come back on. I used the car for about 15 minutes last night, during which time the CEL blinked for about 5 seconds before going to a steady light again.

    I called the dealer yesterday, who told me to bring the car in where the first thing they will check is the coil. My question is: The dealer is about 45 minutes to an hour away. Should I try to get AAA to tow me out there, or should I go to the closest dealer (who I am not too confident in)? Or, should I try to drive it out there?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Just don't do warp speeds. My guess is the coil as well.

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784

    I thought you had said if the CEL is blinking that I should not drive the car.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is it still blinking now? Or did it stop? So long as it's not blinking while you are driving you should be fine. Also if you drive it gently it should be ok.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    IIRC, it is a one shift job for the well experienced tech.

    The dealership GM where I had mine done told me that SoA will not usually authorize the other head be pulled unless there is a clear indication of leakage. I was told by the tech that 90%+ of the cases involve just cyl #4 (drivers firewall on our cars). An independent shop owner nearby (who in a previous life worked for Subi NY-NJ) said the same thing.

  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    How are the Nokians under dry/rain driving conditions? I have a '96 OBW and am rearching what to replace the Michelin XW4s with when the time comes.
  • Doug:

    Did you notice improved shifting in the Legacy after the tranny fluid change, or was just the binding problem improved?

    I don't have much of a binding problem (although I have noticed it a little) but it seems like my 4EAT's shifts are getting a little harsher. They've never been very smooth, but upshifts 1-2 and 2-3 seem pretty hard, sometimes it feels as if the car got bumped from behind.

    I'm thinking it's time to change the fluid. Any particular brand you recommend?

  • More info for those that posted questions about Phase 1 2.5l head gasket problems in the past few days here:

    And here:

    Someone asked about the dealership price of $2200. That's slightly high, but not unheard of. Independent shops are usually subsantially cheaper. Some people DIY for very little cost and a lot of labor.

    Sorry to hear about the problems. Hope mine fares better.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I go with Redline High Temp ATF fluid. No leaks on a 155K mile 4EAT and no leak on my 100K 4EAT either both running the Redline stuff now.

  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Took the OBW ('98) in for the remains of the 60K mi. check. Asked them to also check the front of the engine as I was detecting oil occasional drops of oil on the garage floor. Well, the 'O' ring is leaking and they say the oil pump is leaking. It will take 3+ hours and $600 with parts. They will also replace the camshaft drive belt.

    Geeze, glad I had already done the front & rear diffs and transmission (5 spd), and the spark plugs before it got cold. The air filter is an K&N. This has a few more miles to go before it gets cleaned.

    The dealer will also replace the coolant, drive belts, and gas line filter. Geeze, I may have to find work to pay this off. Now, if it would only get warm again (-9 this morning, -25+ wind chill). Ah, marvelous Minnesota in January

  • Hello. I'm looking for a recommendation for tires to replace my 1996 Legacy Outback 2.5 L factory original Michelin XW4's. I'm preparing to relocate to Portland, Oregon and travel to Alaska this May so I guess I will need a tire that has good wet and dry traction and a smoother ride with reduced road noise. I will be spending limited time on gravel roads and snow. I am hoping to spend in the neighborhood of $60 or less per tire. Any good experiences with "non-original equipment" touring all-season tires? Any opinions on the utility of "Road Hazard" options?


  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537

    I have a '97 w/ 42k on it, and hers is a '96 with 52k on it. Both bulletproof 2.2 Legacies. Ironically, hers shifted more smoothly when I drove it to evaluate the shudder - under all conditions including full throttle upshifts and downshifts. Ironic because mine has had the tranny fluid changed twice, is newer and has less miles.

    I did not drive it long enough to note any change in shifting behavior before our Christmas trip ended and I returned home. My tranny has always exhibited an occasional harshness on mid/high downshifts. It is quick to choose the lower gear, but the gear engages with a "just got rear ended" harshness as you aptly described. Happens a couple times a month before the vehicle is warmed fully.

    it worried me when I bought the car at 23k, so I changed out the fluid with no change at all. I drive it fairly aggressively and there has been no change at all or other sign of tranny problem. HTH.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Tires are the only thing that's between the road and the car/you. Your car's performance/handling is dependent on them, so spent a little more :)

  • K9LeaderK9Leader Posts: 112
    I second the motion on spending a bit more for good tires.

    We tend to see a car as a big thing sitting on the ground, forgetting that it has just four small patches that actually contact the ground. These patches are about 6 - 8 inches wide and 10 - 12 inches long. Think about all 4,000+ lbs of car, you ***and your family*** riding around on those 2 to 3 square feet. With tires, as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. I've been very happy with the prices, selection, and service at Costco. If I didn't have a local Costco, is a great resource and would be my next choice (and since I live in the same town as one of Tirerack's warehouses, might be able to work out a pickup/no shipping charges deal).

    I put new Michelin MXV4s from Costco on my '00 OBW Ltd. last spring, and am looking forward to trying them in the snow this winter.

    Good luck!

    2000 OBW Ltd, 44k miles, Michelin MXV4s
    1998 Toyota Sienna, 92k, Michelin X1s(?)
    1994 Lincoln Mark VIII, 104k, Michelin MXV4s
  • To Mike and Doug for the feedback on auto tranny fluid, when the weather warms up a bit I think I'll drain and refill.

    Toboggan: IIRC, mine had the same oil leak at similar mileage. It's a common problem.

    Another vote for not skimping on tires. The cost per mile for good tires is very low. I went with the same Michelins that were originally on my OB and have been very happy with them, FWIW.

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784

    Just as an FYI- Flemington just called and said the coil was bad. He said that was causing the misfiring. They are replacing that (under extended warranty) and the spark plug wires as well. Unfortunately the wires are not covered under the extended warranty. Oh well. Hopefully I should be driving my car by tonight.

    I'll check with AZP in 7k miles or so for the 60k check up.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Also let me know if you want me to come check out your computer for yah.

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Let me see what time I get back to SI. What time do you head in for work?

    Paisan, Inc: Car and Computer consultants!

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    3pm-11pm this week, but I can probably swing by sometime on the weekend if you need me to.

  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    Well, glad other people "suffered" the same oil leak. Now I have the head gasket problem to look forward to in about 20K miles <grin>. But then I'll have a new camshaft drive belt that doesn't have to be changed for another 105K miles.

  • Check out Cooper lifeliner touring. Recently replaced original michelins (98 OB) and could not be happier. Extremely quiet and smooth ride, great grip, different car! FWIW all, 14K and two Minn winters since piston replacement under warranty and NON-NIL-NO slap on these cold mornings. Nowwwwww, about that slight pinion bearing noise at 50mph or so!
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