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Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagons Maintenance & Repair



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My wife's 2002 Legacy L has a taller final drive ratio, but she manages 25 mpg on average. She doesn't accelerate hard but she does go fast on the highway, about 70 or so.

  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    My 99 GT consistently gets 26 on the highway.

    The old 96 Outback got 24. The new 03 Outback gets 20 - 22.

    I drive at 80, and rarely use CC.
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    In the 5+ years of owning a '98 OBW Ltd. 5 spd (~62,000 miles, use synthetic oil in engine, gearbox & diffs), I've never gotten over 24mpg. And on the less crowded freeways the CC is used. Last Sunday I drove 150 miles with a right rear cross wind (heading south). Using CC. Blizzaks for tires and a ski pod on top. No hard acceleration, just cruising at 75MPH. Got 22.3mpg

    Maybe try running about 55mph???? No way!

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I read an SAE paper this week that discussed EPA testing procedures. While they do their testing on a dyno under static (wind-off) conditions, aerodynamic drag *is* factored into the test. What they do is to take aerodynamic data supplied by the manufacturer (usually from CFD or a wind tunnel) and use it to calculate and generate an equivalent load on the dyno. So aerodynamic drag actually does get taken into account. For many years, I have been under the impression that it wasn't.

  • fitzy2fitzy2 Posts: 11
    What is the expected city and highway MPG for a 2002 LL Bean.
    Thanks Folks. irish
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I get 22mpg in everyday mixed driving, and normally get 24-28 on long trips.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I get 22mpg in everyday mixed driving, and normally get 24-28 on long trips.

  • nickimomnickimom Posts: 11
    I own a '96 Subaru Legacy Outback, and my husband tapped an '04 Camry from behind so lightly that the Camry didn't know it was tapped. However, both airbags deployed, with the passenger side airbag exploding thru the front windshield. Is this normal?
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    Routine mix of city & hiway gives 24mpg very consistently. An all freeway drive raises it to ~29mpg.

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    based on the "g-forces" created with the hit. Also, the passenger side airbag is designed to deploy upwards towards the glass. This is actually the preferred design. The impact of the bag is absorbed by the glass vs. the occupant.

    I hope everyone is okay@

  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    I had heard that the airbags in the earlier model outbacks were touchy due to the size of the front bumper cover, and the location of the sensors. I know someone who set hers off pulling into a parking lot and bumping a snowbank. I hope your husband is ok. Rob M.
  • K9LeaderK9Leader Posts: 112
    2000 OBW Ltd. (H4) with AT - overall average of the past year's driving is 19.7 MPG, mostly around town but some long highway. Best was 25.7. Typical around town is in the mid-17 to low-19 range and highway is in the mid-24 to mid-25 range.

    This is a fairly heavy car -- 3600 lbs, IIRC. The AWD adds some weight, but amazingly little for what it does and compared to "real" 4WD -- it's about 150 lbs, IIRC. It is not the most fuel efficient commuter car available, but a better choice than all the gargantuan SUVs out there.

    The reality is that until the perceived costs (not just dollars, but all the costs) become greater than our collective willingness to pay those costs for the benefits we perceive we are getting, fuel mileage in general is not going to improve. While I would like to see the federal CAFE standards increase, I know that the laws of Economics (and human nature) make it unlikely. If gasoline does hit $3/gallon this summer, all my neighbors with Suburbans, Expeditions, Durangos and Hummers better not complain within my earshot.

  • blackbeanblackbean Posts: 100
    2002 LL Bean - I average 24 MPG in mixed driving.

    The best I have gotten was 27 MPG on a long trip, no roof racks, summer tires, no rain, no wind etc... and CC set on 68 mph.
  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    I average about 27 in the summer and 23 in the winter. 21mpg was the worst and 28.5 the best.
    Longer warm-up time a winter blend gas seem to hurt the mpg a fair amount. I'm not one to let the car warm up much at all. 30sec. or so and I'm moving. 1 mile of city streets (25-30mph) and then interstate... Seems I can almost watch the gas gauge go down when the engine is cold.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keep in mind some Armada owners are reporting 8 mpg. A friend's Navigator averages 9 mpg. Even Edmunds' long-term Tribute got something like 14-16mpg.

    Those numbers aren't necessarily bad.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,777
    '02 OBW auto w/21k miles. I record the odo reading on each gas receipt (OCD Engineer type...). I run a pretty consistent 23 mpg in mostly hilly rural / suburban driving. Not wonderful, but about what I expected when I bought this car. AWD and weight are going to cost you something.

    But lets face facts. Even if fuel prices were to double, the financial break even point in selling a car and buying a more fuel efficient one is way out there due to a big hit in depreciation. Sell a 2 year old car and buy a new one and you are out $5k or more. That would buy a lot of gasoline.... A gas shortage might be another situation. In 1979 I parked my Mercury Montego and bought a Ford Fiesta just as a matter of survival.

  • mwatcmwatc Posts: 4
    I posted this same message else where sorry to the repeat readers.

    I just bought a used 03 legacy SE ( the same one with leather interior I asked about earlier for 17,000$ maybe coulda gotten a better deal but was tired of hagling and well the wife really liked it so what the hell )

    any how what can I do to maximize my usage? synthetic OIL?? the car has now approx 9000 mi. also what is the break in period I keep reading about? finally any tips from owners so i can keep it as long as possible. I want to drive her until she won't go any further.
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Basically, follow the recommended maintenance routines. Regular washing helps. I have had no major problems with the current and prior Subarus that I have owned.

    Someone else can chime in with synthetic oil I have never used, or considered until recently.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Why bother? It's not an F-18.

    I love the oil wars :-)

    Engine Oil - A slippery subject Part 2

    Synthetic motor oil

    I don't dump my oil out every 3,000 miles either but follow the factory recommendation for normal service. And I drive them forever. Or try too :-)

    Steve, Host
  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    I had the rear brakes repaired 2000 miles ago and the front 200(pads replaced&rotors machined). Last week the brake light went on-I took it to Subaru last Tuesday where the work was done and they said the gasket was not sealed properly activating the sensor in the brake fluid reservoir, though the brake fluid level was O.K. I went away on Wednesday(not by car) returning yesterday,today the brake light went off again and upon checking the fluid level I noticed it was about 3/4 down. I went and added brake fluid and will monitor the fluid level, but I am wondering what it could be now and how much it may cost, whether the original diagnosis was correct etc. I am due to leave again on business later in the week and somehow will have to find the time to take my '96 OBW in again, but I am getting skeptical about them finding the problem. It seems to me that if my rear brake pads needed to be replaced 1800 miles before the front than the situation in the front should have been noticed the first time around. Now I fear they are just looking for the first obvious cause and not looking beyond that. What could be causing such a pronounced fluid loss?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats, Matt. It's already broken in. If you want to go with synthetic go ahead now.

    The system should be sealed air tight. Does the pedal feel spongy?

    I'd let them look at it again, you can't take chances with your brakes. Any leak and you'd potentially lose all stopping power.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    I get what Steve gets - ~23mpg in the same hilly area. Collegue at work has a Durango. Last week I asked him what he gets and his response was "oh, about 17mpg on the highway". I laughed and said my Sienna gets that on a really bad day in the city.

  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    The front passenger and back door locks do not unlock all the time when I unlock the driver side door from the outside with the key. Also when I use the inside lever on the drivers' side door to unlock the other doors it too only functions periodically. What could be causing this? It works sometimes and sometimes not.
    As per the brake situation,I am taking the car in tomorrow first thing in the morning.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    I found that the Subaru fobs aren't always responsive. I.e. you need to be close to the car for them to work the first time. I am sure you know that you press it once to open the driver's door and twice to open all doors. Why it doesn't work from the door button, I don't know. Have the dealer look at it when you bring the car in for brakes.

  • glenfordglenford Posts: 138
    try this (don't have my owners manual handy) either turn the key in the driver's door to unlock, then do it again, or, turn the key to unlock and hold it for a few seconds

    One of those works on my Honda, the other on the Subaru. It's a function to keep the passenger doors locked when you're alone.
  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    I had part of the same issue on my 01 Outback. I thought it was problems with my security system but it turns out that they driver-side locking switch is faulty. They currently have one on order for me. I can not lock the doors at all from the driver's side.

    Have them take a look at the switch itself..that is my problem.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    The module under the driver's door locks/windows. We actually modify this module as part of our Stage 2 security systems.

  • After I week of driving somewhat 'sanely,' I did get decent figures. I was traveling for work last week...almost 300 miles on two lane highways and I didn't go much over 65. Managed to get just shy of 26...which isn't too bad. I guess when you start running 75-80 on four lane really takes a hit. I guess it is worth it though for what the car has to offer. A coworker has an new F250 SuperDuty with a diesel and he gets close to 20 overall. That makes me jealous...but hey...I can deal with it!
  • sabast1sabast1 Posts: 1
    Just yesterday (Sunday), on my way from Baltimore to NY, my 2002 Outback (31,000 miles) over heated on the NJ Turnpike. Fortunately, I was able to get off the road and into a rest stop. I took advantage of the Subaru Roadside Assistance Program. I was very impressed. They had me towed from the Turnpike to a hotel (since no dealerships are open on Sundays after 6:00p.m.) and then towed me from the hotel to the nearest dealer this morning.

    I had the car towed to Somerset Subaru in New Brunswick, NJ. I can't say enough about how great the people there were. They were honest, fair, and were able to diagnose & fix my car about 2 hours...without an appointment (obviously). I highly recommend them.

    They had to replace the radiator and the thermostat. A radiator shouldn't be going bad in a car that's only got 31,000 miles...should it...? I was wondering if anyone else had this same type of problem
  • ebony5ebony5 Posts: 142
    Thanks everyone for the advice I will have the door lock looked at this morning as well. As per the brakes it may be my imagination and but it seems to me that when I first enter the auto the brake pedal goes further down when depressed and as I drive and pump the brakes it seems to travel less.
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