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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,453
This topic is for discussing any problems with Subaru vehicles that haven't been covered in the Owners Club Board or for people who need pointers to that Club or other resources that would help them solve their Subaru problems.

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  • From her album "Short, Sharp, Shocked"??
  • your discussion from Subaru Crew - General
    Maintenance & Repair (Topic #15)
    here. Enjoy!

    Bonnie Rick
    Conferences Manager, Town Hall
  • Now that it snowed yesterday... :)
    Still debating myself re the merits of studded vs. studless snow tires... I really want to believe that the studless will work, but I've been driving studs on every car I've owned for as long as I've been driving. My chief concern is stopping on ice - we get a lot of warming/freezing cycles here, and the roads turn to skating rinks. "Go" grip isn't a problem (as I discovered driving home from work this morning), but stopping is an adventure on the Michelins. Anybody in the snow belt have any input on this subject? (I'll put off my trip to Les Schwab's & wait for responses) :)

  • Several questions re: '01 Forester.
    1) My left windshield washer squirter shoots the fluid out too low. It squirts out and hits the bottom of the windshield. My other one squirts the middle of the windshield. Is there anything i can do that is simple enough for me to do.
    2) is it standard that when I turn on the intermittent wipers, you can hear a distinct "click" as the wiper goes back and forth or is that not supposed to happened. It does not click when on the other options?
    3) Interior noise - I just may not be used to it but it can be noisy. It sounds like a window is down or a door is ajar(but they are not). I do have the moonroof but that does not seems to be the case. Maybe this is normal???
    4) Clicking noise or cricket noise coming from front driverside seatbelt mechanism? My wife thinks i'm nuts but this is driving me crazy. I've located the noise I just don't know what to do about. Push, pull, apply pressure, Whack it nothing helps? Can or will the dealer fix this problem for me? I've only had the car for 1 month!
    5) I've tried to move the roof rack backwards to eliminate some wind noise for the moonroof and also to give an unobstructive view upwards. The allen wrench that was supplied does not fit tight enough or i'm doing it wrong. Should i leave this alone?
    Thanks for any replies! K
  • re #2 wiper click: In the intermittent mode, there's a relay that triggers the wiper cycle every few seconds. You're probably hearing the switch inside the relay closing & opening. This would be normal.

    re #3 noise: What were you driving before? My OB is noisier than my Explorer was - noise is relative.

    re #5 the roof rack: If it's the generic Subaru rack, it might be a #30 torx nut - try a torx driver with a real handle for a better twist.

    Welcome to the Subaru clan!

  • Mike,

    Thank you very much for your info on the topic.

    This is to Subaru Team's post # 1261. Does this apply to 2.5 phase II engine or to 2.5 phase I engine.
  • Realizing that I had yet to use the jack that came with my Legacy GT, I thought I would rotate the tires myself this time. The lug nut wrench that came with the vehicle is woefully inadequate-the handle is too short to get enough torque. By the time I got to the third tire my wrench actually broke apart. I have owned many cars in my life, both foreign and domestic, and I've never had a lug nut wrench brake on me.

    I recommend that anyone who owns a Subaru should go out and purchase a lug nut wrench that has a longer handle than what comes with a new Subaru. That being said, I hope you never have to use it in an emergency!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I usually pick up a X wrench for all my new vehicles, I can never get the lug nuts off with the stock ones. I also have no idea where the jack handle for my Trooper jack even is! I put a small floor-jack style into it as soon as I bought it. It makes life so much easier to jack up vehicles especially on a dark backroad.

  • To Zoom: Moving the roof rack crossbar probably is a good idea. I've noticed myself that with the default position (as from the factory), the wind from the sunroof's deflector thingy (when the sunroof is opened) whacks right into the bottom of the crossbar, making a majorly racket.

    I've also noticed that my sunroof seems to whistle all the time at speeds > 50mph even when closed. I'm not sure why that's so. Closing the inside cover deadens the noise. In any event, it does appear that much of the wind noise is attributable to the sun roof. Oh well, that's the price we pay for having a huge portal over our heads :-).

    Just finished a 3000 mile road trip in my Forester (only four states, but one of them was Texas :-). Other than the above-mentioned racket, my Forester worked great. Handled the steep grades with aplomb -- that 2.5L engine pulls like a locomotive! The only problem I have is that my engine computer got used to running on "real" gasoline, and now that I'm back here in Phoenix with the funny "oxygenated" gasoline, I hear a light taptaptaptap -- a light knock -- when I hit the accelerator hard. I presume that eventually the computer will get things right again, though running on the knife's edge of detonation IS the most efficient way of doing things...

    Also, the computer apparently got accustomed to the demands of the cruise control, and is now reluctant to downshift the automatic transmission when I floor the accelerator. Takes about 3 seconds before it decides. I guess this helps avoid the annoying "hunting" behavior that afflicted older hydraulically-controlled automatics (where it couldn't decide what gear to use going up grades and up and downshifted dozens of times a minute), but in its own way this is just as annoying... or maybe this is the usual behavior? I don't know, since the car was not broken in before the trip and thus I never floored it (following owner's manual advice to not rev over 4,000 rpm during the first 1,000 miles).

    -- Eric
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I have had one or two odd-ball experiences involving gas and driving habits in my OB (including the light detonation you mention), which I attribute to the ECM's learning cycle. Seems like the car usually "re-learns" within 1-2 tanks of gas or 50-100 miles of driving. While I don't have an auto-trans, I suspect that the transmission's control logic behaves much the same way. So, you should probably see better performance after the car has been sufficiently re-trained, especially since you went from break-in straight to highway driving. Just my guess. Go out and have some fun!

  • That's a good idea, paisan. Never thought about it. Does anybody know whether it's a metric or SAE X wrench?
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Paul- While I don't have any experience with studless snow tires, I've read lots of good things about them in car magazines and other forums. I believe has info on them.
    Dr.zoom - 1) Try sticking a pin in the washer nozzle and move it around to change the direction.
  • Eric: before you blame you sunroof for any whistling noises, try removing all the rack crossbars completely. Go for a drive and see if you still hear the noise. Racks and crossbars are infamous for being noise generators.

  • Most x tire wrenches have four different sizes sockets, so one of them should be good. I also use an electric drill to quickly spin the nuts off and loosely on and found that a 3/4" deep socket works fine.

  • Well, I went hiking in the Tonto National Forest. Have some pictures of my Forester in its natural environment. I'll try to get those developed and online.

    Anyhow, I found that, as I'd suspected, the Forester is no off-road vehicle. No big deal, I already knew that. It handled the forest roads okay though, including stretches that a regular car would have never gone through (such as fording a small stream and scrambling up the gravel bank on the other side, and waddling through a boulder-paved section of road). I did find out that the approach angles suck. Too long of a front overhang. Nothing to do about it other than hoisting the car further in the air, and I don't want to ruin its on-road handling by doing something like that. I did manage to bang the front "skid plate" a couple of times on washouts.

    Anyhow, afterwards I got the car into its garage and looked underneath to see if there was any damage. I didn't see anything, except for some scratches on the front plastic "skid plate". But I did notice that the exhaust pipe coming off of the second cat is crooked downwards, and is only maybe 6-7 inches off the ground in the middle of the car. It then veers back up and disappears over the suspension, until it comes back down to the muffler/tailpipe again.

    Question: Is this bend natural, or did I manage to bend something during my rough-road travels?

    In other news, I found that MRE's, much destested by military personnel, actually taste good if you're hungry because you've been hiking for several hours. Who woulda thunk it?
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I used to disconnect my DRL's but not anymore. If you get into an accident and the DRL is found disconnected the insurance company can deny your claim.
    I also have a 2001 Legacy GT 5spd and I tried not to rev over 2800 rpm for the first 500-700 miles and then not over 3000 rpm for the next 1500 miles.
    Recently I also tryed high octane gas instead of regular and it did not make any difference.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    From what I've been told, they can never deny a claim, they can take away the $2/6months that they gave you as a DRL discount, but not deny claims. Perhaps someone in the Insurance industry can clairfy?

  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, Maryland, USAPosts: 1,246
    saxologist, Great recommendation! Funny you should mention rotating your tires <5</A>> as I did so this weekend. I agree Subaru's lug nut wrench is too short, as is every car's that I've owned :) I torque to 70 lb-ft; at this torque the nuts can be loosened with the vehicle's lug nut wrench (without too much strain -- that being said, my back hurts this morning). I also found a 5SAEClubs 3/4 inch socket fits (better than metric, so I assume it's a SAE nut).

    Obligatory URLs (I can't help myself):

    Michelin automotive tire glossary
    Michelin earthmover tire glossary (more detail & entries)

    70 lb-ft was recommended by an auto-crosser. I didn't see anything in the owner's manual. Anyone know the exact factory torque specification for the lug nuts on a 00 GT (wagon) (alloy wheels)?



  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    Juice if you get this I need the phone number for Qsubaru as I have to get in touch with Darlene. I understand that she was ill and was out for a couple of weeks. But today I tried to get on the Qsubaru web site to get the number and its down. Appreciate it if you can post the number.
  • Almost exactly, certainly close enough[1] for lug wrench purposes. The threads are still different - you can't use an English lug nut on a metric vehicle nor can the vice do the versa.


    [1] 0.75 in = 19.05mm
    19.0 mm = 0.748 in
  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, Maryland, USAPosts: 1,246
    Thanks WDB. I swear the 0.75 in socket had less play than the metric; I'll have to check what size I had (might have only had a 20 mm).


    PS - Metric/English converter (Java) and Interactive Units Converter.


  • tlimatlima Posts: 124
    e l green: It supposed to be like that, as mine is the same way. I too noticed this when I first got it. It is probably like that for heat protection.

  • Thanks for the clarification, crew. I'm going to go out and get me an X wrench for the OB.
  • I use this for conversions:

    It helps to have a Palmilot but then you gain portablility ;-)

  • Well, my Forester and I finally fell prey to the notorious loose-gas-cap/"Check Engine"-light glitch. Since the light was still on two days after I tightened the cap, I took it to the dealership, where they checked the code and cleared the light. No charge for it, but a fair bit of annoyance over having to worry over nothing and the inconvenience of taking the Forester in.
    Just wish the vehicle could have a little more useful feedback so the driver could easily differentiate between a potential major engine problem and a loose gas cap.
  • Well, I noticed that my rear wiper was at a weird angle. I went back there and jiggled it up and down and it moved several inches. "It ain't supposed to do that," I thought, so I popped the plastic cover off and sure enough, the nut that holds the wiper on was loose. No lock nut was installed (these things are supposed to have lock nuts, or at least that's been true on every other car I've owned). The insides of the wiper arm are stripped, so I'll need a new wiper arm. The car side motor shaft itself appears to be made of tougher stuff, so it appears that I won't need a new motor.

    So now I find out how Camelback Subaru handles warranty claims. I want a new wiper arm, I'm not going to let them get away with simply tightening it down so that the few remaining ridges inside the wiper arm make contact, because those will strip out soon enough (the wiper arm appears to be made of aluminum or very soft "pot metal").

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I know this light is a pain in the, well you know. But, if the car is performing okay, try this. Tighten the cap and drive the car. It will go through it's emissions check again when you get to around 1/2 a tank of fuel. If all is well, the light will go out. The next time you go to the dealer, the code will be stored and they can confirm that it was the cap. But, if the light is flashing, pull over asap. BTW - the EPA requires this light whenever the system detects a lack of vacuum pressure in the emissions system.
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I'd suggest a dealer checking the cross bars on the rack. No charge 12/12. If that doesn't solve it, they have access to our tech. line who can suggest some other things. It might save you some agg.
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I think the high beam on my 2001 Legacy GT is just not bright and high enough. The dealer said it was aligned properly. I am used to driving a truck for the last 20 years, is this the way car high beams to be?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I find the subie lights to be pretty decent. The headlights on my Trooper are absolutely horrid. Even after upgrading to 80/100w bulbs the reflectors/lenses are so diffussed that you can't see anything.

    I'd suggest you upgrade to a higher wattage high beam bulb (although if you fry the wiring harness subaru will not cover it) I'm not sure how resistent the new wiring harnesses are to higher wattage bulbs. I have 80/100w H4s in my '88 XT6 with European lenses/reflectors and they are awsome.

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