Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Your alarm should have a shock sensor as well. Try this -- sit in your vehicle and arm the vehicle while you're in it. Give the steering wheel a nice firm hit with the palm of your hand. The alarm should sound if it's been calibrated properly. If not, there should be a knob on the alarm CPU to adjust the sensitivity.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I think the proper term is "brain". No idea why, but if you ever need to have any work done at a car audio / security shop, call it a brain and they know what you're talking about.

    oh btw Ken, no luck on the stock shifter. sifted around in the garage a bit this evening and nope... it was 'wifed'. she must have figured that the kartboy would never break (it won't) and I'd never want to replace it (I don't!). sorry dude.

  • anibalbanibalb Posts: 193
    Kens thanks. But where is this alarm CPU located?
  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    A clarificatin, please. You said you use the Shur Grip Z cables, and the manual says use chains on the front tires only. Are you equating or distinguishing cables and chains? (Should I order a set of two cables, or four?)
  • mikezakmikezak Posts: 95
    I too, just went with the Fumoto value & Mobil 1 with my 01 OBW. I did it at the 10K mark.

    Regarding your dealer's comment with synthetics, I truly believe it is who you talk to -- all they offer are their 'opinions'. For example, when I was shopping around for my Outback, one dealer said that he has a customer who buys a Subaru every 2-3 years, and at the first oil change, replaces the dino oil with Mobil 1. The dealer who I eventually brought my OBW from offers a Mobil 1 oil change -- abeit @ $50 -- yikes.

    With the broader experience you will find here and at other Subaru newsgroups, I was reassured that many people have used and use it, and have gotten many miles with their Subs without any problems from it...
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Colin: No prob. Thanks for checking anyway!

    Anibalb: In my Forester, the alarm "brain" (thanks, Colin) located under the dash near the steering column. I'm not 100% sure where it is on your OB. Does anyone here know? Maybe the dealer can help you.

    Joe: Cables and chains are technically both traction devices. Although the manual states "chains" it's really calling for a traction device. The difference between the two are durabilility, ease of use/size and level of traction.

    Chains typically are more tricky to put on although there are some fancy European models that are little easier. Because chains are bulkier, they are more durable and usually offer more grip. The biggest issue with chains is clearance. Many passenger vehicles don't have enough space around the tire to allow for a chain.

    Cables are more compact and are usually a lot easier to put on. However, they don't offer quite the high level of traction as chains. My Shur Grip Zs go on super easy because they have a self-tightening feature. No need to stop and check for proper fit after 100ft.

  • sibbaldsibbald Posts: 106
    In Canada, our vehicles come with the cold weather package rather then the factory alarm. I had the dealer install the factory alarm after purchase and kept their Subaru technican's installation instructions.

    With regards to the Shock Sensor Test,

    1. Lower the driver's side window then close all doors.

    2. Depress the LOCK/DISARM button on the remote to enter the armed mode.

    3. Wait 5 seconds, then reach through the window and lightly strike the rim of the steering column
    (DO NOT hit the horn or AIR BAG!) and the following should be observed:

    a. The horn will chirp 2 times.
    b. The parking light will flash 2 times.

    NOTE: This is the shock sensor warning mode. For light vibration and/or impacts, only warning chirps are delivered.

    4. Wait 10 seconds, then again reach through the window and firmly strike the rim of the steering column and the alarm should trigger.

    NOTE: If the shock sensor sensitivity is too high or low, the sensitivity may be adjusted by following the procedure section 1.

    anibalb - If after testing your alarm, you want to adjust it, check my profile and E-mail me. I will scan the pictures of the module installation and the instructions on how to adjust the shock sensor.


  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    That would make me guess that the OB factory alarm is also mounted on the steering wheel. Try looking up under your dash -- it's probably tucked away in there.

  • sibbaldsibbald Posts: 106
    is mounted on the passenger side of the car radio bracket. Gearshift cover, tray, ashtray and centre console cover need to be removed along with the radio, C.D. etc. to access it.

    Actually looks easier in the manual than it sounds.

    The starter interrupt and horn relay is located under and to the right of the steering wheel column behind the dash panel.

  • sibbaldsibbald Posts: 106
    The starter interrupt and horn relay is located under and to the LEFT (drivers side) of the steering wheel column behind the dash panel.

    If you are giving me directions while driving, just point - it works! :~}

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Hi Crew,

    Long time, no talk. I've been working away on my doctoral dissertation, but that's almost done and I hope to return to the discussions as my life gets back to normal. I got married and bought a house too, so you get the idea . . .

    In the meantime, I have a question about tires on my 00 Outback that only the Subaru Crew can properly address. My drivers's side rear tire got sliced by a piece of metal (the firewall VIN tag from another car if you can believe it) while I was driving yesterday, and it's damaged well beyond repair. There is a cut from the sidewall around down to the base of the tire, and some steel cords are sticking out. I am still running the original Firestone Wilderness tires with about 21K miles on them, and the other three tires are in good shape with even wear.

    My question: knowing how the AWD system works, it would seem that I can't just replace this one tire, and it doesn't make sense to replace a pair either (as I might do in a 2WD car). I have a sinking feeling that I need to replace all four. Any comments or suggestions? Anybody know Subaru's recommendation in this situation?

    I really don't like the Firestone tires, so I won't be sorry to see them go, but I don't want to spend the $400 it would require to get 4 new tires either. I have also noticed that Firestone has either discontinued or renamed this model of tire, so I'm not sure if it's even an option to get a matching replacement.

    Thanks in advance for your help!


    P.S. What kind of tires are on the new Outbacks?
  • First, congrats on your marriage, as well as the home purchase & near-completion of your studies - the real fun is still ahead!

    IIRC, Subaru recommends no more than 1/4 inch difference in the measured circumference of any of the tires on the car. At 21k miles, there's a chance that a new, single tire (or pair) would be outside of that spec. You might consider salvaging at least one of the current tires as a full-size spare, if you don't already have one.

    Wish I could be more specific, and with better news, but here & now, that's the best I can do. Mike (paisan) & Juice will no doubt chime in within a day or two & either elaborate upon or refute my info with far more expertise than I have.

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    I believe that a form of the Bridgestone Duelers are now OEM on the Outbacks.

    If I had that happen to our OB, I'd probably bite the bullet and get some new Michelins (or just use it as an excuse to get rid of the Wildernesses). The Firestones on our OB have been pretty good in dry and wet (rain), but I'm sure snow traction suffers. I've also heard good on some Dunlops, but I'm sure others will chime in with more suggestions.

    You may be lucky enough to find a used Wilderness at a junkyard or a tire store. That may just help buy some extra time to decide at least!

  • Hey-

    I have an '01 which has the Wilderness, and I believe the '02s have the same. I feel the same way re the Firestone tires - not wild about them, but don't want to spend $400+ on new tires. (My car only has <12Kmiles. My sister's '96 OB came with (and she put on a second set of) Michelins. When my Firestones are spent, I am going to look into Michelin. Unfortunately I think you do need to change all 4 tires at this point - if you can. Hope that helps. Congrats on wedding and house.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Some tire stores carry used tires. You may want to check around to see if they have any used Firestones that match your current treadwear. That probably would be the cheapest solution.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775

    The replacement for the Firestone that came on my '02 OB's is the Bridgestone Potenza. Even though the brands are 'cousins', the tread pattern and govt rating are different between the two.

    Many tire stores that sell to the competition market have equipment to shave a tire. If you found a new OEM replacement, you could go that route to match diameters. But I would imagine that the overall cost of going to this much trouble would put you further ahead if you went to a volume discounter like BJ's / Sams / Costco.

    I was curious in Sams last week and saw BF Goodrich Comp/TA Touring in the requisite size (225/60-16), but I am not sure if these had the H or S speed rating. I think they were $77 plus M/B. I had them on a Camry wagon and they were pretty good in snow, decent on dry roads.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Basically, make sure that if you replace that single tire, that the circumferences are no more than 1/4" off from the used ones. I tried to do the same thing on my trooper (buy a used or replace with a used tire of similar wear) I had the same make, model, brand, size tire with equivilent wear on it. It caused problems with my AWD system on my trooper (lots of whine during street driving). I had thought it was a problem with the 4wd unit, didn't even think about it being the 1 tire I had changed. The dealer measured the diameters, and sure enough, that 4th tire was 1/4" different in size. As soon as they changed it with the spare, I had no more problems. So just a word to the wise, try to replace all 4 whenever you have to.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775

    The most interesting car I have ever owned was a 1979 Datsun 810, two door sport coupe. Basically a Z-car with a more sedan-ish body. Forerunner of the Maxima, known for a time as 'BlueBird' in Japan.

    Fiancee` and I went to a Datsun dealer near Ft. Worth, TX in early 1980 to test drive the new 200sx model, when we spied a leftover car on a pedestal out front. She fell in love with the styling (although I thought it looked a bit odd), but I was overwhelmed by the engineering. L24 overhead cam 6 cyl with a version of Bosch L-jetronic port fuel injection (modernized version of the 240Z engine), semi-trailing arm independent rear suspension, reclining buckets with lumbar support, etc. All things virtually non-existent on American cars of the day.

    Drove it until '91 and retired with about 170,000 miles on the clock. Gave it up when the cost of replacing the two piece drive shaft (welded in u-joint cap bearings had turned to dust....) exceeded the value of the car. It was also pretty badly rusted from spending most of its life in NY.

    So what does this have to do with Subarus? Nothing, other than it was my first Japanese car, and began my love affair with their advanced technology and solid engineering.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You can take the LSDs out of subies and they bolt directly into the Nissan/Datsuns...

  • anibalbanibalb Posts: 193

    Thanks so much for all the feedback! I did tests yesterday and it did indeed chirp. I set it and then kicked the tires and it chirped. I hit the palm of my hand against winshield and it chirped. Also hit steering wheel and same. So I suppose it is working just fine. Again, thanks for all the feedback.

    For the people that use MOBIL1. How often do you change the oil and how often do you change the filter. With Dino I did it every 3K miles. I suspect I can go the recomended 7500 with the synthetic. But do I need to still change filter?? Thanks
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    $8 for a filter? Some of these markups are ridiculous. Darlene used to charge $4 with a crush washer and shipping thrown in for free! I imagine $5 is more common.

    But my Mazda dealer charged me something like $28 for a gas cap for the Miata. They have odd sizes so I could not find one at local auto supply stores (Pep Boys, Trak Auto, even NAPA). The woman in front of me in line paid almost $9 for her oil filter, too.

    Craig: you disappear for a while and your only excuse is you got a PhD? Marriage? A new house? That's it? ;-) Congrats on all three counts!

    My wife has BFG Comp T/A tires, but they are VR4s. Still, $77 per tire sounds pretty good. You could keep one of the three good ones if you wanted a full size spare, and buy a steel rim for it. Maybe a couple of tire swings for the kids you'll soon have? Sorry, just tryin' to help.

  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    Changed my cabin filters on my 00 OB this weekend for the first time. The originals are about 1 yr old. Talk about disgusting!!! I took a picture. If someone can help, I will post a picture of the old and new side by side when I get the roll developed. Let me say this.....I will never purchase another vehicle that does filter the air into the cabin!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's funny - after a year mine were barely dirty. Do you drive with your windows open most of the time?

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Thanks for your input guys! I did see the BFG Touring TA HR4 at Sam's for $78 each and it looks like a decent deal. They also have the Michelin X-1 (called the X-Radial Plus at Sam's) for $107 each, and those tires last forever. Either way, I can't bring myself to buy four new tires -- it would be the largest unscheduled expense for any car I've owned, and would certainly spoil the low-cost benefit I associate with owning a Subaru. But, I also don't want to invest in any more Firestone tires. I just don't like them, and it would mean a longer term commitment to the same tires when the remaining originals begin to wear out. So, it looks like 4 new tires is going to be the solution, unfortunately.

    I will definitely keep the three good Firestone tires, for use as spares and to give my garage that motor-head look. It's too bad the spare tire well in the OB isn't big enough to accomodate an inflated full size spare. I could barely get the deflated flat tire in there. Maybe roof-mount is the way to go, for the authentic safari look.

    I was trying to use this episode as an excuse to get a WRX or an LL Bean wagon, but my wife debunked that dream within seconds. Dang!

  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, Maryland, USAPosts: 1,246
    Cut tire = excuse for a WRX? Dude, you're pushing the envelope of the honeymoon period. Congrats on the PhD, house, and marriage. Glad you're still around.



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What about having a full size spare deflated, and carrying a portable compressor? Some luxury cars come with deflated spares.

    Try measuring diameters. Mark the tires with chalk, and have your wife drive forward a few feet. Mark it again after one full revolution, then measure. Then visit a dealer and ask to test drive one with new tires. Compare the two, and see if the difference is more than 1/4". If the tires have not worn much, it may not be.

    To be accurate, you may want to measure 5 revolutions, and make sure you are going in a perfectly straight line.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Congrats, Congrats, Congrats!

    When it comes to tires, I always take the safe road. You have a beautiful new wife to protect, although I understand your position (Honeymoon + New House + Degree = No $$$)
    I just installed four new Yokohama's on my Sienna. Total cost = $260. I ordered them from Tirerack and had them installed at Costco for $9/tire. Worked out great and I saved a bundle. You might want to check this route out.

    Good luck,
  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    No. Too cold in winter. Summer is too hot (a/c). Granted, I built a new home in a new subdivision last roads got somewhat dusty. The key is the road salt. After an icy winter day, roads are salted (combo salt/sand) to death. Then when the roads dry, you can see a white haze of road salt dust in the air. Hopefully the filters catch these particles since I have heard that road salts contain a certain amount of arsenic. Anyway, my photos will show the diff: bright white of the new vs. dark grey of the 1 yr olds.
  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    Leaving the windows open will decrease the filter contamination since you are not drawing air through it. In my dirt road driving I keep the windows firmly up, the A/C on. The result is a clean interiour and a filthy filter.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587 had Nitto NT460 tires in size 215/60HR16 for $57 per last time I checked. They are 460AA rated and great for everything except snow.

    I run my HVAC just about all the time, so I'm a bit surprised.


Sign In or Register to comment.