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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,970
    I e-mailed bit yesterday, he is alive and well but extremely busy, he hopes to get back on the boards in the next little while.

    Cheers Pat.
  • I have a little problem with my new 02 Bean.

    450miles on it and whenever I am trying to park (forward or reverse)
    when I turn the wheel the car "surges". It is almost like the ECU is
    detecting a load on the engine and upping the RPMs to compensate.
    It is just compensating too much! Sometimes accelerates pretty fast!

    Took service writer for test drive and he confirmed it happening as well.
    Have Friday appointment with dealership.
    Any one else out there have this problem? If so what did the dealership do
    to fix it? I really hope it goes away!
  • lets hear it for someone in the (depressed) sillycon valley that is busy.
    Bit, as Dr. Seuss said so well:
    Go, Dog, Go
    (in santa cruz)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    William: doesn't sound familiar. Maybe the power steering is asking a bit more from the alternator and the engine picks up the revs to be able to offer the extra power? Just a guess.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I've seen that in almost all PS cars of late. Not quite so apparent as that, but the engine will pick up RPMs when you crank the wheel hard due to the PS pump putting a very heavy load on the engine at that point. YOu aren't supposed to keep it in the fully cranked position for an extended time (back off a hair and it will not surge) keeping it there can cause pre-mature PS pump failure.

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Just got back from the dealer. They found that the left head gasket and the water pump gasket are leaking. They told me it was safe to drive the car but ordered the gaskets AND a new water pump, under the rationale that "the water pump gasket is impregnated in the pump itself." They hope to have the parts in and get the car in on Monday.

    Needless to say I am very angry right now. In my mind there is no way a two-year-old car of any make, with 31,500 miles, and which has not been raced, should experience this kind of failure. I took the advice of many who told me to buy a Subaru for its long-term drivetrain reliability. I really want to like this car - it's fun to drive and does eveything I want or need it to do - and I can't think of any other make that would quite meet my needs and be within my price range. In fact, you all know that I have been developing a case of WRX envy. I am having a really hard time convincing myself at the moment that I want to keep the Forester, much less be a repeat owner.

    At least it is under warranty.

    Sorry to come across so melodramatically; I have enough drama queens to deal with in my office. I'll be back shortly after coffee and aspirin.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Simmer down there chisel chest. Even good cars sometimes have a bad gasket installed. Also don't forget they might just be thowing these items at the problem w/o knowing what the actual problem is.

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    My 1994 VW Golf blew a head gasket at less then 15,000 miles and I drove it quite conservatively. That was just one of many early warrantly problems. Strangely, it settled down and was quite reliable once it was out of warranty. I'm sorry that you are having a problem, but it does happen in the real world.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The important thing is that they are working at solving the problem. Can you imagine if they gave you the old line, "they all do that"?

    And we may not have been racing, but you were driving off road fairly aggressively in the Pine Barrens.

    However, if you're looking for an excuse to trade up for a WRX wagon, here it is! :-)

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Sorry to hear about the problems. I know exactly how you feel. I've had my share of warranty related problems too. After all that's been said and done, I've been able to continue enjoying and driving my Forester because the problems were diagnosed correctly and repaired. Hang in there.

    I can relate to WRX envy also. However, I'd wait at least until the first model year is finished to buy.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Is that a Phase II on the 2000 Forester? If it's a Phase I, his problem doesn't surprise me at all.

    Ed driving agressively in the PB? Lol. I was about to fall asleep driving behind him for a little while. :-p
    (no offense, Ed :-D). I drove more aggressively down the NJ Turnpike.

    Meanwhile, my 1 y.o. clutch is starting to squeak from the tranny area again. :-(

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Phase II, yes. Not offended, Dennis; I took it really easy most of the time, only up to 50 in a couple of the stretches after I let juice get far enough ahead of me. I wasn't sure what the car was capable of (I am now) and I didn't know the terrain. I certainly drive faster on the Interstates and turnpikes, but I have never subjected the car to the kind of hard driving that one may do on a track day.

    I have had sufficient time to calm down now, but I'm still unhappy about it.


    PS: paisan: "chisel chest"?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I've heard that people "bust out Superman" when they get angry but never "chisel chest".

  • It does it with a simple turn of the wheel while parking.
    No cranking from lock to lock here. Just turning the wheel
    about 90 degrees will envoke surging. Let me tell you I
    am babying this car!
  • Sounds like Piasan likes "Jerky Boys".

    They are funny as heck!!!!!!
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    Same thing happened to my friends 99 Forester at 30K. The dealer fixed it and had no problems since then. Look at the bright side, the cooling fluid needs to be changed at 30K, and when they do the heads they must put in new fluid, so as long as it is under warranty it should not cost you a penny.
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Thanks, Steve. In this case I will have had the fluid replaced at 29,xxx and 31,600 miles. '99 has the same block that I have.

    BTW gang, I sat in a WRX wagon (WR Blue, manual) in the showroom for about 15 minutes - longer than I got to at the Philly Auto Show. The seat back bolsters are very comfy, the steering wheel is the nicest I've ever gripped, and I found a nice driving position, but I'm humbled to admit that I probably need to lose about 20 pounds to fit comfortably within the seat cushion bolsters. The dealer claimed that all WRXes on the lot except the one on the floor were sold, but "if I wanted to order one now it would come in in 4-5 weeks." Sheesh. Don't guess I'll be test driving one there.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nice to look at the bright side on occasion, Steve. :-)

    I had the brake master cylinder replaced during a recall campaign, and I liked that they basically replaced (instead of me bleeding) my brake fluid.

    Ed: you could always get Sparcos.

  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    Since last year I had snow packed inside the wheels of my 01 Legacy GT (therefore lots of vibration and shaking), I started looking for a winter wheel/tire combo, with narrower rims and higher profile tires for better snow traction. After speaking with several dealers and the Subaru customer service I was told it is a known problem and currently there is no alternative. The 15" steel rims for the Legacy L will not clear my GT brakes. So I am down to purchasing low profile snow tires to be mounted on factory rims. At first I was going to get the Dunlop WInter SPort M2, but one dealer told me Nokians are superior tires. So what tires I get and what do I do to keep snow/ice off the inside of the wide rims?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you wax the wheels, the slush tends to not stick to them.

    Worked wonder for me last year. My 16" alloys stayed clean all season, while my steelies the year before had accumulated slush once or twice.

    I'd get a 2nd set of rims, so you don't have to keep remounting them. Either a used set of alloys from another Subie, or take-off steel wheels from

    Or look for specials from I found 16"x7"s for $75 a pop. You could even get 17"s with summer tires and save the 16" set for the snows. Just did a quick search and found several different rims for $125 per at the 17" size.

  • hey I don't know if these wheels clear the brakes ( maybe i'll need to check myself) but the price is great, the looks beat steel rims:p

    nice guys at serious as well beats chainstore/shoe salesmen. they have lots of stuff that works great on GTs/OBs: horns, interior light delays, driving lights...



    santa cruz

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Boy, I thought you guys lit into me when I complained about the gasket leaks. You should see what happened at i-club. Just nasty, including "I hate the way you think" from a Honda mechanic who didn't think I trusted techs to get the job done right the first time. I guess to him first time didn't include from the factory.

    I'm getting the feeling that you can't be critical of Subarus to other Subaru owners, or air your concerns and not get ripped for overreacting. Maybe I don't need to post here and at i-club.

    juice: I'd rather have incentive to lose weight than to just buy bigger seats.

    'Bye for now,
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I just get a set of snows and will mount them on the factory rims. I was going to buy the Dunlop WInter Sport M2, but someone suggested looking into the Nokian tires, they supposed to be better at the same price. Anyone had experience with Nokians?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Lark, I was just bustin your nutz a little :) Side note, Ed did pick up the pace in the afternoon run of the pine barrens. He and juice were a fly behind me.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    mike - Ssshh. We don't want another Fido on our hands. ;-)

    Ed, just go to Flemington on a Saturday. You can make a day trip out of it. Lots of outlets, an Amish Farmers market with lots of food/crafts and great bbq pork and a WRX you can actually test drive.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I think you are justified to be upset about this, I know I would be. I owned a string of zero-trouble Hondas from the late 80s until 2000, and everything else gets measured against this high bar. As much as I love my Subaru, I would be dissapointed if something major were to go wrong. But problems do happen on every make of car. The true measure of the situation is how you feel after they have fixed everything. If they do their job correctly, this will be a minor hiccup over the life of your car.

    I do hope you continue to post your honest and frank thoughts. We need to focus on reality here! Never mind about the OCD and other delusional behavior . . .

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Those wheel prices are very reasonable. I like the gun metal finish. Make sure you specify 5x100 (5 lugs, 100mms). If you get 4x100 and they don't fit, sell 'em to me cheap for my Miata. :-)

    Ed: don't sweat it. You have a problem, and yes, any problem sucks. It probably sucks a little more to a card-carrying OCD club member, so I feel for you.

    I too hope that with a bit of time and perspective, that it will be remembered as a little speed bump along a long, smooth ownership ride.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Subaru is now behind in the count. Hopefully this is it and after x years of ownership your experience will be much better. Subaru can then be ahead in the count and not strike out. (Still thinking about the Yankee loss) That's what I am looking for - after x years of ownership, was it average, good or great. Love driving it though. Keep us updated.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For perspective, according to JD Power, the very best cars have about 85 defects per 100 cars, and that's just in the first 90 days. Some of them can be minor, others can be as extreme as engine fires (X5).

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    My Z71 (previous vehicle) had 4 fuel injectors (out of 8) and a fuel pump go during the first 2 months of ownership. I was furious. It wasn't the dealer's fault nor GM. Turned out to be a bad batch of injectors during the early part of the year (1997). Of course, there was a labor strike going on too. I got to drive a Prizm during the repair (ewww! - it was peach colored too!)

    Even my wife's Saturn had a initial problem. During the first oil change, the tech noted that there was a bit much valve noise and basically rebuilt the top portion of the engine. Imagine trying to get that taken care of *after* the warranty.

    You also may recall that our Outback had an *optional* low-rider bounce in the rear shortly after we took delivery in Aug '00. Turned out that both rear struts were bad (and starting to leak too). No rental car and I had to wait a week while the struts came in from Peru (so said the dealer).

    Both of these are examples of things that aren't directly controllable by the car manufacturer (GM or SOA). I'm not sure who supplies the struts for SOA, but I believe Delphi or Bosch supplies the injectors for GM. Sure, these incidents took the smile off my face during the initial ownership (ok, it's a huge grin with the Outback). But, both were fixed properly.

    One key is to make sure that you get the issues dealt with by a competent dealer service area. I'm sure if I had shotty service from either of the dealer service areas that I would probably have a entirely different opinion on the matter.

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