Howdy, Stranger!

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

Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • Craig,
    I believe the OBDII architecture needed to follow guidelines setup by the fed gov't. If I remember correctly, the architecture specified that OBDII computers be controlled by upgradeable software so that if/when upgrades become necessary no hw components would need to be replaced including memory rom and any other firmware related devices.

    During past problem resolution with my 2000 OB the shop foreman at the local Subaru dealer explained to me that the computers needed to be shipped back to SoA because the dealers did not have the capability to load sw onto the ecms.

    The limitation is probably be in the handheld diagnostic computers the dealers buy from Subaru. Perhaps they need to be redesigned. These handheld devices interface with the ecm via standard rs232 connectors. I would imagine that any laptop with an rs232 connector and the right propietary sw should be able to load sw onto the ecm without removing it from the car.

    Just my thoughts.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I had my ECU re-programmed @ Isuzu on my Trooper recently, so the technology is out there.

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I agree with you completely. We often download new algorithms into data acquisition computers at work, using nothing more than an old laptop and a RS-232 cable. I'm sure Subaru mechanics could handle it!

    Now I'm wondering if I could talk to the ECM with a laptop . . .

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    vince you're correct but once you put that capability into dealer's hands you actually put the capability in the hands of the public at large.

    if subaru doesn't want hobbyists or the aftermarket dinking with its ECU programming, keeping the tool in Cherry Hill is one way to achieve that.

    strangely, in the UK all dealers have this capability. although it is telling-- some aftermarket tuners have it too.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Maybe we could write an e-letter of some sort to her boss? Wouldn't it be the Head of Cust./Dealer Services?

  • Colin,
    GM dealers can reload sw. There's probably some type of security that prevents "most" people from loading patches or new programs that could impact (maybe improve) performance but alter emission levels. Auto magazines used to offer replacement chips in the back page ads but I don't recall ever seeing anyone offering sw upgrades for OBDII.

    I do believe in the future Fuji will be offering a similar capability to Subaru dealers that GM, and perhaps other dealers, already have.

    Browse around the web. There are vendors that sell rs232 connectors for laptops and the diagnostic sw that gets loaded on the laptop for about $150. You need to find sw that works with the specific auto manaufacturer. Some vendors are now offering connectors and sw for Palms. Try searching on "OBDII tools" from Google or Lycos.

  • What is the recommended oil weight for a 98 Legacy 2.5GT Limited? The local dealer just told me 5W-30...I thought it's 10W-30. And, how is the proper weight determined?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I believe it is 10w30 for all but the coldest climates, where thinner oils would be better.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Actually, I would think it's 5W30 since the 98 GT uses the same Phase I engine as we do.

    Subaru usually recommends 5W30 for it's recent models because it works for wide range of temperatures and it provide marginally better gas milage than 10W30.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    well-- it depends on where zscottie lives. we'd be recommending the wrong oil if he's in Phoenix for example.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    5W30 is the "preferred" weight listed in the manual for my car (97 2.2L) and my wife's (99 2.5L). That's for ambient temps of up to 104F. The manual then goes into the heavier weights for higher temps., severe driving, etc.

    They usually recommend the oil with the best flow at start-up and the best mpg. Depending on your driving habits or where you live, the dealer may recommend 10W30.

    Aren't manuals available on-line at

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Dennis- the manuals for your specific MY is available on-line. Somehow for me, I don't get what I'm suppose to get. The manual. Got to contact the Webmaster - I think Beth is still reigning. :-D

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    A question was raised about the use of dry gas. Years ago this was a common question and I studied up on the subject. My organic chemistry is a bit rusty, so will try to do this from memory. Please forgive my chemical spelling as it is very late:

    Most of these are simple alcohols that 'lockup' and disperse small amounts of water so that they are less likely to freeze in a line, or reach the engine as a concentrate.

    The cheapest is methanol (CH3OH) (methyl alcohol) - wood based, maybe selling for as little as $0.35 cents per 12oz container. This was fine for mechanical fuel pumps and carbs of older American iron. Do not use it in a fuel injected car as methanol quickly damages rubber seals.

    Gasohol is a mix of gas and ethanol (C2H5OH)(ethyl alcohol) using fermented feed grains like corn. Most seal materials can stand up to 10% ethanol by volume before getting into trouble.

    Premium dry gas is an isomer (C3H7OH)(which carbon the OH group hangs off of) of propanol (propyl, or in this case, isopropyl alcohol). This is the $0.89 - $1.29 stuff. Last time this was in the news, most auto mfgrs weighed in with it being OK, but no more than one 12 bottle per tankful or so.

    I use it occasionally, so hope this is still the correct info.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    I think you've got it right, isopropyl alcohol is sold under the brand name HEET (perhaps pure, perhaps a few additives). It does work very well.

  • tlimatlima Posts: 124
    Hello, I've been away from the forums for awhile, but am happy to report my '01 Forester has about 20k miles with no major problems except one...

    Recently, I've been noticing an occasional squeaking/screeching from under the hood, especially after short trips of 10-15mins. Today, I opened the hood and located the source of the noise as coming from the water pump/front pulley assembly. After longer trips, it is not that noticeable, but still there.

    I'm going to make an svc. apptmnt next week, but was wondering if anyone has any idea if this is serious. Could the bearings/pump be failing?

    Thanks, and it's good see all of the regulars are still here.

  • Could be the pump, could be the pulley, could be the belt. Either way, it ought to be a warranty item. Keep an eye on the temp gauge between now & that service appointment!

  • I am new to this board. Came here to get some info on premature rear wheel bearing failure. I have a 2002 Forester S and am pretty sure have one or both rear bearings going quickly. Sounds like I have snow tires on or have left a rear window open, noise is quite intrusive above 40mph. It came on quickly one day - came off the highway and thought "good grief! what is that roar?" I Checked oil level in differential, rotated tires, then thought wheel bearings. Have less than 10K miles. Am recently familiar with Impreza problem after searching the web with Google. Several comments recommended the forums at Edmund's, so here I am.
    Anyone know the SOA technical release numbers that update dealers on proper repair technique? Before I take for repair I like to have all the information that is available since I guess I am somewhat paranoid about dealer technicians.

  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    '99 Legacys apparently have not escaped the Phase I head gasket problem. A couple guys on the i-club Legacy board had thiers go. One of 'em at 43K. SO I might have about 2500 miles left myself..... :(
  • Any input appreciated! First let me explain the symptoms. When the car is cold (below 45 degrees F) it won't shift out of 2nd until the tranny (not the engine) is fully warmed up. It will run at over 3K RPM at 60MPH until it is warm enough to shift and then will run normally - 2,500 RPM at 70MPH.

    This is actually the second Legacy I've had with this issue. (I had a third without the problem) The first was a '90 with 114K MI (I drove it this way until 180K before I sold it). The current one is a '93 Legacy with 82K. I bought it with 53K and experienced this from very the first winter I had it.

    The tranny fluid is full and was changed at the 60K service. Thoughts?
  • Hello All,
    Just wondering if anyone knows anything about Quality Subaru Parts & Acessories. I remember ordering parts from Darlene at some decent prices. Lately I have not been able to access their site. Do they still exist. Is Darlene taking orders and can she be reached by phone? Thanks for any help!!!!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    According to the manual ATs will not shift into 4th gear until fully warm. All of the AT Subies in my family ('97 Legacy, '97 Outback, '92 legacy, '88 XT6, '92 SVX, '00 Outback) all exhibit this behavior and it is normal.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775

    I stopped by Wally World and checked their stock of both Cristy & Heet (the two main sellers). They still market both a methyl ($0.45) and isopropyl ($1.29) formulas. I noticed that both now claim to be safe for fuel injection, but I still would stay with isopropyl.

    Years ago Nissan had a TSB advising dealers to replace damaged fuel pumps once and warn customers not to use methanol. Deny the claim if it happens again. Today they probably have replaced rubber seals with neoprene or other chemically resistant synthetics, but isopropyl is just better stuff.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    I've been copying and sending all your Kudos for Patti posts to my supervisor, who sends them on to Subaru. (Hmmm..maybe I should create a Kudos for Patti discussion?) I've asked him to check if there is a direct email address you can write to. Patti's contribution to the Subaru Crew will NOT go unnoticed. :-)

    Owners Clubs

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Thanks Mike, that's somewhat heartening to hear. It still seems unusually long before mine warms up -- 10+ minutes at highway speeds? Is there something else that could be preventing the tranny from warming up normally?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    10 minutes does seem like a long time. Mine usually warms ups in about 3-4 minutes of non-highway speeds. Highway speeds will not warm up the tranny any quicker. I'm sure it depends on how cold it is out though. Here in NYC it only goes to about 25-35degrees, but upstate where I go to my house in the adirondacks it is like 0-15 degrees and it does take longer to warm up there.

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    for forwarding the Patti posts (you gotta love alliteration).

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Good to know that our praise hasn't been lost in cyberspace. Thanks for forwarding our comments.

  • In SW Pennsylvania I don't think we experience temps colder than NYC. It does, however, make a noticeable difference for warm-up time based on how cold it is.

    Sorry to risk being redundant, but does anyone know if there is something that can keep the tranny from warming up "normally"?
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    Colin: Thanks for the flush/bleed tip, but on a new car, I wouldn't think it necessary. When I say my pedal's soft, I don't mean that it's that soft, or that it changes when I pump it. I get the typical movement when we start the engine, and it's firm when you step down on it hard.

    What I don't like is the sense that we just don't have real braking power. It takes a lot of effort to convince the car to get serious, and you never really feel negative g's. I want the car to bear down and stop NOW, if I ask it to.

    I've been poking around for a while now on various boards, and have about decided to go with SS brake lines and possibly performance pads when we hit 30k.

    It's sometimes hard to know if others on these boards are seeing a real difference or are just into "buying presents for their cars", if you know what I mean. No offense to anyone intended, by the way. This all assumes that the Forester just has softer brakes than I like, and that I haven't had a problem from the getgo (no change from when the car was brand new, and I'm pretty sensitive to this stuff, so I think I'd notice even a gradual change).

    Comments ? Recommendations ?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Perhaps you are used to a car w/o ABS? I know I sense a big difference between my XT6 and my trooper. The XT6 doesn't have ABS, the trooper does. Also the SS brake lines is probably the best bet for pedal feel IMHO.

Sign In or Register to comment.