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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    Len, consider yourself very lucky to have gotten a new clutch! Every 3K miles when I go in for service I hope that I the dealer might be willing to fix my horrid clutch, but after 30K miles, I'm just living with it. It has good days and bad, but this summer has seen more bad days than good, which worries me somewhat.

    As an interesting side note, I got back from a 1000 mile drive Sunday night, parked the car for 10 minutes, got back in to drive to the store, and the clutch had the most bizarre feel to it that I've experienced. It did not even feel like the same car -- to the point of me stoping at the end of my street to look under the car for clutch fluid (?) or whatever all over the place. The clutch was incredibly light (I could push it with my finger) for about 90% of the travel, then it would catch RIGHT at the floor. I had to look to see that the pedal was even coming up after I released it because it was so light. I ended up driving it for another 30-40 minutes just to see if any other weirdness developed because I was amazed at the difference in the way the car drove -- actually, in this state, the clutch felt better (smoother, more predictable) than it ever did in the previous 30K miles. I have noticed in the past that extended high speed (90+ mph) highway driving affects the way the clutch behaves in town, but it was never this pronounced. By Tuesday, though, my clutch was back to its same old self; bucking at stopsigns, shuddering from a dead stop. Ugh.

    About the paper getting sucked into the air vents -- I had that happen last year, too. I took it to the dealer to find out why the airflow stopped when I pushed the "recirc" button. Turns out, when I switched the fan to "recirc" it sucked in a fist full of napkins from the glovebox. There must be some amazing suction in there, because there were a TON of napkins in the intake. There's nothing loose in the glovebox now!
  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    Smokeybear, thanks for the tip on sucking papers out of hte glovebox into the fan. I'll make sure to clean mine out tonight!

  • smokeybaersmokeybaer Posts: 38
    To answer question about if I have the filters in the VDC. Yes, I do. Added it after I bought the car but it only filters the air being introduced from outside not the recirculated air from in the car.
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Do they make any difference when following smelly cars, or are they only dust and pollen filters?

  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    Dust and pollen only, I'm afraid. Still a good think though... :)
  • boba6boba6 Posts: 18
    Anybody have any recommendations for Subaru mechanics in the Atlanta/Decatur GA area? Just found out that my wonderfully convenient Conley Subaru dealership has been sold and is closing. Supposedly will re-open nearby (under new ownership, I guess), but that probably won't happen in time for the 3K service on my new Forester, which could be real soon depending on what I do over the 4th of July. Had really wanted to get dealer service early on, esp. as there's a problem with one of the storage compartments. But any recommendations would be appreciated.
    Bob A.
  • karinoskarinos Posts: 3
    Well, you all have been very helpful, and, if I knew anything about cars, I'd put all of this information together and do something with it! But I just drive, I don't tinker, so I'll ask one more question: What should we tell/ask the dealer as a suggestion as to what this might be? What should we have them check, specifically?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    in describing the situation. Driving conditions, weather, etc. The more "accurate" info you can give the dealer, the better.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They are pleated paper filters, but do a good job capturing dust and pollen, stuff like that.

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I won't be posting for a bit as I'm headed on vacation tomorrow afternoon. I'll try to check out the chat tonight! See you there?

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  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    FWIW - Subaru requires that all dealers us an on the car brake lathe for cutting rotors. They do not cut them if they are out of spec. The dealer is required to take measurements to make sure that they can be cut.

    The on the car lathe does an excellent job. It only removes a very small amount of metal, but the finish is like satin. It is a "true" cut rather than them being pulled off the vehicle.

    Brake pads are another "fine line" issue. A lot of manufacturers are trying to find the right solution. Since asbestos has been removed from pads, you have metal as a substitute. More metal, more noise and quicker wear on the rotor. Less metal, more frequent replacement. I believe that our current pads are good in comparison to some of what the others are using.

    It's really rare to hear that someone blames the customer for wear. The only times I've personally seen issues is with drivers that prefer driving with a foot on the brake and one on the gas or if the driver has his/her foot on the brake partially when driving. If your dealer is telling you that the wear is "your fault", ask why they are saying that. Test drive the car with them. If you are out of warranty and paying for the rotors to be cut, please be sure to ask them to use the on the car lathe.

    These are just my thoughts. If you have a problem, it's always a good idea to call us at 1-800-SUBARU3.


  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    How long the clutch is under warranty, my 01 Legacy GT shudders sometimes (mostly winter mornings) otherwise it feels fine. I did notice when I had the car new that these clutches are not that strong and I have been driving it rather gently. I have 47K on the car, I never had a clutch fail before 100k miles on any of my vehicles (even the 2.8L V6 Jeep which was vastly underpowered and over tourqued).
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I think it's 3 years or 36000 miles, which ever comes first.
  • teetime2teetime2 Posts: 2
    I have an almost new (8 months old) Forester L, which is really fun to drive, but I'm getting VERY POOR gas mileage on it (15 mpg!). I've had 4-cylinders car for the last 30 years, and have never had this problem before. Can anyone tell me if this is inherent in the new cars, or is it just a problem with Subarus? The explanation from the dealer's service dept. was to drive to LA and back several times to solve the problem! It's a real disappointment, and makes me wish I'd bought the Honda!
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I picked up my car from Flemington Subaru last night. The paperwork shows that they replaced everything: pressure plate, disc, throwout bearing, pilot bearing and even the flywheel. The clutch feels great now; nice and light and smooth, with no chatter. You'd never know this was the same vehicle, based on clutch action alone. I was told that the clutch is covered under the Powertrain Warranty, so it's good for 5 years/60K miles.

    I also had them perform the ECM recall service and change the spark plugs. I remember reading here that the ECM needs to re-learn your driving style. The car seems a little sluggish since I picked it up. Does anyone know if that could be caused by the ECM reprogram, and if it will reset itself? Thanks in advance for any and all info.

  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    We're in (almost) the same boat. My Forester is also 8 months old, and I've been going back and forth with various dealers and SoA for the last 6 months. So far, the catalytic converter, front O2 sensor, and plugs have been replaced. My mileage is up to 20.7, 50/50 mixed highway/city driving (which is still lower than the 2001 Forester I used to get), and I'm still getting rotten egg smell. Do you get that?

    From various conversations I've had with Subaru, I get the impression that there may have been a problem with the catalytic converter on many Foresters delivered 8 months ago. When that was replaced, my mileage jumped up to 20.5 mpg.

    The dealer's advice is just goofy. So far, I've had dealers tell me that 13 mpg (!) is normal, that I'm using bad gas, and that the car takes 15K miles to "break in". Don't believe a word of it. Call Subaru and get a case going if you can't get the dealer to make it right. I have a variety of postings on the Forester forum and the Subaru General Maintenance and Repair II forum detailing the whole story if you're interested.

    My car goes back in on Tuesday for more diagnosis by an increasing number of people from SoA. 6 months, 8 trips in for servcice, 27 days without the car. I'll be posting on Tuesday with the latest outcome.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    I had the ECM done 2 weeks ago. I feel the car is running better now. No impact on mileage. A slight hesitation I had once in a while before is now gone. However, that doesn't seem to be the consensus here. Most say they see no difference. The dealer did not know if the reprogram actually reset the system so that it needed to be "re-taught". Perhaps they disconnected your battery when they did the clutch work and that reset the ECM.

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Don't forget....gentle, no full throttle driving for the first 500 miles (clutch break-in period), as the clutch fully seats properly.
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    dunno about newer Subarus but both my 92 Legacys did indeed take up to 10K+ miles and then mileage got a lot better! But we are talking just under 20 improving to mid 20s. My 98 Legacy didn't have that problem IIRC. Too early to tell on my 02 WRX.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Yep, I too think it's just an update to the ECM, though we haven't really gotten an official statement. My mileage in 2 tanks since the update hasn't changed. Which is good, since I thought our OB has been running quite well before the update. I'm averaging about 22mpg on mostly city mileage, with highway trips coming in at 26 or so. That remains consistent after the update, at least in my case.

    Wonder if they didn't gap the plugs right, or perhaps used the wrong plugs? I don't believe that pulling the negative battery cable is necessary for a spark plug change. But, that's IMHO.

    You could reset the ECM yourself. I believe you let the vehicle cool completely, pull the negative cable for 30 minutes, reconnect and idle the vehicle until warmed up. Or something to that note.

  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    Patti--thanks for the brake info. Hope you have a great vacation!

    teetime2--our 99 Forester has always gotten great mileage on hwy runs--28 to 29 mpg, but the mileage around town has always been a little less
    than the EPA says at 17-20 mpg. I think a lot depends on your driving habits. The Forester is fun to hot-rod around town when the opportunities permit, and this is going to lower mileage substantially if (like me) you are prone to bursts of quick acceleration. Also, the amount of time warming the car up and the amount of time you spend at red lights (obviously) makes a difference. And there's a slight chance you are getting watered down gas at the place where you are filling up. You might try filling up at a new BP-Amoco station (which I feel is very trustworthy for quality of their product) and see if this makes a difference. if not, then at least you've eliminated that possibility.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,353
    watered-down gas?

    means what please?

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  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I actually purchased the extended warranty for 100k, better check if the clutch is in it
  • rexaroorexaroo Posts: 174
    either unintentionally, or through some skullduggery on the part of the gas-station owner (to increase profits at the expense of the customer), the gas is contaminated with extra H20. Some older stations with old, corroded gas tanks can easily have gas quality compromised with moisture condensation and/or other crud mixed in that goes into your tank. This is why I think it's important to buy gas from a newer station (ie. with new, clean storage tanks) and one that has a trusted reputation (Amoco, Phillips, Exxon, etc.). "Bad" gas is probably more common than most of us realize and can cause everything from poor gas mileage, clogged fuel filters, and engine misfires.
  • teetime2teetime2 Posts: 2
    joe sin: I don't get the rotten egg smell - thank goodness! That would really upset me! Fortunately, everything else works fine.

    rexaroo: I do mostly town driving, and do sometimes accelerate too fast from the stop light. And I'm buying my gas most of the time from Chevron, which is supposed to be reputable. But I might try another brand and see if that helps.

    The explanation I got from the Subaru website was that the EPA numbers on the sticker are purely estimates (duh!), and shouldn't be taken at face value, and what you get is what you get! In other words, not a lot of help.
  • jregen7243jregen7243 Posts: 91
    15 mpg is definitely on the low end of the scale. Have you gone on a long highway trip and checked your mileage?? I'd be curious to see what that was. Even driving around town, it shouldn't be much less than 18mph or so.

  • jregen7243jregen7243 Posts: 91
    I don't know why the alternator was causing this. However, when my cars did it (in the 80s) wouldn't even crank. I would turn the key and nothing would happen (car did have power though). After sitting for a few hours and cooling off, car would start again. After they replaced the alternator, problem went away.

  • jregen7243jregen7243 Posts: 91
    Just curious as to what Flemington gave you as a loaner. When I took my OB in for 30k service to Somerset, they gave me a 91 Legacy L with 140K miles as the loaner.

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Just filled up today and got a womping 24 mpg on my lead footed 80% city driving mileage. That's actually higher than normal for my typical city driving (usally get 22mpg). So, again, I have to say that the ECM update hasn't changed things, at least not for the bad.

    Did notice a couple *cough* pings *cough* during some driving the other day. The ping was not persistent, only pinged maybe a couple pings (ping ping ping) during an accelerator angle change (read that as accelerating in a corner). Couldn't get it to do it again at that time, but heard it on another day in probably a similar situation. Threw a bottle of Techron in just for giggles.

    Other than that, the engine seems to be itself still. Loves to rev to 5-6k just fine when prompted.

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