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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • jimmyp1jimmyp1 Posts: 640
    has anybody successfully treated the weather stripping around a sunroof so that it regains its sealing capabilities? I have the slightest leak in the driver's side front corner of mine. Just enough, after a substantial downpour, to dampen (and discolor - temporarily) the headliner in that area. That's how I noticed it. My car is parked in my garage 90%+ of the time, but I want to fix this before it gets worse. I know people tend to not like armor all, so what else is there? Or am I facing buying a new seal, or can I even do just that?


    Edit: 1994 Legacy Turbo, for the last part of my question.
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    No, it didn't! The girl that picked me up that time was even goofing on the Metro. "Oh, you're lucky the dealer is paying for it. You won't get a Metro." It was late fall, so a lot of rentals were gone due to deer accident repair. The girl apologized profusely and I didn't make an issue about it.
    I'll never take power steering for granted again(I think Makinen lost p/s on a recent rally and ended up crashing and knocking the wheel off).

    I also had to go birthday shopping for my wife that day. A Metro is downright scary at 65 mph in the rain!

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    You got to admit, it had great steering feel.....I had one of those before as a rental car (because they ran out of other cars). I also got a Chevy Silverado & a Dodge Ram before....the exact opposite of the Metro, gas guzzling behemoths
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Have included two Ford Focii (wish they could get those cars down pat), a V6 Saturn L-series sedan (pleasantly surprised), a Mitsu Mirage (EVO VI based on THAT?!?) and a Mitsu Galant (nothing special; monotone interior affected my depth perception). Never a Subaru as loaner - wonder why?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subies do get better after they break in. My average crept up by 2-3mpg after a year or so.

    Hugo: I doubt you be unlucky twice. There are a few bad ones, but not many. Both our Forester and Legacy average 25mpg now.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Niche player, dealers mostly shared with other (big) brands?

    I've had a Mirage loaner, too, and thought the same thing. They're LOUD too. Also, a 626 loaner. Neither was anything to write home about.

  • zscottiezscottie Posts: 23
    My 98 Legacy's GT light in the A/C controls went out. At night, everything is dark. Is there a bulb back there, that can be easily pulled out? I've talked to two other Legacy owners who have similar problems. Not a big deal, but annoying at night...

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I should have looked when I replaced my radio. It took my 3 hours to do that, but I bet I could do it in under an hour now. I worked from below, though, so I didn't look at the HVAC stuff.

  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    Trust me.

    My 2001 Forester was the cat's meow. The 2002 I'm driving now is like a biblical punishment. The trouble I'm going through now far outweighs the enjoyment I had before. This car has been my other job for 8 months.

    I suppose I have recourse if it comes to it, but you'd think that after all this trouble I wouldn't have to go that far. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth that I may have to pursue intervention after 6 months of begging them to fix the thing.

    Stay tuned.
  • jimmyp1jimmyp1 Posts: 640
    Help! I'm lost in a sea of rental car posts!

  • danyidanyi Posts: 2
    Actually, it almost has a burning smell and it usually happens after I have been driving 20 minutes. After I turn off the car, I can really smell it and even see some exhaust coming through the vents in the hood.
  • mrluthermrluther Posts: 23
    I have read many posts in this forum about the bad luck many have had with Subaru dealers around the country. It makes me think of all the little gifts I have sent my Subaru mechanic (who is a family friend) and how he has told me of his own frustration in trying to work for these dealerships that just blatantly try to rip people off!!I would advise anybody who has had a bad time with their dealer to also contact their State Attourney General and file a complaint against any of these dealers. Subaru makes unique cars but they are far from perfect, oil leaks and noisy brake pads are things that I had to learn to live with after 4 Subarus. I still feel that these are great cars(and more peppy now!!) and I would never think of buying anything else...except a new mini!!! Mike
  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    Fun car, but the shortest car in America? I do not care what type of safety features they put in the car. Any sort of accident and your risk of a serious injury is increased significantly due to the small amount of space to absorb the impact. Just plain physics and engineering.
  • dougy2dougy2 Posts: 2

    You may have a clogged sunroof drain, actually. The seal is not going to keep water out, so there are several drains around the rim of the sunroof. Open the roof and use a strong flashlight at night to look in the front corners for a drain opening inside the frame. Pour a little water in it and see if you hear it hit the pavement behind the front wheel in a couple seconds. If it does not, it's completely clogged. If it dribbles out it's partly clogged. If you can see debris, clear it out carefully so you don't dislodge the drain tube, which goes all the way down near the street behind the front wheel.


    There are bulbs back there, but you did not specify which light is out. Does your blue AC button light when activated? If you're talking about the other AC panel lights I can help you. Can't remember which of these Subaru subjects has it, but I replaced all three bulbs about 2 weeks ago and posted the procedure. Takes about 90 minutes if you have the new bulbs on hand. Is this searchable? Can you search my posts for it?

    Dougy2 (was IdahoDoug until today??)
  • glasschimeglasschime Posts: 13
    We have a 99' Forester that was impossible to keep running and ran rough for most of the winter, the check engine light also came on (at 48000 miles). We finally bit the bullet and took it to the dealer for service. Our timing was great. The service manager told us that not even a week before, that Subaru had issued a recall on the Air flow sensor meter for the above named cars. Bringing it in when we did saved us $150.00. Subaru said they would reimburse those who paid for this repair if they provide a receipt etc. For details, call 1-800-782-2783. Mention program "WWG-90".
    Good luck.
  • pgh4pgh4 Posts: 13
    John- I otherwise love my Outback, but share your current pain. My stalling and rough idle can happen anytime, warm or cold. It has gotten to the point that sitting at stoplights frequently requires a throw to neutral, and holding the accelerator to about 3000 rpm, to avoid a stall. Sometimes even while holding the accelerator, the rpm's drop back to near zero, then bucks and shakes, and finally a stall. The rough idle is not even close to the normal fluxuation that can be expected when engine is cold, or when a/c is turned on. I was a little disappointed to see that the throttle position sensor didn't work. As noted previously, my dealer had a hard time duplicating my problem, and no codes given just like yours. Last night, the check engine light came on and has remained so. Hoping that is the flag that a code will now be given. I'm calling dealer today for another appointment. I will post the results.........
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    dougy2 is correct, one way to clean the clogged drain tubes is with compressed air, just be careful and do not use too much preassure, you can even try your garden hose if it is a small clog.
    Been there done that Steve
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For anyone having problems with starting, consider having the battery tested. My OE battery had only 260 CCAs, something like that. I replaced it with a 525 CCA battery and it just cranks over much more easily.

    If you have a problem and can't explain it any other way, just consider testing the battery.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Actually Legacys are not affected, only 1999 Foresters and 2.5L Imprezas. These vehicles had the 2.5L SOHC a year before the Indiana-built models and had a Mass Air Flow sensor that was horribly unreliable, especially if the car was modified. Even when stock they didn't survive all that long, thus the recall.

    There's a few large threads on the iClub about it. There's also a part number for the sensor itself which is a $45 part vs. the entire MAF being about $300.

    I can't believe it took FHI this long. This same MY99 part handicapped the 1999 WRX as well in all markets (Impreza turbo then in the UK).

  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    Went to dealership this morning at 7:30 AM for repair attempt #9 on the rotten egg smell odyssey.

    I found out yesterday that the rep and mechanic from Subaru I was supposed to meet at 7:30AM wouldn't be there until 9:30 (after I left for work). Also, the loaner car I was assured would be there wasn't, and the man behind the counter had no idea what I was talking about. When they finally got me to the car rental place, they wanted my credit card (for a deposit) or a PO# from the dealer. The dealer wouldn't provide one. I left very angry after an hour of nonsense. Out of everything I was assured would happen, not one actually did.

    The dealership just called to tell me the car was ready and that the folks from Subaru had left. I'm told they did something to the tailpipe so the smell wouldn't come in the car anymore, and that it needs an ECU update that I have to go back for because they're too busy today.

    I left a message for the person at Subaru dealing with my case to call me back. That was 1 1/2 hours ago.

    Draw your own conclusions. I certainly have.
  • grugrugrugru Posts: 20
    Hello - lurked for a while a while ago
    Took my subie for a drive in the snow
    got me home i never got lost
    now, how much did YOUR 30k maintenance cost?

    Also, what's a good replacement for the Geolandars? Popped a 1/2-dollar size hole in the inside sidewall; got a used replacement, but they're @^%#$^ noisy. Suggestions for Oregon climate, please.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That stinks. The dealer should lose their franchise. They call that service?

    Are there others dealers in your area? I guess we're spoiled here in DC, there are 7 within driving distance of me.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not my expertise at all, we get only a couple of inches of snow this year. I'm on touring tires that are lousy in snow.

  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    Some gas companies sell "gasahol" which contains 10% or more methyl alcohol. Arco is one that I know of. I think some others do it in the winter because alcohol is "miscible" (mixes completely) with both gas and water. You've heard of gas-dryer? Same stuff.

    Anyway, alcohol has less energy in it than gasoline. The higher the percentage of alcohol, the greater the reduction in gas mileage. I think the alcohol content may be posted on the pump.

  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    I've had SoA involved in this project for 5 months, and I still don't have a car that works.

    I think this sort of thing works from the top down...
  • quonquon Posts: 7

    I would like to flush the brake fluid on
    my 99 Forester. I have the service manuals
    and the procedure looks pretty straightforward,
    however, I'm concerned that there may be
    some complications due to ABS. For example,
    I read that on some ABS systems (not necessarily
    Subaru), if air somehow finds its way into the
    braking control system, you will need to take
    it to the dealer. The Subarau service manual,
    however, does *NOT* have any special warning
    messages for cars equipped with ABS.

    Does anyone have any practical experience
    flushing the brake fluid on an ABS system?

    Any info appreciated.


  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I have bled the brakes many times on my (former) '99 Impreza RS and on friends Imprezas as well.

    There's nothing to it. There is a recommended order mentioned in the FSM but I always used RR, RL, FR, FL and it worked well.

    If you do get air in the ABS system, a dealer can purge it by using the ScanTool. It's neat.

    I never had any problems though. I recommend Valvoline SynPower brake fluid-- cheap, available at Wal-Mart and most autoparts chains, and very good performance. The complete volume of the braking system (1999 with ABS) is 10.1 ounces, so only buy a 16oz bottle. You want to be out or nearly that after one shot, an open bottle of brake fluid absorbs moisture WAY worse than what's in the car.

  • joe_sinjoe_sin Posts: 32
    The solution to all my problems seems to have been that the car needed a chrome tailpipe cover. Subaru's regional rep and their technical instructor came all the way to Brooklyn to install that on my car.

    Of course, I got not one block from the dealership when the rotten egg fumes filled the inside of the car. I had to open the vents first, though. Apparently, the folks from Subaru closed them for their test drive. I'm not sure how they could expect to smell anything that way, but what do I know.

    The customer service rep finally returned my call at 4:00PM to let me know she was leaving at 4:30 and would return on Monday. Of course, what with leaving work early (again) to pick up the car, I didn't get the message until too late. I guess we'll see if they have someone else contact me tomorrow.

    Oh yeah. They dealer also said the car needs to go in for an ECU update next week. They couldn't do it today because they were "too busy".

    I know it can't be the WWF89 update, because that one doesn't apply to my car (built later in the year). Has anyone else heard about an update for 2002 Foresters?
  • idahodougidahodoug Posts: 537

    How do you like the factory manuals? How many manuals are there and what did it cost you? I've looked at the one for my '97 and it seemed to be several bulky manuals vs an after market Haynes.

    On the brakes, I think you'd have to really screw up to get air into the ABS controller. Just keep the reservoir reasonably full and you'll be fine. I've done several ABS vehicles at home with no problems, will echo the Synpower synthetic recommendation and the freshly opened bottle only comment. Some vehicles have a proportioning valve near the rear axle with a bleed valve as well. If yours has this, I believe it was recommended as the last bleed after the wheel calipers were done on vehicles I've done.

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