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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    P.S.: I officially joined the "bloody-knuckles" club last night when I replaced the spark plugs. I removed the washer reservoir and the air ducts on the other side for easier access. I used a 5/8" spark plug socket attached to a 3" extender, attached to a universal connector, attached to a 10" extender. I removed the rubber gripping inside the spark plug socket because for some reason the resistance from the spark plug kept separating the socket from the 3" extender. Instead, I loosened the plugs all the way, then pulled them out with a mechanics magnet.

    I think I'll skip the gym today, as I got a pretty good workout pulling those boots off!

    Today it's the fuel filter and, if I can figure out my PCV situation (see previous post), I'll finish that up too.

  • stoner420stoner420 Posts: 165
    I think it learns to lean out the mixture a bit more over time. It starts with a very baseline level until it learns what the car is capable of. It's really cool resetting the ECU, and watching the computer "learn" the car as it visibly alters settings to the engine for the first few minutes until it finds something smooth that it likes.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Actually, you don't necessarily need to reset the ECU for it to learn. It's actually always using current and past data to try and get to a all-around average. It's just that it adapts quicker to your current variables after a reset since it has no history to compare against.

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,552

    I got out the flashlight and popped the hood on my '03 Outback H-4. What you removed behind the coil (passenger side) is also brass on mine. I bet the PCV valve is the "fitting" screwed into the block at the other end of the hose. Let us know what you find out.

  • jmulholljmulholl Posts: 29
    I remember some posts talking about aftermark moonroofs. I'd be interested in your experience with them. Juice, you are in the same area as mine --- do you have any recommendations? Thanks.
  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    DaveM: Yeah, that's what I think as well. If so, the dealer gave me the wrong replacement part, since the existing hose will never fit on the valve they gave me. That lower fitting is also brass, but it looks like there's a spring-loaded valve in there (I'm not removing it until I'm sure it's the PCV). As an interim measure, I shot some carburetor cleaner down there -- that lower fitting was kind of oily when I pulled the hose off. I'll get over to the dealer this week to replace the part they gave me, and inquire further.

    Thanks for taking a look and posting, as I was hoping to find out it was not some sort of weird anamoly with my car!

  • hammersleyhammersley Posts: 684
    Had an odd occurence last week - CEL came on just drivin' down the freeway at 75. Got it parked at destination, tried the battery disconnect trick twice to no avail. Checked the gas cap (OK, I think), ran it through a couple start/stop cycles, drives/sounds/performs fine. (shrug)

    Went out the next morning & voila, no more CEL! Did I trip a code that somehow timed-out, or do I have a sensor somewhere starting to go intermittent?

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    how long did you have the battery disconnected?

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    or did you try the 'quick' method where you disconnect the battery and step on the brake pedal a couple of times? That's supposed to remove any residual power left in the system.

    Know anyone with a code reader near you? I'd hook 'er up to my laptop, but you're not nearby.

  • hammersleyhammersley Posts: 684
    I tried the disconnect trick twice... 30-45 minutes or more each time. Even tried the brake pedal shortcut on one of those, still to no avail. Will a code be retained even after the CEL goes away?

    Functionally, the car exhibited absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. Hummed along as usual, 27 mpg @ a steady 75mph.

  • jimmyp1jimmyp1 Posts: 640
    get you to start thinking about the newer engines coming out soon. OnStar is secretly in all cars.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Nice! If you wanna do the other stuff (AT, Coolant) we are doing an Installfest in Sept. (13/14) so just hit me with an e-mail for details.

  • I've had the same circumstance several times over the last 20k or so miles. Never found anything wrong and the light went out on its own.

  • Bit: thanks. I'm not particularly worried, just curious. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

  • On August 12 I took my 2001 Subaru Forester to my Subaru dealer for service. They replaced my front brakes and resurfaced the rotors and removed the right axle and replaced the CV boots and serviced the axle joint.

    On August 21 while driving, I lost all control of my vehicle on a roadway and was unable to steer. Grey smoke was billowing from the right wheel well. When I got the car stopped and got out, I saw that the right front wheel was crazily tilted at a 45 degree angle and smoke coming from the right wheel well. Luckily, I chose at the last minute to take an alternate route home instead of driving on a 6 lane, heavily congested highway. Had I taken that route I have no doubt I would have been involved in a collision, causing serious injury or death to myself and possibly others as well.

    The vehicle was towed to their business and the service manager, said that the mechanics neglected to torque the knuckle bolts that hold the strut and the bottom one was gone causing the wheel to loosen against the strut. The smoke came from the friction of the tire spinning against other material. They fixed the problem at no additional cost to me, but did not replace the tire, which they said had only "rub marks" on the inside of it.

    I have it in black and white on their service invoice, quote, "Towed in, check front suspension, found right front lower knuckle bolt gone (upper bolt still in place) Replaced bolt and torqued all suspension bolts and aligned." This clearly admits their fault and negligence to perform this service correctly and placed my life at risk, not to mention the time and inconvenience this caused. I lost a day's work over this.

    I said I wanted my credit card refunded for all the work that was done on the front of my Forester and the tire replaced. My tires were pretty new and in excellent shape. I don't believe that any tire that rubbed and caused tons of smoke to billow out from the wheel well has the same integrity as the rest of my tires. He checked with his mgr. and all he was willing to do was credit me back $100, which I told him was insulting coming from a business that's supposed to pride itself on "Customer Satisfaction in Action."

    They're argument? I wasn't injured. That's like saying pointing a gun at somebody is okay and not a crime as long as you don't pull the trigger. It just as easily could have gone the other way. The Service Mgr. admitted they probably didn't torque the bolts enough.

    Am I being unreasonable asking this dealership to do the right thing and refund me for this substandard, sloppy service?

    I've contacted Subaru of America which in turn contacted my dealership on Friday. Got a call late Fri. afternoon from the general mgr. who said they'd be willing to replace tires, but not refund my money. I'm told to expect a call from the OWNER of the dealership tomorrow. Any advice or insights would be most appreciated. Does my safety and satisfaction mean this little to Subaru? Any legal eagles out there who know if this is worth pursuing beyond this?
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    You should look to SoA as an ally to get the result you seek from the Dealership. I trust, like you, that SoA is not tolerant to neglect(s), in your case, where your safety has been compromised.

    Anyway, glad to hear that you're all right... your guardian angel was watching over you :)

  • I bought a 2003 Forester used in July. It had 12,000 miles on it. I was told before I purchased it there was a history of an oil consumption problem, about 1 quart per 1,000 miles and that Subaru had authorized an engine change. After consulting with my brother, a mechanic, I decided to purchase the vehicle. The engine was replaced and all was well for about a month. I started to notice a hesitation on accel and a rocking sensation when stopped in drive. Took the car back and they replaced spark plugs, which helped both problems about 90% ( can still feel a slight rock and an occasional slight hesitation.)

    Today, I decided to check the oil. It has been 1,700 miles since the new engine. I can't see any oil on the dipstick!!! I checked it cold, I drove it for about 1/2 hour and let it set for about an hour and checked it and I also drove it for a 1/2 hour and checked it after 15 minutes and I still can't see any oil on the dipstick!!!
    My questions are: Is this a normal amount of oil consumption? SHouldn't I be able to see oil on the dipstick? How low on oil is it if I can't see any on the dipstick? What could be making it consume oil? And while I am at it, the lemon law for NYS says there has to be four or more attempts to fix the problem. WOuld that include the attempts made while owned by the first owner?
  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Kim - Certainly not normal for a new engine - even for a decently rebuilt one. For the record you might want to ask if they gave you a new or rebuilt. Seems like you'd have been entitled to a new engine in a car with so few miles on it.

    The engines in general are notorious for being hard to get a good measure on the stick. Make sure the car is as level as possible. Check it cold. Pull the stick out, wipe it and let it set for a few minutes bfore measuring.

    Then make a measurement. If you're sure its reasonably level and you can't see anything on the stick, add a pint of oil. Then wait a few minutes, and repeat the check steps again. Keep close watch on how much you add, being careful not to overfill.

    Once you've got it set, drive for the day, then if possible park in exactly the same place, same angle, etc. Then repeat the next morning. You should now have a baseline time and location for checking the oil. As Subaru is very wide on their tolerence, a little one way or the other won't matter.

    Keep a paper record of when you check it and how much you add and how many miles - don't be afraid to buy a cheap measuring cup for an exact reference of ounces added.

    Now if you see the oil drop, you can document:
    1) the amount you added
    2) the miles driven between adding oil

    This will allow you to have the facts at your command when you go to the dealer. If your dealer actually listens, it may make a difference.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Click here: 78d2886e1174/fdcfaeac.jpg

    That's it, old and new next to each other. At least on my Phase I (though I think it's still in the same place).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    First off, let's be glad you're OK and nothing more serious happened.

    That's a tough one, to be honest. The dealer did change the CV joint, that's the expensive part. I can see why they don't want to refund you for stuff they replaced; they have to reimburse Subaru for all the parts used.

    They should be reprimanded by Subaru for their sloppy work, though. The tire should definitely be replaced at their cost. I'm not sure, but maybe 800-SUBARU3 would offer you something as a gesture of good will. Maybe at least extend the warranty on affected suspension components to give you peice of mind.

    Call them and keep us posted, please?

    Kim: I bet it's the head gaskets, or the O-ring that seals the oil pump. Ask your brother to check the bottom of the block for the gaskets, and the front of the engine, near the belts, for the O-ring, to trace the leak. Also look for oil in the coolant, that's a dead give-away.

    Let the dealer look at it and fix it, it's under warranty until 5/60. If it can be fixed and you like it, it's worth it.

  • had with the dealer service. I did review the case file and the Rep. you spoke with did document the poor workmanship and your dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, we cannot directly intercede with issues where there is a dispute about a bill. There are laws that prevent us from interfering with a dealerships operation. We can (and did) document it and report it to the appropriate parties within Subaru. Since litigation has been mentioned, we really need to encourage you to work directly with the dealership GM and owner. They do recognize the impact of the lost business your situation can cause.

    Once again, I'm sorry!

  • I'd suggest you call the dealer right away and have them start an "oil consumption" test. This will not only help to document and find the problem, it will also help you have a record of what is occuring. The dealer will do an oil change and ask you not to change your oil or add any oil. They will help monitor it and do what needs to be done to resolve it.

    If you aren't satisfied once you contact the dealer, please call us at 1-800-SUBARU3. One of our Representatives will be glad to start a case for you and assist.

    Thanks! I hope everything is resolved to your satisfaction!

  • They took it in and put it up on the lift to look for leaks. Said they did not see any. Told me it was down about 1 qt and that they filled it back up. Asked me to check the oil level after another 500 miles and to let them know if there is any consumption. Another 500 miles after that it will be due for a regular oil change. I think this is the beginning of my oil consumption test.

    Today the knocking or rocking while stopped in drive seemed worse. Any one have any ideas what could cause that? If feels the way I imagine a big suped up race car would sitting at an idle and just rumbling away. This sensation only occurs when the car is in drive at a stop. If I shift into park ( and the load is off the engine) it goes away. Doesn't matter if the air is on or off. Sometimes it is worse than others. This morning it was minimal, this afternoon (after I put gas in the car) it was much worse. This evening on a short trip through town it was almost non existent again????

    Thank you to all who have offered help. This board is awesome!
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    I too like to know what it would be.

    Is it like the car goes into convulsion? Rough vibrations.

    I had this off and on with my '98 OB and the '99 OBS; none on the '03 WRX. The vibrations I've gotten is like when you're playing the clutch, letting it off just at the point where you need to give some gas. Goes away in Park or Neutral.


    p/s The Franken L does it too.
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    I'm in the middle of doing my 30k service on my 02 outback too. I'm also going to let the dealer do tranny/coolant and brake bleed. What make of spark plugs did you use . I got 4 ngk plugs from advanced auto for 8 dollars plus tax . i'm going to try the plugs and diff fluid next weekend . I already did the air/fuel filters very easy . I also inspected the brakes and sprayed all suspension /axle bushings with silicone while I had the wheels off . I have a little more then 1/2 of the pads left on the front and back .

    Mike k
  • Yes it's in the same place on a phase II.

  • jlemolejlemole Posts: 345
    Mike K: Yes, NGK here too. I was surprised to find Champions as original equipment on mine. Get ready to shed some blood trying to get those boots off! If you get a chance, take a look at that valve behind the coil on your 02 and let me know what it looks like. That's where the PCV should be, but on mine, it's a hollow brass fitting. The actual valve seems to be at the other end of that hose, down on the crankcase. DaveM said his 03 is the same setup. Subaru must have changed it recently??

    Juice, Chuck: As I said above, Subaru must have changed the setup a little on recent models because that fitting is not an actual valve. The valve seems to be moved to the other end, down on the crankcase. Anybody else with an 02 or later (Fibber-Steve?) care to take a look and see if theirs is the same?

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    I will try and get to it tonight....

  • or shaking. The only way I can describe it is a big ole race care sitting at the line, rumbling and waiting to take off.

    It only occurs when the car is in drive stopped at a stop light or stop sign. It stops when I shift into park or neutral.

    This morning it was non existent. I will take it out at lunch time and see what is does then.

    NJSwamplands...If you are still around I noticed you had a post back in august about a problem like this. Did you get it resolved? What was the problem?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    I cannot help but wonder if they are related, such as a ring problem on one cylinder. Probably have two compression and an oil control ring. Unusual wear could cause low compression (the rocking & rough idle), as well as high oil consumption. A bad valve guide could also cause high oil consumption & roughen the idle due to the firing mixture change.

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