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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Actually, it's typical to have to bring your vehicle in for an oil consumption test. The dealer will also mark the drain plug to make sure that the results aren't tampered with.

    They probably had you check at 500 miles to see if it was soon enough to bring in.

    I wouldn't sweat the chart. Since this is the first measurement, it shouldn't be hard to create a new one.

  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    I had posted of my steering wheel being offcenter towards the direction of the last turn. Diane and Ed at Flemington Subaru were more than helpful at trying to fix it. They replaced the steering rack bushings, then the whole steering rack. Subaru claimed it was normal and their regional rep and regional tech person also looked at the car and claimed it 'normal'. Flemington Subaru installed aftermarket bushings I provided at no cost and the problem is fixed. I have put on 215/45/17 tires on 7 1/2 rims with a +48mm offset and I can not even get a trace movement off center.
    I can not feel any extra harshness or vibration. The car seems to turn in quicker but that may be a part of my imagination...I am too lazy to experiment with one side stock and one side aftermarket to confirm.
    I thank all those who have helped here and in the wrx forum with this problem.
  • masanmasan Posts: 77
    The dealer sent a technician to my house with a loaner car so I could go on to work. After adding transmission fluid to the 2003 Forester, he drove it 40 miles back to the dealership where they supposedly fixed it. I picked it up thinking everything was fine. Well, it's still leaking transmission fluid! This experience is making me lose confidence in Subaru. I can't keep going in to work late and leaving early to deal with this car.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    I think what you mean is that you are losing faith in your dealer, not Subaru the car mfgr. The pawl recall requires dropping the pan, and resealing with a new gasket, and/or RTV. Getting it to be leak-free should not be that terribly difficult if they are properly cleaning the mating surfaces prior to re-assembly.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    What bushings did you get?

  • I bought a new 2003 Outback a year ago last spring. I have had a variety of problems with it since. First, the steering wheel will shimmy back and forth when the breaks are applied. The dealer rotated and balanced the tires. Stopped some of the shimmy, but now coming back and a shimmy at 85 mph. This problem is intermittent. The air conditioner has quit twice. First time a dealer replaced a schratter (sp?) valve. That was in June of this year. Now it is not working again. One of the fog light grills fell off while traveling. The dealer gave me a new one. I live about 100 miles from the nearest dealer and have stayed in a motel overnight to get serviced the next day. I have never had a new car with so many problems. Not even a Vega I bought in 1975. I did call Subaru and got a case number. And will keep you posted on results when I take it in next week. The Outback has about 27,000 miles on it.
  • andmoonandmoon Posts: 320
    Dennis, I went with whiteline bushings.
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    Well after trying many auto parts stories I finally went to my dealer. the 1st one they gave me was the same the auto parts stories gave me . I finally got the parts manager to come out to my car and show him that it was wrong . He scratched his head and went and got the mechanic and they both scratched there heads . the mechanic went and got another mechanic and guess what he did the same thing ,scratched his head . I said haven't you ever changed these on the 02 outbacks . They said they just take and clean them out and put them back in .the parts manager called the subaru tech line and told them about the problem with the valve for the 2.5 liters. he was told that the valve is the same as the one used on the 3.0 liter but the last 2 #'s are 40 instead of 00 in the parts # . Finally found the right one and it cost 19.95 . So I get home take mine out and it looks like new so I put it back in and I'll keep the new one for later . I also got around to changing the diff fliuds today . What a PIA it was to loosen up the drain plugs . I started with a 1/2' socket but it was very loose and started to spin and tear up the plug . So I used a 10" pipe wrench in it with the help from my jack . Cut into the threads alittle but finally came out . I had no metal on the magnet on the bottom plug which mede me feel good .I used Valvaline semi synthetic 80w90 gear oil from advanced auto .Have to go back and get more because the front takes 1.3 quarts and I only bought 1 quart for each. I am going to tackle the spark plugs tomorrow wish me and my knuckles luck.

    Mike k
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    Well got the front diff fluid changed so much easier then rear diff . I also got the sparks plugs changed, and not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be . The hard part is taking all the stuff out to get to the plugs . The plug boots were acually kinda easy to get off . A twist to the left a twist to the right and pull all four came right out ,and I didn't cut up any of my knuckles either . Funny thing is that all four plugs I removed had a different gap measurment. #1 gap was 40,#2 gap was 35,#3 gap was 30, #4 gap was 44 the only right one . Now its time to make an appointment with the dealer to do the coolant/trans/brake fluid .

    Mike k
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    With all you've already done, I'd suggest you buy volume 1 of the Service Manual and at least do the coolant and tranny yourself. You are clearly capable of handling it.

    I don't recall if has anything on bleeding brakes, but it's also not that complicated . . . once you clearly understand the process.

    I'll try your technique with the spark plug boots at my next plug change.

  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    I'm having the tranny done by the dealer because i have had issues with the tranny down shifting very hard . Back at 15 k miles the tranny seemed to have a brain fart . When it shifted into 4 gear it would not accelerate anymore no matter how hard I stepped on the gas . So i took it to the dealer and they flushed the fluid and said that it was because the fluid was dirty. Since then it has had very hard down shifts .they told me to wait untill the 30k service and if it was the same they were going to either reprogram the tcu or change out the valve body . I think that the problem is the torque converter .I have read on other boards that some people have had problems with the abs while bleeding the brakes, manly getting air in the lines and the abs unit not working right . I was also thinking of sucking all the fluid of the fluid chamber and replacing it with new .

    Mike k
  • My sister has a '98 Forester that often switches into "limp home" mode (almost always under deceleration) where two cylinders are shut down. When this happens she can turn off the engine and it will return to normal for a while, but not long.

    Her usual mechanic and the local Subaru dealer don't know what else to do about it. They have checked for the following:

    Loose or damaged throttle body, bypass hose, vacuum hoses and related gaskets.

    They have replaced the following:

    IAC valve
    Camshaft position sensor
    Crankshaft position sensor

    They also swapped the fuel injectors front to back, added additional ground wires and made sure the IAC was adjusted properly.

    They've supposedly decided that an IAC error code triggers the failsafe mode in the computer, but they don't know why.

    Any suggestions would be very appreciated. Especially since you can only hear that the engine is running on two cylinders with the windows down. Otherwise my sister pulls out into traffic thinking she has full power when she doesn't.

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    Mike k,
    Gotcha, I'd do the same as you.

    Two points on brake fluid...
    1) I too, replaced the fluid in the resevoir before bleeding the brakes,
    2) an article I read said don't top off the resevoir between pad changes. When the pads wear down, the warning light will come on. (Would not have worked for me as my rear pads wore much faster than the fronts.)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I thought ECU but you said she already replaced that.

    Injectors, maybe?

    Let the dealer keep working on it. Is it still under warranty?

    You can reset the ECU by disconnecting the negative battery terminal for 20 minutes. Try that, it's free at least.

  • An update to my problems posted on 9/18. Went on a 500 mile trip over the weekend (without A/C) noticed that the braking problem only occurred after the brakes had been applied a few times. Then the steering wheel would shimmy even with light pressure on the brakes. When we got home and unloaded the Outback, I was washing bugs off the car when I noticed a crack in the windshield, in the same place it had cracked before. The A/C compressor has the green dye all over it, and the high pressure hose has green dye on it too. This car is ABSOLUTELY THE WORSE CAR I HAVE EVER BOUGHT. It will be my first and last Subaru.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Take a deep breath....

    The green dye was probably added to detect a previous leak. If it's the lines, that's cheap to fix. The condenser is pricey.

    Check the wheel lugs' torque, it should be no more than 75 ft-lbs. Some cars require 120 and if they used that torque on yours, well, no wonder the brakes feel that way.

    Windshields? That's all in your luck, good or bad. Carlex makes them, I don't see how that's at all about the reliability of the vehicle, though. Talk to your insurance, in the state of MD that is covered by comprehensive insurance, you pay only a small deductible.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Regarding the steering wheel shimmy- It’s possible that your brake rotors have become slightly warped. After all you do have 27k on the odo already.

    Regarding the AC- I know you stated that you have green dye everywhere but have you actually confirmed that the AC doesn't work (due to the coolant leaking out)? If it doesn't, it's obviously still under warranty but I agree that having to go back and forth to the dealer is a major inconvenience (especially when you live 100 miles away!)

    Regarding the windshield- Juice is right, it's hardly your Outback's fault that it keeps getting hit by road debris.

    I agree that at first blush your Outback appears to have had more than its share of problems but upon closer examination, the AC problem is the only true reliability issue. So if this is "absolutely the worse car" you've ever bought, then you should consider yourself lucky! I suspect that you are dissatisfied with your Outback for other reasons but regardless the cause, you've clearly become disillusioned with it so I recommend you get a different vehicle as soon as practical. In any case, best of luck.

    -Frank P.
  • Juice is right about the A/C green dye. It was added in June because of a leak that stopped the compressor from running (low pressure). Now in October it has leaked enough again that the compressor won't run. The windshield has been diagnosed as a stress crack (by an independent). The fact that it cracked in exactly the same place as the first one adds to my belief that it is a stress crack. The brakes rotors have been checked for warping by the dealer who found no warping. Actually, I enjoyed the car until it started having all of these problems. Is it possible that even Subaru produces a crappy vehicle once in a while?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Automobiles flex, but as long as the stresses are applied to the windshield evenly (and the seal gives a little), the glass survives. Two breakages in the same spot suggests a problem. Probably not in the vehicle design, as this is the first reported case, (and my OBW seems quite rigid) but certainly could be a mfg/assembly issue. Have the glass shop inspect the steel in the seal area for any irregular shape to the mating surfaces and address this before re-assembly. Also consider asking for a new gasket.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    The possibility of a stress fracture occurred to me but I dismissed it since I've never heard of it happening twice in a row. And don't they replace the gasket with the windshield? Still, I agree that the odds of it accidentally cracking twice in the same place are pretty slim.

    Richard- Sure, even the most dilligent manufacturers produce a lemon every now and then and Subaru is certainly no exception.

    -Frank P.
  • Thanks to everyone for your input about my problems with the Subaru. Another thing has come to mind. I imagine it is just a lifter, but when the engine is cold there is a definite ticking sound that varies in speed with the engine speed. Is this something or nothing?
  • Cold engine 'ticking' noise that disappears when it warms up is normal.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Richard, the ej25-II has a relatively simple valve train, and does not use a lifter per se as an interface between the finger and valve stem. Lash is mechanical and adjustable. But I agree, these engines are loud when cold. Not what I am used to, but by all accounts, they are quite robust. I am learning to ignore the sounds!

    Frank - I would think they should, but I have had two shops redo mine with the old gaskets. One job particularly annoyed me as the imbedded metal trim was quite mangled & I had to demand new as part of the insurance claim.

  • This all relates to a 2001 Forester S with 38000 miles.

    About 3 weeks ago after an oil change at the Subaru dealer, they informed me that my transaxle was leaking.

    BTW, if I don't get all the components correct, its because I still am not sure what is going on.
    So they checked with the company, and apparently it was still on warranty, so they fixed it yesterday.

    They said they had to replace my transaxle case because a bearing or check ball was stuck and the only way to fix it was to replace the case.

    My question: What happened? What does this transaxle - if that is what it is - do, and how does this affect the running of the car? While they were waiting for Subaru authorization, they said I could drive it anywhere and for any distance. and why did the leak or whatever happen now versus earlier?

    Thanks for any help.

  • My '04 XT seatbelt is ridiculously tight. To the point where it keeps tightening up as I drive and after a while I can barely move my legs to clutch and brake. And it feels like a 15 lb dumbell is pressing on my chest. Having it replaced friday by the dealer. I hope the replacement is better. Anyone else experience this?
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I wish my XT belts worked as yours did! I hate that it's no longer possible with inertia-reel diagonal belts to have my hips belted in tightly. I don't mind having some give in the chest portion, but I want the lap portion tight across my hips. This helps hold the occupant in position during hard cornering, and it also helps keep my posture where I want it.

    I will probably have to find a way to install a separate non-inertial lap belt in my XT.
  • I brought my 2000 Outback wagon in to the dealer to get it aligned. The previous owner had just replaced the rear tires, and it was recommended that I replace the front tires as well. That solved the alignment problem, but now the power steering makes a low groaning noise when I am in Park. The noise stops when I turn the steering wheel to a certain position. The Subaru service guys are stumped as to what is causing the noise. Its not very loud but it is annoying when I'm parked and have the engine running. Any Subaru experts out there that have any suggestions on what is causing the low level moaning?
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    I can barely move my legs to clutch and brake

    Do you by chance fasten the waist belt across your upper thigh region?
    One time I'd neglected to align the waist belt across hip-to-hip and let it rest loosely at the upper thigh area. Well, the belt tighten up at the thighs.

    I want the lap portion tight across my hips

    Tugging the shoulder section should tighten the hip section. You don't want it to be really tight; snug will serve the purpose... it'll get really really tight when a situation arise. Trust me ;-)

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    You might not want the (lap) portion to be really tight - but that's exactly what I want, for the reasons I mentioned. I'm not referring to whether the belt will restrain me in a collision - I want the lap belt to hold me firmly in place during vigorous cornering, and I want it to hold me in an upright posture with my rear end firmly back into the seat. Loose belts allow gradual slouching.

    Tugging the upper portion doesn't accomplish what I want (a really tight belt across my hips, that stays that way) because it's a one-piece belt with a sliding attachment point. No matter how hard you tug on the chest portion, as soon as you let go, the fabric slides back through the sliding buckle and you're right back to a too-loose lap portion.
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