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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385

    Glad you are safe!

    I've never heard of this happening before (on any car), it'd be a good idea to get the brakes checked by the dealer. I didn't think there was enough room around the calipers and mounting to permit this to happen.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775

    That is an amazing story! I too have posted about how my pads seem to 'cold weld' to the rotors, but never imagined for a minute that when they broke free that they could actually get thrown out. I assume that your backing plate stayed and just the friction material separated (?), or did the entire assembly get chucked?

  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Similar incident happened to my 99 GT 2 years ago. Driving across the parking lot at work, hit the brakes, heard a loud klunk and the pedal hit the floor. Right rear inner pad popped off. By the time I stopped the car, I destroyed the rotor. Rob M.
  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    Just the pad material got thrown out.The backing plate is held in with a clip so that stayed put . I was real lucky that I didn't put a groove in the rotor .I had a feeling something was wrong so I took the long way home all local roads and used the emerg brake to stop the car . The replacement was very easy and only took me about 2o mins per side. I called today and ordered the rear brake kit for the car .I order all my parts from Liberty Subaru very easy and fast shipping.

  • Hello i just bought a new 05 forester X AT I have noticed that the tranny seems to shift harder then the Toyota cars i have owned and also there is a whine in what sounds like the transmission. Does this sound normal?? Are Subaru tranny's a littler heavy duty then the Toyota corolls's and camery's i have owned in the past??

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Could be the front diff. They just replaced the one in my wife's OBW with slightly less than 28k on it. It was slightly noisy from the day we bought it and just got steadily louder.

    The one in my Forester XT has never had a whine at all, except at one point in the mid 70mph range - I believe its been noted that the pinion gear can make noise at a certain point in the RPM/MPH range of most of the Subaru models.


  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,970
    Dave, I am always deeply suspicious of these sort of add on. Most of them have been proven to be nothing more than snake oil.

    In the end there is no such thing as cheap HP. it is usually relatively expensive to attain even modest gains.

    Cheers Pat.
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Same here - just the pad material got thrown out. I was not as lucky as you. I was at work, 50 miles from home, at night. My ride home got expensive that night! Rob M.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,921
    I have noticed, for the past 6 months or so, that there is a distinct whine emanating from somewhere along the front of the engine. I am 100% sure it is coming from a pulley or pulley-driven device, but I cannot isolate it. At first I thought it was the water pump, but after I replaced it (yes, the pump was bad, but it was not the sole source of the noise), the whine persisted. Can anyone offer some pointers? The pitch of the whine is in perfect unison with the engine speed. I am tempted to say it must be a pulley on the timing belt, but it could also be the A/C, alternator, or power steering. Maybe the next step is to pull the accessory belts and add them back one at a time to isolate? I appreciate any suggestions; I would prefer not to let this one go to the point of being stranded at -20F again. :D

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Old enough to remember the term "brakes worn down to the rivets"? Before today's 'bonded' brakes (friction material epoxied to the backing plates), they were held on with recessed rivets. They were better attached, but you lost about 30% of the thickness. Guess wrong about the amt of pad remaining, and the rivets made grooves in your rotors!

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I would highly doubt the 30% increased efficiency claim. Even if the science were sound, which I disbelieve to begin with just like Pat as said, I wouldn't expect but a fraction of that.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Could be diffy noise, but try this suggestion from our SoA rep:

    Find an open parking lot, then drive in a figure 8 a few times.

    Make sure the tire pressures are even, also.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    come to think of it.
    Even if it works as advertised, there isn't any savings.

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Picked up th wife's 03 OBW yesterday. They put a factory rebuilt auto tranny in it. Drove it for quite a spell last night and today. The whine is gone. Totally. Whisper quiet gearing in line with my Forester XT.

    Also looks like they replaced the accelerator cable to deal with the "stuck" high RPM's she had. So far so good.

    We can both smell some burning gear oil. I'm hoping they slopped it on the case and its just burning off. If I get a chance I'll put it on the ramps tomorrow and check it.

    Here's a question for those most familiar with the piston slap noise. With this car, when cold, if you put the engine under load in "D"rive you'll get a real "hammering' sound. It goes away as soon as you unload the engine. At idle when cold the nose gets louder when you raise the RPM's but tends to drop off with the fall in RPM's.

    From what I understand of piston slap I should get a lot of noise when I unload the engine.

    I have no intention of giving this up yet as the engine is downright embarrassing to be driving when cold.

    Can anyone describe what should make the piston slap noise louder and softer?


  • Sorry to say we are leaving the ranks of Subaru owners. Final thoughts -
    A lot of good people are working very hard at Subaru to make an affordable enthusiasts car - boldly different from the crowd. The Outback does most things very well - great on snow and ice, nice for long road trips, excellent around town. We simply couldn't afford to keep a car with a high probability of failure. Blowing a head gasket on a vehicle at 18000 miles was upsetting, but the treatment by SOA was unforgiveable. Please put things right for the rest of your loyal customers.
  • My son has a 2000 Impreza 2.5RS that seems to eat batteries. The car only has 32,000 miles on it, and the OEM battery was replaced just prior to the expiration of the warranty in February 2003. As you can tell by the mileage, he doesn't drive much (currently in college in north central Pennsylvania), so the car will often sit unused for a couple of weeks at a time. Just got a call - another no-start situation. He's in the process of finding a jump, but do the Imprezas have a rep for eating batteries? Seems that 2 of them in 32K of driving is a little excessive.
  • You said your sons cars sits for weeks at a time. Even while it's sitting it's using batter power. The clock, the radio & if he has an alarm that too. Batteries aren't meant to be discharged all the way. When that happens it shortens the batteries life. My wife has been driving my old Forester this winter to keep some miles off her Audi. If it sits for more than a week we get a no start too. Maybe he should drive his car once a week to keep things charged up. I don't think it's his car just the conditions it be used under, or rather not used.

  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Larry, I am not sure if the 03 2.5 is plagued with the piston slap problem. I have noticed that over time, my wife's 03 Outback (2.5 sohc auto, 18k) seems to be getting louder in the cold and engine noise seems to be lasting longer. The engine made noises for a good 15 minutes this morning.

    The piston slap noise is prevelant when starting the car when cold. It is definitely a distinctive knocking sound.

    My 99 GT sedan (2.5 dohc auto, 120k) sounds different than the 03 when started. The engine knocks away like a diesel for about 5 minutes, then quickly quiets down.

    Hope this helps. Rob M.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Is it cold where you live?? The transmission will delay shifts when it's cold -- until it warms up. This is an intentional thing -- it helps the trans fluid warm up quicker. Once warmed, the shifts should feel pretty good.

    Having driven in lots of Subarus and Toyotas over the years, I think their auto transmissions are both pretty good when compared apples to apples.

    Not sure about the whine -- maybe you could give us more details?? My wife's 03 Forester made a soft whine I associated with gear noise, but it was perfectly normal in my opinion. Didn't seem like anything to worry about and we never had any problems. The boxer engine also makes a purring "whir" noise. If you rev it in neutral, you should hear that (and know it's not a tranny noise).

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Rob - Sounds like the same way my wife's started out, also at about the same mileage. Its just getting louder and for longer. Had no trouble hearing it last summer in the mornings when the temps were in the 50's and 60's. Its been getting steadily louder as time goes by.

    I know Subaru's stance is that piston slap won't hurt the engine, but in that case why is my aluminum wear in that engine 5 times higher than the average Subaru engine Blackstone analyzes?

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback. I'm going to keep after them for a while yet. If my next oil sample comes out even higher in aluminum, I'm going to start really squawking.

  • Yeah i'm guessing the whine is normal. I'm very picky about cars thats why i have been so into Toyota's, i'v never had any problems with them. I hope this 05 Forester proves to be asa good a the Toyotas are. I've heard that they are spose to be. :) You said the "The boxer engine also makes a purring "whir" noise." I noticed that, i guess thats normal too???

    Thanks for your info. I really like these forms helps me learn about the ins and outs of Subarus.

    Jason :)
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    Occasional use cars can be a real problem for battery longevity. Even if the alternator puts out full, it could take several hours of driving to fully charge a near dead battery. So the net is that the battery it is probably running at 50% or below most of it's life.

    Consider hooking it up to a charger whenever practical to bring it up to full. If it can get parked near an outlet occasionally, maybe install a permanently mounted trickle charger.

  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    I have no luck with my 05 OB XTL. Some ingnorant @#%@$%@ scratched my hatch with what was likely a ski or a ski pole while I was skiing yesterday.

    Sometime ago, someone posted a link to a product that is used with touch up paint to fill scratches. Can't seem to find the post. Can anyone recall the product?

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    In post 4784 I mentioned we picked up the OBW with a factory remanufactured transmission in it. Also mentioned smell of burning gear oil.

    Didn't get a chance to check it this weekend, but did notice lots of drops of gear oil after the wife pulled out of the driveway this morning.

    Called the dealer and then took time out from work to drive it in. A test plug had a defective o-ring. Didn't know there was a test plug for the diff oil, but okay.

    Anyway, tranny pan and lots of the rest of the bottom of the car was covered in gear oil. They replaced the o-ring, pressure cleaned the underside of the car with some chemical then rinsed it off, and now the odor seems to be gone. Don't know about the leak yet.

    Of course, given the state of my driveway it might take me a while to sort out any new leaks from the stuff this weekend. :)

    Gives me a lot of faith in the rest of the Factory Remanufactured unit.


  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,552
    Some ingnorant @#%@$%@ scratched my hatch with what was likely a ski or a ski pole while I was skiing yesterday.

    Probably a hired hit by the snowless (and jealous) Pacific Northwest crew. ;-)

    BTW, sorry to hear about the mishap. :-(

  • Hello,

    I have a 98 Subaru Forester with 89K miles. I have owned the car since 2001, when it had 43K miles. The brakes have always been squeaky, and I have been assured several times that they are safe, just sqeaky. Also, I have been told that the rotors have been turned as many times as they can be, and that I'll need new ones when the time comes.

    I have not had anything done to the brakes since I bought the car, but I figure I must be "due" for some sort of maintenance. Plus, I have a baby on the way and I want to make sure my car is as safe as possible before then!

    So, I need some advice. A mechanic told me not to go to Les Schwab or any other generic wheel/tire maintenance place because they'll replace all of the original Subaru brake parts with their own, which are of a lower quality.

    Conversely, I'm hesitant to go to the dealership because I know they are going to charge much more than I'm used to spending for brakes, and I'm afraid they'll sell me much more than I really need.

    So, I could use some advice! Is it worth it to go to the dealership and pay out the wazoo, just so I can have Subaru manufactured parts for my brakes? Or am I ok to go to a less expensive shop where I will get generic brake parts that may have to be replaced more often?
  • luck11luck11 Posts: 425
    Thanks. I have since found the post. It's called Langka......

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I'll offer a third option -- buy the pads and rotors yourself and go to an indpendent mechanic to have it done.

    There are many Subaru dealers that do internet/mail discount parts business. Carter Subaru and are two examples.

    Replacing the brake hardware on a Subaru is no different from any other vehicle so any competent mechanic should be able to handle it. If you're brave enough, you probably could do it yourself.

  • Thanks Ken - that's a great compromise! I can't say I'm brave enough to do it myself, and I'm not sure about my husband...but I do know of an independent mechanic who could probably help out. This guy works on domestics, but I'll take your word for it that brakes are fairly simple and straightforward.

    Thanks again!
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