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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    We had over 30K miles when we sold our 03 Forester XS, and the stock Yoko tires were doing great. They were wearing evenly, and had a lot of life left. I can't say I had any complaints about the tires -- they did fine in the four seasons driving we have around here, and even did OK in deep snow.

    You have to take the Tirerack customer surveys with a big grain of salt. For one thing, they have no way to separate car/suspension factors from tire factors. Secondly, these are subjective ratings with zero objective information. I can think of several tires I have had that Tire Rack customers rated different than my experience by a long shot. Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it the truth!

    So, I would encourage everyone to evaluate the tires for themselves and keep the hysterics to a minimum.

  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    I agree with your comments on internet info and lack of objective criteria on tire rack evaluations. However, my experience with the Geo GS900 was not good. Traction was ok, even in snow the first year, but treadwear was not. I replaced them at 17,000 mi the second year because they were already worn. Granted I do a lot of mountain driving which wears tires out faster than freeway driving but I was hoping to keep them a little longer. Bought BF Goodrich Traction T/A and so far so good. Traction and treadwear ratings are both higher than OEM tires and tire rack customer ratings are also good.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    The other thing to keep in mind with the customer surveys is that people are often comparing their brand new tires to their recent memories of the outgoing old set.

    The only data I pay attention to at Tire Rack are their own tests that they conduct in a controlled method.

  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    First, just wanted to congratulate Subaru for being the most reliable car per 100 cars for 2004-05 per Consumer Reports, showing only 8 problems per car. This beat out every other brand, and was a decrease from years past on Subaru.

    Second, the rear passenger side seatbelt piece that is connected to the C-Frame in my '02 WRX is rattling. I know this is a common problem for Subarus, and was wondering if there is an easy fix, and if there is a TSB on this. If there is a TSB on this, can I still have my car fixed under it? The problem has been noticeable for quite some time, but I am approaching 60K miles on the car. Besides the seatbelt rattle and a couple of other rattles, the car has been very reliable. :-)

    BTW, it is still a blast to drive (upgraded tires to 225x17"s.
  • jmtreetopjmtreetop Posts: 130
    I have a 05 OBXT and get vibrations through the car and steering wheel (steering wheel shakes quickly back and forth) at speeds above 70mph. The dealer as balanced the tires twice, rotated the tires, and adjusted the tire pressure with no difference. I noticed that upon braking at speeds above 70mph the car/brakes also seems to shudder in sequence with the vibrations. I'm wondering if the rotors are warped. Any other ideas?
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    How many miles on the car? My first guess would be tire balance. Warped rotors, which haven't seemed to plague the newer vehicles would not cause vibration at 70+ mph.

    Because the dealer balanced them (twice) doesn't mean they are in balance. You might consider having them balanced at a tire shop. I know the last time the dealer balanced/rotated my tires, I was down at the local tire shop a week later because of a vibration on the highway that was never there before. Two tires were out of balance, and the car rides fine now. Rob M.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Following up on what Rob said, it doesn't take a tire to be out of balance by very much at all to cause vibrations at that high a speed.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    p0926, "Subaru Crew: Problems & Solutions" #4892, 13 Mar 2005 9:10 am

    Second that.

    Correct me if I'm wrong. Tires are balanced at a simulated 40mph by most balancer.

  • frogfrog Posts: 52
    I put about 4K miles on my stock tires with the balance thrown off, and destroyed what was a nearly brand new set. 11K. Go to a good tire dealer or mechanic asap or you could be looking at new rubber. In my case that was 500$ for Cooper touring tires... pricey for sure.
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,970
    Go to a dedicated tire and wheel shop and have them balanced properly. Unfortunately at a dealership stuff like this is a very low priority especially under warranty.

    Cheers Pat.
  • jmtreetopjmtreetop Posts: 130
    I have 10000 miles on my OB. I will have a tire shop balance them an hopefully that will solve the problem.

  • Sorry to burst a bubble here, but this doesn't work (at least not on my '01 H-6 OBW) - in fact, it never has once...only hard and consistent cranking and feeding it gas for about a minute works for me. One other post recommended tightening the connections to the starter, which I plan on trying. Of course, my best suggestion would be to sell the OBW P.O.S. and get a reliable car, like a Honda :-) My wife's 97 Accord runs absolute rings around my Subaru, and handles pretty doggone well in snow too.
  • jmtreetopjmtreetop Posts: 130

    Had all 4 tires balanced at a tire shop and the car still vibrates over 70mph. The steering wheel consistently shakes back and forth. This seems like it started in the last 3000 miles or so.
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    I wonder if you have a bad tire. It's rare, but maybe a belt slipped. Rob M.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I remember you from your last post in January -- the very fact that you are suggesting a 97 Accord can run rings around an Outback in the snow (again) puts your credibility at zero. Just sell the OB already, and make ALL of us happier!

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I don't know where you had your tires balanced but I STRONGLY suggest you find some place that uses a Hunter roadforce balancing machine. This will bring your tires within spec or it will tell you that the tire cannot be balanced due to some type of issue. Go to and you can search for a shop in your area that uses them. It is much more effective than traditional spin balancing.

    I don't know if I can post this or not but here goes:

    Good luck.
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    I had a 2000 Accord that I sold in 2004 for a Subaru Forester. I loved my Accord but in winter I parked it and dove the wifes RX300 awd. The Subaru in the winter is far above the Honda by leaps and bounds and I also found out fun to drive year around. You may want to check a leak in your muffler sounds like your getting fumes....
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    In addition to the road force balancer, have the shop check alignment. I had almost the same exact problem on my Lexus GS400 (started around 65MPH), and after many different shops, only the shop with the force balancer and a 4-wheel alignment solved the problem.

    Also, your tires may be flat-spotting - try increasing the tire pressure by about 3-4 PSI above spec - see if that helps.
  • blutorgblutorg Posts: 1
    Herb Gordon (Silver Spring) vs. Fitz Automall (Rockville)? I live exactly halfway between them.

    Since the first oil change is now due on my used '02 Forester since I bought it, I'm inclined to have a dealer do it and take a looksee at a couple of other things as well. I was wondering if any of y'all had experience -- good or bad -- with either of the establishments above.

    Advance thanks! And greetings to all (new member).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Fitz is OK, I didn't like that they advertised $19.99 for an oil change and then tacked on a $2 "environmental fee", though.

    But their service is good. Al Briggs is the manager there, and he's a friend of Patti's just in case something creeps up.

  • jtomjtom Posts: 26
    I have a 1994 impreza wagon with 98,000 mi. Lately, there is powersteering fluid slowing leaking around where you add fluid. Anyone have/had this problem? I have to refill it every two weeks but I can smell the leaked fluid burning when I've been running it a while. Should I worry about this? Thanks, julie
  • jmtreetopjmtreetop Posts: 130
    Thanks for everyone's suggestions. Ironically, my Subaru dealer came up on the list for the Hunter roadforce balancing machine. I will try getting an alignment done next.

  • adladyadlady Posts: 2
    I've only used my cruise control once, so I don't think that was the problem. I was turning into a driveway, so I had both my hands on the steering wheel (not on the gear shift). It happened so fast that I didn't have time to brake. I know $6500 is a lot of damage, but that thing crumpled like a piece of aluminum foil, (which is what the Subaru people say is supposed to happen so you are protected?) My friend was in her house and heard it rev really high before the crash (little did she know it was her brand new Tahoe I was crashing into). I went on the NHTSA site, and have found other people with similar acceleration problems. Thanks for the info, I'll have my friend check the throttle valve once it gets out of the shop. Thanks for all your feedback!!

  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    You may want to inquire as to if they actually used it or not. They may actually use it only if requested. Just a thought.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
    ..speaking of Patti....

    ..her presence here was worth so, so much!!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We all miss her. :-(

  • crashton6crashton6 Posts: 245
    Just because your dealer has a Hunter machine doesn't mean they did a roadforce balance. I'd ask them if they did the roadforce or just a spin balance. There is a difference. If the roadforce balance doesn't smooth things out then my guess is that you have a bad tire.

  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 855
    Not to be fussy, but if the tires have been road forced, doesn't that mean you can eliminate tires and wheels and start looking elsewhere?
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Yes. If they indeed were road force balanced I believe you can eliminate the tires/wheels as the culprits. We weren't sure that the road force machine was actually used however.
  • heyjudeheyjude Posts: 1

    I have the same problem with a 2004 Forester -- same conditions as you report, same dealer reply. Do you also get a strong odor of sulphur after this happens? Again, my dealer said "normal" and blamed it on the gas sold in the Pacific Northwest. My car is at about 11,000 miles. I'm going to contact Subaru directly if it persists, because so much ping is not "normal" for any car -- it leads to piston damage (no doubt AFTER the warranty expires!).
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