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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775

    Great news that SoA will take care of the head gasket expense.

    On the tranny front, gummed up works, especially in the valve body, is a leading cause of failure. One valve sticks open while another is directed to open, and now you have two functions fighting each other. A flush and fluid change is often all that is needed to bring back a unit from the dead, provided that it wasn't left in that state for too long.

  • grantbgrantb Posts: 2
    For clarity I'll point out that in Canada the law required all cars to have some sort of DRL's starting in 1990. Some cars (not specifically Subaru) retrofitted the headlights to come on full power at all times while others made a more appropraite change. Most of the retrofits came only in 1990 with '91 model cars having either a lower power headlight running or running different lights altogether.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    IIRC, in order to obtain a Subaru factory extended warranty, you must purchase it while the car is within the 3yr/36k base vehicle warranty. So it sounds like you are dealing with an independent 'insurance' plan. Study it carefully, especially the provisions dealing with who pays when the plan goes out of business! It has happened to way too many people in the past two years to ignore this possibility.

    Just the same, it may be worth it if you suspect that there is trouble ahead for your car. But shop around. Two years ago I bought the 6yr/85k mile Gold plan from Subaru (zero deductable) for $799.

  • anatolyanatoly Posts: 9
    Its a viscous link problem if you have a manual shift. Automatic transmission doesn't have it. In automatic it's something else, more likely rear differential clutch or whatever it's called. The problem is that viscous link part cost about $400 and it sits inside transmission and it's a full day job, so you better have a warranty left on you car. Otherwise, in my case warranly is expired and I was thinkig to flush the transmission and fill it with blue oil. Will it make any difference? Any other ideas, anybody?
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    actually the viscous coupling is a separate device outside of the transmission that is between the tailshaft of the transmission and the driveshaft. it can be replaced separately.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The term I've heard them use is "scuff", as in they scuff the pads, i.e. sand down the glazed part. Rotors are machined with a lathe, not ground.

    I recall some folks going in reverse and hitting the brakes to manage this, but I can't say I'd recommend it.

  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Change the differential fluid - that usually helps.
  • anatolyanatoly Posts: 9
    I was told that transmission has to come out in order to do that, is it true or they just want to rip me off?
  • hmyershmyers Posts: 14
    does anyone know where i look for the module/relay for the daytime running lights? my headlights work, but my DRL doesn't. could this be some sort of sensor problem? it's a 99 outback legacy (canadian). any help would be appreciated. thanks.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    Out of curiosity, what are the DRLs on the '99? Are they just the low beams, set to be on with the car? Are they the fog lamps? AFAIK, there were not dedicated lamps on the '99 for DRLs.

    The easy solution: turn your headlight switch to the "on" position and never touch it again. Now you have DRLs, regardless of where you live. ;)
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • anatolyanatoly Posts: 9
    Did you buy it used? It possible that its previous owner disable the DRL. Check this link
  • hmyershmyers Posts: 14
    i did buy it used and i checked out the possibility that the previous owner disabled them, but I don't see any plastic modules bolted to the steering column.
    i can't just leave my lights on because the DRL have to actually function in order for my car to pass a safey inspection.
    any other suggestions?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    Ah. I did not realize that the DRL was required for an inspection. Seems like an odd trinket to include in an inspection considering that it is a redundant feature. Anyway, it is likely that the module is located near the steering column.

    Remove the kick panel under the steering column.... the one that is just above/around the hood release. You should be able to remove one screw near the hood release (lower left side) and another near the radio (lower right side), then gently pop it out. Flip this panel over and look at the module/s located there....

    Since this is a feature not added before MY2000 in the US, the format may be different on the 1999 but my guess is that it is technologically similar. Other places to look would be along the driver side in the engine compartment before the headlamp wiring diverges, or up under the dash (with the kickplate removed) near the base of the steering column.

    Your low beams do function manually, though, correct? If a relay of some kind is not found to operate the DRL function, you could manually override the low beams and bypass the column switch by disconnecting the switched wire and splicing it into the pre-switched supply wire. The lights would continue to shut off with the car (as they do when the switch is in the "on" position), but the switch would no longer toggle the low beams on and off - it would simply control the "flash" and "on" features of the high beams and the intensity of the dash lights. Haynes manuals have decent electrical schematics that should allow you to walk through the process quite easily. I hooked up a set of driving lights using it without too much trouble - just have a volt meter handy to verify the accuracy of the diagrams! Good luck; let us know if you find this elusive gremlin.

    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • anatolyanatoly Posts: 9
    "... don't see any plastic modules..."
    You better see it or otherwise your model has no DRL installed. :)
  • outback3outback3 Posts: 3
    My wife's 4 cyl 5 spd 2003 Legacy Outback has very little low end power.
    It has become difficult to drive, as it likes to stall when engaging the clutch.
    Even once the clutch is engaged, there is very little power/acceleration until you hit a min of 3000 rpms. This is not the way the car was when it was purchased new. Slow, sluggish, unresponsive, and stalling out is not the way the car should drive.

    We took it to the dealer where the service rep took a condescending tone with my wife and told her there was no problem with the car, there were no diagnostic codes reporting a problem, and that she should use better gas. Having driven the car a great deal and having always used decent gas and we've recent started using premium, which of course didn't help.

    We're about to head back to the dealer for round two. Any suggestions?
  • bethdbethd Posts: 5
    Thanks Steve. I am almost afraid to say it, but the Suby has worked fine since the flush/change.
  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
    ...but my money sez it's timing........

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    what has changed lately? did you replace the air filter by chance?

    anything at all? any other symptoms like poor fuel economy or a rotten egg smell?

    if it doesn't idle well, my money would be on a leak in a vacuum line or in the air intake system.

  • outback3outback3 Posts: 3
    this has actually been going on for a ridiculously long time (about a year/15k miles) with no noted change that would account for the poor performance. The car does idle well and only stalls when engaging the clutch in first gear (it takes a lot of care to get the car rolling in first). Fuel economy is down just a little (23-24/gal instead of 25-26/gal). Air filter has looked fine (I can't remember if the dealership replaced it when we were last in on this issue).

    Timing.... hmmmm.... I'd agree, except I'd expect that to be an easy diagnosis for the mechnic via the computer or just a timing light... but I'll mention it to the dealer tomorrow and report back.....

    Thanks.... more info to come, no doubt
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try resetting the ECU, maybe it's just running too lean.

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter is interested in speaking with people who have had their vehicle recalled in the first part of this year. If your vehicle has been the subject of a recall and you would like to speak with this reporter, please send your name and daytime phone number to Pam Krebs, PR, at by Tuesday, July 5. Thank you.


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  • anatolyanatoly Posts: 9
    I'm afraid to ask it out, but I wonder if your wife used to drive manual before or is it the first one? I've seen such simptoms on the cars with ruined clutch. And in particular one girl who got a 5spd because it was "cool" and she never drove one before, so she busted the clutch in couple years.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think that's it. Complaints of clutch chatter weren't rare so I don't think it's the driver.

  • mrk610mrk610 Posts: 378
    Just replaced mine and got a Titanium from Advanced Auto Part's for 74.99
    840 amps and 600 cca's.

    Mike K
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Does anyone know the best way to keep a child seat from creating creases in leather upholstery? I've been using a "seat saver" but the leather still manages to pick up some wrinkles.

    Once the leather is wrinkled/creased, is there any hope of getting them out?

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    My XT doesn't have leather, so I have no issues with the seat surfaces and our 2 carseats. Just an indentation that goes away after a day or two.

    On our MPV ES, the leather seats also show indentations from the child seats, but no wrinkles or creases - and that's after 3 full years of childseat usage. I don't use anything special under them - just a folded towel (100% cotton bath towl in a similar grey as the seats).

    Are you cleaning/conditioning/treating the seats with anything? Maybe you should apply some Lexol or other leather conditioner to help keep the surface soft.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775

    Point 1: Enjoy your car and your kids...
    Point 2: When the little ones are all grown up, get a new car!

    (Spoken by the father of the 'yogurt bomber'). ;)


    (PS: See you for dinner in November? Paper and tutorial presentation both accepted)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll save my fermentation for my beer, thanks.

    He's right, though, a wrinkle in the leather is the least of your concerns. Wait until the food fights start. :oO


    PS We use a towel in my wife's car, but not mine
  • outback3outback3 Posts: 3
    My wife has been driving manual for a long time... no problem.
    Also, the reply presuming no clutch chatter is accurate. The clutch feels pretty good.
    It "feels" more like a problem with the throttle/power than with the clutch (although if the clutch was for some reason super "grabby", I guess it could feel the same).

    Took it to the dealer, drove with a mechanic.... and of course, the car did pretty well.
    I felt kind of silly. Time will tell.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    LOL, yogurt bombs!

    I do use Lexol conditioner on the seats as well as one of those rubberized seat protectors, but I'm finding the seats leave indentations. I have them cinched down very tight so it just goes right into the seat material.

    Oh well -- I guess the positive spin is that it's justification for a new car once the the kid(s) grow up!

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