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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • gaucho1gaucho1 Posts: 22

    I jut recently purchased a 2006 Forester XL, 5-speed manual transmission. I ran into a similar problem -- usually, though, I was stalling it out.

    My problem was the short-throw gearshift. I have been inadvertently putting it into third gear at stops, rather than first. "Low power" up to 3k rpm is a fair description, at that point. (The spacial difference between first and third isn't much on that shifter.)

    Ask her to get in the habit of walking the shifter into second before trying to find 'first' gear. If that clears up your problem; all to the good.

  • parkbpparkbp Posts: 1
    Does anyone know what's wrong with my '04 Forester automatic? It makes a whining noise under load at certain speeds - 55 again at 75 (drive in Az). Selling dealer rode with me, said rear differential carrier bearings. Replaced diff. About the same noise but a little different. Second dealer (I moved) rode with me and said pinion bearing. Replaced diff. About the same noise but a little different. Now on 3rd diff. in a 27K mi car. Nuts! After service mgr diagnoses tech simply does as told. Car is not smooth when on road. All like this? My Chevy pickup and Honda van are both smooth as glass. Car is good otherwise and I see why Sub owners like them, but this is my first and likely the last.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Next time you drive with a tech, do a figure 8 pattern. That basically tests the differentials to their max, in both directions. See if the cause becomes more obvious to them.

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    Are they sure its not the front diff? My wife's 03 OBW (same transmission, 4EAT) had a problem very similar.

    Hard to tell in the cabin where the noise was coming from. They finally replaced the transmission and its been quiet ever since (17k ago)

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    Hmmm.... now you folks are worrying me. Mine has had a faint whine for 30-40K miles and I have never been able to pinpoint it. At first I thought it was the idler pulleys on the timing belt, but replaced those 10K ago. No worse, no better, so I just said to heck with it. Old cars have their little nuances. :surprise:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • moscowmommoscowmom Posts: 4
    Same problem on my '06 Forester. Dealer says the '06 has an electronic cruise that they can't adjust--unlike the old cable-driven ones that could be "tweaked", so there's nothing they can do. Bad answer. The crazy speed variations trash any sort of decent MPG. Regarding overshooting on the downhill, another "feature" of the electronic cruise is there's no downhill coasting compression when the cruise is on. Ok if it's completely turned off (not just hitting the brake) so basically you have to turn the unit on & off when going over any bit of a hill. NOT acceptable! Basically the cruise is useless on anything but completely flat ground.
  • msb22msb22 Posts: 2
    Purchased new 2006 Impreza first part of May and now have about 2000 miles on it. We were barely off the sales lot after delivery when we heard a !!totally!! annoying noise closest approximation sounds like combination screech/whistle/squeal which can last up to 4 seconds or so at all speeds usually around 1900-2500rpm. After four trips to dealer (three just to identify the noise), the air conditioner compressor was replaced, only to have it reoccur immediately upon leaving lot. Shop foreman and I took another new Impreza off lot and what do you know, same noise. Prime theory at this point is we are hearing the high pressure noise of freon going thru the line. We have also clearly determined the noise can be cycled off and on by turning off the air conditioner or defrost. We have filed a formal complaint with Subaru, but I am not too hopeful of any quick solution. Has anyone else experienced this noise, or have any thoughts on mitigating it short of a seriously improved sound system playing very loud music at all times?
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Hello locke2c

    You seem to know a lot about Subaru Clutches. Maybe you can answer this. I tow a pop up and was wondering if I could get a heavier duty clutch for my 2004 manual X Forester than OEM?

    I am within parameters for towing but if I have to change the clutch (and I will soon)I might as well go big... so to speak.
  • maycmayc Posts: 2
    At what mileague will the tires normally need to be replaced?

    My Subaru Legacy L 2002 has only about 34,000 miles on it. A couple of days ago, I found my parked car at the end of the day with a flat front driver side tire. I drove to a gas station nearby and fill up the tire.

    Yesterday the tire looks fine, but this morning the air was visibly low. So I took it to a tire shop. The sales guy told me that the tires cracked and probably is slowly leaking (this is just a visual inspection). He tried to sell me some expensive tires and told me that because it's AWD, I need to replace all of them.

    I plan to take the car to the dealer (where I have it serviced) for a second opinion on Monday. But I am planning to buy the new tires from Sam's Club. Can you recommend which kind of tires I should buy? I live in the upper Midwest with quite a bit of snow, but flat serface.. mostly freeway.

  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    the mileage depends a lot on how you drive/brake.

    you need no more than a 1/4inch difference in circumference between the tires or there is a potential to mess up the AWD differential, at 30K you may well want to replace all 4

    since you get snow, splash out on a set of Nokian WRs, it has the winter snow traction rating but can be used in the summer without losing all its tread. I use its predecessor the NRW as my winter tires on a 98 Legacy GT and the WR all year round on a Windstar (which has had 30000miles on these tires and still has 4mm tread on the most worn ones - about 5/32 inch (they have tread wear numbers in the tread)

    Sams occasionally have great deals on certain tires. check whats happening locally. spmetimes you can get a much better higher speed rated tire for less than the usual price of a much lower rating tire.
  • msb22msb22 Posts: 2
    I managed 36K out of the original tires on my 2002 Outback Wagon, then replaced them with a set of Nokian WR tires also, and now have them on all our cars. My regular commute is 100/miles day on Taconic Parkway in NY, prone to black ice, heavy snow, flooding rain, and 80mph commuters at all other times. We also run Nokian WR year round on my daughters Mazda3 which she drives back and forth between NY and Springfield, MO for school. I've gotten 52K out of a set on a Pathfinder, now have 40K on the Nokians on my Outback, think I'll get about 4-5K more before I have to replace them. I agree, they are a great tire, and for me have been stable in all weather at all speeds.
  • maycmayc Posts: 2
    Thank you for your advice. I am clueless about how to choose appropriate tires. Can you (or anyone here) recommend a good website where I can get some primer on this?

    I live in Wisconsin and get a fair amount of snow. But I only drive less than 10 miles each way to work, on a nicely paved suburban road or free way... so I don't know if Nokian WRs would be an overkill or not.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    Hi all - hope you can help. I have a 2006 Legacy sedan, 2.5i SE. Love the car, except for one major annoyance that is killing me. The front doors/windows are rattling/vibrating. I will be as precise as possible in desribing it:

    Driving down the road, windows fully UP, there is a light to medium vibration in the door or window. Pressing on the top of the door panel (the black part of my two tone doors) stops the rattle. Lower the window not even an inch, noise is gone. Its a vibrating noise, sometimes a rattle. Had the dealer take off the door panels, add some insulation and grease, behind the spot that you press to make the noise stop. Didn't work. Its both front doors. It is not the typical wind noise from the mirror gussets.

    What could this be? To me, since it only happens with windows all the way up, it makes me wonder if the windows go up too high or something? Seriously, the noise stops if you lower the window just a smidge. Almost just enough to the point where air and or water still wouldn't get in past the rubber seals on the body of the car.

    Dealer is annoyed with me, I am annoyed with the car, and on my last legs here. Anyone have the same experience? Get it fixed successfully? I have tried posting on a Legacy specific site, but no one has the problem, or they do any they don't care about it. I will admit, I like my cars not to rattle when they only have 2000 miles on them. I know others expect rattles in cars with framless windows...but I really don't think I am asking too much for them to be quiet for at least awhile....:)

    Thanks for any advice/feedback you could give! I can't believe I am the only one out there with this problem, but I guess its possible.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    Should I cross post this in the Legacy specific board here on Edmunds, or is that a no-no?
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Yes, you can install a heavy-duty clutch. I would get a stronger pressure plate but keep the stock disc, or use an aftermarket disc that is also organic material. You must keep a full-face clutch disc; don't install a racing puck clutch as those are impossible to modulate for towing.

    I can't recommend something specific however, since I haven't been a Subaru owner for some years now.

  • pathtomaxpathtomax Posts: 215
    My 2001 Outback Limited has two 'speaker looking' built-ins along the rear hatch panel. Are they actual speakers or just for show? I tailgated this weekend and didn't hear anything out of them. :P
  • tdgtdg Posts: 6

    I just wanted to confirm your issue - not that this will be a huge help. I have an '06 Legacy Limited Sedan - but pretty much the same car. I have no problems with my windows rattling, so this is definitely out of the ordinary (or mine is, but I doubt it). I think the dealer was pretty good about trying to help, but it seems like the weather stripping may not be installed correctly. I only say this because if you crack the windows and it goes away, the windows themselves are probably fine. It's just the way the window seats to the top of the door frame that is the issue. See if you can get the weather stripping replaced.

    Good luck.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    Right, I figure its something to do with how the window sits on the weather stripping, or maybe that the window track doesn't like being in the all the way up position for some reason? I have looked at the weather stripping. Its brand new, nice and soft and full. Maybe I should try lubing it with something?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Only if you don't get a response after 3-5 days. Otherwise, I think you're better off here. It's even better to repost in this forum if you get no response.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • lilbluewgn02lilbluewgn02 PAPosts: 1,089
    Is it any biggie or just a glorified oil change?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    I doubt Nokians would be overkill, even if short commutes. Slick is slick, even if just for a moment. If you wanted to stretch your tire purchases a bit more, you could go with a summer or all-season with a higher treadwear rating, something like 80K miles, and a second set of dedicated winters (mounted on separate rims) for the prime winter or even a set of lower treadwear Nokians for the winter "season."

    Granted, tires like the OEMs can "get you by," you will feel and appreciate a marked difference with something more adept at snow and ice. can provide you a breadth of information.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,908
    I have to wonder if the gap where the window travels through the door frame is a little too wide for some reason, or if a bushing that should be there is not. Of all the window positions at which you might have a vibration/rattle, fully UP is the most unlikely. It makes me think that once the glass has exited the window as much as it will, the hardware in there is just not holding steady. Wild theory, yes. :blush:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Thank you very much. This is very helpful. Now I just have to find the after market parts for an 04 Forester. It seems that only the Australians make this kind of stuff...
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Actually ACT, Exedy and others make clutches compatible with your Forester. They market towards the Forester XT owners, but I am reasonably sure it has the same type of clutch as the Forester X (maybe a bit stiffer stock).

    Examples here (just a google result, I've never used this retailer):

  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    SB the same as a 15k service - glorified oil change at about $229. Rob M.
  • andytnjandytnj Posts: 4
    I need to replace the turn signal bulb on my '99 Outback, but cannot get the light assembly out. I've removed the screw on top but cannot figure out what else holds the assembly in place. It is the right front assembly, fwiw.
  • anyone know the easiest way to get rid of the chime when you don't have your seatbelt hooked up? i have a 2006 outback xt. thanx
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075 have lots of info about tires, also Consumers reports occ does good article about what to look for.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Do a search on "chime" in this forum. It has been discussed several times and I used the info here to disable mine.

  • thanks for the advice.
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