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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Yes... Ron seems to know his stuff. He honed right in on the drivetrain noise, once he heard it. I'll be using the car this weekend so I'll see if the computer reset helps with the shaking issue. My biggest frustration has been the dealer not clearly communicating what has been done to in attempting to solve the problems. For example, I wasn't told by the dealer that Ron hadn't been able to duplicate the noise (when he first drove the car last year), until just recently. I don't know if the computer had been reset before either. I realize it's difficult for SOA to get dealers to do this though. I do appreciate how responsive SOA has been.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Could the noise possibly be an exhaust issue? Some catalytic converters will make a rattling noise when they fail, or maybe some rust is in the exhaust pipe. Acceleration and a slight slope might be consistent with this. Just a thought. Hope it's fixed soon for you.

  • megawatt1megawatt1 Posts: 16
    First time writer - great info here!
    RE: DRL's - would like to have a way to "flash" headlights to other vehicles - the present setup in the '00 Outback does not allow shutting off the headlights in any switch position (I know I can pull up on the parking brake lever, or flash the high beams which is not always a clear signal) but would prefer a better solution.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    megawatt! Join the chat tonight.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Welcome, Ralph. Join us tonight for our live chat if you can. It runs every Thursday from 9 to 10pm eastern time.

    We'd love to hear about your scooby.

  • yerrotyerrot Posts: 2
    Hello- I just want to post my tale of woe and see if anyone has any thoughts?! I've had rubies for 10 yr and have been driving clutch for 15+...
    At 3200 miles my 2000 BB wagon's clutch failed-- unclear reason(much fingerprinting)-- it was replaced under warranty. It continued to have shaking of the stick asp in low gears and in reverse intermittently and never seemed to change gears smoothly. I wasn't happy with the first dealers sac so took it to another at 7500 miles who agreed with me and again replaced it. It did much better after that although never has been perfect (or I'm too hypervigilant), and over the past month or so has started having a groaning/flunking sound intermittently in low gear/reverse in addition to stick shudder.. Sigh... Just took it to a third dealer at 14 I (the second closed) who says the problem is not with the clutch but rather that the transmission oil should be changed (for US$ 260).
    I'm taking it to a private shop tomorrow for second opinion. Has anyone heard of any probs like this? I'm wondering if there is just some misalignment that they haven't been able to fix..
  • miche4miche4 Posts: 26
    Now that I have my pops and the oil changed, I was wondering about getting the windows tinted in the 2001 Forester S. Has anyone had their windows tinted? I was wondering why the Forester did not have tinted windows. Any recommendation? mich
  • I did my 00 GT wagon and am scheduled to have my 01 done Monday. Had Madico Autolux on the 00 but they stopped making it. Too bad as the color was licensed from RayBan... very nice. Going with Madico Onyx now. Best thing is to find a good installer. I got mine through my Soob dealer. YOu can also call other dealers and see who they recommend. I did all windows and moonroofs except the windshield of course.

    Here are a couple of online resources:


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    yerrot: the price seems a bit steep just to replace the tranny fluid. Plus, the original stuff has to last at least 30k miles, probably more like 60k. I would call SoA to change it for free (however, I do agree with the dealer's recommendation to change it early).

    Mich: I have a 35% tint all around. It's not that dark, but helps reduce glare and keeps things cool in the summer. 20% tint is darker and looks better, IMO, but check out both and see what you prefer. Mine was $170 for dyed tint film, the metallic stuff costs more. Ask to see an installation and make sure it's bubble-free and the edges are tucked in.

  • I did 20% on the rears and moonroofs, 50% on the fronts. Going limo on the moonroofs this time.

  • dnickeldnickel Posts: 17
    I did 28% all around - metallic (Formula One - Millennium) looks good - I didn't want to reduce my night visibility so at this level you can hardly notice looking out the window. Looking in you can still see in the car (it's not blacked out) but it tinted enough to look good. Nice heat reduction in the summer. Metallic has better optics (esp at the darker levels)
  • evilizardevilizard Posts: 195
    Go Metallic, it doesn't turn purple and bubble 5 years down the road. Better heat reflection (it reflects some energy as opposed to absorbing it all) and you get a slightly mirrored look (depending on darkness). I had 35% done all around with 20% on the moonroofs on my wagon. You should be looking at around $200 for quality stuff with a quality job. Moonroofs are extra.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Had all the rear windows on my Forester done with a 20% Madico metallic tint and love it!


  • miche4miche4 Posts: 26
    Again, thanks everyone for the window tinting information. In Anchorage I only had one business that does window tinting. I have a black Forester so Kens picture really sounds great. mich
  • hammersleyhammersley Posts: 684
    My OB is tinted, but has some scarring & the color isn't great... how much more trouble (aside from the obvious peel job) will a retint be?

  • Ken - That's Madico Autolux right? They don't make it anymore. The replacement is called Onyx and is metal but like many new metal tints it is not reflective and is gray rather than Rayban greenish. Bummer.

    Paul - The hardest part is the defroster wires in the rear window. Could get damaged in the removal process.

  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    I found one dead mint low mileage in 1991 and had the cash all ready within 1 week and then I find out that some scrub bought it out from under me. At the time that was my dream car and this car was perfect. To date, it still makes me sad....but not too sad because I ended up saving a little longer and got a 1990 (91 first production year) 3000GT VR-4 (high mileage).
  • pattim3pattim3 Posts: 533
    Good Morning!

    Do you have a case with us yet? If not, please call 1-800-SUBARU3 and speak to one of our Reps. Please tell them that I want to know about your case file and identify yourself as one of our Edmunds family.

    I look forward to looking into this with our Rep.

  • mav61mav61 Posts: 8
    Hello, I am new here and came across this board while doing research on Subaru engine ping, a condition which I have had since I purchased my 01 Forester S AT last July. I have a case number with SOA #266749. My experience with Subaru on this issue has been extremely frustrating and I am very dissapointed with SOA, Subaru of New England and the dealership, Car Mart Subaru of Wilmingtyon, MA. At 14,000 miles I am now at a point of either trading this vehicle or submitting a lemon law claim because Subaru refuses to aknowledge this condition as a defect, rather now calling it an "operating characteristic" My engine ping can be severe on long hills but mostly is just there in the background while accelerating and after the car downshifts (anytime under a load). It is more pronounced when the car is at operating temp and in warm weather. I have tried all different brands of gasoline and octanes. The dealer replaced the timing belt and tensioners at 2500 miles to no avail and has recently used a solvent to try to remove "carbon deposits". They akcnowledge the noise as sounding like octane ping but have no solution and SOA tech support claims this is not a problem, they know some engines exhibit this noise, have taken these engines apart at 100,000 miles and found no damage, etc, etc....

    I do not understand the relationship between SOA and the local New England manufacturers rep but to date I have been unsuccesful in arranging a face to face meeting with the district technical manager. I finally received a call in mid April from the dealer saying the manufacturers rep wouldlook at the car and I would have to drop it off on April 25th or 26th. (I asked but for some reason they also said I could not be present while the rep drives the car). Unfortunately the day they schuduled was at a time I was out of town so I had to go through SOA to let them know the date was no good but the first week of May would be OK. I am now still waiting to hear back. No one at SOA can provide me a phone number of this MFG rep so I can speak directly with him/her and set up a mutually convenient time /place. Why the dealership has to act as a middleman and conduit for the MFG rep is beyond me and this process simply delays everything. I also do not understand why I cant be present to meet with and drive the car with the tech rep to point out and discuss the problem, as I did with the dealership tech.

    Sorry for the length of this post but overall, I am very dissapointed with Subaru on this issue. From my research I know that a number of others have expereienced this problem with similar stonewalling by Subaru. In some rare cases people have had "countermeasure" pistons installed under warranty to correct the problem but I dont know if this was for older models or dealer knows nothing about these. In any event, it is a known fact that consistent engine ping or knock is a bad condition which can result in piston damage and premature engine failure. A brand new vehicle should not exhibit this condition or "characteristic". By the way this is my first Subaru. Any opinions/assistance welcome......thanks
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Paul- Check with a reputable tint shop. I asked the tech when he installed mine and he said that it isn't difficult to remove. I'd go with a metallic film if/when you retint, most manufacturers will guarantee them against peeling and fading.

    -Frank P.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    I agree with you that in no circumstances should an engine that pings (detonates) no matter what remedies are tried should be considered "normal operation". This is a modern, computer-controlled fuel injected engine! If the problem can't be resolved externally, it's clear to me engine disassembly is needed and parts will probably need to be replaced. Let's assume worst case-- after everything external to the engine is checked and eliminated of suspicion, then I would feel very confident that a new engine would solve the problem. Is an entire engine needed? Probably not, no.

    That said, I am very confident Patti will be able to get you started on the right path. Her dedication is pretty remarkable and we all appreciate her assistance.

  • supersoobsupersoob Posts: 6
    Mav61 - I have a '98 OB and '01 OB. Don't have any pinging in the '01. The '98 is another story. However the situation you refer to ("countermeasure pistons installed under warranty...") seems to be prevalent in the '97, '98 and '99 model years.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    He can't rev it up. I'm not going to look back at the previous posts to see exactly what post # it was, but I suggested basically the very same thing and Eric's reply clearly indicated to me that he can't reasonably avoid this. Shifting the automatic manually to work around it shouldn't be "the" solution.

    Knock and pre-ignition are not the same thing. Take 30 minutes some time this weekend and read this:
    read me

  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    Within the past week I have seen the word "ping" applied to an apparent transmission problem, a piston slap problem, and maybe even to what it really refers to, pre-ignition of the fuel/air mixture when an engine is operating under load.

    Color me confused :-)

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    point made, but Mario's problem is indeed detonation judging by this comment:

    My engine ping can be severe on long hills but mostly is just there in the background while accelerating and after the car downshifts (anytime under a load). It is more pronounced when the car is at operating temp and in warm weather.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    bit -- I don't remember exactly what the name of the tint was, but I do recall the shop owner telling me that the tint has a cool "Ray-ban" like look to it. I'm guessing it's Autolux. Too bad they discontinued it -- I scratched the film on one of the rear windows when I was putting my snowboard in the back. I was wanting to have that replaced, but sounds like now I'll have to get the entire back re-done.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    I'm taking my Forester in today to Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City to have that tranny whine checked out. I've given them the case# I was assigned. I'll keep you posted.

    Question -- can you find out what kind of grease is supposed to be used for the ball-socket at the base of Subaru manual shifters? I'm referring to the end of the shifter opposite the handle that pops into the center console.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    I backed into a friend's truck back in December, most of you probably don't even remember. I didn't post pics but I will show some before & after. For those that saw my car in the photo gallery, yes it's on the right side. ;-)

    Anyway, I waited through the winter to see if anyone would hit me. Nope...

    I got estimates in December from $950 - $1200. This week I went again, and a bodyshop I've used before is fixing the fender, painting the fender, bumper cover and fuel door, doing a paintless repair on a dent below the rear side window, AND prep & painting the sideskirts for $1100 including tax. Schweet!

    It goes under the knife 5/21, probably have pics by Thursday of that week. I can't wait to see the car without the (lightly) wrinkled rear fender and with body-colored skirts instead of flat black.

  • vincer2vincer2 Posts: 97

    I've had several recent posts on engine pinging in my 2000 OB. The pinging/knocking with my OB is almost identical to yours. I left the car with the Subaru dealer this past wednesday and asked them to drive it for a few days to listen to the pinging. I spoke with them today and they have acknowledged the "rattling problem" and are working on it. They also acknowledged that it is not normal and can and will be corrected. They should have the problem corrected today by making various sensor adjustments.

    I'll post the corrective action after the problem has been fixed. Don't get frustrated with your Forester because its a well engineered vehicle. Unfortunatley you've encountered quite a bit of difficulty in making arrangements for problem resolution. Hopefully Patti can provide some assistance to you.

    Patti, since engine pinging seems to be somewhat of an elusive issue for Subaru Service depts is there any chance of publishing a tech bulletin on possible corrective actions?

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