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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Any car that is driven through water higher than the wheel bearings for any length of time should have them re-packed if they are re-packable, if not, they should be replaced.

    As for a specific height? There is no limit, however if you suck in water to your intake and hydrolock your engine, don't expect any manufacturer LR or Subaru to cover the repair costs. Or to pay to replace anything like a MAF/MAP that may have been damaged by the water.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Thanks for the tip. It would beat having to warm up five or ten minutes before leaving, which we never had to do before this started...
  • Good point about the wheel bearings. I doubt the floorpan is watertight either.

    As for LR2, I can just see somebody drive in to 21 inches of water only to see leaks in floorboard, etc. pouring water into the cabin, BCM and all the electronics.
    Like you said, that would void the warranty for sure.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have to dig up some pics of my Isuzu Trooper where I drove through mud-holes with muddy water pouring over the hood and halfway up the doors. Never had a leak or ingested any water.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At a Jeep Jamboree I watched and admired as a Grand Cherokee Orvis Edition (the priciest one) drove through a deep water crossing.

    Very impressive.

    Then I watched as the owner opened the doors and muddy water poured out.

    Not so impressive. :D

    I doubt the door seals will hold out water for long. Maybe a splash, but 22" deep water will flood that gorgeous interior.
  • "... How deep can Outbacks go into water before Subaru considers it abusive and voids the vehicle warranty? I'm guessing no more than the depth of the ground clearance of the vehicle, and then, not for long."

    This Forester looks in as deep as the floorboards:
    And this one looks deeper than that, but notice the snorkel:
    But no snorkel on this one making the same trip:
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    The original Jeeps and LRs don't have gorgeous interiors.
    I do recall, at least on the "original" LRs, there are holes on the floor pan to take on and drain water so the LRs won't get floaty in deep waters.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I've seen those holes on Wranglers, too.

    It's funny how they took the outdoorsy image and took it way upscale, which is pretty much incompatible with the muddy trails it was originally intended for.

    Ruin that gorgeous wool carpeting! :D
  • Direct from Subaru when I asked the water depth question (slightly edited to keep space reasonable):

    "We cannot provide you with an exact depth of water that would cause problems to a Subaru Outback or Forester vehicle and could affect the warranties on the vehicle."

    "A Subaru vehicle is neither a conventional off-road vehicle nor an all terrain vehicle. It is a passenger car designed primarily for on-road use. However, both the Outback and Forester models are equipped with an AWD System and have increased ground clearance, which allows for some off-road usage. "

    "Drive slowly and completely through the stream. The water should be shallow enough that it does not reach the vehicle's undercarriage. Water entering the engine air intake or the exhaust pipe or water splashing onto electrical parts may damage your vehicle and may cause it to stall."

    "Ground clearance specs for 2008 Forester models:
    8.1 inches - Forester 2.5X models
    7.9 inches - Forester 2.5XT models

    Ground clearance specs for 2008 Outback Wagons:
    8.4 inches - Outback 2.5i and 3.0R Wagons
    8.7 inches - Outback 2.5XT Wagons."

    So, my guess is as long as you don't go deeper than their ground clearance, you are probably all right.
    No fording rivers with these! :blush:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just for you, Kurt... ;)

    Mine was fine after this. In fact we did this Pine Barrens fun run in 2001, the weekend after 9/11, and I kept that Forester for 6 more years without any problems.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    Yeah, I went through many a Spring parking lot puddle that was 7-8" deep and at least that large with my '96 Outback. Never had any problems with it that could be attributed to my enjoyment of Fairbanks' spring-time perks. ;)
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    We drove through at speed, though, that splashes up a lot of water.

    A guy with a Subaru XT6 sucked water in his intake and it stalled the engine. They actually fixed it on the spot - remove the plugs, spray in WD40, run the starter to evaculate the water. Good as new.

    He blew a clutch later in the day.

    So 4" of clearance was not enough, 7.5" was enough. ;)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    So 4" of clearance was not enough; 7.5" was enough.

    Hahah, yeah, it makes a big difference. I cannot remember what that '96 had... 6-something I think. I always punch the puddles at 15-20 - water and mud everywhere. Fun stuff.

    My van has 5" of clearance, but I will not let that stop me this spring. :D
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The XT6 did have an aftermarket intake that was low-mounted. That guy was nuts, he should have had a snorkel!
  • I had the same problem with my 05 outback each year. Nothing worked. Letting the pump run- little effect if any. The problem was limited to Dec-April in Michigan. Subaru claimed that it was bad gas, but there was little difference from one gas station to the next.

    My solution: I moved from MI to CT. I haven't had the problem all year. Last year in MI I switched to filling up at a busy gas station and I began running premium. It was much better, but still happened occasionally. My understanding is that MI requires a slightly different gasoline formulation in the winter vs the summer. CT may not.

    After trying everything, I believe the problem is with the car and is in the electrical system. The issue happened most exclusively when the car was washed or run on wet roads. CT doesn't get any snow near the coast so I am always on dry roads these days. It happened once after I washed the car and put it in the garage wet. Thus, if the problem is spark when wet that would explain why a different gas formulation (with perhaps less ignitability) would effect the ability to start cold as well as the switch to premium fuel, and the issue with water.

    Good luck.
  • I have a rotational noise coming from the rear wheel/axle area that is wheel speed dependent. It sounds like a large rock is wedged in one of the tires, but the tires are new and clean. I took it in for my free wheel rotation last weekend and the mechanic said he heard the sound when driving it, but not when it was on the lift. He was able to feel a shudder in the ball joint area which he said is commonly the problem when hearing this sound while driving. However, he felt the same shudder at the same time from both rear wheels. So, he didn't feel it was a ball joint, but possibly something in the drivetrain.

    Any suggestions as to what it might be?
  • thnx for pic, ateixeria.
  • I keep reading articles in C&D and other places complaining about Subarus' Turbo lag, and have experienced it myself. Unfortunately, it's a real turn off to what is in many ways a likeable vehicle

    What, if anything, can be done to minimize Subaru Turbo Lag?

    Or do we have to wait for Direct Injection from Subaru to fix this glitch?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Wow, there is really not much lag at all, at least as far as turbos go. Compared to a bigger NA motor, yeah there's lag, but really in the grand scheme of things there isn't much. If you drive it like a pansy, it's just a 2.5L 165hpish engine pushing a 3400lb+ car. If you drive it agressively, there is no lag....

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I ran my 2000 Forester through a flooded section of road and I felt the vehicle rock a little as I went through. The front license plate bent as a result of the force of the water. This happened three or four years ago. It's a great vehicle is all I can say. Now if I can just fix that compression problem.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd say about an 80% chance that is a wheel bearing.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, there is a fix: buy a manual transmission. :D

    If you have an auto, and stab the gas, the throttle-by-wire first interprets your input, then sends a signal to the ECU to acceleration, which then sends a signal to the auto trans to shift down, which then shifts, which then has to build a load before the turbo will spool, which then spools the turbo, which then boosts the engine.

    There's your delay.

    With a manual the process is a whole lot quicker. Shift down and hit the gas: bye-bye.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I dirve in city traffic all the time, live in manhattan. Yeah there is a bit of lag, but not any more lag than any other turbo i've driven. Mine is a MT also.

    I'm looking forward to the 3.6L engine in the next itteration to see how that does :)

  • The '08 Outback XT I drove in city traffic was a bucking bronco thanks to lag and auto trans = No fun at all.
    Sounds like Rowing a manual and keeping engine above 4K would fix that, but sorry, for me that's also no fun in heavy traffic.

    Now on the track, hi reving + manual = fun :shades: No track to work here though, save the railed TRIMAX one.
  • Yes, the OB XT auto has noticeable turbo lag. But as a frame of reference, you should go test drive an Acrua RDX. Now THAT is turbo lag. You press the gas and NOTHING happens. 1-2 seconds later - VROOOOOM! It's downright dangerous.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    Turbo in full boost + city traffic = crash

    Exactly why I bought an Outback 3.0R instead of the GT wagon. Though it would have been nice to have had the better brakes and lower ride height of the GT.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    What juice said.
    It wasn't turbo lag you'd experienced city driving. It's auto transmission lag.
    Stumping on the gas pedal compounds the lag.

    Turbo in full boost + city traffic = crash

  • the '04 malibu maxx I have has drive by wire throttle and 4 speed auto. It will respond anywhere from 0.5 to 1 second from a throttle input. Minimal lag, though engine runs out of air at high revs (I only get to that on freeway passing).

    The outback auto's not the only sluggish one out there - the '08 Rav4 AWD proved only marginally better, and it had a V6. But at least it doesn't surge in city traffic.

    I've read twin-screw turbos have much less lag, but Subaru ain't got none yet :sick:
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Sounds like a mix up between AT drivetrain lag/surge and turbo lag/surge.
    Having a twin-scroll may minimize the AT lag, but probably not the turbo surge.

    As to surging. If you're referring to turbo surge, the number one no-no with driving an AT turbocharged in city traffic is feeding more gas to get over the AT lag. More gas higher rev. The beast awakens.

    1. Drive a NA engine with good displacement.
    2. Change driver type.
    3. Tune engine to driver liking.

    I did 2 and 3 with my '03 WRX 4EAT. To date, no city traffic complains or white knuckle situation. :D

  • Did Subaru actually change the Outback Auto trans shift points early '08?
    I remember reading on another forum... :confuse:
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