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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    I would stay away from synthetic in the manual trasmission unless you race the car. The shifting with synthetic will become very notchy because it doesn't have enough friction for the synchronizers to engage smoothly.
  • A very aggressive service shop & mechanic, and a son who trusted them - that's why it would get done.
    Not every Subaru specialist (in Seattle, at least) can be trusted.
  • pauladpaulad Posts: 14
    it has $49K miles on it--check engine light came on--took it to the dealer--they had it for a week--and said it was the EGR valve--got the car--next day--light comes on again--I told them I think it was the transmission--because the car was barely making it up hill--going staright--it didn't sem to be switching gears right--once it did it was fine...
    took it back to the dealer--they said it was the turbo--thank goodness for the warranty..they replaced that too--it wasn't the turbo--then the said it was the head gasket--changed that--still not working--now, they are working on get parts--they are 'back ordered, but they are being secretive--Great I'm getting a whole new car at their expense--but it has been at the dealership --4 of the 5 last weeks...what should I do...what if they can;t fix it?
  • toboggantoboggan Posts: 283
    I beg to differ :) . Have had Amsoil 75W-90 in the transmission/front differential and rear differential ('98 OBW Ltd 5spd) since 60,000 miles (now at 113,000+ mile). Did not make the shifting "notchy".

  • hammerheadhammerhead Posts: 907
    Does the brand of synthetic matter? The shop I'm contemplating uses Mobil1, but I could do it myself with RedLine, AmsOil, Castrol, whatever - or have the shop use owner-provided one of the above...

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Mobil 1 is a low end synthetic IMO. I'd stick to Redline, Amsoil or Royal Purple. As for a synthetic for the ATF, I'd stick with Subaru OEM stuff, ATs are very sensitive to the fluid. While it's under warranty I'd use the OEM stuff, that's what I do in my Armada that runs Amsoil in the diffys and transfer case. I did have very good luck with Redline High Temp ATF in my 96 Impreza Race car with an AT, and my SVX with the AT.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    PS: I've put Amsoil and Redline in 100s of cars and never had the trans get notchy.

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    If you go to page 16 of the "Subaru issue turbo STOP SALE on certain 08-09 models" topic in the forums of the web site, you will find an updated posting, apparently taken from subarunet, that states:

    "there was a small possibility of an “Engine Knocking Noise” caused by a contamination in the area of the connecting rod big end journal at very low mileage/time in service."

    The bulletin goes on to say that the engine oil of the VIN - identified units must be tested for copper contamination. If there is excessive copper in the oil, the engine is damaged and an E-QMR is to be issued.

    I wonder if I have to ask, or if Subaru will ask me, to get my engine inspected? :confuse:
  • hammerheadhammerhead Posts: 907
    Thanks, Mike. It's the '99 MT. I'll go with Redline or AmsOil - that's the direction I was leaning, based on lots of good advice from here.

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    Redline make a special gear oil for trannys. It's a 75w-90NS that has fewer slip agents than their regular GL-5 gear oil. They claim the synchros work better with it.
    It's what I use in the gearbox.
  • martijnhmartijnh Posts: 24

    Would like to sollicit the advice of the resident experts here. I have a 2000 OB Ltd wagon. Discovered this morning that the front sunroof no longer opens. However, when I press the sunroof switch, I hear the electric motor run. The rear sunroof opens up fine. Also, after trying to open the front sunroof by pushing the sunroof switch, I can push it open by hand. The electric motor then does close it when I push 'close' on the sunroof switch.

    So, I'm thinking there is some gear/belt/etc that is not pushing the front sunroof open. I think the motor, etc., still works properly. However, where do I start to fix this? Anybody any experience with this part of the car? Would very much appreciate your input. Thanks!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, you would be hearing the noise if yours was afffected.

    If you'd feel better, call 800-SUBARU3 and ask that they conduct the test on your engine.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Well the dealers have to get kits first. I'll see if mine actually contacts me in a few weeks regarding this issue. But so far I've not heard any really unusual noises (the air pump does make some racket when the motor first starts, though).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You mean fuel pump? A small "whirrrrr" is normal.
  • I have a 95 legacy & it is doing the same thing. My fuel injection is due to be serviced, it has been a while since I have done that. Have you ever serviced your fuel injection? I have tried the fuel injection cleaner to the gas, but it still seems fuel starved. It caused my "check engine" light to come on, but then it went off & it has continued to stay off. I will let you know how it runs after cleaning the fuel injectors.
  • pauladpaulad Posts: 14
    well--I have the 06 subaru legacy DT--the check engine light came on--they changed the ERG (?) valve--not that--then the turbo--not that--then the head gasket--not that--now they are changing the whole engine--an 06 with 49K miles--good thing it is under warranty (oh, and they have had it for 6 weeks now--at the subaru dealer) I do not have confidence that they know what they are doing--is there any lemon law for new cars?
  • So,
    I had the fuel injectors cleaned at an Oil Changers & at first glance, I would say the problem may be gone! However, the check engine light came on while they were doing the service.

    Will let you know more after I drive it for a few days.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    "is there any lemon law for new cars?"

    Varies by state. Your profile says you're in NY, which does have a lemon law. Here it is from the NY attorney general:
    However, your '06 is two years old and has nearly 50k miles, so it's well beyond the new car limit of 18k miles, if I'm reading the law correctly.

    First thing to do anyway is to open a file with Subaru Customer Service at 1-800-782-2783.
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 431
    Hi Juice and crew,

    Hope all is well with you. Been a long time. The 2001 Black Beaner is still running great at 117K miles - still tight, smooth and reliable.

    Had a fogging problem last month and noticed the air conditioning seemed weak. Brought it to my Subaru shop and they cleaned out debris in the fan air path for $200. The fan was more powerful, but it was too cold to see if the air was working. Now with warmer weather, I know it didn't help.

    I had a 96 Accord that I re-charged myself using a $8 can. Can I do the same with the 01 V6 Outback or do I have to go to the shop for a professional charge?


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm really not sure.

    The A/C went out on my 91 Escort and cost me $700. :cry:

    That's more than the option cost when the car was new - it was a $490 option. :(

    Did you check scoobymods?
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 431
    Thanks Juice. WOW - this place has changed! How do I get to scoobymods?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    URL is easy to guess. I'm not supposed to link directly to other sites from Edmunds, but you'll find it.
  • johnmccjohnmcc Posts: 5
    Hi I'm john from Va.Here's what I,ve done and still have the problem back.Replace head gasket ,water pump,.rear end seal,serpentine belt,timing belt,thermostat,.Now 10 days later after all this replaced have a temp hike going up again.I had only 64,000 miles on it.Sent a leter to head quarters no response.Expect this below plus more of what I had done.Now I had repairs done at an ACE certified shop using all Subaru parts from the dealer to do the repairs with from a shop does a lot of these exact repairs for the head gasket problems.All I had to do was mention the 2.5L engine and he knew the problem.After was a part showed me the blown head gasket and you could see the problem.I will be seeing him tomorrow since i have 12 months on the repairs.The point is without my car I can't work.Subaru should fixed this problem but uses a stop gap with their condtioner added to the radiator fluid.It's a cheap fix know as leak seal which all the mechanics I talked including ex-subaru mechanics who confirm my guest as to what is was.

    Dear John:
    Thank you for contacting Subaru of America, Inc. I am sorry to hear of your concerns with your 2004 Subaru Impreza Wagon. According to our records, your concern is being handled by our representative Marisol Crespo under Case # . She would like to have some documentation from you of the vehicle service history. You may fax this information to her at F: 856-488-3016. I will let Marisol know that you have emailed us, and your emails will be attached to the case. Best Wishes.
    Grant Noble
    Subaru of America, Inc.
    Customer/Dealer Services Department

    I truly hope when I go to the Subaru dealership in my area that I get it resolved but from all I've and tried to fix it so far sound like the head gasket will be what is the problem.No Subaru should ever have these kind of problems before 100,000 miles.Bubbling water in reserve tank,smell of anti-freeze,sudden up downs of temperature gauge since yesterday.The real problem even if you get the car fixed at your cost will be me getting to work.I work for myself and only get paid when I work and without a car to drive well and won't make any money to pay bills.I know that head gasket repairs take a long time to do but also know that the repairs don't seem to last long from what the websites I've read since Subaru doesn't generally remove engine to get a good seal on new head gasket.I love the style and handling of Subaru's but I hope to have you resolve this by letting me use the
    WWP-99 repair notice.I have saved and printed many many stories of the 2.5I HG failures.My biggest concern is even if it's repaired how long will it last before goes again.There have to be a better way to fix this problem.I just can't see after 100 years of building cars how this stuff still happening.If I had the money I would buy your knew electric car you sell in Japan in a heartbeat since that HG would never be a thing to worry about.I saved for years to get a Subaru since I know they had the best AWD in the world and had a great car.Sorry had to sent three e-mails but couldn't fit it all in.

    First name:
    Last name:
    I have found site after site all dealing with the Subaru engine problem with Head Gasket failure on the 2.5 engine.Do you really think any reasonable person won't see the pattern of this problem.That so called conditioner is nothing more then leak seal.Why would a Subaru need to have the so called conditioner add again and again unless they knew that had problems with their engine design on the 2.5.The right thing to do is simple replace the engine with a 2.2 that doesn't have this problem instead of making the same 2.5 over again with the same problems.I have read so many reports of HG failures even after the repair was done a short time later.I know for a fact the engine doesn't cost you more then $500 to produce.I cannot believe that it makes sense to you to lose multiple costumers that will never buy a Subaru again considering the low cost to you to fix the problem.The simple thing would be send me a letter with notice of intend as to replacing my engine at no cost to me with an engine without this flaw.The 2.0L and the 2.2L all seem to have a good track record but the 2.5L has a horrible design flaw to have this happen over and over again since the start of 99 on.Yes I've heard you say oh we fixed that problem and it doesn't exist in the 2004 model.well guess what it does exist.The 99-2004 model use the same engine and the same exact part number for a Head Gasket kit.If all the parts for a head gasket repair are the same then the engine on a 1999-2004 are going to have the same problems.I have never in all the years of driving cars seen a more obvious factory defect but you decide that the WWP-99 doesn't apply to the 2004.I have talked to more then a few mechanics from different shops and a few ex-subaru mechanics and they all say same thing.The failure rate is too high to be just something by accident.However does the math at Subaru doesn't know how to add.The Subaru cost on average between 17,000-up and you feel that you would rather lose a few hundred dollars on a new engine replacement which is all it really cost you for it.Aluminum engines weren't really a good idea to begin with.Yes much lighter but with a higher failure rate due to the temperature problems.Just so you know not all people out here in the real world can't see the real problem you refuse to fix properly.Here's a free bit of advise.First do what's right not what's cheaper for you to do.Customer loyalty is worth it's weight in Gold.If you keep hiding behind your words of "oh sorry that model doesn't have that problem".I can guarantee the problem will just keep losing clients in a time that your product has not keep up with the times.
  • pauladpaulad Posts: 14
    well, after much ado and 7 weeks later--I got the car back--first they changed the EGR valve--then the turbo--then the head gasket--then finally the engine---it seems a piston broke and the gaskets MELTED--the turbocharger and other parts were actually SO discolored and melted--they were unrecognizeable---parts of the exhaust system also MELTED--UNBELIEVABLE! Among numerous other things--originally they checked the pistons--they were fine--but when they finally took the engine apart--the found broken rings--I hope that was really causing the problem--just not a casualty of the real problem--- the temp light NEVER came on--and as soon as the check engine light came on --2 days later the car was there---this had to happen over time...somehwere it shoud've gave warning--good thing the car was under warranty--but I am not happy--it should never have happened THE CAR WAS LESS THAN 2 YEARS OLD---and it should've been indicated earlier on the car on the panel that there was a problem--I am afraid of what is going to happen to it when the warranty is over---and they never even kept me informed--I plan on making a serious complaint about this and follow through---we've owned subarus in th past and I was thinking about buying the outback--but now, I am afraid to do so....
  • pauladpaulad Posts: 14
    same problem--see post--cracked piston ring
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    A ring or piston failure is usually catastrophic and happens quickly.

    These are physically manufactured products and as such there is always a chance there is a failure.

    I'm still not sure what kind of "warning" you wanted that your engine blew up! :)

  • vtxcvtxc Posts: 1
    Hello, I need suggestions. My 02 Outback wagon's engine is shot.I will get info./quote from repair shop about replacing it.About 114,000 miles. There's a hole in the block I guess. I know it will be expensive, even with used engine, and I am torn between doing repair and keeping it for my teen, or trying to get rid of it without the repair. Am inclined to lease or buy new Subaru--should I attempt to get a dealer to take it, or would I lose too much on the trade (probably). If I repair it, it doesn't make sense to trade it in. any suggestions? I am new here, and I don't know cars very well. Thanks!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, can't hurt to ask. Dealers lowball trades that are in good condition, though, I can't imagine they'll give you much for yours.
  • johnmccjohnmcc Posts: 5
    well I found a whole 1994 Subaru Impreza on for $2300.I would check craigslist and just buy the whole car for less then the engine will be unless you can find a junkyard engine.Also look into other engine sizes.Many other Subaru engines are able to switch them out.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Any folks here have experience with using Synthetic oil in their Subaru?
    Good? Bad?

    FYI I asked Subaru directly if Synthetics could be used. This is their response - all the caps are theirs :surprise: :

    "As for the use of synthetic oil, this is your decision. Our Technical Services
    Department advised that if you do decide to use synthetic oil, that you always use
    it because your engine will become accustomed to it. The same goes if you decide
    to use 'regular' oil.

    We recommend that you first change the oil in your vehicle at 3,750 miles or 4 months,
    whichever comes first. We STRONGLY recommend that you at least wait until the break-in
    period of 1,000 miles is surpassed, which I see you have done!

    The break-in period of the engine requires that a given amount of friction exists
    between components. The piston rings need to rub against the cylinder wall to break-in
    or finely tune the machine mating between the two metal parts. To properly seat
    all mechanical components, a certain amount of friction is required between the
    metal parts. Since synthetic oil has a lower friction rating than regular oil, we
    recommend that Subaru owners wait until after the 1,000 mile break-in period to
    switch to synthetic engine oil.

    Synthetic engine oils can be used in our engines if the user follows the engine
    oil recommendations prescribed in the Owner's Manual. Subaru has not tested
    the compatibility of all synthetic oils with engine seals, but the petroleum industry
    does adhere to standards for the refining process which meet Subaru requirements.
    Subaru does not guarantee the performance of any brand of any engine oil.

    Engine Oil Guidelines: - only use engine oil that meets or exceeds the API classification
    designated in the Owner's Manual for the vehicle - only use engine oil that
    meets the VISCOSITY requirements for the ambient temperatures under which the vehicle
    will be operated as outlined in the Owner's Manual - THE ENGINE OIL MUST BE

    So it looks like Synthetic is OK provided they "follow the rules" above.
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