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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,692
    I bought a set of Nokian WRs for my CR-V.. Had about 29K on them, when I sold the car... Still had an easy 10-15K left...

    This was the earlier model, but I'd recommend them highly... Great winter traction, plus better (stiffer, less roll) handling on dry/wet roads than the normal crappy tires you can put on a CR-V...


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • fbkordfbkord Posts: 17
    Hello everyone,
    The short block on my 2002 forster was replaced. Does this mean they also changed the head gasket while fixing the block? So far I have not had any issues with the gasket but I've heard stories.

    Thank you

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't see how they could have re-used the gaskets. It's industry standard to replace them, so yeah.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    Agreed; the head gaskets had to be replaced at the time the heads were separated from the old block and installed on the new one.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • phdhuskyphdhusky Posts: 85
    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering what is required from Subaru for the 15k Maintenance as I have an extended warranty plan. I can't tell from the mysubaru site because it is formatted incorrectly.

    My dealer wants to do all this fluff service and charge 220. Do you know what subaru requires in order to keep up with the maintenance to be in good standing with my extended coverage?
  • fbkordfbkord Posts: 17
    Thank you very much for your responses. It's comforting to hear helping voices.
    Thanks again.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    The schedule for my '10 Forester lists the following:

    Interval: 15,000 miles / 15 month service
    Action Description
    Replace Engine oil
    Replace Engine oil filter
    Inspect Disc brake pads and discs, front and rear axle boots and axle shaft joint portions
    Perform Inspect brake lines and check operation of parking and service brake system
    Inspect Clutch operation
    Inspect Steering and suspension
    Perform Rotate and Inspect Tires
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • fbkordfbkord Posts: 17
    Just do the oil change and tire rotation at a certified local shop. Ask them do the recommended inspections also, It should cost you around $100.00 the most.
    That's what Ive done with our 3 subarus and they all have over 100000 miles on them with no problem. I would recommend 30k, 60 k and 90k services done properly tho. You can also use a local shop to do these services to save money.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I have an 06 3.0R with the 5 speed auto. I had the transmission replaced at 30K due to a shudder when shifting from 2nd to 3rd. Now that I am at 63K the new transmission is starting to do the same thing. No extended warranty.

    I just had the fluid changed in the hopes that it would solve the issue. No such luck. Now I am looking for advice. I have some questions.

    Is this at all common? Sounds like it is not based on what I have read.

    Do I just have bad luck or could there be something else wrong with my vehicle causing the damage? Bad tranny cooler, or do I even have one?

    Any speculation on what the shudder means and how long I can drive it without some sort of hard failure?

    I am thinking about talking to Subaru about a good-will repair or assistance. My only reservation is that I had intended to pass the car to my kids in a few years and I do not want to be replacing the tranny a third time at 100K. I would rather delay replacement until it actually fails.

    Has anyone ever asked Subaru for a sweetheart deal on an extended warranty? That way they get me to have a financial stake in the matter but I could maybe delay the repair until it dies.

    If I talk to Subaru is it best to work through the service manager or deal with them directly?

    Looking for any advice on how to approach this.

  • Check my complaint regarding my Tribeca 2008 with 5spd auto.
    I have had it in since new. Two torque converters, and STILL the same. Mechanics at two dealerships unable to repair, even with Subaru's guidance! Subaru advises, that is the way they are and there is no repair for the problem.
    Wonder if our transmissions are similar?
    Definitely a design fault and Subaru should stand behind it. I am still under warranty and have been in touch ad nauseam with Subaru. They have never so much as answered my emails, phone calls and registered letters!!
    Would like to know who else has such problems! Maybe collectively we can do something!
    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :mad:
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Can you provide a link to your postings? This topic?
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    edited April 2010
    I follow these Subaru posts regularly, but i don't remember others having this problem.

    We have a 2002 Forester S, auto, just turned 80k miles. Yesterday morning while driving the car we felt a slight burning smell. No other symptoms. We kept driving the car for about 60-70 miles on the highway. When we got home, the smell was very strong and upon opening the hood a bit of smoke came out. I looked and found that the inner CV boot on the passenger side has cracked and CV grease has spilled on the exhaust (thus, the smell).

    How much damage did we do by driving the car like this at highways speeds? I am planning to take the car to the dealership ASAP, about 5 miles away, and have it fixed. Is it safe to drive it like this? What is most likely repair that they will suggest (is it likely that the CV joint need replacement?), and how much is it going to cost, approximately?

    Thanks, Daniel.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    If it is just a torn boot, and no other driveability issues (no 'clunks' on sharp turns), it may be OK to just repack with grease and put on a new rubber boot. If it got gritty in the process, it will wear quickly, and you could be looking at a replacement down the road. It really depends on how bad the split was, and what the driving conditions in this state were.

    There is a fair amount of labor involved in either total replacement or just boot replacement. Sometimes it just pays to go for a new one for the moderate extra cost over repairing what's there. Talk to the dealer about it.
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    Thank you fibber2.

    The dealership recommended that I replace the whole thing, and I agreed, since it is labor intensive. Cost is $350 + shop supplies + tax (close to $400 total I guess).

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    That price seems reasonable. If I recall correctly, the price of the part itself was about $200 on my '96 Outback, so it looks like they are estimating about 2 hours of labor. Based on my experience replacing those buggers, that is about right....
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    At 282K I had the following done: replaced driver/roadside knuckle, wheel bearing, seals, ball joint, and axel (half-shaft). Four wheel alignment performed. Complete repair totaled $694.90.

    I attempted to do it myself but could not get the ball joint loose. Saw the dealer performed it. A lot of the labor was to fix my mistake. I already had the half-shaft.

    I had the rear bearing and lug studs done and it ran under $500. So the price you quoted was a good deal.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    edited April 2010
    Ugh. Ball joints can be a real PITA! I gave myself a significant scar on my lower left arm replacing the ball joints on my Escort last spring. Separating them, though, has become much easier since I purchased a separator fork ($12).

    I also built a funky little tool for my '69 Chevy C20's steering knuckle (that vehicle has two ball joints on each side!) that will, with enough application of force, separate the ball joints. Once they came loose from the knuckle, I only had to use a ball joint removal/installation tool to press the unit out of the A-arm and install the new one. Compared to the $1200 estimate I received from a shop two years prior, I thought the effort involved and the ~$250 spent on tools and parts was well worth it.

    But, I digress. :blush:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    My problem was getting the axle housing pinch bolt(?) off which would allow me to lift the housing off the ball joint. Most dealers tell me they disconnect the housing from the strut to remove the half shaft.

    Once I broke the bolt, I was left with the dealer doing the repair. I have to get another housing. Because they could not get the bolt out. I have to do the other side (319K original miles) it is due. And while I am at it I will replace the bearings too. Just wish I had a second car I could use while I work on it.
  • Just got a Brand New car last week. This Saturday while I was driving, Check
    Engine light comes on, and several other lights came on or started blinking. Called sales at dealer since the service was closed. I was told most likely it would be caused by loose gas cap. I then added more gas and tightened the cap. After several trips, short and long, the light are still on or blinking!!

    I got really frustrated now! What should I do except for having the car
    checked at the dealer tomorrow? To file a complaint? Anything else I can do?
    :mad: :mad:
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    After the problem is fixed, it takes several cycles of engine start to reset the Check Engine Light (CEL). Other than hooking a computer or scanner up to it and resetting it. Advanced Auto will let you use their scanner (in exchange of you license) to read and reset the code and CEL.
  • lg05legacylg05legacy Posts: 13
    I have recently been noticing that my temp. gauge is spiking in stop and go traffic if I drive for about 30 mins. or more.

    Example: I'll be driving at ~70mph on the highway for about 30 minutes, then if I hit stop and go traffic, the temp spikes.

    Normally, after the car warms up, the temp gauge runs at 9 o'clock or half way between cold and way too hot. Yesterday after driving consistently at 70mph for about 2 hours on the highway, I drove around town (stop and go) and noticed the temp gauge was almost into the red.

    This is very concerning to me because I purchased my '05 Legacy as a certified used vehicle in 2009. It now has about 56000mi on it, and it is the only mode of transportation I have to get to work every day. Would anyone have any helpful information on this issue??

    Thanks in advance!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    We'll assume that you have checked the coolant level and that you are full in the radiator, with some in the overflow tank.

    What you describe (acceptable temp gauge reading during high speed driving followed by a spike when you get off the highway) sounds all too characteristic of a head gasket problem. Fortunately, as a Certified Used, you should be covered if that is what it turns out to be.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    I have the same problem on my 2000 Forester (320K miles). I thought it was the aftermarket thermostat I put in (it had no jiggle pin). Since there is oil leaking around the head and block (dealer said head gasket) that might be the problem.

    Could we get an explanation why the head gasket would cause the problem? Because I would think there would be water in the oil and vice-versa.
  • rebel71rebel71 Posts: 87
    Hi all I'm asking for the help of anyone who owns an 06-08 Legacy that has had bad wheel bearings replaced to please post when the failure mileage occurred and date if possible. I noticed that showed a TSB issued by Subaru 5/2008 for owners of 05-06 Legacy/Outback rear wheel bearings produce a "whining" sound saying it doesn't pose a safety problem, but they are covering the repair at no cost to you and extending the warranty. The reason I'm asking for your help is that I've had an intermittent noise that started at 13,000miles on my 08 Legacy(bought new) drivers front wheel area, of course the sound stops when I get to the dealer. All signs point to wheel bearing. They can't diagnose till they hear the sound.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,775
    edited May 2010
    Phil, I'm not sure that I can give you a 'complete' explanation, but I'll tell you what I know (or think I know???).

    Surrounding the cylinder bore are multiple passages that bring coolant around the head, and oil passages that lube the cam and valve stems. The head gasket has of course the large center hole for the combustion chamber, plus these separate small ports for oil and coolant, and the head bolt holes. Net is that there is really very little gasket material in places.

    Structurally, there also isn't a lot of ribbing between the bore walls and the rest of the block. It's called an open deck design, and thus it has more flex during thermal cycling. The theory is that the flex promotes scrubbing, which eventually degrades the gasket. Initially, an outer coolant passages at the back of the block (#4 - drivers side) develops an external leak which tends to drip on the exhaust, giving a sweet smell that is the first tip-off of problems. Eventually, it allows leaks to the cylinder.

    As cylinder pressures are way higher than the water jacket, the hot exhaust gases find their way into the coolant. This causes local boiling and hot spots, which the temp gauge picks up usually prior to there being real engine damage (hopefully). It also tends to force coolant out into the expansion tank, which may overflow if enough gases build up.

    The leak is usually so small that it tends to be one way for a while - hot gases enter the cooling jacket, but little coolant finds its way into the cylinder after shutdown. Eventually it degrades, and the flow becomes bi-directional. When this happens, cylinder bore damage occurs, blocks crack from more severe overheating - end of show.

    The location of the breach also tends to not involve oil passages, and thus there is limited or no mixing of oil and antifreeze for a while until it all begins to break down.

    And this is the theory which is mine! (as a professor of mine once put it...).
  • girlcarbuildergirlcarbuilder Baton Rouge, LAPosts: 218
    Interesting problem, e-mail back up. Let me add, are the cooling fans coming on? Is the radiator clear for proper air flow. Some people block airflow in colder climates during extreme cold.

    Another thought, if exhaust gas leak, sometimes you can find that by holding a dollar bill to the exhaust after the car has heated up. If it gets wet, you have a problem. On a cold engine, pop the radiator cap and start the engine and watch for exhaust gases to vent front radiator cap. This works with more extreme cases. Final step would be to pressure test the system. Another thought, is the correct temp stat installed. Is it opening at the correct temp? Put it in a pot of water, boil and observe the begin to open and fully open points. Never assume a new part is good! Another over looked problem would be a clogged radiator. Being a newer car, there could be some packing material stuck in it some how. Past this, it is think way out of the box!
  • girlcarbuildergirlcarbuilder Baton Rouge, LAPosts: 218
    Subaru has quite a history with wheel bearings....period! I suspect the problems of the past extend to the present! Click on my handle and pull up the posts listed in it.

    Everyone else. Addition to the last service post on the 40K mileage service miles failure. I believe that unit was at 258K miles then. Carefully inspect the halfshaft surfaces for smoothness. Clean up or replace as needed. If it damages your seals, the bearings will fail sooner. Also, I have now verified there is no physical difference between OEM, National and Beck Arnley seals....other than price!

    Bottom line, Subies do not care for dirt or water around the wheel bearings! Keep out of the stuff or plan on replacing wheel bearings more often! That is now SOP on all of them in our fleet, including $8 a can synthetic grease!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    Based on my own experience with the issue, I think your theory is a pretty good one.

    We hear often about the highway driving followed by stop/go resulting in temperature spikes, and I suspect that this is mostly a result of the reduced airflow over the exterior of the engine rather than something different happening inside the engine. When those gases get into the coolant passages, it reduces the effectiveness of the coolant by disrupting flow and, possibly, through the resulting loss of contact with the metal surfaces.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • lg05legacylg05legacy Posts: 13
    First, thank you all for your thoughts on this issue. Just found out today that my vehicle is still under warranty (extended Gold Plus package) so if it is a head gasket, I'll be covered.

    Second, Xwesx: Any thoughts (short of installing a hood scoop) on how to remedy this reduced airflow issue? It is somewhat of an alarming issue when you're 50 miles from where you want to be. I've toyed with the idea of switching my stock intake with a cold-air after market one...
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,920
    edited May 2010
    It is merely an artifact of the speed of the car, so there is nothing (practical) you can do. The hood scoop won't really do anything to help on the scale you're talking about. The engine generates a lot of heat while operating and if the coolant is not operating effectively to transfer that heat to the radiator, heat loss to the air around the exterior of the engine will only do so much. It is not air flow that is causing the problem....

    Maybe recasting the block with a series of cooling fins surrounding it coupled with a massive blower fan? :P
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
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