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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • I may be telling everyone more than they want to know, but someone may be interested in what I found out about oil filters. A few months after we purchased our LLBean I bought 5 Baldwin oil filters #B227 which cross to Purolator L14459. I assumed the H-6 would use the same filter as the H-4. When I took the car to the dealer for the 3k oil change they told me the part number for the H-4 and H-6 were different. That didn't make much sense to me but I didn't want to do something dumb and void the warranty so I started doing a little research. First I called Baldwin and talked to their hotline technician. They told me (and then Faxed the specs) that B227, B421, and B301 are the same filters as far as size, threads, and filter medium. The dfference is in the bypass pressure relief and drainback valve. B227 is 20psi with anti drainback valve; B421-14psi/w/anti drainback valve; B301-8psi/w/no anti drainback valve. The reason I am so hot on Baldwin filters is because this is logging and fishing country and a large percentage of heavy equipment and trawlers (with 20 to $40k engines) use Baldwin. In fact, Racor, Baldwin, and Hastings account for about 98% of filters.

    I am in no way affiliated with Baldwin and am not trying to sell thier filters, just trying to run my own show.

    Next I called the Purolator Hotline 1 800 526 4250 and they put me onto Tech support 1800 848 3783. I talked with Chuck Smith and told him what I had found out from Baldwin and asked him if he would check the SOA part numbers and tell me which filters they crossed to. Now here is where it gets interesting (as least to me). He said the two Subaru part numbers both cross to the same filter, which is Purolator L14460. He said the subs used to use the L14459 but have recently changed to L14460. He said the only difference in the two filters is the L14459 has an anti drainback valve and the L14460 does not. They both have 8 to 10 psi pressure relief valves. So naive me asked the obvious--Why have different part numbers if they are the exact same filter. You have probably guessed the answer. To keep selling Subaru filters for as long as possible.

    Needless to say, I traded by Baldwin B227's for B301's and now have one on the car (coming up on 10k).

    The one thing I still don't understand is why did Subaru change from a filter with and anti drainback valve to one without it. Especially silnce the filter on the H-6 is perfectly horizontal. How is the filter oriented on the H-4? When I mentioned this to Chuck Smith he said, "good question".

    Anyway I've rambled to long. Bottom line -- Purolator L14460 is the filter for H-6 engine if you like purolator (and I do believe it's an excellent filter)

  • The light comes on and flashes at engine startup. I suspect it has no correlation to oil temperature, but is a diagnostic signal of some sort. The light flashes for approximately ten seconds, then shuts off. It reappears only when the car is re-started.

    It's probably time to hook up the computer for a diagnostic reading.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    It's a self-test, so you know the light is working? Although 10 seconds seems a bit long. It probably has the stored code of when the AT Temp light originally came on. But that's just a guess. Check your brake lights. On my Trooper, the AT computer controller was on the same circuit as my brake lights. When I blew the fuse on my brake lights due to a bad hitch wiring harness job, my AT Temp light and other trans lights came on. Just a thought.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Thanks for sharing the info on the oil filters.

    FYI, the oil filters in the H4 mount vertically.

  • Good detective work!

    Most if not all horizontal filter applications, that I know of, have anti-drainback valves. This is because a horizontal filter could empty itself, depending on the rest of the system configuration, when the engine is off. You don't want to refill the filter at every start. You have no oil pressure without a filled filter.

    A vertical filter, open end up, only, as used on the H4 cannot empty, so it would be less important to have the valve. I do not know if the filters for the H4 have them or not.

  • Something still doesn't add up. It stands to reason that the H-4 with vertical mounting could use the filter without an anti drainback valve, but the H-6 with horizontal mounting would benefit from the drainback valve.

    Now if Chuck Smith was giving me the right info, logic would dictate using the L14460 on the H-4 (no drainback), and using the L14459 on the H-6 (drainback). When I told Chuck that the filter was mounted horizontally on the H-6 he immediately said it should have a drainback valve and he didn't understand why SOA would specify a filter that didn't have it.

    Now I am again wondering if there is in fact a difference in the two filters. There always seems to be one more thing to know (or two or five).

    Anyway I'm coming up on 10k (I did the change at 7500) and since the changes are free on the Bean to 30k, I'll take it in and let them change it. That will give me a little more time to ponder this. Also it's only a matter of time till the various filter manufacturers list a cross for the H-6.

    I gave the info as I received it but must admit that now I have misgivings about it. Buy your filters from a Sub dealer and you can't go wrong. (don't you just hate it when you can't fight city hall :-)

  • My goodness, things go fast in this discussion! So, now I have to go buy another dog and name him Dave? Is that in the owners manual? Does it have to be a Golden Retriever-ish sort of dog, or could I go get another Cocker Spaniel?

    The car is red, so I named it "Big Red Forester". These are the options: Compact Disc Player and cassette player, Automatic 4-Speed Transmission (an essential in Atlanta traffic ;), Heated Front Seats (will I use them?), Heated Power Mirrors, Leather Seats, and Skid Plates (I will use those, Atlanta has streets like Medellin). I would have liked the tow package, but this one had everything else I wanted and used Foresters don't last long on the market here. I am the envy of my friends. Considering my last car, though, it's about time.

    I'll tell the guys at Conley Subaru about the light. Maybe they can give it a tweak.

    Thanks for the advice. Sorry about the Dave thing.
  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, Maryland, USAPosts: 1,246
    Kathy, you're a fast learner!

    The heated seats are good for weary bones on a chilly morning (if there is such a thing in Atlanta).



  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    It's a shame about the name. My Forester is Rufus which means "red" even though he isn't (he's gold). Any type of dog will do. Juice's "dog" is certainly "any type". Cockers are sporting dogs so they are great. You don't actually have to name the dog Dave as long as you know someone named Dave. Enjoy Big Red.

    Ross (middle name David)
  • Yeah, any type o' dog will do. I have two kinda dorky little dogs (dachshund and a Welsh Cardigan corgi), and they co-exist with our Forester just fine. ... But I do think owning a Mac should be obligatory.
    -- Just another one of those Daves
  • Red Forester sounded to me like a very reliable, laid back kind of name. These are qualities that I want in my car as well. I guess it's kind of like naming your daughter Chastity and hoping she'll live up to it ;).

    I don't know what work has been done to Red recently. Would you guys recommend getting the oil, etc changed now? I'm taking Red to the dealer to have him put on the computer before the 60,000 miles are up, so I could do it then. I'm not to the point yet where I can change oil myself, but I'd love to learn.

    The dogs love Red.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Kathy- The heated seats actually come in handy on long trips (even in the summer). The seat provides a kind of deep heat massage for the lower back. Originally I was skeptical when I saw someone else suggest it but it really does feel good. You have the cool air from the A/C blowing on you while your backside is comfortably toasty. You don't have to worry about the seat getting too hot because it automatically shuts off when it reaches a certain temperature. Then after it cools it will start heating up again.

    Re what services need to be performed: since you're coming up on the 60K mark I suggest you consider going ahead and have them perform the 60K services. That way you'll know that everything's current.

    -Frank P.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Yep I do the same thing Frank on my trooper, A/C + heated seats = very comforting. :)

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Kathy - sounds very nice. I can't wait to use the heated seats, mirrors and wipers when winter "comes a callin". Lots of luck.

    Greg - As for the AT Oil light, mine comes on when starting the car, but, it does not flash. It's on for about 3 seconds. Hey another Greg! 3,242 more and we can give Dave a run for the money.

  • Are the lifters on the current 2.5 H4 engine solids by any chance. They sure do clatter. This is the first time I really noticed... actually I guess its the first time I had the hood open with it running oddly enough.

  • As I understand it, the Phase I has hydraulic, and the Phase II solid.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think I've only used it once, but so far so good. I poke a hole in the bottom of the oil filter to drain the oil, which helps a lot.

    A fumoto valve would be a good idea if you do this.

  • Does the H4 in your Forester clatter like a solid lifter car?

  • I have had my brakes checked 4 times now because they screech when I come to a slow stop. Each time, Subaru has cleaned the brakes, turned the rotors and have told me that they are fixed. Each time, they the screeching comes back, slowly but surely.
    Has anyone else had this problem? How do I get Subaru to fix my brakes?
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    I was with Paisan yesterday on the pre-run in the Pine Barrens. After we were done a couple of the guys said to replace the air filter because of all the sand we were driving through. I just had it replaced the day before as part of the 15000 service. Does it need to be replaced again, so soon? Can I just clean it instead?

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    there's no lifters in the SOHC EJ series. they have roller-tipped rockers, one per intake valve and one per pair of exhaust valves. these rockers directly act on the cam lobes and valve retainers and are lash adjustable.

    my valve lash needs to be set badly, I have a ton of chatter. it's a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] though, and it's not a warranty item in my case. anyway if you have full oil and it's within Subaru's recommendations (so probably 5w30 or 10w30) then visit your dealer. if their demo cars make the same noise, chalk this one up to OCD. if yours is noticably louder and again, you're not low on oil, then ask them to set your valve lash to the minimum factory spec. it's not bad with a lift.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Frank, Bit:

    To add to Colin's message, the DOHC Phase I engines have solid lifters. They're also adjusted using shims so they make a racket when it's cold.

    I believe it was the fomer 2.2L engines that used hydraulic lifters.

  • Frank and Colin - Thanks for your response. Yeah, listened to a friends 01 OB and sounds pretty much the same... maybe an OCD tad louder on mine.

  • Rotated my tires this weekend (6k on my 01 GT wagon). Measured all of the circumferences and they were nearly dead on. Decided to rotate in my full size spare as the tires with 6k on them were at most 1/16th less than the spare. Plus the spare sitll has the mold nubs on it so it was a little hard to get a good measurement. Going to give it a few miles and check again.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'd just take it out and bang it on your steps. I don't plan on replacing mine on my trooper, and I've been on 3 off-road trips since I replaced it.

  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    I think you will find that this is a sore point with many Forester owners though many of the bad points aren't mentioned in this forum. I have had my brakes serviced at least 8 times since my wife bought her 99 Forester and each time they clean, inspect and adjust and then they say they all do it. They growl grab ans squeek or squeel and I'm not talking about a cold morning start.I even tried to have them adjust the brake pedal because it was to spongey feeling and my wife did feel comfortable with it. Embarassing point once when it was in for service I asked to check brakes and the reaction was "what again, ok". but this time I marked several lug nuts on the all the wheels and when we picked the Forester up that night I notice that the lugs wee never taken off. A little embarrassing.
  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    I used to have the same problem with my VW Golf (not at all with the Forester so far). The treatment was to go to a DIY car wash and thoroughly clean the rotor and pads with the high pressure wand. Problem solved for a couple of months. Actually I saw brake noise as a warning that the car needed a bath. :-)

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    paisan's recommendation would probably work. You also might want to try brushing or light suction.

    That's one reason why I replaced my filters with Amsoil and K&N (wife's OB). You get 'em dirty, you just clean them.
    Are you going again this w/end?

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    have been noisy as of late. Even bought new pads to replace them, however, they were fine when I pulled the wheels. A good wash does help. Also, try driving backwards and slamming on your brakes a few times.

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