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Subaru Baja: Problems & Solutions

tooth2tooth2 Posts: 9
edited March 2014 in Subaru
Dear Baja owners,
Can anyone give me advice. I just bought a Subaru - Baja last week 10-22-03. I had my first tank gas filled on this Monday. After that, every time I pedal brakes, or driving on an uneven road, I hear Waving sound at the back, like water (gas) is rolling against something. I have it checked. Dealer says it's the kind of tank design, some say it's the baffles' problem in the gas tank, maybe from the screw, or tank is not good locked ... But nothing they can do ...
So, herewith, any Baja driver can help me with advice? 1) Do you hear any gas tank sloughing noise back and forth when you are driving, making turns, or pressing brakes? 2) is it true that it's designed this way. The funny thing is that when I test drove the car, I had never hear anything. As for my new car, the first week was quiet. So, anyone has the same experience? 3) How should I deal with it: Dealer, repair? ...
Looking forward to your help. Thanks for your time.

Sad Baja owner.


  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I'll try to tune into it when I drive later this evening - before the chat. Your Baja has a "saddle" type design fuel tank and sometimes you might hear the fuel go between tanks - but it shouldn't be a "constant" noise. If it is troubling you and you think it should be investigated further, call 1-800-SUBARU3 after the dealer has thoroughly inspected in. Try to have your VIN available when you call. We can double check the information the dealer provides you.

    Either way - it doesn't indicate a major problem, so try to go out and enjoy your new ride a bit!

  • a sloshing sound.
  • Patti & Odfrank,
    Thank you so much for your help. Yeah, the sloshing sound. It's not sometimes, it's like everytime I am out, I am accompanied by the sloshing 'water bag'. I went back to the Dealer again today as I really don't feel comfortable about it. I brought a friend and test drove another Baja again. No matter how hard or sudden we pedaled brakes, back and forth, no noise at all. Maybe I do have a Lemon. Well, I get lost. I just hope I am not that unlucky to get a Lemon. I am going to call 800-Subaru tomorrow. Thanks again for your help.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,961
    We do have a very active Subaru Baja topic already here. Rather than leave this as a single-question topic, I'm going to rename it Subaru Baja: Problems & Solutions to make it the general topic for all questions about Baja problems.

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  • I have listened and have no gas tank sloshing sound. Demand that this be corrected under warranty.

    I did hear something after it rained. Maybe moonroof runoff draining. But it ended after a few seconds.
  • Hi, Mr. Frank!
    Thanks for your time.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It could water caught in another place. For instance, on my Miata, I've had water caught in the area under the door. I had some pine needles and other debris cloggin up a drain.

    Given it's fall, that could be it.

    Another thought - did you get undercoating? That sometimes can clog up drains, which is why most manufactureres (including Subaru) do not recommend it.

    Have them check all the fluids under the hood, though I doubt any of those would create a sloshing noise. Everything you can service is marked yellow.

    Keep us posted?

  • I've had my Baja for 8 Months now and do not hear any kind of sloshing noise. That sloshing noise is not normal and I agree that you should make sure the dealer corrects this problem.

    As a side note for those interested... I left my sunroof open during a torrential downpour and the leather interior and carpet held up remarkably well... I cant even tell that it happened :)

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    maybe call our 800 number if your dealer doesn't address it appropriately during your next visit.


  • My guess is that your parking situation causes you to put the Baja in drive and reverse frequently, doing this with (less than a full tank of gas) combined with your very good sense of hearing and you will hear the slouching sound.
    I tried and could not hear it,then one day I heard it and noticed that the (tank was not full)
    Unless your tank is loose(most likely not) I wouldn't worry about it.
    Turn on your radio/cd player,or roll down your window,enjoy your beautiful car. Good Pick!
    Suggestion,Bring your dealer and mechanics a box of donuts,They really are talented with these cars,and you want them on your side should (unlikely) a real problem show up.
  • I don't have undercoating. I am waiting for my gas tank runs low to empty, so the dealer says that they can drop the tank to check it out. I call the Subaru 800-number, they give me a case number, and suggest me to check it out at the dealer's and then they will go from there to see if it's an issue so they'll do an investigation.
    A lot guessing: tank design? caused by breathing space inside the tank? tank is not locked? ... whatever, but everyone riding the car agrees it's not normal. Well, I'll keep you posted.
    By the way, anyone thinks I can return the car back to the dealer? though I know buying a car is different from picking up a clothe. Hahahaha ... In fact, It's a sharp looking car, I really love it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well good, you're taking exactly the right steps.

    Usually a dealer gets 3 strikes, or chances to fix a problem. I doubt it'll take that much effort, let's hope not.

    Maybe it's normal and you have bionic hearing. :o)

  • hahhaha ... I tried to make sure it is not my nerve, so I have my friends tested with me, as well a saleman. They all heard it. I took the car to the shop today. At first it was estimated to take a couple of hours'Check. Well, after 4 hours, no solutions. Meantime, I overheard manager's talking: something must be wrong inside. Finally, I was sent home with a rental car, but left my car in the shop, sounds like they are going to take it apart. Well, getting interesting ... I still wonder how could it happen to me. I really love the car, but ....................... I haven't started my payment yet, the car already hang in the shop. It's like I left my new-born baby in the hospital. Sad ................
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    Can you please call in to Customer Dealer Services? One of my "angels" in the field has read your post and is in your area of the country. We need to know what dealer has your Baja. He has a pretty good idea of what the problem is and it should be able to be fixed very easily. It is probably a very simple thing. Can you please call 1-800-SUBARU3. Please ask for Ramon. I'm in a bunch of meetings all day, but I'm sending a message to Ramon so that he's in the loop on getting this resolved for you.

    I'm really sorry about this. And a public thanks to the regional manager who saw this thread and jumped in to offer help!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nah, don't worry about it. Actually the first days are when you are most likely to find any issues, almost no cars are delivered perfect. Last I checked JD Power even Lexus had 87 defects per 100 cars, or just about one problem per car.

    So you're right about at Lexus' level of quality, no biggie. If you hit 3 problems in 90 days, that's a Kia. ;-)

  • Hi, Patty. I called Ramon, a nice guy. Actually, my husband talked with him first. My dealer still told me it's a normal condition. The Dealer's service manager also suggested me call Customer Service, as he said nothing he can do. If any solutions, he would be more than happy to do it. Well, I just wonder: 1) don't they have to drain the Gas tank to check it out? I left my car there with 1/2 tank gas inside. They told me no need to empty the tank, they just lifted up back seat to see from there and found no problem. 2) Last Friday, I went there with my friend, plus the dealer's salesman test drove a same car in the parking lot, we all heard no splashing sound from the tank like mine in the other cars. But today, they told me they test drove other cars which all have the same sound. I got lost. I didn't go with them, so I don't have any proof for their test. Wow ... No matter what, I appreciate the Dealer's time. I requested maybe just to change a gas tank. But they said nothing wrong with it, so they are not allowed to change it. Well, Well,
    Anyone wants to take a ride with me? You'll enjoy the splashings ...
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    Yes - I saw the case. Ramon is still working on some things, so don't get frustrated at this point. We'll make sure all of the right folks are involved to get the situation resolved. Thanks for your patience and your kind comments about Ramon. He's a very nice guy and he's very skilled too! I'll let him know about your kind comments!

  • I see no factory bracket, holes, or indent with, where and which to install a front license plate on my new Baja. Am I blind, too old and feeble to have bought a Baja, or is there actually nothing there for that purpose?
  • yerfyerf Posts: 7
    You have to look REALLY close. There are two PUNY indents on the front, plastic bumper. Drilling through is no's empty space on the other side.
  • noise problem? Fixed? Were the company and dealer responsive? Hope you're enjoying the car.
  • I'm waiting for the district Engineer's field trip to my area. The customer service is very considerate. I was assigned a contact person. Right now nothing heard from her yet. Hopefully soon. The car would be perfect if there's no splashing tank sound. I really love it. No Baja driver's in the area. I am the only one. People always have a 2nd look at my car, wondering: Wow, what kind of car is it? I have no complaint, except wishing the sloshing sound would go away some day.
  • Baja has 1300 miles on it. Tank had 80 miles of driving from full. Pulled into my driveway over a hump. Heard it for the first time, loud and clear. Was able to replicate with every exit and entrance over hump on driveway.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Crank up the tunes, problem fixed! ;-)

    You have good hearing, put it that way.

  • Hi, Frank!
    Welcome on board. I had a road test with Subaru District engineer on the DEC. 17th. He's surprised to hear it as well. But no solutions. Can't change the tank. It makes the loudest sloushing when the gas indicates between Full and 3/4 running down to 1/2. He told me that's the zig-zag baffles height inside the tank. He calls that the characteristic of the car. Wow! Unfortunately, I like the out-looking of the car very much, so I have to put up with it. Maybe I should upgrade my 4 speakers to 6 so to cover the splashing gas sound. Well ...?!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Is the tank near/under the switchback? Maybe that allows more noise in, so you hear it more. I haven't heard it on any other Subie model.

This discussion has been closed.