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  • bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Posts: 115
    like to introduce the Subaru of America representative assigned to your Crew, Patti Mickel!

    Patti has been with Subaru for 18 years and has worked in various roles, most involving retail customers.

    She is currently responsible for training and QC in Customer Dealer Services Department.  She will try to be as responsive to your needs as possible. 
    I'll let Patti introduce herself to you all, and let you welcome her to this great Club!

    Bonnie Rick
    Conferences Manager, Town Hall
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I've actually enjoyed your site for some time. That is why I asked to be assigned to it. While I'm very excited, I'm a bit nervous also. I won't pretend to know all of the answers, and I might make an occasional error, I can promise to find answers that I do not have. I will be posting from home sometimes, so it may take a day or so for me to research. Another thing I can promise is honesty. If it is something I can't talk about, I'll let you know. If it is something that I have no information on, I'll let you know or if it is something that you or I should talk about directly (an individual concern or problem), I'd be happy to have you e-mail me directly and I'll get the proper resources in line to help you. So, here we go. I hope I can be of some assistance to you!


  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Hi there! Good to have factory representation...

    My name is Colin and you can find out a little bit about me by checking out my profile (clicking the hyperlink on my name).

    I already have a question.

    Dealers are receiving brochures for SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning) accessories and interestingly enough STi (Subaru Technica International) shirts, keychains, etc. are in there. This is a nice start, but when do the real STi parts arrive, such as suspension? Or STi seats? ...although the sticker shock on those might scare some folks.

    Thanks and welcome to the crew!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    aboard Patti. It's great to have someone from SOA here as a regular member. It shows that SOA really cares.


    What's the latest in terms of ETA for the new Outback H-6 (LL Bean & VDC)? I've heard this coming October, is that true? Any word on pricing?

    Can you give us any updates on the new Impreza? I've heard it will come next winter and will be a 2002 model. I know there will be a turbo. Will it be like the euro-spec turbos, or a full-blown (pun intended!) WRX, like what is sold in Japan and Australia?

    There are some rumors going around that the H-6 may replace the 2.5 H-4 in the Legacy lineup for 2002. Any truth to that?

    Will there be a new Forester for MY 2003, using the new Impreza platform? There have been rumors hinting at that. If it's true, do you know if it will be a roomier vehicle, more along the lines of a CRV or Escape/Tribute in terms of interior space?

    Hopefully these are areas you "can" talk about, in some detail, without getting in trouble.

    Thanks in advance.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    that my above post should have been under "Future Models". I just got carried away by your presence!

    One more question:

    A lot of us on this board often have suggestions as to how we would like to see Subaru and their products evolve and improve. Can you make sure those suggestions get into the hands of product planning decision makers at SOA?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like Patti is perfectly suited to represent Subaru here at the Crew, given her background and honest approach. Welcome, indeed.

    Since this is a Meet the Members topics, I'll share a directory of my web pages, all Subaru related. There's even a photo of
    Bob in there.

    One of Bob's questions is referring to an article in Autoweek that said the H-6 would be the standard engine in ALL Legacys for 2002. That made some happy, while others worried about price escalation.

    Generally the Crew felt both engines should be kept, the 2.5l in the L and Brighton models for value, the 3.0l in the GT and Outbacks, for pulling power.

    We're diving right in. These are the main issues we've been talking about in the past several months.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Think we're going to scare Patti away? As you say, these are hard-core issues with us.

  • miksmimiksmi Silver Spring, Maryland, USAPosts: 1,246
    Hello Patti,

    Welcome aboard! Please thank the person in SoA that agreed to allocate the resources for you to represent Subaru here at Edmund's. As Bob said, this shows SoA cares about their customers (loyal I might add; I'm on Subaru #2).

    I'll start you off with an easy one:

    Any Cherry Hill sightings of the new honcho? ;)

    ..Mike Smith . Silver Spring MD . 00 GT wagon


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Since we're continuing topic #10 here, I'll address some earlier posts in that topic.

    Mark - you must own a shop or be some kind of craftsman! You know we now fully expect your RS to be able to fly within a year of ownership, right? Ok, maybe not fly, but at least it has to be amphibious.

    You know what would be cool? Put some hydraulics on a Forester so the ground clearance varied from scraping the ground to four feet in the air!

    Let me come back down to earth now...OK, I'm back.

    2ndwnd: nice cargo carrier! Looks sturdy and big, too. I'd get creative and find a way to mount it on the wall when not in use.

    Espe: why buy new? Well, you've got a powertrain warranty for the next five years (60K miles or until 2005, wow!), and they're reliable to begin with. That means you can rest easy during those 60 payments you'll probably make, since expenses will be predictable.

    I used to not care much myself. Until I had a baby about a year ago, then you wouldn't believe how much you begin to care about safety and reliability.

    So the 2001s offer 4 air bags, ABS, AWD, rear LSD, crumple zones, side impact beams, and even seat belt pre-tensioners, force-limiters, and height adjusters. Every Subaru meets or exceeds all car safety standards, whereas many SUVs do not (roof crush resistance, side impact, etc).

    Finally, they're relatively efficient, and meet LEV emissions standards. I'm averaging over 26 mpg in my Forester. Save the earth!


    PS What's important to you? Perhaps if you let us know we could address your question more directly.
  • thecatthecat Posts: 535
    Nice to have you aboard. I have an issue that has bugged me since I bought my Forester 13 months ago. Why doesn't the gas cap lock? For that matter, why isn't there a remote release for a locking lid?

    Motorweek finally aired the Forester test ... at least on Speedvision. Good review .. but they should have played in the mud a little :)

    - hutch
  • barresa11barresa11 Posts: 277
    Glad that you're here but even more impressively that you requested to be a part of this! My name is Stephen (you can check my profile). I bought a 00'OB Ltd wagon w/auto in February from Melody's Kirkland Nissan/Subaru (suburb of Seattle). The car has been great. I had my first oil change at the dealer (have prepaid scheduled maint.). I had wanted them to look at the front suspension as I experience a rattling effect when going over bumpy patches as I am executing a turn. They forgot to look but I will include this on my 7500 mile check. Any thoughts as to what they should be looking at? Several folks on this site has posted that the anti-roll bar and/or bushings may need to be tightened. Anyhow, don't want to bowl you over (at least not right away :-)) with a lot of questions. Also, please thank SOA for allowing your involvment!

  • mcj13mcj13 Posts: 85
    In general, I think used is the way to go and if you've been lurking here than you may know that I just bought a 97 sport today. BUT, if you can afford it, the 2000+ models have some very good improvements over the 99 and earlier models. I think this is particularly true of the Legacy L and Brighton because they just got the 2.5L engines.

    Personally, I couldn't justify/afford new. And frankly, much of my decision for the 97 sport was based on (1) a decent 97 Legacy GT with the 2.5L was proving hard to find (2) I knew that If I got a used Legacy L, I would forever regret not getting a new one.

    If you want a used forester, most of them are still on lease so it will be harder to find but not out of the question.

    There are lots of used Outbacks on the market here in Western Mass. So if you want an Outback, I'd say test the new and used and decide if the extra cost is offset by the design improvements, the full warranty, a clean car, knowing the car's history, etc.

    Cars loose a lot of value as soon as they're sold ... but Subarus don't loose as much as others and you get more with new.... If I really had the dough, I'd buy new.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've read the review, but haven't seen it on video yet. You can read the review here.

    My favorite part is when they compare the sunroof to the Texas sky. And 9.1 seconds to 60 for an auto 4 banger with AWD? Unreal! That's better than their V6 Passat 4Motion by 7 tenths!

    They also reviewd the RS. Solid review, too: "beats the pants off just about any other compact performance model for stability and feel."

    Here's a used car buying tip. If you buy a 2 year old model, you have 3 years left on the warranty. See if you can afford payments on a loan no more than 3 years in length. That way, you're covered.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    ..and welcome! It was a real treat the last time the Subaru Team came to the Town Hall. I'm looking forward to reading your responses.

    Two questions for you:

    1) Will VTD ever make it to the US? I noticed that Subaru offers 4 different types of AWD systems in Japan (VTD, VDC, plus the two types offered here in the AT and MT).

    2) Does Subaru have plans to mate it's H6 with a tiptronic 5-speed automatic transmission? Many of the "near luxury" vehicles the LL Bean and VDC Outbacks will compete seem to have this feature.

    98 Forester S
  • babaorileybabaoriley Posts: 74
    I had been looking to buy an Outback for over 6 months. I had checked all markets: internet, dealer lots and newspapers/trade magazines. I didn't want a car with too many miles and it had to be in great condition. All prices for used OB's with less than 30K were within 15% of a new car price. Anything that had a significantly lower price was usually kind of trashed (including one that had 22K but with brand new exhaust headers and catalytic converter that the dealer couldn't explain!).
    I was thinking about buying new but was still very hesitant because I'm basically cheap and then the '00 OB came out. What a difference! Better low-end torque, much quieter, vastly improved interior. I could get exactly what I wanted in perfect condition for around $2,500 more than a good used OB. And then when a dealer had exactly what I was looking for, that hadn't been driven by anyone (10 miles on the odo., protective tape still on body), I couldn't pass it up.
    Now the '01 Forester has all the improvements also.
    All in all, considering this was my first car purchase to exceed $6K, new ended up being my choice.

  • 2ndwnd2ndwnd Posts: 145
    >>2ndwnd: nice cargo carrier! Looks sturdy and
    big, too. I'd get creative and find a way to mount it on the wall when not in use.<<

    Good idea, actually that wouldn't be too hard to do. The hard part for me would be to free up enough wall space!

  • barresa11barresa11 Posts: 277
    I didn't even consider Subaru when I started looking at new cars back in 99' until the 00'Outback came out. After I saw it at the Seattle International Auto Show, I was sold! I ended up w/everything I had hoped for in the SUV's I had been looking at and more. I have significantly better fuel economy and handling to boot! Throw in the legendary reliability/durability and I am extremely pleased. Plus, now I get to socialize (albeit by e-mail) with a great group of enthusiasts on this site! Anyhow, keep us up-to-date on your expressions of your new "ride". When you get a chance (if you haven't already)check out Juice's website. It has pictures of a lot of us w/our pride and joy's (Soobies that is) :-)

  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    Wow, it is great to feel so welcome!

    Sightings of the new President: Yes, Mr. Saito has been with us for a few months. He was with FHI (actually Subaru of Canada) for some time before this. He is very articulate and friendly and I think he will do a fine job. Also, the two gentlemen that were promoted to Exec. VP's, Tom Doll and Fred Adcock have played key roles in Subaru's success so things should be fine. George Muller, the outgoing President did a great job for Subaru and he was wonderful to work with. We're going to miss him on a personal level.

    Product Suggestions: I promise that I will compile your suggestions and forward them to the higher ups in our Product Planning Department. They really enjoy suggestions so they will be welcomed.

    H6 and VDT - We have a few of the H6's at the office but they are early production. I wouldn't bank on much earlier than September for the LL Bean car or the H6. Pricing? Nothing official. I'll try to get more tomorrow (I'm doing this from home tonight), but, from what I have heard, we should all be pleasantly surprised. Of course, because production will be a bit limited in the beginning, I would expect dealers to try to get premium bucks for awhile. Anticipated demand is really going to exceed production so. . .

    STI - Performance Parts - I got word today that a press release was about to go out that they are now available at your local dealer!! We're all glad about that because we have so many request.

    Impreza Turbo - This is all a bit secret. I read somewhere that in Europe, they are paying premium bucks for sneak photo's (no - I don't have any - darn). Everything is still a bit quiet on this. Advertising plans are in the works. I should have more information on this in a couple of weeks.

    H6 replacing H4 - I haven't heard that, but I seriously doubt it. While some folks want the POWER (myself included), with the current fuel issue, I don't see them doing that anytime soon. Fuel economy is still a big issue for owner's so I don't believe they would want to turn away that part of the market.

    2003 Forester Changes - I had heard 2005 for the next major makeover. But...I may be wrong. Subaru used to take a lot longer to implement changes. In recent times, I've seen a trend to respond more quickly to the market and customer demands. Like the STX concept car. They moved very quickly on designing that using a lot of computer technology and meetings. We were able to have an actual concept vehicle from the idea stage to the actual build in a remarkably short period of time. So, as I hear, you'll hear!!

    More to come - Sorry this is so long!
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    Yup, isn't it a bug not to have a remote release for your Forester gas cap. I'll send this to Product Planning. I have no idea why they did not do this or offer a locking gas cap. I'll see if I can find the reason, but more importantly, I'll stress how important this is to you.

    VDT - I think we will start to see some tranny changes (maybe the VDT) in a few models soon. I'll scope it out.

    H6 and a 5-speed - I hope so. It might even help me overcome my dream issues of owning a '57 Chevy ragtop! Seriously though, I don't see that being too far away.

    My next two post might be a bit lengthy, but hopefully helpful.
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    It's difficult to assume I know what you are talking about, so PLEASE make sure you have your dealer take a look and make sure it is not a "problem". The technical explanation is a bit lengthy, but I think it may help, if it is the "characteristic" noise.

    The knock that you feel/hear is a characteristic of the power steering system in certain models. The power steering assist is created using hydraulic pressure. This pressure is generated by the pump and then distributed through the steering rack, to the appropriate sides of the rack as indicated by the internal valves. The system maintains pressure on both sides of the rack, in order to provide quick steering reaction and a positive feel. When your driving straight, the fluid is just there to provide lubrication, while keeping the equal pressure. When you turn the steering wheel the hydraulic pressure is greater on one side, while maintaining pressure on the other. When you turn the wheel, even a little bit, on roads or uneven surfaces, the tires will send a reactive force through the rack in response to the surface change. This causes the hydraulic pressure in the input lines to go back against the residual pressure in the free side lines. When the higher pressure hits the lower pressure, knocking noise/feel is generated. This is more obvious on our vehicles with wider or lower profile tires because more force is applied than with narrow tires. They could try to modify this, but the positive control and feel may be impacted.

    Too much information? Please feel free to tell me. I don't get insulted too easily!
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    Well you probably are not going to like my answer, but, as I said, I'm going to be honest. At one point in my career with Subaru, I worked with the Added Security (Subaru's Plan) so I'm a bit prejudice. While working there, I saw claims paid, so I know some people were very glad that they had it. With the Gold Plus Plans, the trip interuption can be very beneficial. While we have a great reliablity record, we are talking about a piece of machinery. Things can happen. So, you really have to think about it. While you have a 5/60 powertrain, that does not cover some of the other things that can get expensive (A/C), electrical components, etc. Everyone has to assess their individual situation. If you're concerned about being able to afford a "possible" failure in the future, rolling an agreement into your financing might be the right choice. Plus, it does help jack up your re-sale value. I really can't tell you what to do on this, only share my experience. Take it for what it's worth?
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I can't seem to find the previous post on this, but they mentioned an adjustment that the dealer made.

    You should always have the brakes checked to make sure they are operating okay before assuming that it is the "perception" of excessive brake pedal travel or the pedal stroke being too low.

    The adjustment that the dealer made (must have been within 12 months/12,000 miles since it is an adjustment and not a repair), is an adjustment to the brake pedal booster rod. It doesn't change the braking performance but it does change where the brake pedal rests.

    A dealer really must do this because the measurements look pretty intricate along with testing things out. Plus, you do not want to cause a problem with the master cylinder while checking it out.

    Since this is a "perception", most people just get used to the feel and do not require and adjustment. But, if it really bothers you, let your dealer know - or give us a call!
  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    Howdy, a big welcome!

    Well that STi bit got my attention. The contrarian in me can't wait to juice up my '99 OB, even though it is the least track-worthy model in the lineup. Can you give us more details about what parts will be available? A U.S. market catalog would be ideal. Will big ticket items like turbos be available? I am impressed with the packages TRD offers here (like the supercharger upgrade for 4Runner, suspension package for Camry), and wonder if Subaru has similar plans. How about that Eaton blower from the ST-X for the 2.5? ;-)

    Any details you may have would be appreciated.

    Lucien Walsh
    '99 OB 5spd.
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    not, I'll pop in on Sunday. Nothing to do with Subaru, but I just have to video tape my dog singing with my daughter and Britany Spear's on some TV special - it's a bit hard to keep typing when I'm laughing.

    'til next time. And once again, thanks for the great welcome. I enjoyed your profiles and links to interesting sites. I think I'm going to like it here!
  • subaru_teamsubaru_team Posts: 1,676
    I'll try to get information to you tomorrow (a copy of the press release)? I wish I had retained more details, but the mind is a blur for some reason this evening.
  • texsubarutexsubaru Posts: 242
    To me, the upside of buying a used (but relatively recent-model) Subie is that Subaru -- along with having a good reputation for reliability -- offers a decent enough warranty that, if you can avoid high-mileage vehicles, you can buy a 1- or 2-year-old used vehicle that still has a decent factory warranty left on it for a while, which is a nice, reassuring factor.
    The downside of used-car shopping for Subies -- at least in the area where I live -- is that there just aren't a lot of them on the market. Finding any recent (my personal definition here for "recent" is no more than 3 years old) used Subies at all was hard, and finding one of the two models I was interested in, the Forester or Legacy sedan, was extremely tough (Outbacks and Legacy wagons are a bit easier to find around here). I pretty much just lucked out in finally stumbling across a really nice '98 Forester L (though I had to travel 100 miles up Interstate 35 to Waco, to find it). But that might be a bit of a regional shortage; I strongly suspect Subarus in general just aren't as common in Central Texas as they are in snowier climes.
    Finally, I'll be honest, even though I'm inclined to make a virtue out of necessity (like, "oh, it's better to buy used so you don't lose out on depreciation"). The truth is that if I could afford it, I'd almost certainly buy new rather than used, but new Foresters are simply well outside of my budget.
  • fvkllrfvkllr Posts: 26
    Welcome Patti! Thanks for the post about power steering/hydraulic pressure. I for one like technical explanations.

    Stephen, what do you mean by a rattling effect? I have a '00 OB Limited w/auto as well and have noticed a slight clunking noise that comes from the front of the car going over bumps at slow speeds. Is this what you mean? If so, this is an excerpt from a post in the Maintenance and Repairs Topic:

    "Had my 00 OB into the dealer for oil, filtre and lube and for correction of some other probs as follows:

    1. Clunking coming from front suspension area when going over bumps at low speed (ie. 10 mph going over curb when leaving parking lot etc.)

    Resolution: replaced front stabilizer links with new design from Subaru. Seems to have solved 90% of the problem, but too early to tell. Will need to drive it another week or so."

    Hope this helps.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Patti, I am very impressed. Thank you again for joining our forum and thanks to whoever from made it possible.

    By the way, have you seen I've always wondered if SOA / SOC employees followed our little Impreza turbo rumormill.

  • dingerc3dingerc3 Posts: 1
    1. First off, this is cool you are on here!

    2. I have a 2000 Impreza RS, I have about 8900 miles and I have a couple of questions:
    -My A/C cycles on and off, not just under accelleration, but under cruising as well. It will stop, the air will get warmer, and then it turns back on with a sound like gas escaping a valve, then it gets cold again. Is it off to a dealer for me?

    -I have some major paint concerns not resolved by my dealer, including a spot where the paint is obviously a different color. If you want details, please email me, I don't want to gum up this board with the long story.

    -Clutch shudders, (sometimes).
    -Very happy with the car overall, it's great, just had a couple of questions.
    -I understand that you can't release much about the Impreza Turbo, but what about the STX? STi parts at dealer, woo-hoo!!
    If you want to answer these questions great, if not, forward them please, me and my selling dealer are not getting along so great right now :(

  • ej25ej25 Posts: 4
    What are the chances of SOA offering a factory supercharger or turbo to the current Impreza RS owners? Toyota offers a factory option of this kind. My current RS is only a year old and I have no intentions of replacing it with a new turbo if and when it comes out. Also will the new models offer the rear wiper like the Japanese and European models? What is SOA's impression of the complaints about the factory paint jobs that our cars have and the problems we are experiencing with them? I have emailed SOA in the past and received the usual call bounce or left on hold. I have also been told to contact my dealer if I had a problem with the paint. The dealerships are less then helpful in coming to any kind of a decision other then its SOA's problem and not theirs.
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