Subaru Legacy/Outback "Check Engine" Light Problems

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Comments

  • golinegoline Member Posts: 9
    xwesx writes: "Ah, I see. You have cars that are a dozen or more years old and you expect them to behave flawlessly? It sounds to me like you are destined for disappointment on that one. How many miles are on the cars? "

    I hope your comment is "tongue in cheek", because expecting a car to behave "flawlessly" is not exactly what this entire thread is about!!!!! It's about chronic, expensive, frustrating CEL problems that no matter what the owner does, will not and does not correct the problem!

    Subaru management should be ashamed of themselves to be advertising a vehicle which causes so much aggravation to the owners, who in good conscience, put good money down and expect the car, even when it is 10 years old to at least be repairable!!!!!!!!

    I do not want to have to pay $100 to buy a friggin' code reader to "keep track of the problems"! After going through two separate smoke tests and making the proper repairs, I expect the problem to be resolved! Aside from the inconvenience of having to work around this issue when it comes time for annual inspection, what if it's a REAL problem and the light is just ignored because one "assumes" it just the vehicle doing it's "Subaru thing"!

    Both of our cars (which have always been maintained religiously) have the same emissions code on them. I have 98,000 on the 99 OB and 105,000 on the 98 Forester....in my opinion that is not a lot of miles for a car that is supposed to be able to keep on keepin' on for over 200k miles!

    As you might realize, I am frustrated and angry over the time, money and inconvenience this is causing....so I would prefer not to have a "smarta**" remark in reference to the issue. And yes, I am blaming Subaru. Thanks anyhow.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    edited July 2010
    I understand your frustration as I have dealt with the same ones myself... both with a Subaru and with other makes. And, as with you, I also maintain my vehicles to high standards with the expected return of them being reliable and trouble-free, yet that result is not always the case. Being able to put it in perspective, though, is invaluable when you have to deal with such frustrations.

    Modern vehicles include highly complex systems which, unfortunately, most mechanics do not fully understand because they are mechanics, not engineers. They rely heavily on the trouble code information stored in the car's computer to diagnose and repair problems as they arise. However, those trouble codes are often times somewhat ambiguous (especially emissions-related codes) and can be caused by multiple issues. Unless the culprit is corrected, the code will return.

    Neither of your cars have very many miles and, mechanically, I'm sure they will last for another at-least-as-many-miles-as-you-have-driven-them, if not more. The sensors, wires, and [insert electrical/emissions item here] are subject to age as much as use, so even with moderate use will still begin having problems as they age.

    A code reader is just another tool in the box for an owner - it is as basic as a funnel for adding fluids or a torque wrench for tightening lug nuts. And, it eliminates your dependency on a shop to read out codes each time your CEL turns on. Rather than being frustrated, infuriated, etc., each time that happens, just accept that a vehicle is a system that is subject to the same indigestion that you are and take action to mitigate its impact on you. If the light comes on, read the code, log it, and reset the light. Who knows.... it could even help diagnose the problem over time. It is only a "crisis" if the vehicle fails to operate altogether.

    One thing is for sure if you throw money at a problem without knowing the cause: Your wallet will be lighter... just ask anyone who donated to the Obama campaign! :P
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • golinegoline Member Posts: 9
    My perspective and yours (and anyone else's) is subject to our own "perspective"!!!

    All of our wallets are a lot lighter after the Bush (read: CHENEY) administrations ...and also a lot of American and Iraqi families are lighter for their lost warriors/civilians. I didn't realize this was a political forum. :-(
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    edited July 2010
    My perspective and yours (and anyone else's) is subject to our own "perspective"!!!

    Hahahaha.... that is what I am saying: Put your perspective (mental view) into perspective (state of seeing all the relevant information in a meaningful relationship).

    It is easy place blame on others for your problems, but they are still your problems. Placing the blame gets you no closer to solving the problems and does not absolve you of ownership. Maybe the day will come when you pull your head out and realize that. Until then, have fun being victimized.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    We are not mocking you on this issue, but to be fair, look at the comments in every mfgr's forum here on Edmunds. Emissions (CEL) issues top the list, especially P0420 (Cat efficiency as measured by the rear oxygen sensor). To better appreciate this, you need to understand what the EPA is asking of car mfgrs, and how hard it is to comply and keep that tight level over the life of the auto. If emissions exceed the level of the year by 50% (which isn't much!), it trigger the light. And even if you do change out much of the system, it is doubtful that a 10 year old car can stay in check. I believe things will get better with electronics and mfg tolerances in the future, but 1999 technology was still crude compare to today.

    I think a code reader is an excellent investment. It's part of being an informed consumer.

    As I mentioned previously, there are 'fixes' listed in other forums that basically dull the sensors sniffer, but it's a lousy way to beat the situation.

    Oh, and Wes, I voted for Obama and still think he's a better deal than the previous bum!!!! (ducks and runs for cover.).
  • tdivertdiver MinnesotaMember Posts: 18
    The AC on my 04 Forester XT quit working the other day. I looked at it an the belt for the AC was there unbroken but off the pulley. The idler pulley was a pain to get at so I brought it to a shop that does alot of work for us. It ended up being a bad crankshaft pulley. I was told there is a rubber strip in the middle of the pulley that separates the two belts and that had went bad. Which meant I had to get a new pulley. Total cost $412.00. Only 67000 in the car. It sounds like a poor design to me.
  • thunderchildthunderchild Member Posts: 18
    Hey all, where can I purchase a code reader? I see some have them and I would like to add this to my arsenal. Thanks in advance.
    :)
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    They are readily available at any auto parts store and online at places like Amazon, Northern Tool, etc. I ran a search moments ago on Amazon for "OBD II Scanner CAN" and it came up with a whole list of items from $40 up to $270. OBD (on-board diagnostics) II was the standard from, I believe, 1995/6 through 2003. In 2004/5, the OBD-II system was required to be CAN (controlled-area network) compliant. Scanners that do not have CAN compliance cannot link with these newer systems, so make sure you get one that is compliant so that it is as versatile as possible.

    Beyond that, the amount you spend really depends on what you want it to be able to do. If you just want to read and reset codes, a $40-75 unit may be just the ticket.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • luvmysubiluvmysubi Member Posts: 1
    Hey all! Ok, I have the above listed vehicle. 275K on it. I do a lot of biz driving for our family biz. Change oil regularly. For several years the CEL comes on. Last year for inspection, randomly and by the grace of God 2 days before my insp was due up, the light for no reason went out. I raced over to the insp place and got it passed. That night the light was back on and has been since. So now my insp is overdue 2 days, tried taking it 2 weeks ago for it, the guy at a local big subi place (private, not dealer) said it's a false reading and he could "reset" it, then have me drive around for the day, come back, and do the insp as long as the light is still off. That's a 2-hour drive for me to get to him. So I planned to do it this week. The battery died the day I was going out before it expired. The next day I decided to ask my local repair guy if he could do the same thing. He did it, I drove around for a while and went back to have him tell me he can't inspect it for 24 hours after resetting it???? That's not what the other guy said! So, it's Saturday. I tried calling the other guy, he's closed. I now have to wait til Monday with expired insp. The insult added here is that after he reset it yesterday, I drove "carefully" down to town about 30 miles away. Got there, still no light. Good. Driving home I had to accelerate to 70 to pass someone. Light pops on. ARGGGGGHHH. Ok, am I going to have trouble getting this thing reset again? Do you have to wait 24 hours? The local guy showed me when he plugged it in when I was there the second time that 4 lights were flashing. That's why he had to wait. Do I waste the time/gas to go the the other guy 2 hours away and have him do the reset/inspect later? Why is it popping back on after driving over 70 or up big mountain highways? Is my 2002 under recall at all? Are there any other tricks to this thing cuz I cannot afford to replace 2 CConv's right now to the tune of $1500. Money is too tight and I'm barely able to keep our biz afloat right now because of that moron small biz hater in the white house. Yes, I voted against him. Can't stand the guy. Not cuz he's black but cuz he's bad for the country. Nuff said on that. Also, the 2-hour-away guy said that it's not really the Ccon's, it's because the sensors in this model are supersensitive and throw false alarms. Is this true?? Thank you.Oh, btw, I've owned 3 subis in my adult lifetime, have driven all over 300k. Am planning to do the same with this one. But cannot face this stress yearly at inspection time. Is there some way of getting a waiver in NC for a vehicle of this age/miles? I saw the notes about age, etc and wondered. The body is in impeccable condition, so even if I have to put a new-used engine in it for another 250K that's fine with me. I love the vehicle!
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    After you reset the onboard computer, either by disconnecting the battery or by clearing all codes with a scanner, you must wait for all of the readiness monitors to initialize. Depending on the vehicle, this could take several cold starts and up to 100 miles of driving in order for the output to the State Emissions Scanner to signal a passing condition.

    As I tried to explain before, most vehicles produced in the early part of the decade barely made their respective years emissions output. So it shouldn't be hard to understand that as they age and degrade, that there will be 'issues' with continuing to pass. Get sloppy with oil changes,use low grade fuel, dirty air filters, etc., and you get accelerated wear that costs you in fuel economy and tailpipe cleanliness later.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    Yeah, it does take a little bit of time to get the system into ready state. LMS, for your purposes, a code reader would be invaluable as you could reset the codes yourself the day before your planned inspection, then (if the light is still out) take it to the inspection facility without the need for a second trip.

    Scanners are pretty cheap. For what you need, about $40-50.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • bumpermanbumperman Member Posts: 2
    Just purchased 01 Outback with 150,000 mi. CEL is on and was told by dealer that EVAP Cannister may? have leak. Are they expensive/hard to replace? Are they dealer only parts?
  • golinegoline Member Posts: 9
    Good luck..Did you purchase from the dealer with the light on? I'd think they'd have to try to solve the problem ?

    I've had the evap code on my 99 OB LTD SW for a number of years now. After going through two smoke test, we tried starting with the gas cap, then the filler neck and then whatever was next. Each year my mechanic resets the light, I drive for 40-50 miles (hopefully) and get it inspected. This is a pet peeve of mine (there are other messages I've posted regarding this) and even more so now that our 98 Forester S also has the same code lit. Now I just have to decide what to get fixed next...the gas tank, the struts or the timing belt. Otherwise I love my car, but hate that friggin' light! Don't think we'll get another Suby when the time come. :-(
  • bumpermanbumperman Member Posts: 2
    No. Purchesed from 2nd owner. He took care of alot lf issuses already posted, i.e. head gasket, timing belt, strut mounts, a boot (cant' remember which one), throttle body sensor, etc.. Mainly high wear items. Thank you for your imput. I'm trying to figure out if it is worth messing with. Is the cannister a dealer only part?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Try a junk yard, maybe?

    On my Forester it was near the back/left tire, under neath. Filler neck in the same area above it.

    Make sure it's not just a loose hose, though.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    The evap canister is a tan square box located behind and below the fuel filler neck (right side rear fender). Given the extremely low incident of needing a replacement, I doubt that you'll find one at an auto parts warehouse, but one can never tell. I think there are 4-5 lines going into it, so check for loose clamps or cracked lines before chucking the canister.
  • mclinfordmclinford Member Posts: 1
    Just had a iPod line installed on my '05 Outback XT. 3 days after installation the check engine light is on with the cruise flashing. I know people have said 05+ Outbacks are odd when trying to install aftermarket iPod adapters. Anyone know what to expect to get this cleared? Should I pursue the installers to have them fix it?

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    I think the first step is to read the code(s) and clear the light, then wait to see if it returns. You might also talk with the installers to let them know this happened and find out what circuits were tapped during the installation.

    I doubt it is related, but events that close together are often not coincidence.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ricky62ricky62 Member Posts: 1
    Mine has the same problem...i wish i had an answer. The dealer said could be a cat conv...or bad criuse control...500.00 a peice take your pick! I give up..i hat this car! ricky62
  • tagtronixtagtronix Member Posts: 3
    I have an 08 Subaru Outback Limited with 107K on it. Highway gas mileage used to average 27.3 MPG but has dropped to 24.5. We have an 09 Outback with 40K that still averages 27.3. The 08 recently had its timing belt and water pump replaced along with a coolant flush and new thermostat. It had been running cool at 185 degrees so we thought the new stat would improve the mileage bringing it up to temp and leaning it out but it didn't. Any ideas? There is no check engine light but a mechanic friend said the O2 sensor may be getting "lazy" and need replacement but not bad enough to turn on the check engine light. Hate to start throwing parts at it as that's a waste of $$ and it runs great. Also how many O2 sensors does this car have? I can see 2 looking down on the front passengers side of the engine compartment, one has a yellow lead, the other a gray lead.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Have the belt tension checked. Wonder if the new water pump is creating more drag on the engine?

    You're using the same viscosity oil, right, not thicker?
  • tagtronixtagtronix Member Posts: 3
    No this increase in fuel usage started last winter at about 75K. At first I thought it was due to the cold but then we purcahsed an 09 Outback with the same 2.5 liter motor and it gets the higher mileage. The 08 is our second car now so I don't want to sink a ton of $$ into it. It runs great, I use Mobil 1 in both and have been for 20+ years. Also the trans and front/rear differentials are flushed and filled every 30K
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILMember Posts: 694
    Have you put on a new set of tires...before 75K perhaps?

    And have you checked the exhaust system for a crimp or large dent in the pipe?

    I suppose a really bad tank(s) of gas could have partially plugged the cat.

    Could a brake be dragging? Check the parking brake also.

    Dirty air cleaner?
  • tagtronixtagtronix Member Posts: 3
    Thanks, I have a feeling it's the tires which were replaced last Fall and that's when the mileage dropped. I may swap tires from the 08 to the 09 and see if that's the problem. Guess I should have stayed with the original Bridgestone Potenza's, I got a good deal on 4 Dunlop Signature tires installed for $520.00 at Mavis Discount Tire.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILMember Posts: 694
    A perhaps similar Dunlop tire , SP60, is rated poor for rolling resistance by CU.
  • loiss41729loiss41729 Member Posts: 2
    Well just last week the engine light went on and flashing cruise control button. I have been told that the 2nd piston is off a bit. So far we have put into that car another $4,000. So are we throwing good money way for bad? Is the car saveable? Do I have a faulty cruise control? Can this be fixed, or does one have to put in a whole new motor? Pity my dream car- -turned out like this.
  • loiss41729loiss41729 Member Posts: 2
    I was told it has something to do with the 2nd cylinder. I'm beginning to think the only real way to fix it is to drive the car into the dealership & tell them put in a new motor. Sad to say- since my engine light comes on with the flashing cruise control and I have not even had the car a year yet. I know why the guy traded it in for a newer car. I'm sure the dealership knew about the car's problems- before selling it to me in what they called mint condition.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Is it under some sort of warranty?

    Shame on the dealer if they knew....

    The blinking light is merely a warning light - but blinking does mean you should park it immediately and call a tow truck.

    It's hard to say what's wrong, though. If you don't trust that dealer then I would not go back there again to fix it. Good luck.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    edited December 2010
    If this is a recurring thing, the best thing you can do at this point is get your own code reader! That way, whenever this happens, you can pull the code(s) yourself and reset the light. If the CEL is not flashing, it is not an immediate, emergency situation. The cruise light flashing merely indicates that the cruise system is disabled. If the ABS warning illuminates, that indicates the ABS system is disabled. (the combination of all three will occur, for example, if the car detects a wheel sensor problem).

    "Something to do with the 2nd cylinder" does not tell you much, so rather than dump good money after it, I would monitor it for a while with the help of the code reader. Perhaps, with some time, luck, and knowledge, you can pinpoint the issue and resolve it efficiently.

    By the way, what exactly is the car? Year, model, transmission, etc?
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • yasuyasu Member Posts: 7
    I left a note for my local mechanic when I dropped it off for inspection. He wasn't home. I told him I was desperate and to try your battery thing. He called a friend of his that knew CEL's. Apparently this guy did this for a living. He only worked on CEL's. He found a couple of wires that were not attached. Don't know where as I did not talk to him directly. I was convinced at this time that it was electrical. I guess wires qualify for that! Anyway, six years and thousands of dollars later, I have a car with the light off! Knock on wood that this was the problem all the time. The car is good for another year. For the amount of money that I have invested in this car I plan to try and get 500,000 miles out of it. I thank everyone for all of their advice and information.
  • madtownemadtowne Member Posts: 1
    issue started on 1/27, car still under warranty at 35,290 miles. Dealer replaced entire dashboard and all gauges, resetting odometer to 0. After 3 days problem back again where car would not start, had to be towed. This time dealer replaced engine control module. Car ran fine for 1 day and again cruise started to flash. Made it to dealer where they have no idea what is wrong. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions

    Want the vehicle fixed so I can get rid of it in favor of something more reliable especially since warranty is about to run out
  • RoobarRoobar Member Posts: 2
    Has the dealer checked the cartalytic converter?
  • jajjaj Member Posts: 55
    What year is your vehicle? I had a 2005 with that very recurring problem. Turned out it was a software issue. After several trips to the dealer they finally got it right. Fortunately for me, the car was still under warranty at the time. You might want to try a different dealer and see if they suggest a software update/refresh. Good luck.
  • kshepherdkshepherd Member Posts: 1
    this just started on my 2007 Outback last night. Hope it's a quick fix...
  • bz8bz8 Member Posts: 2
    Did you ever get a definitive answer on your check engine light issue. I'm having the same issue. First the dealer said that it was misfire and the fuel injectors needed to be replaced, when I questioned that they said maybe a bad tank of gas, that wasn't the problem. Then they replaced the intake manifold gasket - that wasn't the problem. Then they told me the gap in the spark plugs was too great. They replaced them - my car is hesitating (stalling feeling when I press the gas) and now it feels like it's slipping (like tires slipping ice then engaging.
  • bz8bz8 Member Posts: 2
    I have been having the same problem. Also my vehicle is sluggish on acceleration, then it is fine once going. I brought it the the dealership (what a joke) they have no idea. They said it registers a misfire, but don't know what to do. They first said it was that my fuel injectors had to be replaced, then bad tank of gas, then intake manifold gasket (replaced - didn't fix problem), then they said the gap in my spark plugs was off (replaced). Still not running right.
  • chevykillerchevykiller Member Posts: 3
    All car manufacturers switched to OBD II in '96. Any vehicle made before '96 is OBD I. off the top of my head I don't know where you can pick up an OBD I scanner
  • chevykillerchevykiller Member Posts: 3
    I have a '00 legacy. I've got an interesting problem, my check engine light will come on for a while (couple hours to a couple of days) then go off for a while. Any ideas on what could cause this issue.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    Pretty much any intermittent trouble code. The only way to know for sure is to pick up an OBD II scanner (they are fairly cheap these days), scan it, then clear the codes. Once you have the codes, someone here can probably point you in the right direction or at least give you some additional pointers!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • patb1227patb1227 Member Posts: 5
    I have had the same problem for almost 2 years--my catalytic converters are going out and I had someone suggest the oxygen sensor-I don't get a decent reading when I take it into the garage--car runs fine - I just put up with the intermittent light and so far so good-180000 miles on this car and I will drive as long as I can-Love it-wish they were still making the Outback Wagons like they did in 2002-I don't like the SUV styling of the new ones.
  • patb1227patb1227 Member Posts: 5
    Does anyone have a suggestion for air conditioning unit? I have had 2 new compressors installed and a new compressor sensor but the air conditioner will only run when the car is cold and turns to hot air after I have driven a few miles. Doesn't need freon. Heater works great.
  • littlemo1littlemo1 Member Posts: 1
    First time poster with little car sense. I have read through many of the posts. Bought used 2008 Subaru 3 months ago from non-Subaru dealer and had 39,000 miles so no warranty. Did great until yesterday- sudden loss of cruise and then in evening when easier to see dashboard- saw flashing CEL and flashing cruise light. Also feels like not as powerful at times when driving. Have had bad experiences with local Subaru service dept. with previous Subaru I drove to 127,000 miles so worried less about no warranty. Have a mechanic I really like. But given all I have read- should I go to the Subaru dealer or to my trusted mechanic first and let him know some of the suggestions you folks have made? (e.g. check electrical wiring -have already made sure gas cap closed well). No wet weather previous 48 hours. I have not gone anywhere to get code read (didn't even know I could until reading here) Thanks everyone!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    Take it to your trusted mechanic. Could have been a misfire or a blip in one of the speed sensors. A quick readout with a code reader should tell you. Once you clear the code, your cruise will come back. They do that to annoy the driver into getting the CEL checked out. ;)
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • lauraannelauraanne Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2011
    Just got back from the dealer -- check engine light, brake light, traction control light and cruise control light all came on. Dealer said that the computer was registering a piston misfire, but there was no actual hardware problem. This is a software only problem, and Subaru needs to put out a patch to fix the software. No ETA specified for this fix, so in the meantime, it's okay to drive unless the check engine light starts to flash. A flashing check engine light means that another problem has registered. In the case of a flashing check engine light, get it checked out.

    I was told this is happening to both Outbacks and Forresters -- I have a new 2011 Outback. Started happening on mine at 107 miles.
  • kram5kram5 Member Posts: 1
    Same thing here. 2011 Outback has 230 miles on it and was purchased 1 week ago. Mechanic did a "system reset." Got on the freeway and within 1 minute from leaving the dealer all lights that you mentioned in addition to AT Temp light were all back on. We were back to the dealer within 5 minutes. Have a loaner car for the evening. My gut says the mechanic and Subaru of America are clueless on how to resolve the issue. To say the least, not happy at all.
  • subiegirl1subiegirl1 Member Posts: 3
    Two weeks ago my check engine light and cruise control came on and was blinking. I thought I got air in my gas line because the low fuel warning light came on right before and I did some research and it was a common thing. So I reset it by unhooking the battery cables and tapped the brake three times. It has came on a few times after that but my research said this was a possibility until all the air was ran out. Today a whining noise is coming from the engine when I accelerate. I haven't experienced any loss of power or fluids leaking....so far. But I parked it as soon as I noticed the noise. I'm afraid it might be the Turbo. It has 77K miles. Any suggestions would help. Thanks
  • subiegirl1subiegirl1 Member Posts: 3
    What does an "emission control system problem" consist of?? =/
  • subiegirl1subiegirl1 Member Posts: 3
    I have a 98' Subaru Legacy GT with 270K miles. About 8 months ago my car overheated while sitting in traffic. When I squeezed on the tubing a gurgling noise happened like it was clogged. So I took it to a terrible mechanic to have the radiator flushed. Which they ended up breaking the radiator so I replaced it with an aftermarket one. Drove fine for about a month then suddenly overheated again. Thought it was the thermostat sticking so I replaced it. Ran fine for a week then suddenly overheated again. Noticed that there was air in the system so I let it out to the best of my abilities. Now when idling runs fine until I try to drive it then suddenly overheats but cools down when I stop and idle. I think it's something simple but am out of ideas.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 16,217
    Are all of these problems on the same car? If so, you have an aftermarket turbo on your Legacy?

    The problem with your overheating is either head gaskets or water pump....
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYMember Posts: 3,786
    Nah, I think she's going thru Subi Hell right now with a 2005+ turbo (77k miles?) and a 1998 with 200+k miles.

    The older one sure does sound like a HG problem given the air in the system, although checking the water pump is still a good idea.

    Subiegirl - an emission systems problem is a rather broad brush description of every component and software that helps the engine run right and clean. Computer, fuel injectors, vapor recovery, airflow measurement, spark plugs - the whole works.
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