Subaru Legacy/Outback "Check Engine" Light Problems



  • teedeebug14teedeebug14 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Legacy GT my check engine light comes on steady and cruise control blinks and the car has I S and S# mode the S continues to blink also.
    The Code is P00011 Camshaft Sensor Timing Advance . Advance auto and Auto zone has a free scan. Had it fixed one year later it is back.
  • skiera2skiera2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 2.5 legacy gt as well and just ran into overheating issues last weekend. I took it into a subaru specialist and while he couldn't guarantee me, he thought that if I replaced the radiator that would solve the problem. I drove it up a mtn pass in Tahoe and as I was going ip the hills again, the temp began to spike just below the red line. I broughht it back in the shop since the $800 repair didn't repair the issue. Now they can't find ant hydrocarbons in the exhaust, no excessive consumption of coolant, no contamination of the oil, cooling fans are they are concluding it could bea blown head gasket. This is not common in this model year. Has anyone else run into similar issues? I don't want to spend $3000 if this head gasket isn't the problem.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,726
    Very unlikely for the GT's block to have a blown head gasket. With them finding no evidence of that, I wouldn't go for broke quite yet.

    How many miles are on the car? There's no mention of thermostat or water pump yet, or even the possibility of an air bubble in the block some where, so it seems there's still some checking to do.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • silvercoopsilvercoop Member Posts: 1
    Last week my check engine light turns on, thus disabling ebrake, cruise and traction control. Took it in to the dealership. They told me loose gas cap bs. Light comes on 4 days later, either a sensor or engine problems. Back to the dealership I go.
    Btw. Double checked my coolant again, somewhere I'm losing coolant...
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    I am in the market for a new car. My final choices are a Subaru Outback or a Honda CR-V AWD. I have been reading a goodly number of the posts here and I am getting a bit concerned about purchasing a Subaru. I realize you see lots of them out there and the few owners I have spoken with are quite pleased with them. Some have > 100K miles on them and have been problem free.

    In reading some of your concerns, I have some suggestions.

    1. Before you replace the MAF, clean it with the appropriate solvent. I do this yearly and I can feel a difference and it is cheaper than a new MAF.
    2. De-carbon the engine. Unfortunately we are stuck with ethanol and the amount will be increasing to 15% in the near future. I use Power Foam from Amsoil. Make sure the engine is fully warmed up. You disconnect the intake hose at the throttle body and start the engine. Spray the Power Foam into the throttle body. The engine will cough, sputter and run badly while you are spraying and may almost stall.
    3. Once the can is empty, shut off the engine and re-attach the intake hose to the throttle body.
    4. Wait ten to twelve minutes, re-start the engine. It will run badly and smoke will appear out of the tailpipe. Drive the car sort of hard to blast the crap out of the engine. The smoke maybe blue, brown or black. Once the smoke stops, then you are done. I have done this to various Dodges, and Fords with good results.
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22

    I would check with your local Subaru dealer before doing this. I have had he heads off 150,000 mile Subaru's and have seen no indications of carbon build up. And these newer Subaru's burn ultra clean.

    Doing a MAF cleaning and/or decarbonizing the engine may void any emmision warranties.

    A thought about increased ethanol content of fuel. Some vehicles, Subaru is one, do not support high alcohol content fuel. That may change on new models, but through 2012, alcohol fuels are not recommended. Here in Nevada, our fuels go 3% ethanol for emission control in the winter. Both my 2000 Forester and my new Outback run like a lame race horse during the 3 months we have to endure the stuff.
  • dswissdswiss Member Posts: 11
    Pick the Honda. You won't be disappointed.
    I had a new Subaru Legacy and it had lots of problems. Now, any car can have problems, so the issue really is how the company takes care of the problem. And with Subaru, I experienced incredible frustration. The bottom line was that no dealer knew how to fix the problem, and Subaru would not help at all. They kept stringing me along until the warranty ran out.
    With Honda on the other hand, you will get super service. They stand behind the product and they have superior engineering.

    good luck
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    I find it interesting why you had the heads off at 150K. You give no explanation as to why. I also know that some local Subaru dealers offer intake and combustion chamber cleaning services (chemical) that will not impact the warranty. I have spoken to these dealers and none of them said that me pulling the MAF and cleaning it correctly would impact on the warranty. If I screw it up, that would be on me.

    As to the ethanol content in fuel, I hate it. Our Mercury Milan runs best on fuels with little or no ethanol. The more ethanol there is in the fuel, the worse the car runs, especially at idle, which becomes rather bumpy.

    What you maybe experiencing in the winter is the ethanol picking up any moisture in the fuel tank and pulling it into the fuel system, thus the loss in performance.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    Thank you for the input. I am sort of surprised at the lack of company backing by Subaru who I have been given to understand makes a decent product. I like the Subaru as it is fairly easy to work on versus other cars I have looked at. I also liked the fact that engine turns fairly slowly at 60 mph (1750 rpm) versus the Honda (1900 rpm). But if Subaru is unwilling to backup it's product, then Honda it is.
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    edited August 2012
    {{I also know that some local Subaru dealers offer intake and combustion chamber cleaning services (chemical)

    Money maker, that, as a rule, has no benefit to the operation or maintenance of the vehicle. Like undercoating a car back in the 60's. Easy money, high value. Now, in the early 70's, BMW DID have a serious problem with crud build up in the entire air induction system, from the MAF through the head. So bad, in fact, all devices had to be pulled and cleaned with walnut shell blasting. Talk about an expense to the vehicle owner! Datsun (remember them...before Nissan?!!)...used to sell an chemical fuel injection cleaner treatment, it was quite a involved setup, what with hooking up all the tubes and hoses to the system. (Usually the 260Z) Oh, and *Trained* (sic) Subaru technicians performed the service, not car owners. Seen this dodge before....I worked as a dealership tech all the way through service department co-ordinater in my career. I have seen first hand how manufacturers get out of doing a service under warranty. I saw Saab buy it big time when their 900S models started burning up Garret turbochargers. Factory said it was owner not letting the turbo spin down before turning the engine off. They would replace the first turbo under warranty, but after that, the owner was on the hook for a $2000.00 repair. A lawsuit took care of that policy....... Long story short, just make sure your Subaru dealer says it is ok for you to perform the cleaning service..and to be safe, get it in writing, to cover your interests.

    {{What you maybe experiencing in the winter is the ethanol picking up any moisture in the fuel tank and pulling it into the fuel system, thus the loss in performance

    No, Subaru's do not run well on ethanol. And the ethanol is not in the fuel to control moisture absorption from winter's higher humidity...I'm not sure what the emission reducing process of ethanol in gasoline is, but the powers to be think it works. (The key here is 'thinks') Besides, the new fuel filters do a good job of separating moisture out of the fuel before letting it through to the fuel system. MC
  • jd_24jd_24 Member Posts: 92
    Here in Minnesota we run 10% ethanol year round. Both of my Subarus run just fine and get great MPG. (2001 Outback and 2012 Impreza) Winter blend gas changes many additives and not just ethanol. There is a winter blend gas here in MN too, but the ethanol amount stays the same.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    I have performed de-carboning and intake cleaning on my own for a good number of years. Never had a warranty issue and the car actually ran better. The issue with ethanol in fuel is that it binds with the moisture to some degree or another and in spite of the supposedly better filter technology, it still gets into the injection system. This is especially crucial if the engine has direct injection. Water can destroy injectors in a heartbeat.

    On another note, I have been speaking with independent auto repair shops, so far three of them, and have been asking them that if they had the choice between a Subaru Outback or a Honda CRV with AWD, which would they take? So far it is 3-0 for the Honda. All say that Honda has better engineering, and two have made comments about Subaru head gasket issues and oil leakage. One told me that he has seen and worked on 2009 and 2010 Outbacks with about 100K miles on them that required new head gaskets. They were naturally aspirated and not turbo and had received proper care and maintenance. I am going to speak with a few more independent shops before I make up my mind, but it does not bode well for Subaru. I like the car and it drives nicely plus you see tons of them on the road but to hear what the independent shops have to say is disturbing.
  • saedavesaedave Member Posts: 694
    One told me that he has seen and worked on 2009 and 2010 Outbacks with about 100K miles on them that required new head gaskets. They were naturally aspirated and not turbo

    There is a new engine in 2013 Outbacks that has the head gasket problem solved. It was first used in the Forester for two model years so it has on-the-road proof of reliability. Earlier and current turbo Subaru engines use a different block that does not have the gasket problem.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    So, if I purchase the 2012 Outback with the 2.5L four cylinder, then how much of a chance will there be of blown head gaskets? I keep my cars for 12-15 years before retiring them.

    Would I be better off getting the Forester if it already has the new head gasket design?
  • saedavesaedave Member Posts: 694
    Would I be better off getting the Forester if it already has the new head gasket design?

    Yes, the design is not just a new head gasket but a a new cylinder head that has different cooling water flow. Either a 2012 Forester OR a 2013 Outback has the new design. Interior passenger room is almost identical, but the shorter Forester has less cargo room. If you keep your car 12-15 years 2012 vs. 2013 depreciation differences, if any, are not significant.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801

    Thank you for your response. It is helpful. I have been doing further research by calling independent repair shops that deal with all brands of cars and trucks. So far I have spoken with seven shops and the score is six for Honda and one tie.

    Some of the main points are:

    1. Reliability and engineering. The six shops said that the Hondas are more robust overall.
    2. After market parts: many more are available for the CR-V than the Subaru and they cost less.
    3. Head gasket issue with the Subaru. Several shops mentioned this without prompting with some shops talking about redoing head gaskets in 2009 and 2010 Outbacks.
    4. Company backing of their respective product. Several shops told me that Honda does a better job of backing their product than Subaru and I believe that one or two posters here have said much the same.
    5. I am a bit scared of the CVT. I understand how they work and that they are a good way to get more MPGs. If they do fail, I understand that repairing them is very expensive.

    I drove the Outback and really liked it and sat in the Forester and liked the airiness of the passenger compartment as well as the visibility out of the car. The one cubic foot of cargo capacity extra in the Outback is offset by the shape of the cargo area in the Forester.

    I am not trying to poop on the Subaru but this will probably be the last new car I purchase and I want something that is dead reliable and easy for me to maintain. Based on my findings, a Honda it will probably be.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Odds of a coolant leak from the head gaskets on the FA/FB block are roughly zero because the coolant no longer flows through the gaskets. ;)

    Honda has its own set of issues, trannies for V6 models and A/C compressor for recent CR-Vs.

    Let me correct myself - ALL brands have their issues, but either of these is certainly far above average overall.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    I understand your response. But I still am wondering why most independent shops that I spoke with have told me to get a Honda versus the Subaru. If they are relatively equal vehicles, why the difference of opinion?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Because shops tend to work on cars that are out of warranty.

    The shortest warranty is 3 years or so, really it's 5 years for powertrain.

    So those mechanics are looking at cars 5+ years old, or 2007 models and older.

    The other Subaru weak spot, BTW, was wheel bearings on the Impreza and Forester. Forester moved to the Legacy's sealed type design and complaints dropped.

    Fortunately we haven't seen a frequent issue pop up again and again since those two, fingers crossed.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    I understand that the shops see mostly out of warranty vehicles, but now another issue to be concerned about, wheel bearings. As you state, Subaru went to a sealed unit and so far so good.

    However, what about those vehicles in which the owner drives 60K miles in less than five years? As I understand most car warranties, it is either time or mileage, which ever comes first. That would mean I would probably need to purchase an extended warranty to say 100K or more miles for the drivetrain.

    I have looked at the Honda forum and I am aware that they have their issues too. I think a few more calls/visits to shops and dealers will give me the information I need.

    As emissions get tighter and fuel economy standards rise, cars in general will become more complex and more troublesome. I find that PZEV Subarus produce less power than their non_PZEV brothers. The same holds true for Kia and Hyundai. I find it funny that you need to burn more fuel to get cleaner emissions. I know Honda and Subaru have good in-house diesels that they sell in Europe. It would be nice to see them in the U.S.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,726
    YES! I would love to see the Subaru diesel here!

    I'm not sure that the PZEV has less power for Subaru, at least not the Forester. I'm thinking PZEV was actually rated a couple HP higher for my model year - 2010. I doubt it's noticeable either way. The EJ25 in my car can be quite spunky with the five-speed when I ask it to be. :shades:

    It's a solid car overall.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, my 2009 PZEV made 5 extra HP. Not all Subarus are that way, though.
  • fibber2fibber2 Member Posts: 3,786
    edited September 2012
    A few comments – coming in late to the discussion.

    1) MAF cleaning (or the ability to do so) varies by manufacture and design. I cannot say this as fact, but it seems I’m seeing that older systems that used IAC were more tolerant of chemistry. Newer systems with electronic throttles and no separate IAC (like my Toyota) have dire warnings in TSB’s and the service manual to NEVER spray the MAF but to clean the throttle plate and surrounding sealing surfaces very carefully. I guess I’d have to call these systems more high strung (?) as they rely on the plate position and MAF feedback to very carefully meter and control idle stability.

    2) Decarbonizing? Lots of discussions all over the web about SeaFoam and similar products used in this way. Half in the tank, half sucked in thru a vacuum hose. The real issue on many modern designs is to find a vacuum hose that enters early enough that the cleaner gets evenly distributed. There are also concerns about carbon chunks scoring cylinder walls, getting caught in valve sealing surfaces, clogging cat inlets, etc. My advice - only if you are absolutely sure you need it. Add it to fuel in a good concentration, but skip the forced feeding.

    3) Chemistry lesson: Ethanol is added to fuel to provide additional oxygen in a homogeneously mixed (liquid bearing) form. It is known as an oxygenate, because when ethanol (C2H5-OH) decomposes it releases the hydroxyl along with ethane (a gaseous fuel). The normal stoichiometric fuel/air mix provides enough air to burn the ethane (a very clean burning fuel), so the extra oxygen (and presumably hydrogen) help with converting unburned fuel into water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (C02). Without the extra oxygen, you tend to get more carbon monoxide (CO) out the tail pipe. In NY we pretty much universally use 10% blend. The downside is the reduced energy content of blended fuels, so mileage suffers overall. Other seasonal tricks (changes in light volatiles content) may also impact some engines drivability.

    Ethanol is hygroscopic (collects and binds with water), but in cold climates we used to add either methanol or ethanol to fuels for exactly that purpose! It’s called DRYGAS, and it was a great way to prevent fuel system corrosion and gas line freeze. Given that fuels contain a lot more of it than we added in the old days, I guess there could be debate about how much more water this might attract. On the other hand, the closed fuel systems on today’s cars don’t allow nearly as much airborne water vapor into the fuel system, so it’s probably a wash.

    4) On the subject of Honda CRV – have they fixed the post oil change fire issue? I guess you don’t have to worry about an aging CRV as much if it simply burns up in your driveway!!! OK, slight exaggeration, but it was a known problem for a while! Tranny longevity has also been a knock. Lastly, there was a strong argument that the (Haldex??) AWD system was slow to kick in, making the CRV only an occasional AWD verses Subaru’s renowned reputation for outstanding AWD systems. Assess your need for a good AWD system, then decide. To be fair, my sister loves her '08 CRV, as does my neighbor ('04, IIRC).

    Subaru is incredibly popular in the NorthEast. Can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one or two in my parking lot at work. Today I walked out and thought there must have been a SURARU ONLY PARKING sign installed, as I was pretty much surrounded.

    5) Head Gaskets…. Yes, as my 2002 Outback is less than 200 miles away from rolling 100k, I could tell you more than you want to know about the root cause of the scrubbing, the myriad attempted engineering fixes over the years, etc. Suffice to say that the F series engines (mine was an E) don’t route cooling water thru the head gasket, but use hoses to connect the head to the block. That change, plus additional ribbing should solve this issue. For long term ownership, wait for a 2013 Outback. Other than the head gaskets, it has been a pretty amazing ownership experience. I still enjoy driving the wagon daily.

    Did I cover the last two weeks adequately? ;)
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,726
    Steve, as always, you can deliver one impressive post. :shades:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Can you please do that for every other thread? :D
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    Subaru's are the AWD of choice in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. (Lake Tahoe and area. When one goes to any of the communities around the Lake, one would think only Subaru's existed! Their traction on ice and in snow is legendary...Domestics and and most Japanese AWD's cannot out-do the Subaru. I live in the Eastern Foothills of the Sierra. We have a quarter mile of very steep road to get up to the street I live on. My neighbor has a Honda. He parks it at the bottom of the hill when it is snowing or when the road is covered with ice. I drive right up it, no problems.
    I will say 2000 Forester was much better on ice and snow than my 2011 Outback...had better side wind stability as well. But..the 'cush' of the Outback outweighs the minor differences between my Forester and the new Outback.

    I just hope I can get the mileage up on the Outback..only averaging 25 mpg..and that is 90% highway driving on cruise control. The local dealers blow me off, saying that's normal. Heh...I may have my company attorney write a letter to Subaru, asking them to correct the mileage issue or give me a new car. THAT might get Subaru's attention as there is now court precedent on the mileage claims on new cars.

  • fibber2fibber2 Member Posts: 3,786
    The fuel mileage claims are not something that the manufacturer’s advertising departments come up with on a whim. It’s a direct quotation from the EPA test results.

    Now one can certainly argue that the EPA test methodology is flawed, or that the car makers somehow set up engine/transmission calibration to take maximum advantage of the test routine, but those are the numbers that they are legally obliged to quote. Unless Subaru deviated from the script, they have the EPA to fall back on with any legal challenge to their claims. You'd have to prove that your particular vehicle was somehow different from the vehicle Subaru submitted for testing, or that your vehicle was somehow mechanically deficient.

    The test method is available. Why not try duplicating it and see what you come up with?
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    I understand your reply, but there is now court precedent that completely blows the EPA and car manufacturer mileage claims out of court. Essentially, the court ruling said that the car manufacturers are obligated to produce mileage figures that are real road driving figures, not test figures as EPA produces.

  • fibber2fibber2 Member Posts: 3,786
    edited September 2012
    Interesting. Can you site a reference? Not challenging you - I'd really like to read this decision as it certainly has industry-wide impact. So they are required by law to post the window sticker with the EPA-sanctioned results, but then have to meet or beat the numbers in some kind of real-world driving (and this real world drive cycle is defined by who???) in order to use the numbers in advertising???

    You sound like enough of a car guy to realize that there are a hundred test variables that impact mileage results. Who now gets to decide where and how the drive should be done if there are no standardized tests? And this is supposed to somehow make things better? Crazy....

    You and I both know there are places that local courts just shouldn't meddle. I see a serious appeal in the cards.

    Interesting sidebar story:
    I was talking to someone I'd seen around town before at the gas station near home. She is on her 5th OBW in 13 years or so. Her husband has this thing about trading in her car at 40k miles. She was in her 2012, and I think she said it now had like 15k miles on it, so it was broken in. She complained that the '12 got several mpg less than her nearly identical 2010. Sample differences? Who knows....
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    I'm sure an appeak is n the's California...who knows what will happen: ain/

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Gotta love it:

    which would see plaintiffs get a $100 to $200 and $1,000 discount on a new Honda and trial attorneys get $8.5 million
  • nmfrench72nmfrench72 Member Posts: 1
    I started having problems with my 2002 Subaru Outback. First, check engine light came on which was the catalayic convertor. Then, the overheating started which blew a head gasket. Got a head gasket job. Then, the radiator blew, had to get another hg job. While, getting the second hg job they replaced the timing belt kit. Now my car makes weird noises, whines. Mechanic said the power steering fluid leaks which is some of the whinning. Now he told me I need the differential replaced. But never offered to do any of the work. Now, my car whines and when I turn the steering wheel the wheel squeals but there is something wrong with the front tires. Now he says motor is blown we put 20/50 oil in it and is running okay with no knocking from motor but still whines and turns funny or front tires feels funny when you turn the car. What to do?
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    Time to buy a new car!
  • jd_24jd_24 Member Posts: 92
    Get a new mechanic?
    Head gaskets are typical for the 2000- 2003? Subaru models. I jsut had ours done on a 2001 Outback. Some of the rest, might just be due to age? However I'm at least wondering about the mechanic's ability. Seems a bit curious it all went bad right after the head gasket job.

    Time for a new Subie. New ones won't have the head gasket issue due to a redesign.
  • lifeson34lifeson34 Member Posts: 5
    When I bought my '07 Legacy in 2006, I... fell in love. And, just like a married couple who can't stand each other anymore, I learned to despise some of its traits. Subaru, consider this my application for divorce. Without further ado, here are the recurring issues I have had over 7 years of driving this car:

    1. Wheel bearing failure. Three times I had to replace the undoubtedly cheap wheel bearings on my car, the first before 30,000 miles. Fortunately, neither bearing seized on the highway, but the possibility of it makes me cringe. Subaru, you ought to know better. Much better.
    2. Leaking head gasket + front cam seal before 150,000 miles. Huge disappointment. I bought this car on the premise of better reliability than my previous Mercury Mystique. But hell, in 175,000 miles, my Mercury never developed serious engine problems. Nor faulty wheel bearings, ever. As kids like to say these days: WTF.
    3. A pandemic of electrical issues before 150,000 miles. The past two years I must have been stopped by the cops an average of 1x/3 months for broken lights. Boy, how these things went. And then there is the radio which refused to turn on, even with the engine running, before coming back a few days later. Again, never saw any of this in my cheap cheap cheap Mercury Mystique.
    4. Oh, the... tires. Three times I had to replace four tires because of a single sidewall cut to a single tire. Stretch a $125 tire replacement into a $500 4-tire replacement anyone?

    That's right, Subaru. I want a divorce. And I am not sure I want to ever see you again.

    ...despite the amazing ways in which that Legacy zipped through snow while everyone else skidded, especially on slopes. Or the ways it steered, always so tight and responsive, with zero body roll. But. In the end, I want a car that works, not one that doesn't (notice the double-negative anyone?)

    And what is up with the new CVT? I love the concept, but boy, step on the gas just a bit and does it get loud inside. It sounds like a mechanic hammering metal on metal - at a rate of 4000 hits per minute. Add to that the annoying high pitch drone that accompanies the hammering - a drone which, now that I think of it, reminds me of my mother's sewing machine, as its pulley drive system plugged away... Just amplify the sewing machine by, oh, a factor of 100 and you have the Legacy. So quiet.
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    edited February 2013
    Perhaps you should have gone someplace that sells good steel for the CVT trans.....the CVT in my 2011 outback is quiet and oddly enough, efficient. Thought you had an Outback..the CVT trans was only available in the 1989-1994 Justy's, then Subaru discontinued the CVT box until the introduction of the Lineartronic CVT in the 2010 cars. Now..I *DO* take Subaru to task for their mileage quotes for the 2011 Outback/Legacy line...they say the Outback gets 29 we get is 26 (90% highway driving of 70 miles or more)..even thinking about taking Outback to court because of the advertised mileage figures don't come near to actual. I have enough Outback and Legacy owners (Right here in my small area alone!) to join me in a class action against Subaru, for misleading mileage figures. I have already talked to the DSM and he IS worried, as he knows the courts have already sided with the customer on poor mileage complaints. (Against Honda, wasn't it, last year??)
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,726
    Was there one against Honda? I know that Hyundai was taken to task on their Elantra claims.

    The CVT certainly sounds different than other automatics (DSGs sound different than others, too), I didn't find it noisy or unresponsive in the Legacy I drove.

    I certainly agree with lifeson34 about the handling on the third generation outback and fourth-gen Legacy cars. It was wonderful; night-and-day different from the fourth/fifth generation (2010+).
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    I just looked it WAS Honda..the hybrid model. I never drove an earlier Outback, so have nothing to compare. I know our 2011 is very nice...but, oddly enough, it is not as wind stable as our old 2000 Forester.....Not as stable on ice and snow either, but still quite good. We had opportunity to rent a new, 2013 Forester a few months back. WOW..what a piece of crap..sounded like we were in a tin can....not solid at all...close the door and instead of a 'THUNK', it sounded like a stone dropped into a bucket. Sure glad we didn't find a 5 speed Forester and opted for the more cush Outback! Now..if only Subaru would get the electrical issues ([Check Engine Light] park brake, cruise control, etc.) solved, I would feel a little more secure on trips with the car.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    edited February 2013
    I purchased a 2013 Outback 2.5i Premium in October of 2012. I have a bit more than 4K miles on it and it is fine.

    This is my first car with a CVT and this CVT is different from the 2012 and earlier Outback CVT. I have driven both and the newer version is more responsive and has significantly less of a "rubber band" sensation than the older version when accelerating. This version is noisier when accelerating as it whines. On level pavement, the CVT is dead quiet.

    Fuel economy is good for what the car is. The one long trip my wife and I took from MD to NYC got us a bit more than 27 MPG with average cruising speed at about 70 MPH through hilly country (we do not take I-95) and the engine barely had 1500 miles on it. Our 2010 Mercury Milan with 2.5L four and FWD does not do any better on that trip.

    The doors and body structure on the Outback are solid and all of the doors and the tailgate give a solid "thunk" when closed. Even the base Subaru we considered had the same solidness to it. Even at speed there is no "hood shake" that I can see.
  • fibber2fibber2 Member Posts: 3,786
    I cannot argue with a number of the man's comments, as unfortunately it doesn't sound like he had the best ownership experience.

    One area where I'll object:

    4. Oh, the... tires. Three times I had to replace four tires because of a single sidewall cut to a single tire. Stretch a $125 tire replacement into a $500 4-tire replacement anyone?

    ...despite the amazing ways in which that Legacy zipped through snow while everyone else skidded, especially on slopes.

    Catch that? The tight control of uniform wheel rotation - both a blessing and a curse....
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,726
    Aye; I can commiserate on that one. I suspect many of us have been there over the years. My only sidewall loss in four Subaru vehicles cost me $900 last summer to put a new set of tires on it. But, that's the breaks, too. Sidewall cuts are pretty rare in normal road use, so that's just plain bad luck having three over such a short period of time.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • bob192bob192 Member Posts: 19
    I had a left rear tire damaged and needed to replace it. we put two new tires on the front and moved the front two to the rear. That was nearly a year ago. No change in handling or winter driving.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,726
    edited February 2013
    Whether it impacts your car's AWD system adversely all depends on how much wear difference there is between the two pair of tires. By replacing a pair, you eliminated the most noticeable issue, which would be a rotational difference between the tires on the same axle, but the two axles would still rotate at slightly different speeds, which then puts stress on the center differential to compensate. You won't necessarily feel it, but the strain will do its damage over time.

    As long as the tread depth on the tires is within 2/32's of the same, it shouldn't be an issue at all.

    Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for my car, plus I wasn't going to pay the money the local shops wanted for replacing the stock tire. Those things are junk, anyway. So, I spent $900 on a new and far, far better set. The other option was $350, and that was just a single tire. I don't feel bad about the new set; I just wasn't planning to buy it for another couple of years!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • maxjacksonmaxjackson Member Posts: 1
    I shut the engine off yesterday and sat in my car for no more than 5 minutes listening to the radio. All of the sudden the radio turned off, alerted, I tried to turn the engine on and the battery was dead. I had all accessories available, it cranked weakly a few times and then stopped. I went inside and made a phone call for help. Maybe 10 minutes passed, and I cranked it and it started right away. Bad battery? Alternator? Sensor? I can't find anything conclusive. And "YES" the check engine light has come on intermittently for a week prior.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    A battery can recover slightly, but find out why it was discharged in the first place.

    If it starts again after a long drive, the alternator is working.

    How old is it? 5+ years and I would no longer trust the battery. I replaced the one in my van at Costco for less than $80. Piece of mind well worth it.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,726
    What car do you have? The issue may be poor grounding rather than a problem with the battery or the alternator. That would make perfect sense if you were experiencing what seemed like a weak battery, then it seemed to work fine shortly after.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    That's true...earlier Subaru's were notorious for having ground issues.
  • fibber2fibber2 Member Posts: 3,786
    Chicken & Egg issue.... A false CEL and erroneous fault code could be logged because of an intermittent electrical issue such as a bad ground that glitches the ECU. Or, a real code that could help lead us to the actual source of the non-start condition could be present. Get it read out and lets see if it tells us anything useful.
  • winter2winter2 Member Posts: 1,801
    This morning it was announced that Subaru was recalling cars with a starting problem covering several model years through 2013.

    Upon doing some research, I discovered that the recall was limited to those cars having the factory remote start capability. If the FOB gets damaged, it could start the car without you even knowing it. My Subaru does not have remote start.
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