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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    an oxymoron just like SUV (is it sport or utility?) and of course the good old oxymoron: military inteligence??
    hehehe.....hope I did not offend anyone
    But a rollong box can never be "sporty", and both minivans and SUV's are rolling boxes.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Oh well, we like it. Now back on topic. I am thinking of going to 10W30 Mobil 1 from the current 5W30 Mobil 1 on the OB due to some knocking when cold. I'm pretty sure this will do the trick. Interestingly, the knocking goes away a few minutes after the coolant shows operating temp, which tells me the oil takes longer to heat up. Any thoughts or experience on this?

  • onecvwonecvw Posts: 1
    I own a 1996 Outback 163,000 miles and it has had major oil leaks just as you all seem to have too. I am curious as to how much money (est)you have had to put into fixing your oil leak problems? My most recent seems to be a big one and just wondering if its worth fixing?
  • bsvollerbsvoller Posts: 528
    is in my garage.

    Last night an interior door I removed from our basement in order to paint down there fell over onto my Forester.

    It bounced, so I have not one ding, but two.

    Sigh. I hate it when that happens.

    Two good-sized dimples in the top of the passenger door panel. Very little paint damage though.
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,976
    I share your pain, time to see some of the paintless dent removal guys, I have used them several times on differenrt cars and they do a super job.

      Cheers Pat.
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Yep, the single digit temps have showed up here in SE Wiscosin and I heard some cold knocking even at cold idle (~1.5k RPMs) this morning.

    It does go away as the vehicle warms, usually in a 5-10 minutes. I've never been too concerned about it. I typically take it easy during the first part of my driving too.

    I'll have to check, but I'm fairly certain they used 5w-30 dyno the last time I had my oil changed (December). FWIW, our MPV uses 5w-20.

  • romy4romy4 Posts: 17
    This is an update on my post from last November regarding the replacement of the defective automatic transmission on my 2002 OBW. At the time it had only 2,549 miles on the odometer. I was told by the dealer that they were putting in a "new" unit, which seemed reasonable given the low mileage. I was very pleased with their overall handling of the matter.

    This week I visited My.Subaur.Com and under the warranty service history for my outback discovered a "reman transaxle assembly" had been installed. Needless to say, I was not happy. The car is barely broken in. Is it SOA policy to always use rebuilds for warranty work? I emailed them about this on 1/20 and as yet have had no response.

    I will say I really like the car and it seems to be shifting fine now, but I am troubled by having an old reworked transmission in what is basically a new car. One which I had planned on keeping for many years.

    Opinions anyone? I am still hoping to hear from SOA.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like there was a bad batch of head gaskets. My '98 has 49k miles and runs fine, so not all were affected (of course).

    romy4: I wonder if they remanufactured yours maybe? Even so, I bet all the gears are new, maybe they used the casing from a used one. But press on and ask, because maybe they can explain that to you.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    A lot of the newer cars are using 5W20, I believe to save fuel (how much??). I need to check the manual, but, I believe it states I can use 10W30 down to 0F. Since I have a heated garage and it rarely goes below 0F here (with the exception of the last week) I think I'll be OK.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    Glad to hear that I am not alone. The garage stays above freezing, so the knock is not too pronounced. But leaving work last night with temps in the 'teens, the sound scared me. At idle is was ok, even when cold. But under load she shuddered, and had a distinctly loud tick that sounded like a single valve. Even when warmed to normal operating temp (Greg - the drive from B/310 to the Taconic), she pulled away from every stop with a shake and ticking. Felt like a valve was maybe not seating? Anyhow, the on-ramp of the parkway (requires full throttle upshifts to keep from being killed...) cured it. Started with a stutter, then snapped into line and pulled strong. When I got off a few miles later, she was her normal quiet and smooth self.

    Running 10w-30 (IIRC..) dino. Maybe I should rethink this!!!!

    BTW - no offense taken about the minivan. Unlike most SUV's, they are a pretty sensible vehicle.

  • Currently having my 99 SOHC Forester drivers side headgasket replaced .. external leak. Car has 47,000 miles. Leak was so minor that no loss of coolant was observed - only occasional odor of coolant on engine shutdown. I wonder if this is happening only on the drivers side? and why. Hoping Subaru has corrected the gaskets or installation procedure so there's no recurring problem. Anyone have any other information on this issue?
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    What I am talking about is a knocking, under load, when cold. Not noticeable when idling and it goes away shortly after the temp gauge hits normal op temp. No shuddering or performance issues. No ticking out of the typical injector noise.

  • romy4romy4 Posts: 17
    Juice: The dealer had to order one and did the installation in one day, so I know it wasn't my original tranny. I'll have to email them again, I guess, if I don't hear anything today. I'd really like an explanation.

    What kind of longevity will a remanufactured component have vs a new one? If my car had say 30K on it, I might expect they would use a rebuild, but not in this case.
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,976
    If it is any help, I run 5-30 mobil 1 synthetic year round, in the winter I have a block heater given that the mean temperature today is -25 celsius, -40 with the windchill,a block heater is a definite necessity.

    Anyway to date I have had no knocking or tapping whatsoever, idle and running oil pressure once warmed up is no different winter or summer.

      Cheers Pat.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Depends on how it's remanufactured, I guess. Most likely they got another newish tranny and replaced the internals then cleaned it up. In all likelihood, that's fine and should last as long as a new one.

    The gears would have to have been replaced because the teeth would have been worn (especially if the donor tranny had been bad). I doubt they could reuse those. I bet it's just the original housing with new gears.

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    The knock that I'm hearing this week is something I haven't heard before. Of course, having single digit temps at night could be factoring in to play.

    Prior to this, I heard the very subtle slap-like noise occasionally at cold (< 35 degrees F) startup during light acceleration. It always went away within a few minutes of warm-up. I could not hear it at cold idle.

    This latest noise is a bit of a concern. I hear it at cold idle very well. And of course, accelerating makes me cringe hearing this noise. Sure it goes away as the engine warms, but man is that hard to just listen to it.

    I haven't checked the oil in a couple of weeks, so I'm going to first check that this afternoon.

  • jimmyp1jimmyp1 Posts: 640
    that Turbo Legacy that's be dangled in front of us better be here soon. I just paid ~$1,600.00 to get the Legacy (1994) out of the dealership. Got a new clutch, throw out bearing and associated bolts, flywheel (old one had actual cracks!), rear main seal, TWO (yes, they found the other one cracked also) axles/CV joints/boots, cleaned the ABS sensors (but the ABS light is still on), and a few other odds and ends. Now here's where it gets interesting...I gave the dealership two weeks notice to arrange for a particular mechanic to work on my car. Every time I spoke with them, I would reiterate what I wanted. Well, after dropping it off, I just had a hunch, went back and told them I needed my gym key out of the center console, and, wouldn't you know it, they had "trainee Fred" (their words) working on it. I wanted to cool down, so I left, and called my main contact after I got a few minutes down the road. He, of course, tried to talk his way around it three or four different ways, but I had them up against a wall with several sound arguments, not the least of which was "where was my phone call to ASK ME IF TRAINEE FRED WAS OK?". Long story somewhat short, they gave me a considerable break on parts AND labor, and gave me a rental car for free since my second axle took an extra day to come in. Not happy about the attempted deception, but happy with the outcome. The car is SO smooth. I had asked for a parts/labor breakdown ahead of time so that I could do some internet shopping, and the total bill would have been about $2,200.00+ given what they ended up doing. So, I'll take the $600.00+ savings and run....for now. I may consider another dealer in the future though.

  • kevin111kevin111 Posts: 991
    The hinges on the gas door of my WRX are a little flimsy (that or I do not know my own force!).

    When I was filling the car up at night, by accident bumped into the gas door. This resulted in the hinge being bent, and causing the door to hit the side of the car.

    Dealer will charge me $140 for replace and repaint, which seems reasonable.

    First time this has happened to me with bending a gas door, so maybe it was a fluke or flimsy hinge to be warry of. Oh well.

    I personally really like the style of the release lever inside though.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    Since it goes away when warm, my first guess on your noise is the timing belt tensioner. When it's cold it isn't making enough friction and the belt slaps against the timing cover.

    Your dealer can help for sure. If you're out of warranty or merely curious, pop the hood and listen around the timing cover area (lay under the front of the car-- make sure the brake is set, blah blah blah).

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    I can check that in the morning, as we're expecting wind chill advisories this evening. So, it'll be plenty cold. Of course, not as cold as Pat's neck of the woods ;-)

    Would I be able to feel the timing belt cover from the top and 'feel' the knocking?

    BTW, I did check the oil level and all is well there, as it should be since it's only been a month and a half since it was changed.

    I'm not out of warranty, in fact I have the Subaru Gold too. And I'm only at just under 27k on the odometer.

    Silly question - would this type of thing happened if I would have used synthetic oil? It has been fed nothing but dino, fwiw.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    No, using conventional oil has nothing to do with whatever it is that you are experiencing. In fact, it took a while for Subaru to come out and tell us it was okay to use synthetic!

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038

    I have never been able to figure out the viscous-piston timing belt tensioner. It's needlessly complication and very fragile.

    Proof: reinstallation instructions state that it must be compressed slowly over 3 minutes in a vertical orientation (so under a hydraulic press) at cannot see over 66lb/ft of torque at any instant.

    Apparently this is better than a spring somehow???

  • shad12shad12 Posts: 14
    The head gasket(s) went out on my '98 outback with 94,000 miles on it. I noticed anti-freeze leaking when I arrived at work. The temp gauge still was at normal. I drove it over to the dealer and they have had it for two weeks this friday. Since they gave me a loaner to drive, I haven't bugged them about their progress on the repair. I was very disappointed with the cost hit of estimated $2200 plus. I just never realized gaskets were still a problem in this day and age.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Oh man, I better start saving! Looks like I'll be forking out at least a few grand on your baby!

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Couldn't tell where the noise was coming from this morning. It was tad chilly and I was not about to crawl underneath. :(

    I guess I'll probably have to leave it overnight at the dealer one of these days.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    As I reported yesterday, single digits is also playing havoc with my engine as well. Yesterday I let it sit at idle for a few moments before driving away, but the distinct ticking continued for quite a while after coming up to full temp. So instead of going home, I went to Wally World in search of some synthetic. I have never used anything but dino in 27 years of ownership, but thought it might be worth a try.

    They don't carry Mobil 1 in all grades, and I was a bit leary of going with 0w-30 (althought it would probably be fine...). I settled on Quaker State full synthetic in regular Subi spec 5w-30. And even though I have Subi/Purolator oil filters at home, I went for the upper line PTFE impregnated Fram filter. I know, it is probably a scam, but if you heard how my motor sounded, you would go to desperate attempts also. I don't have any concerns about the quality of their drain-back valve, as the filter mounts fully vertical.

    Anyhow, this morning the engine was as quiet as a start on a Summers day!! Oil weight is the same (it was serviced with 5w-30, 2900 miles ago), just dino to synthetic. I will let you know if it stays silent.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    I thought that knocking at start-up that goes away when warm was normal. With temps here in the single digits F as well, the Phase I OB sounds like a diesel when it's started and gets quieter after it's warmed up.
    Using a synth. blend right now and switching to full synth at over 60k is probably too late.

    Wouldn't a conventional usually oil keep things quieter? They're usually thicker at operating temps. (I'll verify that on

  • jay_24jay_24 Posts: 536
    I got a feeling thicker isn't the problem. The no flow is the problem. At -14F (current temp) dyno oil doesn't flow well and is plenty thick. Hence some nocking noise until that oil gets there and starts to flow.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    At under 11k on my '02 OBW, I was suddenly faced with a very singular tick accompanying by a shudder on acceleration that would not go away until well after the temp reached normal. Something wasn't oiling well. Very scary....

    This morning with fresh (synthetic), all quiet! I don't do all of my own service anymore. Who knows, maybe the shop put in 10w-30 instead of 5w-30 ??? Something wasn't right.

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