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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions



  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Hmmm even when you have the documentation that the sealant 'recall' was addressed and the Area Mgr. still said no? That is odd.

    I'm leaning with Colin, dealer might not be playing with a full deck.

  • Colin
    My initial call to the 800 number resulted in an exchange between them and the dealer, with the 800 person saying that the dealer's service guy really didn't have too much in the way of consumer friendliness. The subsequent call to the 800 yielded a request for additional service records. I am waiting to hear from them now. The car has been at the dealer for a week as of today.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you can, ask the 800 folks if you can transfer your case to another dealer. I would prefer to work with someone else.

  • This is just a quick update. The good people at the 800 number (Barry, John and Patricia) have confirmed that the repair is going to be done under the warranty. The dealer has agreed to treat it as any other warranted situation. Thanks to them for following up so quickly and to my fellow owners for their support and suggestions. One final question, by doing the head gasket, are the timing belt and water pump accessible and should they be replaced at this time, ie: 4 years/65000 miles?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ask them what incremental cost you'd incur to do that. It might cut down on the labor some.

  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 116
    While I was driving up the 805 to LA last weekend to try out for "Jeopardy!" - I made the cut and will be on sometime in '05! - a piece of plate glass flew off an old jalopy ahead of me and shattered against my right front headlight. It didn't crack, but the small round lens on the parking light within the assembly dislodged. Is this worth/possible to fix?

    Worse, though, about ten miles up the road, my right rear tire went out. It's one of the stock Geolanders on my '03 XS and they all have only 21K on them. A Good Samaritan - Gracias, amigo! - and I got the spare on in under 15 minutes and I continued on my way. Later, I stopped in at a used tire shop and bought a compatible used tire for a spare, and had them switch the old spare onto the regular wheel. The tire that went out went totally out and was useless, which was a drag since there was a lot of life left in it. For $41 all told, I think I got off easy - but I wish I'd gotten that derelict's license plate!

    Anyway, will this spare switch mean anything in terms of my next rotation? The tires have only been rotated once since I bought the car, with no apparent problems. Any other issues to be concerned about? Im hoping I can get at least 50K out of these tires, since most of my driving is on freeways and streets, with almost no unpaved or off-road use.

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody! - Mike.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Make sure the "spare" tire's circumference is within 1/4" of the other older tires, otherwise your AWD system could be adversely affected (meaning it may think there is slippage and that could lead to some sort of damage when it happens for an extended period of time).

    I lost a tire at 19K miles in my first Outback, and needed to buy four new tires because I exceeded the 1/4" difference in circumference with the new tire.

    Congrats on Jeopardy by the way!

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    I admit to getting old. I know someone was posting either here, or one of the other areas asking about LL Bean Tire rotation. Since I cannot remember wher they had psoted, I figured to post what I found out here.

    Over the weekend I was at my dealer getting some service done. While waiting, I asked about the tire monitoring system on the 05's, specifically if you could do the tire rotation yourself (which is what was asked here). The repsonse I received is bring it to the dealer. They have to use a computer device to reset the tire monitoring system so that it works properly. I guess if you want this to work properly, for now you will need the dealer to do the rotation.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    21k miles would be borderline I think, I'd follow Craig's suggestion and measure.

    You might actually want to put the used tire on there if the circumference matches more closely.

  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    As an alternative, you can have the newer Geolandar shaved down to match the others at a speed shop or some tire shops.
  • bigcbigc Posts: 9
    COOL!! I just saw one for the Forester, not all models...hmmm. Thanks :)

  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 116
    Thanks for the circumference tip; I'd never have thought of that! But your 21K remark got me: are you saying that these stock Geolanders are borderline at 21K miles? Jeez, there looks like loads of tread left on them and I thought modern radial tires were good for at least 40K! Am I delusional or just dyslexic?
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 859

    There are a lot of factors that influence tire wear. Since most tire wear occurs in cornering, the biggest factor is how often does a substantial turn occur. I use the term: Turns per Mile.

    Obviously, driving in the city is going to be worse than driving in the country.

    Other factors include the inflation pressure (more is better), alignment (toe in has the same effect as cornering), weather (rain and snow covered streets don't cause much wear), pavement, (some are more abrasive than others)

    40K is a good figure for all season tires, but high performance tires won't get that much because grip and wear are trade-offs.

    Hope this helps.
  • timo43timo43 Posts: 23
    Just a quick update to thank those who assisted with my somewhat early brake wear on a 03 Forester. Turns out the warranty is different in Canada than U.S., and brakes pads are not covered at all here. But thanks for all the advice, because I pushed a little, and since there was a problem with the caliper slide pin, Subaru Canada is going to pay for all the parts; brakes and caliper-- a significant contribution, and more than I expected.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I am sure the stock Geos are fine at 21K (the ones on my wife's Forester looked great at 35K). The problem is that they are worn down more than the new (formerly spare) tire you rotated in, and that difference can cause problems with the AWD system.

    Definitely measure all the tires to make sure the new one is within 1/4" circumference of the others. You can get a pretty good idea by measuring tread depth and using calculus:

           C=2*PI*R --> dC=2*PI*dR

    So if you know the difference in tread depth amongst the tires (dR) you can compute the difference in circumference (dC). Or go in reverse: for dC=0.25", dR would be about 0.040", so the tread depth of the new tire shouldn't be more than 0.040" (forty thousandths) greater than the old tires.

    I agree with earlier posts -- the most economical thing to do would be to get the new tire shaved to match the old ones if there is indeed a disparity.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780

    That is great news. The circumstances were strange all around, so it is good to SoC do the right thing. Out of curiosity, did anybody every explain how/why the pin broke upon removal?

  • Spoke to the dealer about replacing the timing belt and the water pump while repairing the head gaskets. They want $470 for the job, which seems to me to be a rip off considering that Subaru is paying for the labor under the warranty job. Will speak to them later again today to see if I can get it down somewhat. Any suggestions?
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    Yep, sounds like they are hitting you with pretty much full freight for this, without benefit that they are already in there. Granted there is some dedicated labor for the water pump, but the front cover is already off, as are the accessory drive belts. If they are only doing one head, they might not have the full cover off or completely removed the timing belt, but again, this is only a matter of a few extra fasteners.

    I don't know what subi parts go for, but I would suspect that the belt and pump should be under the $150 mark, plus maybe an hours labor.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    that is an unbelievable ripoff! the labor should be halved (or more) on the water pump because the timing belt is already off. it takes minutes to change the pump and gasket.. four bolts. the timing belt is like $50-70 at most, and there is NO labor or consumables that aren't covered by the warranty repairs on the headgasket.

    the water pump is $67 from, another $2 for a gasket... yeah I don't have a clue how they dreamt up this $470 nonsense. that's insulting.

  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,780
    It is called "double dipping"....

  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,976
    How about double ripping, if this is a Subaru dealership I would be on the horn right quick to report this scam artist.

      Cheers Pat.
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,388
    Has anyone here replaced the timing belt on a 2.5 liter engine? If so, were any special tools required?

    I trying to decide whether to let the dealer do it or tackle it myself.

    Also, what are the other things to replace at the same time...water pump?


  • jtomjtom Posts: 26
    Hi everyone. I've been lurking in the forum reading the great posts here. I'm an owner of a 1994 impreza L wagon w/ 95k. Runs super, but recently we have this intermittent whirring sound (which goes up in pitch during accel) usually in 1st and 2nd gear. We topped off the man trans fluid and the rear transaxle fluid, but that didn't help. Any thoughts, sorry if this sounds vague. Found a previous post that mentioned a sound like a top being wound, that would resemble our sound. btw, sounds like it's coming from the front end of the car. thanks - julie
  • timo43timo43 Posts: 23
    Hi Steve,
    Yes, good news indeed. Shows that a little polite grumbling can be well worth the effort.

    They had no explanation for the pin breaking, Steve. But it is only because of that pin that the service manager could persuade Subaru to cover the parts for the brake job.
  • I bought a 2004 Forester about 4 months ago. The car is driven almost every day, but there is only 2100 miles on it. My round trip drive to work is about 14 miles, with my round-trip to school about 5 miles, plus a few extra trips to shopping malls, the mountains, etc. Here's my problem: the car has been running fine; it sat on Thanksgiving. When I went to start it Friday night, it wouldn't start. My dad eventually got it started (after a few tries) and after that it was ok. i took it to a garage (not a dealer)--they told me the battery was good but needed to be charged. They put it on a charger for a few hours. I was told I need to drive more. The thing is, my driving habits have not changed for about 2 years now, and I have never had this problem before. Most people I've told this to have been skeptical of the "drive it more" response. This car does not sit days at a time, and it has not been cold here yet (I live in Philadelphia). Can anyone offer some insight? It sounds like a bad battery to me....I am worried about when it starts to get cold. i bought a new car so i would have a reliable vehicle. I've always heard good things about Subaru (and I owned one before). Nothing has changed about my driving habits--that's why I'm wondering if it's a dud battery. I'll stop rambling now. Any help would be appreciated. Oh, and thre are no after-market anythings on this car. It's the basic 2004 Forester X, no extras. Thanks.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    What were the symptoms of it not starting -- was the engine cranking OK or was it clearly having trouble turning?? The reason I ask is that there are numerous reasons a car might have trouble starting, and people tend to blame the battery. If you have a hard time starting and have to crank it a lot, even a brand new battery will run down pretty quickly and need to be recharged. SO I would not jump to conclusions and blame the battery as the "cause" just yet!

    Can you give us more details -- how did it behave when you first tried starting it and what did your dad do differently to get it started?

    It would not surprise me if it was a fuel issue. I noticed that our Forester would have a hard time starting in the following situation: take a long trip, park the car for a day or two, and then try starting. This would occur if we got in and turned the key to start immediately. However, if I turned the key to on for a few seconds and waited for the fuel pump to pressurize the system (you will hear a whirring noise from the back of the car) then turned it to start, it would fire right up every time. So that became my habit.

    In all those hard-start cases, you could smell fuel in the exhaust right after the car started, so I concluded that it was somehow flooding. And of course, if that is the case and you keep cranking the starter, it will start eventually but you will run the risk of running down your battery. I might wager that's what happened in your case. SO try letting the fuel pump pressurize the system for a few secinds before craking the engine over.

  • I tried it about 3 times, it would just crank and crank, but never turn over. My father just tried it a few more times, and after about 4 tries, he got it. My last car had that "hard start" problem, with the fuel smell and everything, but I didn't smell anything with this (though I wasn't in the car at the time). He said the lights , etc. did not dim like they usually do when a battery is going dead. This morning, it had a different sounding crank to it. when they checked the battery they said the computer came back with "Battery good. Needs charging." I have read some other posts, and it goes from everything like alternators to faulty wiring harnesses. I will try the method you described below to see if there is a difference. There is a woman named Cheryl on this board who seemes to have a similar problem. I am not irked about something on it breaking (cars are machines, they break). But I am more concerned about getting it fixed properly so I don't get stranded anywhere this winter. thank you for your help. I would appreciate any further thoughts.

  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    SOHC is easy. DOHC is more challenging, but could be done by a skilled hobbyist.

    I'd replace the water pump at the same time yes. It is less than $75 with gasket if you buy through one of the big parts wholesale dealerships on the web.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I've never owned the Geos so I'm not sure about how long they last. The Duelers on my Forester were only good for 28k miles.

    Julie: my first guess is wheel bearings, because the pitch is speed dependent. Does it happen even when you are coasting? Could be the diffys but the bearings are more likely.

    Bethany: the OE battery isn't very strong, I replaced mine with one with more than twice the CCA rating. It was $40 or 50 or so, so it might be worth just replacing it for the peice of mind.

    Having said that my OE battery still lasted about 5 years.

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