Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Tuesday September 2, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC Subaru Models > Legacy Forum

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
View Poll Results: Why are Subarus easier to work on?
You're delusional, they're not. Domestics are far simpler! 1 5.00%
All Japanese vehicles are easier to work on, they are just engineered better. 7 35.00%
It's only Subarus, because of the horizontally opposed layout of the engine. 5 25.00%
They are easier to work on because they are more reliable and you have to work on them less! 5 25.00%
What is a metric socket? 2 10.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-03-2008, 02:40 AM   #1
fastenova
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 38829
Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Tigard, OR
Vehicle:
Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Question Maintenance: Legacy vs other makes/models or cars?

I have been working on my girlfriend's Saturn this past week due to transmission problems and there have been a number of times that I just cringe at the engineering. This thing is a bear to get to any normal maintenance items. I have heard that in general, domestic vehicles are harder to work on than imports (except German vehicles, maybe [puts on flame retardent suit])

GM has hidden bolts in weird places that, to me, seem totally unnecessary! To gain access to certain items, you have to remove completely unrelated/unattached components just because of their locations.

I have taken apart just about every part of my BD Legacy and it just seems so simple and easy to work on. It makes sense where things are, and how you get to 'difficult' items.

What are everyone's opinions on engineering and maintenance when it comes to different brands and models of vehicles? Am I just biased because I've done so much with the Legacy?

Thanks!
Aaron
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
fastenova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 03:01 AM   #2
ReubenH
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 172522
Join Date: Feb 2008
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy GTB Ltd.
Black

Default

I think they are a joy to work on considering some of the horror stories about eurpean cars (like Peugeot's and stuff) and certain other jap cars (V6 mitsis for one)

My mate has a nice way of puting it: the EJ engine bay was designed with the 20 minute engine lift in mind, while stuck in a paddock in the middle of nowhere.

I don't know the validity of such a comment, but i think it has subaru written all over it
ReubenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 07:42 AM   #3
rougeben83
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 115154
Join Date: May 2006
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: NYC
Vehicle:
2005 Outback XT
White on grey

Default

Well if you think about it, the rally cars used in WRC were/are still heavily based on the road-going versions of these cars, so easy service is a must...

Ditto though, I've worked on a Ford Taurus before and my family's MPV. The MPV is ok for maintenance stuff, but if you try to take it apart, good luck. The Taurus...well I think the saying is Ford vehicles are made to be serviced only by the dealership or shop...anyway, it was a bear to work on.

I still hate those stupid star bolts with a passion.
rougeben83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 08:05 AM   #4
Jonathan
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 4021
Join Date: Feb 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Natick, MA USA
Vehicle:
1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

Default

Have you seen what GM stock is selling for ? Something under $10.00 a share.

My guess is that whats left of GM will be sold off within 5 years. Either that, or they are going bankrupt. Other than the 'Vette, their FULL SIZE truck and SUVs it seems that GM is loosing money on every US model they build. Unfortunately now that the price of gas has gone up so much the market for these vehicles is greatly reduced so GM is on a crash course to produce a cost competitive fuel efficient vehicle.

Pathetic.

Saturn was formed roughly twenty years ago with the intent of developing the engineering necessary to remain competitive in the Automobile business. The original SL1 and SL2 were not bad cars.. when they were first introduced back in 1993. Unfortunately, after Roger Smith stepped down as chairman of GM, Saturn's budget was slashed and they resorted to reselling European Opel products in the US.

In general large car companies emphasis is on minimizing development and production costs, sharing parts across model lines (in an effort to reduce production costs) and on maximizing per unit profitability.

Given the greater reliability of modern technology cars, accessibility of mechanical components is now longer a priority. This is true of all manufacturers including Subaru.
Jonathan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 10:44 AM   #5
Huffer
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 36735
Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Wellington,NZ / Willoughby,OH
Vehicle:
99 GF8 Impreza 2.0
2= 1998 BD + BK Legacy GT

Default

I find that Subaru's tend to be easier to work on than other Japanese models - they have less mass in terms of engine piping (NA anyway) and there appears to be more room to get your hands into spaces.

Honda, Toyota and Mazda have this nasty habit of cramming the headlights right up next to the battery or the airintakes so changing a lightbulb requires removing stuff, or contorting my already smallish asian hands! Honda especially loves to integrate the front bumper with the headlights, so removing a headlight requires dropping a bumper.
Huffer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 11:35 AM   #6
ReubenH
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 172522
Join Date: Feb 2008
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy GTB Ltd.
Black

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
Unfortunately now that the price of gas has gone up so much the market for these vehicles is greatly reduced so GM is on a crash course to produce a cost competitive fuel efficient vehicle.

Pathetic.
Hehe, that's japanese car territory, they will never survive if they try doing what the japanese have done for the last 40 years. There will be a japanese car for every creation they come up with, which will be better.

The quote "Never argue with an idiot, they will only bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience" comes to mind... Just replace "argue" with "compete", and "idiot" with "japanese car manufacturer" :P
ReubenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 11:39 AM   #7
jey
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 32503
Join Date: Feb 2003
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Johnson City, TX
Vehicle:
2011 Tribeca
1995 Legacy Wagon

Default

I find my Subaru very easy to work on, but I wonder if that's just because of familiarity. I've had the car for 6 years and I have wrenched on it 5X more than any other car. Performing maintenance on my other cars (all GM vehicles) it seems to take longer simply because it's unfamiliar - once I do it the second time it seems to be about the same as the Subaru.
jey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 12:43 PM   #8
Minjin
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 163484
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Vehicle:
98 OB M/T
99 Miata

Default

I'd say you guys are a bit biased. I've worked on dozens of examples of most of the brands out there and Subaru is about middle of the road. Not as bad as some but not as good as some.

Some of the better brands:
Volvo
BMW
Mitsubishi

Some of the worst ones:
Saab
Jaguar
Audi

Japanese do tend to be better than most but they tend to cram stuff in tight. Of course, talking in brands is nearly useless. Individual cars are what is important. You can probably find good and bad examples of any brand. For example, someone complained about Mazda, whereas I'd say that a Miata is one of the easiest cars to work on that I've ever encountered.

edit: oh and I would MUCH rather work on an inline engine than a flat engine
Minjin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 01:15 PM   #9
fastenova
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 38829
Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Tigard, OR
Vehicle:
Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minjin View Post
I'd say you guys are a bit biased. I've worked on dozens of examples of most of the brands out there and Subaru is about middle of the road. Not as bad as some but not as good as some.

edit: oh and I would MUCH rather work on an inline engine than a flat engine
Thanks for chiming in! When you say you'd rather work on an inline engine, what specifically? I think for plugs, headwork, etc. they are great. As far as transmission/transaxle goes, I hate transversely mounted inlines because the transmission is under the subframe and hard to get to for me. Dropping the trans on a Subaru is pretty easy, similar to dropping one on an old V8 or even a newer V6/V8.

I'll be the first to admit that changing the plugs on a flat motor is way more work than on an inline. And, having twice as many cams/valve covers/heads as an inline means twice as many seals/opportunities for leaks.

The other thing I like about Subaru as compared to other brands I've worked on is that there aren't a LOT of specialty tools (think of the special sockets to get brake calipers off on GM trucks, for instance), and they use common sizes - 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm. I was working on this Saturn and there was a 7mm bolt on the same part as a 8mm bolt. I don't get why they couldn't have used an 8mm where the 7mm was, it was just for securing an electrical connector!
fastenova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2008, 06:23 PM   #10
birukun
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 52801
Join Date: Jan 2004
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: San Diego, CA.
Vehicle:
1999 Legacy Wagon L
Green 30th Anniv.

Default

This car was definitely built for maintenance. Makes me wonder how much dealers are ripping people with generous labor estimates...... (at least in San Diego)

The more I work on it, the more I love it.

Last edited by birukun; 07-03-2008 at 06:24 PM. Reason: San Diego Dealers
birukun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2008, 08:52 AM   #11
Jonathan
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 4021
Join Date: Feb 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Natick, MA USA
Vehicle:
1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
Unfortunately now that the price of gas has gone up so much the market for these vehicles is greatly reduced so GM is on a crash course to produce a cost-competitive fuel-efficient vehicle.

Pathetic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReubenH View Post
Hehe, that's Japanese car territory, they will never survive if they try doing what the Japanese have done for the last 40 years. There will be a Japanese car for every creation they come up with, which will be better.
The late Henry Ford II promised to "drive the Japanese cars from our [US] shores" some 25+ years ago with the introduction of the US-built Ford Escort back in 1981. :LOL:
While the Escort wasn't a bad car, it was just basic unremarkable transportation. It was certainly pleasant enough, comfortable, generally reliable (although at first it was one of the most recalled vehicles in history), and easy enough to work on. Unfortunately, for Ford, their profit margin on the Escort was rather small. Ford's "joint ventures" with the European Ford Fiesta, the Korean-built Ford Festiva and Aspire quickly taught them a few important lessons and they learned not to attempt to out Japanese the Japanese. While their Ford Focus is a very decent (if not outstanding) European/American designed car, I think it is Ford's close relationship with Mazda that will be a key factor in getting their company turned around and profitable with in the next two to three years.

Chrysler had a similar relationship with Mitsubishi until Mercedes pulled the rug out from underneath them and royally screwed up their company before dumping them. The "New" Chrysler Organization has an uphill fight but at least their management has their heads on straight and knows what it needs to do to succeed.

While GM made an honest (but very brief) attempt with the original Saturn, they have apparently given up on engineering a decent small or even a "mid-sized" car and have resorted to marketing other companies small cars -initially with GM's "GEO" brand name- and manufacturing inferior small cars that are outright unpleasant to own and operate such as their latest example, the "Chevrolet Cobalt". I have nothing but contempt for Mr. Bob Lutz (the Klutz) and their entire out of control "organization". The sooner they start selling off whats left of their company and firing the bulk of their excessively large numbers of mid-level marketing "wizards", the better off we will all be.

Oh, and back ON TOPIC...
Todays cars are designed to maximize passenger and storage space and to minimize power train and suspension intrusion into the "people" parts of the cars. As cars have become far more reliable and generally need only basic oil and other fluid changes along with other basic maintenance the need for good access to major systems and general ease and accessibility has become greatly reduced.

One of the better cars for doing mechanical work is the full-sized Ford Crown Victoria - designed in the late 1970ies and now evolved to the point where it is exceedingly reliable (There is a reason why police and taxicab companies love these cars), however considering the basic questions as to its overall size and its very limited rear-seat space and awkward rear-seat ingress & egress it is something of a dinosaur and is unlikely to remain in production to the general public longer than the next five years. The Ford Taurus/Ford "500" offer much more interior space and fuel efficiency.

I suspect that the Smart Cars that are just now starting to sell in the American marketplace represent the future in car design... complex, largely in accessible without a lift, a true nightmare to do major mechanical repairs on but exceedingly well-built, reliable, fuel-efficient and roomy for the occupants.

While I really do like the layout of the Legacy, I suspect that a large part of why it is fairly easy to work on is because it hasn't been subjected to a major mechanical redesign in the last 15+ years. Had Subaru placed greater engineering effort in maximizing the percentage of the cars footprint to be used for people and minimizing the powertrain and suspension intrusions in to the "people space", I suspect it would be just as hard to work on as many of todays more "modern" car designs.
Jonathan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2008, 10:06 AM   #12
ReubenH
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 172522
Join Date: Feb 2008
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy GTB Ltd.
Black

Default

Nice write up, thanks for that.

Regarding the inline vs flat thing, i was talking with my mate who works at a big subaru dealership on the subject. Yep, sure, changing spark plugs, rocker gaskets, or any of those things on the head - they have the box beat hands down. But for pretty much everything else, he said subaru's are such a breeze to work on. He used to work at a few other places, but once he moved to subaru, he's not going anywhere else
ReubenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2008, 11:24 AM   #13
IllNastyImpreza
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 36333
Join Date: May 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: East Kingston NH
Vehicle:
DIY project: life
I need more TIME!

Default

I think the only ****ty design on our subarus is the fact you have to remove the exhaust to get to the driveshaft.... thats my biggest IRK on Subaru's.
IllNastyImpreza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2008, 06:40 PM   #14
MkIII
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 100637
Join Date: Nov 2005
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Portland, OR
Vehicle:
2002 Legacy GT
Silver Stone

Default

I'm not sure any of the options in this poll quite summarize my opinion on Subaru's. My old Golf, after eight years of ownership, was ridiculously simple to work on. I knew how to access everything, things seemed logically laid out, and overall the parts were relatively inexpensive.

As I've really just started to work with my Legacy I've found that there were some really sensible things that the engineers did when building this car. At first things that seemed intimidating really weren't too bad and now I quite enjoy tinkering when I have the time.

Now when it comes to aftermarket support, specifically for my Legacy, I find that it's considerably more expensive and my options are very limited. But then again, that's wasn't really that big of a surprise to me.
MkIII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2008, 11:38 AM   #15
runninstrong
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 121474
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Middle East of CT
Vehicle:
1991 SS & 2013 STi
Red & Blue

Default

I usually do all my own work, whether its on my Subies or previously on my Mitsu. Eclipses. It was troublesome even changing a headlight bulb in the Eclipse.
My only weakness is seized bolts, taking stuff off to get to something doesn't bother me.
runninstrong is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Other makes/ models that will fit the WRX? thunder_lizard_1976 Tire & Wheel 1 07-29-2008 11:56 PM
Stock Bridgestone RE92A pricing vs. others makes no sence ArcticRobot Tire & Wheel 9 05-05-2008 11:03 PM
Best Motoring Legacy STi vs other luxury cars darknightohio Member's Car Gallery 5 02-28-2007 10:10 PM
Insurance on cars, goes make model or by "trim level??" rice h8r Off-Topic 12 05-31-2006 09:16 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.