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Old 03-20-2007, 12:56 PM   #426
LewBob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04legacy91syclone View Post
My first subie
2004 Legacy
96,000 miles

We bought this car about a year ago now. It had 80,000 on it when we bought it. Figured that 80k wasnt nothing for a subie. We put about 10k on the car and lost the head gasket. After the head gasket was replaced we are still smelling coolent. Had it back to the dealer 3 times and they are still telling me there is no leaks. Any ideas? Other than the head gasket problem we love the car. Thanks
I smelled coolant for a few days with mine also. I almost went back again, but thought I would give it a little more time. I drove 150 miles in the mountains yesterday and didn't notice anything. Do they smell the coolant when you take it back in or does it come and go? Good luck, Lew
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:48 PM   #427
MattJP
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Last and final update:
2002 Legacy GT Sedan 39K miles

Two sets of brakes - under warranty
Replaced Head Gaskets - under warranty
Rear Engine Seal - under warranty
Water Pump - under warranty
Poorly sealed doors that the dealer wouldn't fix
Lastly, burnt rubber smell under the hood source unidentifiable by dealer and recommended replacing main power steering hose and possibly the pump (but not under warranty). The final straw.
I drove home in a used 04 VW Passat GLX 4Motion (VW certified/2 year warranty) with 48k miles.
I just hope that we have better luck with the VW.

Matt -
I give the dealer some credit...they have done all of the work on the LGT and gave us a damn good trade in price. Still, not a great experience with the LGT (first brand new car ever for my wife).
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Old 03-20-2007, 05:15 PM   #428
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Matt, Your experience has been worse than mine!! However, have you checked the repair records on Passats? They make our Subarus look good.

I am currently researching CRV's and RAV4's. They seem like the only reliable wagon type vehichles out there they have decent gas mileage. Lew
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Old 03-20-2007, 05:19 PM   #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04legacy91syclone View Post
My first subie
2004 Legacy
96,000 miles

We bought this car about a year ago now. It had 80,000 on it when we bought it. Figured that 80k wasnt nothing for a subie. We put about 10k on the car and lost the head gasket. After the head gasket was replaced we are still smelling coolent. Had it back to the dealer 3 times and they are still telling me there is no leaks. Any ideas? Other than the head gasket problem we love the car. Thanks
BTW, did they do the head gasket under warranty? They know they have a problem and extended the warranty, but I can't remember if it is 80,000 or 100,000. If it is the latter it should have been free. Lew
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Old 03-20-2007, 08:54 PM   #430
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I smelled coolant for a few days with mine also. I almost went back again, but thought I would give it a little more time. I drove 150 miles in the mountains yesterday and didn't notice anything. Do they smell the coolant when you take it back in or does it come and go? Good luck, Lew
Thats what they told me too, I would smell coolent for a little bit till it gets burnt off. Well that hasnt been the case. We have put 5k on it and we are still smelling coolent form time to time. We had one case where we were sitting in line at a back drive-thru and it smelled bad.
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:00 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by LewBob View Post
BTW, did they do the head gasket under warranty? They know they have a problem and extended the warranty, but I can't remember if it is 80,000 or 100,000. If it is the latter it should have been free. Lew
We bought the car on a used car lot with 80k on it, at 90k the head gasket went. So we didnt get an extended warranty, Never thought we would have any problems. Just looking at it on the bright side. Did the timing belt at the same time. Now we SHOULD be good for awile or till we can aford a new one.
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:30 PM   #432
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LewBob View Post
I am easy on my cars and engine brake when descending in the mountains yet have had the rotors turned three times and a total brake job at 50,000.
What symptoms are leading you to get your rotors turned? My guess is that your rotors are "warped", which is BS. Turning rotors just makes money for service people.

You may think you're easy on brakes, but if you're having that many issues there's something in the way you drive that isn't helping. And if a "total brake job" includes what I think it does (new calipers?) then the dealer bent you over pretty good. If it was just pads and rotors then that's perfectly normal for 50k miles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattJP View Post
I drove home in a used 04 VW Passat GLX 4Motion (VW certified/2 year warranty) with 48k miles. I just hope that we have better luck with the VW.
Don't hold your breath. I've heard the Passat referred to as the POSsat by multiple former owners.

Pat
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:28 PM   #433
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I know it's a big roll of the dice going with a VW as I've heard of issues. But I've heard of Legacy owners with no issues and from VW with no issues, etc etc. I can only keep my fingers crossed. The other side is that this car is for my wife and in the close to 5 years with the LGT she had only a few ticks over 39k miles.
Me? I traded my 00 RS sedan in for a Honda product I do miss the RS a bunch though. I really had a good time in the 6 years that I owned it.

Matt -
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:11 PM   #434
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[quote=Patrick Olsen;17425669]What symptoms are leading you to get your rotors turned? My guess is that your rotors are "warped", which is BS. Turning rotors just makes money for service people.

You may think you're easy on brakes, but if you're having that many issues there's something in the way you drive that isn't helping. And if a "total brake job" includes what I think it does (new calipers?) then the dealer bent you over pretty good. If it was just pads and rotors then that's perfectly normal for 50k miles."


Patrick, The rotors were warped and caused the car to shimmy. They "turned" them under warranty several times. I assume this gets them flat again. (Is truing them a better term?).

When I drive in the mountains I follow people who are constantly braking when while I am using the engine to keep approporiate speed. Any tips are welcome, but I do think that these rotors are a known weak point in Subies. They should be thicker and ventilated. Lew
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:15 PM   #435
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04legacy91syclone View Post
We bought the car on a used car lot with 80k on it, at 90k the head gasket went. So we didnt get an extended warranty, Never thought we would have any problems. Just looking at it on the bright side. Did the timing belt at the same time. Now we SHOULD be good for awile or till we can aford a new one.
It is probably "water under the bridge," but call a dealer and find out if your car was covered to 100,000 on the head gasket. If so you might be able to get some reimbursement for the repair. Lew
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:24 PM   #436
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Yeh, it is worth a call on the 100K warranty thing. There was a TSB on the head gaskets and SOA sent out flyers to owners. If you took your car in, the dealer would put an additive in the coolant. With the additive SOA will warranty the HGs to 100K.

Do not know if the warranty is transferable though.

Peace,

Greg
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:20 PM   #437
Neon182
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Default 03s and up

So here is an instance of an 04 losing their HG. Has it been determined that the problem really has been solved?

I was interested in an 06 Sport Wagon, but am getting very leery after reading all this.

Does anyone have any stats or info on the issue for model years 03 and later?
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Old 04-14-2007, 01:24 PM   #438
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[quote=Patrick Olsen;17425669]What symptoms are leading you to get your rotors turned? My guess is that your rotors are "warped", which is BS. Turning rotors just makes money for service people.

You may think you're easy on brakes, but if you're having that many issues there's something in the way you drive that isn't helping. And if a "total brake job" includes what I think it does (new calipers?) then the dealer bent you over pretty good. If it was just pads and rotors then that's perfectly normal for 50k miles."

Patrick, I think I may have figured out how I am warping the rotors. There is a long hill coming down I-70 as you come out of the mountains. I usually get off at the bottom of that hill and take a pretty drive through a canyon rather than staying on I-70. I have to brake from 6o miles an hour or so to a stop while coming down the steep grade. I do this drive maybe 30 times a year and I think the Subie rotors overheat and warp. I have never had rotor problems with any other car and have been doing this drive for 30 years when I go to the mountains, but this is the one place in my driving where my brakes get used hard or at least for a long time.

I have decided to take the interstate route the whole way as long as I own the Subaru. Thanks for your input. Lew

PS The rotors were turned under warranty. What did you mean when you said that "warped rotors" are BS. I took it in because the car shimmied when I braked. Turning them solved the shimmy until they warped again.

Last edited by LewBob; 04-14-2007 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 04-14-2007, 01:31 PM   #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04legacy91syclone View Post
Thats what they told me too, I would smell coolent for a little bit till it gets burnt off. Well that hasnt been the case. We have put 5k on it and we are still smelling coolent form time to time. We had one case where we were sitting in line at a back drive-thru and it smelled bad.
Did the odor finally go away? Mine did start smelling again. I took it back and they did a pressure test and didn't find any leaks. The guess was thay some of the odor was coming from the heating system so they sprayed in some deodorant and I haven't noticed any coolant odor since. Lew
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:09 AM   #440
54XENON148
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Default About Warped Rotors

There may be a better place for this but the subject came up here.

Rotors rarely if ever warp. It seems like they do and turning the rotors will relieve the symptoms. What happens is the pads deposit material onto the rotors. When you make a hard or long stop the rotors get hot, like they are supposed to. They you sit at the stop with the brake pressed, especially if you have an automatic trans. (This problem occurs less with a manual because you can take your foot off without creaping) The pad sticks to the rotor and leaves a small build-up. This spot tends to grab as it is thicker and it sticks to the pad better. If you have a good micrometer you can measure this. If you are crazy you can go down a steep hill, hard stop the car, block the tires so it won't move, then let off the brakes, pull the wheels and see the pad impression on the rotor.

When rotors are just installed they do not stop well. They need to break-in. That is, they need to have pad material deposited on them to stop well. There is a good way to break in rotors but it is rarely done. Do this by making progressively harder stops from a low speed and then incresase the speed and again do progressively harder stops. 20,40,60 MPH with 3 stops each typically works well.

If you have an automatic trans and make a hard stop try to ease off the brakes and let the car creep a few inches several times instead of just holding the pads in one spot on the rotor. Of course, pay attention and don't creep into the car in front. Also don't creep fast or the nut behind might think the light changed and rear-end you. Be smart -- pay attention all around.

Another related rotor problem occurs when the rotors are not running true when installed. The cause can be anything between the rotor and hub, uneven torque, or possibly (but unlikely) a bent axel/hub. This allows the pads to rub the rotor first on one side and then the other on each rotation which wears the rotor in two places and makes two thick and two thin spots every 90 deg. Again this can be measured. And again, turning the rotors will fix the symptoms. If this problem this is suspected, a dial indicator on a new rotor (mounted without a wheel) can reveal the problem but this is not easy to measure accurately.
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Old 04-17-2007, 05:36 PM   #441
LewBob
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Originally Posted by 54XENON148 View Post
There may be a better place for this but the subject came up here.

Rotors rarely if ever warp. It seems like they do and turning the rotors will relieve the symptoms. What happens is the pads deposit material onto the rotors. When you make a hard or long stop the rotors get hot, like they are supposed to. They you sit at the stop with the brake pressed, especially if you have an automatic trans. (This problem occurs less with a manual because you can take your foot off without creaping) The pad sticks to the rotor and leaves a small build-up. This spot tends to grab as it is thicker and it sticks to the pad better. If you have a good micrometer you can measure this. If you are crazy you can go down a steep hill, hard stop the car, block the tires so it won't move, then let off the brakes, pull the wheels and see the pad impression on the rotor.

When rotors are just installed they do not stop well. They need to break-in. That is, they need to have pad material deposited on them to stop well. There is a good way to break in rotors but it is rarely done. Do this by making progressively harder stops from a low speed and then incresase the speed and again do progressively harder stops. 20,40,60 MPH with 3 stops each typically works well.

If you have an automatic trans and make a hard stop try to ease off the brakes and let the car creep a few inches several times instead of just holding the pads in one spot on the rotor. Of course, pay attention and don't creep into the car in front. Also don't creep fast or the nut behind might think the light changed and rear-end you. Be smart -- pay attention all around.

Another related rotor problem occurs when the rotors are not running true when installed. The cause can be anything between the rotor and hub, uneven torque, or possibly (but unlikely) a bent axel/hub. This allows the pads to rub the rotor first on one side and then the other on each rotation which wears the rotor in two places and makes two thick and two thin spots every 90 deg. Again this can be measured. And again, turning the rotors will fix the symptoms. If this problem this is suspected, a dial indicator on a new rotor (mounted without a wheel) can reveal the problem but this is not easy to measure accurately.
This is great information. Thanks. I always thought it was strange that I could heat up brakes enough to warp metal as thick as a rotor. What can you do to get the build up off the rotor, other than turning it? The hill I come down ends at a stop sign where I get off the freeway. I should be able to creep a little there as I wait for traffic to clear. I am starting to get a little shimmy when braking at speed, but would like to avoid replacing the rotors. Anyway to solve the deposit problem? Lew
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:25 PM   #442
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Go through the bed-in process. This can help even out the transfer deposits. To add to the above, make sure you don't come to a complete stop when you do the bed-in stops, just come to a near stop and get rolling again, Allow 1 or 2 minutes between stops to cool the rotors.
You could switch pads as well. Try some Hawk HPS, or Axxis Ultimate. They can tolerate more heat than stock, but are still excellent street pads. Expect more dust.
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:42 PM   #443
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Originally Posted by linsavy View Post
Go through the bed-in process. This can help even out the transfer deposits. To add to the above, make sure you don't come to a complete stop when you do the bed-in stops, just come to a near stop and get rolling again, Allow 1 or 2 minutes between stops to cool the rotors.
You could switch pads as well. Try some Hawk HPS, or Axxis Ultimate. They can tolerate more heat than stock, but are still excellent street pads. Expect more dust.
Thanks, I will try it. Lew
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Old 04-19-2007, 11:59 PM   #444
niksuspect
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Cool 1996 Legacy L sedan

im at around 187.000 and still no blown gasket. hope that helps.

oops sorry.

If you dont mind post your info like this.

MY-96
Miles-186,000
Trans- 5-speed
Age-11 years
Name-niksuspect

Comments: I haven't blown one yet but i may be trying to get a new warranty just in case. i dont know if i can still get one since my car is so old.

Last edited by niksuspect; 04-20-2007 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 04-22-2007, 05:34 PM   #445
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Default 96 Leg GT... what is that in my coolant?



96 LGT
145000 mileage of blowout
4eat


So I purchased this car 1 1/2 years ago, looked great... Less than 3 mo. later I'm driving normal (hard) and the heat gauge starts movin up. Oh crap.. as I'm 5 miles from home. I cranked the heater and got ready for a cookout, I manage to regulate the heat, just below the red, by accelerating switiching to neutral and coasting. Since that episode I replaced the engine, ran great for awhile but then it would not start. Recently restarted after switching both crank and camshaft sensors. While the car was drydocked someone sideswiped it and took off the drivers side mirror (insert explitive). Good times with these subaru headgaskets. Up for sale (but this isn't the sale thread, still have original engine.)
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:58 PM   #446
hiremichaelreid
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MY-99
Model-Legacy L
Miles-103,000
Trans- 4EAT
Engine-2.2L
Age-8 years
Name-Mike

No problems w/ engine. AFAIK, the 2.2L is almost bulletproof. 4EAT is toast though.
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Old 04-27-2007, 12:23 AM   #447
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shouldn't this thread be for the GT owners and not L owners?
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:25 AM   #448
Christopher Marks
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MY-99
Miles-119,000
Trans- 4EAT
Age-8 years

No head gasket issues so far (knock on wood). I've owned the car since 85,000 miles, and it had one owner before me. I have all maintenance records from the original owner. The only work the car has ever had done is the timing belt, 4 cam seals, and the oil pump seal around 106,000 miles. The valve cover seals have been slowly leaking oil for nearly two years now. Other than those expected repairs, it's been rock solid.

I'm hoping I'll dodge the head gasket bullet.
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Old 04-27-2007, 03:59 PM   #449
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Originally Posted by mgs333 View Post
shouldn't this thread be for the GT owners and not L owners?
Original post in 2002 didn't specify.

Well now that I've read the entire thread and some associated links it's clear that this threads main thrust is the head gasket problems on 2.5 L EJ25 engines, regardless of vehicle.

My take is that a bad head gasket design is the source of the problems. It appears this affects model year 1996 (or 95?) to 1998 or 1999 phase 1 DOHC engines the worst (with internal leaks). Appears to be a little better (external leaks) with 1999 or 2000 to 2002 phase 2 SOHC engines.

Apparently about 2003 Subaru changed from a 3 layer gasket to a better 4 layer gasket. No known problems for 2003 or later EJ25 engines or earlier ones refitted with the new 4 layer gasket ?

Some estimates that this has so far affected at least 10-20% of EJ25 engines from 1996-2002. Some say they will all go eventually. (But, hey everything dies eventually.)

AFAIK, this defectively designed head gasket affected EJ25s only. While a few have reported head gasket issues on 2.2 L engine, they seem to mostly be 1990-1995 with high mileage so it's likely wear and tear, IMO.


This problem, and Subaru's lack of response to it, have soured me on the purchase of newer Subarus. I bought my wife's 1999 Legacy L w/ 2.2 L engine in 2000 knowing that even then there were "rumors" about 2.5 L engine reliability. I'm REALLY glad we went with the wimpy 2.2 L. I'm disappointed that we had to replace the 4EAT this week at 100 k miles.

I used to think that I'd buy a new or slightly used Legacy GT some day. Now if I got a Subaru it'd probably be a 98-99 Legacy L w/ 2.2 L and 5MT. And I'd avoid the dealerships in favor of a local independent Subie specialist.
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:45 PM   #450
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronblue View Post
How many of you had it blow Internal? External?

Mine was leaking into the combustion chamber and burning it all...
The phase-1's pretty much all blew into the combustion chamber. The later 2.5L's would blow to the outside. But I don't consider that as much of an issue and SOA did do something for that.
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