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Old 12-04-2000, 11:42 AM   #1
remarcable
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2362
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: South Carolina, USA
Vehicle:
1999 Legacy Outback
Blue w/ Paint Chips & Mud

Post Analysis of MY99 Outback after 24k miles.

My 99 Outback currently has the following problems:

*Exhaust rubs undercarriage and squeaks/vibrates (was rear-ended, had bumper replaced)
-Dealer Fix: Use a grinder on undercarriage (idiots).
-Fix did not work and now undercarriage rusts.
-Self Temp Fix: Duct-Tape and Rust-Protectant
-Buying Urethane exhaust hangers next paycheck from Cobb Tuning. The problem is that the stock rubber ones are rotting and stretched out.

*Bent dust shield on left front wheel (three times)
-Took it to 'Waynes' automotive (good 'ole boy shop) they fixed it and also cleaned out some *cough* debris from above the front driveshaft bearing at no extra charge. First subie they'd ever seen or worked on but they said they want to see it back because it was so easy to work with (I gave them my Haynes manual when I brought the car in).
-2nd and 3rd time I fixed it myself

*Brakes suck. They've faded so bad I can't engage ABS on dry roads with my new tires. Pads still have quarter-inch left on them, will be replaced with rotors soon (when I collect enough change from the floorboards).

*Front Left Rotor is warped, possible right front too.

*Intermittant squeak from left front of car with every revolution of the wheel. Took tire off, spun rotor around, cleaned it, could not find anything. Squeak must be coming from somewhere else, CV boots appear ok too.

*Torn right-rear mudflap, the rest of them are all bent and scuffed. This car does not have enough ground clearence to warrant mud flaps that stiff, they should be the flexible kind. Then maybe I wouldn't have to tighten the screws in my bumper every few months.

*Stock tires WORE out after 15k miles and had lousy performance to begin with.
-Bought new tires, Michelin Rainforce MX4

*I too have the bump noise from the front end when corning on bumpy surfaces.
-turn They Might Be Giants cd volume up.

*Windshield wipers need to be replaced

*Car is dirty, needs to be washed.
-It's *brrrr* COLD out!

All-in-All, this car is freakin amazing.

I do not think any other car would have survived my driving for 24k miles with this only this short list of problems to show for it.

My dealer, the only one for two hours, sucks. That's why I have let some of these problems go unfixed, because the dealer only makes them worse. When I figure out how to fix them myself, I'll fix them myself.

This car has seen probably 4k miles of dirt, sand, and mud roads, usually at high speeds with many sharp turns and 180's being thrown in for good measure. It has also seen highway speeds of up to 100MPH (wanted to see if it could do it, then I slowed down. I stay under 90MPH on the interstate.... usually stay at 80. SC interstate speed limit is 70MPH). Most of this car's driving is the 20 minute town&highway commute to work and around town. This car loves the rain. My girlfriend thinks I'm nuts whenever it starts raining and I tell her I'm going to to drive around on some back roads and deserted constructions sites.

The only things I do not like about this car are:
#1: Lack of power at times. It's fine most of the time, but there are occasions where I get frustrated when it won't upshift fast enough. My fault for getting an auto I guess.
#2: Understeer. This was really frustrating and dangerous until I figured out how to drive with my left foot on the brake and hit the brake during turns to swing the back end around.
#3: Body Roll. Around 20k miles the suspension has started going pretty soft and body roll has begun to be a problem. I only do fast cornering and crazy driving when it's raining so the body roll isn't too much of a problem, but the roll has scared me a few times on dry pavement.
#4: Girls love the car. Oh wait..... that's not a bad thing! Actually I get a ton of comments about my cow&zebra print fuzzy seat covers than anything else. I actually had a girl climb in my car at the beach once because 'she wanted to see what my seats felt like.'

I love this car, but I think I want too much from it. I want the ground clearance to get over curbs and drive offroad (and I don't mean that dirt parking lot at the bar downtown) but I also want an AWD sports car.

I really want the MY02 WRX Impreza..... but it's just so damn ugly with those headlights, and I don't really have $25k to buy a new car right now either. I also like being able to fit a boxed 32" TV in the back of my car. The folks at Best Buy said there was no way it would fit. I showed them!

Oh well. Maybe I'll win the lottery and get a WRX next year.

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Old 12-05-2000, 12:44 AM   #2
250k plus
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 3144
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: The Woodlands, TX, USA
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
WR Blue

Thumbs up

I'm closing in on 80K miles on my 1997 Outback. That's after putting nearly 200k miles on a 1986 DL wagon. With almost 300k miles on Subaru's, I've had extremely few mechanical problems. Fantastic cars!
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Old 12-05-2000, 12:46 AM   #3
250k plus
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 3144
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: The Woodlands, TX, USA
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
WR Blue

Thumbs up

Oh, by the way, I'm definitely going for the WRX wagon next spring. Hope I can get a good selling price for my Outback.
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Old 12-05-2000, 06:39 AM   #4
micah
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Member#: 3154
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Columbia, SC, USA
Post

Can someone with an Outback answer a question for me? My GF has a '99 and I feel like it runs rough. You can hear a low frequency roughness almost like a very mild knocking at highwaysspeeds, and I can feel it in the shifter. I remember the EJ22 in my '90 being very smooth, but I know some car mags have criticized the EJ's for being rough. I guess this is pretty subjective but should an Outback sound/feel rough?

I think I am just going to have to go to a dealer and test drive a used '99 to get the final answer, but I was hoping for some input here first.

thanks in advance,
mbs

[This message has been edited by micah (edited December 05, 2000).]
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Old 12-05-2000, 06:59 AM   #5
gumball
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Member#: 1209
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Wheaton, MD
Post

Hey Micah, try resetting the ECU- maybe the timing is retarded some from a bad batch of gas and its stuck in the computer. 30 minutes w/ the negative battery terminal connected should do the trick.
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Old 12-05-2000, 08:36 AM   #6
250k plus
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 3144
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: The Woodlands, TX, USA
Vehicle:
2002 WRX
WR Blue

Post

My Outback has a different engine (DOHC vs. SOHC), but it should be very smooth. The boxer engine has a distinct sound, but the engine is quite smooth for a four cylinder.

I would also recommend resetting the ECU. If it hasn't been done in a while, it often makes a serious difference in how the engine runs.
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Old 12-05-2000, 05:44 PM   #7
XT6Wagon
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Member#: 524
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: WA
Vehicle:
04 STi
White

Post

The dealer took a GRINDER to the underside of the car??? I'd contact a Lawer and SOA, about that one. That is HIGHLY stupid, and might even be illegal . They should at a MINIMUM pay to have it SANDED, properly primed, painted, and then clearcoated BY a PROFESSIONAL.
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Old 12-05-2000, 06:53 PM   #8
richeich
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Member#: 1353
Join Date: Apr 2000
Vehicle:
2001 Impreza 2.5RS
Silver

Wink

Note to self... do not buy a used car from remarcable!

Rich
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Old 12-06-2000, 06:23 AM   #9
micah
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 3154
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Columbia, SC, USA
Post

Thanks for the info guys, I am going to try the ECU thing. If that doesn't change it I will test drive a '99 and see if it is similar. If hers is abnormal, I want her to push it with the dealer before the warranty runs out.

Of course I will have to reset the ECU without her knowledge, if she thinks I think something is wrong she will freak out Hope she doesn't read this board.

Thanks again,
mbs
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Old 12-06-2000, 06:25 AM   #10
bluesubie
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Member#: 767
Join Date: Jan 2000
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: N.J.
Vehicle:
04 FXT

Post

remarcable - Wow, sounds like you really push that car hard. Amazing that it hasn't fallen apart. I know what you mean about dealers. I just found a new one and the difference in general Subaru knowledge was amazing. Lucky for me I have about 4 within 20 minutes.

micah - I just posted a similar problem with my wife's 99 OB over at Edmunds Townhall. I tried an ECU reset and that didn't help. I've also tried different fuel and oil. One person suggested spark plugs. At idle and accellerating from 25-50 it shakes. Thought it was the tires but rotating them and balancing the wheels didn't help. The seat belts rattle if they aren't buckled. My '97 OBS is as smooth as silk. We'll probably head to the dealer if it doesn't go away.
Dennis

[This message has been edited by bluesubie (edited December 06, 2000).]
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Old 12-06-2000, 05:57 PM   #11
Andy_T
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Member#: 502
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Post

Here's a tip for anyone wishing to test a car's ruggedness.

A friend of mine "road-tested" his new SUV (actually a Honda CRV) by driving across corrugated dirt roads in the Australian outback (actually inland from Coffs Harbour) with the engine screaming at the ignition cut-out at 23 mph in first gear, for a mile or two. Then he turned round and "screamed" it again. The car survived - the wheels stayed the right shape (round), and the engine didn't cut out altogether or go "pop". He figured if it can do this, it'll last plenty - and no warranty claims yet, as far as I know!

Andy T
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Old 12-13-2000, 12:11 AM   #12
remarcable
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 2362
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: South Carolina, USA
Vehicle:
1999 Legacy Outback
Blue w/ Paint Chips & Mud

Post

You're right I should have complained about the grinding incident, which I did (but just not enough). I did sic the local news team's 'troubleshooter' reporter on them and he did an expose which never aired. Rats.

Anyway I'm going to be taking the car back in pretty soon for a checkup and to see if they'll mebbe replace or fix my rotor/brakes which aren't doing so hot right now.

I was planning on putting the car on ramps or stands last weekend and giving it a full pressure wash and armor-all-on-the-rubber-hoses treatment, but I fell asleep (or passed out) sometime really late friday and didn't really get out of bed until sunday morning. After my headache went away I got out the jack stands, the pressure washer, soap, etc, went outside.......and got soaked. It was raining.

*sigh*

Oh and don't listen to rich about buying a used car from me, I've got this great 99 Outback with only 2x000 miles on it!

Actually, I plan on keeping this car for awhile. I'm saving up some cash to get a new suspension setup for it, hopefully I can find something that will give me better cornering performance without detracting too much from the ground clearance.

I've got pics of it and a few other goodies at <a href=http://www.remarcable.net/misc/legacy_outback>http://www.remarcable.net/misc/legacy_outack/</a>


(edit: I munged the URL by accident)

[This message has been edited by remarcable (edited December 12, 2000).]
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