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Old 03-06-2018, 01:23 PM   #1
guyakaguy
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Member#: 483008
Join Date: Mar 2018
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: St. Paul, MN
Vehicle:
2014 Outback Premium
Silver

Default 14 Outback power steering issues

Hi all,

I bought a 2014 Outback Premium 2.5 about 7 months ago with about 99k on the clock. I love the car and have had (knock on wood) no real issues with it; that is up until a few weeks ago. It's not my DD, but I drive it a bit more now that winter is here.

It all started about a month ago when I wanted to "flush" out the power steering fluid. The fluid wasn't really that dirty (I've seen solid black fluid), but I assumed that turkey bastering the reservoir a few times wouldn't hurt anything, it never has before. I sucked the reservoir dry, re-filled with a synthetic Dex/Merc fluid I have a ton of, started the car and turned the wheel to the stop about 6 times each way, and repeated until the color looked better.

I had no issues with air lock afterward and, although the pump wasn't noisy before, it sounded much quieter. One morning I went to leave my heated garage and the steering was hard as a rock, as in no assist whatsoever. I checked the fluid and it was full, the pump was turning, and the belt was (is) tight. I drove it for a little bit (2-3 blocks) and the assist came back, turning as easily as before. When I got to work (5-6 miles) the steering was easy in the parking lot at low speed, but when I went to back into my space it was acting just like it did when I started out - hard as a rock.

Over the past few weeks it's done this off and on with no change in the fluid level and no visible air bubbles. When I started the car this morning (and the last few times) it started out hard as a rock, zero assist, but as I worked the wheel around it got a lot easier as I turned it back and forth, but the pump does sound a bit more growly than it did. I had no problems the rest of the morning, even backing into my space.

I'm making an assumption that the pump is on its way out (105k), but without any way of actually testing the pressure it's just an educated guess. I'm not the most familiar with Subarus, but I know a thing or two about power steering systems.

Has anyone else had issues with these or have an inkling of whether or not I'm on the right track?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:55 PM   #2
guyakaguy
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Member#: 483008
Join Date: Mar 2018
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: St. Paul, MN
Vehicle:
2014 Outback Premium
Silver

Default

I looked at the belt, fluid, hoses, and the switch at the back today because it was acting up when I got home this afternoon. Fluid level is good and bright red, the belt is tight (but it's a spring tensioner) and is in great shape, the hoses are dry (obviously), and the switch is, well, it's plugged in and there aren't any visible breaks in the wire.

I just ordered a used pump from eBay for $85, but it came from a salvaged 2014 Outback with 39k on it. It's got the bracket, tensioner and pulley, and the switch mounted, and all of the orifices have been plugged. As far as power steering pumps go this one looks like an easy one, but I'm not holding my breath.

Is there anything I should get - I mean, like any type of seals or crush washers I'll need to replace? I'll probably be replacing the spring clamp on the suction hose with a band clamp too.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:58 AM   #3
Charlie-III
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: USA, North NJ, 07456
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT

Default

Go to the dealer and get the washers/O-ring for the high pressure line.
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Old 03-23-2018, 11:33 PM   #4
charles.carr
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Default Only Issue I've Ever Had

Much earlier model year owner here (06 Outback) but I thought I'd chime in on this. At over 200k, the power steering system is the only issue I've ever had with my Outback. My understanding is that PS issues are a recurring issue with these cars. Fortunately my issue was as simple as stopping a leak by replacing a worn out O ring. Your issue is obviously more complex.
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:21 PM   #5
jefffd
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i also want to buy out back
Does anyone have a Ambassador coupon?
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:02 PM   #6
SirBrass
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Northern PA
Vehicle:
2012 Outback 2.5i
Silver - Limited, CVT

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles.carr View Post
Much earlier model year owner here (06 Outback) but I thought I'd chime in on this. At over 200k, the power steering system is the only issue I've ever had with my Outback. My understanding is that PS issues are a recurring issue with these cars. Fortunately my issue was as simple as stopping a leak by replacing a worn out O ring. Your issue is obviously more complex.
Hopefully Subaru will put Electric Power Steering on all their vehicles. Electric motors vs fluid pump will certainly help reliability.
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