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#51 of 280 Luv my Subarus
Sep 08, 2000 (3:55 am)
I have a 1991 Legacy with 130,000 miles. So far no major problems (knock on wood) and a 1998 Forester with 54,000 miles. Both cars run great. I just purchased a new car. unfortuantely I could not afford a Subaru so I got an Olds Alero w/abs and traction control.
I like driving the legacy better than the Forester. it has more pickup even though the engine is smaller (2.2 liters vs 2.5). It also handles more securely. We've developed some small annoying problems with the Legacy. Most of the door locks don't work, some rust spots and the visors don't stay up.
I get teh oil changed at jiffy Lube every 3000 or so miles and have th cars serviced at ta Subaru dealer every 30,000 miles.
Good luck to anyone who buys a Subaru. I hear that the new 6 cyl on Outbacks is awesome.
#52 of 280 That worked, Stuart!
Sep 08, 2000 (7:10 am)
I just bought my first Subaru today. I followed your advice and went in to the dealer with a check for $14,210 plus tax. I told him I was going to buy a car today, either his or the 98 Forester on someone elses lot that I had told him about a few days earlier. We went into his office, I handed him my list of repairs and concerns about the car, then the check, and said that was my offer. By the look on his face, I don't think anyone had ever done that before. In the end, though, I did have to go up another $307 to close, taking it to $14500. I had run the numbers on Edmunds before, and market value was listed as $14685, so I don't feel I did too bad. He also agreed to set us up in one of the local tire dealer chains to get 4 new 70,000 mile Bridgestone tires for his cost ($86/each), as well as a 4-wheel alignment, also for his cost ($39.) So, that alone will save us some $'s.
I'm taking it in to the local Subaru dealer friday for a complete check-up. Any pointers on what to look for? The rear differential appears to have been seeping oil for a while. Also, how loud is the "piston slap" noise? I noticed that when I started it this evening when it was cooler, there was a little bit of a tapping or popping, then louder whenever I accelerated. It wasn't real loud. If I had the windows down with lots of road noise, I may not have been able to hear it. After the engine warmed up, it wasn't there. Sure ran smoothly, though.
A couple more quick questions, if you don't mind. Does the climate control have a light? This one doesn't, or it's out. Our RKE will lock all the doors, but will only unlock the driver's door. Is that normal? Have there been many troubles with the power window motors? LR window struggles to go up all the way. Maybe from disuse?
Again, I appreciate all the info. I'm in unfamiliar territory with these, so it's good to know someone with some experience. Thanks!
#53 of 280 You have the questions....
Sep 08, 2000 (2:37 pm)
...I have the answers.
First, you should check out the web site that this link leads to: http://pub1.ezboard.com/fultimatesubarumessageboardsthenewgenerationofsubarus
It tends to be more "technical" than this Edmunds site and has answers to your concerns about the "piston slap" and other issues. I know that sound; mine does it, especially in winter, but it goes away once you're at operating temp. I try to drive gently until the engine is warm, and I have engine coverage for 250,000 miles under a Quaker State Lubrication Warranty. You can read about it at Quakerstate.com, but unfortunately, your car is not eligible (you can sign up with as many as 36,000 miles). The piston slap has to do with the short piston stroke or some other technical issue that I forgot; but it's not a design flaw, just an idiosyncrasy. While the engine is under warranty, it's a great idea to have a Subaru dealer perform a full computer diagnostic. Any problems (except maybe spark plug timing) will be corrected under warranty.
As far as tires/alignment: $89 isn't a great price for a Potenza RE92, which isn't a great tire. Since you bought a GT, I'm thinking you are planning to do some "Grand Touring", as opposed to an "L" model, which could mean "Lame", or the Outback, which "On Unusual Turns Becomes A Cornering Killjoy". Therefore, you may want to consider some more serious rubber. Check out tirerack.com; they have a lot of comparative data, customer reviews, etc. I chose Michelin Pilot XGT HR's, which are considered "high performance all-season" tires. I did not want "summer" tires because I need to use the ones I got in the snow as well. You're not going to get 70,000 miles from those 70,000-rated Bridgestones, and the way things are going Bridgestone/Firestone may not be around to stand behind the warranty (kidding, sort of). I also opted for BJ's wholesale, which gives FREE tire rotation. At roughly $20 per rotation at 7,000 miles, that's a $140 value over the 40,000 miles or so life of the tire.
The climate control slide knob and panel does have diodes (lights). This topic and replacement of bulbs is on that other website. Apparently, they blow out fairly often, and can be replaced if you're handy and enjoy that sort of thing. Mine still works, but I'd live with it out if it blew because I don't have the time to spend to fix it; I remember seeing that it's fairly involved. It's also covered only under 36K warranty, and will be expensive for the dealer to fix, but it's at least worth asking them.
The rear diff. may look stained from oil being added that dripped, or a mechanic removing the top plug to check the level with his finger. It could be a loose plug (top or bottom), but like I said previously, you should change that fluid anyway.
Power windows: I've found them to be slow in my three legacies (actually a good safety feature, intentional or not). Yours may last like that, or maybe the motor is dying. I had to replace the driver's motor in my '92. It was about $250 at a Subaru dealer. You can start shopping for a used one if you suspect it's dying, and save a lot on the part cost. I didn't have time; mine broke half open in January. (I did replace the a/c compressor in that car using a $200 salvage vs. the $500 new one. I don't believe that power windows are a Subaru trouble area. It'll probably work fine, albeit slow.
Finally, the RKE will unlock all doors if you hold the unlock button down an extra second or two. Pressing both buttons simultaneously will sound the panic alarm, if yours has the alarm system. Programming a new remote is very easy. It can be done in literally 30 seconds with no tools. Shame on my dealer for wanting $22 for that "service".
Enjoy your new ride.
#54 of 280 subarunewbie
Sep 17, 2000 (2:41 am)
...help! just joined in and bought a 1992 subaru legacy L sedan with 93K miles on it a month ago. I was hesitant to buy it first since I don't know much about this car, but i'm beginning to like it. just some concerns:
- don't know if the timing belt was replaced at 60K, no records available. is there a cheap way to know if it has been changed other than taking it to the shop ? has anybody there gone past 90K without changing the original belt without any problems ?
- reading in on all the postings here, oil drips seems to be usual problem. mine has a very small leak where the oil dip stick is, but does'nt even leak on the ground. took it recently on a 3 hr drive with a/c on, did'nt experience any problems at all. kept opening the hood and waiting for the oil to gush out, but happily disappointed. normal drip ???
- i was also reading the postings on using synthetic oil vice regular oil, seen enough pro's and con's on both sides on different car brands. now wanted to know from subaru owners your success stories on this issue on both sides of the coin. is it too late to switch to synthetic oil, and what brand ???
- lastly, i'm stuck with the old R-12 refrigerant which i heard is expensive to refill, and hard to find (?). how do you convert to R-143A and how much ?
sorry for the long posting. see i'm in the military and live with modest means, lives on the hurricane belt and constantly planning to evacuate my family on short notice. can't afford a new car, but don't want to be stranded either, so i keep 2 used cars (94 toyota corolla) in good shape for back-up. my command said no to the humvee. any help will keep me feel safe while on watch, since i have to remain on my post if a hurricane hits. they have to go without me, either in the subaru or toyota. many thanks !!!
#55 of 280 Funny, I sold a '92 L
Sep 18, 2000 (3:41 pm)
with 93,000 miles a few years ago. Had no drips, but had to replace the a/c compressor and the driver's power window motor. Other than those repairs, it was excellent all around. There is no way to tell if the belt has been replaced, and I've read of many high mileage (over 100,000) Legacies where the belt (or anything else) had been replaced). The good news is that I'm pretty sure that the 2.2 motor is a non-interference engine, which means no damage occurs if the belt breaks. You just tow it in and have it replaced. I paid about $200 to have it changed on the '92.
If the oil is leaking out the top of the dipstick, that could maen the oil was overfilled. You'll be able to tell by looking at the level on the dipstick, and if so, a little can be drained.
As far as the a/c, if it's working alright, I say leave it alone. The time to convert to R-143A is when you start losing freon. And I don't think it's too expensive when you need to do it (I think about $100).
As far as synthetic oil goes, there's no question that it is chemically better than regular oil, but the marginal difference is probably overkill for most people and there is little benefit to justify the additional cost. The oil will, technically, hold up better in all applications, but since oil serves to suspend deposits, particles and all the other garbage produced in the combustion chamber, you need to replace the oil to remove the bad stuff. You should consider synthetic if you live in an extremely cold or hot climate, tow, race, or drive at excessive speeds (90+) over long stretches. In all other cases, regular oil will protect an engine more than adequately for hundreds of thousands of miles.
Another point is that some high-mileage cars have been known to spring leaks when switching to synthetic, probably due to its faster flow and it being less viscous at cold temperatures. You also won't reverse any existing wear by switching to synthetic, so you're better off leaving your car on the diet it's used to, regular 10W-30.
#56 of 280 Roger that !
Sep 20, 2000 (3:12 am)
...thanks for the advice gtdriver ! yeah this baby so far has been good to me, handles and drives better than my 94 corolla and body shows no rust, original paint still looks shiny. i will save some money for the timing belt to be on the safe side. my driving habits fall under extreme driving condition, short driving, repeated stop and go in a coastal town, hot and humid weather. i'll try mobil 1 first and see if i feel any engine performance improvement but if any leaks occur, i would have learned a bad lesson. As for the leak in the dipstick, i re-tightened the 2 bolts holding it and seemed to do the trick, de-greased the engine and will observe. Will update on next post when i take the car for another 3 hour drive a month from now.
#57 of 280 Synthetic won't increase...
Sep 21, 2000 (3:24 am)
...engine performance; maybe extend the life of the engine in the grand scheme of things. But...
I've heard of situations where a radical switch in oil will cause some of the seals around valves, pistons, etc. created by deposits to loosen, resulting in leaks. This is a likely cause of leaks as well as the faster flow properties of the synthetic oil.
When I had my '92, I noticed a tendency for it to ping on long upgrades, even though the knock sensor is supposed to correct for that automatically. I found that mid or premium grade fuel would cure the pinging and give a very slight increase in engine performance.
Sep 21, 2000 (8:40 pm)
Do not switch to synthetics if your car has more than 40,000miles!!! Reasons as stated by gtdriver.
#59 of 280 Got the message...
Sep 22, 2000 (3:07 am)
...and will stick with the conventional oil. I had the estimate on the timing belt replacement,
parts and labor: $ 300.00 but still shopping around. later !
#60 of 280 I had the timing belt...
Sep 22, 2000 (1:33 pm)
changed in my '92 at a Subaru shop for about $200 a few years back. If you figure two hours labor at $70/hour, plus the belt, you're still around or below $200. The question is whether 3 hours is a fair estimate of the time required.