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#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.
#61 of 280 Subaru outback Tune-up
Sep 22, 2000 (7:21 pm)
Has any one ever change the plugs on the H-4 engine? It's almost impossible to get your hand on the plug wires. Also, the cars has 47k--what are some things to change, inc. fuel filter, transmission fluid(5-sp, differential fluid? Also, is there a good source to obtain info on how to perform these services.
#62 of 280 Dealer Repair ?
Sep 23, 2000 (3:33 am)
Question: Where I live, there's only one Subaru dealer but they only have a small inventory of cars, they specialize more on the domestics so I don't know what their service rating is. Would I get a quality job if I opted to go to say... Firestone or Goodyear Master Care (and others) instead of the dealer ? Like I mentioned before, I'm going to Houston 2 weeks from now and out there, there are at least several Subaru dealers. If I have the job done there, and if I developed any problems, it's 3 hours drive from where I live. Any suggestions ?
#63 of 280 Don't forget...
Sep 23, 2000 (5:12 pm)
brake fluid and coolant; two things that can cause some really expensive repairs if allowed to corrode or become contaminated. It's a good idea to change all fluids every 30,000 miles, but if you haven't by 47,000 miles, it's still not too late. Your plugs should be OK until about 60,000 miles, and I'd change the wires then also.
For about $12, the Haynes manual is a great guide to performing your own maintenance. It's inspired me to order parts from Darlene at QSubaru and replace my own brakes and rotors, something I would have been completely scared to do previously.