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Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#4954 of 8644 2003 Outback: radio static, gas peddles, rattling noises
Jul 13, 2005 (11:49 am)
The following are problems/annoyances I have been experiencing with my 2003 Legacy Outback, which is currently around 26,000 miles. I haven't been able to find many posts concerning most of these issues and was wondering if anyone has experienced similar problems:
1. Gas peddle sticks when car sits for more than 5-6 hours. Problem started in Fall 2004. Seems to only do this during colder months, from say Nov-May, because it hasn't been sticking the past couple of days with temps in the 60s and 70s.
2. There is a rattling in the dash board near the passenger air bag. The rattling stops when one applies pressure anywhere on the air bag cover/compartment. Especially noisy on long trips and or in warmer weather. Same is true for steering wheel. Seems to be a noise coming from that air bag compartment as well. Read about rattling in older models, having to do with the (fuel?) lines, I think. But haven't seen anything on the 2003. Mentioned at last service and they were unable to verify.
3. Leaky gussets (rubber gaskets near side view mirrors). Especially noisy when driving on the freeway. Have had the car into the dealership for this problem twice. The first time they adjusted a door and the second time they adjusted the gussets. I found one post that said with proper adjustment, the wind noise should go away. Is the 3rd time a charm or should I resolve to having wind noise for as long as I own the car?
4. Last but not least, there is static on all major FM and AM radio stations. Not terrible, but noticeable enough that it affects my enjoyment of music. I mentioned this at the last 2 services. According to the dealer, this is probably due to the hills surrounding Seattle and according to their diagnostics the radio functions normally. So naturally, I would like to know what is considered normal for a manufacturer's radio, with an antenna embedded in the rear window. I've driven in friends' cars of other makes and models with embedded antennas and the AM/FM music quality is just fine, so I don't buy the line that it is a result of Seattle's geography. Doesn't seem to be a problem with the speakers because CD music quality is fine. A friend of mine that works in the service dept at Subaru told me off the record that it probably has to do with the poor reception quality of the embedded antennas. Would an auxiliary antenna help? What should I do or ask the dealer to check?
Any advice, trouble-shooting, or ways to better approach these problems with my Subaru dealer would be appreciated.
#4955 of 8644 Ignorant car owner...
Jul 13, 2005 (4:25 pm)
I was wondering if someone might be able to help me out. I am a real moron when it comes to car repair... but I am trying to learn as I go. Anyway, I own a 1997 Subaru legacy/outback and recently I have been having my battery get drained on me. So I figured it was just an old battery and time for replacement. When I replaced the batteries I noticed what had been draining the old one. Even while the car is off my interior lights on the dashboard, my brake lights, and my blinkers will continuously turn on and off about ten to twenty times. There will be a break in that for about five seconds and then it will start again. While sitting in the car I also noticed a clicking sound coming from under the steering column as the lights would turn on and off. I was forced to unhook the battery so as not to drain the new one.
Would anyone know how I might remedy this situation... I am hoping that it might be as simple as changing a fuse ... but a part of me thinks it might be a more serious electrical issue. Any insight or experience with this problem and tips on how I can go about fixing the situation would be greatly appreciated.
Jul 14, 2005 (8:08 am)
Sounds like you have a short of some kind. Those aren't easy to find/fix, though.
#4957 of 8644 Re: Brake Pads [willie_warthog]
Jul 14, 2005 (1:38 pm)
I suspect that I am heading down the same path. I am getting intermittant build up (presumably a combination of pad transfer, and localized rusting when the car sits), resulting in a lot of brake pulsation (warp...) and a grinding noise. A high speed stop followed by a cooldown period without applying the brakes will clear it, but it returns in a day or so. In addition, both front inside pads are showing considerable wear, with the outsides still thick, so the sliders aren't allowing even pressure as as they should.
I have been debating whether to go OEM on pads and rotors, or aftermarket, but you have now convinced me to go OEM on at least the pads! Guess I better decide and order soon before I get left in the cold. '02 with only 32k miles, so it is way too early for this....
#4958 of 8644 Re: check engine light [fauffant]
Jul 14, 2005 (1:41 pm)
On an OBDII equipped car, a flashing CEL usually indicates some sort of engine misfire. Fuel mixture not right, too little spark... This has the effect of flooding the cat-con with too much unburned fuel, and can kill it and the O2 sensor. The result gets expensive fast.
#4959 of 8644 Re: 2003 Outback: radio static, gas peddles, rattling noises [outtaafrica]
Jul 14, 2005 (2:01 pm)
1. Gas peddle sticks when car sits for more than 5-6 hours.
I have had this happen on other cars as well. The throttle cable connects to a bell crank that opens a large butterfly valve. The housing is aluminum, the plate is typically steel. Throw in a little carbon buildup at the spot where the closed plate touches the housing, and it sticks when the car cools.
It is something that you can usually free up yourself with a rag and some carb cleaner, but it will require a bit of disassembly to get at.
#4960 of 8644 Re: Loud 02 LL Bean Fan [nowakj66]
Jul 14, 2005 (2:21 pm)
With a little effort, you can remove the blower motor and check for debris. I suggest that you go to one of the online parts sellers and download the .pdf instructions for changing the HVAC air filters. They will show you the basics of how to remove the glove box and related trim. From there, remove the wiring harness, breather tube and three screws from the bottom of the round fan assembly, and the blower motor and fan looks like it will drop right down into the passengers footwell. I does look, however, like you might have to move/remove some other wiring harness that block easy access to the bottom of the motor, but it does not look to complex.
#4961 of 8644 2.2 vs 2.5 98 outback
Jul 14, 2005 (3:21 pm)
I am in the market for a used OB and found one I liked, but the mechanic discouraged me, saying that in the pre-2000s, the 2.2 engines are better and the 2.5 often need major repair. How true is this?
#4962 of 8644 Re: 2.2 vs 2.5 98 outback [burnoose]
Jul 14, 2005 (3:33 pm)
I would say that is a fairly accurate summary. I have not heard of too many issues with the 2.2L engine. The 2.5L engines, on the other hand, have had more than their fair share of piston slap and head gasket leakage issues. If the performance difference does not make any difference to you, I would avoid the 2.5L engine.
I speak from experience.
#4963 of 8644 Rear wagon latch
Jul 14, 2005 (4:35 pm)
I drive a 99 Subaru Outback Legacy (wagon). Unfortunately, I cannot open the rear door and I can't figure out why. If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate it...Thanks...Collin