Last post on Mar 07, 2013 at 11:38 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#372 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [winter2]
Sep 04, 2012 (6:15 am)
Would I be better off getting the Forester if it already has the new head gasket design?
Yes, the design is not just a new head gasket but a a new cylinder head that has different cooling water flow. Either a 2012 Forester OR a 2013 Outback has the new design. Interior passenger room is almost identical, but the shorter Forester has less cargo room. If you keep your car 12-15 years 2012 vs. 2013 depreciation differences, if any, are not significant.
#373 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [saedave]
Sep 04, 2012 (9:43 am)
Thank you for your response. It is helpful. I have been doing further research by calling independent repair shops that deal with all brands of cars and trucks. So far I have spoken with seven shops and the score is six for Honda and one tie.
Some of the main points are:
1. Reliability and engineering. The six shops said that the Hondas are more robust overall.
2. After market parts: many more are available for the CR-V than the Subaru and they cost less.
3. Head gasket issue with the Subaru. Several shops mentioned this without prompting with some shops talking about redoing head gaskets in 2009 and 2010 Outbacks.
4. Company backing of their respective product. Several shops told me that Honda does a better job of backing their product than Subaru and I believe that one or two posters here have said much the same.
5. I am a bit scared of the CVT. I understand how they work and that they are a good way to get more MPGs. If they do fail, I understand that repairing them is very expensive.
I drove the Outback and really liked it and sat in the Forester and liked the airiness of the passenger compartment as well as the visibility out of the car. The one cubic foot of cargo capacity extra in the Outback is offset by the shape of the cargo area in the Forester.
I am not trying to poop on the Subaru but this will probably be the last new car I purchase and I want something that is dead reliable and easy for me to maintain. Based on my findings, a Honda it will probably be.
#374 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [winter2]
Sep 04, 2012 (11:48 am)
Odds of a coolant leak from the head gaskets on the FA/FB block are roughly zero because the coolant no longer flows through the gaskets.
Honda has its own set of issues, trannies for V6 models and A/C compressor for recent CR-Vs.
Let me correct myself - ALL brands have their issues, but either of these is certainly far above average overall.
#375 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [ateixeira]
Sep 07, 2012 (11:42 am)
I understand your response. But I still am wondering why most independent shops that I spoke with have told me to get a Honda versus the Subaru. If they are relatively equal vehicles, why the difference of opinion?
#376 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [winter2]
Sep 07, 2012 (12:25 pm)
Because shops tend to work on cars that are out of warranty.
The shortest warranty is 3 years or so, really it's 5 years for powertrain.
So those mechanics are looking at cars 5+ years old, or 2007 models and older.
The other Subaru weak spot, BTW, was wheel bearings on the Impreza and Forester. Forester moved to the Legacy's sealed type design and complaints dropped.
Fortunately we haven't seen a frequent issue pop up again and again since those two, fingers crossed.
#377 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [ateixeira]
Sep 08, 2012 (7:33 am)
I understand that the shops see mostly out of warranty vehicles, but now another issue to be concerned about, wheel bearings. As you state, Subaru went to a sealed unit and so far so good.
However, what about those vehicles in which the owner drives 60K miles in less than five years? As I understand most car warranties, it is either time or mileage, which ever comes first. That would mean I would probably need to purchase an extended warranty to say 100K or more miles for the drivetrain.
I have looked at the Honda forum and I am aware that they have their issues too. I think a few more calls/visits to shops and dealers will give me the information I need.
As emissions get tighter and fuel economy standards rise, cars in general will become more complex and more troublesome. I find that PZEV Subarus produce less power than their non_PZEV brothers. The same holds true for Kia and Hyundai. I find it funny that you need to burn more fuel to get cleaner emissions. I know Honda and Subaru have good in-house diesels that they sell in Europe. It would be nice to see them in the U.S.
#378 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [winter2]
Sep 08, 2012 (10:24 pm)
YES! I would love to see the Subaru diesel here!
I'm not sure that the PZEV has less power for Subaru, at least not the Forester. I'm thinking PZEV was actually rated a couple HP higher for my model year - 2010. I doubt it's noticeable either way. The EJ25 in my car can be quite spunky with the five-speed when I ask it to be.
It's a solid car overall.
#379 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [xwesx]
Sep 10, 2012 (10:29 am)
Yeah, my 2009 PZEV made 5 extra HP. Not all Subarus are that way, though.
#380 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [winter2]
Sep 12, 2012 (7:44 pm)
A few comments Ė coming in late to the discussion.
1) MAF cleaning (or the ability to do so) varies by manufacture and design. I cannot say this as fact, but it seems Iím seeing that older systems that used IAC were more tolerant of chemistry. Newer systems with electronic throttles and no separate IAC (like my Toyota) have dire warnings in TSBís and the service manual to NEVER spray the MAF but to clean the throttle plate and surrounding sealing surfaces very carefully. I guess Iíd have to call these systems more high strung (?) as they rely on the plate position and MAF feedback to very carefully meter and control idle stability.
2) Decarbonizing? Lots of discussions all over the web about SeaFoam and similar products used in this way. Half in the tank, half sucked in thru a vacuum hose. The real issue on many modern designs is to find a vacuum hose that enters early enough that the cleaner gets evenly distributed. There are also concerns about carbon chunks scoring cylinder walls, getting caught in valve sealing surfaces, clogging cat inlets, etc. My advice - only if you are absolutely sure you need it. Add it to fuel in a good concentration, but skip the forced feeding.
3) Chemistry lesson: Ethanol is added to fuel to provide additional oxygen in a homogeneously mixed (liquid bearing) form. It is known as an oxygenate, because when ethanol (C2H5-OH) decomposes it releases the hydroxyl along with ethane (a gaseous fuel). The normal stoichiometric fuel/air mix provides enough air to burn the ethane (a very clean burning fuel), so the extra oxygen (and presumably hydrogen) help with converting unburned fuel into water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (C02). Without the extra oxygen, you tend to get more carbon monoxide (CO) out the tail pipe. In NY we pretty much universally use 10% blend. The downside is the reduced energy content of blended fuels, so mileage suffers overall. Other seasonal tricks (changes in light volatiles content) may also impact some engines drivability.
Ethanol is hygroscopic (collects and binds with water), but in cold climates we used to add either methanol or ethanol to fuels for exactly that purpose! Itís called DRYGAS, and it was a great way to prevent fuel system corrosion and gas line freeze. Given that fuels contain a lot more of it than we added in the old days, I guess there could be debate about how much more water this might attract. On the other hand, the closed fuel systems on todayís cars donít allow nearly as much airborne water vapor into the fuel system, so itís probably a wash.
4) On the subject of Honda CRV Ė have they fixed the post oil change fire issue? I guess you donít have to worry about an aging CRV as much if it simply burns up in your driveway!!! OK, slight exaggeration, but it was a known problem for a while! Tranny longevity has also been a knock. Lastly, there was a strong argument that the (Haldex??) AWD system was slow to kick in, making the CRV only an occasional AWD verses Subaruís renowned reputation for outstanding AWD systems. Assess your need for a good AWD system, then decide. To be fair, my sister loves her '08 CRV, as does my neighbor ('04, IIRC).
Subaru is incredibly popular in the NorthEast. Canít swing a dead cat without hitting one or two in my parking lot at work. Today I walked out and thought there must have been a SURARU ONLY PARKING sign installed, as I was pretty much surrounded.
5) Head GasketsÖ. Yes, as my 2002 Outback is less than 200 miles away from rolling 100k, I could tell you more than you want to know about the root cause of the scrubbing, the myriad attempted engineering fixes over the years, etc. Suffice to say that the F series engines (mine was an E) donít route cooling water thru the head gasket, but use hoses to connect the head to the block. That change, plus additional ribbing should solve this issue. For long term ownership, wait for a 2013 Outback. Other than the head gaskets, it has been a pretty amazing ownership experience. I still enjoy driving the wagon daily.
Did I cover the last two weeks adequately?
#381 of 406 Re: Chemical Cleaning of a Subaru Engine [fibber2]
Sep 13, 2012 (12:00 pm)
Steve, as always, you can deliver one impressive post.