Last post on Sep 21, 2012 at 7:25 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Subaru Forester, Car Buying, Car Comparisons, Sedan, Wagon
#1247 of 1296 Leaky Tire Pressure Monitor Valve
Nov 15, 2010 (12:51 pm)
My trusty local Evans tire shop, which does all my routine oil changes and tire rotations, discovered that loose valves on my two rear tires' pressure monitoring system was behind my losing 1-2 lbs. of air and the panel's low tire pressure light illuminating every 2 weeks or so. They tightened them up and all's well.
Now, how about someone getting back to me about my previously expressed concerns over downshifting with the paddles, as I frequently do when the arrows allow it. Any possibility of this wearing out the tranny? I'm "sensitive" to this issue because the 4-speed auto on my '03 Forester went bad by 90K miles, which was as disappointing as it was surprising, especially since I'm a pretty conservative driver.
#1248 of 1296 Re: Highway Driving 4 or 6? [timadams]
Nov 15, 2010 (1:14 pm)
Reading some of these comments, I feel myself lucky w/ my 2010 Outback 4 w/ CVT. Power's adequate for me and no noticeable, let alone excessive noise from the tranny, either. At 2K RPMs, I'm usually doing around 72 mph on a flat surfaced freeway w/o any vibration at all; 2.5K at 84. Cruise-control gives me great mileage, 32+ on freeway and much smoother up and down hills than my previous Forester's CC. Only complaint is smaller sunroof, but then I had a Forester before and was spoiled by its.
BTW, my sister, an RN who drives all over NW IN thru all the weather it has to offer, first turned me on to Subarus, and she's now in her third. I live in SoCal, too, and only get to experience its winter handling qualities when I go to the mts., but it really is the best car I've ever driven in snow, including heavy, 12"+ snow. Just make sure you get the winter handling package, as those heated seats and mirrors will really come in handy in and around Erie.
#1249 of 1296 Re: Leaky Tire Pressure Monitor Valve [gmginsfo]
Nov 15, 2010 (2:27 pm)
I doubt downshifting with the paddles will be an issue at all. You do have the CVT, and I am not familiar with that transmission enough to be able to say definitively, but the paddles are electronic controls so the programming should prevent a downshift that will cause damage or excessive wear.
I used to have a '96 Outback with the 4EAT, and I manually downshifted with that all the time. I had it to 220,000 miles and while it had its share of problems, I never had any problems with the transmission at all.
#1250 of 1296 Re: I could use a bit of advice [rnmedic]
Nov 15, 2010 (6:58 pm)
Since you asked for advice, here's mine:
(i) A Subaru is probably a good idea. AWD is what they do, and you are one of the few people who can be said to "need" it. Don't underestimate a good set of snow tires will do for you in a front driver with decent ground clearance, though. AWD with all-season tires t is a travesty, IMO.
(ii) If money is an issue, look carefully at what you can buy a new Subaru for. Unless you want to buy before winter, there are several options to make a new one more attractive. There is the VIP purchase program, which gets you a new car at (I believe) 2 percent behind invoice, so long as you belong to one of a number of outdoorsy organizations, like the Int'l Mountain Bikea Ass'n, the American Canoeist whatsit, and a number of others. Including the American Ass'n for the Advancement of Science, at least temporarily, but I digress...
Also, there's the Chase Subaru card, which kicks 3% of turnover back to you in the form of $100 "bills" that you can spend on a car or maintenance or parts. I've got two -- one for the missus and one for me -- and they're starting to add up. The limit per card is $500/year.
Do an Edmunds search for details on these programs.
(iii) Buy it new. I don't believe you can save money on a used Subaru over a new one. They hold their value, and this is not good news on the used side. On top of that, they are somehwat finicky about maintenance, so once you get past 50k miles or so, you may have to play catch-up on your own nickel.
It may well be that a gussied-up Limited is a good deal used, but for your garden-variety base models and Premiums, I don't see it. I gave up looking for used Subarus -- and Hondas, and most Toyotas -- years ago, because the savings aren't there.
Yeah the payment is smaller, but now you're stretching it out to the 8th year of the car's life and have maintenance costs at the same time... no thanks.
#1251 of 1296 Re: I could use a bit of advice [steine13]
Nov 17, 2010 (6:53 pm)
"They are somewhat finicky about maintenance..."
Does this mean Subarus, once past 50K, tend to have things go wrong? Are the engines less durable, or the drive trains, or....
While Volkswagen might not be the most reliable brand out there, I've only had three occasions to shell out more than $200 at a time for repairs: A timing belt/water pump change, new front struts and replacing a starter motor. All the rest has been maintenance I would have done on any vehicle. I realize every car needs work now and then, but do Subarus need more TLC more often?
#1252 of 1296 Re: I could use a bit of advice [rnmedic]
Nov 17, 2010 (7:30 pm)
No, not "things go wrong" type of finicky.
The 2.5 l boxers of some years were prone to head gasket failure, but I think that's been fixed, or 99% fixed... the new Consumer Reports has them rated very well since '04 or something.
But they do have timing belts, at lest until very recently, and that's tow of them, and they have to be done. And the water pump while you're at it. I looked at a Legacy once, nice car but the owner was complaining about the high cost of maintenance when I called him about the car. That should have told me something.
When I got to the car, it was leaking a little oil, why? Not happy with the quote from the dealer, he took it to a mom & pop repair shop, who didn't know to change a couple of seals while they were at it. Since I don't "do" oil drips, I was going to have to basically have the job done over, just because Cletus had decided to save fifty bucks. That was the day I stopped looking at used Subes.
From your description, you will put 2xx thousand miles on your car over ten years. A new Subie will likely do that, esp. if you maintain it by the book. A Forester can be had, VIP pricing, for $20, and an Ouback for a grand or two more. It won't be the fancy model, but it'll have the important features, the safety stuff, and AWD. If you do your research on used Subaru prices, I think you'll find that on a "per mile" or a "per year" basis, you won't save any money by buying used.
CNN/Money today has a feature about the "best resale value" cars, and the Outback is on it. They also have an article about the "record high" used-car prices.
For a real-life example, even if it's a few years old and preachy, look at
Some cars you buy new, some you buy used.
Hondas, Subies, and most Toyotas you buy new.
#1253 of 1296 projector headlights DEADLY
Nov 21, 2010 (3:00 pm)
The "projector" low beam headlights on my 2011 Outback create an unacceptable dangerous condition which in my opinion is a serious design flaw which warrants a factory recall. If I had test driven this vehicle at night, I would not have purchased it. On hilly roads, the area illuminated by the low beams ends too close to the vehicle at a sharp boundary beyond which there is zero illumination. The "blind zone" can be as close as 20 feet away when the vehicle is facing an incline in the road. This condition forces the driver to use the high beams while too close to nearby drivers, both facing and from behind. I took it to the dealer. The service department said they were normal and there was nothing they could do about it.
Any suggestions? I'm afraid this condition is going to result in an accident.
#1254 of 1296 Re: projector headlights DEADLY [rangerdan1]
Nov 22, 2010 (4:35 am)
Is this your first car with projector headlights? If so, it might well be normal. My wife's Toyota Venza has the same sharp upper cutoff, which is indeed very noticeable on up-and-down roads. It's annoying at times, but is now the standard in auto headlights. I'm fairly certain you can adjust the headlights up, but you risk getting them too high, which will blind oncoming drivers.
#1255 of 1296 Re: projector headlights DEADLY [timadams]
Nov 22, 2010 (10:29 am)
Yes, that's normal for projector lights. I agree that it is a sharp cutoff. My '10 Forester is much better than the Legacy/Outback in that regard, but it does not have the same style lights (I'm not sure why they would go with two different illumination modes, but that's for another conversation!).
The best way to negate that problem, Dan, is to add a set of low beam auxiliary lights to fill in the weak spots on your projectors. You can usually find them fairly compact and in various shapes so that you can mount them discretely on the vehicle.
If you adjust the projector lamps, you will blind oncoming drivers and get a lot of flashes, as those lights are very bright in their operational range.
#1256 of 1296 Re: projector headlights DEADLY [timadams]
Nov 22, 2010 (3:00 pm)
Projector headlights..."normal?" Thinking of the visual impairment they impose on the driver as "normal" seems rather like considering the disability caused by macular degeneration (blindness in the center field of vision) as normal. I don't think I can get used to driving at night with a moving curtain of blindness that might be concealing a deer, a pedestrian, or a rock in the road as close as 20 feet away while using the low beams. The area illuminated does seem quite bright, but at a cost to the driver's distance vision that seems insane to me.
And then there's the impact on nearby drivers. I was following my friend's car last night while I noticed the curtain moving up and down his rear view mirror. He said it was very annoying to him, like I was flashing my brights. Come to think of it, I've had the same experience on the road, both facing and being followed by cars that must have projector headlights.
What a bogus engineering blunder these things are. Were they only tested on on an airport-flat test track before approval for use in cars? How many people have been killed because of them? How in the world could anybody desire such a driving handicap? What planet am I on??
The dealer refused to aim them higher. I'm seeking solutions. Anybody? I will not keep this car if I don't find one.