I am on my third Subaru. I had two others ('85 or '86 GL Wagon and '91 Loyale) which were essentially cheap 4x4 beater I drove into the ground with over 280K on each. The '85 was still running strong when she went to the boneyard- everything else was falling off!
I have had my 2002 OBW Limited 5sp for all of two weeks now. Bought it with 137K. I knew it might have some small issues being higher mileage and not knowing its service history 100%. (I did get a clean Carfax that showed some service history at the Subaru dealership) Clutch slips when I give it the beans at say 3-3500rpm, but that is partly why I got it at almost $2K less than Blue Book. In everyday "calm" driving, it works fine. Now that I am used to it, I can drive it without it bucking all over the place. Here are some other issues, in no particular order:
- It seems to sometimes accelerate not-so-smoothly, and when engine-braking, it bucks/jerks a little bit from time to time. The dealer I bought it from replaced the serpentine belt (not the timing belt ), so I wonder if something isn't just a little bit off, timing-wise. A tune up and timing check might solve that problem.
- CEL was on when I test drove it. The dealer cleared and said it must have been some emissions thing. It has come on twice since then, but has gone off shortly after, once within a day or two, the second time within 3-4 hours. Any ideas? I has been HOT in Minnesota, and the A/C may have been in use on both occasions. No crazy driving (no high revs/Italian tune-up), the engine temp has been good. The last time it happened I was braking, the engine bogged down like I was braking without depressing the clutch (rpm went way down, almost killing the motor) and the light went on. Gas level was OK, so it wasn't a starvation issue, unless the fuel pump is going out.
- Burning rubber smell from vents at start up. I am thinking the previous serp belt was fried and this is just residual smell, as it seems to have stopped, and when I had the car running and sniffed around under the hood, I didn't smell any burning rubber.
- OUT TEMP display not changing: This just started today. It was cool this morning but warmed up to mid-70's. Display said 59-degrees all afternoon, until I drove on the freeway, where it sllowwwwly got up to 66 by the time I got home. The actual temp was 77. It has been pretty accurate up until now, quickly changing to the correct temp when driving from warm underground parking ramps into the cool morning air, dropping 10 degrees in a matter of minutes.
- Clunking on deceleration: When completely lifting off the gas while driving, with the clutch engaged, it kind of "clunks". This might be the worn clutch, the timing a bit off, or it is just the way AWD Subarus are. I vaguely remember my other Subes doing this, but not sure. Should there be something else to look into, such as motor/tranny mounts, differential, axles?
- Squeaking in rear corner: This is most likely a shock or spring issue, and it seems more pronounced when I have a passenger or two in the back. The car handles fine though, so I am not too concerned. Burned CDs skip over bumps sometimes, but not regular CDs, so it is the medium, not the car.
- Rear defrost not working: Just noticed this this morning and haven't had a chance to look into it. If not a fuse, what might it be? The light on the switch goes on, but I know that doesn't mean jack.
Any other things I should be looking out for? This is the first "nice" car I have had in quite a few years and want to get the most out of it. I expect I will use this forum quite a bit during my ownership. But as I said, my previous two Subarus were older, basic transportation I didn't want to sink money into. I got my $5-600 out of them and moved on. This Outback is all "new" and "modern" and full of nuances I didn't need to worry about so much on my other cars. I am purchasing an extended service program for peace of mind, and will put up another post looking for opinions on that.
Thank you all for any advice/feedback you can give, and I am happy to be a part of your community!