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General subaru question...


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8 replies to this topic

#1 guy123

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:13 AM

I'm looking at possibly buying a subaru. My mother owns a 96 Legacy L Wagon, and about four years ago it started oozing oil from a bunch of the seals. The mechanic ran UV die through it and said that most of the gaskets and seals were leaking small amounts of oil. It isn't enough to drip, but what happens is the oil coats the sides of the engine and burns off from the heat, so after driving for a while, you can see visible smoke coming from under the hood.

Anyhow, my question is this: Is this a known problem with the 2.2 liter engine in these cars, or a known problem in general? And also, are there any other common problems that occur with these cars- any of the legacys, outbacks, from '90 on. I'm trying to buy a car that is reliable but also capable, and part of the reason why I'm selling my current vehicle is because it requires so much repair and maintenance here and there. I need something solid that is going to be unlikely to experience major problems (leaks, parts going out, etc.), beyond things wearing out in time and stuff.

I know some engines and parts are known sometimes to have weakpoints and stuff, so I'm basically asking about that. And also, are these cars pretty easy to work on if I do encounter a problem? Thanks for all your help.

#2 Snowman

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:46 AM

The EJ22 in that car is (in my opinion) one of the best motors Subaru, or anybody else, has made. What you describe is a relatively common thing for the EJ22 as well as most other Subaru engines. It's also pretty easy to fix. You can replace the front crank seal, cam seals, oil pan gasket, oil pump o-ring, and rocker cover gaskets in an afternoon. If the rear main seal is leaking, you'll have to pull the engine to replace it, which takes another couple of hours. All of this is very easy to do compared to just about any other car out there, and the parts are not terribly expensive.

#3 brus brother

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 01:43 AM

You did say that the oil coats the "sides" of the engine, so for the short term, replace the valve cover gaskets and degrease the engine. The other repairs mentioned by Snowman (crank and cam seal) are a little more involved and could hopefully await and be coordinated with the next timing belt replacement.
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#4 nipper

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 09:52 AM


Anyhow, my question is this: Is this a known problem with the 2.2 liter engine in these cars, or a known problem in general?


On this list this is not considered a problem. This is why when you change a timing belt, you replace the cam seals, the main seal, and reseal the oil pump. you also replce the waterpump. If you have a short cycle belt (60, 000 miles) you do it every other timing belt change, if you have one thats over 80,000 miles change interval or more, you do it with every belt change. This is just preventative maintanence as the car WILL leak between timing belt changes. As cars get older they will leak, just with the soby payout and the placement of the exhaust pipes, it can become very annoying.

If you are looking to buy a used one, make sure all the tires match (especially on a manual), and there is no vibration from the middle of the car, and if an auto make sure the tranny fluid is not brown or burned.

nipper

#5 guy123

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:11 PM

Thanks for the info. I forgot to mention that my mom's Legacy is at something like 105k miles, and had the timing belt replaced around 70 or 80k i believe. Auto tranny. Also about her car- when idling in drive at like a stop light or something, the car will begin to vibrate quite a bit, so she usually switches it into neutral. Obviously this is an issue. I don't have much experience with auto transmissions, so do you guys know if this is a major issue, and what the cause might be?

And on a side note, I noticed a few other comments about making sure that all the tires all match. I'm curious as to why this is, i would assume something directly related to the all wheel drive. Anyway, thanks for the help, great board :)

#6 nipper

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:34 PM

Research here on torque bind, you will learn why tires matching are VERY important on any awd vehical.
The rough idle is not tranny related, it's engine related, i'll let somone else chime in on that, as thats my weak spot. you need to take the car to an autozone and have them pull the codes, then share with us what the codes are.

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#7 Tommymc

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 06:23 PM

Anybody else noticed that Subarus seem to go through wheel bearings at about twice the rate of other cars?

#8 tcspeer

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 06:41 PM

No one here knows the answer to why the Subarus run rough at idle when stopped at the lights in drive, many of us here have this problem including my 97 Legacy wagon. I lean towards the idle air control valve but they cost so much that I have not tried it. However I now have access to a used one and I may try it.

Thanks for the info. I forgot to mention that my mom's Legacy is at something like 105k miles, and had the timing belt replaced around 70 or 80k i believe. Auto tranny. Also about her car- when idling in drive at like a stop light or something, the car will begin to vibrate quite a bit, so she usually switches it into neutral. Obviously this is an issue. I don't have much experience with auto transmissions, so do you guys know if this is a major issue, and what the cause might be?

And on a side note, I noticed a few other comments about making sure that all the tires all match. I'm curious as to why this is, i would assume something directly related to the all wheel drive. Anyway, thanks for the help, great board :)



#9 tcspeer

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 06:53 PM

I am in the process of changing one now that was changed about five months ago. At that time I took the spindle to a local shop and we pressed it in with the grease that came with it. So this time I asked the people that give techinal advise at Litha Subaru about the grease, and they said what many here are saying. It is only a packing grease that is put in the bearing to keep them from rusting and you must clean them and repack with a high temp. grease.

Anybody else noticed that Subarus seem to go through wheel bearings at about twice the rate of other cars?






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