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Guest Message by DevFuse

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99 OB downshifting

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12 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_new2sube_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 10:39 AM

Hi Everyone,
After listening to a buddy brag about Subarus I finally decided to take the plunge and bought a 99 OB w/50,000 mi. I have several Subaru related questions but I'll only ask 2 of them now. 1. I read on another subaru board (can't remember which one) that the 99 OB came out with something designed to downshift on hills but, since it does it so abruptly (and inappropriately) the company decided to offer a less agressive version and the dealer would install it free...the dealer I took mine to said they had never heard of this problem or any free replacement. can anyone shed some light on this? 2. Is it normal for the engine to knock at startup and for about the first minute or two of driving (after warmup)? Thank you for your help and this board!

#2 Guest_remarcable_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 11:03 AM

There is a TSB for the over-active downshifting, and I am very surprised your dealer didn't know about it or have the info in their list of recalls.

I too have a 99 outback with this problem, and I've chosen to ignore it since I generally drive around in 3rd anyway. The hassle of dealing with the subaru dealership isn't worth getting it fixed.

Does anyone have the number of the TSB?

#3 Guest_new2sube_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 11:53 AM

Thank you for your reply. I hoped someone would say there was a bulletin regarding this! Now if someone knows the number of it I'll have some ammo for the dealer. I'm not surprised this dealer didn't know since the service rep told me I had solid hydraulic lifters (yep, both) and that it was a normal sound for Subarus when starting. By the way, does anyone know of a GOOD service dept.? I'm in central Tennessee area. Thank you!

#4 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 06:03 PM

The knock upon start up is probably the infamous piston slap issue. One of Subaru's nice little quirks that many of us have to live with.

If you care to find out more, I think there are some saved topics in the archives. That or I could post the "Shop Talk" bulletin pertaining to it.


#5 Guest_sonnyny_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 06:25 PM

I had the same car with the same exact characteristics(not problems according to Subaru). Neither problem will damage your car but watch out in the rain or snow going down hill. That downshift may cause you to slide. Good luck and buy a nissan or toyota next time.

#6 Guest_new2sube_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 06:41 PM

Thanks, Commuter, I'd appreciate the link to the "Shop Talk" article! SonnyNY....I traded a 2000 Tacoma for the OB. I've been a die hard Toyota fan for about 15 years but decided on a Subaru since my buddy has had 3 and loves 'em. I'm still hoping I didn't make a BIG mistake.

#7 Guest_Commuter_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 07:11 PM

Subaru Shop Talk No. 02-02-97

Engine noise.

In 1997, Subaru engines (1.8, 2.2 and 2.5) are more fuel efficient, more powerful and have a flatter more usable torque curve than their predecessors. To achieve these seemingly opposite objectives, it was necessary to bring many improvements and modifications to the Subaru engine line up. Following are some of those improvements:

1. Mechanical valve lash adjuster (reduces friction)
2. Light weight pistons (reduces inertia)
3. Short skirt, Molybdenum coated pistons (reduces friction)
4. Increased compression ratio (improved power output)
5. Improved cylinder head design (improves cooling)
6. Inertia resonance induction system (improves breathing)

The only drawback to these enhancements may be some engine noise after a cold start-up. This noise is a consequence of the engine improvements and is not a precursor to future engine problems.

If a customer complains of cold engine knock, please reassure him/her that no permanent engine damage will occur. If the noise persists and is still clearly audible when the engine is warm, please consult your DASM.

Please do not hesitate to contact your DASM if you should have any questions or comments.


#8 Guest_new2sube_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 07:53 PM

Thanks, Commuter! At least I feel better about the start-up knocking...now, if someone could find the TSB for the overactive downshifting I'd really appreciate it. ps. still hoping to hear from somone about a GOOD Subaru dealer shop in Tennessee.
Thank you,

#9 Guest_remarcable_*

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Posted 13 July 2003 - 10:43 PM

I've had it downshift into third while travelling down a hill at over 80mph.

Tell me that can't damage the car.... It was redlined and would not shift out of third until I came to a stop and went through all the gears while stopped.

I just try to be careful in situations where I know it may act up.

#10 Guest_Esteban_*

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 05:26 AM


#11 Guest_sonnyny_*

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Posted 14 July 2003 - 06:15 AM

Bob, I buy and sell used cars to supplement my income. I go to dealer auctions and usually buy cars that have just come off lease. In Vermont, my home, Subarus are in high demandand very popular. They are easy for me to sell. In my dealings with foreign vehicles the Subaru ranks among the highest for performance. Unfortunately, it they rank dead last for repairs. My friends (also Subaru owners) feel the same way. I have replaced axles, differentials, hubs, wheel bearings, crankshaft and camshaft seals (they all leak sooner or later), a transmission seal, etc.. On Nissans, Toyotas, and Hondas I haven't had to do anything but tuneups and a ball joint. When I go to the auction I look underneath a lot of vehicles and the Subies always have a leak somewhere. All late models too. Currently, I have a cold start problem on a 96' GT with 76k on it. All I'm saying Bob is If you want the Subaru you will pay higher repair costs.

#12 Guest_new2sube_*

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 07:34 PM

Thanks Esteban for the link, at least I now have some numbers to give the dealer. Sonny...it's not if I want the Sube...I already have it...got any nice Camrys you'd like to trade?


#13 Guest_scoobtech_*

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Posted 15 July 2003 - 10:08 PM

I went to that link & read nothing about anything for downshifting .That is all the bulletins for that year vehicle . All I saw was info on replacement trans . now available for sale . There are no TSB or so called secret recalls that I have seen for this complaint .I believe from your first post that the dealer is being straight with you . The engine noise is normal . Do you know the service history ? You could try some maintenance . If the trans shifting is such a problem , throw it down in third . 0]

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