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Old 02-26-2013, 06:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Well, we did it!!

Yes, we did go on Saturday and looked at a 2005 in Vermont. Let's just say you all were right--it was AWFUL!!!

Instead, we found an '03 LL Bean in BEAUTIFUL condition in East Haven. Barely a scratch on it, 128k, and it drives like a dream!!

Now come the questions...please help!!

My husband drove it the 45 minute ride home. There's a shimmy in the front..an alignment needed?

Also, it hesitated when he hit the gas, didn't seem to have the power he thought it would for the H6. We don't know what kind of gas has been put in it, so we'll start using the premium....there was pinging.....

They got the oil changed yesterday--should we switch to synthetic? We're pretty anal about car maintenance, so if regular is fine, we'll stay with that!

I'll post some pictures soon....and one other thing. It's missing the lens cover on the driver's door on the inside....any idea where we can get one?

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP!!! You guys ROCK!! Oh--and this car has new tires, the engine is clean as a whistle, runs great and does hug the road! Just have to learn its likes and dislikes.......
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Could be a sticking brake caliper piston or slide pin. I just rebuilt both of my front calipers because of the shimmy and sluggish feel.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congrats!

Front end shimmy - all the time? Only above a certain speed? Does it go away if you go considerably faster (in other words is there a speed band where it is worse)? Or only when braking?

There are a number of reasons why you might have pinging, but if you are hearing it then performance is most likely suffering. If the knock sensor were to hear the pinging every time you attempt to accelerate, it will retard the timing, and that can be felt as a stumble or hesitation if it is abrupt enough. A temporary switch to premium to help get some relief and a data point on the possible triggers is a wise idea. There could be carbon buildup on valve stems or on piston crowns, there could be an issue with the knock sensor itself, etc. A treatment of Techron (or Seafoam) fuel system cleaner might also be wise along with the better grade of fuel.

I run Mobil 1 in my Outback (H4) because *I think* it makes a difference on cold starts in NY winters, and seems to reduce piston slap a little bit, but it could just as likely be my imagination and a waste of money. My annual mileage is also low (about 8-9k per year) and I only change oil every 6 months, so synthetics may offer a little better protection given these conditions. Any idea what the former Vermont owner ran?
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This car isn't the one in Vermont....it was actually owned by a lady here in Connecticut, who seemed to take pretty good care of it!

Now he tells me it doesn't ping, there's just a low growl.....we'll have to see. The shimmy appears at about 60, and disappeared when he got over 70.....I haven't driven the car yet myself on the highway, so I guess I'll see tomorrow...IF he lets me drive it! LOL

We're very excited about this--we can't believe how clean it is and in what good shape it is in!

Only thing that bothers me is that lens cover missing on the driver's door. May have to call the dealer and see how much that is to replace. THAT could be costly!!
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oops, missed the line about where you found the OB.

I had a car with a tire balance issue where a wheel actually developed a visible skip at highway speeds, but it settled down 10-15 miles faster once it got into a 'rhythm' - pretty much in line with what you are reporting. Find a stretch of highway where you can run near parallel and see if you can identify a tire that shows some extra activity.

Or, simply send it in for a balancing. In this case, a shop that has a 'road force balancing' unit might tell more than just a basic spin system. Road force balancing simulates the tire touching pavement, and can detect wheel or tire issues such as flat or high spots. Adding enough weights will make a square box 'balance', but a square still won't roll down the road!
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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that shimmy could be a bad tire, move them front to back ans see if the problem changes.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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When exactly does it shimmey:
braking
turns
acceleration
straight
specific mph?

hesitation can be as simple as a good tune up (filters plugs pcv valve)
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Had a shimmy that would come and go at around 60 mph and up. Ended up being a worn out steering rack - a $1700 repair. Went and bought my new 2013 Outback beginning of December instead of fixing it. Hope it's something simple for you, but this should be ruled out.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Delman View Post
Had a shimmy that would come and go at around 60 mph and up. Ended up being a worn out steering rack - a $1700 repair. Went and bought my new 2013 Outback beginning of December instead of fixing it. Hope it's something simple for you, but this should be ruled out.
OUCH!!! We do have a 90 day warranty that covers everything.....probably going to get that checked out before the warranty expires!!

We're thinking it's more a tire out of balance...but you never know...
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Get the alignment checked and corrected. Misalignment will cause shimmy/vibration.
Change the fuel filter unless you know it was done in the last couple thousand miles.
Clean the throttle body of carbon build up.
High octane = happy engine. If the filter and fuel change doesn't change the way the engine reacts, change the spark plugs.
Lens cover? Are you referring to the rear view mirror? If so, its a paint to match part that will need painting before installation. If you are referring to the headlight, try aftermarket or salvage before the dealer.
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