Can I remove the AWD fuse? - Page 2 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2011, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonhp View Post
Doesn't the fuse being present mean that the AWD is already disabled and you are running front wheel drive only right now?
No, AWD has not been disabled, and the fuse is still there. Still driving AWD.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2011, 03:10 PM
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I think what wilsohp was saying is that there is a FWD fuse socket that should be empty. When a fuse is installed, the AWD is turned off and the car is FWD only. This is done if you have a flat tire.

Below is a copy from the 2002 manual:
NOTE
[Automatic transmission vehicle not equipped with VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control)] Before driving your vehicle with the temporary spare tire, put a spare fuse inside the FWD connector located in the engine compartment and confirm that the Front-wheel drive warning light comes on. The all wheel drive capability of the vehicle has now
been deactivated. After re-installing the conventional tire, remove the spare fuse from the FWD connector in order to reactivate all wheel drive.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2011, 03:23 PM
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On earlier models, I believe including the 99, there was a special AWD/FWD fuse holder near the firewall on the right hand side. (On later models there's a fuse slot in the main fuse box on the left side of the engine compartment.)

When a fuse is inserted into the special fuse holder (or the AWD slot in the main fuse box on later models), the AWD is disabled and the AWD (or FWD) warning light should come on. Otherwise, when there is no fuse in the holder, the car is in AWD mode.

All the fuse (Subaru refers to it as a "switch") is doing is grounding a logic circuit in the transmission control module, telling the TCM to turn off the AWD (i.e. disengage the transfer clutch fully, and permanently, as long as the fuse is in the slot). Consequently, any spare fuse can be used to disable the AWD.

If there is a fuse in the AWD/FWD fuse holder then the AWD should be disabled and the warning light should be On. But, then, that assumes that the fuse and the connections to it are good, and that the warning bulb itself is good.

Quote:
he showed me where it was.
Could you describe where the fuse that you are referring to is located, or post a photo?

(Woops -- I see I doubled with cougar70. Oh well. I'll leave this in for now.)
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Last edited by plain OM; 04-11-2011 at 03:24 PM. Reason: doubled
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2011, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar70 View Post
I think what wilsohp was saying is that there is a FWD fuse socket that should be empty. When a fuse is installed, the AWD is turned off and the car is FWD only. This is done if you have a flat tire.

Below is a copy from the 2002 manual:
NOTE
[Automatic transmission vehicle not equipped with VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control)] Before driving your vehicle with the temporary spare tire, put a spare fuse inside the FWD connector located in the engine compartment and confirm that the Front-wheel drive warning light comes on. The all wheel drive capability of the vehicle has now
been deactivated. After re-installing the conventional tire, remove the spare fuse from the FWD connector in order to reactivate all wheel drive.
Ah, I see that I was misinformed and my original post was misleading. The mechanic must have meant that I could ADD the FWD fuse, not remove an AWD fuse, in order to disengage the AWD. I just checked, and yes the FWD fuse is currently empty.

I assume that adding the FWD fuse for any length of time would pose the same risks mentioned in earlier responses: extra strain on the driveshaft, axle, etc., and thus not a good idea as a summer fuel economizer?
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2011, 04:02 PM
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It will have 0, none, negative, absolutely no effect on fuel economy.

Nil, nein, zip, zilch.

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-11-2011, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AWDFTW View Post
It will have 0, none, negative, absolutely no effect on fuel economy.

Nil, nein, zip, zilch.
Understood, thanks. I think the solution is that I ride my bike more, drive less, and be grateful for the AWD when driving to remote trailheads and snowy forest service roads.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 12:47 AM
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Wilsonhp, you are correct.

Someone also suggested this to me (going 2WD) to improve gas mileage, but it didn't make much difference and the car didn't feel as sure-footed. My current Subi guru says that's more of a test mode to use in diagnosing problems. FWIW.

The best thing I've done to get better mileage (and improve idle and responsiveness) was to change out the front and rear diff fluid. If you don't know when that was done last, maybe consider it? And a can of good injector cleaner stuff doesn't hurt, either.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-04-2011, 09:25 PM
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How far do you drive when you DO drive? If it's not getting up to full temp then yes your mileage will be terrible. That's some crap mileage, you should at least be seeing 25 in mixed driving.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-04-2011, 09:47 PM
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Have you considered a Prius or other hybrid's? I don't know of anybody that has purchased an OB for the fuel economy. Sure as heck wouldn't be my first choice.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 10:46 AM
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If you want to disable the AWD to improve fuel economy you will have to do the following:

Remove drive shaft, remove rear differential, remove rear axles, weld the center differential and seal the transmission hole from where the drive shaft used to be. By eliminating all the mass of the rear drive components, you will increase the fuel economy. But the car will be FWD permanently. Going back to AWD will be a pain in the rear.

All those components take energy to turn. Even if the AWD is disabled, they are still turning. That energy comes from your engine and will effect gas mileage.

You may be better off to sell the car and get something else. Maybe a used Jetta TDI wagon?
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