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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I do work on a 2006 Forester, just purchased (but am still waiting to pick up) a 1998 Outback, and I've been helping out a friend with his 2001 Outback. He's pretty frustrated and was thinking of just selling, but here's what my scanner told us...

P0442 Evap Emission System Leak Detected-appears twice (either the EGR or a vacuum leak?)
P0732 Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio-appears twice (he's been having trouble with the transmission not shifting smoothly...hoping a fluid flush will fix it but uncertain)
P0734 Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio (see above)
P0483 Fan Performance (fan not coming on? relay or fuse? fan itself?)

He also has a ripped CV joint. Should those generally be replaced in pairs? Murphy's law is bound to kick in there I imagine...

Unfortunately, the biggest struggle he's having right now is financial. I'm in no position to help him out on that front but I can help him out with saving money by fixing it.

However, my biggest concern are those gear trouble codes. If he's having trouble with the thing shifting, is the trans smoked? Is it even worth it to do a fluid flush? I am NOT getting involved with a trans swap. I work 60 hour weeks and I'm a full-time student as well.

Any insight on the above would be much appreciated. I'll be coming back soon with some insight for the 1998!

Thanks all,
Huxley:)
 

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Ripped boot, tight on money? Reboot. See the CV reboot thread in the DIY. No idea on the other issues.
 

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did something happen before these issues came up? wreck or work done or mods?

you can drive a long time with a ripped boot (if it isn't making noises yet). Plan for a rebooting soon though if you don't want to trash the joint. kinda like - $25 now, or $60 weeks or months down the road. If you don't know how briefly it has been torn, just wait and save for an axle. I'd get EMPI from rockauto, but there are other ways to proceed on that.

Does the car drive well? If so, clear the codes and monitor how quickly and which ones return. If not, try 3 drain/changes on the fluid and track down and check all the wires from the transmission sensors and solenoids, make sure they aren't chafed or disconnected. opposedforces.com might be good to look at for a diagram of the tranny.

Be aware, some folks including myself have had a bad battery set odd codes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey folks,

Thanks for the quick responses.

I don't think rebooting is an option. I asked him and he said it already sounds like grinding. I assume (though I didn't have a light to really check) that it's been ripped for a good time.

His battery does suck and is corroded and needs to be replaced. But he is experiencing physical symptoms with the transmission from his explanations of what is happening.

I'll do the 3 fluid flushes. How long should he wait between each flush? And can I just drain from the bolt on the pan each time or do I need to open the pan entirely? I wish there was a way to drain the torque convertor too...

Any thoughts on the evap issue? I'll wait to hear back on the length of time between fluid changes and then I'll do that, clear the codes, and see what happens. I'll also have him get a new battery and clean up those **** terminal areas.

Thanks again!

-Huxley
 

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The evap code could be caused by a hole rusted throught the filler tube or a gas cap with a bad seal. Yes you can use the drain plug in the pan for the fluid changes. There is no need to drop the pan. You don't need to drive far between changes. To work and back one day is plenty. The bad battery can also cause shifting problems as well as shorten the life of the starter and alternator. Start with the battery and clear the codes to see what comes back.
 

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Small EVAP leak on a Subaru is the Gas Cap. Get one from Subaru. (EGR and EVAP are two different systems and don't interact.)

The transmission needs a rebuild if its been doing it long. The clutches are slipping causing the "incorrect ratio". The TCM knows the input shaft and output shaft speed as well as the vehicle speed and did the math. A fluid change may buy some time, but its rebuild or replace.

The fan, check the fuses. If the fuses are good, you can "hot wire the fans at the plugs to see if they operate. Red = Batt +. Most likely its a blown fuse. If you replace the fuse and it blows when the fan kicks in, you can turn the AC on and the fans should start up, then you need to find the short, most times its within the fan motor.
 

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you could reboot both ends of a junkyard axle to save a few dollars. But I probably would get an EMPI.

glad cardoc checked in but, sounds like bad news for the tranny. Doing the 3 fluid changes gets approx. a 70% TOTAL fluid change - maybe a little better, so, the torque converter gets that fluid too. Something like valvoline max Life Dex/merc should be OK. Best would be Subaru ATF-HP but probably $$$$, no point in putting crazy expensive fluid in it if it's trashed though. some name brand Dex III is what you need.

This is a crazy idea that might buy a few more weeks on the axle, swap it with the other side. It's a longshot, but forces will be put on newer surfaces and it may delay failure for a while. Really though, for the labor, get a used one from a junker AT LEAST. maybe when it splits or clicks, he'll have funds for a new or properly rebuilt axle.

cardoc, would the FWD fuse buy him any time or improved performance?
 

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Nope. The FWD fuse will only disable the transfer case. Its the clutch packs slipping in the transmission meaning severe wear.

Check with JDM Engine Depot. I got a JDM longblock H6 with accessories, and the fuse box even, for $1142 with shipping from NJ to Austin. About 50k miles on it. They also have transmissions and warranties.

Could be an alternative to a salvage yard in the US where you are unsure of mileage, use, maintenance, etc..

I even saw a twin turbo 2.2 on his site for under $1200 plus shipping.


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Discussion Starter #9
I think he would sell the car before that gets done, but thank you for the info. JDM seems like the place to go for engine needs.

A big thank you to everyone who has helped in this thread! He's a bit stalled right now in terms of pursuing maintenance, but once he starts looking into it again, I'll try and post up some more info. I'm hoping to help him limp along until something else is available for him. He may be selling-though I don't know if we're allowed to post for others when they're selling a car, I thought that wasn't allowed here. Whatever the case, I'll try to get him to post it here in case anyone might be interested if he does indeed sell.

Thanks again,
Huxley
 
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