Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5L CVT (Alloy Wheel Package)
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Bought this 2014 2.5 CVT Outback new on November 22, 2013.
It was the final model year of Gen 4 and they offered it as the Special Wheel Package Model with 17" alloy wheels, Blue Tooth & Targa Cover.
The Manufactured date was late enough to miss the TSB on the soft piston rings causing oil burning.
This car has been with us in 3 States: California (Northern & Southern); Montana;
and now North Eastern Washington State, 100 miles below Canada.

[Maintenance and Oil Usage]
All services have been done at a Subaru dealerships every 6k or slightly less.
All oil has been Subaru synthetic 5-20w.
Oil has never been added between oil changes, but the oil level at 6k was in the middle
of full and add for the first 3 oil changes.
Starting with the 4th oil change I started adding a 15 oz bottle of STP Synthetic Oil treatment.
Immediately after adding it, the oil level would read one half quart over full.
6,000 miles later and ready for the next oil change, it would read just slighty over full.
After using the STP for several oil changes, the oil level just before changing it was almost
a half quart over full. Did it stop the previous half quart usage between changes? I am uncertain, but happy I don't have to add between changes.

[Front Shakes]
None at any speed.

[CVT]
Always has been excellent.

[Suspension]
Its ok, but I wish they would have used bigger torsion bars to stiffen up turning.

[Brakes]
When I first got the car I initially thought the brakes were good, but the brakes quickly became mushy and now when the car is cold at a stop light the pedal sinks way down and I have to pump it.
Its very intermittant and I have had it checked every single oil change by three different Subaru dealers and they say it "normal."
Very un-nerving feeling having mushy brakes that occassionally has the pedal sink almost to the floor!
Its probably my only gripe about the car. "I also read the threads on Gen 4 brakes and see nobody has a solution."

[MP]
California: 18-19mpg City / 28mpg highway.
Montana and Washington: 24 City / 30 Highway.

[Failures]
HVAC fan under the dash failed at 18k under warranty. That's it, nothing else!

[Notes about Winter Tires]
I live in what I kiddingly call the Gizzly Adams Wilderness in North Eastern Washington
on a Lake roughly 100 miles South of the Canadian Border and 3 miles West of the
Idaho Border. Winters are usually very cold and snowy.
The road in from town to the lake isn't maintained and the last mile is gravel.
Horrible road conditions in the winter!
Firestone Winterforce Tires were only fair the first snow season and terrible the second season and unbearable on a trip with dry highways. There has got to be an all season tire that works better than the Winterforce tires.
I am considering trying the General ALTIMAX RT43.
Anyone tried these in snowy states?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
I just installed General Altimax's on our 2011 outback 2.5 cvt(50k). Originally, the car came with Conti's, which were terrible and wore out fast. Tried the Yokohama which has a higher speed rating and stiffer sidewall. The tire was noisy and wore out too fast. The sidewall stability was nice though.
Initial impressions of the Altimax, quiet compared to the Yoko and more comfortable a tire. Ride quality seems better in the car, per say. It's definitely a better tire then the previous 2! Too be fair, we have not tried it yet in the snow. We've had it in the rain and seemed to do well, but I would caveat the comment. I'm about to do tie rod assemblies on our car and drive line mounts which will probably vastly improve the feel of what's going on. I bought the General's because we have a set of General Arctic snows on our BMW which have been quite good. Hope this helps.
Regards
 

·
Registered
2013 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
902 Posts
Our 2013 3.6R has been running a set of Altimax RT43 tires since mid-December 2016. During a couple of 6-to-8-inch snowfalls last winter, the tires handled the snow and ice conditions like a champ. I researched tires for months before I decided that the RT43 would be the best bang-for-the-buck tire for our vehicle. I have no problem recommending them. I look forward to enjoying them again in the coming winter's snowfall here.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide to go with.
 

·
Registered
Lawn ornament XT
Joined
·
14,366 Posts
It's an apples to oranges comparison but my wife and I have been very satisfied with RT43s on her Hyundai here in less-snowy PA. Coincidentally we also have Firestone winterforce snow tires for that car and they're only OK. Worth putting on in the winter, but maybe not by much. I got the winterforces secondhand for a song and will probably replace them with a better snow tire next year.
 

·
Registered
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5L CVT (Alloy Wheel Package)
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the great replies on the tires (Altimax RT43). I am leaning toward getting them here in CA before heading back to WA. The thought of drving back home 1,000 miles on these rough riding, wandering Winterforce tires is a very unpleasant thought!
 

·
Registered
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5L CVT (Alloy Wheel Package)
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Interesting thing happened on my 2,000 mile round trip from North Eastern Washington to California and back to WA.
While in CA for Xmas vacation my wife was driving and went to pull into a gas station and totally missed the driveway entrance, but instead drove over the "full street curb at about 5 mph!"
When we got back on the freeway, the front shook and vibrated at any speed!
I was totally freaked out and tried to get an appointment with the local Subaru dealer to fix it, but the service rep said all they would do is outsource the job to Big-O Tires, so I should just take it there myself.
Yelp & Google has poor rating for who they recommended, so I decided to do a simple wheel swap:
front wheels to the back and visa versa. (I assumed the curb run-over bent a front rim or two.)

The next day on the 1,000 mile trip back home to WA, the bent rim theory was correct, it was smooth as silk at all speeds the entire 1,000 miles.

I just thought that I would share this in case one of you "suddenly out of nowhere gets the shakes."
Ask the wife: "dear, did you recently run over a curb?"
 

·
Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
Joined
·
16,120 Posts
I just thought that I would share this in case one of you "suddenly out of nowhere gets the shakes."
Ask the wife: "dear, dif you recently run over a curb?"
:21:
 

·
Registered
'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
Joined
·
1,766 Posts
I'm not sure I get it. If you had indeed damaged a rim, moving it to the back would change the nature of the shake, but you would certainly still feel it. The steering wheel would no longer oscillate, but you'd feel the rear hopping along.

Case in point: We had a pretty major blizzard-like storm here in the NE on Thursday. I drove home from work in pretty terrible road conditions, but between the AWD of my '14 Outback and my Conti ExtremeWinter tires, it wasn't all that bad (for me). As long as I was alone on the back roads, all was well. I just had to steer clear of the other drivers who were fighting to retain control and nearly took me out several times when they crossed over into my path.

That night I pulled into the garage, and the snow melted off the fronts OK, but the rears near the garage door turned slushy, slid down the inside of the rim, and refroze. Yesterday morning I felt it on the run up my driveway, but by the time I hit 40 mph on my road the car was nearly undriveable. I swear that the rears were catching air with every revolution! Not too far is a convenience store and gas station. I limped in and spent the next few minutes brushing partially frozen muck off the inside of the rims. Yes, I DO wax my rims, and it helps a lot! But once clear, the ride returned to perfectly normal.

I can't explain your situation. But if it was that bad up front and was rim-related, it shouldn't have just disappeared.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
Yep. Wife came home Friday and complained the legacy had a shudder.... living in NH we get all kinds of snow/ice conditions that can build up on the rims. We haven't has this extreme in temps in many years and got out of the practice of waxing the interior of the the rims. Solution - trip to car wash or if not too bad, the warming temps will fix the problem n it's own.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
Joined
·
181 Posts
Another user of the Altimax RT43s. I've had them on 2 vehicle now and my only complaint is the store I get them at always seems to have trouble balancing them just right (I've always assumed its the tires are not as refined as some of the more expensive brands). Some of the great qualities are that they are very quiet and supple, yet have good response and have deeper tread and seem softer rubber than most tires. I think that makes them a great option for winter use all-seasons.

I had a Pontiac Grand prix before and didn't even put on my snow tires for a couple winters (Minnesota) because the Generals did fine.

In another thread on here, I was trying to convey that for an all-season, the generals do a great job even in the winter but a bunch of people got there undies in a knot. Of course a winter tire will likely do better but if you can comfortably make a single tire and wheel setup work year-round, why not?

I wouldn't run your oil level over full. If you want to add something when the oil is full either drain some out or have the technician add is during your oil change. I'm sure they'd do it for free.

My brother had a similar soft brake issue in his '13 outback, I'll try to follow up with what his resolution was.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
Joined
·
181 Posts
My brother said it is the power brake assist that allows you to push it to the floor, not a performance issue. Maybe just don't push so hard?
 

·
Registered
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5L CVT (Alloy Wheel Package)
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
61 month update:



I am now at 61 months old on my 2014 Outback 2.5 CVT.


Other than a noisy HVAC fan motor replaced under warranty at 18,000 miles, no real issues.


Even the normal mushy brake condition has cleared up? Why? Who the **** knows!


Oil change intervals have always been at approximately 6,000 with Subaru synthetic 5-20 (and then I add 15 oz of STP synthetic oil treatment with new oil changes).


This OB oil level is full the day before the oil change (but remember that I add 15 oz of synthetic oil treatment with every oil change, so its overfull by 15 oz. the day of the oil change).


There has never been a front end shake, except when the wife ran over a high full blown gas station curb at 5mph!

(I then put the front wheels on the rear of the car and rear wheels on the front of the car and the problem was gone.)


Zero CVT problems.



Zero electrical problems (except the noisy HVAC fan motor replaced under warranty at 18,000).


I use Odometer No. 2 to record my distance between oil changes and to get an overall fuel mileage for 6,000 (that

overall number was 25.1mpg on the last oil change). I had dedicated snow tires on that entire 6,000 miles.



I have virtually spent zero dollars on this car in 61 months (other than oil, filter, and tires).


Interesting Note:
I live in snow country (North Eastern Washington, 100 miles below the Canadian border). I have always used dedicated snow tires in the winter, but two weeks ago I put on a new set of General Altimax RT43 all season tires and headed for California for Xmas. So when we head back home in a few days, I will find out if these RT43's can handle real snow and ice. I will let you know.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top