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2002 Outback - 2.5L, 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First up, the disclaimer: I've read through the forums, there's practically no benefit, I'm not having torque bind systems, car is driving normal.

*edit: It's in the signature, but: 2002 Outback, 2.5L 5MT, fairly basic trim

Talking with a co worker who has a Subaru like my own, mentioned that there is a 2wd option in the fuse box, so I put the fuse in just to try it out but the car didn't do anything different, nor did the "2wd" or "FWD" light come on in my dashboard. I tried it again a little bit while at home on the grass in the backyard, and it still very much felt like AWD was engaged. Snow would be the definitive test but we don't have that yet here. Should the need arise, I'd like to have the option available.

Is there something else I need to do?
Yes, the fuse is good, tried it with 2 of them.
If there is a problem, where do I look? Information seems scarce and I didn't find much in my service manual.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,382 Posts
Dash light is probably burned out. 15+ year old bulbs.
 

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2002 Outback - 2.5L, 5MT
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well okie dokie then! Man I feel a little better about not finding any odd wires that I couldn't account for around the back side of the transmission either.
 

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2002 Outback - 2.5L, 5MT
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20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It'd be nice if there was a locking center diff available, but one of the main reasons I bought the car was that I wanted AWD and a stick. The latter brought my options down substantially.
 

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2001 Subaru Outback Station Wagon, base model. 241K
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4 Posts
I recently learned about the 2WD option on my 2001 Outback SW. It is an automatic, by the way.
My question is this: Is there any detriment to the car by driving it in 2WD? I installed a fuse as mention, my FWD light does come on, and it definitely feels different, more like my other car. (Honda Civic.) It seems to get a lot better gas mileage, and since I really only drive on pavement, and only need AWD in winter driving, I would like to drive it in FWD most of the time. I just want to make sure I won't hurt anything.
Thanks!


free2bme
 

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19,515 Posts
You're still moving the weight, and friction of all the drive train components. Unless there's something wrong in the AWD system or the drive train, it's unlikely that using the FWD option would result in better gas mileage. But if there is something like torque bind building up in the drive train, that could cause resistance to turning resulting in increased fuel use to enable the motor to overcome that resistance.

Some posts refer to driving in FWD mode for an extended period, but I don't recall any really objective tests that confirm there's no problem in the longer term. The FWD mode is intended for special situations. If Subaru intended it to improve it's overall fleet gas mileage capability, it would probably have made it switchable, like some other "AWD" makes, rather than requiring a fuse to be inserted.
 

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2001 Subaru Outback Station Wagon, base model. 241K
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Thank you for your reply, plain OM! I am not a mechanic, so what sort of things would cause "torque bind building in the drive train"? I have only used about a quarter tank of fuel so far since putting it in FWD. But it certainly seems better, I have gone about 100 miles so far. As soon as I get a bit more mileage on this tank of fuel I will do an actual calculation. This vehicle has over 240K, so it is quite probably that there could be issues in the drive train that I am not aware of.


I would love to head off any future break downs or problems by knowing what to check. Thanks for all your help.


free2bme
 

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Outbacks, SVXs, XT6, 4Runner, Celica, Brat, E150s
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1,150 Posts
I recently learned about the 2WD option on my 2001 Outback SW. It is an automatic, by the way.
My question is this: Is there any detriment to the car by driving it in 2WD? I installed a fuse as mention, my FWD light does come on, and it definitely feels different, more like my other car. (Honda Civic.) It seems to get a lot better gas mileage, and since I really only drive on pavement, and only need AWD in winter driving, I would like to drive it in FWD most of the time. I just want to make sure I won't hurt anything.
Thanks!


free2bme
in the FWD mode, all the components are still moving. Driveshaft, axles, diff, etc. Any losses gone through friction in the transfer clutches will be offset (at least to some extent) by the extra hydraulic drag on the oil pump to keep those clutches disengaged. You might get a little better mileage, but it'll be negligible.

You probably won't damage anything, one could point out that the front axles will get more force put through them, but even on a FWD car, a good CV axle is generally only limited by the boot/grease condition.

This is designed to prevent damage while using the spare tire.
 

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2001 Subaru Outback Station Wagon, base model. 241K
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Just a follow-up on the 2WD post, after 3/4 tank of fuel, I did calculate mileage, and it really isn't much different, as all of you said. It was not accomplishing what I though it would, so while it was fun to learn that the car had this feature, I have removed the fuse and put it back into AWD.


Thanks for all your helpful replies!


free2bme
 
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