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2003 Subaru Outback Limited
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
Wanted to introduce myself.
I've just plonked down 3500 dollars on a Subaru Outback Limited. 2003. Black leather. Black paint.
188k on the clock.
The dealer put in new head gasket, new alternator, timing belt.
It's a really clean 1 owner car. Highway miles.
The only thing that seems to be an issue right now is the CD/CD Changer isn't working. I'm going to check the fuses. And the right indicator relay seems to be playing up. It's intermittently going fast.
I bought the car as a daily driver from my new house to the station. Probably around 20 miles per day, 5 times a week.
Also bought it due to Subaru's glowing reviews in the snow. There may be lots when I'm going to be living.
I hope I have a deal here. I think I have. KBB seemed to think around the 4500 mark. The mechanic I took it to thought it was worth 6k.
Anyway, I feel it's worth it.
I will be no doubt on here from time to time with questions..
Regards
Griff
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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16,277 Posts
Welcome.

Check for a blown bulb on the side that blinks fast.

If the radio works and the CD player does not, it's not a fuse. New stereos are cheap with a warranty at Crutchfield.com. They also have refurbished units even cheaper.
 

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Looks just like mine. I picked up one this winter with 122k and put some winter tires on it. Its working great.

Just curious if you feel a slipping occasionally when you ease off the throttle slightly and then press on the gas again? Thats what mine does now but its not really an issue.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
Not uncommon for those CD changers to die. The one in my 2004 was shot when I bought it.

Like cardoc said, a good double-DIN stereo isn't expensive to get. Crutchfield will give you the required adapters and great instructions (which are also posted here somewhere) as well. Changing the stereo is a piece of cake in the 2nd generation Outbacks.


I dunno about it being worth 6k, my 2004 L.L. Bean with 50k fewer miles and an H6 engine would probably not fetch a whole lot more than that on a private sale. But, regardless, I think you did get a good price if it's mechanically solid.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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16,277 Posts
The stereo installation is a cakewalk for the models without the amplifiers. I had to make a harness to run from the head unit to the speaker harness under the pass front seat. But that was the Mc system.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
The stereo installation is a cakewalk for the models without the amplifiers. I had to make a harness to run from the head unit to the speaker harness under the pass front seat. But that was the Mc system.
...and because the OP's is just a limited, it shouldn't have that system.

This Outback is definitely the easiest stereo I've swapped out so far.


One tip if you go about changing it. I believe your car has its antenna printed on one of the windows in the trunk. If this is the case, you'll need to hook the blue amplifier power wire to it. If you don't do it, the amp for the antenna won't get power and you'll get next-to-no radio reception.
 

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2003 Subaru Outback Limited
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No blown bulbs.
It looks like it might be an issue with an electrical connection in the indicator/headlight arm itself going into the driving column.
It's intermittent, but seems to connect if it's moved slightly forward when indicating right.
It's a small pain, but I don;t really want to get it seen to just yet, as it would mean leaving my car at a mechanics to take the column apart...I don't have the funds to do that yet.
 

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2003 Outback H6 3.0L
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24 Posts
I dunno about it being worth 6k, my 2004 L.L. Bean with 50k fewer miles and an H6 engine would probably not fetch a whole lot more than that on a private sale. But, regardless, I think you did get a good price if it's mechanically solid.
I agree. I just picked up a pretty minty 2003 LLB with 83,000 miles (134,000 km) for $6200 this past weekend.
 

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2001 LL Bean
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49 Posts
...and because the OP's is just a limited, it shouldn't have that system.
It shouldn't but it could have it. I just pulled a bass unit and window tweeters out of a '98 at a local pull-a-part yard that were dealer installed. The car still had the installation instructions in the owner's manual folder. Sometimes you just get lucky. I payed $4 for all the speakers - the bass unit is going into my truck.

Anyways, congratulations on your new ride. Stay on the forum and share your OB experiences with all us.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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16,277 Posts
No blown bulbs.
It looks like it might be an issue with an electrical connection in the indicator/headlight arm itself going into the driving column.
It's intermittent, but seems to connect if it's moved slightly forward when indicating right.
It's a small pain, but I don;t really want to get it seen to just yet, as it would mean leaving my car at a mechanics to take the column apart...I don't have the funds to do that yet.
Actually, you can change the multifunction switch inside an hour with simple tools. (screwdriver/socket) And, if you don't like Subaru's part price, you can use an aftermarket like BWD.

Take down the lower panel from under the column/dash. Take out the screws from the bottom cover to split the upper and lower pieces removing the lower and slightly rotating the upper right. Disconnect the plug. Unscrew the switch and remove. Put it all back in reverse. Gravy. :D

I've attached a pic. Ignore the steering wheel being removed. Its just a pic to show the switch with the covers moved.
 

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2020 Touring XT, 2013 Outback Lim SAP 270K, 2003 Outback Lim MT 2.5L, 241K..
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I just got rid of the exact car you bought. Congrats. I LOVED that car for all of its 240,000 miles.
But if its the 6CD changer, well, I went through no less than 4 of those within the first 2 years of that cars life. Kept getting CDs stuck - dealer kept swapping them out. AFter they lost my CDS with one swap (they had to send the unit elsewhere to get the cds out), and then the next one went bad again - I removed it myself, got the CDs out myself, bought a single DIN aftermarket and never looked back.
Clarion made those 6CD changers in the 03 limited I believe - and I liked that brand - bought it as aftermarket - but that one that came with the car at purchase sucked in my opinion.
It is not a hard swap - as mentioned.
But dont let the stereo lack of quality fool you - that was a FANTASTIC car. I LOVED it. It went to 240,000 and would have gone a lot further if I had fed its late oil addiction more frequently.
I had a few expensive repairs - I mean who doesnt after 150,000, but my best advice is LEARN its oil consuming habit and dont ever let it drive low on oil. Mine ate a ton of oil in the last couple years and I often waited till I would see the light to add oil - which is really TOO LATE.

Enjoy the car and check the oil often!

I love my new 2013 OB - but I do miss that car still.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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110 Posts
Well, it looks like ours is following tradition then.

Went to put a CD in and it looks like there is one stuck in there. It's the 6 CD changer unit, so we're hoping it's as easy to change as you say.....radio and all works fine, just no CD player....:(

Anybody know off hand how many speakers are in the LL Bean? I think 8, right?
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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16,277 Posts
And possibly and amp and subwoofer. If it had the McIntosh system. The amp0 would be under the front passenger seat and the sub mounted in the right rear cargo panel. Otherwise, just the 10 if it had component speakers and 5 without component.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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110 Posts
Nope, no McIntosh in this car....which is fine with me.

We're looking on Crutchfield, and it looks like there are a few that will fit right in the hole. That's what we'd like, instead of the smaller stereos.

We also have a '98 Mercury Mountaineer, and we replaced that stereo with a JVC KW-R500, and it's an awesome system! Anybody have that one? Says it'll fit in the Subie.....
 
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