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2001 LL Bean Wagon
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm currently shopping for a 2001-2004 Outback with an H6, can any of you kind folks clue me in to some of the more common issues I should be watching out for or any H6 specific purchasing tips? Are there any particular maintenance periods that get expensive like the H4 does with the timing belt?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,126 Posts
some known issues;

serpentine acc. drive belt idler and tensioner pulleys

inner front axle boot split

power steering suction hose mount o-ring

leaking transverse link bushings (rear, lower control arm)

compromised tabs on fuel pump cap


Not everyone has problems with all the above. And of course, regular problems like blown struts or rust w'ever that any car could have.

Especially important not to get a car with bad 'wet clutch pack' in the transmission.

maybe someone will suggest a shop in Atlanta where you could have a pre-purchase inspection done.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
the serpentine belt bearings fail ***all the time***. extremely common and bad things can happen when they fail - they are best considered 60,000 mile maintenance items. replace the bearings or pulleys. fortunately it's a quick and cheap fix. 30 minutes and a few bucks. there's a sticky in the forum about it for part numbers, etc.

i wouldn't worry about it in terms of looking - but i'd do them right away after you buy the vehicle. i do them on mine and friends vehicles as soon as they get them.

have the engine downshift and wind out fairly high rpm's when test driving and listen for whining from the engine - that would indicate timing chain guide issues. not even that big of a deal really and not necessarily something that always needs fixed, but you'd probably rather not jump into one that's already got that or take the risk.

no expensive maintenance - spark plugs are quite a chore on this motor though.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,126 Posts
none of the common items are 'showstoppers' really. Things you might use to negotiate a little lower price I guess.

but if you're new to soobs and AWD. Try to get someone to check the car out that has soob experience.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,947 Posts
I think '03 is the best choice, as there do not seem to be any early timing chain guide problems on the '03 (although it is a fairly rare issue on the earlier ones)
 

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2001 LL Bean Wagon
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks!

Wow, what a wealth of information. Thanks so much guys! It seems like the H6s are really sound mechanically, which is what I am after. I was starting to think that they were a little harder to find than other models, but after going through lists of used H4s that need timing belt jobs, I'm not so sure.
 

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2001 LL Bean Wagon
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have been shopping and researching, researching and shopping, and after driving a few cars there are some things that I could use some feedback on.

Windows, wound all the way up, are wiggly. Is this normal? It doesn't appear to be consistent between cars, but it does seem to be common. Is there a reasonable fix for it?

Sloppy suspension. The 03/04 H6 cars I drove had a lot of roll and seems to just float along the road instead of grabbing it and driving. I'm sure a new set of struts/shocks and sway bars would make a huge difference, but it needs to be factored in to my budget and my offer if they do need to be replaced. Where should I set my expectations on this aspect?

I know there are some superficial differences, but are there any major mechanical downsides to an 01/02 vs. an 03/04 LL Bean?

Thanks guys!

Steve
 

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2001 LL Bean Wagon
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Especially important not to get a car with bad 'wet clutch pack' in the transmission.
How do I diagnose this? My searches didn't turn up much. I suspect it is something the dealership will be able to tell me during the inspection, but I still believe in checking up on things before and after them.
 

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2000 Outback 5MT
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425 Posts
Windows, wound all the way up, are wiggly. Is this normal? It doesn't appear to be consistent between cars, but it does seem to be common. Is there a reasonable fix for it?

Sloppy suspension. The 03/04 H6 cars I drove had a lot of roll and seems to just float along the road instead of grabbing it and driving. I'm sure a new set of struts/shocks and sway bars would make a huge difference, but it needs to be factored in to my budget and my offer if they do need to be replaced. Where should I set my expectations on this aspect?

Steve
You mean when the window is up and the door is open? That's from people closing the door by the window. There are some guides inside the window that get worn down and can be replaced or adjusted to tighten it up.

That's kind of how the car drives really. Although you may be right, it might just need some new struts. Overall though, the car is not the tightest and mannered in terms of handling characteristics. A new set of struts is about $240 for all four corners.
 

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2001 LL Bean Wagon
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
You mean when the window is up and the door is open? That's from people closing the door by the window. There are some guides inside the window that get worn down and can be replaced or adjusted to tighten it up.
That is really good to know. I'd bet that would make a tighter seal against the rubber and help cut down on wind noise as well.
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,126 Posts
there's a known trick for the wind noise. lower the window and squeeze the rubber seal together near the mirror. You can search for more info. train yourself to push on the metal door, not the glass. (new Subarus have framed windows, partly to reduce noise)

myself and others have had bad struts early on, any 10 year old car that was used mostly as a grocery getter or off road likely does need struts by now. A Highway cruiser, maybe not. Some people install Baja or aftermarket rear anti-sway bars. I'm happy with the ride of our car after new KYB struts.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,126 Posts
How do I diagnose this? My searches didn't turn up much. I suspect it is something the dealership will be able to tell me during the inspection, but I still believe in checking up on things before and after them.
the car should be able to idle (ok, maybe very slight gas) in tight circles on dry pavement (not gravel/dirt) without jerking/bucking.

search 'torque bind' for more info.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,947 Posts
make sure the FWD light is out, and turns on when the FWD fuse position has a (any) fuse in it (except VDC cars)
 

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'01 LLB
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I'm a long-time lurker here but I have an 01 LLB in the Atlanta area. I live over in Norcross and frequent the Marietta/Kennesaw area.

I bought mine on the cheap as a fixer-upper and my issues were so:


Brake pads and rotors. Rotors were pretty severely warped.

Rear wheel bearings. Terrible noises.

Spark Plugs and 2 Coils. Bad idle, sometimes misfiring.

Rear View Mirror. Does not auto-dim, has a discolored circle in it.

Climate Control works... but temperature reading is never accurate. If it's 68 out and I want it to be about 74 in the car my climate control will usually be reading something like 82 by the time I get comfortable. Weird.

Valve covers/Oil Cooler were leaking something fierce.

Backlight behind the little LCD Odometer was out.

Serpentine belt was aged and cracked.

Both CV joints up front needed replacing, boots were broken and they looked pretty bad.

I get some obnoxious wind noise from the front two windows at HWY speeds. No leaking when raining though.

A/C lasted one season after I purchased it. Haven't diagnosed but it's either a seal near the compressor or the compressor.


Having said all of that, the car has 200,000 miles and counting. It's my daily driver and I love it. I've owned the car about a year now. I've done all of my own work on the car except for the valve cover gasket, only because it got worse very quickly and I did not have the time to fix it as I had other obligations.


Of note I'd also keep an eye out for check engine lights. The PO reset mine before I purchased it and it came back on after one or two fill-ups after purchase. The dreaded P0420. I'm in the process of trying to eliminate it without replacing the catalytic converters like the dealer says I should.

Oh, and P.S. - The Subaru Dealership in Kennesaw is where I get Subaru OEM parts, but they're retarded. Their parts department have ordered me the incorrect part on several occasions after I bring in the part I want for them to look at. Also, service likes to tell me bogus things that I need to fix. And attempt to "tack on" additional things when I bring the car in for something else entirely. They require constant supervision, unfortunately. They are nice though. I also have an old Toyota I've worked on since 2009 or so and I do not have these problems with the Toyota Parts Department across the road from Subaru.
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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672 Posts
Wind noise is typically easy to fix...

Squeeze the rubber together behind the door mirrors as tightly as you can.

DO NOT push on the windows to close the doors.

As for the climate control readout... I'm a little confused by what you said. Are you setting it at 74 or 82, or are you hitting the Out Temp button to see what the outside temp is? Many factors play in what you set the temp at as to how the system responds. Making sure the little slotted circle hole on the front panel is kept clean will help keep it more accurate (gently use a vacuum on it). Mine has 235,000 miles on it, and the system works very well.
 

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'01 LLB
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8 Posts
Wind noise is typically easy to fix...

Squeeze the rubber together behind the door mirrors as tightly as you can.
Yeah, I've done this. It did get better, but still there. One of these days I'll get some clamps and a hot air gun or something.


As for the climate control readout... I'm a little confused by what you said. Are you setting it at 74 or 82, or are you hitting the Out Temp button to see what the outside temp is? Many factors play in what you set the temp at as to how the system responds. Making sure the little slotted circle hole on the front panel is kept clean will help keep it more accurate (gently use a vacuum on it).
So I will set the CC on 82 and it will then be about 74 in the cabin and remain so. Outside Temp will be colder, such as 65 or so. Usually notice this at night so I'm tempted to change the daylight sensor and see if that fixes it.

Setting CC at 74 will usually end up with the A/C blowing cold while it's 65 outside.

I hadn't thought to try and vacuum the sensor on the front of it though, I may try that as well.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
Misut0,

Read through these post if you haven't already:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/49537-p0420-diag.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...spective-p0420-catalytic-efficiency-code.html

And for the CC, Check to make sure the tube that runs from the center console to the interior temperature sensor is in one piece, not clogged with trash and without holes. It runs down from the HVAC control head to the left towards the accelerator pedal. You may be able to look from under the left side dash. (See pics)
 

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'01 LLB
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8 Posts
Misut0,

Read through these post if you haven't already:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/49537-p0420-diag.html

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...spective-p0420-catalytic-efficiency-code.html

And for the CC, Check to make sure the tube that runs from the center console to the interior temperature sensor is in one piece, not clogged with trash and without holes. It runs down from the HVAC control head to the left towards the accelerator pedal. You may be able to look from under the left side dash. (See pics)

I've slowly been going through the suggestions in your thread for tracking down the source of that code, it's pretty thorough and I appreciate it.

I always assumed the temp sensor was right on the face of the Climate Control unit, I never knew it it was actually way down near my foot. I'll definitely be checking that once I get the A/C fixed. Thanks!
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
The AC uses 3 sensors. The Ambient sensor on the front core bracket brace, the sunlight sensor on the dash and the interior sensor behind the dash. The hose feeding to the interior sensor and dirt on the sunlight sensor are the most common things I've seen cause issues.
 
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