Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Outback of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 121 Posts

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. Recently picked up a 2006 Subaru outback 2.5i, 5spd. It has leather seats and a sunroof. I've had 2 other older beater Subaru's in the past, so I'm fairly comfortable working on this car. I sold my last car, which was a brand new 2019 Genesis G70 Sport, so it was a drastic change to get rid of that and come to this car. The Subaru will act as my daily driver/beater/mild offroader/winter driver. While I work on this I'll be saving up money for another sport luxury car. I figure this thing will keep me busy and happy in the meantime!

Here it is... I figure Arnold is a good name for it.

491917


491918


491919



I've got a number of things I need to do to get it up to the standards I want. The center console is pretty dang janky, a couple of the overhead lights are burned out, the headlights are relatively foggy and aimed WAY too high. The brakes, while they grab well, they feel too spongy. The shocks are definitely blown, as it's really floaty and springy. Also, the interior is pretty messy and needs a good deep clean and detail. New fluids will be put in, and a big tune up will be in order. All of which I'll be doing myself, and I'll post my progress.

Once I get everything nice and buttoned up, I'll most likely lift it. Debating on between 2" or 4", then I'll put on slightly bigger all terrain tires, with 15" or....if I can find some that fit, even 14" rims.


Excited to start working on things!
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
A couple days ago I was able to change the engine oil, and I used 2 cans of seafoam spray into the throttle body. I basically smoked out the entire neighborhood with the first can. So, with the second can I waited until it was dark outside and then sprayed it - was a little less noticeable. Don't want the neighbors thinking I'm starting fires!

Anyway, I finally was able to fix and replace a number of things I've been meaning to do on the car. It's still not officially registered, so I'm hopeful that a tune up, along with some other details, will help it pass Oregon DEQ.

First, I had to replace the broken driver's side window switch. I bought a new replacement off rockauto, turned out pretty good! Pics...

Old..
491922



Door panel out...
491923



And new switch in! Works great!

491924




Next up, time for a tune up. Here is a pic of the engine bay before starting...
491925



Removed the air intake piping, and the battery. Then I pulled out the ignition coil, spark plug wires, and spark plugs....
491926



While I was at it, I also wanted to replace the PCV valve. The old one looked pretty clogged.

491927


Old vs new...
491928


New one installed....
491929





Finally, I'm ready to install these other new parts...
491932



And here is the finished picture. Looking a little bit sharper with those nice NGK wires...
491933
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Today I was able to tie up a couple loose ends.

Replaced the cabin air filter....

491934


491935




Also put in some new windshield wipers (front and back)...

491936


491937




I even order some OEM Subaru rubber floor mats from my local dealer (was less than $40 for all 4!) to cover up that silly old carpet hole...

491938


491939




This thing is starting to get a little bit nicer!
 

·
Registered
'17 OB 3.6 , '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
Joined
·
343 Posts
It's coming along, looks like you're definitely taking care of some of that deferred maintenance. That CAF looked terrible !! Nice pics, good luck with everything. A little investment up front, will save you in the long run ; car payments aren't fun :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toddasaurus

·
Super Moderator
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
8,090 Posts
My 2008's older brother - back when the Limited model had a 5 speed MT option!

The deferred maintenance you found told the opposite story of the cleanliness of the engine bay - I'm wondering if it was cleaned up only for the sale.

What's with the exposed wire above the mirror control?

Good luck with this project!
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My 2008's older brother - back when the Limited model had a 5 speed MT option!

The deferred maintenance you found told the opposite story of the cleanliness of the engine bay - I'm wondering if it was cleaned up only for the sale.

What's with the exposed wire above the mirror control?

Good luck with this project!
This is a good question. I think it has something to do with the wiring for the hitch in the back... I'll be investigating it next!!

Thanks for the responses, everyone!
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So, bad news! On my way to DEQ this morning, while driving on the freeway, I got a CEL...

In fact, the check engine light first came on when I was spraying in the 2nd can of seafoam. I had assumed it was the MAF sensor since I had to partially undo the intake piping while spraying in the seafoam. So, at the time, I reset it by disconnecting the battery.

Anyway, I drove to AutoZone instead and read the code: P0420 - saying the cat is bad.

I'm hesitant to believe the cat is bad when my CEL first came on during seafoam treatment. I think it's more likely one or both of the o2 sensors got mucked up during the treatment. I went ahead and ordered Denso replacements for both sensors.

Lastly, on my way back home the airbag light came on as well! What the... I don't know where to begin with that, it hasn't happened on this car until just now. :unsure:
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
8,090 Posts
Lastly, on my way back home the airbag light came on as well! What the... I don't know where to begin with that, it hasn't happened on this car until just now.
At least this part of it is pretty straightforward:
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
At least this part of it is pretty straightforward:
Nice! Thanks for that. Mine is the airbag light on the dashboard, though...not the overhead console. Would this still apply to my situation?

I read on another thread that it could be the wiring connector under the driver's seat. I figured I'll take a peek at that. Considering the light is on in the lower left side of my dash, should I still look at the overhead console board?

Again, thanks for the response!
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
8,090 Posts
Mine is the airbag light on the dashboard, though...not the overhead console. Would this still apply to my situation?
Yes it probably would. The circuit board in the overhead console usually has bad solder joints in the LED drive circuits. Their function is considered important enough that it is checked at every startup by illuminating the console LEDs temporarily and observing this drive circuit for trickle current driving them, indicating the LEDs are probably working. If it can't see current, the diagnostic fails and you get the red dash light for the duration of that drive cycle. Then it might go away on the next start; it's just run as a one-time diagnostic at startup.

Cold solder joints tend to come and go with temperature, humidity, contaminants, etc. A lot of it has to do with getting rid of Pb in board assembly soldering processes and moving to Sn over a decade ago; this changeover was badly executed by many manufacturers in the beginning.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes it probably would. The circuit board in the overhead console usually has bad solder joints in the LED drive circuits. Their function is considered important enough that it is checked at every startup by illuminating the console LEDs temporarily and observing this drive circuit for trickle current driving them, indicating the LEDs are probably working. If it can't see current, the diagnostic fails and you get the red dash light for the duration of that drive cycle. Then it might go away on the next start; it's just run as a one-time diagnostic at startup.

Cold solder joints tend to come and go with temperature, humidity, contaminants, etc. A lot of it has to do with getting rid of Pb in board assembly soldering processes and moving to Sn over a decade ago; this changeover was badly executed by many manufacturers in the beginning.

Ah, makes sense. Thank you for the explanation! Looks like I'll be adding that to my to-do list! Also, good to see another Portlander!

Appreciate it. People seem to be really nice on this forum! Thanks everyone. 🙂
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
8,090 Posts
Missed that you're brand new to the forum as well as new to this 2006 - welcome!

And there are lots of us here from Portland as well as all over the Pacific NW.
 

·
Registered
2006 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5L XT Limited
Joined
·
327 Posts
Today I was able to tie up a couple loose ends.

Replaced the cabin air filter....

View attachment 491934

View attachment 491935



Also put in some new windshield wipers (front and back)...

View attachment 491936

View attachment 491937



I even order some OEM Subaru rubber floor mats from my local dealer (was less than $40 for all 4!) to cover up that silly old carpet hole...

View attachment 491938

View attachment 491939



This thing is starting to get a little bit nicer!
Good looking car, Looks is great condition. I too had to replace my Drivers side Windows Switch. First I bought from ebay $30usd. Broke in 1 month. Turns out it was made in China. I ended up buying a replacement directly from Subaru, which was made in Japan. I hope yours last for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toddasaurus

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay, after coming home from work this morning I was able to fiddle with things. I figured I'd first look under the driver's seat and inspect the wiring harness down there.

I found this total mess of garbage underneath it. Haha.
492070




It took me longer than I want to admit to figure out how to unclip all the connectors. Lol. But everything looked absolutely perfect - the terminals were totally clean, the connectors were in excellent condition.

492071





Anyway, while I was down there I figured I'd grease up all the seat adjustment screws....because....why not. shrug

492072



After bolting the seat back down, I tested out the adjustment, and it seemed a little smoother than before. Nice!

Anyway, next up is checking the overhead console airbag lights/circuit board. This is how mine looks....

492073


492074




Some ever so slight cracks are visible on the solder at each end of the black "331" chips. So, I busted out my soldering gear... Now, I'd like to consider myself an adequate solderer; but, each time I work on circuit boards I always get really nervous. Probably, at least partially, because I don't have all the right tools. I need a small soldering iron tip, but I continue to use the generic pointer tip like a fool. Even so, I was happy with my results, even though they could most certainly be much nicer!!

First I cleaned up the existing soldering points with rubbing alcohol. Then I applied a very thin layer of flux on each soldering point, then gently applied heat and carefully fed in some really thin silver bearing solder.

492075



Results close up....
492076



I wanted it to look nice, but at the same time I was worried about melting the LED's and other stuff. So, I hoped this would be okay! Turns out I am just what I thought I was: adequate. My soldering job could certainly look MUCH prettier if I were better at it, but, I'm okay with how it turned out. Hah. All 4 LED's turn on, and no airbag light in the gauge cluster! So, I consider that a success!

492077





Nice. I'm happy about this. Now I will wait for my new o2 sensors and replacement EGR valve to come in. Will update soon. In the meantime, thank you everyone for your help! I had no clue that the overhead console had anything to do with the airbag. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
8,090 Posts
I found this total mess of garbage underneath it.
Nowhere near a record for these forums:


First I cleaned up the existing soldering points with rubbing alcohol. Then I applied a very thin layer of flux on each soldering point, then gently applied heat and carefully fed in some really thin silver bearing solder.
I wanted it to look nice, but at the same time I was worried about melting the LED's and other stuff. So, I hoped this would be okay! Turns out I am just what I thought I was: adequate. My soldering job could certainly look MUCH prettier if I were better at it, but, I'm okay with how it turned out.
Good job - and I note that the solder you used is a "real man" solder, 62/36/2, with genuine Pb in it, so you'll get some longevity out of it, not like this wimpy Sn solder that caused the problem in the first place. Gosh, I've procrastenated fixing mine; if I pull it out maybe I could drop it off to you this weekend for repair .... :)
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Nowhere near a record for these forums:
Hah! Oh dang! What a mess!



Good job - and I note that the solder you used is a "real man" solder, 62/36/2, with genuine Pb in it, so you'll get some longevity out of it, not like this wimpy Sn solder that caused the problem in the first place. Gosh, I've procrastenated fixing mine; if I pull it out maybe I could drop it off to you this weekend for repair .... :)
Why thank you. I know my soldering job certainly wasn't the prettiest, but I am happy with the result! I fear I'd get too nervous working on some else's circuit hardware, and then ruin it! But hey, if you trust me, I'd be down! Haha.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Had some time to get some work done. I received both upstream and downstream o2 sensors, and I decided to just buy a new EGR valve as well just for fun.

Removing the old o2 sensors wasn't actually as bad as I had anticipated. Previous cars resulted in being a huge pain in the butt to undo the sensors, but this one they came out without too much fuss. First, I sprayed the base of the sensor (underneath the little circular shield) with WD40, unplugged the harness connectors, and then went to work. I decided to just grab a bunch of extensions along with my cheap offset o2 sensor socket and tackle it from the top...

Pics...
492315




(used a universal impact joint in conjunction with my offest o2 sensor socket for the downstream sensor)....

492316




Primary/upstream o2 sensors compared (old vs new)...

492317






And secondary/downstream o2 sensors compared... In this pic I had applied the included anti-seize. Just make sure to avoid getting it on the sensor element itself prior to install. I ended up having to wipe off a tiny bit (some of it seen here) with a shop towel before threading it in.

492318







After threading in the replacement sensors and torquing them down, I decided to clean out the engine harness connectors with some cleaner. They looked a bit grimy and gritty - possibly what was causing my CEL? Anyway, here is a picture of the cleaner I used...


492319



And the results.... They look MUCH better...

492320





And here it is, new sensors installed.

492321





Continued...
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Next up is the EGR valve. It is VERY easy to get to and replace, just 2 12mm bolts and one connector - easy peezy.


The old one...

492322




Removed, and a closeup of the ports...

492323



Certainly had some carbon buildup in there; but, really not too bad. I'm sure this EGR is just fine, especially after a nice clean up. Even so, I figured I may as well continue swapping it out.


Here is the new one..

492324




Prior to install, I wiped down the mating surface on the intake manifold with some parts cleaner...

492325




....and I blasted the harness connector with my CRC electronic cleaner. A nice, clean connector is definitely a good thing.

492326





New EGR installed with replacement gasket. Notice something odd...?

492327


492328




The connector is on the opposite side. Lol. Luckily, it's a problem easily fixed.

492329


492330


492331





Nice! Anyway, before calling it a day I removed the negative terminal to the battery for a few minutes to reset the ECU. Tomorrow I'll take it for a test drive with my fingers crossed that my CEL won't come on again, and I can pass DEQ. I'm planning to do a full drive cycle first, so hopefully the new sensors will register as "ready" prior to getting it tested. We will see. Thanks for reading!
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i manual
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Drove it around town for about 15-20 minutes, then drove it on the freeway for another 15-20 minutes. I noticed that it's idling noticeably better, the revs don't dip down to almost a sputter like it did before. Looks like it probably needed the o2 sensors, and probably even the EGR replacement!

Also, just got back from the DEQ test station - and guess what? IT PASSED! Wooh! Haha.
 
1 - 20 of 121 Posts
Top