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06 Outback 2.5i
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419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up an 06 Outback 2.5i with 145k. Previously, I drove a 97 Legacy L Wagon with 208k. Absolutely loved that car and it handled everything I threw it at it with grace, but it's getting old and it was time to move something a little newer and safer.

The Outback seems very well taken care of and was very clean when I purchased it. I'll be using the Outback as a daily driver, with an occasional fire road camping adventure, or to haul up to 3 dirt bikes around on a harbor freight folding trailer (~1200 lbs). I won't be racing it, but I appreciate a car that is dialed in and runs smoothly.

When I purchased the Outback, I knew there was an oil leak that's getting on the exhaust and burning up, and the rear struts are very worn.

Additionally after buying the car, I've noticed that the engine stumbles at a low idle - especially as I let off the gas. I was thinking idle air control valve, but turning on the lights/AC/rear defroster at once doesn't seem to affect the idle.

Any common mods/problems I should know about?

The oil leak, I'm hoping/thinking it was just jiffy lube doing a poor job - the oil drain bolt crush washer was out of round, and the oil filter appeared to be leaking. Most of the oil seemed to be coming from those two sources, but it was too messy to know for sure. I cleaned it up pretty well and I'll know more after I check again.

The rear struts - following the advice on the suspension thread, I ordered the 04 KYB struts.

The key fobs take a lot of effort to work correctly. I'm assuming they just need new batteries and replacements should be on the way.

Looking forward to getting many miles of service out of this car.
 

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2009 Outback XT Limited
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67 Posts
I picked up an '09 OB XT in similarly nice condition.
If it's a turbo, I suggest being dang sure you keep the oil changes frequent and use the OEM filter!
10K miles after I bought it it spun the #2 rod bearing.
While the oil never got low, I did let it run to 6K miles before changing it and I used thicker oil than I should have. So it could have been avoided.
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Search for "540RAT blog" if you want a proper education on oils.
I've been working on engines as a hobby for 36 years...and have been wrong about oil all these years!
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As for the engine stumble, you probably need to clean all of the intake system. It's a P.I.T.A. to fully disassemble, but certainly worth it. If nothing else, do your best with non-chlorinated spray cleaners.
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Also, I highly recommend opening, cleaning, and filling with dielectric grease, every single electrical connector you can get to. Every connection, everywhere, including light bulbs.
A whole lot of electrically related issues will go away after that.
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Beyond that, enjoy it! They're awesome vehicles!
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I do wish they had more sound insulation than they do as I love loud and clear music!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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516 Posts
Stumble could also be a vacuum leak. Check all of those for crusty connections and hose ends.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i
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419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Roger that - will check for a vacuum leak. I should note this is a California car, absolutely no rust/corrosion - do you still think it's necessary to add dielectric grease to all the electrical fittings?

And wow, a 6k OCI killed your engine? My 2.2L got an oil change and non-fram filter (wix, Bosch, Purolator) every 5k
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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992 Posts
Check the PCV valve and especially the hose to the valve. Mine was just a press on fitting and the old hose just wouldn't seal properly causing rough idle. A new factory hose fixed it.

My oil drips on the exhaust turned out to be the dreaded weeping head gasket.





I could have gone a long way before changing it, but the occasional burning oil smell was annoying so I bit the bullet and had it changed.

Do you have records of when the timing belt and all the associated parts in there were changed? If not, you'd better replace it post haste. A broken timing belt is about the only real immediate and near-game-ending hazzard to a high milage OB.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i
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419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Timing belt was changed 20k ago.

New problem now - a check engine light, flashing cruise control light and I can't go over 15mph. Last night, I installed a stereo and filled up the car.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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992 Posts
CEL and can't go fast - you're in "limp mode" which is supposed to get the car going just enough to get you home or to a mechanic rather than quitting completely and leaving you stranded. Don't ignore it if your car starts up properly the next time. Find out what the code is with a scanner and get it fixed. It may be major or it may simply indicate something that can be fixed due to a loose connection or a simple part replacement.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,048 Posts

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06 Outback 2.5i
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419 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Will check the codes later this morning, but the gas cap was definitely loose. Would a loose cap cause it to go into limp home mode???

Need to drive 1000 miles in a few hours. Might be taking the old legacy ?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,048 Posts
Will check the codes later this morning, but the gas cap was definitely loose. Would a loose cap cause it to go into limp home mode???

Need to drive 1000 miles in a few hours. Might be taking the old legacy ?
maybe....probably get codes with names like "EVAP system large leak"
like the fuel pumps and the EVAP system could not function properly if you had a big enough problem there.

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and I would never use the "limp home mode" idea on a subaru forum,...as it sounds like old timey cadillac north star thought.

when people try to do such things, suggesting they are "limping home", with a dash full of lights, some of those could be for "overheating" "no oil pressure", and they are just limping home to make a yard ornament, to make for a $2000 repair

vs. a $30 repair, plus the flat bed bill.
 
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