Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
2001 Outback H6 VDC
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As the title states, over this past Weekend I purchased my first Subaru (always wanted one, and I finally had the opportunity to pick one up to use as my daily). I scored a 2001 OB H6 VDC with just a tik over 100k miles on the clock. Over all the car is in pretty good shape, and appears to be for the most part mechanically sound. My questions are: What maintenance should be done at 100k miles? What's the preferred oil to use in the H6? In what intervals should the transmission and front/rear diffs have their fluid replaced? Is there any issues that come with these cars as they pass 100k that needs to be watched for? And lastly is there anything that is a must do with these cars as the mileage starts to rise into the 100's? I apologize if im beating a dead horse asking repetitive questions on a first post on the forums.. just hope you guys are cooler than the Mustang and diesel forums lol.. :29::29:
 

·
Registered
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
6,120 Posts
Welcome, and please fill out your profile so we always know what you re driving!

I would use a standard oil of whatever weight and viscosity is recommended on the hood tag, given the age and miles. This is probably 5W-30. Don't start with a synthetic, which could accentuate any oil consumption issues that may be already present, unless you know that the previous owner used it.

Your H6 is pretty bulletproof and doesn't require much beyond the standard User manual recommended maintenance items. If you lack that document, go here and download one:

https://cdn.subarunet.com/stis/doc/ownerManual/MSA5M0101A.pdf

It's got a timing chain as opposed to a belt), and uses pretty robust head gaskets, which are two areas that the H4 engines need some level of attention. A lot of Subaru stories that you will hear apply only to the 90% of us with the H4 and don't apply to you or the 10% with the H6. But do pay attention to the cooling system as your miles accumulate, as weaknesses here can start to lead to overheating issues.
 

·
Registered
2001 Outback H6 VDC
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Updated, didnt realize I missed that! And thanks for the info! I have a full garage and tools an im no rookie to turning wrenches (A&P mechanic) so i dont mind doing the work myself, just like to have a point in the right direction! Unfortunately I don't know what oil they used last which thinking about it now is a bit of a problem..
 

·
Registered
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
Joined
·
2,179 Posts
Change all fluids - tranny, front and rear diffs, brake fluid, power steering fluid.


Pull the rear interior panels to see what. if any, rust has started at the wheel well seams. Seal the seams, and make sure that the drain holes are not plugged. Do the same for the doors.


others can advise you better as to what things to look for in the engine a VDC system.
 

·
I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
Joined
·
12,306 Posts
Oil: 5w30 is factory spec, they are not super picky. I've run 5w30, 10w30, 0w40 in Mal so far.
ATF: Dex III, very easy to drain and fill. AT filter is tucked up into driver's fender behind battery. OEM part is worth it.
Front and rear diffs: 75w90, super easy to change.

I tend to do diffs at 50K miles, unless I've had to do much towing.

You want premium fuel in that H6. Check/replace your PCV. Do not be surprised if you need a serpentine belt and/or pulleys soon if they are old. Do not be surprised by the oil cooler gasket leaking ($5 part, very messy but not difficult repair) or valve cover gaskets leaking (replace sparkplugs then too, much easier).
 
  • Like
Reactions: cardoc and Bgilly

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
They covered a lot. Bulletproof is an understatement when it comes to the EZ30D. It'll put up with a lot, just make sure the coolant temp is maintained and if ANY temp issues starts, shut the engine down.

Use Subaru parts for the thermostat, radiator cap and for any electronics for engine management that may come up go with OEM manufacturer.

Alignment
Check the struts, bushings, tie rods, rear diff bushings, transmission mount and spray down the bolts for the rear toe-in adjustment on the rear lateral arm. The camber bolt is at the diff carrier. The front struts have a camber bolt from the factory in the top position. Make sure all the wheels are set at 0.0 toe-in or you'll get vibration on the highway.

This VDC is all wheel drive all the time and it seems a lot of used ones are popping up here lately. 45/55 torque split front to rear with the diff clutch off; 50/50 with it on. The center diff is a dual planetary system and is a tough assembly. You don't have to worry about torque bind. If the clutch fails, you still have AWD. The center diff clutch is controlled by the TCM. In the event you want to turn the VDC off, insert a 10 amp fuse in the FWD fuse slot in the under hood fuse box. This turns off the VDC programming but you still retain ABS. The VDC is the traction system that effects the engine output, transmission and braking together to control the car and keep it planted.

You got a good one. 2001 was the first year for VDC in the States. Low mileage just makes it better. Read up on it all you can and you'll find its really the low maintenance model of its time.

Enjoy it!!!!
 

·
Registered
2001 Outback H6 VDC
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Good info! So far I have new tires and an alignment being done Friday. Over the weekend I'll be changing the oil, trans fluid, front and rear diffs, replacing the belts, oil cooler gasket (its not leaking, i just want to go ahead and get a new one in), new pcv valve, and the cabin filters . Currently im waiting to get the new tires on and the wheels balanced because the car does get a vibration around 55 mph to around 70 mph, after 70 it goes away. So either a wheel is out of balance or I have a rear wheel hub going bad. Also, this is probably a stupid question, but the steering is really stiff, especially if im not moving, is that normal for these cars? Ive never owned an AWD car before but common sense tells me that should cause for a stiffer steering wheel. Aside from what I listed, is there any other routine maintenance I should do? Like I said the car is at 106k miles, and its also the fully loaded version, leather heated seats, dual sunroofs, McIntosh sound system. The interior is almost perfect except for a small tear in the driver seat.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
Good info! So far I have new tires and an alignment being done Friday. Over the weekend I'll be changing the oil, trans fluid, front and rear diffs, replacing the belts, oil cooler gasket (its not leaking, i just want to go ahead and get a new one in), new pcv valve, and the cabin filters . Currently im waiting to get the new tires on and the wheels balanced because the car does get a vibration around 55 mph to around 70 mph, after 70 it goes away. So either a wheel is out of balance or I have a rear wheel hub going bad. Also, this is probably a stupid question, but the steering is really stiff, especially if im not moving, is that normal for these cars? Ive never owned an AWD car before but common sense tells me that should cause for a stiffer steering wheel. Aside from what I listed, is there any other routine maintenance I should do? Like I said the car is at 106k miles, and its also the fully loaded version, leather heated seats, dual sunroofs, McIntosh sound system. The interior is almost perfect except for a small tear in the driver seat.
With this car, the AWD being active all the time, one wheel out of alignment and you get the vibration you mentioned because of the friction at the ground. 100K and its past due for an alignment check. Make sure all the wheels are set at 0.0 toe-in or it will track off and vibrate. If one of the wheel bearings is going bad, you would hear it whining/humming or you'd have the ABS light on possibly due to erratic signal.

Is the power steering whining at all? Does it circulate fluid? You can see the fluid movement at the reservoir under the intake snorkel. Is the fluid black or filmy? The PS takes Dexron 3 fluid. Maybe flush it out good and if its whining replace the o-ring on the feed hose at the top of the pump. (When the o-ring dries out, it allows air in and you get the whining PS) Does the engine idle up when you turn the steering wheel at idle? It should. There's a pressure sensor on the pump that tells the ECM your turning at low speed and it bumps the idle up a little to speed up the pump.
 

·
Registered
2001 Outback H6 VDC
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
With this car, the AWD being active all the time, one wheel out of alignment and you get the vibration you mentioned because of the friction at the ground. 100K and its past due for an alignment check. Make sure all the wheels are set at 0.0 toe-in or it will track off and vibrate. If one of the wheel bearings is going bad, you would hear it whining/humming or you'd have the ABS light on possibly due to erratic signal.

Is the power steering whining at all? Does it circulate fluid? You can see the fluid movement at the reservoir under the intake snorkel. Is the fluid black or filmy? The PS takes Dexron 3 fluid. Maybe flush it out good and if its whining replace the o-ring on the feed hose at the top of the pump. (When the o-ring dries out, it allows air in and you get the whining PS) Does the engine idle up when you turn the steering wheel at idle? It should. There's a pressure sensor on the pump that tells the ECM your turning at low speed and it bumps the idle up a little to speed up the pump.

New tires and alignment is happening tomorrow. PS pump isn't whining at all, and ill have to pay attention to see if the engine idles up while turning. The steering isn't bad at all, its just stiff when not rolling and cutting the wheel left or right. Fluid level is good and looks normal. Wheres the best place to pick up wheel hubs that don't cost an arm and a leg? and whats the best way to drain and fill the PS and brakes? I feel like that's a dumb question.. :8:
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
Timken wheel bearings if you need them. The front are pressed out, pressed in. The rear are bolt on. Check Rock Auto, then search Ebay. No china crap. Nothing from AutoZone that has their name/brand on it. On flushing the PS, you'd have to suck the reservoir down, add new fluid, run the car and steer left/right a lot to circulate the new fluid. Then suck it out again, repeat a 2nd time and you should be good. Brakes, with a helper and keeping the master cylinder full, pump it out. Without a helper, there's a vacuum setup that can be used at the wheel to pull the fluid through. Uses pressurized air so you'd have to have a good compressor and tank. Still keep the MC full and open a bleeder screw, having the hose to the vacuum attached and operate the vacuum to pull all the fluid through until it runs clean.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Steel-Core-34-oz-Brake-Fluid-Bleeder-39210/303481121?gclid=Cj0KCQjw5NnbBRDaARIsAJP-YR_m1Ozfs_CAl_QSMWrewllWkbWJeQKDw9x0xcMPtgCKiYOro89i9T8aAu9VEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CMqFgrfy89wCFVlmwQodYLYIDg

Found this looking for a pic of a bleeder:
 

·
Registered
2001 Outback H6 VDC
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Timken wheel bearings if you need them. The front are pressed out, pressed in. The rear are bolt on. Check Rock Auto, then search Ebay. No china crap. Nothing from AutoZone that has their name/brand on it. On flushing the PS, you'd have to suck the reservoir down, add new fluid, run the car and steer left/right a lot to circulate the new fluid. Then suck it out again, repeat a 2nd time and you should be good. Brakes, with a helper and keeping the master cylinder full, pump it out. Without a helper, there's a vacuum setup that can be used at the wheel to pull the fluid through. Uses pressurized air so you'd have to have a good compressor and tank. Still keep the MC full and open a bleeder screw, having the hose to the vacuum attached and operate the vacuum to pull all the fluid through until it runs clean.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Steel-Core-34-oz-Brake-Fluid-Bleeder-39210/303481121?gclid=Cj0KCQjw5NnbBRDaARIsAJP-YR_m1Ozfs_CAl_QSMWrewllWkbWJeQKDw9x0xcMPtgCKiYOro89i9T8aAu9VEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CMqFgrfy89wCFVlmwQodYLYIDg

Found this looking for a pic of a bleeder: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdT8OPI2ldA

What brand of fluid is best to use in these cars? anything specific? Thank you for the advice :dance2:
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
I use Royal Purple 5/30 in the engine, Royal Purple Dexron 3 in the transmission, I'm not specific on the gear oil, just a GL-5 75/90 front and rear.
If you don't want synthetic motor oil, Pennzoil and Castrol are good as I've not seen a lot of sludge from long term use of either one. Brake fluid - You can use parts store brands from say Oreilly's or Advance or even Wal Mart. Companies don't skimp on DOT branded blends for brakes. They don't want lawsuits coming at them due to inferior fluid in a brake system that came from their bottle. You can use either DOT 3 or 4, its up to you. As stated in the video, 4 just puts up with higher temps, so if you are in an area with a lot of high heat days and braking, 4, otherwise, 3 is fine, just keep it flushed out every couple years.

There's a thread on here about oils. Some experienced more consumption with Mobil1, others with Pennzoil and other major brands. I've gone almost 10k miles on the Royal Purple and one filter swap at 5k and have added a total of 1 quart within that time (including top off after filter replacement). Reminds me its time for an oil change.
 

·
Registered
2001 Outback H6 VDC
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I use Royal Purple 5/30 in the engine, Royal Purple Dexron 3 in the transmission, I'm not specific on the gear oil, just a GL-5 75/90 front and rear.
If you don't want synthetic motor oil, Pennzoil and Castrol are good as I've not seen a lot of sludge from long term use of either one. Brake fluid - You can use parts store brands from say Oreilly's or Advance or even Wal Mart. Companies don't skimp on DOT branded blends for brakes. They don't want lawsuits coming at them due to inferior fluid in a brake system that came from their bottle. You can use either DOT 3 or 4, its up to you. As stated in the video, 4 just puts up with higher temps, so if you are in an area with a lot of high heat days and braking, 4, otherwise, 3 is fine, just keep it flushed out every couple years.

There's a thread on here about oils. Some experienced more consumption with Mobil1, others with Pennzoil and other major brands. I've gone almost 10k miles on the Royal Purple and one filter swap at 5k and have added a total of 1 quart within that time (including top off after filter replacement). Reminds me its time for an oil change.

wow! learned something new, had no idea that was the difference with DOT 3 and 4. im gonna try Mobil 1 for engine oil, and RP for the diffs. And Castrol synthetic trans fluid. Thanks again for the point in the right direction!
 

·
Registered
1998 Outback Limited with 2.2 swap
Joined
·
26 Posts
They get great fuel mileage too for a v6 AWD. I had one and it got 26 mpg hwy running 65-70 mph. However the 3.0 can blow head gaskets when ran hard which I did.Typically I would run 75-80 mph for 4-6 hours at a time on the interstate years ago when I was on the road alot. My 3.0 did no like that.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
They get great fuel mileage too for a v6 AWD. I had one and it got 26 mpg hwy running 65-70 mph. However the 3.0 can blow head gaskets when ran hard which I did.Typically I would run 75-80 mph for 4-6 hours at a time on the interstate years ago when I was on the road alot. My 3.0 did no like that.
Mine loves to go. Before the SC addition, I was getting avg 27 mpg and was on the highway twice a day commuting at speeds up to 80. The car would creep up on me to 80-90 mph with light throttle and run smooth the whole time if I didn't set the cruise. Driving down 77 to Padre Island there's long stretches of road with no traffic and plenty of times I caught myself running faster. Even after the SC, the car wants to go, and there's no sign of engine issues. Heck, not even using oil. These engines are built for High RPMs. The original design was for aircraft and the boxer engine hasn't changed much since.

I would be inclined to think that your H6 had another issue that dominoed to engine failure, not the speed. Sustained 3k rpm is nothing to these cars.
 

·
Registered
'01 OBW 3.0 VDC 184,000 Miles '19 OB 2.5 Base <2,000 Miles - Formerly '14 Impreza Sedan 2.0 5spd 66,000 Miles at trade-in
Joined
·
330 Posts
I would be inclined to think that your H6 had another issue that dominoed to engine failure, not the speed. Sustained 3k rpm is nothing to these cars.
I concur, 3.5 hour long stints from DFW to Texarakana(pit stop) to NE Arkansas and back. All at 85mph and my 3.0 was quiet and smooth the whole way.
 

·
Registered
1998 Outback Limited with 2.2 swap
Joined
·
26 Posts
Wish I knew what it was. Car was kept full of good coolant and temp never went above normal. I just ran her hard and one time after a long trip she had blown a gasket. These Subaru engines are of ingenious design and easy to work on compared to today's American cars(late 1990's and newer) but aluminum is not friendly to any stress. I stress out iron Ford and Pontiac V8's to over 5000 rpms regularly with no problem(older models). But changing out a Subaru engine is easy from the 2.2, 2.5, and 3.0 whether auto or manual- like why can't American engineers make theirs this simplistic.
 

·
Registered
'01 OBW 3.0 VDC 184,000 Miles '19 OB 2.5 Base <2,000 Miles - Formerly '14 Impreza Sedan 2.0 5spd 66,000 Miles at trade-in
Joined
·
330 Posts
For the record and I DON'T RECOMMEND ANYONE TRY IT.....I drive the OB every couple of weeks (wife's daily driver) and try to pin the throttle wide open and bring it as close to the red line as possible, just to give it a chance to feel young again. My buddy and I hit 108mph in it about a month ago, new all time record for me.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
14,318 Posts
For the record and I DON'T RECOMMEND ANYONE TRY IT.....I drive the OB every couple of weeks (wife's daily driver) and try to pin the throttle wide open and bring it as close to the red line as possible, just to give it a chance to feel young again. My buddy and I hit 108mph in it about a month ago, new all time record for me.
:claphead: :jump:
What's 108 mph? >:)
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top