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2004 Outback Wagon 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my 2004 Outback Wagon 2.5 EJ259,, automatic off of a friend. 212,000 on the clock. My buddy told me it is the base model with cold weather package.

Head gaskets are good, runs very smooth...for except what I put below.

He did tell me what it was doing, but I wanted it anyhow.

The car does run very well, and shifts perfect. Very happy, fun car to drive.

However, when I put it in drive, it feels rough. Like a vibration, or basically a rough Idle. I can't tell the difference?

In reverse it is a little more harsh. Soon as I feather the gas, it stops. Just at idle only!!! Otherwise runs and shifts great. I didn't remove it, but I cleaned the throttle body. Slightly helped, or maybe a placebo. Still doing it.

Now I did snoop around, and I seen something about aftermarket axles.

He did put a aftermarket axle on the drivers side from advance auto. I was told this could cause that???

He said..."his wife drove the car", that she thought it started after the axle was put on. Seems odd to me.

I don't know what the OEM ones cost. Or if this is my issue. Just some advice would be great. I just don't want to start throwing parts at it. i seen online at a place called subaru parts depot, they are about 360.00 a piece...side?? Yikes!! Thanks guys!
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,343 Posts
It's the axle.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon 2.5 Auto
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's the axle.
Thank you, I was trying to make sure before I spent the money. I did find these, had two good reviews from buyers??

I dont have enough post to put a link up.

I found a Genuine-OEM-Subaru-Outback-Re-manufactured-Axle-2000-2004-outback on Ebay for $183.00

Checked the reviews, seems two people bought them and were happy. Is that taking a chance?
 

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2002 Outback 2.5
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574 Posts
This makes me think of the motor and transmission mounts. If you feel it at idle with your foot on the brake I'd go with that

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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2004 Outback Wagon 2.5 Auto
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This makes me think of the motor and transmission mounts. If you feel it at idle with your foot on the brake I'd go with that

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
It's at idle only with my foot on the brake. It does it in drive, and is worse in reverse. If out of gear, or hitting the throttle its fine. Otherwise, its smooth.

I power braked it, and the motor didn't jump, if that helps. Should I get it up in the air on stands, and figure out a way to check the tranny mounts? Pry bar? I am new to this breed of car.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well just to rule things out I put on an OEM remanufactured axle from Subaru. They had one in stock.

I also pulled my throttlebody off and cleaned it extremely well and put new spark plugs in.

Now it is still idling rough in reverse and to drive when sitting still with the foot on the brake. Does run well besides that. I think I just wasted 300 bucks though.

I have no idea. The passenger side of axle boot is tore on the inside. I'm thinking of putting the aftermarket one on the other side that I have that was brand new in case that one is loose or beat up just to see what it does.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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187 Posts
What happens if you turn off all your accessories like A/C, fan, lights, radio, does it still vibrate? More, less, same?

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by power brake but I'm guessing something like holding the brake and accelerator to see if the engine moves aroun? You might want to watch the engine and have someone shift from P>R>D>R and see if you are seeing movement or vibration. Lots of vehicles run rougher at idle in gear - that doesn't say one way or another if something is wrong. EDIT: I'd lean toward investigating the trans and engine mounts for now.

I'm no expert but I'm not understanding how this could have been an axle issue if only at a stop. I'm new to this platform as well.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes I was technically doing it the old fashioned way, when you hold your foot on the brake and tap the gas to see if the engine jumps.
I did also put it from reverse to neutral to drive to see if the engine was moving but it stays still.

I'm wondering if it could be transmission mounts though you may be onto something there. I just don't want to keep throwing money at it though.

It doesn't stall but I could tell that it just starts vibrating really hard in drive and a little worse in reverse. Car does run very well though.

I noticed something very odd, my cruise control button the light is blinking on it. I don't know if that has anything to do with it since I'm new to this platform also.
 

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Silver: 2009 Subaru Outback Limited Edition, 2.5 Liter EJ25, Automatic. Gem: 2002 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition, 3.0 liter EZ30D, Automatic
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Hi there. I was reading through this and figured I should share my experience in case it may help to shed some light on this situation. I had my front driver's side axle replaced a couple of years ago, presumably with an aftermarket one as I went to the garage that was then across the street from me and was very competitively priced.

Shortly afterwards, my car developed the shivers. Sitting at idle it felt like the car had the chills and was shivering. It still drove fine, but I took it back to that mechanic and described the shivering to him. He took it in and I don't know exactly what he did, but he made some kind of adjustment and the shivering stopped. (I kind of thought he might have adjusted the idle, but I'm not sure exactly what was done.)

I didn't think of the shivering being related to the axle in any way, but reading this thread makes me wonder, since here is another car with a similar repair followed by a similar symptom. To my knowledge the axle has never presented any problem. This year I went through head gasket replacement and never did the axle come up as an issue. Anyway, I thought I'd share this in case it could be helpful in some way.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't think we can adjust idle. The computer does that. I'm las you never had an issue with your aftermarket axle. I will be putting that new aftermarket one on my right side now since it needs replaced also.
I cannot figure out why mine is doing this. And it's only sitting still
In gear. Drive or reverse, although reverse seems a little more of a vibration.
Soon as I hit the gas it's perfect. Or put it in Neutral.
I'm wondering if my tranny fluid needs changed, although that may sound stupid.
 

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Silver: 2009 Subaru Outback Limited Edition, 2.5 Liter EJ25, Automatic. Gem: 2002 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition, 3.0 liter EZ30D, Automatic
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I looked up the old receipt on that axle job, and it says "reman axle" and tie rod.
I think I probably need to do the right side one soon too, as I'm getting some steering wheel shake when I go 65 mph or more. (It stared out like that with the other axle).

My strange vibration may have been entirely coincidental to the axle. It would manifest when I was sitting in park and idling as well as when I was stopped in drive with my foot on the brake.

As far as transmission fluid, how does it look and when did you have it changed? I've been actively discouraged from changing the trans fluid in a Subaru, but just had it done a couple of weeks ago. No problems, I just figured it was time to do it. It looked all brown and horrid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not sure when mine was last changed. So I want to do it regardless. It's kind of medium colored.
Reman may mean he put a Subaru reman in. If it was expensive it was probably a Subaru Reman.. lol

Mine is perfect, for except at Idle in gear with foot on the brake sitting still. Very frustrating.
I've seen others change their axle over to a factory Subaru one and it vanished. I didn't get that lucky.
I've only had the car for about a week. So I'm still getting familiar with it.
 

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Silver: 2009 Subaru Outback Limited Edition, 2.5 Liter EJ25, Automatic. Gem: 2002 Subaru Outback LL Bean Edition, 3.0 liter EZ30D, Automatic
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The reman axle was $89.95 and the tie rod $34.95. I'm not sure if that's expensive or not. With the labor it was 300.

From what you described I'm leaning more toward making sure all of the mounts are okay. If you haven't done it already, maybe get someone to sit with it in 1st and their foot on the brake so you can pop the hood and see what it's doing. Maybe there are more clues to be gotten that way. I'm not a mechanic, just a curious person who'd do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I tried power braking it, and the motor stayed still. I need to figure out a way to check the transmission mounts because I think that's what it could possibly be.

The car does run quite well once you get rolling. That was cheap for a reman if it was an OEM Subaru. Mine was $255.
I'm going to see if I can get under it tomorrow and put a prybar under some of the mounts and check them. It has to be something stupid like that.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,843 Posts
a ton ,...and I mean TON of threads about axles, cheap remans. or expensive remans.

I got one that it did that for a few months, and then calmed down.

edit:

here the pantomime horses discussing reman subaru axles and vibrations:

 

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2004 Outback Wagon 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I did buy one from the dealer which I don't like going to.
Hopefully it calms down as you stated. That would be nice!!
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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In general, just take a look at what the new mounts look like on RockAuto and figure out where they are located in your engine bay. In my experience, they shouldn't deform hardly at all when installed. So if you look at yours and they are all mashed (some are liquid filled and the fluid leaks out and they deflate) that could be an easy way to identify whether your mounts are bad.

If they look fine, it might be harder to diagnose. I just changed the ones on my wife's civic and the old ones were very soft - I could move and bend them with my hand. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing since the stiffer ones now send more vibration into the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In general, just take a look at what the new mounts look like on RockAuto and figure out where they are located in your engine bay. In my experience, they shouldn't deform hardly at all when installed. So if you look at yours and they are all mashed (some are liquid filled and the fluid leaks out and they deflate) that could be an easy way to identify whether your mounts are bad.

If they look fine, it might be harder to diagnose. I just changed the ones on my wife's civic and the old ones were very soft - I could move and bend them with my hand. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing since the stiffer ones now send more vibration into the vehicle.
That's a good idea I'll take a look at them on rock auto and see what they look like. I just have to locate them on the car, I'm still not familiar with this car yet. I don't know how many there are on the transmission and motor. I'll be messing with the car on Friday when my wife is off. I'm sure over 200,000 miles the mounts probably are wore out.
 

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Also, use youtube to your advantage - there will be how-to videos on how to change them and they'll help you find all the locations. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Also, use youtube to your advantage - there will be how-to videos on how to change them and they'll help you find all the locations. Good Luck!
I just did that lastnight. got the locations I needed the transmission mounts and motor mounts. Actually I'm gonna look at them transmission mounts right away. I seen quite a few on there, and the way they tear that could be one of my issues with mine, they made need replaced after 200,000 miles on it now.
I was also watching videos on timing belt it doesn't look that bad to do on this car.
 
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