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2009 Subaru Outback SE in Quartz Silver
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just discovered that my 3rd Gen Outback Special Edition seems to have been delivered to me without the plastic under cover - Subaru (56410AG15A).

By way of background, whilst I live in NJ this Outback was purchased new from a dealership in Richmond, VA, who, in turn, had the vehicle driven up from their sister dealership in Atlanta, GA (I really wanted the Special Edition in solid Quartz Silver and 5-speed Manual Transmission, and this was the last one left on this side of the Mississippi back in August of 2009).

IIRC there was a post in one of the other Subaru forums (Legacy or Forester, I believe) that vehicles delivered to "warm states" did NOT have this undercover installed at the factory. Does anyone have any insight to this, or did I get screwed? - By the by, when I cleaned the car the first time, I also found that there was some mustard colored mud stuck in the nooks and crannies of the rear wheel well, so perhaps this Outback got romped down in the ATL as a test drive vehicle, and the under cover became a casualty of the same?

Thanks!

-The Swede
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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A list of 2009 model year features is here; nothing mentions omission of the plastic underguard:
The 2009 model year was released during hard economic times and had low sales, with Subaru not yet on their sales growth trajectory to pull them out of it. As a result, the 2008 2.5i base model became the 2009 SE model, and a new 2009 2.5i model was introduced that was a very stripped down economy model to hit a low price point, lacking fog lights, splash guards, rear cargo area tray, power driver's seat, cross bars for the roof rails, cargo area 12v power outlet, cigarette lighter outlet, and rear cargo cover. But no mention of engine underguard being omitted here, so it's not like you got something that was a cross-up.

I'd attribute it to a mechanic removing it and not putting it back on.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback SE in Quartz Silver
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A list of 2009 model year features is here; nothing mentions omission of the plastic underguard:
The 2009 model year was released during hard economic times and had low sales, with Subaru not yet on their sales growth trajectory to pull them out of it. As a result, the 2008 2.5i base model became the 2009 SE model, and a new 2009 2.5i model was introduced that was a very stripped down economy model to hit a low price point, lacking fog lights, splash guards, rear cargo area tray, power driver's seat, cross bars for the roof rails, cargo area 12v power outlet, cigarette lighter outlet, and rear cargo cover. But no mention of engine underguard being omitted here, so it's not like you got something that was a cross-up.

I'd attribute it to a mechanic removing it and not putting it back on.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback SE in Quartz Silver
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your detailed reply. However, this is definitely not the case of a mechanic removing it and not putting it back on. I had to drive it back from Virginia and with them having had a driver bring it up from Atlanta, the car had some 1100 miles on it upon arrival back home in Jersey. I changed the oil on her the very first weekend I had her; there was no plastic in the way of that first oil change.

As a follow up question, in addition to purchasing the actual under guard, do I need any additional fasteners to affix it to my vehicle?

I recently replaced my exhaust from the catalytic converter back, and would like to ensure that I am doing my best to protect this investment in my vehicle’s longevity. She is still a baby with only 150,000 miles on her! :)
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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As a follow up question, in addition to purchasing the actual under guard, do I need any additional fasteners to affix it to my vehicle?
It needs the plastic retention fasteners that you see in the diagram where you found that undercover part - as best I recall, there are six of them. Two in front, two from the side through the fender well, two in the rear.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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If it helps, here is a diagram from the '09 FSM. Two kinds? Me - ¯\(ツ)
501609
 

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2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
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My experience with a variety of gen 3 Outbacks is some had the diapers, and some didn't. The "limited" versions I've owned (2.5i limited, LGT and H6 LLBean) have had the the large trays. The base model 07 I had did not have any tray at all. The 09 SE had the small type listed above if I recall correctly.
 

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This was discussed back when the 3rd gen was the current model as some cars had the large type, others small. As I recall, cars with separate exhaust headers for each bank that go back from the head toward the rear of the car have the large undercover. Cars with the "crossover" type exhaust, where the left (driver side) header crosses to the right side to join the right side header, and then the single exhaust continues back from there, uses the small covers. This, I believe is because of the lower position of the crossover exhaust.

The crossover type exhaust (2005-9) is on the 2.5 non-turbo, with the exception of the 2005 with CA emission, which had separate headers. (These were sold in multiple states, not just CA.)

The 2005 CA exception resulted in conflicting posts here, where 2.5 non-turbo owners found large covers; that is, until the emission spec/exhaust system for the car was clarified.

Be interested if any 2.5 non-turbo, non-CA spec in the 2005-9 years with crossover exhaust, were factory-equipped with the large undercover.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback SE in Quartz Silver
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, fellas!

So I just checked and mine does indeed have the small covers.
501654


I fixated too much on the illustration of the oil filter cover I saw when flipping through the owner's manual when I was checking out the Subaru recommended sizing for Winter Tires (see my only other post on SubaruOutback.org from 10 years ago - I decided to get some Blizzak WS90's this year on some pretty sweet Sparco rims)

501651



Anyway, so I'm guessing I wouldn't be able to fit the full cover on my vehicle based on plain OM's information regarding the exhaust differences, huh?

Got the old P0420 code all the time last year due to misfires; by the time I got around to changing the coil pack and wires to fix the issue, I guess the cat had already given up its nine lives, so I got a new cat from a low milage donor and replaced the front and mid pipe, wrapped it up in heat wrap, painted the heat shields, etc., so I thought I'd ask about the cover I saw in there...
501652
501653



My experience with a variety of gen 3 Outbacks is some had the diapers, and some didn't. The "limited" versions I've owned (2.5i limited, LGT and H6 LLBean) have had the the large trays. The base model 07 I had did not have any tray at all. The 09 SE had the small type listed above if I recall correctly.
 

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2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
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I'm guessing I wouldn't be able to fit the full cover on my vehicle
You could look at the aftermarket ones that are made. Primitive racing I think makes one?
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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As mine (bought used) came without it, I am wondering: does this help with fuel economy? In theory it does, but in real life?
If it does help, it would be quite small and difficult to measure.

The anecdotes posted here say it does make a positive diference in keeping the engine bay cleaner - there's a lot less splash-up from the road surface, and with this the dirt, oil, etc. that comes along with it.
 

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EU 2005 Outback 3.0
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If it does help, it would be quite small and difficult to measure.
Of course, but I suppose someone on this planet tried to figure out :)
The anecdotes posted here say it does make a positive diference in keeping the engine bay cleaner - there's a lot less splash-up from the road surface, and with this the dirt, oil, etc. that comes along with it.
I would be quite useful for me.
501733
 

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2009 Outback 2.5i + 2007 Outback 2.5i
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I’ve purchased about 15 Gen 3 Outback’s in the last 3 years and only 1 came with the full under cover. I’ve had every year of Gen 3, both base and limited and the only one that had the full under cover was a 2007 Outback Sedan. They were all 2.5L.

Besides the plastic fasteners that johnre refers to, you’ll also need 1 bolt which attaches the under cover to the bottom of the engine cradle. The 2 large bolts that are used to attach the small individual covers to the bottom of the radiator core support are also used for the large under cover. Those bolts have a tendency to become very rusty so be careful when you remove them for the first time. I’ve had a few break. On my 2007 & 2009 that I drive I replaced those bolts with OEM and I use anti seize compound on them so they are easily removed for oil changes.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback SE in Quartz Silver
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I’ve purchased about 15 Gen 3 Outback’s in the last 3 years and only 1 came with the full under cover. I’ve had every year of Gen 3, both base and limited and the only one that had the full under cover was a 2007 Outback Sedan. They were all 2.5L.

Besides the plastic fasteners that johnre refers to, you’ll also need 1 bolt which attaches the under cover to the bottom of the engine cradle. The 2 large bolts that are used to attach the small individual covers to the bottom of the radiator core support are also used for the large under cover. Those bolts have a tendency to become very rusty so be careful when you remove them for the first time. I’ve had a few break. On my 2007 & 2009 that I drive I replaced those bolts with OEM and I use anti seize compound on them so they are easily removed for oil changes.
I appreciate the info, SubaruTony. If I am I reading between the lines correctly, you have replaced the small splash guards (or diapers, if I'm getting the terminology correct) with the full under cover on your 07 and 09 OBs, is that correct? Based on the previous posts, I have gathered that the full cover would not fit on my vehicle. I'm not looking to go steel plates, just looking to keep small rocks from chipping my paint job and salt at bay.

-The Swede
 

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2009 Outback 2.5i + 2007 Outback 2.5i
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I appreciate the info, SubaruTony. If I am I reading between the lines correctly, you have replaced the small splash guards (or diapers, if I'm getting the terminology correct) with the full under cover on your 07 and 09 OBs, is that correct? Based on the previous posts, I have gathered that the full cover would not fit on my vehicle. I'm not looking to go steel plates, just looking to keep small rocks from chipping my paint job and salt at bay.

-The Swede
I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to install the full under cover. As I mentioned that’s what I did. I would have preferred to use an aluminum skid plate from Primitive, as aesthetic.rake mentioned but I just couldn’t justify the cost for my purpose which is solely street use. The small individual under covers are absolutely useless in protecting anything under the engine area. I don’t even know why Subaru ever installed them on our vehicles. The large under cover may be plastic but they take a beating and help considerably for most of what your going to encounter on your average public road.

Subaru has changed their parts website recently and some parts require you to call your local dealer so you can give them the VIN so you get the correct part. For example Subaru lists 56410AG08F and 56410AG15A as both fitting several of the same Gen 3’s.


If I remember correctly, my 2009 called for the more expensive of the two options but I’d call your local dealer with your VIN and both under cover part numbers and they’ll tell you which one to order.

I remove mine during oil changes but it only takes a few minutes to remove and reinstall. It does include an access door to get to the oil filter but knowing my luck I’d get more oil on the back side of the under cover than in the oil drain pan.
 

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2009 Subaru Outback SE in Quartz Silver
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to install the full under cover. As I mentioned that’s what I did. I would have preferred to use an aluminum skid plate from Primitive, as aesthetic.rake mentioned but I just couldn’t justify the cost for my purpose which is solely street use. The small individual under covers are absolutely useless in protecting anything under the engine area. I don’t even know why Subaru ever installed them on our vehicles. The large under cover may be plastic but they take a beating and help considerably for most of what your going to encounter on your average public road.

Subaru has changed their parts website recently and some parts require you to call your local dealer so you can give them the VIN so you get the correct part. For example Subaru lists 56410AG08F and 56410AG15A as both fitting several of the same Gen 3’s.


If I remember correctly, my 2009 called for the more expensive of the two options but I’d call your local dealer with your VIN and both under cover part numbers and they’ll tell you which one to order.

I remove mine during oil changes but it only takes a few minutes to remove and reinstall. It does include an access door to get to the oil filter but knowing my luck I’d get more oil on the back side of the under cover than in the oil drain pan.
Thank you @SubaruTony; 10-4 on the consolidation of PN's - I will be sure to contact my friends at @LibertySubaru in Bergen County, NJ - Guy (his name) in the parts department there is the most honest and amenable parts department person I've ever dealt with, and I know he'll do me right, which is why I drive all the way up there, even though I moved 45 minutes south of there some 6 years ago, when I need anything other than basic maintenance parts (oil filters, etc.).

-The Swede
 
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