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Subaru engine repair questions and answers

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  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2001 Subaru Outback - Engine - 1/26/2014
    Could you tell me what parts I need for a headgasket repair?
    I have a 4cyl Legacy Outback Limited. I need parts for a head gasket and valve cover gasket repair. Thank you for your assistance.
    • HouseCallAuto
      1/26/2014 HouseCallAuto
      I just completed this job about three months ago on a clients car except '97 but DOHC engine. You will need the parts listed but also expect to have to buy a few hoses that will crack when taking them off as you remove intake manifold. The rubber coolant hose becomes hardened and cracks and no place else but Subaru has. One rather sensitive area is the exhaust manifold flange nuts and studs. I was terrified that the stud might break off so I used an air chisel to split the nut to aid in removal. Spent more than 2 hours workin them. Did not have oxy-acetylene with me but wish I did. You might want to install new nuts and / or studs if the studs unthread with the nut staying in place. I made my own studs out of bolts by cutting the heads off at the appropriate length, not that I wouldn't have paid probably 5 bucks or more for each new stud from subaru but I was in the final stretch of finishing it and I would have had to stop and drive to Subaru and then come back and I would not have finished it the same day. I do wish I had new studs.

      head gasket set FEL-PRO HS26170PT1 (this set inclused valve cover gaskets and intake gaskets etc)
      head bolt set (two of these, one for each side) FEL-PRO ES72212
      coolant thermostat STANT 48457 (best)

      If the timing belts has not been done at all yest or has some miles it would be wise top replace the timing belt and water pump and idler pulleys. I am a neat freak and I even bought new seals for the plastic timing covers, and even brought them home and ran them in the dishwasher. (wife was not home - LOL)

      Good luck. Do Not rush this job. Its gonna be 14 to 20 hours depending on how particular you are.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2008 Subaru Outback - Engine - 1/9/2014
    Headlights rearwindshield wipers not working strange smell in defrost
    103000 mi headlights seem reversed wh car is on and no high beems
    0 answer
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2005 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 1/4/2014
    Spark plug tube remove
    how do you get the tube around spark plug out of the cylinder head
    • Jimm
      1/4/2014 Jimm
      Supplies: rocker cover gasket; 2 x spark plug gaskets; 5 x RC bolt washers (6 for a turbo); a little sealant (3 bond or similar)

      Tools: 10 mm ring; 10 mm open end; 10 mm socket

      Record your radio pre-sets (you’re going to lose them!)

      Insure the engine is cold

      Hand / E brake on and chock wheels.

      Turn off alarm unit if you have one (or it will go off when you disconnect the battery)

      Remove windscreen washer reservoir

      Disconnect battery leads and tie back towards windscreen

      Remove battery

      Remove battery tray (& clean)

      Jack up car if you have to and remove sump / splash guard

      Position drip tray (make sure it extends to the centre of the vehicle as oil will run across the front cross-member before it falls. Stuff rags etc under the rocker cover (RC) as well.

      Remove the PCV hose from the RC.

      Remove the spark plug leads.

      Undo the RC bolts (note that the top bolts are longer). There’s 5 on an NA (6 on a turbo) and they are not tight (3.6 ft/lbs). The rear bottom bolt is a pain to get at. I found it best from the top - coming at it from the firewall end.

      Grab the oil filler and pull the cover away. Then undo and remove the oil filler.

      Remove the cover – I found it easiest to grab the rear end of the cover and lift vertically past cylinder #4

      Remove old gaskets and bolt washers. Clean up the RC and mating surfaces.

      Insert new RC gasket into cover and position the new spark plug tube seals. Apply a very, very light smear of gasket sealant across the top of the RC gasket.

      Position RC – again lower into position holding rear of cover and then turn into position. Do not yet insert bolts.

      NOW ATTACH THE OIL FILLER – there is a trap in that there is not enough room to fit the rear bolt of the oil filler once you have attached the RC. (I found this out the hard way – I had to find a shorter bolt as a temporary solution!)

      Now slide the new RC bolt washers, metal face outmost towards the bolt head, onto the bolts and insert the bolts (remember the top bolts are longer). Tighten all the bolts by hand making sure that the gaskets have remained in place. Torque the bolts you can get at to 3.6 ft/lbs (i.e. not very tight) grab a 10 mm ring and get a feel for the torqued bolts then tighten the others with similar force (again the rear bottom is a PIA!)

      Reattach the PCV hose and spark plug leads. Be sure to apply a thin layer of dieelectric to the insoide of the plug wire insulators.

      Reinstall the water reservoir, battery tray and battery, reconnect battery leads.

      Remove any rags from under the RC; clean up any oil spills.

      Reactivate the alarm if you have one.

      Start vehicle and let it idle as in an ECU reset. Check for leaks.

      After engine at operating temperature, switch off. Switch back on then go for a test drive.

      Check for leaks and check oil level. Reinstall sump / splash guard when you’re happy that there are no leaks.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2002 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 1/3/2014
    Is there a free website to show how to change cambelt on subaru impreza 2002 4 cylinder 2.0L GX AWD engine
    where to get free information on subaru impreza 2.0L GX AWD cambelt and setting timing
    • HouseCallAuto
      1/3/2014 HouseCallAuto
      YouTube most likely has tutorial on changing the belt.
    • John's Auto Repair
      You may also want to try AutoZone's website. They have a help section which would
      probably cover your repair.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2002 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 1/3/2014
    How to tell if cambelt has failed
    is subaru impreza 2.0L 4 cylinder GX 4wd a free wheeling or interference engine
    • HouseCallAuto
      1/3/2014 HouseCallAuto
      Debatable topic. Free-wheeling engine but is possible to have intake to exhaust valve contact - not valve to piston contact.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2002 Subaru Impreza - Engine - 1/3/2014
    Suspected cambelt failure on subaru impreza 2002 2 litre gx 4wd is this engine inteference fit or free wheeling
    when trying to start the car engine turned over 2 or 3 times normally then it sounded like it had lost compression similar sound as if the starter motor had become disengaged whilst trying to start but it had'nt could this be a cambelt failure?
    0 answer
  • 1wayralph86
    1wayralph86 - 1999 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 12/21/2013
    My car is over heating after i replaced radiator, water pump, an thermostat. I was told that its air locked.
    219876, running hot, it runs hot while driving, it just started two days ago,inside the car, yes check engine light is on,no other lights are on.
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/21/2013 HouseCallAuto
      The subaru engine is well known for bad head gaskets, very very common and more common that most other cars. All these new parts and yet still getting air in system usually = a head gasket. I will assume that you have opened the air bleed on the top of the radiator or near the radiator to purge the air out - Subaru's have an air bleed screw but if you already did that and still running hot then there are no likely other causes here besides the head gasket.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1997 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 12/14/2013
    Why does car start intermittently (sometimes it starts and sometimes it does not start)?
    Sometimes the car starts and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes turning key repeatedly works and sometimes tapping on the starter works. When the car doesn't start, we may (sometimes) hear a clicking under the hood and around the fuse box under the glove box (at the ...
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/14/2013 HouseCallAuto
      1. Bypass the starter interrupt relay by jumping the Blue/White wire to the Blue/Red wire. If the problem no longer occurs the relay may be faulty or it may have an alarm system issue.

      2. Check for a loose ground cable near the starter.

      Here is a picture of starter interrupt relay location and by the way, these two relays are the same so you can swap them as a test. One is for the headlight alarm.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1997 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 12/14/2013
    Why does car start intermittently?
    Sometimes the car starts and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes turning key repeatedly works and sometimes tapping on the starter works. When the car doesn't start, we may (sometimes) hear a clicking under the hood and around the fuse box under the glove box (at the ...
    0 answer
  • Diane
    Diane - 2004 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 12/12/2013
    After 15 mins driving, engine revs up and down 1000-2000 rpms at idle, won't settle down. Worse in cold weather
    Engine revs up and down like it is breathing, won't settle even if I step on gas and let up. Worse in stop and go traffic, and especially in cold (25F or colder) weather. May also be doing this while driving as occasionally feels like it wants to bog down or speed ...
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/12/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Try removing both battery cables from the battery (I SAID BOTH) and touch them together for a minute and then reconnect them, positive first and then negative and see if it solves it. If not replace the Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve.
  • Diane
    Diane - 2004 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 12/12/2013
    After driving 15 mins, pull to stop, engine revs up and down 1000-2000 rpms, won't settle down. Only in cold weather.
    Revs up and down like it is breathing. Tried stepping on gas to get it to settle down, made it worse. Especially bad in stop and go traffic. May be doing this while driving too - occasionally feels like it either wants to bog down or speed up when I have not applied ...
    0 answer
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1987 Subaru GL - Engine - 12/9/2013
    My check engine light has been on for two weeks but has ran fine till recently it has been over heating
    the vehicle has 2,43000 miles. it runs well although it could use a tune has been over heating and loosing water about a quart at a time I find coolant on the pasanger side of car on the ground below the head there is no water in the oil the car runs cool ...
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/9/2013 HouseCallAuto
      You have a coolant leak and you have to identify where the origin of the leak is and then fix it. Don't worry about the CEL, just solve the leak. Use a cooling system pressure tester and do it when the engine is overnight cold which is the best condition for finding a leak - cold engine.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 1990 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 12/4/2013
    No start issue. It acts like it wants to start and has spark.
    I've determined it to be a fuel issue, probably the pump. But first i want to check the relay, but not sure the location.
    • HouseCallAuto
      12/4/2013 HouseCallAuto
      Unless you already did, replace the coolant temperature sensor. This sensor on the old Subaru failed often and gave hard start issues. Do not replace the fuel pump unless you have a clear diagnosis of the pump either not turning on or it is producing low fuel pressure. Fuel pressure should be 26 to 30 psi at idle and higher during cranking before it starts. Maximum 37 psi
  • RoseofSharon
    RoseofSharon - 1995 Subaru Legacy - Engine - 11/30/2013
    Why does my car idle fast when I come to a stop, but goes back to normal when I hit the gas pedal?
    When I start the car the idle is fine, but after I've been driving, the engine races at about 1000 to 1500 rpms at a stop. To make the engine stop racing, I press the gas pedal to the floor and back real fast. Then it idles fine until the next time I stop. I don't ...
    • HouseCallAuto
      11/30/2013 HouseCallAuto
      The throttle body has to be cleaned and examined for any reason for binding, like an out of adjustment throttle cable.
  • AutoMD Member
    AutoMD Member - 2010 Subaru Forester - Engine - 11/6/2013
    My oil was low and my check engine light came on along with my cruise control light and traction control light.
    I added oil. When the car cools off the lights go off. When it heats up, the lights come back on.
    0 answer