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  Reply # 1533609 15-Apr-2016 15:58
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Make sure you change the radiator coolant. If you don't know when it was last done. Get it done now. As car dealers are terrible for saying that the car has been serviced. Yet they have only changed the engine oil. Not changing the coolant is what causes most overheating and head gasket issues on subies.







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  Reply # 1533612 15-Apr-2016 16:09
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Make sure you change the radiator coolant. If you don't know when it was last done.

 

Thanks for the advice. Is that something that would be checked during a service? Or something to specifically ask for, regardless of whether they check it?


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1533719 15-Apr-2016 20:22
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Thanks for the advice. Is that something that would be checked during a service? Or something to specifically ask for, regardless of whether they check it?


Ask them to do it.
They / you will have no idea when it was done last, and coolent should be changed every 5 years or so.
If you spent a lot of time above the snow line let them know so they can make it stronger.

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  Reply # 1533807 16-Apr-2016 00:18
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djtOtago:

 

Thanks for the advice. Is that something that would be checked during a service? Or something to specifically ask for, regardless of whether they check it?

 


Ask them to do it.
They / you will have no idea when it was done last, and coolent should be changed every 5 years or so.
If you spent a lot of time above the snow line let them know so they can make it stronger.

 

 

 

Don't know exactly which coolant grade is specified for 2005 Subies. But not many grades are able to last for 5 years. The cheap green coolants definitely don't last that long. Personally I wouldn't risk going more than 2 years between coolant changes. Coolant is cheap compared to the damage done by not changing it.

 

Hope that the cooling system is nice and clean - no rust or brown stains inside radiator. Also when you move off at an intersection or from traffic lights, listen carefully for a water bubbling noise coming from the centre of the dashboard. If you hear this you probably have a small head gasket leak. Which you would want to get sorted before it turns into a big leak. You would also need proper testing to confirm a head gasket leak. As it is rare for subies to leak the coolant into the oil. (so just looking to see if the oil is going milky won't tell you anything) Instead you get air (combustion gases) getting into the coolant. Also due to the coolant pipework layout a small head gasket leak tends to cause an air lock in the heater return and bypass pipes. This quickly causes overheating which turns a small head gasket leak into a big one. Also make sure the thermostat hasn't been removed. (temporary bodge fix).






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  Reply # 1533832 16-Apr-2016 04:31
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I have a 2004 dual range manual. Bought it Nov last year. Fun AWD to drive, but likes its own ATM when it comes to repairs.

Definitely keep the tread depth on all tires the same. The viscous centre diff doesn't like odd tread depth tires. Over time at highway speeds it shortens their life. They are costly to replace. Look out for wheel chirping in tight u-turns.

Mines developed the typical Subaru headgasket leak in the last month on the usual left (passenger) side closest the battery ground. I have the earlier EJ-252 engine before they increased the cooling passage size increasing block/deck warpage I think in the Ej-253 and up. The leak though is only small at the moment but a real bummer already for it's mileage. However, the motor has to be pulled out, the heads taken off and sent away for re-surfacing (if you want a decent head gasket job to last). I'm not expecting much change from $2,000 which is why I'm doing the clutch at the same time for another $1,800 (unfortunately mine has a dual-mass flywheel but I'm not converting it to single).

If, sorry, when you strike the headgasket issue with the 2005, don't get a genuine Subaru replacement headgasket. Get decent aftermarket MLS gaskets. The Subaru one's are only a metal layer with composite surface... which gets eaten away at by oil and coolant because of the design of the motor and crappy early MLS headgasket design.  A dealership replacement will usually use geniune OEM, which are crap. Also warranty jobs by the dealer are pretty crude compared to a remachined head job and the new headgaskets (genuine) don't last very long in that scenario either.

I use Motul Inugel Pro for coolant. It's what the dealer recommends where I am. They don't sell the Subaru conditioner in New Zealand so forget trying to find it (just use distilled water with your coolant or Motul pre-mix etccc). I only talked to Subaru in Auckland about it a few weeks back when I went to do the coolant and I also talked to the dealership. Don't use Dexcol long life coolant. That stuff can turn from liquid to mush once the system lets air in (such as failed headgasket). Then it'll really over-heat and clog up.

I just did the engine oil, they recommend 5W-30. I run 5W-40 Shell Helix Ultra (the car's already got 150,000K's on it). However the manual also includes different weights depending on temperature to use. The geniune Subaru oil filters only have four small holes (apart from the centre). The aftermarket filter that was on there before had eight holes, so less resistance to oil flow. I won't be getting another genuine filter, they cost more, and look more inferior.

So far in 7 months though, I've had a lot of smaller issues to fix on the Subaru. My Nissan's longest trip to the shop was for 2 hours for a cambelt and it has 230,000K's on it. The Subaru needs the motor pulled, new clutch kit, re-machined heads and new gaskets and still has 80,000k's to go before it catches up with my Nissan.

The clock on the dashboard with the fuel usage meter etc... they crap out right around now. Mine did 3 months back. Dry solder joints inside on a hidden resistor and transistor. Unfortunately I bumped another one off elsewhere so mine no longer works. But I have a clock on the GPS so all is well until I can be bothered putting a new SMD resistor in it.

 

I don't have an auto so can't comment on them. The gearbox if manual needs 75W-90. I recommend a semi to full synthetic for this. As 1st and 2nd are a bit dodgy to shift when cold on a standard 80W-90 non-synthetic which is what I just finished trying.

edit: I have a full 64MB 'Subaru' 2004 workshop manual if you need torque specs on nuts and bolts anywhere just ask. Covers the 2 and 2.5L single overhead and dual overhead camshaft turbo and H6 dual overhead camshaft as of 2004. Body, chasis/suspension, wiring, transmission etc...

Cheers.




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  Reply # 1533835 16-Apr-2016 06:29
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Thanks djtOtago, kiwirock and Aredwood - this is extremely useful information.

 

Will absorb it all and follow up on everything you've mentioned to play it safe. Really appreciate your advice.

 

kiwirock - I'll message you about the workshop manual.

 

Cheers.


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  Reply # 1533862 16-Apr-2016 08:02
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Aredwood: Make sure you change the radiator coolant. If you don't know when it was last done. Get it done now. As car dealers are terrible for saying that the car has been serviced. Yet they have only changed the engine oil. Not changing the coolant is what causes most overheating and head gasket issues on subies.

This x100. My 05 2.5L started sleeping oil from head gasket at 150000kms. Very expensive to fix. Supposedly caused by coolant not being changed enough. Google the issue and you will find a lot of info about it. Apart from that they are a good car. If I had my time again I'd buy the 3L. Much nicer engine and I'd probably still have it now.

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  Reply # 1533900 16-Apr-2016 11:25
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Not specifically a Subaru observation but more one for Japanese imports with cam belts.
A friend, who is a car importer, told me that Japanese cars can spend an awful lot of time stuck in traffic, idling away, not clocking up any kms, but definitely using up engine hours. Be wary of getting too close to the recommended cam belt replacement kms unless the belt had been replaced since arriving in NZ.




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