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Category Archives for "Subaru"

2010 Subaru WRX STI Maintenance Service

Subaru WRX

Our latest feature is a 2010 Subaru WRX STI Maintenance Service, brought to us by a client from Renfrew/Collingwood, Vancouver.

Subaru WRX

2010 Subaru WRX STI

The WRX STI is highly sought after for it’s all-road performance and power. With over 300 horsepower tucked into a 3000 pound all wheel drive vehicle this car goes like stink! Yet it’s also practical with 4 doors and a hatchback. It could be the perfect blend between sports car and family mobile.

Our featured Subaru WRX STI Maintenance service came to us with just under 50,000 kilometers. At this time it was due for an M2 service, consisting of an engine oil and filter change and a comprehensive inspection. We also replaced transmission fluid, rear differential fluid, power steering fluid and clutch fluid.

As was expected at this mileage we found little wrong with the car other than the brakes were nearly worn out. Like all Japanese cars these Subaru’s are well built and vehicle will likely experience few problems over a very long life. That being said, this is a high performance machine and proper, routine maintenance will hugely affect the lifespan of this vehicle.

For more about the Subaru WRX STI click here

For more about the value of routine maintenance and just how much money it saves click here

Subaru WRX

Underhood view of WRX STI engine. There’s a lot to see here without the typical plastic coverings found on most modern car engines. The large rectangular item at the top is the turbo intercooler.

2006 Subaru Forester – Rear Strut Replacement

Subaru Forester

Friday’s featured repair is a 2006 Subaru Forester Rear Strut Replacement brought to us by a client from Point Grey, Vancouver.

Subaru Forester

2006 Subaru Forester

Subarus like most Japanese cars have good quality shocks and struts that last a long time. This Subaru had spent some of its life in salty road conditions and this likely lead to an earlier death of the rear struts.

The term strut is short for Macpherson Strut, a rather brilliantly designed suspension component that incorporates the shock absorber, coil spring and upper suspension link all in one assembly. When we refer to replacing struts most of the time just the shock absorber section is replaced.

How can you tell if your struts are worn out? There are several things to look for: 1) oil leaking from the strut, as was the case with this vehicle; 2) a bouncy ride; 3) clunking or creaking noises on bumps or turns (these may be caused by other suspension components as well); 4) “cupped” tire tread wear.

While many shock and strut manufacturers recommend replacing them at 80,000 kilometers this is really overkill in most cases. It is best to evaluate each car with every inspection to determine condition.

Strut replacement can be a costly service, so many vehicle owners choose not to do it. While worn struts don’t pose the immediate safety concern that bad brakes do, they reduce stopping distance and vehicle control. Not replacing your struts could compromise your safety!

For more about the fabulous Subaru Forester click here

For more about shock and strut wear and symptoms click here

For more about MacPherson Struts click here

Subaru Forester

Worn out and leaking rear strut from 2006 Subaru Forester

2001 Subaru Outback H6 – Leaking Sunroof Repair

Leaking Sunroof

Our featured service today is Leaking Sunroof Repair on a 2001 Subaru Outback H6 Wagon.

Leaking Sunroof

2001 Subaru Outback H6 Wagon

Any vehicle equipped with a sunroof will eventually spring a leak. Subaru Outback’s have two sunroofs which doubles the opportunity for leakage.

On many cars sunroof leaks are caused by blocked drains, however this sunroof’s leaks were not caused by blocked drains. How did we know? We took the time to do a very thorough diagnosis to assess the cause of the leak.

This sunroof’s leak came in through the front map light assembly and only occurred after a heavy rain storm. To determine where the water was coming in we removed the vehicle’s roof liner. We tested the drains for blockage and found that they flowed properly.

While most sunroof drains are easily testable with the roof open the Subaru’s front sunroof makes it impossible to test the drains properly without removing the front sunroof or the headliner.

With headliner off we were able to see the water leaking in from a body seam at the right front corner of the roof. We applied sealer to all body seams around the front sunroof and verified no further leakage during the next deluge.

Reinstalling the roof liner and related components completed the job.

For more information on the Subaru Outback click this link.

For more on the Subaru H6 Boxer engine click here.

Sunroof Leak

Front map light assembly where water from sunroof leaked out.

1996 Subaru Outback – Cylinder Head Gasket Replacement

1996 Subaru Outback

Wednesday’s featured repair is Cylinder Head Gasket Replacement on a 1996 Subaru Outback.

1996 Subaru Outback

1996 Subaru Outback

Since the mid 1990s Subarus have become very reliable vehicles. One repair that you are almost guaranteed to have on any 4 cylinder boxer engined Subaru is head gasket replacement.

Symptoms of head gasket failure on Subarus usually involve external engine oil and/or coolant leaks. These leaks can often go for many kilometers as minor seeps before becoming severe enough to repair.

This 1996 Outback arrived at our shop overheating due to failed head gaskets. The coolant overflow bottle was filled with black engine oil, another sure sign of head gasket failure.

Outbacks have a 2.5 liter Dual overhead cam engine. This adds extra horsepower and performance but comes at a cost of a slightly more complex and expensive repair.

Because the Subaru is an opposed piston (boxer) engine it has 2 cylinder heads.

While this head gasket replacement is quite an expensive job to perform on a 17 year old car it is still very worthwhile as this vehicle has several good years of life remaining.

For more information about Subaru cars please view this link

For more information on cylinder head gaskets click here

1996 Subaru Outback

1 cylinder head from Subaru Outback. This view is looking at the surface which mounts to the engine and the head gasket sits between here and the engine block. The 4 round dark parts are the intake and exhaust valves and the spark plugs are centered between the valves.



2005 Subaru Outback 3.0R – Wheel Bearing Replacement

2005 Subaru Outback 3.0R

Friday’s features repair is Wheel Bearing Replacement on a 2005 Subaru Outback 3.0R.

2005 Subaru Outback 3.0R

2005 Subaru Outback 3.0R

Wheel bearing replacement may be required for a couple of reasons: first is a worn out bearing causing a loud noise while driving down the road. Second is play in the bearing. Play in the bearing may also be accompanied by road noise.

A noisy wheel bearing will be very evident to the driver: it’s usually a loud humming noise which increases in volume as the vehicle’s speed increases. Bearing play will not be noted until the vehicle is inspected on a hoist.

Our client’s Subaru suffered from a very loud bearing noise which we traced to the front left of the car.

The bearing on this car is typical of many modern vehicles in that it is a unitized bearing and hub assembly. The bearing is completely sealed and bolted onto the hub. Cost of unitized bearing/hub assemblies are higher than just the bearing but are less labour intensive to install and thus lower the labour costs.

Our featured Subaru is a 3.0R model which has the H6 boxer engine. This is a very smooth and powerful engine but lacks the “snaky” acceleration of the 2.5 L turbocharged engine.

For more on the Subaru Outback check out this link

2005 Subaru Outback 3.0R

Unitized wheel bearing/hub assembly

2007 Subaru Forester- Clutch Replacement

Today’s featured repair is clutch replacement on a 2007 Subaru Forester.

2007 Subaru Forester

2007 Subaru Forester

Clutches wear out or fail for a number of reasons. This one was a bit unusual in that the release bearing seized.

A clutch problem was very evident with this car as a loud screeching sound was emitted every time the pedal was depressed. Our client’s timing in having the repair done was impeccable for this bearing was so badly seized that within a few kilometers of driving it could spun and damaged the clutch fork and release bearing collar. Repair costs would have been much higher.

As with all clutch replacements we did this job complete with new release and pilot bearings, new pressure plate and clutch disc. The flywheel was ground and clutch fluid flushed.

Subaru Foresters like all Subarus are excellent vehicles: very reliable with few problems. The all wheel drive and boxy station wagon configuration makes for a useful vehicle that rarely gets stopped in all but the most hideous road conditions.

For more information about the Subaru Forester check out these links:



2007 Subaru Forester: seized clutch release bearing

2007 Subaru Forester: seized clutch release bearing

New clutch release bearing, installed with lubricated collar

New clutch release bearing, installed with lubricated collar


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