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Subaru Outback: '98 standard is awesome in snow, '06 automatic is lousy -- what's up? - Page 3

post #61 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post
 

 

As for you slushbox lovers out there, just wait till your 8sp electronically controlled wonder needs to be replaced out of warranty...  :eek  (I'll take a clutch change every 100k or so any day)

 

Definitely expensive. I vowed never to own a German car out of warranty ever again. I learned my lesson once, I don't need to relearn it. 

post #62 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post
 

 

Definitely expensive. I vowed never to own a German car out of warranty ever again. I learned my lesson once, I don't need to relearn it. 

 

Yeah, I've known a few people with Audi DSG's that packed it in...they were under warranty but they were not repaired..they were replaced..which makes me go hmmmm...

post #63 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott43 View Post
 

 

Yeah, I've known a few people with Audi DSG's that packed it in...they were under warranty but they were not repaired..they were replaced..which makes me go hmmmm...

 

It's like a $12K job for a new mechatronics unit. Oooof.

post #64 of 82
Thread Starter 

Embarrassing for me to say, but my 2006 doesn't have the "Vehicle Dynamics Control" as part of the LL Bean package.  I was working out of the owner's book which described it and assumed since I had a car with the top trip package (the LL Bean addition) that it would have it  -- turns out it was an option that year and this car doesn't have it.  However, I am printing out the solutions to the "Ghostwalking" issue that was linked by Scott43 and others and handing it to my mechanic.  I largely trust the guy and he's done well for me before.  

 

Frankly, I would like to sell the car but there's some history that may make it difficult -- a "regular oil change shop" didn't install the oil plug to the spec'd torque after a regular oil change.  The bolt rattled free about 400 miles later and I blew oil everywhere (black smoke).  Stopped immediately and watched oil drain from under the car, had it towed to a garage, new plug and new oil and it fired up without any bad sounds so they told me I was good to go.  Drove it home (400 miles) and talked with my mechanic and he checked the filter and found metal, accumulating enough evidence that we had the oil change place agree to pay for a new shortblock which my mechanic installed -- took quite a bit of tweaking by him to get it all running smooth again.  Engine wise I feel confident in the machine but I don't know who is going to want to buy it with that history.  And I live in a small town and would have to look whoever bought in the eye on a regular basis when they experienced the "Ghostwalking".

post #65 of 82
Not having an older VDC system is a plus in my book, nothing to worry about there. The newer engine is also a plus in regards to resale. But you really have to fix the ghost walking to sell it, in which case you don't have to sell it smile.gif. Good luck.
post #66 of 82
Ghostwalking. Never heard of that before. Been driving Subaru Legacy GT wagons since Mar 1998. Been a member of LegacyGT.com for many years. Must be just OB's.

I do have friends with OB from the past 12 years that have had to have the shocks changed out rather early, one was at 28,000 miles, another at 60,000 miles. I do recall one saying she didn't like the car handled in bad weather the winter after she bought the 2005.

BTW, if any of you Subaru Legacy/outback owners want a link to the service manuls, PM me.
post #67 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

I will NEVER drive a Auto trans car. they are for people who do not know how to drive.

I can't resist...

 

I will NEVER drive fat rockered skis. They are for people who do not know how to ski.  :D

post #68 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

still is not an slush box on the market that is more reliable than a manual trans.

This may be true if the driver is reasonably skilled. It's not always true for less skilled drivers.

 

The vast majority of pick-up trucks today are manufactured with automatic transmissions, and if a particular model is still available with a manual, often the maximum trailer weight with the manual is less than it is with the automatic, which is just the opposite of the way things used to be in the Good Old Days. I suspect that unskilled drivers pulling heavy trailers cause more warranty claims for clutch replacement.

 

A friend of mine finally bought a vehicle with an automatic after putting the third clutch in his wife's Toyota. She could drive a manual, and had done so for years, but her method consisted of winding the engine up to 2,500 rpm and slipping the clutch in.

 

It is possible, even on a car with a small, low torque engine, to engage the clutch at idle. It's easy with a diesel or a big gas V8, but most people don't drive that way. They rev it and slip it, though perhaps not as much as my friend's wife.

 

A manual may be more desirable or more interesting for a variety of reasons, but I don't think the Subaru "ghostwalking" problem is caused by the automatic. The automatic did use a different 4WD system for most of Subaru's time in North America. The center differential (between the front and back) on the manual was a Torsen type of differential. The automatic used electronic clutches to control slippage. I don't know if that is still true.

post #69 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk94 View Post
 

But for pure driving performance, speaking more so for the track, a manual is hard to top.

That would explain why top fuel dragsters use automatics and LeMans cars use DSGs??

 

Can't even get a manual on a new Ferrari any more.

 

Fortunately, you can get one on a Miata. Or the base level Forester.

 

And you can get a Super 7 (Super 7 Cars, Inc. - Google it) with either a conventional manual or an amazing sequential shift (like a motorcycle, I think) transmission.

 

The Super 7 is a miserable ski car, though, despite the similarity in name to the Rossignol ski.

post #70 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
 

That would explain why top fuel dragsters use automatics and LeMans cars use DSGs??

 

Can't even get a manual on a new Ferrari any more.

 

Fortunately, you can get one on a Miata. Or the base level Forester.

 

And you can get a Super 7 (Super 7 Cars, Inc. - Google it) with either a conventional manual or an amazing sequential shift (like a motorcycle, I think) transmission.

 

The Super 7 is a miserable ski car, though, despite the similarity in name to the Rossignol ski.

 

Of course automated manuals are quicker, they never screw up like a human could, dragsters use them because it would simply take to long to shift manually and the transmissions would stand up to the stress. But I'm talking about track driving or racing for people with incomes not in the top tax bracket. If you can afford a Ferrari to convert into a race car for local/provincial(state) racing then be my guest, but for the average person that is involved in this is going to be using a MANUAL transmission and for good reason.

 

For professional racing of course in higher forms; ALM, F1, Indy, ect. They will be using SMG transmissions. But again for pure performance on the track, for your average person, manual is almost impossible to beat.

post #71 of 82
Thread Starter 

In case it's been lost in the thread -- I'm the OP.  We've finally given up on the '06 Outback.  We sunk $2K+ into the suspension with no improvement.  In fact, we wore out TWO sets of tires after the work in just 6K of miles (one snow tire, one "all-weather").  The all-weather's had just 9K miles when they were put back on in the spring and were bald on the rear at 12K.  The mechanic swore the alignment was still good (it had been off when he started to work on it) and as far as he could tell it was putting far too much of the drive to the rear wheels.  Subaru suggested replacing the transmission.  We traded it in for a 2015 Mazda CX-5.  Wish we had done that a year ago and save the $2K+...live and learn...  If anyone else stumbles on to this thread looking for solutions to their "ghost-walking" Subaru Outback (and we have since encountered two other drivers in town with the same problem for their Outbacks from the same era), I would recommend dumping the car and not sinking any money into solving the problem.  We still have the '98 Outback and will keep it until it's junked, which hopefully is a good ways into the future.

post #72 of 82

How's the CX-5?  Was looking at CX-5 vs. newer Outback...

post #73 of 82
Thread Starter 

We've had the car for a week and driven only a couple of times so I have no basis for judging -- it drives fine down the dry highway just fine and does better than I expected with strong side winds (we live in Wyoming, so that's important).  The interesting and important issue is how well it does on snow.  We couldn't wait until snow was on the ground to replace the Outback, so testing on snowpacked roads and black ice didn't happen. I anticipate it will be fine.  We also looked at the Ford Escape, Honda CRV, and Nissan Rogue.  The Ford drove horribly, the CRV felt "cheap" inside but drove fine.  I would have been just as happy with the Rogue as with the CX-5, but better price and 0% financing made it easy to decide on the CX-5.  Also the 40/20/40 rear folding seats make it easy to run skis (we carry our Nordic skis inside) down the middle and still seat 4 comfortably.  

post #74 of 82
Sorry to hear that outcome, although I guess not surprising. Having messed with modifying 4x4 suspensions over a long time, even something small can be hard to remove from suspension geometry, and if you start getting weird interactions with other systems like VDC it becomes "ghost in the machine" stuff.

Hope the Mazda works out for you.
post #75 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by pthor View Post
 

We've had the car for a week and driven only a couple of times so I have no basis for judging -- it drives fine down the dry highway just fine and does better than I expected with strong side winds (we live in Wyoming, so that's important).  The interesting and important issue is how well it does on snow.  We couldn't wait until snow was on the ground to replace the Outback, so testing on snowpacked roads and black ice didn't happen. I anticipate it will be fine.  We also looked at the Ford Escape, Honda CRV, and Nissan Rogue.  The Ford drove horribly, the CRV felt "cheap" inside but drove fine.  I would have been just as happy with the Rogue as with the CX-5, but better price and 0% financing made it easy to decide on the CX-5.  Also the 40/20/40 rear folding seats make it easy to run skis (we carry our Nordic skis inside) down the middle and still seat 4 comfortably.  


 I pretty much agree with your assessments pthor, I've driven all those cars in the last month - looking for the perfect one. Today we drove a 2015 Forester 2.5L, a 2014 Outback 3.5L 6cyl, and a 2015 Outback 2.5L. I had already rejected the 2014 Outback 2.5L due to the CVT but the 2015 model seems to be a huge improvement. It's strange how much difference there is between the two years. Hopefully the "ghostwalking" issue has been resolved, I'll have to read up on it.

post #76 of 82
Thread Starter 

Outfitted the Mazda with cross bars and bike racks on the factory rails -- Whispbars and 1UP USA roof racks.  They're pretty slick and are low profile -- no added noise without bikes and not much with bikes. I also picked up a ski rack (of course) that uses the T-bolt fitting system.   I know they'll impact gas mileage with or without bikes/skis mounted, but our car supports the family's skiing and cycling habits for at least 50% of the miles it's driven -- maybe more -- so that's the price of doing business.  We dropped substantial coin on the car and rack system, but shy of some issue like the '06 Outback had, we drive our cars for decades so it makes sense to me.  Here's a pic with one rack closed, one with a bike mounted.  I'm liking everything so far...

 

post #77 of 82

suprised no one mentioned the rear viscous LSD on some of the Subie AWD systems (not including STI.... since it has a mechanical rear LSD AND a viscous front LSD), which was dependent on engine, trim & year

post #78 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanscrazydaisy View Post
 

suprised no one mentioned the rear viscous LSD on some of the Subie AWD systems (not including STI.... since it has a mechanical rear LSD AND a viscous front LSD), which was dependent on engine, trim & year

I think I would have noticed if my Outback came with LSD.

post #79 of 82

Odd.

 

I've owned:

 

1985 GL (Stick)

1987 GL (Stick)

1990 Legacy (Auto)

1996 Outback (Auto)

1999 Outback (Stick

2005 Forester (Auto)

2010 Forested XT (Auto)

 

Never had a single one that didn't just destroy snow.  Something was not right with that car.

post #80 of 82
I think we need a thread of Subarus destroying snow.
post #81 of 82

post #82 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

Never had a single one that didn't just destroy snow.  Something was not right with that car.

 

Have to say, I had mine in a nice easy controlled 4 wheel drift at about 120kmh on a snow covered icy road. No drama..just good fun. 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Automotive/Car Talk › Subaru Outback: '98 standard is awesome in snow, '06 automatic is lousy -- what's up?