Subaru Automotive Repair Manuals

Interesting Facts About Subaru You Probably Don’t Know – Common Problems – and PDF Manuals for Download…

Subaru is an automotive kingpin that manufactures automobiles for the global market. The company was founded on July 7th, 1953 by Kenji Kita.

Its main headquarters is in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. The company stems down from a parent company, Fuji Sangyo, which were grouped into 12 companies.

One of these companies was Fuji Jidodosha whose main responsibility was the manufacture of bodywork for buses and also developing small P-1 concept cars.

In 1953, five of the companies from Fuji Sangy put up a joint investment to create an aircraft manufacturing, sales, and maintenance company called Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.

The five companies later merged after two years and FHI began a full-scale business.

On February 1954, the company completed its first prototype, a 4-wheel passenger vehicle P-1.

Mr. Kenji Kita, the CEO of Heavy Industries Ltd. at the time asked for suggestions about what to name the P-1.

He did not find any of the names given to him appealing enough and ended up naming the car Subaru, which is the name of the Pleiades star in Japanese.

Consequently, the Subaru logo is the six stars which refer to the Taurus (Pleiades) constellation.

The first Subaru car that was produced for consumption was the Subaru 1500, also produced in 1954.

Due to numerous supply issues, only 20 pieces of this model were manufactured.

After it, the company designed and manufactured the Subaru 360 in 1958, the Sambar in 1961 and in 1965 the Subaru 1000 was produced.

The latter was the first Subaru car to use the Subaru boxer engine.

In 1972, the company mass produced its first car, the Subaru Leone 4WD. It was the first all-wheel-drive car by the company and ushered in the era of producing and testing all Subaru cars for all-wheel drive capability.

Subaru’s boxer engine has been the company’s strong selling point for the last 45 years. Every Subaru model features this engine which is unique from other engine types.

The boxer engine features horizontal thrusting pistons which make it possible for the engine output to go directly into the transmission.

The fact that all Subaru cars have a Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system only adds to the advantage brought by the engine.

According to Motorsports and other spectators, Subaru has won 47 World Rally Championships since 1973. This is attributed to its focus on AWD and performance quality.

The earliest company to partner with Subaru was Nissan after it acquired 20.4 percent of Subaru’s parent company; FHI.

Nissan used the Subaru’s manufacturing capability in their Nissan Diesel range and other car models as part of their agreement with Subaru.

Nissan later sold its stake in FHI to General Motors in 1999 after it was bought by Renault.

Subaru has multiple manufacturing facilities in Japan and one overseas plant in Lafayette, Indiana.

It, however, has dealers in many countries internationally including Canada, Philippines, UK, and the US.

In June 2006, the parent company of Subaru, Fuji Heavy Industries, Inc. launched the first electric vehicle by the company.

The electric car, Subaru Stella Plug-in electric vehicle is a lot similar to electric cars like the Mitsubishi iMiEV which it competes with.

Subaru continues to manufacture new vehicles that adapt to the needs of the automotive market.

Problems with Subaru Cars

Although Subaru has previously marketed itself as built to last, some of the models from this company have received complaints.

  • Head Gasket Problems

Certain Subaru models and years are prone to experiencing head gasket leaks. The head gasket is the home to both the coolant and engine oil passages.

The failure of one or both of these can result in leaks either outside or inside the engine.

Common symptoms of this problem include overheating, low oil levels and low coolant. Sometimes you might also experience a burning smell.

This is caused by the fluids that drip down on the overheated exhaust.

A lot of people make a mistake of adding generic leak stop products to solve head gasket leakage.

This is not recommended since it can cause clogs in the radiator or other parts of the engine.

The best solution is to take your vehicle to the nearest car care center or Subaru center where a detailed assessment can be done and a lasting solution found.

  • Oil Cooler O-Ring Problems

This is also a problem that has been reported in a number of Subaru models. The most common complaints have been with the Subaru Legacy Outback wagon, Forester, Baja and the Subaru Impreza.

In most Subaru models, there is an O-ring located above the oil filter. Common signs of a failing or bad oil cooler O-ring or adapter gasket are oil leaking from the oil filter, engine block or oil cooler adapter.

The challenge with oil cooler leak is that the problem could be a faulty oil filter, engine block or oil cooler adapter. Repairing this problem only requires replacement of the O-ring.

However, if the problem is not properly investigated, the solution that is given might only last a short while.

You should either head over to the Subaru center or call in a trustable and trained technician to investigate and seal the source of the leak.

If the problem is not addressed in the fastest time possible, you risk your engine being damaged and consequently spending a tremendous amount of money on fixing it.

  • CVT Transmission Failure

Subaru has manufactured numerous automatic-transmission equipped Imprezas, Foresters, Outbacks, Bajas and Legacys.

Although the newer models of these are praised for being durable than their counterparts in the same price class, the models between 2001 and 2003 have had numerous complaints about reliability.

The most reported complaint has been defective parking pawl. Other transmission problems that have been reported with Subaru models are failing synchronizers and poor computer programming.

Although some of the models come with a powertrain warranty, problems like pre-mature synchro wear are classified by Subaru as “abuse”.

For such problems, you should call your car repair professional to fix the issue.


Subaru cars are generally able to stand the test of time better than most other car models in their price bracket. However, you may experience reliability issues, some worse than others.

The best way to ensure that you don’t get stressed up with Subaru problems is to take your car for a regular maintenance check and to stick to proper operation of the car.

Subaru dealers offer a free repair in most cases, but if you can’t get to the center you should take your machine to a trained technician.

A car repair manual can help you detect the source of the problem and describe ways to solve it. So, it is recommended that you have one.


 Purpose of this is to catalog and include one of most comprehensive, useful and accessible “automotive repair manual” database on the web for all Subaru models.

It’s your go-to source for learning all about Subaru – when you can’t find it elsewhere.

To get started, select the intended car model below…

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