Gen 6 Outback – New owner info + FAQ

During your test drive, you probably didn’t do these things, and if you haven’t done these before, you should check it before you need it.

Test your emergency key
If you are locked out of your car because the car battery is dead or the fob battery is dead, there is an emergency key inside your fob. TEST IT before you need to use it, because it’s not intuitive and many people think it doesn’t work because they didn’t practice doing it before the need arises and in a panic it doesn’t operate as expected.

See page 457 (2020 owner’s manual). There is a little silver button on the back of your fob, press it in with the tip of a pen or something (if you have no fob cover a strong finger tip press can unlock it) and pull out the emergency key. Note that it has channels engraved on one side. One member bought a used Outback and his emergency key was a BLANK with no channels cut into it. It did not work.


Insert the key into the driver’s side door with the engraved channels on the left, and the plastic stub sticking out on the right.


Turn the key clockwise 45 degrees and it will feel like it has come to a hard stop. Turn it another 10 degrees with more torque and it will unlock the door. Pull the door handle to open the door. If the car’s battery is good, the alarm will sound, and you press a button on the fob to turn the alarm off. If the fob’s battery is dead touch the fob to the start button.

To lock the door you turn the key counter-clockwise – you will again feel like it hits a hard stop but another 10 degrees with extra twisting force will lock the door. If your emergency key does not work, consult your dealership.

Once you’re in the car if your fob is dead, you can start the car by pressing the fob against the start button. This should also turn the alarm off. The reason this works with a dead fob is that there’s a transponder in the fob that works even without a battery – the signal at the start button (if the car’s battery is working) will activate the fob enough to send a response identifying it to the car, similar to the way car keys without batteries still have a security chip in them, or your contactless charge card works even though it has no batteries.

Rear hatch won’t open – how to manually open it
Whether the battery is dead, or the mechanism is jammed, there is a manual mechanical release in the rear hatch accessible through the rear square cover on the interior of the hatch. There is a lever that will mechanically unlatch the door. The following video is not mine but it illustrates this lever. His car was energized so once he unlatched it the electronics took over, but if your battery is dead after using the lever correctly you can simply push the hatch open.

Test your Shift interlock release
If your car battery is dead and it can’t be jump started, the shifter won’t move out of park, and the parking pawl will lock the transmission and prevent the car from being moved. To unlock the shifter, there is a hole that’s covered by the rubber lining of the small cubby in front of it. The lining can be pulled up to expose the hole, and a chopstick or other slim thing can push down into the hole and release the shift lever so you can move it into neutral, the parking pawl will disengage, and the car can be rolled. – Don’t just read this. Test it on your car with the engine off. Keep something in your car that can be used to unlock the shifter.



Electronic Parking Brakes
If the transmission is in neutral you may not be able to move the car if the parking brake is engaged. There is no mechanical release, but If the car has 12v power (like from a jump starter device), even if the engine is not started, you can disengage the parking brake:

With no feet on any pedals, press the start button twice to turn the car on (electronically) without starting the engine. Put your foot on the brake and then you can disengage (or engage) the parking brake using the usual electronic switch.

If the above isn’t possible, having the car parked nose-in will let you lift the rear of the car and put the rear tires on a dolly, and with the car in neutral (see shift interlock above) it will be able to be moved – however don’t forget that an AWD car cannot be towed with 2 wheels spinning on the ground and 2 wheels not spinning – it will damage the center differential, but moving the car a few feet is not an issue.

It may be possible to disassemble the rear braking system to get it off but that’s not practical. Towing companies should be able to deal with this by lifting the rear and putting it on a dolly. For this reason an emergency 12v jump starter is a handy thing to keep in the car even if the car won’t actually start – it can power the car electrically enough to disengage the parking brake, and if you park nose-in even if you can’t get the parking brake off, the situation can be handled.

Check your battery voltage
If the battery voltage is low, headlights, horn, fob locking an unlocking the doors, everything electrical may seem to work fine but the engine will refuse to start. In a traditional car you will hear the engine slowly try to crank, or the tell-tale clicking of a relay. In these cars, a voltage sensor will simply refuse to attempt a start if voltage is low. How low I’m not sure, but a couple forum members had voltages around 9 and the car would not start even though the start button was green, foot on the brake, etc. A jump starting pack will restore voltage enough to start the car.

If the battery’s resting voltage with the car off is less than 12.5 then you should get it charged with an external charger. The same advice applies when you buy a new car battery – often it’s not fully charged when you get it. Ordinary driving will not fully recharge a depleted battery and you will have premature battery failure if it’s left in a chronically undercharged state.

If your battery’s voltage tends to drop then a workaround is to drive with your parking lights on – this forces the alternator to go above 14 volts (verified), which recharges the battery. If you don’t have your parking lights or headlights on, at idle the car will actively drain the battery and if you’re in the car monitoring the voltage you will see it drop to below 12.5, as it is under load and being drained instead of recharged. This situation makes short trip driving or excessive idling in stop and go traffic a battery draining situation. 13.2 volts is a maintenance voltage for a 12 volt battery, and a fully charged 12 volt battery should be at 12.6 volts with no load. A battery at 12.3 volts is only 50% charged.

The #1 cause of battery drain is the cargo light switch inadvertently switched to the “always on” position. The switch can easily be moved from a dog brushing its tail against it, or someone brushing it when removing something from the cargo area. The cargo bulb is dim enough that you can’t tell it’s on during the day, and at night the privacy tint makes it difficult to tell it’s on. Some people have modified the switch so that it cannot be turned to the “always on” setting.

Check your spare tire
It should be fully inflated when you buy it but test it, and periodically check it. If you are needing to add air to your tires then it’s time to check the spare as well. I neglected to do this and discovered 10 psi in a space saver spare tire that should have been at 60psi (different car same idea).

Forum member @n2ow made a series of informative videos that are very helpful – check out his channel!

The octane rating for the Turbo is 87 or higher, 91 or higher while towing to prevent overheating.

The Outback XT uses a water cooled turbo so after engine shut-down engine coolant will continue to circulate and cool the turbo after the engine is off. Water Cooling For Your Turbo

The Outback’s engine has been designed with stop/start in mind. Stop/start is not a new technology, and the starter itself, engine bearings, and other critical lubricated surfaces are designed for it. It is often said that most engine wear happens during start-up, but that refers to cold start – engines that have been off for a long time, – oil has dripped off surfaces enough that it doesn’t have a sufficient oil layer for the first moments of running. A hot restart is different – all the engine parts are already bathed in oil. Hybrid cars like the Prius have been using stop/start for decades and are among the most reliable engines because they have been designed for it from the start. Modern oils do not rely solely on the hydrodynamic layer of moving surfaces but have anti-wear additives to protect surfaces as they begin to move.

CVT Fluid
In normal driving this is a lifetime fluid, but for frequent heavy towing the maintenance schedule specifies CVT fluid changes every 25k miles.

Main Fuse
If you short your battery terminal or attach cables backwards your main fuse may blow. The correct part is 82211AN01A – Fusible Link. SLOW Blower Fuse. SBF – Genuine Subaru Part and it’s attached to the battery’s positive connector – the red cover was removed to take this photo.

Motor vehicle Gas Font Automotive tire Machine

My car makes funny noises

Common (normal) noises:

  • The parking pawl does clunk when shifting in and out of Park. This is normal, but you can reduce it by engaging the parking brake and taking your foot off the brake pedal before putting the car in Park.
  • A small high pitched chirp when first putting the car in Reverse or Drive – this is likely to happen on a cold start.
  • About 5 hours after engine shut-off, there is an evap system test that uses a small pump to pressurize the gas tank to make sure there’s no leak or a loose gas cap. This is true on all modern cars due to federal emissions regulations. It will sound like a buzzing/motor noise near the rear of the car.

Do not be alarmed by this list of noise sources – it’s not that these are common, but documented rare abnormal noise sources.

These have a TSB (only applies IF you have this issue)​

  • The A/C vent controls may rattle.
  • A/C lines against the firewall vibrates against metal if the clamp’s insulation isn’t proper.
  • A thin metal piece in the Eyesight module can vibrate.
  • Loose wire (loom clamp) in the A pillar or above the door or the B pillar.
  • Screeching or cicada-like noise that coincides with tachometer needle movement – most often under mild acceleration – this may indicate a transmission issue.

These do not have a TSB I am aware of but at least one owner has experienced noise from these:​

  • Loose triangular plastic piece on the exterior lower passenger side corner of the windshield.
  • Suspension noise from loose subframe bolts.
  • Loose HVAC conduit under the passenger side dash.

Anyone else feel free to add practical advice for new owners.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply