While Subaru is known for producing reliable cars, it is inevitable at some point in ownership you will be faced with an issue that will require professional advice and if needed move forward with a Subaru repair. Today’s cars are complex machines with intertwined systems, leading to the possibility for a part to break and cause a problem for the entire car. These issues can range from minor inconveniences to complete immobilization. Below are some of the most common Subaru repairs and maintenance items owners might have to deal with. At Berkeley Bob’s we are Subaru specialists able to handle most problems and repairs your Subaru may face.
Common Subaru Repairs:
- Head Gaskets and Oil Leaks. Subaru vehicles have a history of head gasket issues, particularly in older models. The head gasket is a critical engine component that seals the cylinder head to the engine block. When it fails it generally leads to oil leakage and loss of performance. Under extreme circumstances bad head gaskets can cause coolant leaks and overheating. Oil leakage in Subarus is almost always caused by blown head gaskets. Unlike other cars it’s very unusual for oil leaks to develop in other areas like the oil pan, valve cover gaskets and camshaft seals. Regular inspection and prevention of oil leaks is essential for preserving engine health and preventing further damage.
- Brake Issues. Replacing brake pads or rotors is a common repair and is required on most vehicles every 30,000 – 40,000 miles. Routine maintenance for all car owners includes brake pad replacement. Because Subaru owners tend to enjoy outdoor activities their cars may be taken off road and driven in wet, snowy or in dry, dusty debris ridden conditions. These extreme driving conditions present more hazards for the braking system. It is crucial to have the entire brake system inspected once a year regardless of where you drive and to notify your auto service professional immediately of any noises while braking or change in stopping efficiency. It’s not recommended to postpone any brake repairs as an inefficient braking system can pose a significant danger.
- Suspension Repair. Subarus are known for their handling this is due to the all-wheel-drive system and suspension design. Once again because these cars are a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts they are likely driven onto dirt, gravel or sand roads at times. While these vehicles are designed for this type of driving it does cause premature wear on suspension components such as tires, tie rods, control arms and bushings, struts and shocks. The entire suspension should be inspected once a year to confirm the health and continued performance of these components.
- Wheel Bearings. Another suspension item these are common components that fail on Subarus. Rear Wheel Bearings allow the wheels to rotate smoothly and balance the gravitational forces when braking, accelerating and cornering. The bearings are sealed and lose their lubrication, once this happens they begin to heat up and start making a growling noise. Wheel bearings are critical suspension components and they should be replaced if they are worn to prevent a break down on the road. Berkeley Bob’s can inspect and test wheel bearings during a routine service to verify they’re working properly.
- All-Wheel Drive and Transmission. Cars equipped with all-wheel drive have more complex drive trains than 2 wheel drive vehicles. In addition to the transmission there is a transfer case (all wheel drive unit) along with the differential. These three components should be tested and inspected annually for any leakage or damage. In addition they require maintenance every few years which involves replacing the synthetic fluids that lubricate all the internal working parts. If not done within the factory recommended interval the worn fluid may not provide protection against wear and can damage these expensive components.
- A/C Repair. Another complex system, Subaru A/C is a hybrid of electrical, mechanical and computer operated systems. They must work in tandem to consistently bring cold air into the passenger compartment. Many drivers don’t recognize a problem until they either don’t have any air or have only hot air coming through the vents. Most common problems are leakage within the system. At Berkeley Bob’s we have the technology and equipment to test and repair your Subaru A/C system. Even if your A/C is still working, it is recommended to have the system tested annually to keep you cool behind the wheel.
While Subaru vehicles are very reliable, it's important for owners to be aware of these common repairs and address them promptly to maintain the vehicle's performance and safety. Call us at (510) 548-7140 for an appointment or if you are an existing customer book online at berkeleybobs.com.