Many late model Subaru vehicles are equipped with ABS braking systems. The added complexity of these systems provides an additional incentive for following the recommended brake fluid replacement interval of 30 months or 30,000 miles. Brake fluid accumulates water and other contaminants over time. These contaminants can attack the internal parts of the brake system, compromising its performance and possibly causing brake failure.
The brake master cylinder has a semi-transparent reservoir, making it possible to check the fluid level without removing the reservoir cover. This minimizes the exposure to outside air and limits the amount of moisture that can reach the brake fluid. The fluid level will drop as the brake shoes and pads wear, but the reservoir is large enough to compensate for these changes. If the fluid level is very low, it’s a sure sign the brake pads or shoes are nearly worn out, or there is a leak in the brake system.
Note: When the brake fluid level in the reservoir tank is lower than the specified limit, the brake fluid warning light in the combination meter will come on.
Subaru warns against mixing brake fluids from different manufacturers. Doing so may degrade the quality of the fluid. Only DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid should be used in any Subaru vehicle preferably Subaru brake fluid if you are not going to do a track day build. Consult the service manual for vehicle specific brake bleeding procedures.
A variety of antilock brake system (ABS) have been installed in Subaru vehicles since the first systems were installed in the 1990 Legacy. In the sections that follow, we’ll give you a brief overview of each system and explain proper diagnostic techniques.
The original Subaru Legacy Antilock Brake System (ABS) was licensed by Bosch and manufactured by Nippon ABS, Ltd. The system electronically controls brake fluid pressure supplied to the brake system. This control helps to prevent “wheel lockup” during braking on slippery surfaces and emergency situations. The system includes a fail-safe feature, which indicates a malfunction by illuminating the warning lamp. The system is then returned to a conventional power brake system. The four channel system provides accurate individual wheelspeed control and improves the directional stability of the vehicle during braking.
A tone wheel is attached to each wheel hub and rotates at the same speed as the hub. The magnetic speed sensor is mounted in the axle housing. The notched tone wheel acts as a reluctor which modulates the magnetic field of the speed sensor. The tone wheels are individually replaceable.
The speed sensor provides an alternating voltage signal to the ECU. The alternating voltage and frequency corresponds to wheelspeed.
There’s no easy way to check the inside of a fuel filter for dirt or other contamination buildup. That’s why a 30 month or 30,000 mile replacement interval is prescribed. If the customer happens to buy a tank-load of bad gasoline before reaching this interval, it will be necessary to replace the fuel filter ahead of time. There’s no way to clean the filter—replacement is the only option. Remove the battery negative cable before you begin work on the fuel filter. Remember gasoline is a very flammable substance.
The fuel filter is just one small part of the fuel system. The fuel system includes many sections of steel and rubber fuel line that run the length of the vehicle several times. The fuel pump, fuel tank, and fuel pressure regulator are just a few of the other parts of the fuel system. While you’re replacing the fuel filter, don’t forget to check the condition of the rest of the fuel system.
If any of the rubber hoses (especially the ones that were opened up to replace the filter) look damaged or frayed, they must be replaced before they can cause any further damage. Weak fuel hose clamps should be replaced, and the new ones must be properly positioned and tightened to specification.
Vehicle maintenance is an important factor for proper vehicle operation. It’s the vehicle owner’s responsibility to ensure that fluid levels (engine oil, coolant, etc.) are checked frequently, in accordance with the instructions in the Subaru owner’s manual. However, many ‘gas and go’ vehicle owners may not take the time to fulfill these basic responsibilities. This places added importance on the performance of periodic maintenance services. If the Subaru owner isn’t looking after his vehicle, it falls to the automotive service professional to ensure that proper maintenance procedures are performed.
The frequency of scheduled inspection and maintenance services required by late model Subaru vehicles is minimal when compared with vehicles of the past. For example, even the very commonly used term ‘tune-up’ has lost most of its original meaning. In the old days, a ‘tune-up’ meant fresh spark plugs, points and condenser, and basic engine adjustments such as timing, idle mixture and idle speed. Modern technology has eliminated the need for many of these adjustments and replacement parts. However, the tune-up is alive and well— only its definition has changed.
While the number of vehicle items requiring regular replacement has decreased, the number of items needing periodic inspection has not. Whether you call it a tune-up or something else, this service offers an excellent opportunity for all engine belts, hoses and ignition wires to be checked for wear and tension. Old tune-up standbys like spark plugs, fuel and air filters are still on every Subaru vehicle and still require periodic inspection and replacement as necessary.
The same applies to all other items on the Subaru maintenance schedule. The important thing is to carefully inspect each item. If additional corrective action is required, now is the time to find out.
All late model Subaru four cylinder engines employ a “waste spark” ignition coil system. Each time the ignition coil fires, it provides a spark to two cylinders at exactly the same time. Since only one of the two cylinders is on the compression stroke when the coil fires, the spark to the second cylinder (which is on the exhaust stroke) is “wasted. ”
The ignition coil sits on top of the intake manifold and is divided into two halves. One half provides the spark to the number 1 and 2 cylinders, and the other half provides the spark to the number 3 and 4 cylinders. Instead of the familiar single secondary coil terminal, this coil has four secondary coil terminals.
Testing methods for this type of coil are slightly different from what you might be accustomed to as well. Using an accurate DMM, inspect the following items, and replace the ignition coil if it is found to be defective:
• Primary resistance
• Secondary resistance
Caution: If the resistance is extremely low, this indicates the presence of a short circuit.
In late 1998, Subaru UK officially imported 16 22Bs (described below), and passed them on to Prodrive for modification. The UK cars differ from the privately imported 22Bs, not just in their 3 year factory warranty, but with revised gear ratios more suited to UK roads.
This was achieved by changing the final drive ratio from 3.9 to 4.44 to lengthen the gearing. Cosmetically, the car got the headlights from the ‘99 model, UK rear light clusters and driving lights (not fog lights!) were fitted where the normal 22B has blanking plates. From the back, you can tell you’re looking at one of the rarest cars in the world by the “Type UK” and “Prodrive” stickers. The price was £39,950, and demand for the cars was overwhelming.
Interestingly, Subaru UK were not able to put their 16 cars through the Single Vehicle Approval scheme because the maximum of 50 privately imported 22Bs had already been registered in 1998. Consequently the Type UKs were registered in 1999. The cars do not meet European Type Approval regulations for noise and emissions.
In June 1995, to celebrate their winning of both the manufacturers and drivers World Rally Championship titles, Subaru in the UK released a limited edition run of two hundred cars (numbered 1 to 201 – no number 13!) prepared by Prodrive going by the name of the Series McRae. The main improvements over the standard model are:
Special mica blue paintwork
6.5 x 16 inch eight spoke gold Speedline Safari alloy wheels
(03/98 – 08/98)
In 1998, Subaru of Japan produced a widebody, 2-door, Impreza called the 22B STi. The 22B was used to commemorate both Subaru’s 40th anniversary as well as the 3rd consecutive manufacturer’s title for Subaru in the FIA World Rally Championship. On the release of the sales, all 399 sold out from 30 minutes to 48 hours, depending on the report.The cars had the starting VIN code of GC8E2SD. Another 25 were produced for export markets – see the 22B Type UK below.
The 22B had the EJ22 engine as opposed to the regular EJ20 engine. Note: internal Subaru material states the block comes from a V3 EJ20G NOT the EJ22G as most think. Also the intake manifold and heads were from the V4 EJ20K. This means the displacement was increased from 1994 cc to 2212 cc. The block is a closed-deck design. The heads (valves, valvetrain and such) were lifted from the STi Version 4 engine. It produce 350 PS (260 kW; 350 hp) at 6000 rpm and 363 N·m (267 ft·lbf, 37.0 kgf·m) of torque at a lower engine speed of 3200 rpm. The redline was lowered from 8000 rpm to 7000 rpm. The compression is an 8.0:1. The turbocharger is an IHI RHF 5HB (the internal company usage code is VF23).
This car was given a unique color of blue and had fender flared widebody taken from the Peter Stevens designed WRC car, thus widening the width by 80 mm (3.15 inches) for a total of 1,770 mm (69.7). During assembly, a WRX Type R chassis was taken off the line. The fenders were replaced with the 22B STi fenders. The car’s curb weight is 1,270 kg (2,800 lb). The suspension is provided by Bilstein. The brakes were standard 4-piston/2-piston brakes. However, the color is red and the Subaru name cast on the brake calipers and painted white.