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28 votes

Why do cars have plastic shrouds over the engine?

Mostly the point is, to make it "look good". There is arguably some protection for wires and pipes underneath against animals chewing on them, depending on how its implemented. Also, on some models ...
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  • 1,062
23 votes
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Why does my Subaru not select my paired Bluetooth phone automatically after restarting the car?

OK, a month later I figured it out! Here's what finally worked: Delete all duplicate audio devices in the Bluetooth menu Pair the phone using the hands-free system via the steering wheel "off hook" ...
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  • 874
19 votes
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Horrific squealing when car is first turned on?

It sounds like your alternator has not been tightened enough and the serpentine belt is slipping because of it. Since you have new belts on your engine, this is probably about the only thing which it ...
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18 votes

Is it absolutely necessary to replace all four tyres on a manual 2008 Subaru Impreza?

Driving around with tires of different rolling radii will cause the viscous coupling to get hot / overheat and eventually fail... As it will probably happen long enough after the tire fitter did the ...
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  • 34.4k
18 votes

Car imitates dead battery but comes back to life ~30 minutes later and lets me start it

Since you lost power to your 12v accessory socket at the same time as the other systems, I can’t see this as being an computer malfunction. This sounds to me like you have a fault in your main fuse ...
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  • 20.1k
17 votes
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Why do cars have plastic shrouds over the engine?

The cover is not purely cosmetic and serves several purposes, one is to reduce engine noise. You often notice there's foam on the inside and they fit over components such as cams and injectors. A ...
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  • 305
15 votes
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How exactly does Sport Mode work in an automatic Subaru Outback?

Sport mode will "increase pickup" by providing a more instantaneous response to throttle inputs. As akadian mentioned, the car will stay in lower gears as you accelerate, allowing the engine to stay ...
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  • 6,017
14 votes
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Strange overheating behaviour

While the other two answers were ones that were going through my head while I was waiting for the service truck to arrive, the actual problem was much simpler (although much more expensive to fix) ...
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  • 18.5k
14 votes
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Why is a 12V outlet that provides 120W protected by a 20A fuse in my 2015 Forester?

The purpose of the fuse is to limit the current in the wire to prevent it from overheating. That could cause the insulation to melt or even start a fire. The other components in the circuit will (...
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  • 14.2k
13 votes

What could be causing my car to shake at high speeds?

One of two things I think could be happening here. One of your wheels might have thrown a weight and become unbalanced. Second thing to check is to see if you have any ice buildup on the inside of the ...
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12 votes

Why do cars have plastic shrouds over the engine?

The other function can be to control cooling airflow, so yes, get them to put it back - even if they have to buy one...
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  • 34.4k
11 votes

Does a strut tower bar have any useful effect on chassis stiffness for a car with 100K miles?

If so, how do you measure the effect? tl;dr: by measuring the tension between the unbraced mount points. Today, I installed a Whiteline rear strut bar on my 2004 WRX wagon. The car has 162K miles ...
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  • 24.3k
11 votes
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Must I Replace All 4 Tires on an All Wheel Drive (AWD) vehicle?

Does anyone have a definitive answer as to which option I should choose? I do: you need matching tires. That said, it's your car and you have to make the decision. I'd tend to replace all four. ...
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  • 24.3k
11 votes
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Have I caused engine damage by cranking it backwards?

As long as your timing belt was still attached you should be okay. When turning an engine in reverse, the only things it can damage are the oil pump and possibly the water pump. You'd have to do it ...
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  • 3,323
11 votes

Why is a 12V outlet that provides 120W protected by a 20A fuse in my 2015 Forester?

The fuse is for the entire circuit. There may be other things on that circuit, sharing that 20A fuse. Also, the gauge of wires used in a circuit is part of the "safe" current limits (maybe why your ...
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  • 12.1k
11 votes
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Is it worth replacing the entire clutch assembly when the clutch release bearing fails?

At ~110k on the clock it's quite likely that it's the original clutch, and if so you're going to be significantly closer to the end of the clutch's life than the start. Given the big labor cost/...
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  • 9,674
10 votes
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2.5L four-cylinder able to tow 2,700lbs?

In terms of towing, in reality, all you need is enough torque to get over initial resistance, as rolling resistance is much lower. This is why you get people who can tow a bus, or a jumbo jet, for ...
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  • 18.5k
10 votes
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Transmission damage due to uneven tread wear on AWD vehicle

They likely do hold some liability, since they should have known that an AWD should have matching tire diameters across all tires. They may argue that you hold some responsibility since the Impreza ...
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  • 452
10 votes

2006 wrx overheats going slow but not at speed

I don't think there's any reason to suspect a head gasket right off the bat like that. The first thing that comes to mind is the electric cooling fans. They are on the car specifically to keep it ...
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  • 13.2k
10 votes
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How much room do I need to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning?

Is your Check Engine Light on? That's a rhetorical question, what I mean to say is that if your ’04 Forester is in good tune, it really should not produce that much carbon monoxide. Also, there are ...
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  • 12.2k
10 votes
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Car imitates dead battery but comes back to life ~30 minutes later and lets me start it

You may have a loose or corroded engine ground connection. The next time you have the electrical failure, leave the ignition switch ON and, using a voltmeter, measure voltage between the negative post ...
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  • 1,068
9 votes
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What is that knocking sound my engine makes when the revs drop too low?

It sounds like to me this is the general noise an engine makes when being "lugged" or run at a low RPM under heavy load ... basically, it makes this noise because there is a big boom in the cylinder ...
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9 votes
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1st gear hard to engage unless stopped, Subaru 2004 Impreza Outback Sport

I'm assuming no one here answering has driven a Subaru manual transmission before or long enough. I'm fairly certain there is nothing wrong with your synchros or transmission. Subaru's are generally ...
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  • 324
9 votes
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Subaru Forester Power Tailgate won't open

From a technical service bulletin regarding the 2014 Subaru's: If you receive a customer concern of a “beep- beep-beep” sound when trying to operate the PRG, a likely cause is an incomplete ...
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  • 281
9 votes

What's this part? Hanging from left rear of Subaru 99 legacy.

It's the EVAP vent solenoid. And I think you mean right rear.
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  • 10.7k
9 votes

2004 Subaru Forester black smoke oil not accelerating

It sounds to me like you 'windowed the block'. When you lost oil pressure, you were at highway speed, so your engine was spinning decently fast, and every revolution without oil does more damage. I ...
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  • 8,393
8 votes
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1997 Subaru Legacy - Hood won't open

Most likely the second latch just needs to be lubed. Of course, you need to get the hood open in order to do that! Depending on the shape of your front grille, though, you may be able to get some ...
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  • 1,413
8 votes
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Buy a car for cheap to avoid registration costs?

The rules depend on the state, but if you're telling the state you paid less than you did, that's Tax Fraud. In Texas, they don't even let you do this, however. The state maintains what is basically ...
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  • 13.2k
8 votes
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2007 Subaru Outback 'Leak' ... what is it?

The oil seen is from the block to cylinder head gasket seam. This is a nearly universal problem on Subaru 4 cylinder engines from the late 1990s well into the 2000's. The average mileage that this is ...
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  • 11.5k
8 votes
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Torquing Strut Nut with Tire on Ground

You should leave them just about snug, if not just a little loose. If you tighten them before you put it on the ground, when you do get the car on the ground, there will be tension on the parts, which ...
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