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Old 08-31-2019, 12:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2001 Subaru Outback

I've been thinking a lot lately on how I can improve the efficiency of my wife's Outback. Right now it averages around 27 mpg. The only mods I have done to it are removing the crossbars on the roof racks and removing the mudflaps. I also have synthetic motor oil in it. I plan to switch to synthetic ATF and gear oil, because I know that the AWD system is a weakness when it comes to efficiency.

One question I have in particular is that could I see a measurable difference from a mild air dam? I'm thinking about making it drop down about 2", which would cover a lot (but not all) of the parts underneath of the vehicle. I haven't come across any examples in my search of people testing a smaller air dam. In theory, a 2" air dam could in no way increase drag, correct? I plan on installing it towards the rear of the front bumper.

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Old 08-31-2019, 05:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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zerohour had a popular post and tried a lot of things on his Subie. Here's the thread:

https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthre...-5l-14034.html

Those older Subarus are tough to coax more fuel economy out of, especially the automatics. I sold a 2007 1 month after ownership partly because it got terrible fuel economy, and partly because it handled worse than my 1996 Legacy.
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Old 08-31-2019, 08:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm actually already familiar with that thread. He did some things which I'm interested in trying, such as straight-piping the intake, which is a little controversial in the car community.

Surprisingly subaru has gotten worse instead of better. I've seen threads on a subaru forum where people are getting high teens to low 20s in their 2019 outback.

I'm hoping that the mods I've listed will help push the car to over 30 mpg consistently.
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Old 08-31-2019, 01:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The thing is that after all of his efforts, he traded in for a Mini. I tried some things with my Forester and just bought my Civic.

I ended up replacing the head gasket on both, but it was way easier on the Civic.
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Old 08-31-2019, 01:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor95 View Post
I'm actually already familiar with that thread. He did some things which I'm interested in trying, such as straight-piping the intake, which is a little controversial in the car community.

Surprisingly subaru has gotten worse instead of better. I've seen threads on a subaru forum where people are getting high teens to low 20s in their 2019 outback.

I'm hoping that the mods I've listed will help push the car to over 30 mpg consistently.
I donít see whatís so bad about straight piping the intake? It just adds some noise, maybe freeing up a couple HP in the process... they say you lose mileage with a dirty air filter and I went the other way, de-restricting the entire intake and exhaust system with no losses so far that I can tell...

And look at how much bigger Subarus have gotten in the past decade or two... an Outback used to be a Legacy with a 2Ē lift, and now itís much much taller...
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Old 08-31-2019, 01:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I looked at the new Subaruís because my sister in law was looking for a new car and all the new models that I saw had a cvt automatic.
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Old 08-31-2019, 01:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think you can still spec an Impreza, WRX, or Crosstrek with a manual, but most new Subarus come with the Lineartronic CVT. No idea who makes the unit however... it may be good and it may be crap
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
I donít see whatís so bad about straight piping the intake? It just adds some noise, maybe freeing up a couple HP in the process... they say you lose mileage with a dirty air filter and I went the other way, de-restricting the entire intake and exhaust system with no losses so far that I can tell...

And look at how much bigger Subarus have gotten in the past decade or two... an Outback used to be a Legacy with a 2Ē lift, and now itís much much taller...
I've read that air resonators help keep air intake at optimal levels or whatever. I think you've convinced me to go ahead with it. Lots of vehicles don't have them anyway.

I really hope I don't have to fix the head gasket. I'm suspecting that it is bad because of cloudy coolant and for some reason the radiator keeps pushing coolant into the overflow tank...

Getting a different vehicle doesn't really make sense at this point, because I had to spend a lot of money on repairs when the oil pump went out...
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
they say you lose mileage with a dirty air filter
The biggest restriction to the air intake is the throttle, so what "they say" about a dirty air filter is not true unless you're talking about a carbureted car. A dirty air filter essentially lowers the power at wide-open throttle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 19bonestock88 View Post
I think you can still spec an Impreza, WRX, or Crosstrek with a manual, but most new Subarus come with the Lineartronic CVT. No idea who makes the unit however... it may be good and it may be crap
I have no experience with CVTs, but I suspect they hold up pretty well when used by a steady foot, and not so well for those that treat the accelerator like an on/off switch, constantly accelerating and letting off, with no care to make slight adjustments.
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor95 View Post
I really hope I don't have to fix the head gasket. I'm suspecting that it is bad because of cloudy coolant and for some reason the radiator keeps pushing coolant into the overflow tank...
You need to find out before more damage occurs!

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