35 Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I purchase a Subaru vehicle from the U. S. A. and import it into Canada?
Not all new USA Subaru vehicles are able to be imported into Canada because of differences in safety and emission regulations between Canada and the United States. Contact the National Registrar for Imported Vehicles (1-888-848-8240) or visit their website at www.riv.ca to obtain a list of eligible vehicles.
If you have a USA vehicle that is eligible to be imported into Canada you must first obtain a statement of recall clearance letter from Subaru of America. (1-800-782-2783)
Please note that in order to obtain warranty repairs for 2008 and newer cars you will have the option of:
1. Returning to the United States to have the repair completed at no cost to yourself
2. Have the repair performed at a Canadian Subaru dealer and submit the invoice to Subaru of America for reimbursement
2. What is ABS?
ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is a sophisticated computer-controlled system that modulates brake pressure during hard braking to help avoid wheel lock-up and maintain steering control. When the wheels are beginning to lock, the computer causes the brakes to pulse more rapidly than is humanly possible. This allows the wheels to rotate rather than skid. When the ABS is engaged, it is not uncommon for the driver to detect a slight pulsation through the brake pedal. Subaru's four sensor system monitors and modulates pressure at each wheel.
3. I would like to add an aftermarket accessory to my vehicle.
Will this impact my warranty?
If any non-Subaru aftermarket product is installed on your Subaru vehicle, you assume the risk that future warranty claims will be declined for any repairs deemed to be necessary due to the non-Subaru part or its installation. Always consult with your Subaru dealer before installing aftermarket parts or accessories.
4. I want to replace the original factory stereo with an aftermarket audio system.
Subaru does offer a selection of dealership-installed audio accessories for certain audio systems. Please contact your dealership to determine if Subaru audio accessories are offered for your particular Subaru model and trim level. We do not recommend modifying your vehicle from its original factory specifications. This includes replacing the original stereo equipment with any system other than what was originally designed for use in your vehicle. Modifications could affect your vehicle's performance, safety or durability. In addition, damage or performance problems resulting from the modification may not be covered under warranty.
5. I want to modify my Subaru and install different components to the engine
or drivetrain. Can you provide me with information on how to do this?
Sorry, but no. Subaru Canada will only recommend what was originally designed for use in your Subaru as it was originally tested, marketed and sold in Canada. Always check with your Subaru dealer before modifying your vehicle's engine or drivetrain. Most modifications will result in voiding your drivetrain warranty.
6. Should air bags deploy in all accidents?
Front driver and passenger air bags deploy if a vehicle impact is more severe than the pre-determined design threshold level. Below this level, these air bags may not deploy. The threshold velocity is higher when striking a solid, deformable barrier such as a parked car or sign pole, or when a soft-impact frontal collision involves an engine, hood or front upper fenders. Deployment levels can also vary depending on a vehicle's overall structure and the angle at which it's struck.
In addition to the front driver and passenger air bags, some vehicles are also equipped with side-impact airbags and/or curtain airbags. These will only deploy in a side impact of sufficient force.
Please refer to the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) section in your owner's manual for more information.
7. Can I get an on/off switch installed for my air bags?
Subaru Canada, Inc. does not offer on/off switches for its airbags.
8. What causes air conditioner odour and how can I prevent it from occurring?
During air conditioner operation, cold refrigerant is pumped through the evaporator core by an engine-driven compressor. A fan then blows air through "fins" in the evaporator to cool the air. These fins also act as an air filter, trapping bacteria, spores, and dirt. These airborne particles are normally washed out a drain hole with condensation, but may adhere to a moist evaporator and cause an unpleasant odour. This effect is more frequently found in humid climates where more condensation accumulates. This situation is not unique to Subaru; it is an industry-wide condition.
Tips for preventing A/C odour: (1) avoid parking under trees to reduce the possibility of leaves entering the air intake; (2) use the fresh air setting on your climate control rather than the recirculated air setting whenever possible to allow the evaporator to dry out; (3) drive on paved roads whenever feasible as dusty conditions may accelerate the condition.
If the condition already exists, spraying the outside air intake with a disinfectant such as "Lysol" or a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water (1 to 5 ratio/mixture) with the blower on level three and the system in "Fresh Air" Mode may help. If the odour persists, we recommend you contact your Subaru dealership for a thorough evaluation of the condition.
9. Can I use my cell phone in my Subaru using the cigarette lighter?
You can use the in-dash receptacle as an accessory plug, BUT ONLY IF IT IS NOT ALSO USED AS A CIGARETTE LIGHTER.
If the in-dash lighter receptacle is ever used for a cell phone or other plug-in accessory, it may damage the part of the receptacle's internal mechanism (bi-metal) that causes the cigarette lighter plug to 'pop out' once heated. Placing a lighter plug in a receptacle that has been damaged by a plug-in accessory may cause the plug to stick and overheat, possibly causing a fire which could spread from the receptacle to surrounding areas.
Therefore, if a receptacle is used even once to power a plug-in accessory, it must never be used to operate the cigarette lighter element. The entire socket must be replaced if wishing to using receptacle as a cigarette lighter.
10. Can a child seat be used in the front passenger seat of a vehicle equipped with a passenger-side air bag?
A rear-facing child seat should never be used in the front passenger seat of a vehicle equipped with a passenger-side air bag.
The safest place for any child under the age of 12, whether in a child seat or not, is in the back seat. If it is absolutely necessary to place a forward-facing child seat in the front, be sure that the child and safety seat are properly secured and slide the front passenger seat as far back as possible on the seat track to maximize the distance between the child and the air bag. Please refer to your vehicle's owner's manual as well as the seat manufacturer's instructions for more information.
11. Do you have any recommendations for child seats for my Subaru?
Transport Canada's Web site is a valuable source of information - from pertinent research and statistics, to tips for buying the most appropriate car seat and related advice on keeping kids safe while in your vehicle. The Web site address iswww.transportcanada.ca.
12. How can I prevent my windows from fogging up?
If the 'Air Intake' selector is in the recirculate position for an extended period of time, an increase in moisture levels caused by the breath of occupants within your vehicle or wet clothing and boots may cause your windows to fog up. It is best to always keep your air intake selector on fresh except when you want to temporarily eliminate outside odours or dust.
13. How do I obtain information on the fuel economy ratings for Subaru vehicles?
Fuel economy ratings can be found on the Natural Resources Canada Web site at http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/transportation/personal-vehicles-initiative.cfm. The ratings are listed solely for the purpose of comparing one model to another. These ratings are established under rigidly controlled laboratory conditions and will likely vary from the actual fuel economy results for your particular vehicle. Fuel efficiency is influenced by many variables including, but not limited to, quality and octane level of gasoline, fuel additives or seasonal variations in fuel, load carried in the vehicle, tire pressure, ratio of city/highway driving, terrain, driving style and even weather conditions.
14. How can I get the best gas mileage from my Subaru?
Today, more than ever, it's important to get the most out of every tank of gas. Giving your tires the attention they need is one of the easiest ways to do just that. Other simple steps you can take to improve fuel economy include:
- keeping your windows closed when driving at highway speed. Even with the air conditioner running, the fuel savings are substantial;
- accelerating slowly and smoothly;
- using your cruise control when conditions permit;
- replacing your vehicle's air filter more frequently if you drive in dusty conditions;
- having spark plugs inspected and replaced at the recommended service intervals;
- reducing idle time
- driving at the posted speed limit. Increasing your highway cruising speed from 100 kilometres per hour to 120 kilometres per hour will increase fuel consumption by about 20 per cent.
- your front wheels in proper alignment;
- the bottom of your vehicle free from mud, etc.
For details concerning the tips mentioned above please reference "fuel economy" in the index of your Owner's Manual for the appropriate page numbers. For additional information on fuel economy please visit National Resource Canada's Web site at
15. Am I eligible for Subaru’s Grad Rebate?
Subaru offers a $750 cash rebate to qualifying recent and soon-to-be graduates when purchasing any new Subaru model. To be eligible, at time of purchase you must be within four months of graduating, or have graduated in the current or previous two calendar years from a full-time, accredited university undergraduate-degree program, full-time college diploma program (two-year minimum), military or police academy, or a three-year CEGEP D.E.C. program in Quebec.
16. Will Subaru be offering hybrid/alternative fuel vehicles in the future?
Hybrid vehicle development involves many new technologies and designs. While there are no specific release dates available to us now, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), Subaru's manufacturer, is currently developing a compact, fuel-efficient vehicle for production in the very near future. If you would like further general information on FHI's efforts to preserve the environment, please go to http://www.fhi.co.jp/english/envi/env_report/main.html.
17. I lost my keys. Can you give me the key code and immobilizer code?
For security reasons, Subaru Canada is unable to provide key codes or immobilizer codes directly to customers. To ensure that only legal owners can access these codes, you must contact your Subaru dealership if you have lost your vehicle key. You will be required to visit the dealership and show proof of ownership of your Subaru.
18. Will I get a loaner vehicle when I take my Subaru in for service?
Some Subaru dealerships do make available courtesy cars and/or rental vehicles to customers. As most of these dealers will have a limited number of vehicles for this purpose, it is recommended that you make arrangements with your Subaru dealership before taking your Subaru in for service.
19. I lost my Owner’s Manual. How can I replace it?
Replacement Owner's Manuals may be purchased at a reasonable price for most vehicles at any authorized Subaru dealership. Dealerships do not typically stock a supply of Owner's Manuals for previous model years, so it is wise to call first and request that the dealership order the appropriate manual for you.
20. Can I use synthetic oil in my engine?
All Subaru vehicles come from the factory with natural petroleum-based engine oil. Although more expensive, synthetic oil offers a number of advantages and may protect your engine better in both hot and cold temperatures. It reduces friction, thus increasing horsepower and decreasing fuel consumption. Synthetic oil minimizes ongoing wear and deterioration in your engine, which can result in longer engine life.
Synthetic oil should meet or exceed the specifications provided in your Owner's Manual. Even if synthetic oil is used, we do not recommend a longer oil-change interval. Also, once synthetic oil is used, you should keep using it and not switch back and forth with natural petroleum-based oil. Oils with a 5W designation are recommended for use in Canada.
The Subaru New Vehicle Limited Warranty does not cover any damage to the engine resulting from the use of substandard engine oil, engine oil that is defective or engine oil that does not meet the specifications provided in your Owner's Manual, regardless of whether the oil is natural or synthetic. You can protect yourself against this possibility by having your maintenance performed by a factory-authorized Subaru dealership.
21. How can I touch up scratches/chips on my Subaru?
Small bottles of touch-up paint can be purchased at your Subaru dealer. Your Subaru dealer's parts department will choose the correct colour based on the paint code for your particular Subaru.
22. What should I use to wash and wax my Subaru?
If possible, wash your Subaru regularly using a clean cloth, plenty of water and mild soap specially designed for automobiles; do not use dish soap. Harsh soap or an ammonia-based cleaner will remove the wax and dull your finish. For best long-term results, avoid automatic car washes - - they tend to user harsher soaps, and fine dirt particles adhering to brushes can cause unwelcome blemishes. Even the extreme water pressure powering touchless car washes can dull your paint's finish after repeated use. Polishing and waxing is recommended to maintain the original beauty of your Subaru's paint finish. Many experts agree, however, that you should not wax your new vehicle untill it is at least two months old so that the paint can cure properly. This is not an issue if your vehicle has a clearcoat finish. Wax should be applied once a month or when water no longer beads on the vehicle surface. Always wash and dry your Subaru before you begin waxing, even if you are using a combined cleaner and wax; Use a pure carnuba wax with no abrasives. If the finish has become dull in appearance, use a car-cleaning polish followed by a separate wax. Be sure to polish and wax the chrome trim as well as the paint. Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions and precautions. Please refer to your owner's manual for additional details.
23. Can I order parts and accessories directly from Subaru Canada?
Subaru Canada, Inc. is a wholesaler, not a retailer, and cannot sell to the public; therefore, all parts and accessories must be ordered and purchased through an authorized Subaru dealership. You can use our dealer locator on our website if you wish to locate a Subaru dealer in your area.
24. How do I find out if there are any outstanding recalls for my Subaru?
Subaru Canada is more than happy to check for any outstanding recalls on your Subaru. Please Contact Us with your 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to research this further. If you ever move or if you have moved, please send (by mail or e-mail) your new address to Subaru Canada so we can ensure you receive any future recall notices. If you ever sell your Subaru privately, ask the new owner to notify either a Subaru dealership or Subaru Canada so our records can be updated with his or her contact information.
25. How can I get some extra length in my seatbelt?
Seatbelt extenders are available for most vehicles to people who need extra length only; they cannot be provided for the disabled or as child-seat accessories or for pregnant women. Seat belts should always be worn around the hip bones, and not over the stomach; this is especially true for pregnant women.
If your seatbelt cannot be fastened securely because it is not long enough, a seatbelt extender can be obtained from your Subaru dealership. Your seatbelt extender must be used only by you and only in your Subaru; it should never be shared with other people or transferred to another vehicle. Misuse of seatbelt extenders can lead to serious injuries.
26. What does Subaru do with the information collected from my survey?
Listening to the voice of our customers is an essential step in the improvement process for Subaru Canada and our network of dealerships. By completing our customer satisfaction surveys, you can tell us how well we are meeting your needs and expectations.
All personal information gathered through our customer satisfaction surveys remains confidential, and its use is strictly limited to the purpose of compiling anonymous, aggregated data about our valued customers. If you no longer wish to receive surveys of this nature, please Contact Us and request that your name be removed from our mailing lists.
27. Where do I find the recommended tire pressure for my Subaru.
Maximum allowable tire pressure is specified in your Owner's Manual and can also be found on the pillar directly behind the driver's door.
28. Can I tow a Subaru behind my motor home?
Subaru vehicles with manual transmission can be towed with all four wheels on the ground and the transmission in neutral. Subaru vehicles with automatic transmission can only be towed with all four wheels OFF the ground. Therefore, if you are interested in towing your vehicle behind a motorhome, we suggest that you purchase a vehicle with manual transmission.
29. Where can I find the vehicle identification number on my Subaru?
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for your Subaru has 17 characters and can be found in the following locations: (1) lower dashboard on the driver's side - - most visible from outside looking through windshield; (2) the certification label on the pillar directly behind the driver's door; (3) labels applied to various major body parts to reduce the incidence of vehicle theft.
The full 17-character VIN is also imprinted on ownership/registration documents issued by provincial motor vehicle licensing bodies.
30. If I am traveling outside Canada, will I still have warranty coverage?
Your vehicle is protected by Subaru Canada's warranty if you travel within Canada and the continental United States only.
31. How can I purchase an updated DVD for my Subaru’s navigation system?
It is actually quite simple, just click on this link and follow the instructions. http://store.kenwoodusa.com/subaru/
Please note that prices are in US currency.
32. I would like to inform you regarding a mistake in a location or a missing location or street on my vehicle’s navigation system; how can I do this?
Your comments can be forwarded online to our software provider at www.mysubaru.kenwoodusa.com. Please select "Send Feedback"..
33. Which Subaru models have Bluetooth® technology?
Click here for a full list of models with Bluetooth® technology, as well as information about phone compatibility, pairing and functionality.
34. How do I know if my phone works in Subaru vehicles equipped with Bluetooth® technology?
Click here for information about phone compatibility, pairing and functionality.
35. I can’t get my Bluetooth® phone to work in my Subaru. What should I do?
Click here for information about Subaru's Bluetooth® technology.