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Occasionally, your Subaru vehicle may need maintenance or repair. While this may be inconvenient, there are ways to help ensure all the needed work is done correctly and on your first service visit. Accurate communication between you and your Subaru Service Department is a critical step.

One of the roadblocks to accurate communication is the misunderstanding that can occur when describing noises, smells, observations or movements that are not normal in the operation of your vehicle. The following checklist gives symptoms, definitions and descriptions that will assist you in communicating what you’ve heard, smelled, seen or felt. Print a copy of this checklist and keep it in your vehicle’s glove compartment with a pencil or pen. Should you experience a problem, use the form to record the vehicle’s symptoms and accurately communicate them to your Subaru Service Advisor and your Subaru Technician.

Does your vehicle produce any of these sounds?
Noise Description
Boom Thunder, drum
Buzz Low-pitched, like a bee
Chatter Rapidly repeating metallic sound
Chirp High-pitched, birdlike
Clang Loud single metallic sound, not repetitive
Click Ballpoint pen; depressing the keys on a computer keyboard
Grind Abrasive; metal on metal
Growl Low-pitched rumble
Hiss Air escaping
Hum Hummingbird; various pitches
Knock Repetitive heavy sound; knocking on a door
Ping High-pitched knock
Rattle Marbles in a can
Roar Deep, prolonged, like timpani
Rumble Rolling thunder
Squeak High-pitched; hinge that needs oil
Squeal High-pitched, continuous
Tap Light repetitive sound, similar to a click
Whine High-speed electric motor
Whistle Shrill, sharp tea kettle

Does your vehicle produce any of these odors?
Odor Description
Antifreeze/coolant Sweet odor
Electrical short Acrid
Emissions Sulfur, rotten eggs
Gasoline Gasoline vapors
Oil Heavy odor, usually accompanied by smoke
Overheated friction material Burnt smell (brakes/clutch)
Overheating Sweet smell accompanied by steam

Does your vehicle produce any of these movements?
Feeling Description
Brake fades Feeling of losing stopping ability
Drifts Slight, continuous movement to the side
Grabs Sudden engagement of brakes when applied
Hesitation Lack of response to gas pedal pressure
Low pedal Unusual pedal travel before brakes engage
Play Looseness, lack of response to steering wheel
Pulls Moves sharply to the side
Shimmy Rapid side to side
Spongy Soft, unresponsive
Surge Speeding up and slowing down with no gas pedal movement
Sway Soft side-to-side movement
Vibration Quick shaking feeling in seat or steering wheel

Does your vehicle produce any of these visible signs?
Observation Description
Axle grease leak Heavy, dark stain/puddle
Antifreeze/coolant leak Sweet smelling, greenish stain/puddle
Engine oil Brown stain/puddle
Power steering fluid leak Red oil stain/puddle
Smoke Black, white, etc.
Check engine light Steady, intermittent
Unusual gauge reading Outside of “normal” range

What system of your Subaru seems to be affected?
 Engine  Transmission  Steering
 Suspension  Brakes  Gauges & Controls
 Heater/AC  Audio System  Body
 Interior  Electrical System  Other

Can you tell what area of your Subaru the symptom is coming from?

 Front Left  Front Center  Front Right
 Rear Left  Rear Center  Rear Right

Can you tell what area of your Subaru the symptom is coming from?

 Front Left  Front Center  Front Right
 Rear Left  Rear Center  Rear Right

When did you first notice the symptom(s)?
Since the vehicle was new
When the temperature is below _______ degrees
When the temperature is above _______ degrees
After my last gasoline fill-up
After I had my vehicle serviced

When does the symptom(s) occur?
All the time
When using the heater
Only when the engine is cold
When using the air conditioner
Only when the engine is at operating temperature
At engine idle
Intermittently (comes and goes)
Only when the brakes are applied
Only at ______ miles per hour
Only when turning
Only on acceleration
Only on deceleration