Service and Maintenance

 if driving your Speedster is more fun than working on it...we have the answer.

     What is the difference between Modern and Antique drivelines  ? -

     Although it cannot be seen under normal circumstances, our water-cooled Speedster has a modern driveline with all of the state-of-the-art features enjoyed by all modern cars which by law require peak operational efficiency under all driving conditions.  Like the modern cars our Speedster can be serviced and maintained by ordinary service centers found everywhere not specialists.  Antique drivelines (25 years and older)  like in VW Speedsters are serviced by specialty shops not found everywhere using parts more often than not difficult to locate.

      Is servicing the water-cooled Speedster too complicated ? -

     Quite the opposite.  The drive line is monitored and controlled by the latest OBD II (On Board Diagnostics II) engine management system.  This wonderful standardized service feature is federally required on all cars built or imported into the USA since 1996, and it has made fault diagnosis faster and simpler for the professional service technician as well as the novice or hobbyist.  All dealerships, garages, and independent service centers everywhere have the capability to "scan" the OBD II system allowing them to immediately detect any of the hundreds of possible faults which might occur on any car as a result of normal wear and tear.  This broadly universal detection system allows you to use familiar service facilities close to your home or office rather than a distant air-cooled VW repair facility, presuming your community is fortunate enough to even have one.  Even though OBD II is rocket science... you don't have to be an astronaut to use it.  

      Don't all those emissions devices make the Subaru engine run poorly ? -

     This is the 21st century.  When emissions were first mandated in the late sixties and increased in the early seventies the add-on devices that were used did in fact negatively affect performance and fuel mileage.  Things have changed thanks to modern computers and technical advancements.  There are only 2 add-on emissions devices on the Subaru:  catalytic converters, and fuel tank evaporation purge control.  These engines meet the demanding pollution restrictions by being able to run efficiently throughout the entire operating range using computers receiving input from dozens of sensors.  Ironically the things that make the engines run clean also make them more powerful... a victory for both  environmentalists and performance enthusiasts.  Unfortunately air-cooled VW engines can neither run clean nor efficiently throughout the operating range.  That is why VW ceased importing air-cooled cars in 1978 and subsequently water-cooled fuel injected VW Beetles and 911 Porsches appeared in 1998.

     Can I do my own maintenance ? - 

     There really is no maintenance to perform.  The Subaru engine is nothing like a VW air-cooled engine which has distributor timing, point adjustment, condenser, distributor cap, rotor, adjustable valve lifters, carburetor, and choke all which require regular maintenance.  Checking the oil is the most common service of the Subaru engine. However, DIY enthusiasts can scan their own water-cooled Speedster by purchasing a hand held OBD scanner through any parts house.  You have the same diagnosis capability as the highly trained service centers with this device.  This efficient fault detection allows immediate repair of the faulty part rather than a "search, replace, and pay until found" approach.

      Is the engine easy to access ? -

    The ultra quiet and smooth engine is concealed by an easily removed sound deadened light weight fiberglass cover located conveniently behind the seats. When the cover is lifted the entire engine maintenance and service points are totally in view and accessible including the air conditioning.  The OBD II management system, which scans the driveline for faults, is plugged into a receptacle located in the rear trunk so the cover does not even have to be removed unless something needs servicing.  The most common service will be to check the oil level and change the oil.

Example of accessibility - on which engine would you prefer to change spark plugs or change a belt ?


      Where do I get parts for my water-cooled Speedster ? -  

     Although more exotic, expensive, and name-dropping parts are available, our design philosophy has always been to use high quality "readily available parts" throughout the suspension, braking, steering, cooling, and exhaust systems.  Virtually every maintenance part of our Speedster can be purchased at your local parts counters, we know because that is where we get them.  This is an important consideration for DIY maintenance, but more importantly for "on the road" type repairs during those enjoyable touring excursions.

    Who wants to be on the road broken down in "Topeka" looking for an air-cooled VW mechanic, but.........I bet you will find a Subaru mechanic there.


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