All wheel drive



I was thinking about disabling the awd on my 2003 subaru legacy wagon in order to improve on the gas mileage. Can this be done and is it going to damage the care in any way? also if it can be done can someone explain the procedure to me. Thanks, Lou


I know people do this with older Range Rovers, they just disconnect and remove the front prop. I haven’t heard any problems with doing this.

I don’t know Subaru’s but if the rear prop shaft is bolted both ends, I don’t see any reason why you can’t just unbolt both ends and remove it, this will leave you with just front wheel drive. If the prop shaft fits into a transmission spline with a seal, you can’t do this of course.


If your car has some kind of traction control system, this could give you problems.

You really need a Subaru specialist to confirm.


No procedure available that will not damage differentials.


Hope you’re never in an accident . . lawyer have a blast with this stuff. Rocketman


It so wouldn’t be worth the 1/45 of a mile per gallon that you’d save. And considering that all wheel drive is just about the most attractive feature of a Subaru, why not just sell it and buy something that is more fuel efficient?


All that is involved is the insertion of a fuse in the appropriate receptacle. As with virtually every other important topic concerning your car, this is covered in your Owner’s Manual, in the section on changing tires.

However, this is viewed as a short-term solution, and I cannot guarantee that there would not be long-term problems that would far outweigh the miniscule amount of gas saved in the process. I suggest that you forget this idea.


The method you mention is specific to automatic Subaru AWD only which is electronically operated. There is a possibility it will damage the electronic clutches long term.

If the poster has a manual transmission Subaru is a simplistic yet beyond effective pure mechanical AWD system there is not easy fix.