1998 Subaru Outback Legacy Outback 2.5




2 calipers jammed.

Check engine light keeps coming on.

ABS system failed.

Heated seats failed.

Rear shocks needed to be replaced, 1 was broken in half when I bought the car.

Heavy white smoke comes from front end often after a drive, still don't know what it is, even the mechanic and dealer haven't found out yet.

I'm probably forgetting stuff.

General Comments:

Works great in our northeastern Canadian winters, but hard on gas and unreliable, just as my Jettas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th September, 2009

17th Sep 2009, 06:43

With over a quarter of a million Kilometres and 10 years old - you can't complain about it. Buy a new one and if it has these faults then you can complain.

14th Oct 2009, 16:51

This doesn't sound like a bad model of car, it just sounds like a car that has had 10 years of abuse and lack of servicing.

You should be complaining about whoever did the pre-purchase inspection instead.

1998 Subaru Outback Legacy Limited 2.5L


Read the Internet before you buy


Bad transmission, warranty replaced at 24k miles (unmatched gears at factory).

It leaked coolant after the dealer did the 60k service, took it back, they said it was low on coolant (they just serviced it - go figure) and needed new head gaskets ($2300).

Great driving car otherwise, but terrible factory loyalty to customers. A $25k car should not go bad after 60K miles. Buyer beware.

General Comments:

The car is fun to drive, good power, but recommend deep pockets to be an owner. Unless you know how to work on them, good luck.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th August, 2009

1998 Subaru Outback 2.5 DOHC


The Sube isn't perfect, but it's a solid, well built car that's very capable


Headgasket popped at 114K miles with no overheat and no warpage. We had it repaired and have driven 87k miles since with no problems.

Knock sensor died a few years ago and was repaired.

We've had 3 front main seals in the car and it's leaking slightly again.

The harmonic balancer needed to be replaced last year at about 185K miles.

Recalls for the alternator and brake master cylinder - replaced at no charge.

General Comments:

Overall a very good and reliable car in my opinion. It's had its issues, but only once in more than 200k miles has it needed to be towed.

It has received regular maintenance, always starts, runs smoothly, everything works, and it remains a pleasure to drive especially in poor weather.

My biggest gripes about the car are the seats and the location of the cup-holder; not bad overall.

I fully expect the car to exceed 250K miles with ease.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th June, 2009

1998 Subaru Outback 2.5


Good car, but overheats



General Comments:

Car overheats, changed everything just like everyone else, but seems that everyone thinks it's the head gasket, but I checked and it's not the head gasket.

My conclusion is that it's the design of the water pump and timing belt.

All the cars I've had, have the water pump pulley with teeth in it, and the timing belt can grab it to turn it.

This Subaru has a smooth pulley, and the back of the belt turns it. When the belt rubber starts to harden, it can't turn it at full speed and causes the car to overheat.

New timing belt has better grip and helps a lot, but soon the rubber isn't as good, like after 3 months, and then you need to replace the belt again.

I've been doing this over and over and over, and the only way I can stop the overheating is to replace the belt. Then I am good for 3 months.

Also replaced the timing belt tensioner, but that wasn't the problem. It's the belt slipping that is the overheating problem, at least for me.

I've tried belt dressing, and it doesn't help, only a new belt every 3 months. At least it's not too hard to replace the belts on this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd June, 2009

7th Jan 2013, 23:51

For the overheating, we just replaced the radiator, but the water pump was still overheating. A friend of ours, who is a mechanic, said it was the heads, and he was right; just got both done, and no more overheating. However it idles a little rough. The mechanic says it's the fact the compression is better now. Anybody know if that sounds right? Heads cost 1000 bucks for new gaskets and machined.

It's done 107000; hope it goes to 250000.