1998 Subaru Outback Legacy 2.5L


1998 Legacy Outback Wagon is junk


Car had blown head gaskets.

Leaking power steering pump.

Leaking oil pump.

Bad CV joint axle and bearing.

Leaking O-ring on transmission.

Leaking radiator.

Leaking valve cover gaskets.

General Comments:

I appears that I purchased possibly the worst model year of Subaru.

All the above problems were fixed by a shop while traveling across country... and it came with a warranty, the problem is I live 1400 miles away.

The shop stripped one of the head bolts, and now the right side head is blown again. Cost about $900, assuming the left side is OK.

Question, I have $8000 in this car and I own a 1995 Legacy Wagon... reportedly the best model year for Subaru (recently blown head gasket was my fault)... Should I cut my losses on the 98 and concentrate efforts on the 95?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th May, 2009

1998 Subaru Outback Limited 30th 2.5


I love my car. Can't go far, but still going


Bought car second hand from a lady who changed the oil every 3,000 mile. Always took it to the dealer to have work done. She even had all the receipts for me.

The car did have a shimmy. I had the front end worked on; they changed the CVs, they said the axle was a bit loose on driver side. It only does it between 20 and 30 miles an hour.

The car looks really good; all leather, moon roof and sun roof, rubber mat in the rear and retractable cover.

Not knowing any one that I could trust, I took it to Easy Lube, which I had taken all my cars to before, and my mother's also. They said I needed to have the radiator flushed - OK, I did, but the guy didn't know about the breather screw on the top side of the radiator, and it over heated after about 30 miles. That was Dec 3 2007.

Since then I have been driving with just water in the radiator, no thermostat, but I did try liquid glass, then tried K&W Nanotechnology on Oct 20 20, 08. It worked great until I tried to put antifreeze back in the radiator. I had to start putting more water everyday. The water always smells like exhaust.

It started missing. I took it to an AAA auto repair place, and they told me 3,500 to repair the blown head gasket. I have a code reader and it said it was no 1 cylinder was bad. I changed the spark plugs, which took forever because they are not easy to get to, but I did it and it runs much better. I'm going to put more nanotec in it and hope for the best.

I did also have a new timing belt put on at 164,000, and of course a new water, since that another sweet job.

Then on March 20, 2009 another mechanic told me that Subaru knew the whole time about head gaskets, and they put stop leak in the radiator as a conditioner, and I should just drive til it falls apart, it has been 15 months. I just check the water in morning before I leave; sometimes it even has pressure.

I've owned a 82 Subaru station wagon (new), put 160,000 miles before rolling it in southern Mexico, then an 84 Brat. I love Subaru.. It's the no. 1 car in Alaska where I lived 12 years. That's all.

General Comments:

I love my car, but the cup holder covers the radio. You can't see the stations.

I do love the way the seat goes up 2 inches and my seats heat up, sweet when it's cold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2009

21st Dec 2009, 07:47

My new Subaru experience is somewhat similar. Needed a new (used) car ASAP & wound up with a '97, auto., blue 176k., Outback.

It appears I'm the third owner, the 2nd owner getting it at 142k. Trade in at a Ford dealer. Got it for $500. It needed a battery & alternator, to get going, but the mechanic friend at the dealer who made this happen, gave it plugs & wires, oil change & a once over.

The engine runs well enough & the ride still solid. No cooling issues. $1000.00 total. I hope to get 3 years out of it at 15k a year. We'll see. I'm banking that it's at least had a timing belt change in its life, possibly head gasket repair. Other than fluids, I'm not changing anything.

I'm starting to wonder if these engines are just super sensitive to overheating, hence the gasket failure. I plan to disconnect the A/C belt, & possibly remove the 2nd fan for better airflow on the radiator. Try to have it run as cool as possible in summer.