1998 Subaru Outback Limited Edition 4 cylinder


We love the car, but not the cost of repairs!


Since we purchased the car, we have completely redone the brakes, the suspension, and most recently, the engine was running hot so the thermostat was replaced first, then the radiator and finally, they figured out that the headgasket had to be replaced in the motor.

A week ago, the car caught on fire in the driveway from a faulty motor on the engine fan which shorted out. The damage that that caused is still pending as it had to go through insurance. I will say that the car had not been driven that day for over twelve hours when the fan shorted out. Had we not been paying attention and acted as quickly as we had, the whole car would have been a right off. That may be a good thing or bad! Anyway, the damage under the hood was pretty extensive due to the fact that all the wires need to be replaced and anything that was plastic melted to some degree. We still do not know about the engine itself or the radiator. Friends of ours bought a Legacy 1998 and also had to replace their headgasket two months prior to ours going.

Hope this helps anyone make a wise choice before considering buying a used one. Check to make sure the engine is in good condition or that the head gasket has already been replaced or you will be paying for it in the near future!

General Comments:

Engine and wiring has problems in the 1998 model of the Outback. Know from experience!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th March, 2005

1998 Subaru Outback


It was a great car for a while, but at 128,000 it is going downhill


I purchased the car with 80,000 and it was good for the next 30,000. Not a penny into it. The O2 censor went, and then the Check Engine kept coming on. Every place I took it to about the check engine light they gave me a different reason.

At 128,000 the car was vary sluggish on the hills or when there was any weight in the car. The garage told me the head gasket needs replacing. It has begun to burn oil and the anti-freez is starting to leak.

General Comments:

I used to love this car! It was all I needed, great in snow and a lot of room for all my stuff. It lacks in power and a lot of the interior lights do not work in it. The repair bill will be in the 2,000 range and I will be purchacing a different car soon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2004

18th Nov 2006, 20:09

If you want a new car that has the same capabilities and more, you might check out the new Ford Freestyle. It's got a bigger engine, and a third row seat. And no, I'm not an auto salesman, just making a suggestion.

2nd Feb 2011, 22:58

Don't buy Ford, you will spend even more... on tylenol AND repairs.

1998 Subaru Outback


It WAS a good car


I recently got a tune-up as part of regular maintenance. About a week after that my Check Engine light appeared. I used a code reader and found that cylinder 4 was misfiring. I took it back to the repair shop thinking it was a bad plug or wire. They replaced both and sent me on my way. The check engine light came on again. I brought it back and they replaced the O2 sensor and injector serving that cylinder. The mechanic couldn't figure it out and sent me on to the dealer.

The dealer told me that the valves were "floating" and I needed at least $3,500 worth of repairs for the valves.

General Comments:

It seems from this site that this is a more common problem with this type of car than I first thought. Anyone else with a similar problem?

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

Review Date: 26th July, 2004

19th Sep 2005, 14:18

I just had the same problem. Misfire on #4 cylinder and wires and ignition coil are recommended replacements. In addition, I have transmission fluid leaking and they need to reseal. Not good news.

19th Sep 2006, 04:31

Greetings from Canada - I purchased my 1998 Outback Limited in 2000 - it had just over 90,000 kms. It ran great... until this year. I had to replace a head gasket, cracked piston, radiator, seized emergency brakes. ($3,000.00) cdn eh!