Air-con compressor clutch doesn't disengage properly, meaning the engine has to work a tad harder.
Occasional squeak somewhere around the front right wheel when hot, but the mechanic can't find anything wrong!
Driver's seat foam has started to break down - I believe this is common in most 1st generation Legacies. I intend to replace the front seats sometime.
Before I owned it:
CV joints replaced around 80,000k. Premature CV wearing is a common Subaru problem. I think the right front CV joint will need changing again in about six months. It occasionally (but not often) can be heard clicking on tight U-turns. (NZ drives on the left side of the road)
Cam belt replaced at 100,000k as per maintenance.
Some panel and paintwork resulting from vandalism in 1997 (not the fault of the car!)
The car is a Subaru Legacy Mi - a front wheel drive model.
This car has been in the family for ten years. First driven by my mother, then loaned to a family friend (mistake! car came back filthy and smelly, spilt food and dog hair everywhere, interior needed to be professionally cleaned out twice!), then my brother, and now myself.
Some TLC and fresh paint lately has the car looking and feeling pretty good.
The engine runs smoothly, the transmission is okay with the exception of a slight jerk going up from 1st to 2nd, and since replacing the factory steel rim wheels with factory 16" alloys (of a 2001 Legacy B4) the car drives wonderfully. It now corners like a Subaru should even though it lacks the AWD all its newer siblings have. Gear shifting (both when and how) has also improved since changing the wheels, as has power to wheels AND fuel efficiency. These cars are designed to drive on alloy wheels, steel rims coupled with this car's body, engine, suspension and transmission was just wrong!
In some areas this car is showing its age - air-con can smell a bit musty for a minute after switching the compressor off, even after blowing through some car air-con cleaner, the seats were looking quite worn with the vinyl on the headrests of the back seats shrinking and tearing, and the foam degrading on the right side of the drivers' seat (they're now under seat covers). I need to look into whether newer Legacy front seats will fit this car. I discovered wiring for electric seats once when vacuuming it :)
The engine definitely appreciates a few minutes' warm up at the start of the day before driving.
Aside from the air-con compressor not disengaging properly I've had no engine trouble and I don't think anyone in the family has. The mechanics of this car have been well maintained its entire life. This car has definitely benefited from not letting any problems fester once noticed.
I fully intend to hold on to this car for at least another three years (til 2009). After that, well, this car has me hooked on Legacies!