I bought the car from an elderly gentleman, the original owner of the car. He was retiring and moving out of state, so he sold me his daily driver for $500.00, free and clear. I bought it with the knowledge that I would have to do transmission work immediately for the car to be reliable again. The bill went like this:
Used (not rebuilt) transmission: $450.00, 145,000 miles.
New clutch: $130.00.
New Flywheel: don't remember how much it was, but not too bad.
With labor, it was close to $1800.00 worth of work, but it ran well for another 5,000 miles. During this time, I chose to replace the driver's side seatbelt, a $250.00 repair, using a used seatbelt out of the same car I got the transmission. The automatic seatbelts were never a good idea.
I replaced the valve cover gaskets myself, and had the oil pressure sensor (valve?) replaced, both of which were sub-$100.00 jobs.
A couple of thousand miles later, the radiator blew a hole in itself. Non-repairable, cost $350.00.
Oil leaks from the head gasket, and I believe this explains another problem common of older vehicles: oil in the spark plugs. It burns a little oil.
Finally, I was driving home on the freeway when the timing belt slipped. Newer timing belt, also, not neglected. Seeing as the Subaru engines are set up to cause as little damage to the engine as possible, (I.E. if you know Hondas, they slip a timing belt and the whole engine needs rebuilt. Drives a rod into a piston. Not so with the Subaru.) I should consider myself lucky, as it shot a bearing through the timing case (hole the size of a tennis ball). Instead of a $5,000.00 engine rebuild, I have a $1,000.00 rebuild, for new bearings, seals, water pump, and timing belt.
It proved to be too much for a college student's wallet to repair this time. Minor repairs were fine, and these engines go forever, but I didn't have the money to fix it this time.