2000 Subaru Outback 2.5 from Australia and New Zealand


I would NOT buy a second hand Subaru


My head gasket has a small leak at the rear of the engine block.

General Comments:

The car is OK for a person below 6'2", but it is not made for very tall people.

The car's fit and finish is quite good.

It's very slow and cumbersome.

My wife and I bought the car, thinking it was a reliable car, but the car has developed a leak that is at the back of the head. It leaks coolant while running. I have to watch the engine temperature while driving all the time.

Subaru have been very clever about not telling the public that the MY00 series up to 2003, all would / could develop the same fault, that the gasket would fail at 170k! And I have been quoted varying prices to fix the problem. The motor DOES need to be taken out, unless you have the right tools in a workshop!

I have been quoted AUS $3,000 to $4,800 to repair, then it's apparently good for another 200k.

On a $9,000 car, I don't believe that's good enough, for a multi-billion dollar corporation like Subaru to knowingly ship a faulty product.

I have since heard from several reputable mechanics, that there were rumors in the auto industry way back in 2001 that the 2.5 EFI injection engine used by Subaru's had serious faults.

I have had one earlier model Subaru Outback (a 1992 2.0 EFI) that had no issues when I sold it. I sold it with 250K on the odometer, and the new owner was pleased.

After this experience, I will not be buying another Subaru again; over priced and overrated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st February, 2012

21st Feb 2012, 12:35

Hello. Sorry to hear about your head gasket leak, but have no fear, I have a cheap and PERMANENT solution that I have used on three of my own vehicles. The solution is to use Bar's Leak 1109 Block Seal Liquid Copper Intake and Radiator Stop Leak. You just disconnect your upper radiator hose from your radiator, drain any antifreeze from the upper radiator hose, then pour this stuff in your upper radiator hose, and reconnect it to the radiator and drive. You do not have to fully drain your radiator. This stuff mixes with the antifreeze in your vehicle, and seals all coolant leaks period. Here is the link to the product.


Make certain that you thermostat is working properly before you use this. If your thermostat is stuck closed, you can tell by feeling the upper and the lower radiator hoses when the vehicle is cold and has not been driven. If they are rock hard and can not be squeezed, then you have a defective thermostat most likely. Replace it, then proceed. Make certain whenever you fully drain you radiator again, to put new coolant in. You add a fresh bottle of Bar's Leak at the same time. Simple and effective. I swear it works every time. I have tried other more expensive brands and they did not work. Good luck.

21st Feb 2012, 18:06

The Subaru 2.5 engine has a 100% failure rate with the head gaskets up to MY2004, as we found out to our cost with a used Forester a couple of years ago. We'd bought it because our 98 2.0 Forester had been 100% reliable. The really annoying thing is that the 2.5 obviously has two cylinder heads, so fixing it is big $$$$.

In the USA, there is a class action lawsuit against Subaru for this very issue.

6th Mar 2012, 06:17


I have bottle of "seal up" on my desk here, but I have tried another product called "Seal Tabs", which unlike the others, you could just put into the radiator. I was disappointed with the "Seal Tabs", it didn't do much at all, possibly slowed down the leak somewhat.

I have thought of using "Chemiweld", but was put off by reputable mechanics saying putting the stuff in can go either way; fix the problem or totally gum up the motor!! Which is one thing I don't want to have happen. Then it's a VERY expensive repair bill!

At least I can still drive the car while I am figuring out the best way to deal with the problem.

6th Mar 2012, 06:26

I have approached Subaru head office and written a letter of complaint; they were not interested and just blew me off, couldn't care less basically, and that's after reading on many sites that it's a common problem.

So guess what? People ask me what the MY00 2.5 Outback is like engine wise, I tell them! By the way, the TPS auto box sensor needed replacement; at $370.00 that was a cheap fix!

What no one tells you, is that all this fancy computer gadgetry in cars these days, creates a nightmare for the ordinary Joe.

2000 Subaru Outback 2.5 litre from North America


2000 Subaru Outback is a lemon


Head gasket blew twice in the time of ownership.

After the second time it was replaced, the car had a stink in the interior that smelled like radiator fluid.

Air conditioner was undersized and could never keep the car cool. Dealer advised to not set it on the lowest setting.

I had a broken front sway strut. This appeared to be a fatigue related failure as it was a clean break that occurred. Driving was typically highway with no off road.

Finally, the transmission failed and I could not engage the car in gear.

General Comments:

My wife loved the car. The performance in the winter was superb with all season tires, and even better with Nokian winter tires.

Acceleration was what I would expect from a 2.5 litre engine. Not very quick pickup, but OK on the highway.

Gas mileage was OK for a car of this size.

Cup holder broke as commented by other owners.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2010