2000 Subaru Outback from North America


Good car, useful for hauling


Head gasket replaced twice. Small pinhole leaks oil, none on ground, but gets on the engine and can be smelled, especially when the A/C is on. Engine would need to be taken out to fix; something to do with a plate that is now made with different material.

General Comments:

Great AWD.

Front seats uncomfortable. Heated seats often get turned on by mistake, and get too hot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th July, 2010

1st Oct 2011, 17:06

I will never understand how shops get away with telling people a Subaru engine must be removed to replace the head gaskets. I've had at least 7 Subaru's, and I've had to do head gaskets on most of them. I keep buying Subarus for their snow "worthiness" and their great reliability. The head gasket issue is real, no matter what improvements have been made by the factory, the H-Gs seem to go bad eventually, but once replaced I've never had a problem, and I keep all my cars until they hit 250 to 300k miles, and they are still running fine and still pass Calif smog test when they go to the next owner. 170k miles is about where all of mine have needed the head gaskets replaced. And never have I had to remove the engine to do so.

After the 1st one (that took more than 8 hours before I understood how easy it is to do), it became a very simple and quick job. Never more than 4 hours total (except for the time it takes to take the heads in to be machined (not rebuilt, just resurfaced). Subaru's have proven to be great cars, as good or better than any Jeep I've ever owned. Great reliability, cheap to fix (about 200 dollars to do the whole H-G job, including resurfacing at a machine shop, and this includes a new water pump too. My point is that the "dreaded" head gasket job on the SOHC Subaru engine is not a hard job at all, in fact it is kind of a fun 4 hour job that can be easily done with the engine still in the car.

8th Mar 2012, 04:15

If you can describe how a normal person without a workshop of mechanics tools can do a gasket head replacement at home, please say! I have been to 3 mechanics who say the exact same thing, the engine needs to come out to do the cylinder head gasket! Because it's a twin cam design east/west engine, it's got to be taken out. Period!!!

There are thousands of 2.5 EFI Subi owners world wide with the exact same problem! Many angry and unhappy owners.

20th Nov 2023, 13:12

The 2000 and onwards Subarus use a single overhead cam design, except for some turbo models. They still can be a bit difficult to access, but I think you could do a head gasket replacement in a home shop without removing the engine. Of course, you'd be doing it again really soon, because you can't mill the mating surfaces of the head and block in the engine bay.

2000 Subaru Outback from North America


Love hate relationship


Uggghh!!! The lemon is at 138,000. Time for things to go wrong I know.

I thought with a Subby I would get away with not too much maintenance... wrong. It's an automatic, and when taking the car from reverse to drive, it should begin to coast on its own, but instead it seemed to almost jump. So I had to get the tranny rebuilt.

One day my check engine light came on, and my car over heated almost instantly. Thank goodness I had just rolled into the drive way. I hopped online and saw all the reviews, and thought for sure I had blown the head gasket... actually I just needed a new radiator hose.

On my way home from the mechanics after waiting for almost 2 weeks to get her back, the check engine light came on again, so I turned it right around, and now I need a catalytic converter.

There's always something, but she does drive super nice and is really pretty... I like sleeping in the back too! LOL.

General Comments:

I love the car; I just wish it wasn't such a headache or it would at least give me a lil' break to enjoy her.

Haven't had the opportunity to try her in the snow yet, but from what I hear, I will not be let down. I live in Davis WV; we got hammered last year, so hopefully it will all come back for round 2!!!

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

Review Date: 27th May, 2010

28th May 2010, 13:33

Not saying you should do this, but it sounds similar to my Impreza.

Needless to say, the check engine light is always on, as I too need a new exhaust. As long as the light is solid, it will run fine. The rattly exhaust is hard to take, but it hasn't fallen off! If you have no money, like me, the car keeps on going. It's a blessing, really. The exhaust needs to be fixed for the engine light to be off. My clutch is going also. But it keeps going forward. I've had mine eleven years, and the parts are just now needing replacement.