5th Jul 2001, 08:52

We have a 1997 Outback and like the overall looks and performance. However, this vehicle is garage kept, is seldom driven in bad weather and has only 20,000 miles on it. All four wheels are badly corroded as if something in the metal is eating at the coating. Had we known Subaru had a problem with these wheels we would not have purchased this vehicle.

12th Jul 2002, 10:13

I have a 1996 Legacy outback with 80,000 miles and have been generally pleased with the car. Numerous engine oil seals have had to be replaced (oil pump, crank, etc) under the extended warranty and it's on its 3rd set of alloy wheels due to corrosion and subsequent air loss. Any problems (1 set of wheels and most of the seals) were covered under the original warranty, I had to really complain to get these replaced a second time under the "extended" warranty. Oil leaks have plagued every subaru flat 4 that I have owned, they are a nuisance. The corrosion problem with the alloy wheels is bad. Overall, it's still a 8.5/10 compared to comparable vehicles...

27th Nov 2002, 11:26

I have a 1996 outback with 90K on it and it is still running well. There have been several problem area that were never resolved by the dealer:

1. the engine leaks (does not burn a drop) oil like a sieve; every seal and gasket has been replaced w/o solving the problem.

2. check engine light comes on for no reason (checked codes and no problem)

3. alloy wheels have a SEVERE corrosion problem (replaced multiple times in 90k and I'm going to make SOA replace the current set even though the car is 6+ years old.. they are defective.. just tell them it's a safety issue and watch them cooperate.

4. The "extended" warranty that I bought is not an extension of the factory warranty (has major exclusions) -don't buy it.

Except for the above negatives, I still like the car, I just park it over some cardboard to catch the oil leaks. I change the oil every 2-3k and expect that it will run a very long time. Its still way better than the average car1.

9th Dec 2002, 17:47

I bought my 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 9 months ago and now with just under 80,000 miles, I have been told that it need new heads. The cost at the dealer--$1800 estimate. Of course no other mechanic will touch it as a Subaru is difficult to work on. The company will do nothing, as I don't have the maintenance records. My advice-don't buy a Subaru as the company will not help you when there is a problem.

20th May 2003, 14:03

1997 Subaru Outback

We leased this car when it had 70km on it and now it has 108km and it goes back to the leasing company in 2 weeks. The car has been a lemon. Some of our problems include: constant noises from the engine, rough running, seats that hurt your back after 30 minutes driving, no dash lights around the audio/heating area so you must fumble around at night, front windscreen trim that won't stay on and rubber door seals that fall off fairly regularly.

At 95km we noticed cold start slapping noises from the engine so we contacted our dealer in Brampton ON. They insisted there was nothing wrong and that these noises were normal. Finally, one day while in line for the service department, a man told me to check the internet for the problem, and that it was fairly common that these cars were experiencing piston slapping. We persisted with the service department and they agreed, not to replace the block, but to rebuild it. They even put the old spark plugs and timing belts back in (which we subsequently replaced). This noise improved after the repair.

Now at 108km and 2 weeks left to dump this turkey, the check engine light has come on and the car is idling roughly. The service guy says, he's never seen it happen before, but there's a little solenoid within the transmission casing that has died. To replace it will cost us $715 for the part and another $300 for installation. He also insists that this is what is making the car idle roughly, but I don't understand how that is possible. I asked about what if I spend the $1000 and the light comes back on? He said that I have got to trust them. Ya, right.

My advise to anyone considering purchasing one of these lemons is to look at all your other options first.

Chris - Orangeville.

13th Oct 2003, 09:40

My 1996 Outback has had several problem areas, The first is the alloy wheels, the corrosion is bad enough to cause air leaks and since the car is 7 years old, I guess that I can't get Subaru to replace all 4 wheels a fourth time (yes, it has had 3 sets). The other area is oil leaking from the engine. At 90k I have replaced every seal, gasket, and gizmo to the tune of about $1,000 out of pocket, after I twisted the dealer's arm to invest a like amount, and lo and behold it no longer leaks oil. First time since it was 2 years old. I like this vehicle and would go buy another one today, but the dealer's attitude towards warranty repair sucks. I guess that it's time to buy a toyota.

4th Aug 2004, 19:30

My wife and I bought a 1997 outback 84k limited in December of 2003. The check engine light has been on constantly and rough idling for no apparent reason. 2 different shops said it was the wrong plugs and wires, so I spent 700.00 on 2 sets of useless plugs. Low and behold, this didn't take care of the problem.

Gas mileage is terrible, on a good tank of mid grade about 200-225 miles. Others with the same car claim to be getting 300+ to the tank.I've already been through on set of new tires due to mis alignment. Over all cars looks great, love the interior space and comfort, but with todays gas prices it's killing me.

My advice would be to buy Toyota, our 4x4 1990 gets a lot better mileage than this pig. No shops seem to be able to pin point problem. Injector #3 has been replaced, engine still idles rough, especially when tank is near empty or car is parked on slight incline or decline.

Save your time and money!

14th Apr 2005, 08:25

I have a 1994 Legacy, with 172k miles. I use Lucas Oil Stabilizer, along with Valvoline "High Mileage" oil.

This helps with the notorious leakage from a Subaru.

One thing with this car, when in overdrive, highway speeds, then slowing for traffic and getting on the gas, it will momentarily cut-out. Have brand new plugs, wires, O2 sensor, cleaned upper cylinders, added injector cleaner, cleaned throttle body. Still does it.

Thanks for the forum.

16th Aug 2006, 19:09

My 1997 Subaru Outback has 103,300 miles. I bought it new in December 1996. Needed to get a new transmission after 95,500 miles. The inside is no longer "nice" but acceptable. The alternator went out while still under warranty. I never get less than 20 miles to a gallon of gas, except when I forget to check for tire inflation. My aluminum wheels are now corroding due to all the salt and sand used to treat for snow here in Ohio. Still love my car! Very safe and absolutely dependable.