11th Aug 2010, 16:30

Well it's been 10 years 9 months since I bought my 2000 Outback. I love it and I hate it. Since my last update in 2007. Now 158,400 miles.

1. Headgasket, big time leak, which damaged my clutch and it required replacement.

2. The new clutch sucks. It slips bad, it shudders worse, and no amount of return trips to the dealer made it better. If I hook my trailer to the car and have to start up any notable hill, it smells bad and sometimes just spins in the clutch housing.

3. The squeaking, the squeaking. It's awful, and when I fix one squeak, in a few months I get a new one. I bet in the last 5 years I have spent $900 on assorted squeaks.

4. The plate under the catalytic converter was hanging on by a single bolt. I removed it before it removed itself, and got rid of a rattle.

5. The check engine light is on, the catalytic converter is dead, and the gasket by the converter leaks a ton.

6. Oil pump #2 is leaking, almost 2 quarts in 3000 miles, so it's time again.

7. Will shortly need a new settle of brakes and 3rd set of tires.

8. Driver's seat is falling apart, where the seat belt rubs it. I duct taped it, otherwise yellow foam everywhere.

15th Aug 2010, 10:47

I guess it's my turn to add some information regarding my 2000 Outback Limited.

The car currently has 104k miles. I had the coolant smell, which I thought I beat after replacing the upper radiator hose (pin hole leak). I still have the smell and fear head gasket. The leak is not that bad, as I only need to top off the coolant every month or so, and I'd be surprised if I'm adding more than 1/2 quart of coolant each time. The oil level stays the same, so the good news is I'm not leaking coolant into my oil.

Speaking about oil, the oil leak just started. 2 or 3 drops daily on my garage floor. After reading all the posts here, it sounds like I just need to deal with it and settle for cleaning the few drops off my garage floor each day. I was actually going to crawl under the car today and look for the source of the leak. I did a search on Google to find out if there are any common places for Subaru oil leaks and found this site!

For my check engine light, I have an OBD II reader, which failed the knock sensor. I installed a new sensor that I purchased from eBay for $29. I did this only 3 days ago, so I'm not sure on the quality of the sensor, but the check engine light is no longer illuminated. The knock sensor is really easy to replace on this engine. Took me all of 10 minutes tops. For those of you paying hundreds of dollars to have the knock sensor replaced, you'd be kicking yourself if you saw how easy it is to replace.

I'll be replacing all the rotors and the front struts once they come in (mail order).

Passenger side window air leak is noisy, but I'm going to try adjusting the seals as mentioned in a previous post.

I previously owned a 1980-something Subaru that I traded in at 230k miles. That car got me hooked on Subaru's, but I fear Subaru quality has deteriorated with the newer vehicles. I used to say, "keep oil in a Subaru and it'll run forever". I'm not so sure anymore. Sad.

20th Aug 2010, 17:40

I am the original owner of a 2000 Outback, and have had pretty good luck with this car for 10 years (77,000 miles).

I first encountered the gas odor coming through the vents during the winter about 5 years ago, and during the winters thereafter. I discovered the recurring problem was a rubber fuel line that was leaking at its clamp. This connection is located on the passenger side, under a bracket with an access hole in it to allow tightening the screw clamp. When I first found the cause of the problem, the clamp was incorrectly positioned and inaccessible, so I had to disassemble some brackets to get the clamp in the right position. This allowed me to re-tighten the clamp the following year when I experienced the gas smell again. Hint: tighten rubber hose clamps before winter.

Other than loose heat shields caused by failed, rusted out bolts that can be replaced by stainless steel fasteners, decaying exhaust pipe flanges and gaskets (I cut off the flanges and had a coupling welded between the muffler and its infeed pipe since both were in otherwise good condition, cost $40) ; the common on/off check engine light and CV boot failure, I've been pretty satisfied with this car. I also have a 2003 Outback with 67,000 miles, which has been pretty much problem free.

26th Aug 2010, 12:22

2000 Subaru, 310,000 miles, new tranny at 157,000 very good car, but head gaskets do fail at 100,000 factory, I got 170,000 out of my Fel-Pro gaskets, and have a new set in at 300,000.

I just put in new struts, first time at 300 thousand miles, and one new rotor, original front rotor 304,000 miles, and that is with the wife driving it... amazing..

Pads every 100,000 miles, I'm not talking Subaru parts either, Napa semi metallic, rear rotors still original, as were wheel bearings, but I figured I had better change them since I was doing ball joints, struts, and everything else.

Front diff is now going... going, I mean leaking leaking. It's coming out.

Overall a very solid car. We bought a 2001 with low miles, and plan on running over 300,000 again...

All cars have problems, pick your poison.

Josh in Wisconsin.

6th Nov 2010, 06:02

I just bought a one owner 2000 Outback Wagon, 2.5L automatic, with 144,000 miles for $4000. Wish I had read this forum prior to buying. I found this site while trying to identify the source of the fuel smell in the cabin. It turned out to be the fuel clamp under the bracket on the passenger side. I have the check engine light caused by 'limits below threshold on bank one' for the catalytic converter and was advised by several mechanics to ignore it. One local place that deals in nothing but selling and servicing high mileage Subaru's told me to put a piece of black tape over it (something I saw here also). I can have it reset, but it comes back on about the 50 mile mark.

I was fortunate enough to find the name and address of the previous owner, and wrote a letter asking for a vehicle history. He responded back and said he had the block and heads machined and new head gaskets installed two years ago, along with the timing belt change. He also had a new tranny installed last year.

I've just had to replace the exhaust from the cat back. Only the muffler needed replaced, but someone hacked the exhaust by cutting off the flanges on the rear of the intermediate pipe and front of the muffler and welded them together. It was $550 to do it right, or $300+ to frankenstein it some more and cut off and weld in a new muffler. I chose to do it right. Hopefully all the major problems with the car are repaired for a while. I drive around 9000 miles/year. What are the chances this will last me the three years? Will I get it paid off?

Mike from PA

15th Jan 2011, 13:04

2000 Outback Limited, stick, bought new exactly 11 years ago.

Current mileage: 115,000 miles.

All my cars for the last 50 years have have been stick shift.

Never had a clutch replaced on any of them, and this includes a 1987 Subaru GL wagon, which I sold at 235,000 miles.

The 2000 got the shudders and had the clutch replaced at 52,000 miles with an Exidy one. 63,000 miles later, it is still working fine.

Subaru replaced the head gasket at 93,000, after going through the additive "ballet", which didn't work.

Now it's leaking again: never had a head gasket replaced in any of my previous cars, some of which went well beyond 200,000 miles.

Rear seals started to leak.

The car gets excellent gas mileage.

I live in Colorado and it is the ideal car: never got stuck in snow, and we get a bundle of it every Winter!

But 115,000 miles is just not good enough: the bad engineering is not something that can be fixed, so it's time to look for something else.

21st Apr 2011, 14:44

2002 Limited with manual transmission. Great until a blown head gasket at 72K miles. SOA would not repair under warranty. Offered me $750 toward a new Subaru that was only good for one year. Repair took three tries before fixed. No more Subaru for me, ever.

26th Apr 2011, 23:25

I too have this problem with the gas smell when it is warming up, a very strong gas smell. The catalytic converter checked out fine, but my check engine light is still on. I have run a full diagnostic test on it, hoping to find the problem before it went that far. If you find out anything, I would love to hear about how to fix. If I find out I will post for all.