15th Mar 2008, 19:23

2001 Outback Ltd Wagon. 60K miles (yes, very low). The mystery smell/smoke people are getting with no sign of leakage is the CV boots leaking grease onto the exhaust. I had this happen at <30K miles under warranty. The dealer replaced CV boots and it has not happened again since.

Problems with the car have been very minimal. Front brakes have just gone for the second time (jiggly steering wheel). Had a slight coolant leak after a hard run home one night, my trusted shop tells me it is the head gasket. I never had the seal conditioner stuff put in, but it has not occurred since that one time.

Other than those items, the car has been rock solid.

27th Mar 2008, 12:11

My 2000 Subaru Outback Limited has 116K miles on it. Had the same thermostat/overheating issues and fuel smell coming through the vents. Just took it to my mechanic yesterday expecting the worst after reading all these posts. I was expecting thousands of $$$$$s out the window... and right at tax time. My mechanic calls me up... my thermostat was stuck... he replaced it for $120...the clamps on my fuel lines were old and he replaced them for $20. Total out the door...$140 for the day!!!

Now, that's not to say that I haven't had my problems with this baby. I bought it used in 2003. I think it had about 45K miles on it. The paint job had already started to wear and bubble on the passenger side door handle and drivers side side-view mirror. My passenger side CV boot cracked and blew crap all over my axle and engine. Had the whole axle and boot replaced. Brakes... oh my...been through two sets of brakes already in the 5 years I've owned it but all the reviews I read before buying this told me that was the case.

Other than those few things... I still love my Subaru and I love my mechanic even more!

14th Apr 2008, 12:53

Where were you people several thousand miles ago?! My fault for not looking, I guess.

I'm extremely cross right now. My 2000 Outback has suffered all the problems everyone else has had--smells, head gasket issues, etc. I thought I'd take this baby to 200,000. After a close encounter with a deer and a slight rear-ending accident, the front and back are looking brand new. Last week, however, it overheated and coolant is now getting into the oil (guess that's not a good thing). So my car has now lost about $5000 value in a week, and I'm going to pick up an '05 Honda CRV today.

Should have dumped the thing after the head gasket repair. As much as I liked the feeling of control in the snow, I'm finished with Subarus.

1st May 2008, 20:39

UGH...Wish I would've found this site earlier. My 01 Outback is another check engine light/blown head gasket/fuel smell in cabin/warped rotors/wind noise etc. etc. nightmare. This car SUCKS. Not to mention I purchased the extended warranty to 80k when I bought it new and the whole car starts falling apart at 83k. I was expecting to get at least 125k out of this car and keep it for my daughter who will be driving in 3 years. From what I've seen in my car and read here I seriously doubt the impending repair costs will allow me to keep this car even for another year. This car has been a huge disappointment and expense. No more Subarus for me...I'm going CRV next time.

10th Jun 2008, 23:47

Thanks be to the gentleman who had nothing but praise for his old 80's Subarus, but didn't pull any punches on how disappointed he was with his 2000 Outback.

It gave me a sense of how buyers, including myself, have been caught unaware that something has gone terribly wrong with the years mentioned here from about 1998 to 2001. Take notice Subaru, as your reputation is on thin ice!

I too wish I'd seen this site before purchasing my 2000 Subaru Outback in 2005 for $17,000 Canadian dollars. Apparently the book value, KIA tells me, is now just $1,500, even though they'll give me a bit more. Oh, joy. I'm just about ready to take anything to move on to happier days.

I've had many of the same issues starting in 2006 with driver side window malfunction, then knock sensor replacement, severe steering wheel shaking remedied by wheel bearing replacement to passenger side front and rear, and numerous wheel alignments, and oil pressure switch leak fixed.

The biggies started with replacement of a leaky radiator and failing catalytic converter just in the last few months, in addition to a few hundred dollars just diagnosing the check engine light coming on and off.

And yes it too appears my transmission is leaking, and needs to be replaced, which is another $600 or so. Never had any brake problems, but an issue with overheating attributed to a minor problem with a dirty fuse failing to kick my fan on.

I did purchase it with a hefty 156,000 kilometers, and am at 190,000 now, but I certainly expected to use it for a few more years. I bought it for its reliability and safety, but I'm not so sure anymore.

23rd Jun 2008, 11:48

Purchased 01 Forester new, received recall letter, took to dealer, dealer put additive in radiator, drove away.

At 98,000 miles, my mechanic commented on leaky head gasket. Called Subaru, they sent me to dealer who said head gasket did not leak, but that it was the water pump.

They replaced the water pump and timing belt.

My next service, the head gasket was still leaking and I'm out of warranty according to Subaru.

Subaru has had to replace the old design for newer models.

It seems to me that if they had to admit a design failure in some models, they need to recall the older ones and repair them.

13th Jul 2008, 20:12

We have just bought (June 2008) a December 98 Outback, and it seems to have several of the problems referred to in the 69 blogs on these pages.

The fuming from the engine compartment has been blamed on 1. injector O rings, 2. exhaust blow, 3. cooling fluid leak, 4. head gasket (s). 5. faulty cat. converter.

Does anyone out there know the most likely cause of this, please advise.

Note to Subaru design "engineers" My last car that "fumed" as badly, was a 1938 Ford Anglia. My last leaking head gasket was on a 1949 Morris Minor. SUCH PROGRESS.??

17th Jul 2008, 14:57

Interestingly I emailed Subaru about the problems with my car, and that many people have shared the same problems. I even added a link to this forum. They replied quickly telling me that sometimes cars just have problems, and that they can't keep track of the mechanics who work on the cars, so they can't be sure that the problems are legit unless it's taken to a dealer (AKA... they make $$$$).

And in reference to this forum, they said they don't use information on forums, only information from dealers. Do they think we're making all of this up? Hopefully the new Subarus have resolved all of these problems.

8th Oct 2008, 14:38

I have a 2005 Outback 2.5i. Over the last year I have had that awful gas smell like most others. After many calls to SOA and my dealer, I finally got them to acknowledge the gas smell was there. Now they told me that it is the fuel injector seal/gaskets. This is what SOA told to the Subaru tech at my dealer. That most times it is one of two things. The fuel line clamps need tightening or the injectors and seals need to be replaced. I am having mine replaced this week and will report back when I have the car back. The car has 61700 miles, all highway driven! SOA and the dealers certainly seem to fight this and do not want to acknowledge the problem exists. Oh, by the way, I am paying nothing, even though my extended warranty has expired. Mainly I am not paying cause this was a noted problem with the dealer and SOA many times before my warranty ran out, thus they had no choice but to fix it for free...