17th Feb 2007, 11:34

Yes, I too have seen Subaru troubles. 1996 Legacy Outback, 170000 miles. Timing belt snapped and wrecked the head gasket. This will be at least $2200 to fix. Hard to believe that it's still worth it, but from looking at KBB I guess it is. But my problems don't seem so bad compared to some on this site!

19th Feb 2007, 14:56

1998 Subaru Forester- overheating. Sits at idle and nothing happens. Gauge stays in the middle. get going and the needle goes though the roof. Stop for 30 seconds and the needle falls right back in the middle. anti freeze all over the engine. New radiator. No change. New water pump. No change. was about to put in a new thromostat and thought I would look on online. Thanks for telling me what I thought from the start. Blown head gasket. But how much can I complain. 240,000 miles.

25th Feb 2007, 07:28

Wow, I wish I'd found this site 6 weeks ago.

Bought a 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 6 weeks ago, 109,065 miles. I had it inspected by a mechanic before I bought it, he did mention that the radiator/hoses/coolant were brand new. I thought that was a good thing.

I took it to the Subaru dealer last week to have the alternator recall work done, they told me the head gaskets are leaking and about to go, plus the valve seals and rear separator plate. I decided to take it home and take to my trusted mechanic... the car overheated on the way home, had to have it towed. My mechanic now says the head gasket is ruined, estimate $1900 for repair IF nothing is warped or the block cracked when they remove the engine.

I'm waiting to hear back from the used car dealer where I bought it, I bought a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty with the car, but it has a 90 day "pre-existing" condition exclusion.

Would love anyone's opinion on if any special parts should be used for repair, if I should try to get the dealer just to void the deal and take the car back, details on class-action suit, etc. kitty_elder@yahoo.com.

1st Mar 2007, 18:06

I have a 97 Subaru outback. In fact its sitting outside =) I love it, but there are issues with it, I will admit.. around my 150,000-160,000 mile mark the car began overheating and I took it to a local MIDAS, they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it after approx $1600 down the drain and a free radiator. I took it to the Subaru dealer, and they said the air had not been bled out of the radiator and line, causing it to intermittently overheat. Not a bad car, but be prepared to pay repair costs for it!

10th Mar 2007, 09:00

I have a '98 Outback, 4 cylinder manual shift, that I bought new. While excellent in the snow, it has been plagued by problems small and large from the start. After 8 miles, it started popping out of first gear - the transmission was replaced under warranty. Around 60K miles the check engine light started coming on, then off, then on, and finally on all the time with various codes reported. No repairs resulted in the light going off for more than a few days.

At 76K miles, a gasket sealing a plastic inspection plate to the engine block behind the flywheel failed, resulting in a ruined clutch - an expensive and time consuming repair even for a DIYer. A friendly service department guy at the dealer told me that it was a common failure, and that I should replace the plastic cover with a cast aluminum one. So Subaru knew that plastic cover was a problem, but would not officially acknowledge it.

The clicking and rattling of the exhaust heat shield began around 60k miles, and I finally just cut that thing off to keep me from going crazy.

The rear parking brake plate has essentially rusted away to nothing, and I replaced the rear rotor/drums because they, too, were simply flaking away.

The clutch hydraulics failed around 90 K, and I had to buy the TSB to find out that there was a defect in the hose - and that it, not the maser cylinder that I had already replaced - was the problem.

And finally, in the last 2 weeks I had the overheating and common head gasket failure at 130K. I don’t know what route I’ll take to repair it, but I certainly know that I will never own another Subaru, and will advise anyone who asks me to steer clear of the car and the company.

Somewhere in these comments, someone noted that we should expect to have problems as cars get older. True, but these are expensive and recurring problems related to design flaws that apparently Subaru is not taking responsibility for. I own a ’91 Honda Accord with 180K miles, the original clutch that 2 teenagers learned to drive on is still going strong, and I've had no repairs other than normal maintenance and one water pump that went right around timing belt replacement time anyway. I also own a 2000 Toyota 4Runner with 130K, and other than flimsy front rotors that I replaced with quality after-markets, the car continues to perform as if it is new.

18th Mar 2007, 05:42

Yes I am another outback owner who has had similar experiences. I had a blown head gasket at 120000kms & it was because of a factory casting fault. Subaru replaced the head, but I payed for labor after much arguing. I insisted that if this fault occurred during casting then the other head must be faulty as well. They assured me the other head had been checked & was fine. Yep you guessed it the other head went 8 months later & Subaru didn't want to know anything about it & I payed for everything. Its not even the money that pisses me off, but the lack of acknowledgement by Subaru of this problem.

Its such a shame after you see so many other devoted Subaru owners having the same problem. I love my Subaru, but will not buy a 2.5 engine model again.

25th Mar 2007, 21:24

Thank you all for your input Have been looking at 1996ish Subaru Outbacks and was about to buy one with 191 kilometers on the clock, will have to think very hard and look into the service history a lot harder now.

26th Mar 2007, 13:32

2002 Outback. I too have just bought a second hand car. I see in previous reciepts from Subaru dealer that my car has also had gaskets replaced. I am now having a huge problem with using to much oil which could be the result of overheating. I am still dealing with Subaru to have repairs done under warranty. We will see what happens. Has anyone else had this problem.

27th Mar 2007, 13:56

TO the guy with the noise when turning. Mine did that too. I thought it was a wheel bearing. While changing the oil I checked the real diff fluid. It was low. Take out the top fill plug (a 3/4" ratchet fits in it) if no fluid come out fill until it does. The noise stopped right away.

Yesterday my car overheated for the first time ever. I bought with 70,000 miles and now has 150,000. I had not done any recent work on it, but the cooling system seem vapor locked??

Fingers crossed that it is not the head gasket.

1997 Outback 2.5L MT.