31st Mar 2010, 17:41

March 26, 2010.

I just bought a 98 Subaru. It has 101 miles. I have driven it for 3 days. I hear a clacking noise and there is a small oil leak (per mechanic, not a big thing, just needs to be resealed). I have no heat. I wonder, how much is this cheap car going to cost me. Everyone commends help, don't want to take to a Sub dealer because it's just going to be to $$$$. It rides real good. Any advise?

5th Apr 2010, 07:19

Just to let people know, I own a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited.

It has 235,000 miles on it.

The head gaskets went at around 170k, were replaced, for around 2 grand, and the car has been fine since.

The transmission is the ORIGINAL transmission.

Got some minor issues with the car right now, but absolutely nothing unexpected for a vehicle with a quarter million miles on it. To be honest, my next car will likely be a Subaru, both because I like their vehicles and I want AWD, and second because this car has been so phenomenally reliable, I feel I owe it to Subaru to buy another one, LOL.

5th Apr 2010, 11:38

Well, I know this is going to be difficult to do, but consider yourself lucky. For some who buy a ten-year-old vehicle with 150,000 miles on it - the agony begins immediately. At least you got 14 months before it began.

3rd Sep 2010, 14:17

Bought a spanky brand new Outback in 96. Drove that baby hard off and on road. I take it to fishing and hunting spots on rocky roads, up steep hills and down, packed full of gear inside and atop. She's scratched and dented, and the paint, which holds up excellent, is only slightly faded.

Mechanically, this bad boy has been a real dependable horse. I did change axles at 120,000. I have now, at 174,000, encountered my first encumbrance of a setback. I lose power at high speeds and on going up inclines. The check engine light flashes when this happens. I've determined that it is due to a catalytic converter becoming slightly plugged. I checked for a faulty ignition coil first, then head gasket, and fuel flow also. Not the problem.

The only other problem that I had was oil leaking from cam seals. I replaced them myself, so I did the timing belt too. The only thing is, is when you replace the seals, put some silicon sealer on them, or they'll leak again, and don't set them in all the way to the back of the opening, because there are small port holes bored in there to permit flow. You don't want to plug them, so put your silicon around the outside of the seal sparingly. I've checked and maintained my fluids properly and other than normal maintenance, brakes, tires etc., this has been, by far, the best vehicle that I've ever owned.


20th Sep 2010, 21:51

Bought a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback 2.5. I was told that a newer engine with about 60k miles had been installed into the car after having been sitting for an undetermined amount to time on some lot. The former owner then put miles on it bringing the grand total of the car I bought to around 195k miles. I have driven it to 205k in 6-8 months.

The car drove beautifully, I never thought I would fall in love with a station wagon, but I quickly did until my belts started shredding. Both the alternator and power steering belt went and so my mechanic (not Subaru dealer) changed it. I knew something was wrong when I began to drive on the highway and squealing started again. I barely got home when the power steering went and the alternator belt started going too.

I determined that the harmonic balancer/crankshaft pulley had to go because the pulley had traveled back into the casing behind it and cut holes barely missing the timing belt! I figured this happened due to the seal degrading. I pulled it off myself but have not fixed yet because I am afraid of all the other issues that will ensue being that it is an old car...


21st Sep 2010, 16:18

I bought a 1998 Subaru Outback Legacy a couple years ago with 89,000 miles on it. Got it cheap, owner said it only needed a new water pump, timing belt and some seals replaced because it was leaking a little oil. Took it to his mechanic, who did not do a good job, and either his work or previous problems with the car resulted in bent valves in the engine one month later. After taking it to a Subaru dealer, they replaced the heads, the clutch (might as well since they were pulling the engine up), and oil pump. The mechanics at the dealership noticed the engine was NOT original... so it seems like I got a lemon!

I now have 125,000 miles on it, and have been good with the maintenance. However, this car seems to keep cropping up with a new set of problems soon after being fixed. I wonder if this is normal wear and tear on the car, but it seems like many Subaru owners didn't need to replace much of anything prior to 200,000 miles!

The CAT hasn't worked for over a year, the lights on the dash go out periodically until I turn the headlights on/off, then it works. My power window switch on drivers side just went kaput, and now my car has a light squealing at idle/1st gear, and rattling/shuddering upon shifting in 1st gear uphill. My mechanic says I need a new power steering pump, the motor and transmission mounts needs to be replaced due to the rattling. Soon I will need to get my struts replaced.

I read previously that 1998 Legacy Outbacks had some problems, and the previous years were better. I drove a 1996 Legacy Wagon for 2 years, it had 200,000 miles on it and I only did regular oil changes and brake work! So although I'm a little disappointed in my Outback Wagon, I still love Subarus, and intend to buy another one (more carefully) for my next car.

22nd Nov 2010, 21:36

2002 Outback Legacy Subaru (70,000 miles/5 speed). I have had it for 8 years. This is the only year that I have had a few expenses (clutch replacement and head gasket).

I love this car. If this is all I have to worry about then I will definitely enjoy this car for another 10+ years (which is cheaper than a new car).

21st Dec 2010, 08:26

Owner of a 98 Outback, put new head gaskets in myself, car runs great, has 196000 miles on it.

I love how people will spend countless hours on a computer complaining, but refuse to learn how to maintain and repair their car. Very strange.