19th Oct 2007, 16:03

I have 97 Outback 2.5. Never any problems until now. Has 110k miles. After driving about a half hour or so, the car will not start. All lights come on, all electrical inside car works, just does not turn over or make any noises. This it does intermittently. Usually have to wait 1/2 hour to an hour before it will start. My husband can't find the problem, but he can get it started by turning the car ignition to on the touching a wire from the battery to a "switch" near the starter. Anybody knows what's wrong? Frustrating to have a 4 year old in a car that won't start.

13th Nov 2007, 17:36

My 2003 Outback Limited Wagon is in the shop today for a blown head gasket due to leaking coolant. The car has approximately 54,000 miles on it, mostly highway. Thank goodness the repair is covered by the extended warranty; mechanic was vague on the cost of the repair if it wasn't covered. I think he said $800 to fix, but that was probably very conservative from what I've read on this and other websites. I never used an extended warranty on the Chevy's I've owned for the past 30 years. I even owned an Eagle Wagon that never required a repair like this. I thought this was the last new car I would have to buy -- would last me 15 years or more, but I'm kinda looking at getting an economical Chevy again. Wish I would have found this site when I was considering the Subaru.

25th Feb 2008, 08:41

I Have a 97 Outback 2.5, head gasket went around 97000 miles. Clutch was also done at this time by an independent.Cost was $1200. Car now has 135000 on it runs OK except for Hi idle when cold and check engine light coming on and off and starting to rust around wheel wells. I'm hoping to get 200k out of it. We shall see.

22nd Jan 2009, 12:01

I too have a 97 Outback and have the head gasket problem (130,000mi). I am going to have to buy a new car. The repair is more than the car is worth.

22nd Apr 2009, 23:00

Yet another 97 Outback with a blown head gasket -- mine at 116K. Bought it used at 75K expecting to keep it running to at least 200K (had an 84 wagon that someone's still using as a town car at 300K). Poured $$ into it (cats broke down, persistent oil leak, unidentifiable coolant leak that led promptly to the head gasket fiasco) -- I'd love the car if it didn't cost almost as much to maintain as to purchase. Like so many others here, I'm buying a Honda & hoping that the dealer won't notice the issues at trade-in.

30th Dec 2009, 08:26

My girlfriend purchased a 1997 Subaru with head gasket failure. Tough stuff to handle. Car ain't worth crap.

19th Mar 2010, 06:31

I have a 1997 Subaru Outback Ltd. It has 172,000 miles, 23,000 of which are mine. I bought it from an older couple who took very good care of it and performed regular maintenance. I love it. I have had NO major problems and it is unbelievable in the snow.

My only complaint is the cup holder that blocks the radio controls.

I, too, perform regular maintenance and take care of my cars.

2nd May 2010, 10:08

Hello just bought a '97 Outback for a great price - now I know why!

It's the 2.5L EJ25 engine... and you know what that means.

I've had 2 other Subarus before, and I've loved them to pieces - a '93 Legacy (they will last forever) and a 2002 Forester (a dream!).

But this EJ25 engine has challenges. Gaskets leaking, and I don't know if the owner before me ever got it really hot. Temp gauge goes up and down without warning. High pressure. etc.

Sunk $1000 to fix it before finding out it was the gaskets. Best option for us is:

1) Look into the new replacement heads that supposedly are better... or

2) REPLACE for 2.5L with a 2.2L. I found a few great sites that talk about this:





10th May 2011, 23:22

Hot wire the beast.