8th Oct 2007, 12:41

It's interesting to read all the negative reviews. I have a 2001 Outback, which I bought new. It now has over 93,000 miles. I have had the head gaskets replaced this year, by the dealer, for free. Subaru has taken the high road on this and has extended the coverage for the problem, so even after 7 years and over 90k, they did both sides and gave me a free rental car. I took advantage of the chance to have my timing belt changed for the price of the part.

The only parts I've had replaced are the battery, at 89k, the starter at about the same time, and one cv boot recently. I have no rattles or leaks, and the car runs like new. My friends have a 97, and it too is running like a top. I'm sorry for other's bad experiences, but I don't think they are the norm.

14th Nov 2007, 16:20

I think I see a trend forming here... The thing is most people won't take the time to sit down and write a long story about how great their car has been...it's the exact opposite, when something goes wrong people always feel compelled to share their woe's and grief, hoping that someone else has experienced the same negative problems. I own a 2000 Outback and have not had any major problems with it, (as I knock on my wooden leg) so for now I will not trash Subaru (yet) but when the time comes, I'm sure I will be here reading and adding to the comment section expressing my disappointment with my vehicle. This is my 3rd Subi, last 2 were great, but they were pre-96 models, so I hope that this 2000 will not be one of the many lemons I have read about here...

22nd Nov 2007, 15:43

Hi all,

I'm just in the process of buying a 2001 Subaru Outback AWP. It has high kilometers on it, about 225,000 kms or 120,000 miles. The thing looks rock solid and has had the timing belt and some other stuff done at 175,000 kms. The people seem very honest and they have 2 other Subarus and swear by them. Is there anything that I should look out for on these., I'm getting out of a 1991 Olds Cutlass Supreme which for me has been grief. I'm hoping to not fall into another bad news thing.

Any input would be great.



25th Nov 2007, 07:55

I didn't feel too bad, given other people's comments, that my 2001 needed a new head gasket at 130K, but then when I heard the additional bad news that I had a bad piston/ burned cylinder I was not happy.

I looked at the parts myself and the skirt of the piston was definitely scored on one side and the cylinder wall scorched. this may have been part of the noise that I had been attributing to piston slap.

With so many miles on the car I thought about just fixing the head gasket and letting the rest of the motor be, but I ended up going for broke, as it were, and buying a rebuilt short block to resolve all of the issues. I wonder, though, what would have happened if I had just done the head gaskets?

28th Nov 2011, 18:27

You would have been fine.

I only drive Subarus now (moved to the high Sierras, and have 5 months of winter and over 500 inches of snow every year).

When it comes to bad head gaskets, these are the cars I look for! For the last 5 years I only buy Subarus that have had head gaskets go bad. I get them CHEAP! Then I replace the head gaskets with Felpro. In addition: I ALWAYS have the heads machined. If anyone ever does a head gasket job and this step is skipped, the failure will happen again, every time, without exception.

I've had over 12 Subarus in the last 5 years, because neighbors keep bugging me to sell. It's turned into a fun and profitable hobby, and the truth is: not one of them has ever failed after the 1st (properly done) head gasket repair. Every one of them has over 200,000 miles, and they all pass the strict smog test California has, and all are still low-cost-to-own-cars.

If all potential Subaru owners... or current Subaru owners... follow this approach, they will have years... no decades... of reliable, low cost and safe AWD driving. It's simple to fix these engines, but shops sure don't want you to know that. It costs me 200 dollars for a proper head gasket repair (and maybe 5 to 6 hours of work), and I have yet to see a shop charge less than 2,000 for the exact same job. Damage to the cylinder & piston does not occur because of a head gasket failure. I feel sorry for people who get suckered into such nonsense.

All in all, Subarus are better than the Jeeps I used to own. And easier, and cheaper, to work on.