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High Mileage Outback-Concerns



  • I gotta say, my '00 outback limited wagon has just been diagnosed today with the head gaskets. She has 164k miles and we haven't seen this problem for long. So I was greatly relieved to hear it was a real problem that the dealer could fix for a resonable fee considering everything involved.

    So don't assume that the gaskets would have gone by 120k. These cars are solid, this stuff can happen late in a cars life.

  • My 99 Outback isn't starting when it is raining out. I am not getting fuel to the engine, it sounds like it is out of gas. I just replaced the fuel filter, am getting fuel pressure out of the filter towards the engine, but it still just turns over. Happened once before 2 weeks ago (also when it was raining), replaced the fuel pump and it's been driving fine until today. I have 156k with about 1200mi a month. I don't know what to do next. Any help? Anyone else experience this with their high mileage subie?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wow, at 164k I guess the engine doesn't owe you much.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    Why are you certain it is fuel? Since it is a problem that only shows up with the moisture, it could also be a spark or MAS (mass airflow sensor) issue.
  • I am thinking about selling my 2001 BMW 540, buying a 2001 Outback with the H6 and banking the difference. All of the potential OUtbacks I see are arounf 100k miles. Are there typical concerns with a high mileage 2001 Outback? What should I look for or be concerned about (aside from regualr mainenance by the PO)?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The EZ30 engine is pretty solid and never had the gasket issues from the EJ25.

    Turn off the radio, open the windows, and drive in a figure 8. Listen for any unusual drive line noises, feel for binding, grinding, anything like that.

    It's a good model without a known problem area, and any flaws should make themselves fairly obvious.

    Inspect the gaskets anyway, the front and rear seals, the wheel bearings, things that are common issues on other Subarus.
  • Are any other posters able to direct me to previous threads regarding high mileage maintenance issues/items on a 98 Legacy, 2.2 liter with a 5 speed manual trans.? If this hasn't been talked about in a while, here is my dilemma - my Legacy sedan now has 152,000 miles. I am the original owner and except for about 30,000 that my son put on the car, I have driven it since new. It has had the head gasket replaced and a repair to the gas tank filler neck (was rotted and leaking air, giving off a check engine code). It had a short block replacement at 60,000 under warranty (cold engine piston slap) and at that time the dealer replaced the pilot bearing and 5th gear in the transmission. Trans fluid was replaced with synthetic at that time and hasn't been changed since. Except for replacing the bearing, the clutch is original, as is the exhaust, all pumps, etc. I take pretty good care of my cars, so oil changes and other routine maintenance have always been done. This is my daily driver and I put about 300 miles a week on it. Still gets over 32 MPG on the highway! My problem is that the clutch is on its way out (shudder that I can't get rid of by adjusting; fairly soft engagement and very occasional slipping). This is about a $900 repair. It is also time for timing belt, drive belts & hoses to be replaced, spark plugs, fuel filter, brake fluid replacement and some other maintenance items - figure these things will cost another $200-$300 or so depending on how much of it I do myself. Do the "experts" think it is worth replacing the clutch and other work to put the car back in good order, or it is time to move on.... I guess what I am worried about is that other things will start to go like water pump, fuel pump, exhaust, CV joints, etc. and it will become a money pit. The body is still decent and it still runs well generally. Any thoughts or advice? Thanks in advance!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think it's worth keeping. Then again I still drive a 1993 Miata daily.

    You could fix only the priority stuff and from then on follow an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mantra.

    Odds are one of the things you mention will indeed fail each year, but each will likely cost you a car payment, two max.

    That's cheaper than a new car.

    The time to sell it is when you stop trusting the car to start every day.

    My Miata has not reached that point, so I've kept it. I did invest over $1000 on a timing belt, water pump, valve cover gasket, etc this year. But that's still only 2-3 car payments, and it has already lasted long enough to pay itself off.
  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    I have a '95 Legacy wagon with 215,000 miles on it. It has given me no trouble all these years although it looks its age. But now I need a new timing belt, water pump is leaking and the break line is shot. Without the timing belt I think the repairs will come to $1300. I have a 2006 Acura; so I'm not without a car. I've loved having the wagon to haul large items including my two Goldens. My car repair guy advised me against buying an Outback if I sell my Acura. So I don't even know what car I could buy to take the place of my Subie.

    Just would like some thoughts from any of you.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    edited January 2011
    Well, $1,300 sounds a little high for that work, but I am not sure how hard it is to replace a brake line on one of these things. You should definitely replace the water pump if it is leaking, as that is a sure sign it will fail in the not-too-distant future. But, the good news is that it takes no extra labor to replace the timing belt when you're in there for the water pump (because you have to remove the belt to access the pump), and the belt itself is about $100.

    Were it mine, I would probably do the work if it is otherwise in decent shape. That said, if you have done no other work (such as strut replacement, CV joints, wheel bearings, etc), there are likely many other things that need attention now or in the near future.

    Aside from the appearance, I would not bet against a new Outback. I, like many others, have some concerns about the wheel shake issue that is not uncommonly reported, but, aside from that, the model has thus far proven to be quite solid.

    The 09+ Forester is also a great car. Coming from the '95, I suspect you might find it a nice fit.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My car repair guy advised me against buying an Outback

    He's probably concerned about the head gaskets, but that was 2004 and prior. A newer one should be fine.
  • diver7diver7 Posts: 5
    here is my dilemma- my 2000 outback ltd has 257K- already replaced head gaskets- brakes twice, clutch once- belts once or twice, hubby has diligently changed oil every 3-4K miles. i really love this car..has 2 moonroofs, weather band, manual, heated leather- i could go on i just love it. but practical spouse says time to get new;gotta have reliable car; rpms rev spontaneously at times...i could keep it and get a smaller impreza for long distance trips or just say heck with it and go all out...decisions decisions- anyone want to offer their thoughts? if i do buy i want all the things i have now esp. weather band if it is still an option.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    The new Impreza probably has about the same passenger room as your 2000 Outback and with the new engine offers MPG economy, similar performance and no head gasket worry. I believe there will be a model with leather.

    Weather band seems to be missing.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    It is; I don't think Subaru has included weather band since the 2005 model year on the Legacy/Outback. I'm not sure when they phased it out for the Forester.
  • diver7diver7 Posts: 5
    Thanks for replying. hate to hear about the weather band- it really helped me through these storms we've been having. think i'll keep this car and drive it til it drops.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    A Midland HH50 Pocket Weather Radio sells for less than $18 on Amazon and is small enough to be clipped to a visor. I suspect it works better than the old Subaru built-in.
  • diver7diver7 Posts: 5
    hey thanks you know sometimes i need someone to come along and offer a simple solution :blush:
  • phxmotorphxmotor Posts: 9
    164 is alot? I dont think so, my god! This is where I buy my Subi's. If it needs head gaskets...good! Then I get'em cheap...if the H-G's have been done, then they are ready for another 150k. Actually with Felpro's I havent had a failure all the way up to 300 & higher.
    A fuel pump at 190...and whatever else the CEL tells me to do...and the darned things seem to go indefinately.
    Brakes here, half shafts there, its no big deal to keep these things on the road.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I did see a Forester for sale that had 274k miles on them.

    Did you buy that one? LOL

    Quarter million mile club is awesome!
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