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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • carolynnccarolynnc Posts: 2
    I'm not sure if this is the place to ask this type question but I sure would like a more knowledgeable opinion than mine. I own a 96 subaru legacy wagon with a bad motor. The dealer has estimated a cost of $2200 to replace it with a used motor. I figured that was too much money to invest in a car that old. I also own a 04 subaru legacy wagon and handed this one down to my son to drive. He needs a car to drive to work so I thought I'd find him a used car. Unfortunately I haven't found anything under $3000 with decent mileage. My son's a recent high school graduate working a part-time job. He says he's going to join the service. Since he's not sure what he wants to do when he grows up I don't want to co-sign a loan for a more expensive car. After looking at the cars out there I'm beginning to wonder if the devil I know is a better option than the one I don't. Does anyone think it's worth fixing this car? I know you don't know anything about this specific car but I'd welcome any opinions. It's been regularly maintained but has had several engine leak repairs. I don't think there is anything else major wrong with it but when a car gets that old just about anything can go wrong.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The URL expired, I had it bookmarked but it no longer works. I'm sure they got a lot of hate mail from Volvo fans, that Outback simply owned the Volvo. :D

    Hybrid in 2007? No way, no how they could get one here that fast. Some 2007 models are already in dealers, Foresters for instance. We've even seen the face-lifted Legacy and Outback, which will debut here in 2008, and there are no signs of a hybrid powertrain.

    Whether they do diesel or hybrid, I think it will be 2-3 years at the very least.

    If the interior and body of that '96 are in good shape, I think it may be worth it. The EJ22 motor is generally very durable so if you get a rebuilt one, especially with a warranty, I think the $2200 is easily worth it.

    Look at it this way, the average new car payment is $400 or more. So you're only talking about 5-6 months' worth of car payments. The car will surely last longer than that.

    I say go for it, i.e. fix it.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Yeah, I have to go with Juice on this one. It depends a lot on the condition of the rest of the car's mechanics, not even so much the aesthetics or the interior. If you can reasonably run it a minimum of another 6 months to a year without an additional repair, then you are far ahead, especially if the seller of that replacement warrants it for 12 months / 12K, which is typical. Is this used engine a rebuilt or just "used?" If just used, then all bets are off unless it is has a warranty. If it is rebuilt, well, honestly - the same unless it has a warranty, but if done correctly has a good chance of giving you many years of service. The EJ22 will last a long time, the EJ25 is more problematic (and I am guessing that is the one you have in it now). I have 208K on mine now and still running, so they can take the miles, they just need extra loving.....
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    that was apparently a early V70 with the non haldex system. IIRC the haldex came a year or two after the AWD V70 came out. what system they used initially I dunno.
    Some swedish consumer organization almost got into a court battle with Volvo over the lousy early AWD system as they really panned it badly in the scandinavian press and Volvo cried foul.
  • carolynnccarolynnc Posts: 2
    Thanks to you both. It sounds like I need to get more information from the dealer. I actually don't know if the engine is used or rebuilt. I also don't know if it comes with a warranty. It's been a great car with few problems other than engine issues. I've had leaks repaired twice and it developed another leak. Since I bought a new car I just warned my son to keep tabs on the oil level. He just did a recent oil change on it. He wanted to learn how to do his own maintenance. I guess he might have done something wrong or it just may have been time for it to blow up.

    I've had all major services with normal maintenance repairs expected for a car with 189000 miles. It does have some minor body damage as a result of a learning teenage driver but it's never been in a major wreck. It ran great up to the minute it blew whatever it blew. I think I'll have a chat with the mechanic that checked it out when it was towed in. Maybe he can give me an opinion on the mechanical condition.

    Thanks again for the advice. Anything else I should check out before I decide?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What else to check? A gut check.

    Go with your gut. If you feel like the car will last, go for it.

    We had a '95 626 and it kept breaking on us, 5 times in two years, $2500 later I went with my gut - and got rid of it!

    But if yours has been good to you, and it just needs the engine, I would keep it.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Out of curiosity, I would want to know what is actually wrong with it. Granted, at 189K, even a head gasket might trigger a mechanic to say "replace the engine," but still, I am curious, so I would want to know.

    Some things whose condition you might want to ascertain in particular - CV joints, auto tranny (or clutch if manual), differentials, brakes, steering linkages, air conditioning system, maybe alternator. These all wear with use and time, so if any of them might go a short time after a repair, then better to know up front.

    Really, it will come down to the ol' gut. Whatever brings you the most peace of mind is the route to take. My guess, from what you have said, is that you will not find another car near the repair cost of your '96 that will bring you as much peace of mind as just repairing it.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
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  • angelobanjoangelobanjo DenverPosts: 13
    I’ve been a lurker here for a while and wanted to thank all the big posters for their insight. We just got a 2006 XT limited black on black (with tinting of course) and it’s a blast. When testing out the 3.0 in the mountains here in Colorado compared to the XT, the low end torque and “fun” element made the decision pretty easy.

    Took it for a nice road trip this weekend and jumped off the road on some four wheel drive only forest roads. Man, the thing works in the mud and ruts! Even forded a few streams and passed a big 4x4 crawling along!

    Eagerly awaiting some snow to play in this fall. Instead of leasing again, we bought this car and look forward to years of fun.
  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Congrats to you! MT or AT? Enjoy it.

  • angelobanjoangelobanjo DenverPosts: 13
    Automatic--finally had to give into reality with kids and city driving. It's just not that fun in bumper to bumper traffic with a manual. I guess the only up side is that it will be better for the slow crawls on the rough trails...

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    I know that feeling. That's one of the reasons I switched to an auto as well. I miss the MT, except when sitting in traffic for a hour ;) .

    Another upside that others have told me is that it is far easier to tow stuff with an AT.

    Once again, enjoy! (BTW - I like your choice of color as well. Only problem is it is a pain to keep clean.)

  • acoronisacoronis Posts: 4
    My car (1993 Subabru Legact Sedan) was running fine and then once I parked, the car died, and will not start again, it sounds like it's not getting gas and I replaced the fuel filter, but it's still just grinding. It should have enough gas, and has enough oil, and the battery has full power. I don't know what's wrong and I am scared that it will cost a fortune to find out!

    Any suggestions??? :mad:
  • cdndrivercdndriver Posts: 86
    My daughter stepped on the cup holder in the back of our '03 Legacy spec. ed. wagon. The dealer says it'll cost 100.00 to replace. Any where on line you recommend for spare parts that might cost me less?
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Try They are a dealer out of Tacoma, WA which does a lot of on-line business. Rob M.
  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    John, it might be worth your while to check auto wreckers in your area as well. I'm sure it's a part you could replace yourself, and it's likely common on all Legacy wagons (and maybe sedans) of that generation. Hope this helps.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you live in New England, these guys have spares:

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    There's also in Auburn, Washington. They accept Subarubucks too.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes they do, in fact I've used them.

  • andmifandmif Posts: 2
    I am trying to decide on a subaru for ~20K and it may sound strange, but right now my choice is between newer 2005-06 standard and 2004 35th Anniversary edition. Both cars are used with low (~10k) miles on it. I know that std one is 4 cyl vs H6 in 2004 model, and my initial choice was hands down 6 cyl model (I am driving v6 accord now and I got used to some power in engine). I did test drive 2002 4 cyl outback and it didn't feel much underpowered, but not sure if I can trust these short test drives.
    Anyway after reading these forums I got impression that 2005 models have a lot improvements over prev years including more efficient engine and auto-manual transmission and thought I should consider getting newer model instead of H6 engine. Main reasons for going with 4 cyl seem tobe: ability to manual shift eliminates underpowered question, better mpg, more warranty left with newer year.
    Or am I just confused and 35th edition model is way better and clean choice? Any suggestions?
    Please help to choose.

    Thank you
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    For only a bit more than $20k, you could probably get a new base model OB or Legacy after rebates.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I'd shop for a new 2.5i SE model, those are very well priced. Low $19k range for a sedan, low $20s for a wagon.

  • andmifandmif Posts: 2
    Looks like there are no voices for older H6 engine.
    I guess I'll go and do more testing side by side to make sure I am happy with 4 cylinders.
    Thank you, Jim and Juice
  • jfljfl Posts: 1,385
    juice and I have been with Subaru Crew since before it became the "Crew". I recall very few issues with the H6 engine. I'd say it's Subaru's most bulletproof engine if you are going to go used. With your budget, I think you are just in the ballpark for a new Subaru after the rebate.

    It's a difficult decision! Best of luck.

  • nickelnickel Posts: 147
    I posted on the Prices Paid forum more on the experience, but for you to know that I got an '06 Outback 2.5i Auto, weather mats, cargo area cover, mat and net, autodimming mirror and 2 years free maintenance, for $21,836.
  • djettadjetta Posts: 20
    Hi all-I need an opinion, please. I will be picking up my new Outback LL Bean next week. Is the sound much improved with the woofer and is it worth the expense? Also, I know it goes under the driver's seat-can you feel it and is it annoying when driving? Thanks!
  • rob_mrob_m Somewhere North of BostonPosts: 813
    Huge difference in sound, and well worth the cost. Rob M.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's not the H6 per se, it's just used vs. new, I prefer new. Especially when Subies don't really depreciate much.

    The H6 (EZ30) is a gem of an engine.

  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    I live in NYC. Not sure if I want sedan or wagon. Just using mostly for back and forth to work. Have 2 kids, sometimes 3 (ages 13,9,3). Second car is 2006 RAV4 w/3rd row.

    Want something with good city gas mileage. Also considering Toyota Matrix, Honda Civic, and Mazda 3.

    Don't have much of a choice with my requirements. I want a car with good city mileage and good crash test scores and isn't a chick-mobile.

    Matrix and Civic I think is a little fem. Mazda is border line on fem. I think the Legacy sedan is my favorite for style.

    City gas mileage is good with all with Legacy being the lowest.

    Crash tests are excellent with Civic and Legacy. Not so great with other two.

    The drive with the Matrix is the worst, according to critics. Legacy's drive is supposed to be descent. Civic has a excellent drive and the 3 is sporty. What do you guys think? :confuse:
  • gjksngjksn Posts: 35
    I have almost compulsively recorded the mileage for every tank of gas for every car I've owned since 1969. In practically all city driving, my 2003 Legacy SE 5 speed manual transmission wagon has consistently gotten between 16 and 18 mpg. On rare highway trips, mpg has gone as high as 25-26 mpg. I still love the car, but it sucks gas like an SUV, and I drive like the sterotypical little old (gender irrelevant) person. My 1995 Legacy automatic transmission wagon got almost identical mileage. My 1989 Civic and 1997 Sentra each got mileage at least in the mid-20s in similar driving and conditions. FWIW.
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