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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    I too will attest to the reliability of the Toyota products, but have also experienced problems with their in-line 6 cylinder engines. I had an 82 Supra that, when parked facing downhill, would burble, bubble, gurgle and burp until it emptied the coolant overflow tank into the street. Most embarrassing. Never would do it on the level or facing uphill. After two head gasket changes, it still did it. Other than that it was trouble-free and sweet running.

    Another in-line 6 (90 Cressida) blew the head gasket in a more spectacular way at 90K miles, requiring a new short block. Like the Supra, otherwise it has been touble-free and sweet running.

    I don't expect my Bean to do the same!
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Being on my third Toyota, they are wonderful. Now my current Sienna only has 30K trouble free miles (not once back to the dealer) so I have a ways to go to see if it lives up to our 92 Camry which was running like new at 180K miles. My expectation of Subaru is to match or come close to Toyota or else I wouldn't have purchased it. Overall, from what I've read and experienced so far Subaru needs to work a little on initial quality but is great for long term reliability. This is what I expect. BTW, I enjoy driving the OB more than the Camry and that counts for something.

  • skibaruskibaru Posts: 1
    I've been a Subaru fan for a long time, ever since my '81 GLF, which was indestructible. Three years ago, as I was getting tired of my Cherokee, I decided to return to Subaru, as I was hooked on AWD, but wanted a car.

    I got a brand new '98 Legacy GT sedan with all the toys. I initially really enjoyed the car. However, over the last three years, I have had a number of problems and wonder if other people had similar experiences.

    The sunroof broke after 14 months, numerous leaks in the rear dif., squeaky clutch, rapidly wearing breaks, bad wheel bearing, worn out sway bar bushings, burned out dash lights.

    The car has only 50K miles and I don't race it. I have come to expect much better from Subaru. Is it the fact that it is US-made now?

    I still love the car in the snow and gets plenty of looks, but I am starting to doubt if I'll get another one.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802

    Just a reminder that the Subaru chat is on tonight (6-7pm Pacific/9-10 pm Eastern). We look forward to seeing you there!



    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I read that if you use 87 octane in the H6, it gives up about 4 horsepower. So you have 208hp, look at it that way.

    How? It will retard ignition timing slightly to compensate for the lesser octane, and to avoid pinging.

    Toyota reliability? True, they are. But in a forum with lots of participants, you're bound to find a lemon or two in any batch, even Lexus'.

    My dad had a Camry in Belize, and while driving on the highway, someone pulled up next to him screaming for him to pull over. They did and got out, and proceeded to watch their Camry burn down in flames, to a crisp. I wish he had photos.

    I'm sure it's a freak occurance, but it happens even to the Gods of reliability, Toyota.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Are known for:
    Wheel Bearings (over-torqued @ factory and then over-torqued upon repair by dealers)
    Brakes (usually 10-15k max is what you get out of brakes)

    Other than that I can't comment on em, my dad's '97 is great other than brakes often.

  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    I'm new to Subaru having purchased an LLBean 2/1/01. It blew me away in the snow this past winter, and continues to grow on me. Just did a 10K oil change last far, so good... Sold a "like new" 92CamryLE4cyl. with 161K (you beat me Greg) to a friend (which says alot) who is still enjoying its reliability (sold it for $3K, beat you there Greg!). The Camry still has original exhaust system, CV joints, generator, radiator, rear brake pads to name a few items. Replaced the struts/shocks and the front pads/rotors a couple times (poor design). My friend had to pry the keys away from me. Just hope my LLBean stays tight and reliable like the Camry did....
  • evilizardevilizard Posts: 195
    I got about 40K out of my front brakes and 45 out of the rear and I probably could have pushed them another 5K (hadn't hit the scratcher yet).
    I haven't heard of Legacies eating brakes like that (But I have heard of Volvo's doing the same).
  • tocatoca Posts: 147
    IMO, I don't think the Legacy lineup in the '98 model year was the best we've seen from Subaru.
    Besides the 4 recalls (AT lever assembly, master cylinder, alternator and the latest, possible corrosive front spring) my '98 OB had a loose oil pump rotor plate (seal), lock actuator, a leaking DOJ boot and most recently a short block replacement. All covered under warranty.

    I still think it's a decent vehicle, but out of the 5 Subaru's my wife and I have owned this one has given us the most problems. I also have an '01 OB and it hasn't seen the dealer yet (almost 15K miles).

    '98 OB
    '01 OB
  • cptpltcptplt Posts: 1,075
    My 98 GT had a leaking transmission on the first day, fixed and no problems since. Security system sensitivity too high when delivered, fixed and no problems since. Radio antenna died at 50K (replaced under extended warranty). Some lights on AC controls are out too. Squeaky brakes last few thousand miles (apparently those new semi metallic pads).
    I grew up in a Honda family but my personal experience with them has been atrocious. My 86 Integras engine disintegrated at 68K (timing belt and water pump were replaced at 60K as advised), at 30 K I needed a new clutch. I know it wasn't me as I have never had to replace a clutch on any other car that soon! I suspect it was never adjusted properly at factory. AC totally died and ECU gone at 75K at which point I dumped the beast. My wife had a 90 Civic whose transmission literally fell off after a year and less than 8K! They also forgot to set the camber on the front wheels at the factory (Canadian) and the tires wore out real quick though they did replace them free. I know my experience may be at one end of the bell curve but it makes you think long and hard about getting another one.
    My Dads experince of GM cars kept me away from one for 20 years. Got the wife a new 2000 Chevy Venture. After 25K it has had zero problems (unless you consider disintegrating seat upholstery from a 3 year old constantly kicking it a manufacturing/design problem!) My brother is bringing his Odyssey back to get niggly little mechanical things fixed all the time. An in laws Sienna has more rattles than the kids toys! Even our 95 Windstar (Ford had so much trouble with blown head gaskets they extended the engine warranty to 100K - did better than my bros Odyssey). Sometimes its just plain luck!
    Don't even talk to me about my Audi 4000Quattro. Its an experience I wouldn't wish on my worse enemy!
  • cardhu1cardhu1 Posts: 9
    Hi all,
    I have a 2001 OB with 3000 miles on it.. I came out of work yesterday afternoon to find a 24 inch crack in the windsheild that wasn't there earlier. The crack extends from middle of the passenger A-pillar to almost the center of the windsheild. There is no evidence of anything hitting the window and it is pretty clear that the crack starts at/under the a-pillar molding. Anyone else have any problems with new OB windsheilds?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Otis: that was a great Camry. But keep in mind that's not exactly typical, even for Camrys. Hope you get lucky like that again, though!

    tac: try this. Get a sharp object, like a pen maybe, and trace the line to see if it is pitted any where. If so, it was a rock or something. If the crack is smooth, then you're right.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    What your looking at is probability. You are less likely to get a problematic car with Toyota, Honda, Subaru then say Ford. My 92 Camry, IMHO, was an exceptionally well designed and built car. I doubt the new Camry's will do that well. Still it ripped through brake pads every 30K miles. For me I concentrate on the reliability of major assemblies (i.e. engine, tranny, cooling, etc). I look at the ratings in CU and see how many years that component stays as a red dot. That gives me an idea of long term reliability. As all cars will need work and things will need replacement, I enjoy doing the work myself and the reason I like simpler 4 cylinder cars that are easier to work on. Subaru is perfect for this. Bulletproof drivetrain, H4 engine, car (not truck) and very safe. IMO, Subaru spends the money on the mechanicals rather than the cushy stuff. BTW, I get to do my first oil change this weekend. :-)

  • tauyeungtauyeung Posts: 12
    I owned a Ford before my 2001 Legacy L. My Ford had 140k trouble-free miles before I sold it to my brother-in-law, who continues to praise that it is strong and fuel-efficient.

    Then my Ford is an Escort, it's pretty much Mazda parts throughout 8).

    At any rate, this relates to the 180k examples (Greg). I hope my Legacy L will have the same reliability.

  • Does anyone find it funny that for years people have been whining for more power and a 6 cyl for their Subarus now that its here they want to fill their tanks with reg gas! I would like to read the story about how using 87 octane gives up only 4 hp. Why build a high comp motor that only gives 4hp more on 91 octane? And please no more stories about how your Subaru gets 27 to 34 mpg!! Anyone who owns one knows this is just not true.

  • drgordodrgordo Posts: 6
    Just past our 1 year anniversary and 21K miles on our 2K OB without fault except for the spontaneous crack that appeared in our windshield. Of course it was on a minus 20 day with the defroster blasting away so the circumstances were a bit different. The crack orginated under the driver's side A-pillar about midway between top and bottom. Has reached ~1/3 of the way across the window. At the 15K service the crack was pointed out to the dealer and they would not acknowledge that the cause was related to anything other than a stone. There are no indications of a pit or other irregularities along the crack as Juice alluded to in his message and the crack originates under the window trim. In our case I blame the problem on the hot/cold contrast and uneven heating of the window by the defroster. Perhaps solar heating of the window and body pillar generated some uneven stress that caused yours to crack. I have not seen that this identified as a frequent problem on any of the Subaru boards. Our OB has been absolutely trouble free (oxy sensor recall was done at 15K service) except for the window crack. No brake squeals, no CE light, no clunks or rattles, just the crack in the window.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    I don't own a H6 ('98 OB), but I do get 27mpg Hwy on 93 and 94 octane with heavy foot off the toll, city driving at destination, and some lenghty slow crawls mixed in there. With the right conditions (roads and driver) I think 30 mpg isn't far fetch. :-)
  • theobtheob Posts: 148
    OK, I won't tell you any more about how my VDC get's 26-27MPG on the Hwy. I thought it was a fluke on the first tank, so I double checked it on the second tank, made the gas pump click off several times on the second tank. It still came out 26.4 mpg in the mtns. Typically in mixed driving we get around 22 mpg. In CO they only sell 85 octane as regular unleaded (Oxy-fuels). We started using regular unleaded at Subaru's recommendation as a workaround for hard-starting when cold. We did not notice a substantial performance penalty, particularly compared to the gas pump penalty for premium. High gas prices did nothing to encourage us to go back to premium.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    My dad get's well over 30MPG close to 34mpg with his '97 Legacy L. It's a 2.2l and weighs under 2900lbs. With my H6 2.7L 145hp, '88 XT6, I get 27mpg @ 85-90mph on the highway.

  • kmcleankmclean Posts: 173
    James -

    Ditto on good mileage. My 2K OB H4 w/5-spd regularly pushes 30 mpg on the highway. At lower speeds (55-60) with no A/C: 30; at higher speeds (70-75) with A/C: 28. Around town with many very short trips (often only a mile to the Park & Ride) and Seattle traffic: around 22. I attribute this to a light foot, the manny tranny, keeping the tires inflated properly, and just pure, simple, unadulterated driving skill.

    Cheers from the PNW -

    Ken M.
  • Jimmy said: "Does anyone find it funny that for years people have been whining for more power and a 6 cyl for their Subarus now that its here they want to fill their tanks with reg gas!"
    Not really - there's plenty of 6 cyl. engines out there that don't require premium fuel.

    Jimmy also said: "And please no more stories about how your Subaru gets 27 to 34 mpg!! Anyone who owns one knows this is just not true."
    All the 2.5 H4's are rated 27/28MPG highway. 2.2's are 30MPG. If these highway MPG are averages one could easily assume some will do better - and some will do worse.
  • Dear all,

    I just bought '99 Legacy Brighton with 93K on it. This is my second Subaru after '95 Impreza 1.8. I sold it recently with 120K and quit a few problems...
    I have mentioned that my odometer has been acting strange - sometimes it DOES NOT work at all, sometimes it does, but could jump from 93 010 to 93 120 in just couple of miles.

    The vehicle has been chenging dealers for the last year, so I suspect one of them "played" with the odometer, unless it is a common problem with this type of car.

    Any comments will be very appreciated.

  • Supersoob,

    If the engine has less compression and runs on regular without pinging wouldn't that mean it generates less HP per Liter? My last 2 cars are a perfect example, '97 Chevy Suburban 5.7L on regular gas generates somewhere around 180HP, my '94 Formula 5.7L-LT1 generated 275 but required high test. There are many other issues in the equation between engine volume and HP. But the one constant is that higher compression gives more HP and eats high octane fuel.

    I'll run high octane to get the 212HP out of my 3.0L engine in the happy knowledge that it generates more HP than my Suburban!

  • I wanted to tell the story of how I came to purchase a 2001 OB STD Wagon. I appreciate these boards, and their champions for all of the great information. I hope that my story will help to assist others in making a tough decision.

    I started on a Honda Civic EX bent. I had owned a trouble free 1988 LX, and loved the cars economy, safety and reliablity. These were my selection criteria. As I researched..I expanded my list to include two-hatchbacks - the Mazda Pro5 and the Hyundai GT..we wanted the ability to throw something big in back on that rare occasion. This price range 14-17 was acceptable.

    The hatchback bug led me to the OBS...which added the special AWD dimension to my safety requirement. I felt, however, that the storage was too small with the seats up for my wife and two kids and their entourage of items.

    We then - staying near 14-19 range (notice the upward movement)- started looking at the Legacy L and pre-owned OB. Settled on Legacy L - didn't like the 22/27 economy - but felt it was safer (w/ ABS and AWD) and loved reliability I was reading aobut.

    Many of you know how purposefully Subaru dresses down the L compared to the OB -even though they are really the same car according to our criteria (except for rear slip). I think it was inevitable that we came to dislike the look of the L, the small wheels, the monotone appearance (which is present on every car!) etc.

    So - now we were in the OB preowned market. 2000 with 25k miles for 18,300 was offered in blue (which we liked). I thought long and hard about it.

    Then...knowing that I was moving to NE PA, I called Becker - some of you know him. Well - salesman there asked "Why would you want a preowned when you can have a new 2001?"

    I said - to save money.

    He said - you won't save much.

    I said - how much for 2001?

    He said 20,600 - no options.

    I said what color?

    He said blue.

    And all of a sudden I had had enough of this long and exhausting car search. Put down 500 over the phone, drove there, and left within one hour beaming in a new blue OB.

    Thanks board - I love the car -having barely driven it. I love that this search is over. And I never would have come to this conclusion without these message boards which guided my concerns and criteria to the right car.

    That being said - the slope from 15k to 20k is slippery.

    Got 6.15% for 5 years there too. Really - by far - the best deal on a 2001 I found. And I searched like crazy.

    Good luck to you...I'll be lurking on the maitenance board for sure.
  • And thanks for sharing your story. We look forward to hearing more about your ownership experience.... See you around Town Hall! ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    Cool story. I've owned my OB only 3 months, and love it. I'm sure you'll not regret your choice.


  • I own an 01 OB, 2.5, a/t, with Firestone Wilderness tires.

    I am moving to Boston by end of the year. I am hearing that I will have to make a lot of changes such as
    1. Change to Snow Tires ? is the one above not eoungh ?
    2. Chains ? what's that ?
    3. Anti-corrosion paint under the prevent from salt corrosion used for snow.

    Give me your thoughts ( The newengland Subie loyalists ) & also let me know if I need to anything else.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    I don't own a Sube but live in the greater Boston area. Some thoughts on driving in the winter here:

    "1. Change to Snow Tires ? is the one above not eoungh ?"
    It depends. If you will be living in metro Boston, most likely you won't need snows. Although we can get lots of snow, the plows are usually out there early and often. If you will be living/commuting outside of 495, you may want to consider them or if you are a salesperson who needs to be out on the road every day. Given that, I live inside of 128 but got snows for the very first time this past winter for our Ody. It was just added security for my wife as she drives our kids around. I haven't had snows on any of my front drive cars.

    "2. Chains ? what's that ?"
    To put on the drive wheels. You won't need them - they are illegal in Massachusetts. As are studded snows IIRC.

    "3. Anti-corrosion paint under the prevent from salt corrosion used for snow."
    You mean rust-proofing? Naahh. Many times that is more harmful as it can trap moisture and plug drain holes. Most if not all cars already use anti corrosive agents to protect the steel. Just be sure to go to a self serve car wash in the winter to get most of the crud off.

    Subarus are very common here in New England (within 10 miles of me are 3 Sube dealers) and people get around just fine. Just remember though that the AWD will not get you around any faster than anyone else in the winter. If a good storm hits during the commute hours, just deal with it. Go slow, be careful, and be late for work.
  • Thanks.............

    Which I pretty much don;t need any of the 3. I will be living north of 128....say andover for e.g.

    My office will be in Burlington....strange huh.

    My impression is that AWD will not get you faster but may be safer.......i notice the benfit of awd in houston even in rain.....when we compare our subie to our MPV.....but MPV has its great utility for the family......which we don't want to give up either........

    Thanks for your advice......
  • I have read 3to 4 spontaneous cracked winshield on this townhall........

    I own an 01 OBW.....same has cracked on the passenger side for about half an inch..
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