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older Subaru Outback Wagon?

takarirosetakarirose Member Posts: 1
I'm looking for a reasonable priced car(preferable under $5,000), and I'm curious about how the older(1998-2002) Outback wagons are after they have over 100,000 miles on them. What sort of repairs can be expected? How much longer will they keep running?

Or perhaps other suggestions for similar cars? I need an AWD or 4WD, because I live very close to Lake Tahoe, and drive in the snow/ice quite often. And wagons/small SUV's are preferred, just because I tend to have a lot of crap to transfer between the barn and my house.


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    ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    At that age the care and maintenance means everything. Check for signs of oil leaks in the usual spots (front main seal, rear main seal, and head gaskets). I would even suggest a pressure test in each cylinder, looking for no more than 10% variance in psi.

    Turn the radio off, open the windows, and drive in a figure 8 pattern. Listen for sounds that might indicate a bad CV joint or worn differentials.

    The good news is that because of the AWD, problems tend to be more obvious.
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    isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I'm not sure what years were affected but head gasket failure was quite common in a lot of those so be careful and be sure to have it inspected.
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    Montanabob1954Montanabob1954 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2020
    Takarirose just wanted to comment on the reliability of the Subaru. I bought a 1990 Subaru Legacy Wagon 2.2 ten years ago. I love the AWD in winter. You can go anywhere. This car is coming up on 277,000 miles. I have put about 95,000 miles on it in 10 years. This car has always performed perfectly. I do the occasional tune-ups and oil changes. But one thing I can say. This car has never left me stranded on the highway or anywhere for that matter. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you I only paid $250.00 for this car at an estate sale in Montana. I have all the paperwork from the day this car was bought off the showroom floor. Buy a Subaru you will not regret it. Bob in Montana. By the way, I do not work for Subaru either. LOL Have a great day.
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