Subaru Legacy: Typical high-mileage repairs?

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Comments

  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    On older subies, if you overheated the engine there was a 50-50 chance you'd soon need a head gasket. They've gotten better. My dad had several put on his Reliant Ks in under 70K miles.

    -mike
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yep, and old Subarus like to drop valves, too, and the oil pumps wear out--many people keep driving though, since the worn pumps only make for a clattery engine, which the old Subarus had anyway, so most folks hardly noticed the increase in noise level.

    30K for a head gasket failure is pretty premature, that's true. Maybe the engine overheated without you noticing it. That will warp a head quickly enough on a modern car. But sometimes it's just assembly problems. Statistically, all new cars will have a certain number of defects.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It wasn't the oil pumps that went bad. It was the oil seal gasket. This allowed air to mix with the oil and manifest itself in the lifters. I have this problem currently on my XT6, although it goes away after 10-15 min of driving.

    -mike
  • lark6lark6 Member Posts: 2,565
    Mr. Shiftright (any relation to Nigel?): I never had any indication of overheating. The dealer service department did not report a warped head; then again, they may not have checked for it. Had the head become warped, I'd expect the leaking to begin again very soon, which it hasn't yet, knock wood. This would lead me to believe your latter analysis.

    Ed
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    oil pumps---you mean a seal in the oil pump itself? Well, same-o/same-o, you have to take the pump out and fix it, so "oil pump failure". This happened in an XT I was driving for a short time. Maybe just swapping out the pump is the safest way to go. It wasn't all that expensive as I recall and it did the trick.

    I don't know why running the engine for a while would fix a seal, was my point, but your explanation is certainly plausible as one cause of clattery lifters. Audis have a similar issue (the V-6 engines) but this is a pressure valve problem.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Will cause the oil to become thinner and/or pump up the lifters with oil pushing out the air bubbles that were sucked in by the oil pump. Thicker oil can help eliviate at least temporarily this issue. XTs are cool, although even with the TC it's slow.

    -mike
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, I don't buy that on first reading but thank you for the argument. If the pump is sucking air it will just continue to do so, seems to me.....but maybe there's some self-bleeding thing going on that I just can't fathom at the moment. I'll keep tapping my teeth with my fingers on that one.

    Yeah, XTs are an acquired taste. I like the new Subarus a lot better than any of the older ones.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It's pretty much been researched by at least 20+ people I know who specialize in old subies. Very common problem. The air-temp/humidity can cause the seal to expand or contract, thus allowing air to be sucked in sometimes and not at others. Also thicker oil will be less likely to allow air seepage.

    I like my XT6 better than some of the new ones. It has more low-end torque than the WRX :)

    -mike
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaMember Posts: 2,984
    You need to take a deep breath and relax, you can be very sure that they did check for warped heads and engine block as well.

    This is standard practice in an engine rebuild, SOA.are paying for this repair and you can be sure it will be done properly first time around, they are not going to the trouble of rebuilding an engine to have it blow up in a short time again.

    If there is the least suspicion that the heads are warped, they will either be resurfaced or replaced, the usual course is to replace the heads as resurfacing can alter the compression ratio,

    Cheers Pat.
  • lark6lark6 Member Posts: 2,565
    I suspect that they did, just didn't see it on the invoice.

    I have often wanted to get the head (and the spare head) on the old OHV 6 Stude resurfaced and magnafluxed, but haven't had the inclination, much less the desire to heave that old cast iron lunker into the back of the Forester.

    I think I'm just gonna take some time over the holiday to fling the Subie around some PA country backroads to get that old feeling back again - it'll be good for the car and my peace of mind.

    Ed
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I still don't see what air temperature and humidity have to do with an oil pump submerged in hot oil. Seals are either good or they aren't. Well, I don't have 20 specialists (are there 20 people in the world who work only on Subarus?), but I will consult my one expert (His name is Jim Askim but we call him Saint James, for the miracles he performs) and see what other comments he might have on this clattery valve phenomenon, okay?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    no problem. My valve tap comes and goes on my XT6, no rhyme or reason so the air-sucking problem is viable IMHO. Cause if the pump was bad, my engine would have blown about 30K miles ago (and those are very hard 30K miles, 20-30 auto-xs etc) Thicker oil helps also to eliviate the problem, which makes sense cause air-bubbles will less likely form in a thicker oil than a thin one.

    -mike
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yes, but thicker oil will allow the oil pump to pump more oil up there. The problem, as I see it, is internal wear in the pump...the clearances are too large and thicker oil helps fill that up somewhat. What I'm curious about is whether the clatter is caused by an actual drop in oil pressure or by cavitation of the oil (foaming) from the large clearances.

    Well, it's interesting to speculate. If you ever do take the pump out, it would be good to measure the clearances and see if they are out of factory spec. Whether by wear or by bad seal, replacing your pump will cure the problem.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Oil Pressure never drops, so that isn't the issue. Luckily the XT6 has a real pressure guage which is nice.

    -mike
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaMember Posts: 2,984
    Go for it, you need to reinforce the satisfaction thar you had with the forester before the problem crept up, and I don,t know of any better way than to just get in and go for a good satisfying drive.

    I know how you feel about throwing a big old junky cylinder head into your nice car, I feel the same way about mine.

    Cheers Pat.
  • winmanzwinmanz Member Posts: 6
    My 90 Legacy would start up fine. However, when the engine is at idle speed, it would run really rough and stall. If you give it gas and keep the engine reving above 1000RPM, it seem to run fine.

    So far, the car got new air filter, fuel filter, pvc valve, spark plugs and wires. All these didn't seem to help.

    Anyone have this problem before?

    I manage to find the green service connectors under the dash. After plugin them together, the "Check engine light" give the 3 flash when the car is running. I got no idea how to decode this. Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You're doing the right things. I'd get a professional throttle body service. It solved the hesitation on our 626.

    -juice
  • otoluvaotoluva Member Posts: 196
    I own a 93 legacy sedan that I bought new and has 114000 miles on it,it still runs great,I have always changed oil on time and tuned it up regularly,I did have several times in the past oil leaks in different spots and that's about the worse that ever happened,the car still has its original muffler!the engine is good except that its a bit noisy and sounds whimpy(washer machine like-it always did )but what I like best about this car is the climate control which I think is the best I have ever seen on a car(has not been serviced yet)my question is what should I expect in the future as far as repairs and stuff and is it worth keeping and maintaining or it is time to replace it before major things start to deteriorate?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It should be good for 200K miles. I just bought a '91 XT6 with 125K miles cause I know they'll last well.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    114k is great. Keep doing whatever you're already doing, I say. By now you probably have changed the timing belt twice, but go ahead if you haven't.

    At 120k I would replace everything that is serviceable: oil and filter, air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, plug wires, O2 sensor, tranny oil, differential oil (if AWD), belts, hoses, PCV valve, etc.

    -juice
  • royallenroyallen Member Posts: 227
    An additional item in preventive maintenance on vehicles over 6 years old is to check CV boots monthly- especially the outboard boots. A crack/leak detected early will save replacing the axle. If you wait til you hear clicking with turns the joint is bad and cost more than double.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Don't I know it. Our 626 just tore a boot and it was $300 to fix it. All that and we still have an axle whine from that area, so it's going back to the shop again. I don't think they packed enough grease, or they didn't do it properly.

    -juice
  • ncphishermanncphisherman Member Posts: 18
    we own three Subarus- one legacy 4wd wagon with a 5 speed (rare car), one SVX, and a 1991 Justy. All of these cars are flawless. Subarus far exceed Honda and Toyotas in reliability. I know- I owned Hondas since 1981, and switched to a little Subaru Justy in 1991. I'll never go back to a Honda. Still have that $6000 car, and it's got 130k, and I've never done anything but routine maintainence on it. It burns a little oil, but hey, it's a high-revving three-cylinder. These cars were only designed to go 100k (even the odometer resets after 100k). My SVX is flawless as well. It's got 85k, and nothing has gone wrong other than an occasional chirp from that annoying alarm on a hot day.

    My son has a 1992 Honda Accord. It has 125k, and breaks down all the time. Yet, on the Kelly Blue Book, his car is worth $500 more than my SVX with only 85k, all the bells and whistles, and a gutsy boxer V6! What a joke! Buy a used Subaru, they don't hold their value at all, but they are reliable as dirt!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Rich - you ought to try and join us for Thursday chats. You have quite an interesting fleet, I'd love to hear more about them.

    The SVX is such an exotic, still rare, collectible even.

    -juice
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    New review from Edmunds on the WRXs poor sister. Read all about it:


    http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/roadtests/spin/48363/article.html

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Not a bad review. Their biggest complaint is the price, but theirs was $19,820, and fitzmall.com sells them for $17,969 with freight included. Not bad at all.

    -juice
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