Last post on Jul 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#2748 of 8657 Re: Don't know what to do.....
Feb 27, 2004 (9:40 am)
K9Leader - thank you for the very well thought-out response. I used to work at a domestic-brand dealership many years ago, & again at a VW dealership. You are correct - the "population" of vehicles in the shop, or those posting here, are going to represent only the problems & must be viewed as the true percentage they represent.
There are the other Subaru internet forums; but on those too I think you might have the "squeaky hinge" syndrome. People who might not frequent internet forums, or who usually just cruise & read, might join & post when they've been hit with a large, unexpected repair bill.
However, to represent the flip side: MSN.com, while rating the 1999 Legacy "5 out of 5 stars" for overall reliability, rates the engines of the 97, 98, & 99 with a "Significant Problems 'Red X'". The reason given for each year is various "Occasional Problems", but the HG issue is listed on each one. For 2000 & 2001, the overall 5 star rating is the same; the engines are rated with the "Moderate Problems 'Yellow Exclamation Point'", listing the only issue as the Air/Fuel Ratio Sensor.
Juice, also thanks to you. Of those 5 Subarus, how many are 2.5s, what models & what years, if I might ask? Are they high mileage?
I think this is a Phase1 engine, but I'll double check to be sure. Please understand: my wife & I really WANT this car. We had figured on waiting another 2 years or so before buying another vehicle - our home needs some work, my step-daughter's college tuition, etc. have limited our funds. But then this car came along, which I've known since the day it was purchased. It's the completely decked-out SUS (is that an Anniversary Edition?) with 50k miles. The tires are new (& he put on OEM Michelins), & it has new brakes. It's really in nice shape, & I assumed that these cars had the same reliability & reputation as our Imprezas. I was totally shocked to read otherwise.
(Juice - the $$ is another reason we want this car, & really don't want to go the extra distance on a newer H6 yet.)
Let me add another question to all: would someone who purchases a 1999 Phase1 2.5 with the original head gaskets be wise or foolish to simply have them replaced before there are any signs of failure?
Feb 27, 2004 (10:13 am)
I agree with jay24 I didn't get any prices with my repair bill . Mine took 1 1/2 days to complete . I'm still getting a little burning smell but it is going away gradually . Probable from all the fluids that were spilled during the piston change . I don't get any slap noise with the new pistons but time will tell .
Feb 27, 2004 (10:33 am)
If you are comfortable with the history of the car, it was well maintained, and the price is right, why not?
I have a 99 Legacy GT LTD sedan with a 2.5 dohc engine, purchased new. Manufactured 7/98, so I think it is Phase 1. It has 98k. This is my third Subaru. I drive it to work 90 miles a day.
Repairs for the past 5 years are nominal. Tires 38k - Bridgestones - enough said here. Brakes 80k. Ignition Wires 90k. Purchased the 100k warrantee which covered the speedometer 38k, transmission gasket 80k and power antenna motor 95k. Broke even on the cost here.
It runs great, and feels almost as good as the day I bought it! I expect the same over the next year until I am ready to by a new GT.
I had a 96 Outback with the 2.5 purchased new. Traded for an 03 Outback last year at 85k. Repairs. Rotors 20, 44, 60k. Tires 60k. Alternator 62k (later reimbursed by SOA). No reason - just wanted a new car.
Unless something totally unexpected occurs, you should not expect any major expenses. Your best bet, have it checked out by a certified mechanic. Unsolicited advice, don't touch the gaskets until necessary.
Feb 27, 2004 (10:42 am)
* '98 Forester, 60k miles (my baby)
* '99 Outback, recently traded for a minivan (3 kids) with 40k miles or so
* '01 Outback Limited, low miles
* '02 Legacy L, my wife's car, 20k miles
* '03 Forester X, sister's car, new
Obviously we wouldn't be repeat buyers if I wasn't confident in Subaru. Not only that, I think they're the only manufacturer here with official presence, and Patti is just great.
For the record, my '98 Forester is TOO RELIABLE, curse you Subaru, for I have no excuse to trade it in for my beloved XT turbo model, argh! LOL
* original brake rotors
* original brake pads, even
* both original gaskets
* zero out-of-pocket expenses outside of maintenance
* 25 mpg lifetime average
Heck, I still have the original spark plugs in there, though I'm about to change them at 60k. Even the timing belt only gets changed at 105k.
Maybe if I could get something to fail the wife would let me get that XT. Any ideas for a hard-to-trace sabotage?
I got 28k miles out of the tires, but all 4 other Subies are still on the originals.
Feb 27, 2004 (11:26 am)
In regards to your question about replacing the headgaskets before symptoms appear, I would advise against it. As mentioned, the head gasket issue does exist, but does not affect all Phase I engines. Not only could you be wasting money on an unnecessary repair, but, like any major repair, you take a risk of the mechanic making a mistake. Personally, I'd rather take my chances with the Subaru assembly workers than the mechanic.
Internal failed head gaskets rarely rupture all at once; they typically start leaking small amounts and give off symptoms to the observant person:
1. Mixture of oil in the coolant or vice versa.
2. Decrease in the coolant level and subsequent increase in oil level, or vice versa.
3. White smoke out of the exhaust (burning coolant).
4. Temperature gauge spikes (last symptom before major gasket failure).
Basically, just watch the fluids for anything unusual. If the temperature gauge ever spikes near the red, pull over and turn off the engine. Simple engine tests will verify if a gasket has or has not failed.
Feb 27, 2004 (11:52 am)
It is interesting that the MSN data suggests 2000 & 2001 have air/fuel ratio sensor issues. I don't recall ever reading of a fail in this forum.
Feb 27, 2004 (12:36 pm)
See, I can tell you that's inaccurate.
The model with the touchy intake was the 1999 Forester and Impreza. Those were the first year Phase II models. Outback kept the phase I until 2000, so it and the Legacy never had that issue.
If you messed with the intake at all, any mods like a cold air intake or those S-AFC computers, it would blow up your MAF and cost you $370.
So their data is off, it was 1999.
Feb 27, 2004 (1:52 pm)
your talking about mods. But were there many fails on stock air/fuel sensors? I don't think so.
#2756 of 8657 flat tire repair/plugs
Feb 27, 2004 (8:05 pm)
I just had two plugs put into the front left tire of my '96 OBW. How reliable are they? Will the wheel alignment or anything else(tread wear for example) be affected? The tread is still good on the xw4 Michelins but if I have to replace that one tire I will have to replace all four and I would like to avoid that, but not at the expense of safety; that the tire with the plugs could fail. I often go away on weekends-highway driving-plan on going to Philadelphia on Sunday. I have 67k on the car now, it is in good condition and plan on keeping it for as long as possible. I live in N.Y.C. and the weekend trips are often to snow country in the winter. Does anyone have any suggestions for an all season 205-70-15 tire. I have considered replacing with the original xw4s, the new Michelin Hydro Edge or Nokians but they all are a bit pricey so I am interested in a less expensive alternative. Thanks
#2757 of 8657 re: flat tire repair/plugs by ebony5
Feb 27, 2004 (9:17 pm)
None of the tire manufacturers approve a plug as an acceptable form of repair. And certainly 2 repairs is not condoned regardless of the type of repair.
Plugs have a tendancy to leak more than they should and they may be fine today and develop a leak at a later date.
Recommend you replace that tire.