Last post on May 20, 2013 at 10:18 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
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Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#5035 of 8642 Re: head gasket failure [sooby1]
Aug 01, 2005 (12:41 pm)
My 99 Outback Legacy Wagon started doing the exact same thing very early this year (overheating randomly, coolant backing up into reservoir). After 3 mechanics, a change in radiator, plugs, thermostat, etc, they opened her up looking for a head gasket and found a tiny hairline crack in a cylinder.
After speaking with a parts guy at a Subaru dealership, the 1996-1999 dual overhead cam motors all have problems with overheating. In fact, he told me I wouldn't have much luck looking for a used engine because everyone in the world has sort of used them up replacing engines just like mine. He stressed that the 2000 (onward) engines were changed by the manufacturer because Subaru had no idea what was causing the overheating and probably didn't want to take the risk of a major recall.
A mechanic I used to date has advised us to find an attorney and to contact Subaru HQ directly (they deny everything of course). Thus, I pass that information on to you.
PS: If anyone else has had this problem, I would like hearing from you. It's taken us almost 5 months to figure this all out!
#5036 of 8642 Re: Brake Problem [rob_m]
Aug 01, 2005 (12:51 pm)
If you are still within the 3yr/36k basic warranty, a seized caliper should indeed be covered, plus any damage it causes (trashed pads and rotor).
#5037 of 8642 Re: head gasket failure [ribbons]
Aug 01, 2005 (1:57 pm)
My sisters 95 Legacy did the same thing Saturday. Was the first over heating problem (first problem at all in over 100,000 miles ), she has had with it, 187,000 miles. She did tell me, however, that it has been using coolant for a year or so now. I suspect the same problem.
#5038 of 8642 Re: Automatic transmission problem 2000 Subaru Outback [cptplt]
Aug 01, 2005 (4:17 pm)
Just bought a used 1999 Outback with 80K miles 2 weeks ago and I've got the same tranny problem. Test drove the car several times prior to buying, and even had it ok'd at the dealer too, but somehow this still got past me and the technician.
I first noticed it as a hesitation when going into drive, and since I've never owned a subaru before... thought it might be kinda normal. This past weekend it, though, it took ~3 minutes to drop into drive after backing out of a parking space. Called the dealer today and he said it sounds like a low/reverse piston seal in the transmission... a $2500 repair. Needless to say, I'm pretty mad at Subaru right now.
Does anyone know whether it will hurt the car to keep driving it like this? Also, would a tranny flush help any, or is it just a temporary band-aid? And finally, should I just get a remanufactured transmission, or let the tech do the rebuild?
#5039 of 8642 I'm tellin' you, Subaru electrical systems are sub-par
Aug 01, 2005 (5:18 pm)
Just a reminder: '96 OBW, 190K miles
Okay, so I should probably be thankful that my car has been so reliable (meaning that I only have to do a major repair about once a year or less) thus far, but darn it all. While I am right in the midst of trying to fully diagnose a probable head gasket failure, my darned heater fan goes on the fritz. Now, I can live with junk head gaskets but winter is coming all too fast (today is August 1, so less than 60 days away!) and I cannot start the car up at -30F to find that the heater fan isn't working. At first I thought it was very straight forward: the fan is finished. When I turn the fan speed selector from 0 to 1-4, I can hear the relay engage somewhere within the dash. However, about 35% of the time the fan does nothing. Then (I initially thought it was random), the fan will turn on out of the blue and blow like normal, except that it has this speed-sensitive ticking sound similar to putting a card in the spokes of a bicycle. This all started on Wednesday afternoon while we were returning from a 1,200 mile dipnetting trip down to Soldotna.
This morning my wife was supposed to have the car, so she goes out to start it while I am inside doing the "morning routine" with our little man. After a few minutes (remember, she was just starting the car!), I begin to wonder what is taking her so long. Eventually, she pops through the door and apologizes, but "the heater fan wasn't working and I had to get it going." I asked her what she did to get it going, and she responds "the same thing I did for the last couple of days." Oh! News to me..... so it turns out that if she engages the AC, the fan will blow without fail but that it will only keep blowing after AC is off about 10% of the tries. So, she keeps turning the AC on, then off, then on.... until the fan finally stays on while the AC is off. I tried that, and no luck - the fan came on when it randomly wanted to come on. It does work for her though - seemingly without fail. I guess she has the magic touch to which our buggy Subaru responds.
Whew. Okay, any suggestions on what might be the root of the problem? I originally thought it would be a simple fan replacement, but with all the flippin' electrical gremlins in this car, I should have known by now that nothing is ever simple with Subaru electrical.
#5040 of 8642 longevity/reliability of turbocharged engines
Aug 03, 2005 (12:46 pm)
Just curious whether anyone knows if turbocharged engines generally compare favorably in longevity and reliability compared to non-turbos. Legacy GT gets heaps of praise, but I've never owned a car with a turbocharged engine . . . thanks
Aug 03, 2005 (1:09 pm)
xwesx: at 190k, all bets are off. That's more mileage than most cars reach by the end of their lives. I'd donate it and take a tax deduction if you can't resolve it easily.
sonnysayshi: all things equal, a turbo is working harder. But all things are not equal - in this case the block is a semi-closed deck design, the pistons are forged, and an injector cools the bottom of the pistons, even the exhaust valves are sodium-filled to resist heat better.
Subaru engineered this engine to last, and so far the 2.5l turbos have been reliable.
#5042 of 8642 Re: Replies [ateixeira]
Aug 03, 2005 (2:08 pm)
True enough, but I'm going to get another 40K out of this puppy as our main transport, darn it. I would just rather not start digging into the dash blindly if someone else has some wisdom to donate to the cause!
I wouldn't care if it had a heater or not if it was just me using it as a commuter, but I have a wife and 1.2 year old child that need to use it as well. The last thing I want to do is invest in another vehicle right now and it is not to the point that I have decided a new rig is the best route.
I'll stick out a couple more weeks and then start digging at it if no good info turns up. Maybe I shouldn't have given my car's stats at the top of that post..... sticker shock!
#5043 of 8642 Re: longevity/reliability of turbocharged engines [sonnysayshi]
Aug 03, 2005 (3:45 pm)
I think it really depends on the time horizon you're talking about. For most people who would sell a vehicle before 150K miles, I'd say that the 2.5 turbo on the Legacy GT/OBXT would probably do as good as a non turbo. It's been designed with some beefed up components as juice mentioned, similar to the higher powered engine used in the WRX STi. If anything, owner usage and care patterns would probably dictate the reliability of an engine up to this point.
Beyond that, however, I would think a turbocharged or supercharged engine might be more prone to problems. Forced induction motors generally work harder (ie. more heat and pressure) and have more moving parts than a non-turbo so it would be short-sighted to say that the risk of failure were the same.
Subaru has been manufacturing turbo engines for quite some time now and I don't think they would make the 2.5 turbo a workhorse engine if they weren't comfortable about it's reliability.
#5044 of 8642 Air Bag light illuminated
Aug 03, 2005 (5:25 pm)
I am interested in purchasing a 97 legacy GT the car has 168K miles. but when I test drove it both the check engine light and the airbag lights were illuminated. What could be the cause of the "Airbag" light being on? perhaps more important does anyone know generally the cost to get it repaired?