Last post on Jun 14, 2002 at 1:15 PM
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Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Baja, Subaru Impreza
#39 of 116 Granted I have an older Subaru
May 16, 2002 (11:24 am)
But when you are asking about reliability then I think my 1991 is entitled to consideration.
I bought it 4 years ago and have found it to be a very reliable car as a whole. This car is used for snow, dirt roads, long trips and short commutes. In all it is the car that I use for all conditions without fear. The only thing I don't do is serious 4X4 ruts. It's too low.
On my domestics I usually have 2-3 major repairs a year. I run older cars to 200K before getting another one. So I think my experience is the only real test of reliability. My Subaru has 1 major repair a year, and for 2 of those years it has needed maintenance like CV boots. This year the major repair was engine seals/timing belt and water pump at 125K -- something I always do now around that mileage anyway. Steering is excellent. Shocks have not worn out after 12 years. Engine is smooth and quiet and the transmission is almost as good as new. Still have original air conditioning.
My son is not meticulous in repairs like I am. He has a 1991 Legacy Sedan with 180,000 on it. Regularly lets oil get too low. This has been as close to bulletproof mechanically as any vehicle I've seen. Runs great.
Mechanically Subaru's are great. If there's any weakness it's the interior. It's lackluster. But for a fun solid ride I can live with it. I only wish they would get a real 4X4.
May 16, 2002 (12:56 pm)
Jim Askim is a really good mechanic I think, and a great guy. Very helpful. I'm not sure if he is working on the very newest Subarus, but he does tend to keep up with things.
I like the new WRX a lot, and I think it is vastly improved over older models. I always thought old Subarus were among the most unpleasant, ungainly and crude Japanese cars I ever drove. I really don't know how anyone could live with one of the old ones. Maybe if you sat on a pillow and put cotton in your ears and wore very dark sunglasses. Like driving an old Jeep or VW bus. Sheer torture.
#41 of 116 nippononly: inspecting airbags
May 18, 2002 (10:03 pm)
OK, call up the dealer and make an appointment. I strongly suspect they will look in the car, say, "yep, them's airbags alright," and charge $150.
May 18, 2002 (10:08 pm)
that is what I am afraid of, and that is why I will probably skip it!
Mr. S: yeah, old Subarus were really crude, and even the newest ones are not quite up to the levels of refinement of some other comparable brands in my opinion. But their mechanical reliability and longevity is better than those same comparable brands, so I think it all comes out even!
I bet this is one reason sales were initially slow for the most expensive Subarus (the H-6's) they came out with.
May 19, 2002 (7:39 am)
You've just gotta like those boxer engines...
May 19, 2002 (8:10 am)
Oh, I don't know as the old Subarus were up to par with Toyotas and the like. The old boxer engines dropped valves pretty regularly, often had very noisy lifters, oil pump failures, etc. And Subaru parts have traditionally always been expensive vis a vis other Japanese cars.
But they were pretty simple machines and not too hard to fix, and I think this is what made them popular. Like the old VWs. Kind of awful cars, but people could patch them up and keep them going, even if you had to rebuilt the engine every 50K miles.
I liked most things about the new WRX but I agree, it's not up to the build quality of a Toyota or Acura. I think I could tear the hood off with my bare hands it's so flimsy. It's about 95% perfect. If they could give the driver more room, beef up the sheet metal a bit, get rid of that awful hood scoop (I hated having it in my face), and jazz up the interior with a few splashes, I'd say it was a real winner.
Oh, I thought the brakes were a bit weak, but maybe it was just the boost level. I had to press pretty hard to get the car to scrub speed.
May 20, 2002 (6:00 am)
In your opinion, what is the simplest and easiest vehicle from the 1990s to service and maintain? In my opinion, it'd have to be the Jeep Wrangler, Ford F-Series or Chevy C/K. Just my $.02 worth.
May 20, 2002 (7:50 am)
I'd quibble with your question and rephrase it to ask "What is the least difficult" because I don't think any 1990s vehicle is "easy" to maintain. You need special tools and scanners to do the job right., as well as electrical and emissions diagrams.
I actually saw a 1990 Wrangler with a problem that totally whipped, stumped and humiliated the best repair shops in northern California. No man or woman on earth ever figured out how to make that Jeep run right to this day.
May 20, 2002 (7:54 am)
Ok, I'll take it back. What is the least difficult vehicle to service?
#48 of 116 One more thing:
May 20, 2002 (7:55 am)
Did that '90 Wrangler have anything seriously wrong with it?