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#6340 of 19336 Intro/General Advice Needed
Mar 05, 2006 (1:49 pm)
Hey guys, I've been reading thse forums for awhile but just finally got around to registering today. I've been thinkng about upgrading Subarus, but figured I'd check in and ask some other nice Subaru people for their input
I have a 2000 Subaru Legacy with 68K on it. I got a service bulletin for the head gasket problem, so I guess my engine is in the VIN range for that potential problem in the future. I'm happy with my car, but mechanical problems really annoy me - when can I expect this head gasket problem to occur, and how much will the replacement cost be? I've been having my (independent) mechanic add the Subaru conditioner at every 15K service. Also, is it reasonable to expect to have to upgrade the clutch sometime soon?
As a side note, my fuel pump crapped the bed this past summer - that's the type of $750 parts/labor bill that I figured I would be avoiding this early in the car's life by buying a Subaru.
The advantages I see of upgrading to the new 2.5i wagon are a nicer interior, better safety (side airbags), and a slightly more powerful/efficient engine, in addition to the fact that I'd rather have a wagon. Disadvantages include $12,000 outlay for the upgrade!
What would you do in my situation? Are my mechanical fears well-founded?? Any input would be appreciated - thanks for having me.
#6341 of 19336 Re: Intro/General Advice Needed [alaskanwill]
by PFFlyer@Edmunds HOST
Mar 05, 2006 (1:54 pm)
Welcome to the forums! You'll find the Subaru folks here a VERY helpful group. Hope we get to see you in CarSpace and on Thursdays at 9PM ET in our weekly Subaru Crew chat!
#6342 of 19336 Re: Intro/General Advice Needed [alaskanwill]
Mar 05, 2006 (4:27 pm)
If you received the TSB concerning the head gasket issue, and you have been adding the conditioner and changing coolant as per instructions, you are covered for 8yrs/100k, IIRC. So I would not worry too much about that issue as being an out-of-pocket expense item for another 2 years or so, in your case.
Clutch judder was also an issue addressed by a TSB, but you might be too far out now to get any help. Others can comment on what to do here.
$750 for a fuel pump... ouch. Unfortunately, the trend now is to put the level sender, fuel pump and filter all into the tank, so labor cost becomes a major factor in any repair. Disconnect everything, drop the tank, etc. I went thru it with a Toyota.
#6343 of 19336 Re: Intro/General Advice Needed [fibber2]
Mar 05, 2006 (5:30 pm)
I should add what my mechanic told me regarding the fuel pump that might help others in the future: don't let your fuel tank get low too often. I would always wait until the needle was below the "E" to fill up (I only ran out of gas once - that happens well below the E on my Roo!). However, keeping low amounts of fuel in the tank facilitates the fuel pump sucking in air, particulate matter, etc. which needless to say contributes to its wear.
Also, I don't know if the fuel system on a Subaru is at all gravity-fed like a high winged Cessna, but if so then keeping fuel in the tank would help the fuel pump not to work as hard because the weight of the fuel in the tank would help to push the fuel through the system. Of course, with the fuel tank on the bottom of the car this would probably have a negligible effect if any now that I think about it.
Another thing I've started to do is turn the key to the "ON" position for a few seconds before I start the car - I have some vague recollection of reading someplace that this allows the fuel pump to prepare itself for the cold start. There's a quiet whirring I hear for about a second after turning the key to ON - is that the fuel pump?
#6344 of 19336 Re: Intro/General Advice Needed [alaskanwill]
Mar 05, 2006 (7:39 pm)
The need for doing the 'on position for a few seconds' thing seems to be very vehicle dependent. A check ball arrangement keeps all of the fuel from leaking down from the mile of lines and back into the tank. If everything is perfect in the system, the lines actually remain under some small degree of pressure when you shut down.
As liquids are largely incompressible, it should only take a fraction of a second for the pump to restore the full psi requirement (35 to 50, IIRC) in the lines if they remain full. If you have one of the cars in which the seals are less than perfect, sufficient fuel leaks down and you need a few seconds of pump priming to re-establish full lines and proper pressure. Otherwise, the injectors just will not fire correctly.
Mar 06, 2006 (1:18 pm)
Go for it, life is short.
I would not try to justify it on the basis that your existing one is likely to cost you a bunch, because it basically has 32k left on the coverage if you put in the coolant conditioner.
Instead, buy it for the safety upgrades.
Did you watch Dateline last night? What a difference side curtain air bags make, and the Legacy is best-in-class for safety (IIHS Gold Award).
Now there is a reason to upgrade!
#6346 of 19336 Re: Intro/General Advice Needed [alaskanwill]
Mar 06, 2006 (8:28 pm)
Welcome Will! I have a 2000 Legacy sedan with 130k. I love the car but have been disappointed in its reliability. I've had three significant repairs. Tranny popping out of 5th gear (~80k) - rebuild $1200. Clutch pedal sticking in the down position (~120k) - replace slave and master cylinder $600. Head gaskets & radiator (129k) - replaced $2300. All three of these are known issues on endwrench.com.
Hopefully, it will go the next 130k with very few repairs as the major ones are done!
Would I buy another? Don't know.
#6347 of 19336 Re: Intro/General Advice Needed [jfl]
Mar 07, 2006 (6:29 am)
You very briefly mentioned the possibility of a HG problem a few weeks ago, then nothing. Sounds like it became reality... Both sides or just drivers? External leak only? Any other damage? What was the issue with the radiator - clogged or leaking? Details, man!!!
#6348 of 19336 Re: Intro/General Advice Needed [fibber2]
Mar 07, 2006 (10:37 pm)
Radiator was leaking at the seat (where the cap sits) & would not hold pressure. Coolant did not enter the engine but exhaust gases were getting into the coolant. The two problems resulted in boil-over.
Had both HGs replaced, heads milled and tested to confirm flatness. The work done by my regular mechanic. Running fine since.
You must have been thinking about my "big screen tv" comment!
Are you still coming out to the left coast next week?
#6349 of 19336 Re: Intro/General Advice Needed [jfl]
Mar 08, 2006 (6:53 am)
Yes! You mentioned that the funds for the tv had been hijacked by your car...
This is potentially bad news for all of us, as you experienced an internal passage to passage rupture - one of the first times I have heard of that on a phase II engine. Usually it is just an external leak like I had.
The trip keeps getting pushed out. They now sound ready, but I have conflicts for several weeks out. I may end up out in your land the first week in April. The 6th is my BD (49 for the first time...), so maybe dinner & cake?