Last post on Aug 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM
You are in the Prices Paid - Buying & Leasing Experiences
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Subaru Legacy, Sedan, Wagon
#999 of 1010 Re: 2003 Legacy L with head problem [msmb]
Apr 25, 2013 (7:02 pm)
Haha. Welcome to the Subaru brand. You have just discovered the most important thing you need to know about Subaru engines: they suffer from severe head gasket issues.
Here is a cute experiment for you. Google, oh, "Honda head gasket". Note the search results. Now google "Subaru head gasket".
Oh the horror! I know it's difficult, but pay close attention to the personal accounts of leaking head gaskets! But wait - isn't Subaru supposed to be as reliable as Honda?
Are leaking head gaskets the only reliability issue? No. Google also, oh, "Subaru wheel bearing". Yeppers.
Let me tell you about my 2007 Subaru Legacy 2.5 Special Edition - the car the sales folks swore in 2006 would outlast any Honda.
At 135K miles, that car developed a leaking head gasket. Didn't quite have the funds ($2K) to fix it. Now the engine is dead.
...Then there are the three wheel bearings I had to replace during the life of that car. Was it just how I drove? Hm. I am quite the careful driver, but don't believe me. How many hundreds of complaints can you find in your Google searches of "Subaru head gasket" and "Subaru wheel bearing"?
The car does drive very nice for an affordable midsize sedan. In the winter, it is golden. But, unless you have patience, time and money to sink into this piece of metal, you might want to consider other brands too. And the 2003 model is smack in the middle of Subaru's reliability issues - that's why that car is selling for so little!
Just know that you are buying trouble. Fun trouble, but trouble nonetheless.
#1000 of 1010 Re: 2003 Legacy L with head problem [lifeson34]
Apr 25, 2013 (7:11 pm)
Just basking in the glory of posting the 1000th message...
#1001 of 1010 Re: 2003 Legacy L with head problem [lifeson34]
Apr 26, 2013 (6:17 am)
A Honda transmission would likely not have lasted 135k miles. You might be on the 3rd trans by then.
Every brand has its achilles heel.
For fun, though, let's Google:
subaru head gasket = 2.89 million hits
honda head gasket = 4.81 million hits
honda transmission problem = 6.93 million hits
honda a/c problem = 105 million hits (had to double check that one).
Hondas are perfect, totally fault-free. Go for it.
To to OP - I'd say it depends.
They have an alloy block, so what you don't want to buy is a car that overheated a lot and warped and won't mate up well to the heads.
Try to find out how long it's been leaking. If it just started, and that could be why they're selling, then the repair should meet your expectations.
If it's been neglected and driven that way for a while, I'd pass.
#1002 of 1010 Re: 2003 Legacy L with head problem [ateixeira]
Apr 26, 2013 (7:42 am)
True. I can't refute your argument. Hondas did have a reputation for transmission problems. I myself drove a Honda Odissey van whose ultimate demise was a slipping transmission. It cost 2K to fix it.
Engines and transmissions are sacred. I see evidence that Honda addressed its transmission problems. Two brothers and my mother drive Honda accords, two with high mileage. No transmission issues.
With Subarus, the story is different. I don't even know that many Subaru drivers, yet two of them have personal accounts of leaking head gaskets - as do I. The problem is that this issue first came to light nearly 15 years ago. Subaru claimed to have fixed the issue in models after 05 - yet that is not true. My 07 Legacy suffered from exactly the same issue 03 drivers complained about.
Honda is not perfect. But it is more trustworthy. Every brand has its issues, but I have more confidence that Honda has made strides to address theirs. Subaru seems to be clueless.
#1003 of 1010 Re: 2003 Legacy L with head problem [lifeson34]
Apr 26, 2013 (12:28 pm)
My concern now, with the Accord for instance, is this is Honda's first foray in to CVTs and also their first try with DI engines. Kind of a risky gamble, a v1.0 of both the engine and trans.
Subaru's FB25 was a big improvement, but their CVT is also kinda new, so another risk.
The EJ was an open deck design and has a lot of passages through the gaskets. It took a full redesign to address that 100%. The gasket materials improved over the years so the issues became less frequent, but never completely disappeared.
To be fair Dodge Intrepid ate gaskets at a higher rate than Subarus did.
#1004 of 1010 Re: 2003 Legacy L with head problem [lifeson34]
Apr 26, 2013 (7:44 pm)
The Honda that the Legacy i inquired about is replacing is now 20 years old. it has 239,000 miles on it. I had to replace the transhission at around 135,000 miles. The cost was around $1200 back then (i found a great deal on a transmission from Japan). It has been fine ever since.
By the way, I also have a 2003 Camry and had to replace the catalytic converter. Cost of around $800; not of the magnitude of the trasnsmision or the head; but still an important part. It has been fine and now has 185000 miles and is going strong. But the head and the tranny are really important and I imagine can make your life miserable; thus the question if a repair job typically is effective. If the repair has a good possibility of being as successful as the repair of my Honda's trasnmission, with 68000 miles and a fair price (apparently not great but not bad either) it is my kind of car.
#1005 of 1010 2013 legacy sport
May 03, 2013 (5:18 pm)
A 2013 sport with alloy locks, mudflaps, all weather mats, cargo tray, dimming rear view with compass (not home link) and rear bumper applique for $22933....what do you guys think? Doc fee is $190 + tax/license
#1006 of 1010 Re: 2013 legacy sport [jumpy]
Jun 13, 2013 (8:50 pm)
What's the MSRP?
Hard to tell with just the information you posted.
But it sounds like about 3200 off MSRP. If you can buy at that price with just TTL and 199 doc fee and nothing else, it's a good deal.
Jul 13, 2013 (5:54 am)
So I'm in the market for a new 2014 Subaru Legacy Limited and like most people here, I would like to get an incredible deal. But here's my quandary: I'm very particular about the trim level, interior and exterior colors I want. I've searched through the dealers' inventories in my area and there's nothing to my liking. However, I have found the car I like at a dealer that's about 200 miles away in the next state over. I'm not exactly in a rush to buy but the more I look, the more I want it now! LOL
Here's my options as I see them:
1) Contact my local Subaru dealer and have them do a nationwide inventory search for the vehicle I want. I fear that this may cost me some negotiating power as well as the expense of transporting the vehicle.
2) Contact the Subaru dealer in the next state that has the car I want. But how complicated is tax, title, etc. when doing this, especially if I'm offloading a trade?
3) Wait around a couple of months and see if the car I want appears in local inventory. Ideally I would do this and hope that I can find what I'm looking for at the end of the year when dealers want to move inventory and are eager to deal. But that's leaving a lot to chance.
#1008 of 1010 Re: My Dilemna [plagwate]
Jul 15, 2013 (4:34 am)
My thoughts on your dilemma:
1) It's impossible to say how much a dealer trade hurts your negotiating power, but it does take a bit of time and costs money to trade vehicles between dealers. The fact that the car is at a store located 200 miles away makes it worse, in that your local dealer probably does not regularly trade with this other dealer, so there is no business relationship. Plus, sending a guy or a couple of guys is not insignificant, in that the trip is probably 3-4 hours each way. One way or another, you will have to pay for all of that.
2) It's no problem to buy a car in another state. When you are doing the paperwork, you list your home address. You actually pay taxes and title the vehicle in your own state, not the state where you buy the car. I wouldn't worry about this factor. The trade-in is another story, in that you will have four hours invested in going to the dealership. What if they don't make an offer on your trade-in that you like? Will you still buy the new car and then sell your old one on your own? Drive home without the new car you like? I wouldn't drive four hours without firmly nailing down the price of the new car, and also getting a pretty darn good idea of the trade-in value. Final trade-in will, of course, depend on the dealer inspecting your car.
3) If you really are in no hurry, and can get to a price you like, have your local dealer order a car from the factory. I ordered a 2011 Legacy LTD just the way I wanted it, and got it in about 6 weeks, if I recall (back in late 2011). I didn't pay any more than what my dealer was willing to sell me one on the lot. Right now is probably not a great time to order a car, if Subaru closes their factories in July to switch model years. But I don't know that to be true regarding the Legacy. I don't know when they switch model year production.