Last post on Dec 13, 2010 at 6:38 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
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Subaru Legacy, Engine, Wagon
#206 of 270 Re: 2003 Outback Engine Pinging Part 2 [charliebob]
Aug 05, 2008 (8:59 am)
I have a 2003. Bought it new. I think this knock you describe is inherient to the engine. Mine sounds like a diesel in the winter when cold. Once the engine warms, it goes away.
Now, after its warm, if I run 87 octane in it, the valves ping when the auto tranny is lugging the engine. If I run 91 or 93 octane, I don't get the valve ping.
I've got 60k on mine now, so, its probably ok.
Only had to have the headgasket repaired at 40k due to leak. Otherwise, no warranty work.
2003 Subaru Legacy L (spec edt)
#208 of 270 1997 Subaru Outback - Valve Train
Aug 23, 2008 (7:40 am)
My 1997 Outback has 122,000 miles and has run pretty good, but in the last six months, it has serious hesitation problems when starting off from a dead stop. At times, you wonder if it will make it. (It acts like the old carburetor engines that load up with gasoline...then take off as if nothing had happened.) Once you get going, the car runs pretty good, but taking off is a hazard.
I took it to my mechanic and he said that not only was the harmonic balancer loose on the crankshaft and that may be contributing to the problem, BUT, that the car could not maintain a consistent vacuum...therefore, the info going into the computer was not good and it would probably require a valve job.
I was surprised with this diagnosis, but its the only one I've got. Is there anything else I can check? Is this expected with only this many miles on this model?
#209 of 270 Re: 1997 Subaru Outback - Valve Train [paintedwagon]
Aug 25, 2008 (6:51 pm)
Check all the vaccum lines. There are probably a bunch and it's at the age where those vaccum lines will start to crack.
Motorsports and Modifications Host
Sep 29, 2008 (7:34 pm)
Hey everyone. I am thinking about buying a '97 Legacy Outback and I have some questions. This being the first time I've ventured outside of buying a GM product. The Outback has 106,000 miles, it's a 5 spd manual, pwer locks and windows...I have been researching this model year and have noticed numerous problems. Head gaskets, front main seals, cam seals, valve cover gaskets, burnt valves. I have also read that the timing belt should be changed at 100,000 miles, and also have a valve adjustment done? Basically I don't want to buy a car and then have it break down with all of these issues. Is the H4 a difficult engine to work on? (I guess it depends on the problem too) The dealership (it's a Subaru dealership) wants $5500 for the car. I don't think that's a bad price, but I could be wrong. Thanks for your help!
#211 of 270 Re: Newbie [newtosubaru]
Sep 30, 2008 (6:27 pm)
don't get a Subaru. I first owned a 1993 Loyale, and it was the best car ever. It just didn't break, and then I sold it at 150K miles (14 years old).
Being so happy with it, in 2005 I bought a 2000 Legacy for $6,800, it had 92K miles on it. Since then I had only cried over it.... I already described my ordeal here.
On the day I sold my old Subaru, the "new" one lost its engine and head gaskets. I sold the wrong car!!!
$3,000 for headgaskets and a new engine, $800 for burnt coil, bunch of other stuff that actually broke and maintenance items (such as water pump and a timing belt) that added up to over $5,000 in 18 months of my owning that piece of $%^&. Sorry. I could have bought a brand new car for that money!!!!!
I now own a 2005 Mitsu Outlander and I couldn't be happier. And, if you read the reviews, Mitsu cars have way less problems.
#212 of 270 Re: Newbie [lucymo]
Sep 30, 2008 (6:58 pm)
Thanks for the reply. I want to hear both postive and negative reviews of Subaru. Like I said, this is my first venture away from Chevy and GM. I almost bought a Honda Accord for my wife, but got an '05 Malibu instead. It's okay, but not the best. Thanks again.
#213 of 270 Re: Newbie [lucymo]
Oct 01, 2008 (8:03 pm)
No offense but you are comparing a used car to a new car. Second, if you look back at Mitsu's long term reliability it's way way down on the list. While those particular cars (96-02 2.5L DOHC engine) subies are known to have head gasket problems, there weren't any other (that you mention) repairs needed on the car.
All cars from all manufacturers breakdown, be them Toyota, Honda, MB, BMW, Lexus, or Mitsu.
To the Original Poster:
If the head gasket hasn't been done on an 96-02 2.5L Subie, you should probably work in about $1,500 worth of "I'm gonna need to do the Head Gasket and associated maintenance items" when negotiating a used car. The associated things would be the timing belt, water pump etc. since the engine will be nearly torn down anyway to do the HG.
Motorsports and Modifications Host
#214 of 270 Re: Newbie [lucymo]
Oct 02, 2008 (12:39 pm)
A new coil cost you $800?
The ignition coil is an $80 part. Two bolts to remove and replace, and it's right at the top/front of the engine. It takes about - 90 seconds to replace.
How did that get to $800?
It should be $80 plus half hour labor at the very most, so I don't see how you get to $800 from there.
Sounds more like you need to replace your mechanic.
Having said that, gaskets are indeed a concern. Check for leaks there and on the valve covers, and the front and rear main seals. Also listen to the wheel bearings, if they're noisy they're probably gone.
If it's leak-free and quiet you're probably good for quite a while. I've seen 2 Foresters go over 250,000 miles.
#215 of 270 Re: Newbie [paisan]
Oct 02, 2008 (5:22 pm)
How is it that I am comparing a used car to a new car? I have never bought a new car in my life.
After my Subaru problems I searched the internet (and this site too) and saw many engine problems reported for Subarus, and not just the headgaskets.
We were ready for the headgaskets when we bought the Legacy, but we weren't ready for the warped engine without it ever overheating or headgaskets actually blowing up on us. So there - put away about $3,000 just in case.
I did look at the Mitsu reliability ratings - way better than Subarus.