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2003 Outback H6 3.0 LL Bean Edition


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14 replies to this topic

#1 gaijinko

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:09 PM

I'm a bit green with these forums and so apologize in advance if this is posted in the wrong place. I tried a search, but didn't see what I was looking for.

I'm quite interested in buying a used Subaru and see one listed locally in my price range. I've heard various things about head gaskets and maintenance and thought I'd see if any of you had any insight before I went to the dealer.

Does anyone have any concerns about this particular year and model? The asking price is about $10,000 and the car has 102,000 miles on it. I need a reliable car to drive me across country and not having any mechanical skills and not having much of a repairs budget, I want to make sure that I get the best car possible.

Thanks!

#2 Gloyale

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:54 PM

Excactly the same car we just got for my mom.

H6 is not known for any Headgasket issues, and has a timing chain not a belt.....so that is not a worry either.

only issues with her car.

1. Wind noise. Air whistles in around the side view mirrors. Subaru is aware of this and offers a replacement mirror mount that is stiffer and seals better. Probably the case for any 2000-2004 subaru.

2. Whining from front diff area. No probs as of yet. Got better with good fluid change, so perhaps jiffylube just put some crap gear oil in there. But at any rate there is a slight noise and vibration going on/off throttle.


These are just issues with her car. Not a knock against the one you are looking at. Ont eh contrary, I'd say that it is probably one of the best choices of subarus for reliability.

#3 gaijinko

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:23 PM

Thanks, Gloyale. Good to know. The more I hear about this car, the more I think it's the one for me. I'm just a bit concerned about starting out with such high miles, but I'll keep looking for something lower.

#4 nipper

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 02:24 PM

Subarus just reach puberty at 100K, thats when you can name them :).

There is an H-6 that has reached the 160K mark with no issues. I see no reason why these can't run to 200K trouble free, maybe even longer. Wind noise is fixable.


nipper

#5 CNY_Dave

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:14 PM

120K on my H6 2003 beaner, change the oil at 5k and keep the trans fluid and coolant changed at the prescribed intervals, and I think it'll last a long time.

Serpentine belt pulley bearings should be changed if it hasn't been done.

Dave

#6 grossgary

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:15 PM

The 6 does not have head gasket issues that the 4 cylinder has, it's a completely different motor. That's one reason I went for the 6, fewer head gasket, piston slap, and lower end issues.

I bought mine with 130,000, have 145,000 now and expect 250,000 out of it.

Known issues:

The wind noise Gloyale speaks of due to the side view mirrors. You can "squeeze" them really tight and they're quiet for one drive. :rolleyes:

The idler pulley bearings are known to fail early, so folks are replacing them as preventative maintenance. I did mine due to the same advice and it was really easy. 15 minutes and I paid a couple dollars for new bearings. Very simple.

I'm very happy with mine and would do the same thing again, look for an H6. Price seems high but that's very relative and I don't buy from dealers or pay top dollar.

Gloyale - any more info for the side view mirrors? I hadn't heard of a fix or updated parts, that would be awesome.

#7 nipper

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:19 PM

http://www.subaruout...&threadid=11627


http://allwheeldrive...e-in-my-subaru/

nipper

#8 gaijinko

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:57 PM

Thanks for the comments. I'm really feeling good about this now and may make the purchase on Saturday. Someone else I know mentioned the price might be a bit high, but I wonder if I could talk the dealer down a bit. I'm too insecure in my car knowledge to purchase from a private seller.

Thanks also for letting me know about the wind noise issue since I will be driving across country and would probably start to get annoyed at that.

Best Regards.

#9 grossgary

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:53 AM

Actually I would recommend purchasing from a private seller, or at least look and see what's available. With a car this nice you'll find that any private seller is going to be very nice to work with...or 8 out of 10 at least. This isn't a beater getting shifted around, this is a nice car.

If you're buying from a dealer you're still buying from a private seller. Cars get traded in by a "private party", then sent to auction, bought dirt cheap by a dealer and resold with buttloads of profit slapped in. they make HUGE profits on used cars, far more than new.

that being said, private sellers are always better, just buy from someone honest. a dealer will NEVER know anything about a car - so really you're just paying a higher price for the guaranteed "feature" of not knowing a lick about the vehicle being purchased.

a private seller and have an independent mechanic check it out first and that's how you get the best deal, reliability, etc.

#10 CNY_Dave

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:54 AM

Actually I would recommend purchasing from a private seller, or at least look and see what's available. With a car this nice you'll find that any private seller is going to be very nice to work with...or 8 out of 10 at least. This isn't a beater getting shifted around, this is a nice car.

If you're buying from a dealer you're still buying from a private seller. Cars get traded in by a "private party", then sent to auction, bought dirt cheap by a dealer and resold with buttloads of profit slapped in. they make HUGE profits on used cars, far more than new.

that being said, private sellers are always better, just buy from someone honest. a dealer will NEVER know anything about a car - so really you're just paying a higher price for the guaranteed "feature" of not knowing a lick about the vehicle being purchased.

a private seller and have an independent mechanic check it out first and that's how you get the best deal, reliability, etc.


One of the reasons (well, almost the only reason) I bought mine from a dealer is that the car was sold at that dealer, serviced at that dealer, and the maintenance printout was fairly long and detailed.

If you aren't getting that, yeah, a delaer has little to offer.
I also didn't pay much or any more than the private seller price for mine, I think- subarus have a pretty high resale price up here where the AWD actually gets a fair bit of use. Private sale prices are close to the dealer price.


Dave

#11 grossgary

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:39 AM

One of the reasons (well, almost the only reason) I bought mine from a dealer is that the car was sold at that dealer, serviced at that dealer, and the maintenance printout was fairly long and detailed.


I found the dealer mine was serviced at as well, one owner vehicle, and got all the prior maintenance notes. On a car this new and nice it's not hard to find a one owner and ask them where it was serviced (often a dealer).

Subaru's are in high demand here as well. There's a Subaru dealer, Subaru only junk yard, multiple Subaru only car lots, and at least two independent Subaru shops - in a town of only 30,000 people.

Each locale is probably different. Around here they are easy to command high prices for - but there's also enough turn around, high volume, that it's not hard to find a decent price on one. I've gotten more great deals here than previous places I've lived that have fewer Subaru's. I think weather is a huge factor. From a selling point I can sell a Subaru in no time in the winter, notable slow down otherwise.

Edited by grossgary, 04 February 2010 - 09:43 AM.


#12 gaijinko

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:28 AM

@grossgary, you've given me some confidence to look into private sellers around here. My past 3 cars have been used cars and the worst of the bunch was from a dealer. I suppose that should tell me something :) However, the other two were from people I knew and trusted so I knew what I was getting.

I will do some more research on this. My mechanic is also on the lookout for me.

@cnydave, if you found that you liked your dealership, would you mind telling me which one you bought your car from? I'm in Westchester as well.

Thanks

#13 CNY_Dave

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:53 PM

@grossgary, you've given me some confidence to look into private sellers around here. My past 3 cars have been used cars and the worst of the bunch was from a dealer. I suppose that should tell me something :) However, the other two were from people I knew and trusted so I knew what I was getting.

I will do some more research on this. My mechanic is also on the lookout for me.

@cnydave, if you found that you liked your dealership, would you mind telling me which one you bought your car from? I'm in Westchester as well.

Thanks


Sure, but I'm way up here near syracuse, land of the frozen north.

Just in case anyone would like to know, I bought mine at Rapp in syracuse, and another that is supposed to be good in the area is Romano.


Dave

#14 grossgary

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 04:16 PM

@grossgary, you've given me some confidence to look into private sellers around here.

it's not hard to read people, so walk if you have any suspicions...just like when a real shady car salesmen is talking BS. it's usually not hard to tell from an email or phone call even. take someone along that's good with people and intuitive if you're not comfortable.

another example: someone has a car they don't like or has issues. multiple choice question, will they:

A. Have buyers come to their home/work and have a transaction there.
B. Trade it in.

I'm sure you don't need to be in the auto biz to have heard people talk about trading something in as a "solution" to their vehicle problems.

Good luck, hope you find something, Subarus are moving fast around here with the winter weather.

#15 lmdew

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 06:11 PM

I almost bought a nice 2003 Outback off Ebay for $5300. Not a steal, but a one owner according to the Carfax. It was in NJ and now in FL.

I flew to FL to pick it up and didn't drive it 10 feet when I felt the drive line vibrate when I took off in 1st.

U-joints I suspect, but with a 2000 mile drive ahead of me I said no thanks and walked away.

I had it up on a rack and saw the East Coast rust and knew I'd never like working on the car.

Cost, 1 day off and a hotel room.

Repeat stay in CO, Stay in CO. Larry




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