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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Brand used new owner

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#1 chipper


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:45 AM

Hi all,
I'm a proud owner of a brand used '99 outback legacy. Big miles, but nice car.
Runs good, looks okay,and oddly, everything works!.

I've talked a lot of friends and family into subarus over the last few years. I've
personally sold one 2003 forester and one 2004, and sold my sister a 2000 legacy.
Wish i'd get some commission ;-)

However, for me, I've been driving junk my whole life and never really thought
I needed a "good" car. The only new car I ever bought was a 89 VW gti 16v. I
loved the car but hated the whole "new car" experience.

As I am commuting over 2 hours a day though some of the worst traffic around
(near DC) and have helped pry many folks out of wrecks over the years, I decided
I really wanted abs/airbags and awd in my life. I wasn't looked, but I found my outback
so I bought it.


can you good folks tell me, the quickest way to determine which engine I have?

Can you good folks tell me if there is a tell-tale way to determine if my timing belt
is getting ready to dump me on the side of the road with a terrible bill waiting at the
end of that horror,

what else suddenly, traumatically fails at 120+ thousand miles?

Prior owner was an engineer who was very friendly, and downright opaque about
comming up with info other than "the shop across the street did all the work and
took real good care of it, and I changed the oil early and often cause that's how you
make them last."

Car seems real nice, leave no nasty stains when parked, looks like it is as old as it
is, but happy about it. Runs good, doens't even stink.

Thanks much in advance.


#2 hawksoob


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 12:49 PM

There are many far more knowledgeable folks on here than I, but from experience and what I've read on this board and others like it, plus reading Haynes and Chilton manuals, etc., I can try to help a bit.

You can find the engine type on a sticker on the underside of the hood, to your left as you face the engine. Also, you can go to carfax.com and enter your VIN. It won't give you a full detailed carfax report unless you pay 20 bucks, but I'm fairly certain it will, at a minimum, give you (besides simply the NUMBER of records carfax has on file) the year of manufacture, the type of engine, and the country of manufacture.

Also, www.cars101.com has lots of info re: Subarus ... specs, model year details. Changes from one MY to the next, etc.

If you do have 2.5 and are not sure about the timing belt, would be cheap insurance just to go ahead and get it changed. Being an interference engine, a broken TB would be devastating to the motor.

Might also want to take it to a dealer and see about the new radiator goo they're providing to help prevent head gasket failure.

Since oil pump seal and cam seal leaks seem to be fairly common on these vehicles, go ahead and have them changed when you do the timing belt. Everything's all right there, anyway, so it shouldn't be too much more in labor. Many also recommend a new water pump at this point...again, you're already there. Broken WP = broken TB = FUBAR.

Of course, since you're asking how to determine which engine it is, you must already know the caveats, anyway. If so, sorry to bore you. ;)

When I bought my 96 a few years back, I went ahead and did the timing belt, the seals and also the radiator hoses, not knowing what was and was not done by the PO.

I'm sure you'll get many more bits of advice from the more knowing ones on this board.

Good luck!


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