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Guest Message by DevFuse

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99 Subaru Outback problems after 100,000 miles

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Patrick72


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Posted 12 February 2005 - 02:38 PM

Hello everyone,

I am thinking about buying a 99 Outback it's got 104,000 miles on it,
and they want 10K for it. What are some repairs that are common after 100K on 99 Outbacks? What are some signs to look out for? I've read mostly good things about Outbacks. What's the lifespan of the car, how many miles should I expect to get out of this car? and Gas milage, anyone know how it is?
I've thrown a lot your way, any help would be great. thanks,
Patrick Snider
Sedona, AZ

#2 Commuter


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Posted 12 February 2005 - 03:55 PM

Well, I have a 97 now with 430,000 km on it. Second engine though. First the head gaskets went, then a conrod bearing failed.

If you search on my name and Outback I think you'd find where I've posted before about the common ills of this generation.

Headgaskets (lots of info here on that).
Piston slap (annoying, but nothing to be done)
Engines tend to carbon up. Will cause low rpm hesitation. Not difficult to keep in check if you know about it.
Wheel bearings once in a while. (I've had 2 rears fail, same wheel.)
Climate control lights (simple fix)
Clutch pack (for AWD) tends to go around 120 to 140k miles. Expensive. But that was more of an issue with 96 and 97. I think they "fixed" it in 98.
Front end clunk sound (annoying, but not much else)
Gas milage... around 24/25 mpg... some get a bit better, but that's what I average with mostly highway miles. The cars are heavy and not quick. Acceleration is at the bottom of the pack.
You are due for timing belt and related work. A fairly expensive service.
Rust on the rear hatch latch plate (simple inexpensive fix)
You are reaching the age where the O2 sensor is into the end of its life.
Battery will be nearing end of life if still original.
I had a pressure sensor go that didn't do much to the drivability, but sure cost a lot.
And some other stuff I'm not thinking of right now I'm sure.

Unless it is the Limited model, you sacrifice a few creature comforts. Eg... only a single speed intermittent wiper. The rear defroster does not time out and turn off. Some things like that. These things mean next to nothing to some people, and annoy the he!! out of others. *shrug*

Overall, my car has been quite good. Rides nice enough, good low end torque, lots of utility. I can't comment at all about price.


#3 BulletRide


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Posted 12 February 2005 - 04:02 PM

if you change all regular things that go every so often right away, and do regular maintenance you should expect 400 000+ miles no problem

#4 shimonmor


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Posted 12 February 2005 - 06:08 PM

We bought our 99 OBW new and I've done pretty much all the maintenance on it. Replaced the timing belt and front main and camshaft seals at about 60k miles because the seals were leaking. Changed out an EGR due to a code. Changed the front and rear O2 sensors at 100k miles (no codes but thought it was time...and it improved the idle a lot). Plugs were changed at 60k and I just bought a new set of plugs and wires to put in this weekend. I'm still waiting for the headgasket to blow so I've been monitoring the coolant. It's been a fairly reliable car (assuming the HGs hold) and has served us well. Never been stranded.

#5 BulletRide


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Posted 12 February 2005 - 07:33 PM

subies always get cam seal leaks after they rack up the mileage

#6 Martinjmpr


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Posted 14 February 2005 - 01:37 AM

Personally, I'd have a hard time paying 10K for something with a Hundred Grand on the odometer, unless it was really, really cherry. My 99 just went over 8k and I don't consider it to be worth that much. I don't know what the Subaru situation is there in Arizona, but if you're willing to travel you could probably find one that is newer and/or has lower miles than the one you mentioned.

Colorado is lousy with Subarus, so if you don't find what you're looking for in AZ, try anywhere in CO.

In my (very biased!) opinion, the '97-'99 was the best looking OBW made, although the new '05-up models are handsome, too. The styling of the '00-'04 models leaves me cold, mostly because of the excessive lower body cladding. OTOH, there is a big advantage in getting the '00-up model, and that is that all of the Outbacks (to my knowledge) had a limited slip rear differential, which was not available at all on the 97-99 models. I beleive the '00-up models are also less likely to have head gasket problems.

So far my '99 has been stone-ax reliable. The only problems I've had have been very minor and the car has always done what I've asked it to. Mileage is 22-25 in the city and I've gotten as high as 31 on the highway. Still, if I had to do it again, knowing what I know now I might have gotten an '00-up model.

#7 dresch


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Posted 14 February 2005 - 08:57 AM

I don't know that I would pay 10K for a '99 with over 100,000 miles on it. I bought an '02 in October with 29,000 miles on it for under 16k at a Subaru dealership in NY.

Shop around. You may find a better price out there.

#8 Scottbaru


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Posted 14 February 2005 - 12:28 PM

Last night an '01 with 80k went for $8000 on eBay. That's where I got my legacy, thousands below what I was willing to pay. Subarus don't seem to do well on eBay, except the higher value ones. I watched several incredible deals go before deciding to bid on mine.

#9 mtsmiths


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Posted 14 February 2005 - 01:05 PM

I think that's way too much money also. That said.

I paid 10K for our '00 with 99,850 mi on it, but that was in November 2001.

Keep looking.

#10 ejlain


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Posted 15 February 2005 - 03:20 PM

Yeah..i have to throw my hat in with the "a lot of money for a lot of miles" crowd. I would keep shopping. Here in PA, I got a 1998 Legacy L (automatic) with 97k last year for $5,000.

I would check Ebay, your local papers, etc. or just call your local used car dealers and tell them you're looking for a 99-00 Outback with less than 100k miles.


#11 The Dude

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 04:49 PM

One thing worth mentioning, body rot. I know northern Arizona gets a lot of snow. If this car has seen a lot of road salt, give the body a good inspection.

#12 Patrick72


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Posted 19 February 2005 - 03:28 PM

Thanks to everyone for their input, I opted not to go for this outback, too many miles, too much money for what I was getting. My car has about another 25 K before it dies, so i've got a little time to find what I'm looking for. I can't wait to own a Suby........thanks again,

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