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what is wrong with these cars?


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#1 citabrickr

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 09:53 PM

In 20 years of owning vehicles I have never had a single car like this one. My 96 Legacy Outback is either trying to win some award for most time spent at a shop or a game called locate the world's worst customer service reps. Since buying this car used from a dealer in mid-February it has been back for a knock sensor and major oil leaks (the day after the purchase, check engine light came on 30 miles after leaving the dealer), timing belt, water pump, tensioner, oil pump seals, camshaft seals, valve cover gaskets, plugs, idle air control, ECM, water leaks, brakes (twice to stop the rattling), rear gate handle stopped working, starter, windshield washer pump, catalytic converter, rattling heat shields, inop glove box light, burned out climate control lights...what is with these things? :banghead: If the car would be even slightly reliable I would probably love it, but this is a real lesson in tough love. I have easily spent over $3000 in maintenance in the last 6 months. Every time I try to convince myself that there can't possibly be anything else that can break the car ALWAYS proves me wrong. :madder: I worked for GM for almost 10 years and never saw a car we had like this, even the damn Chevette. It almost seems like there is no single bad point but it actually seems to have problems in ALL areas. Reading the board does me even less good because now all I see are the things I still have to look forward to going wrong like head gaskets. The dealers? So far, the worst I have ever encountered. Nothing is their fault, they cleared the code so that was what was wrong with it, till it gets towed back in the next day and they don't stand behind their work, "well we fixed what was wrong with it yesterday, this is a different problem even though it's the exact same symptoms and it has the same code..." I'd like to get a newer one but it doesn't seem like they really have fixed any of the problems. How can a company continue to crank out cars that all have the same inherent problems and never feel the wrath of the customer, is it just good advertizing that keeps selling them, cause it can't be customer satisfaction. :moon: Subaru...wake up.

#2 Sydfloyd44

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Posted 24 September 2003 - 11:53 PM

Sounds to me like the previous owner beat the crap out of it all while probably never servicing it.
I have owned 5 Subes including the 95 Legacy I own now and all of your problems added up are more problems than I have ever had in all 5 of mine combined over the last 15 years.
Subes can take a lot, but they ARE NOT Hummers in the off road, Corvettes on the high speeds, nor Lexus' for their impeccable design. But, try to cross any one of them and you can trash it which is what it sounds like happened to your Sube.
I am obviously just guessing here and I can sympathize with you, but overall, wouldn't give up my Subes for ANYTHING!!!
As far as the dealer, you would be hard pressed to find ANY dealer that is going to stand behind a *used* car for all of those problems. It is just easier and less expensive to lose you as a customer.

#3 ShawnW

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 12:02 AM

You didnt really tell us anything about what condition you purchased the car in. How many miles and how many different owners did it have? Did you have it inspected prior to purchasing it?

Did you get it cheap? Id assume so since you have had a lot of experience with GM stuff, usually people stick with what the know a lot about.

Has it left you stranded yet?

#4 Snowman

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 02:04 AM

I second...er...third the motion about the car having a TOUGH life before you owned it. Subarus can take a serious beating and not even blink as long as they are taken care of. Collectively, my parents and I have owned subarus almost exclusively for over 20 years, and with the exception of some poorly done repairs on my mom's 87 that needed to be fixed again (wasn't originally repaired by a dealer), they have been the most reliable cars I have ever seen. My parents currently have a 97 outback, and the only thing that has gone wrong since they bought in used a few years ago was the alternator needing replacement. That's impressive because my dad spends WAY more time washing and waxing the car than maintaining it.

#5 calebz

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 08:29 AM

Finally.. someone with a soob that has crapped out more times than mine!!:D

Doesn't happen often though.. I agree that s it sounds like someone beat the crap out of it with out regular maintenance .

#6 Dr.Outback

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 09:25 AM

That's a risk you always have to take when you buy used. You might get a car know one cared about. I wouldn't blame Subaru engineering.

#7 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 11:23 AM

Think of it in terms of monthly car payments you'd be paying on a new car - running or not. 3k is like - what - 8 payments or so?

Plus, things like timing belts and the stuff associated with it are mainatinence items (unless the belt broke prematurely) so that may not count.

call it bad luck.


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#8 duane b

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 11:57 AM

Originally posted by Dr.Outback
That's a risk you always have to take when you buy used. You might get a car know one cared about. I wouldn't blame Subaru engineering.


Engineering, no but Subaru Service, YES! I was not impressed the last time I brought my 96 legacy in to the dealership service dept. And from reading this board a lot of other people aren't that impressed with Sub Dealer Service either. The funny thing about Dealership Service departments (All Of Them!) Is they act like they don't know how to fix their own cars and trucks. They only have to work on Subarus or Fords or whatever. But come to find out that a problem exists far and wide in a particular model, the service reps play stupid about it, even though they've seen it time and time again.

Imagine what life was like before internet discussion boards. No advice, no previous experience, and no help to share.

ps. IU would like to talk to the Sub engineers about those crappy seals that leak like clockwork. This has been a problem since day one for Subs. I've owned three GL models and this is my first Legacy, they all leak! All my friends Subs leak, also. At least they engineered the seals easy to replace:burnout:

#9 MorganM

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 12:12 PM

Sounds like you need to stop going to that dealership. Working for GM you know that Subaru "officials" do not have to do maitanace on your Subaru vehicle. I think you have got suckered enough there and its time to take your business elsewhere. Sounds to me like they do crappy work and are just ringing up the bills on you. The poor workmanship they are performing could be contributing to other problems you are experiencing.

There is a lemon in every bunch. I happen to have a 1988 GL (Grand Lemon?) that has had about everything gone wrong you listed PLUS a blown cyl. head. I stick with it becuase I love the car. If you dont LOVE the car, save yourself further headache and get rid of it while its still worth something. :)

#10 MilesFox

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 12:30 PM

it looks like the dealer is just trying to catch up on the lack of service the last owner neglected.

if all is fixed now, then the car will last forever.

the dealer is doing things in the right order. if you got to tear the front apart for the timing bely, might as well do the water pup, oil seals and such, since you got to tear it down the same if you did it later.

get to know you soobs now, you will like them, and then you will look differently at GM.

take my word on it!

#11 citabrickr

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 09:40 PM

Originally posted by ShawnW
You didnt really tell us anything about what condition you purchased the car in. How many miles and how many different owners did it have? Did you have it inspected prior to purchasing it?

Did you get it cheap? Id assume so since you have had a lot of experience with GM stuff, usually people stick with what the know a lot about.

Has it left you stranded yet?



I got the car from a Subaru dealer with 83,000 miles on it, no idea how many prior owners there were, but the car appeared to be in pretty good shape by a standard inspection and test drive, sans the brakes which obviously needed some attention.

I wouldn't say I got it "cheap" but I did get the price down below what they would consider offering the warranty for...STUPID ME :brolleye:

Yes, it has left me stranded three times.

#12 Setright

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 06:30 AM

My sympathies. When I bought my present Legacy, it stood out as fairly well maintained and reliable - I think it wanted me to buy it :D

HOWEVER, I had a number of things show up - Headgaskets, gearbox bearings - shortly after the purchase, within months.

I bit the bullet, because the bodywork was sound and spent the car's price again on repairs. We have now done nearly 60K miles in just over two years and things have run smoothly.

Oh, and it never left me stranded....stopped due to overheating, but always got under way again soon.

#13 kevinsUBARU

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 06:45 AM

I agree on the lack of prior service and stuff on it. The owner(s) neglected it, and you now have the problems. I had a similiar situation with my car because of the previous owner, but most of the gremlins are worked out now :-)


For example, Its just like people who buy a WRX, import a JDM engine, make countless mods, then decide they want to sell the car. They take their engine out, but the OEM back in, as well as OEM everything else. Would you as a buyer know that the car had the snot beat out of it? Nope:o

#14 incognito

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 10:37 AM

citybrikr --

I never had much problems in older subarus too... The minute i purchased my '00 Impreza 2.5 RS i had about the same problems... just a bunch of problems that i didnt know where there... i poured thousands into it as well.

Well, my car died today... I hit a moose and rolled a couple times @ relatively high speed.

The car was a backfiring, loud, breaking peice of crap for the ENTIRE time I owned it.... I NEVER figured out my "mystery backfire" that had me soo mad.

But now that its gone i miss it (and its only been 3 hours :boohoo: ) ...

Dont take it too personally, but those problems are what make your car YOUR car. I'm sure if you wrecked it, you'd be bummed.

#15 1ABAJA

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 01:00 PM

What happened to the moose?:eek:
Josh

#16 CROSSTBOLT

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Posted 27 September 2003 - 06:49 AM

This is not only a message board but is GREAT entertainment!! What happened to the moose! GASP!! Nyuk, nyuk!

:D

#17 Setright

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 12:50 AM

Battle Wagon, let me get this straight: You hit a moose, rolled the car, and three hours later are sat in front of the computer telling us about it? Speaks highly for the passive safety of you Impreza!

Good job you're okay :D

#18 Randomize

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 08:47 AM

The 1996 Legacy with a 2.5 is a car to be avoided, in my experience. It eats gas and is a mechanic's pension plan.

I loved it when it was behaving, but . . .

Since this is my first, and probably last Subbie, I can't speak about the make's reliability in general.

One thing I will say though, is that it has a loyal(e) following.

This is for one of two reasons, I suppose:

1. They are great and realiable cars or,

2. They are a pain in the rump roast and owners have to rationalize their investment of time, money and agro (cognitive dissonance theory see: http://tip.psycholog...g/festinge.html

#19 NV Zeno

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 09:04 AM

Back to the original post: it's possible that a Carfax search may have revealed something, like recalls on that model, excessive trips for major service at the dealer, possibly a salvage title.

After I totaled my beloved '98 Taurus SE (1 year old at the time of the wreck), I decided to get something used. After deciding on a general model, the Carfax report revealed major reasons to not purchase about 80 to 90 percent of the cars that I did searches on. After finding a "clean one" 50 miles from home, there are still repairs that come up now and again. That's just the nature of any used car, to be expected. Your problems are componded by a crappy dealer.

Try an independent shop that handles a lot of Subarus (sorry, I forgot your location, and don't know how popular Subes are there), usually those guys are a lot more straightforward.

#20 crazyeric

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 02:29 PM

so did the moose walk away? hes probably got a few hundred pounds or so on your wrx

#21 Hondasucks

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Posted 28 September 2003 - 03:20 PM

Yeah, dude, you got one of teh rare lemons that come about. I bet the previous owner never changed the oil or did any other maintenance on it. I've had 10 Soobs... I think hold on lemme count...
87 hatch, 260k engine still runs
77 wagon
86 wagon (parts, 187k with blown h/g, but still ran)
84 4WD wagon 343K when engine blew due to my own stupidity
82 2WD auto sedan (Still have, converted to 4WD manual) 178k when I swapped the motor to the one out of my hatchback because teh previous owner didnt' take care of it and it made noise and leaked oil everywhere
83 GL-10 117k when I bought it, still running around town (get's teh poop run out of it cuz the guy I sold it to treats everything like it's a race car)
91 Legacy LS, almost 200K when I traded it for my 87 Turbowagon, ran like a top too.
87 GL Turbo wagon, 165k on the car, ??? on the motor (Not original) Runs like a champ.

so how many is that....*counts* Eight.. Ok so I was off :-P But out of eight soobs, only one of them would I consider even a remote Lemon, that was my 84 wagon, but it had almost 350,000 miles on it, I rescued it from a junkyard and replaced the blown head gasket and water pump, and I had to half-rump roast the front end back together cuz some parts had been taken off @ the JY, cuz I needed a car, so it main;ly had front end problems, but other than that it was a good car. Orignal motor died due to lack of water when I blew a hose and didn't know it because the stupid temp gauge didnt' work :-( So if I were you, if it doesn't give you any more trouble, keep it, if it does, fix it and sell it and get another one. But make sure you get one wiht a known history, or with a warranty.

#22 MilesFox

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Posted 29 September 2003 - 09:35 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by citabrickr


I wouldn't say I got it "cheap" but I did get the price down below what they would consider offering the warranty for...STUPID ME :brolleye:

Yes, it has left me stranded three times.
[/QUOTE]

did it actually quit running or did the ECS light come on again?:rolleyes:

[QUOTE]CROSSTBOLT This is not only a message board but is GREAT entertainment!! What happened to the moose! GASP!! Nyuk, nyuk!
[B]

yeah, soap operas about road trips bettar than Road Rules!
you should have been there.............

:banghead:

#23 Meeky Moose

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Posted 29 September 2003 - 03:12 PM

Originally posted by citabrickr
I worked for GM for almost 10 years and never saw a car we had like this, even the damn Chevette.



heh you coulda had my GMC Safari van. bought it, before the first oil change it threw a rod, warranty covered new engine. check engine came on every 500 miles for no apparent reason.. 1k miles later rearend went out, warranty covered that. antilock brakes would lock on dry pavement just pullin up to a light. doors would lock and unlock several times all by themselves at random. drivers door wouldn't lock at all. wiper motors went out front and back. new engine burned 1/2 quart of oil between changes. u joints went out at same time engine did. egr valve was bad on the new engine they put in. fuel pump went out, they had to drop the tank to fix that one. headlight was gettin moisture in it..

heres the good one, #6 fuel injector popped out all by itself. they had to tear the hole top half of the motor off to fix it. couldn't tell me why it just popped out.. they said there was nothing wrong with it either, didn't have to replace anything..

shall i go on??

in the 9 months i owned it between me and the warranty company we spent over 9k on it fixing the f'in thing (still have all the reciepts as a reminder not to buy a Gm product) and it was still in the shop every 2 weeks for a $100-$400 fix... all that was on top of the $282 mo payment and $140 mo. insurance.. then the gas bill for a 15 mpg POS.

even tho my wife totaled it and it was her fault, i thanked her for it... insurance paid for it.. and i'm not the least bit sorry its gone..

we've realized how much our Soob is worth to us.. paid $500 for it, drove it 14K miles since feb this year, i put gas in it, change the oil (uses 1/2 - 1 qt between) and drive it like i stole it and still get 30+ MPG. i finally had to replace a cv axle, gotta do the exhaust next, but what can ya expect for havin 288k miles original.. i'd deffinitely buy any $500 soob over another GM product... just my opinion...

sorry to hear your soob is lettin ya down.. can't be any worse than that van we had tho... hope ya get it fixed.. i'll trade ya my turbo wagon straight across in as-is condition... i'd like the new seats, mine are a bit worn from the :moon: they've hauled around for 288k...

#24 DoughtCom

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Posted 29 September 2003 - 10:34 PM

yeah... being a 97 legacy owner that's put in about... oh 9,000 dollars in repairs while it sits in my garage broken AGAIN (this is within 2 1/2 years). I can really feel for this guy.

As far as the older Subarus, I believe they're much more reliable then the 95-99. I speak with experience of 3 people I know with, 98 Impreza RS 2.5, 99 Impreza RS 2.5, and 95 Legacy L. All three of these people have had pretty major problems with their cars. Personally I'm pissed at subaru about their EJ25 DOHC head gasget problem, and if I had known it was an EJ22 bored out to 2.5 Liters I would have saw it coming. I'm just mad that they didn't recall it, at least that I know of.

For instance my last problem on my car was my tranny... the freakin' gear axel inside the housing broke in half due to the fact that gears weren't set right (according to my very reliable mechanic) and my personal trouble shooting up until that point. You could put it in drive and then reverse and feel it catch after a second, like there was movement then it catching on something. Basically the gears weren't close enough together so they would move then hit against each other.... if that makes any sense. That cost me 1800 dollars just last February. I've had the head gasket blow (the previouse year), and have changed 5 wheel bearings replaced (yes one wheel twice). Not to mention the lower control arm which was sort of my fault (I hit a curb side ways doing about 5-10 MPH). I say sort of because honestly I dont think it should have sent my wheel up into my fender at that speed. I've also had multiple sensors go out. What I'm getting to is being a 97 Legacy owner I'm almost ready to set it on fire in my parking lot.

But on another note I couldn't be happier with my 150 dollar purchase of the GL-10. Not that I'm saying 150 dollars is all I would spend on a Subaru, I'm thinking about buying a WRX (since Subaru seems to have their act together). But not without the 100,000 mile warranty :). It just sounds like those years Subaru had some weird problems. That just my person experience.

#25 SubaruImpreza_Power

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Posted 30 September 2003 - 09:41 PM

Originally posted by DoughtCom
yeah... being a 97 legacy owner that's put in about... oh 9,000 dollars in repairs while it sits in my garage broken AGAIN (this is within 2 1/2 years). I can really feel for this guy.

As far as the older Subarus, I believe they're much more reliable then the 95-99. I speak with experience of 3 people I know with, 98 Impreza RS 2.5, 99 Impreza RS 2.5, and 95 Legacy L. All three of these people have had pretty major problems with their cars. Personally I'm pissed at subaru about their EJ25 DOHC head gasget problem, and if I had known it was an EJ22 bored out to 2.5 Liters I would have saw it coming. I'm just mad that they didn't recall it, at least that I know of.

For instance my last problem on my car was my tranny... the freakin' gear axel inside the housing broke in half due to the fact that gears weren't set right (according to my very reliable mechanic) and my personal trouble shooting up until that point. You could put it in drive and then reverse and feel it catch after a second, like there was movement then it catching on something. Basically the gears weren't close enough together so they would move then hit against each other.... if that makes any sense. That cost me 1800 dollars just last February. I've had the head gasket blow (the previouse year), and have changed 5 wheel bearings replaced (yes one wheel twice). Not to mention the lower control arm which was sort of my fault (I hit a curb side ways doing about 5-10 MPH). I say sort of because honestly I dont think it should have sent my wheel up into my fender at that speed. I've also had multiple sensors go out. What I'm getting to is being a 97 Legacy owner I'm almost ready to set it on fire in my parking lot.

But on another note I couldn't be happier with my 150 dollar purchase of the GL-10. Not that I'm saying 150 dollars is all I would spend on a Subaru, I'm thinking about buying a WRX (since Subaru seems to have their act together). But not without the 100,000 mile warranty :). It just sounds like those years Subaru had some weird problems. That just my person experience.



yes they should of recalled the 98 2.5 DOHC cars because it was a "problem on all engines"




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