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Average life of Subarus


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48 replies to this topic

#1 outbacklover97

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:06 PM

Hey Guys;

What is the average mileage expectancy of a Subaru?

#2 Hotshot

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:49 PM

With proper maintenance and a few repairs, you average Subie can be expected to go well north of the 200k mark. I know there are some people out there that have even tripled that.

edit- we will let you know when we find out.

#3 ericem

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 09:06 PM

Well it can last forever if you think about it like any car as long as you watch for rust. But id estimated 900,000miles then you need to do a engine and tranny well the 4th tranny :D

#4 Gloyale

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 09:16 PM

I've got a 93 legacy with 290,000 miles. Original engine and trans. Never needed anything but t-belts, oil changes, ball-joints, brakes and axles. It could use some new shocks, but other than that it runs like a brand new car.

#5 7thSubaru

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 09:18 PM

I did 230K with a 93 5spd. before a cracked windshield, hood rust perforation, and an exhaust leak at the very front (original exhaust, repair estimated at $1K+) made me donate it to charity and take a $2.2K tax deduction. AC still worked perfectly and had original clutch. Engine was strong, the rest was tired. Replaced the 93 with a 2001 which now has 147K on it. Will be rather disappointed if it does not easily surpass 230K. I average ~25K a year, mostly highway. Many comment that Subaru's are just broken in at 100K. My story pales in comparison to other Subie owners I've read about - 500K and more!

#6 otis

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 12:26 AM

this is by no means scientific, but just for kicks, I went on a cars.com and searched for all subarus from 1990-1995 with over 200k miles and came up with 17. meanwhile honda had just over 100. I don't have any numbers of how many cars each company sold during that period, but I bet honda sold at least 6x the cars subaru did.

now a few things to keep in mind:
a. past performance is not any indication of future performance.
b. these are 2 very different population sizes, so a comaprison isn't really fair.
c. cars for sale is not the be-all-end-all indication of reliablity.

but all that said, I think I can anecdotaly say subarus can hold up with some of the other "reliable" brands.

PS. only 1 audi showed up under the same criteria.

#7 nipper

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 10:56 AM

People tend to keep thier subarus, so you wont see many for sale. Going by sale numbers are faulted.

Subarus overall tend to hold together really well. Even if something as pesty as throwing a rod happens, usually everything else attached to that is still as good as new.

Blu threw a rods at 191,000 miles due to the previous owners beleif in once a year oil changes (it was not synthetic oil either).

If well Maintained Subarus do not have an upper end on their mileage.

What does seem to go out eventually is the AWD clutchpack (over 200,000 miles from old age) in the automatics. Manuals seem to get a grumpy synchronizer or two.

There is no systematic pattern in 90's on subarus as to failure. They have some HG issues (but all mfgs do from the same time period). Wear items go, but no where near as often as the competitors items do.

Blu has 211,000 miles on him, and my only nit is the drivers seat back heater doesnt work.

nipper

#8 The Dude

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 10:15 PM

[quote name='nipper']People tend to keep thier subarus, so you wont see many for sale. Going by sale numbers are faulted.

The sales manager for the local Subaru dealer has sold many different manufacturer's cars in his career. He says that an extraordinary number of Subaru owners hand them down to family members. It's been a good, reliable car, right? Why not pass it on to a deserving relative? Another reason few Subarus come up for resale.

#9 otis

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 10:53 PM

no, I think you missed my point about the for sale ads (although I suppose this proves data can be interpreted based on the observer).

My point was that if a car can't even last 200k miles, it will head to the scrap yard. meanwhile cars that continually last will be passed along- maybe even sold on sites like cars.com. I was only trying to show cars with HIGH odometer readings do exist. In contrast, there are virtually no audi's out there that can last >200k miles in comparison.

I came to my (apparently) not so scientific study because I saw a ford festiva on the road and was surprised it even ran. also I remember seeing quite a few of those cars around during the early 90's, but until I saw that one, I didn't think they existed anymore. My (questionable) conclusion was that those cars were junk and by some miracle, one car did not make it to the scrap yard.

So, I should have been more clear, but my earlier post was to show that Subarus DO HAVE high mileage expectancy.

#10 Andyjo

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 11:01 PM

my 97 OBS has 186k on it.. and the engine is still running perfectly... then tranny on the other hand... that was my fault, not the subaru's :dead:

#11 schlit

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 10:59 AM

Hey Guys;

What is the average mileage expectancy of a Subaru?


Depends on how much money you're willing to spend and if you have one of the lemon years. If you can do a lot of the work yourself for cheap, then they'll last as long as any Toyota or Honda. I'm probably going to get flamed for this but if you rely on the dealer and you have one of the many lemons, I just cant see it being cost effective to own a 100,000k+ Subaru. Especially if you're worried about the head gasket and AWD problems a lot of these cars have....and thats in addition to the normal major maintenence items. Having worked on both I do think Subarus are more difficult and expensive to work on than any Honda. To start off, you cant even find a decent printed service manual for under $100 unless you get an illegal digital version.

#12 gbrand

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 09:09 PM

276K on the 91 Leg sitting in my drivway-sitting until tommorrow morning as is my wifes daily driver. As fas as I know orig engine and trans,ofcourse we have sone maintainance on since 1997 and 110k when we bought it, but overall a well built and reliable car. Plan on seeing it turn over 300K

#13 nipper

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 09:53 PM

Blu got a new heart at 191,000 miles so im stuck with him for at least another 200,000 miles now :)


nipper

#14 Gnuman

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 12:12 PM

Emily, my 92 legacy wagon (5MT) has 223,000+ miles on the clock. Just got a new exaust header from 1stsubaruparts.com for under $400. While it was up on jackstands, I investigated the knocking I had been hearing in the front end whenever I went over bumps. . . and ordered just under $300 more in parts to rebuild the front end (some of this was mainly to make the whole front end like new). The front end is all my fault, as the last 100K miles have been mine, and let's just say. . . I'm not gentle with her.

Pegasus, the 90 Legacy wagon (4EAT) I got for the ex-wife is also sitting just under 220,000 miles. Has a stalling problem at idle with no codes. I shot some carb cleaner at the IAC to see if that helps. Some of the front end parts I bought for Emily, are actually for Pegasus.

I do a lot of repair on Subarus, and I see a lot of them that are well over 200K miles, and still going strong. So in answer to your question about the average life span of a Subaru, I can only say "long".

Oh, and as for "the many lemon years", in the mid 90's most, if not all, the Asian auto manufacturers went to an open deck design on thier engines. This has resulted in a lot of trouble with headgaskets across the board. The problem is corrected in the early models with a redesigned headgasket. Not sure of what the final solution for the later models is, but the new ones have apearantly corrected the problem entirely.

#15 nipper

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 01:36 PM

Actually the lemon years are not just Asian mfgs. Gm, Ford Chrysler have the problem even worse, with Chrysler heading north of 80% on the neons.

I think it was just a matter of asking the technology available at the time doing to much (professional opinion). Its easy to say in 2 years we will tighten up the emissions, but it still takes twice as long to get real world testing in, and thats why sometimes sub par product gets pushed through.

My comfort level for buying a used car was max 100,000 miles. When i buy a subaru, my max comfort level is 180,000.

nipper

#16 schlit

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 02:56 PM

Actually the lemon years are not just Asian mfgs. Gm, Ford Chrysler have the problem even worse, with Chrysler heading north of 80% on the neons.

I think it was just a matter of asking the technology available at the time doing to much (professional opinion). Its easy to say in 2 years we will tighten up the emissions, but it still takes twice as long to get real world testing in, and thats why sometimes sub par product gets pushed through.

My comfort level for buying a used car was max 100,000 miles. When i buy a subaru, my max comfort level is 180,000.

nipper

I dont think you can even compare domestic manufactuers to foreign when it comes to longevity. The sales trends in the past few years speak for iteself. My buddy with a Chevy will argue he only has to pay 1/4 of the price for parts, though he has to replace things 4 times as often.

I dont agree that either Honda or Toyota have the extensive headgasket problems Subarus have. 1990's or not. My family has owned 3 hondas in the 90's and are familiar with the common problems. None of them as serious as what Sub owners have to deal with. Just look at Honda message boards. A blown HG on a Honda is almost unheard of unless you turn the boost up too high on your turbo'd system. Only when you come to this forum does a headgasket replacement get categorized as a normal maintenance item.

#17 nipper

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:11 PM

I dont think you can even compare domestic manufactuers to foreign when it comes to longevity. The sales trends in the past few years speak for iteself. My buddy with a Chevy will argue he only has to pay 1/4 of the price for parts, though he has to replace things 4 times as often.

I dont agree that either Honda or Toyota have the extensive headgasket problems Subarus have. 1990's or not. My family has owned 3 hondas in the 90's and are familiar with the common problems. None of them as serious as what Sub owners have to deal with. Just look at Honda message boards. A blown HG on a Honda is almost unheard of unless you turn the boost up too high on your turbo'd system. Only when you come to this forum does a headgasket replacement get categorized as a normal maintenance item.


http://www.aa1car.co...05/ic010532.htm
http://www.aa1car.co...ket_failure.htm

Honda just learned earlier. I have owned 3 AMC's, 2 fords, 4 chryslers, 5 subarus and dont claim to be an expert in any of them just becaused Ive owned them. What has made me an expert is my 20 years of pulling a wrench and my degree in automitve engineering ( god how i hated calc )

Everyone mfg has had some level of a learning curve on HG's, just due to the nauture of the beast. If you plug in any mfg name and HG you will find some engine of thiers that has had issues.

Not to argue, but a HG is NOT considered anywhere as normal maintanece. It's just a matter of how the mfg deals with the issue. Some are far worse (like chrysler) and others handle it very well (like toyota).

This is the last i'll post on this thread, as i can see where its going.

nipper

#18 schlit

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 09:20 PM

So to the original poster, its safe to say Subaru was still working out the major HG kinks up to 2003 and you just need to be aware of it. Not saying that the engine wont last past 200,000k, but it's up to you to throw down the cash to keep it going. 2003 and on, I'd feel more comfortable with.

http://home.comcast....m/guestlog.html

#19 Takami826

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 02:07 PM

My 97 Legacy is at 150,000 right now. Nothing major has been repaired or replaced other than recall items. Tires, battery, brakes, those kinds of things, of course have been replaced as necessary and I did the big routine thing around 75,000.

I'm in the market for a new car, been kicking around the idea of a new Subaru, but after 10yrs in Cleveland weather, my Legacy is doing great, no car payments for 5yrs... I'm running it into the ground or trading it when a repair is >$1000.

I'm just now this year starting to show bits of rust: under the gas door and the corner of my trunk... not bad considering every American car I owned or that my parents owned never made it over 100,000... I think people who buy Subarus keep them until they are unsellable which may be why there's more Hondas online for sale than Subarus. People just don't let them go.

#20 ecky

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:52 PM

Brothers '84 Gl wagon, had 237,000 when impounded, and I still see it driving aroud, and today I just rolled over 140,000 in the '92 SVX.

#21 Erik R

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 10:58 AM

I concur with all that has been said already. A well maintained car.........:grin:
Anyway, mileage check-in:
'87 gl wagon-hand me down from relative in 1998 with 197k,
now has 280k, runs but A/C compressor is bad.
Everything else works!

'91 Loyale wagon-purchased 2yrs ago with 289k,
now has 314k. Shifter is a little sloppy and needs to be smogged.
Daily commute car. No problems, although the stock radio died a few months ago.

Love my Soob's :banana: .

#22 roadsubiedog

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 11:09 AM

Hey Guys;

What is the average mileage expectancy of a Subaru?


My 84 gl has 302,323 miles on and just passed california smog with flying colors on monday. average 35 mpg too.

so much for new cars.

I wrote to Subaru awhile back and asked this same question. they sent me a nice Subaru travel mug and said there were several owners that had over 650,000 miles with the original motors.

properly scheduled oil changes are a big factor.

I love mine.

Road Dog

#23 gbrand

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 09:20 AM

My 91 Legacy turned 280K mile yesterday, still running strong (and cool) as my wifes DD. Prolly need to celebrate with a wash and oil change soon.

300,000 here we come!

#24 Bucky92

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 09:32 AM

I totally agree with the "Its all about how you take care of it".

I actually had a Ford Van with the 300 straight 6 with 425,000 miles..all original..never rebuilt.. I also had a Honda with over 500K

But personally I find Subarus easier to work with and around...I just picked up a 93 Impreza with 226K on it ..with out hesitation..should be good for another 100K at least.
My 92 Loyale has 203K ..without engine problems...yet my XT6 ..the car has 170K but the motor has around 30K

#25 firstwagon

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 05:15 PM

IMHO, unless you live in the rust belt (or you wreck it), there are only 2 things that will kill any modern car. You get tired of fixing it or you get tired of driving it.

i.e. we had an 88 Buick Skyhawk in our family for 17 years. It was a very tough little car that was cheap and easy to fix. I could have fixed it again but I was tired of driving it. It felt old and cheap.

My 91 Legacy LS is solid, reliable, reasonably fun to drive, cheap to insure and paid for. Despite it's age, it's doesn't feel like an old car.

I will likely replace my wife's 95 Grand Cherokee next year as I'm starting to tire of fixing little things on it but I imagine the Legacy will be our family's second car for the next 10 years or so.




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