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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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'95 Legacy sedan, anything to look out for?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 reeze

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 10:53 AM

This car recently showed up for sale in my area. The price is pretty reasonable but I don't know the maintenance history yet. I remember hearing that '95 was the first year of the 2nd generation Legacy so I was wondering if there were any known issues with this particular year. It's a FWD with an AT (I would prefer a manual but I'm not gonna be too choosy right now). I saw that there were two recalls, one associated with the coil springs corroding and another about the front tow hooks needing to be removed. I hope I can find out the scoop on the coil springs.

One thing--the person selling it told me that this car was a "California emissions" model and that the recommended timing belt change was 105K miles. Is this true? TIA for any replies!

Rob Aries

#2 reeze

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 09:43 AM

I just found out it's true that California emissions models have a recommended timing belt replacement interval of 105K versus 60K for all other pre-2000 models. Who woulda thunk it?

http://www.cars101.c...0-99maintenance

I guess I need to know how I can tell that the car is indeed a "california emissions" model...maybe a plate somewhere in the engine compartment? I'll be going to look at this car in a few hours!

#3 benebob

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 10:01 AM

The belt is the same. California just forced manufacturers to give longer "warranty" that the belt would last. I guess they don't do service out there like they should:D . Get the vin and call your local subie serivce dept or the 1800 number. They can tell you if there are any open recalls on the car. Check the tranny fluid real good. Warm the car up and pull out the dipstick for it. If it smells like burnt toast or is brand new (i.e. the seller tells you it was just serviced and there are other things that still need done on the car) walk away.

#4 alias20035

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 02:17 PM

The only things to really worry about on the 95-99 2nd generation Legacys are:

Phase 1 EJ25 DOHC head gasket failures

= your car has the far more reliable EJ22, so you don't have anything to worry about


4EAT AWD clutch pack/duty solenoid failures on 1989-1997 4EAT transmissions

= your car is FWD so you will not see this problem either

All other remaining common problems such as thermal sensor, sway bar links, etc are relitivaly inexpensive to repair and not worth any serious concern.

Please be aware the Subaru FWD sedans are the least in demand and hence have the lowest resale value. Most buyers want an AWD wagon. If you are getting a deal and are ok with a sedan without AWD then by all means purchase this car.

I feel that without AWD the Legacy is somewhat outclassed by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, both of which are just as reliable, get better fuel economy, and usually perform better. It is AWD that makes the Legacy "special".

The spring corrosion recall may not have applied to your "California Car", I think it was reserved to rust belt cars. And I thought the tow hook recall was for the Impreza, the tow hooks were too low and often hitting a speed bump would deploy the airbags.

Recalls do not have a time limit (as far as I know).

#5 reeze

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 10:43 PM

Thanks bebebob & alias! I did get to look at the car recently...just posted a novella over on alt.autos.subaru telling of my qualms.

Basically, the car is being offered at a very attractive price--$3500, yet it has only 60K on it--that's what has me a little nervous! It's pretty clean (one very small dent in the RF quarter-panel, a few scrapes elsewhere), tires & brakes are good, suspension seems good, it drives straight...but the engine seems to lack power. Also, popping the hood & looking at it made me think "beat on"...although the oil filler tube showed no evidence of water...didn't smell any oil burning either. It could be my imagination but I think my '92 Legacy FWD with 133K has better acceleration!

Alias, I hear you on the lower resale for sedans & fwd cars, but checking on cars.com showed some of these same models with almost twice the mileage going for near $6K in my area!! Also, my last two Legacys were FWD and I have no problem with that, and I require a sedan since I carry equipment and need to have it be hidden in a trunk sometimes. BTW the seller is not private, it's a dealer. He claims to have no maintenance history on the car at all, says that he sells these at a good price and lets the customer deal with any possible work. I suppose he still has to offer some kind of a used-car warrantee though.

#6 reeze

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Posted 06 December 2003 - 10:53 PM

Wow, I just saw all the new responses to my other thread here (about possibly fixing up my '92 Legacy that was damaged in the accident).

Well I suppose there's more to ponder now (since most of the responses there seem to say that I should fix my '92). Still, if this '95 checks out OK, I think the price is right enough to tip the scale.

#7 viceversa

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 03:34 AM

Check compression in the engine.

I would be concerned with auto tranny going out.

#8 reeze

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 08:58 PM

I thought of the compression test too, that would tell me if the engine was a litle worse for wear. If the compression is low and the car really has only 60K, that would mean that the previous owner(s) beat on this car pretty hard, I would think. Thing is, the interior is CLEAN...sure doesn't have any kind of high-mileage or "worn" look. I wish I was more knowledgeable/experienced with this kind of stuff.

Tomorrow the dealer is going to drive it to a service station to get checked out (we picked the station but it turns out he does a lot of business with them--he offered to drive it there--now I want to take it somewhere else but I don't really know where <sigh>...)




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