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Question for Legacy owners with 200,000+ miles


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Subarunation 713

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 12:48 PM

I have a question for Legacy owners who have over 200,000 miles on their car. I realize nothing is exact and no 2 situations are identical but just some general information based on your own experiences.

I am good with maintenance and I drive like a sane and normal person. SW Michigan is fairly flat and my commute is 75 miles a day roundtrip. 30 miles country roads, 38 miles highway, 7 miles city.

My 93 Legacy L 2.2 AWD wagon has 170,000+ miles. I am the second owner. I purchased the car with 136,000+ miles. The previous owner had EVERYTHING done by Becker Subaru in Allentown PA including oil changes and tire rotation every 3,000 miles! When I bought the car they gave me the repair history and it was VERY thorough.

This car has been and continues to be trouble free, thank God, but I know nothing last forever. The belts, timing belt and hoses I can figure out. The waterpump was new 100,000 miles ago. How long do starters and alternators last? What about wheel bearings? Rear ends? Rear CV joints? Front axles? Ball joints? Transmission input and output bearings? Clutch? Power accessories? (I had one auto seatbelt motor go bad at 160,000+ on another Legacy) Wiper motors? This car has not had any of these issues.

I just want to be able to put a few $$ aside so in the event there is a problem I can anticipate approximately when. I know you can't say "At every 194,327 miles the "left front fender bearing" will go out" but if alternators are going about every 210,000, give or take, that is good enough for me.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Greg

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 01:24 PM

The normal things that I would replace with your mileage is probably the alternator. Starters usually don't go bad, rather the contacts, and you can replace those pretty cheaply. Used alternator can be had for 100 bucks or so. CV joints usually start to go in the 140-150 range or sooner. So if those are orig cv's that's pretty good. I did both my front ones for pretty cheap, $55 an axle from www.cvaxles.com I think the wheel bearings would be the most involved/expensive issue to come up.

The other stuff I really haven't seen to be an issue.

You can take a preventative role on maintenance, which I have done. Almost all the sensors have been swapped out with new or lower mileage sensors. However I want to pull every last bit of performance out of my car. If you're not as hard core as me, you can wait for something to fail and then replace it. If you have the ability to do the labor yourself, cost of parts isn't that great in comparison.

The first gen legacies are very robust and are probably one of the last of subaru's hard core cars that you can drive for lots of miles.

may want to check out www.bbs.legacycentral.org as well. A board pretty much solely first gen legacies.

#3 rallynutdon

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 01:43 PM

Originally posted by Subarunation 713
The belts, timing belt and hoses I can figure out. The waterpump was new 100,000 miles ago. How long do starters and alternators last? What about wheel bearings? Rear ends? Rear CV joints? Front axles? Ball joints? Transmission input and output bearings? Clutch? Power accessories? (I had one auto seatbelt motor go bad at 160,000+ on another Legacy) Wiper motors? This car has not had any of these issues.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Greg [/B]



My experience, 91 Legacy, now with 245,000, bought with 116,000in 1996. Transmission 3 rd gear 2 pieces seperated at 120,000, Replaced with junkjard trans with 70,000 so now trans has 190,000 and is doing fine. Motor develooped a knock at 220,000 so I swapped in a 170,000 motor. Same front and rear bearings, rear half shafts (front's have been changed at least once), same ball joints, KYB struts still good having been put on when I bought it, same PS pump, same alternator, replaced AC compressor last year, same rear, same wiper motor. Not much else replaced.

#4 Setright

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 01:57 PM

I think you should be safe in terms of transmission bearing problems. The first run had weak bearings and these will fail before 120k miles - like mine did :( - the rest keep going.

Clutch is a wear item, and it all depends on the way you treat it. Having said that, I would expect that it's nearing the end of it's lifetime. If and when time comes to replace it, you might want to shop around and find an aftermarket clutch. The newer sube clutches have chronic judder problems. Mine does :mad: They have been improved, but even brand new 2003 models are still affected, at least over here.
Clutch failure is a gradual thing, so start saving up when it starts to slip during the shift into high gears.

My alternator went at 160k, so expect something soon...

Wheel bearings become a problem around 180k, but nothing is certain. Make sure replacements are mounted properly and with the correct grease, to avoid premature failure. Rears are the first to go. Again, you can wait for them to get noisy, and then start saving.

If you keep and eye on CV boots, you should be able to replace the boot alone and not the joint. Most CV failures result from loss of grease due to cracked boots. Very common on front axles.


Simple things like replacing spark plugs, PCV valve, fuel filter, air filter, oil filter, and thermostat should keep things on the straight and narrow. If these are in order, then other more expensive components are less stressed.

#5 4FOR4

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 03:43 PM

Seems to me front rotors need replacing about every 30,000 due to warping. Any one else experience that? $60 a piece if you do it youself. You could have them turned but there pretty thin to begin with.

The most frustrating thing, if they haven't gone already, are the gussets used for mounting mirrors to doors. you'll know there bad when the car sounds like a wind tunnel when driving. They were about $200 apiece installed at the dealer. I bought an amp instead and cranked the tunes.

I replaced cooling compressor at about 145,000.

The starter I replaced at about 120,000 because I was having starting trouble but it didn't fix it. I still have it happen when it gets real cold but its something I can't figure out so I'll live with it.

All above were on 92 Turbo Legacy Sedan. Turbo is still whistling right along.

#6 Legacy777

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 05:27 PM

rotors are probably not warping, they're probably getting uneven pad deposits on there and causing the brake vibration you are feeling.

this is a good article on the myth of "warped" rotors
http://www.stoptech....rotors_myth.htm

Another option if you truly are operating your rotors over their heat range, or if you're just tough on them is to cryo treat them. I have been through my share of rotors. I have been absolutely amazed at how the cryo-treated ones have held up.

Had mine done at www.onecryo.com 25 a rotor I think.

#7 johnd911

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 07:20 PM

i used to warp front rotors on my automatic wagon (345,000miles) The best life i have seen is with Brembo rotors and ceramic pads-no more warped (actual warpage) rotors, my other car is a 911, so I do drive HARD and there is minimal engine braking in an auto. Original tranny went at 300,000 mi. (my fault, it took me 1 hr. to get my car out of a snowbank before a girls boyfriend came home-long story). Original starter just went, front axles get replace from Autozone (lifetime warranty) whenever the boots tear. One ball joint has gone, 3 RR wheel bearings , original exhaust, small rust on rear quarter panel by wheel well, original struts, burns 1qt./1000mi. i tow 2 jetskis in the summer. Alternator went once, original emissions and pcv valve. I add r-134a every spring (wal-mart conversion).
No GM, Ford, Chrysler would ever have lasted this long (prev. exp.) I hoping for 500,000mi. before I'll look for a replacement. I will never get a 2.5l Subaru, ever. i use diesel oil (Rotella etc. in the summer ).

#8 Exocet

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 08:31 PM

I've had the following problems on my 94 Legacy:

1) 60K miles - water pump started leaking
2) 100K miles - coolant sensor failed
3) 126K miles - alternator bearing failed
4) 145K miles - rear wheel bearing got too noisy.

Other than that, the car is still original (except wear and tear items). The struts are showing some softness when there is a full load in the car. Around 100K miles it started to develop a slight rear-end whine. It was gotten a little worse in the last 45K miles, but not enough to worry about.

We'll see what 200K miles brings.

#9 gbhrps

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 08:46 PM

I don't believe anyone can predict when this part or that part will go south and let you down. If you carefully maintain your vehicle within reason, you dramatically decrease your repair costs over the life of the vehicle. So my 2 cents worth is to budget $75 a month for car maintenance (tires, oil changes, alternator, belts, whatever) and put it in an account. What you don't use this year will add onto next year's and so on, and should keep you either ahead of the game or pretty close to it. All gloom and doom about this part or another one is just that. When the one rear wheel bearing on my 97 OBW went at 63 000 km, should I have replaced the other one? I think not. Its still going strong at 176 000 km, and may outlast me!

#10 Marnix

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 01:56 AM

I bought my MY92 AWD Legacy MT in 2002 with 160,000 mi on the clock. Now it has 190,000 mi.

Nothing has gone wrong except a gearbox failure 1,000 mi ago. Synchromesh of thrid gear failed. Replaced gearbox with a 80,000 mi unit.

Other than that, just done oil changes (every 6,000 mi) and a timing belt and oil pump replacement.

Mind you, I drive the car on the race track on a very regular basis (last year around 3,000 mi).

Oh yeah, front drive shafts starting to get noisy now and then. And the alternator bearings start to whine.

But again, bullet proof cars, no worries.

#11 vwbuge

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 12:44 PM

I have been to Becker Subaru. They seem like honst people.

I have owned my car since 117,000.
Things I have replaced (other than brake components and tires)
transission failed around 180,000
water pump and oil pump (preventative maint.)
front axles
ball joints
timing belts

Maintenance is fairly simple and inexpensive on these cars.

#12 ScoobySchmitty

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Posted 07 January 2004 - 01:49 PM

Hi Greg, it's been a while :-P

Basically everything you listed should last you a good long time. Those two I got from you ran just wonderfully. I didn't know about that tranny bearing problem for the early generation of Legacies, but it did it's job (Me = A -> B), and then some. The engine on my 91 is running strong (knock on wood, as you said, nothing lasts forever :D), and the transmission the same. I think as long as you keep an eye on the different high-wear parts like your belts, plugs, axels, etc. you should be fine. The starter is an EASY replacement you could do yourself, and the alternator looks just as simple. Do you have a Haynes manual? I got mine at Autozone, if you want to go and check it out. If you know how to use a wrench, you can do about 90% of the maintenence on your 93, just with this manual! Everything is listed step by step. Hope this helps out. TTYL

Matt

#13 gbrand

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Posted 08 January 2004 - 11:20 PM

Here is my take on this-have 91 Legacy L 4 door, 2.2 5spd FWD.

Bought it around 110K in 1997. Up to almost 220K today in normal driving-no racing or off road

Normal maint stuff that I dont count against ANY car over this time/mileage:

Brake pads: 1 set rear, 2 sets front.1 set front rotors.
Struts once. Alternator at 160K ?
Timing belt at 120K, 180K, and waer pump(was fine) at 180K.
Hoses,belts, plug wires, plugs, light bulbs etc.
A/C comp went out and had system redone to R134(In Texas got to have A/C).
Purge control valve.
Valve cover gaskets.
Change oil/filter every 2500-3000 mile, Castrol 10-40 in winter 20-50 in summer
Muffler and pipe in front of it last year before inspection
Several CV boots and a half shaft

Clutch went out slipping at 178K, unfort now going again with strange noise.
Cruise control out as are several of the electric window switches.
Visors are loose.

But still 30+ mpg on road, uses no oil and starts and drives fine-took on a 2000 mile trip at turkey day with family of 5 no problem

Wil prolly grit teeth and tackle clutch and keep for another year or so

#14 Beanie02

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 02:33 PM

I have a 91 legacy 5 speed AWD, 2.2
Great car, running strong at about 170K

Preventive timing belt at 80K (prev owner)
new starter at 100K
Clutch at 125K (my wife is not the smoothest with a clutch)
Muffler and tail pipe at about 140K.
Rotors and pads all the way around 145K
I've had problems with torn CV boots, ergo 1 axle bearing and 1 wheel bearing change at 150K
new alternator 3 weeks ago (168K)
Lower R Ball joint (yesterday) fell apart on mechanic putting on new axle CV boot - 170K

Bought a used 02 LL Bean Outback 3 weeks ago, but will drive Lazarus (the 91 keeps rising from the proverbial dead) until it truly is dead.
Still cheap enough on repairs to justify another couple hundred here or there every year. When it dies, I'll get the fun of cutting it up at the local fire dept for training, as well as the tax write-off.

How long will it go? No telling. Still getting Hi 20's per gallon, and I dirve 75 miles per day.

Patrick

73 SW 4 speed 4WD (Folks)
78 Brat 4 speed 4WD (Folks)
78 SW 4 Speed 4WD (Folks)
83 hatchback 4WD 4 speed 4WD (Folks)
83 brat 4 speed 4WD (my first car!)
91 Legacy 5 speed AWD - running at 170K now (Folks, then mine)
now an 02 LL bean outback SW, with H6 and Auto. (nice not to have to clutch in traffic)

#15 gbrand

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 11:28 PM

Was looking thru posts,and saw this had been bumped up by a recent reply. To update on my 91 Legacy, yes the clutch crapped out totally and i replaced it. Other than that, I have done an air filter, oil/filter change and one tire-all normal wear items, and now am at almost 232K. Still no oil use, is driven everyday and have no qualms about winding it up to 80 on the road.

How long will these 2.2 Legacys go?

#16 mattocs

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 12:32 PM

215,000 miles on my Legacy.



Clutch and timing belt around 180,000 - 200,000 miles. Oil changed every 3,000 miles. Couldn't really afford the maintence...so it didn't get much. Nothing ever failed. I was 10 years old when my mom bought it...it had some stuff done to it...but not any of the scheduled things. Change the oil, don't go over 3000 RPMs...it will last a long long time.

#17 ashwina

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 12:07 AM

Seems to me front rotors need replacing about every 30,000 due to warping. Any one else experience that? $60 a piece if you do it youself. You could have them turned but there pretty thin to begin with.

The most frustrating thing, if they haven't gone already, are the gussets used for mounting mirrors to doors. you'll know there bad when the car sounds like a wind tunnel when driving. They were about $200 apiece installed at the dealer. I bought an amp instead and cranked the tunes.

I replaced cooling compressor at about 145,000.

The starter I replaced at about 120,000 because I was having starting trouble but it didn't fix it. I still have it happen when it gets real cold but its something I can't figure out so I'll live with it.

All above were on 92 Turbo Legacy Sedan. Turbo is still whistling right along.

Hello there, Im also interested in what to expect to go wrong as the milage creeps. I've got a '94 GT Legacy twin turbo (japanese import) that's got 145,000k on the clock. It's been serviced & treated pretty well & so far no real problems. Anyone had any high milage experience with the GT turbos?

#18 p.monro

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Posted 06 August 2004 - 02:06 PM

Interesting----
Few have commented on the radiator. I would have expected a failure of the plastic end cap by 200,000. However I note that many respondents come from colder climates so presumely this failure is temperature related.

Failures are both distance and age related. My 91 legacy on 190,000 km plus is now starting to show age problems, rust and seal (air manifold gasket) failure.
It and my 92 legacy have both had radiator end cap failure but nothing major




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