Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Subaru repairs


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 jackandrew

jackandrew

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 07 January 2009 - 11:41 AM

maybe this comes up a lot, but i am new.

I am thinking about purchasing a used subaru from the mid-90s. Now my mechanic says that subaru are great and theyll be the last car you ever buy, but parts and repairs cost a ton. I can't really afford to drop 500 or a 1000 on a used car so thats a problem if something goes wrong with the car (most of the cars ive looked at have at least 150,000 miles on them).

I currently live in california, but am moving to portland oregon soon and wanted to know if problems like these are only regional. I know like 85% of the population in the northwest (washington, oregon) have subarus.

So are subarus just generally a hassle to repair financially, or is that just the case in middle california?

Thanks

#2 bratman18

bratman18

    ADIDASubarus

  • Members
  • 3,429 posts
  • Jefferson, Maine

Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:14 PM

If you can do repairs yourself than its a lot cheaper! All cars are expensive to have worked on, but as far as parts go it isn't any worse for a Subaru than it is for any other vehicle. And most of the time you can use used parts.

#3 Legacy777

Legacy777

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 12,563 posts
  • Houston, Tx

Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:20 PM

Welcome to the board.

The biggest advantage you have is that you're moving to an area where there are probably independent subaru only shops. They tend to be a little less expensive and very knowledgable when it comes to Subarus, so you end up spending less.

Other thing to note is if you buy the parts yourself, sometimes online or from specific dealers, you can get better pricing. I recommend www.subarugenuineparts.com They are in the Seattle area.

Also, as it was mentioned, depending on the part you can find used parts.


The biggest thing to keep in mind about used Subarus and maintenance is the routine maintenance. If you buy one that has had all the routine maintenance done, timing belt, seals, fluid changes, etc, 150,000 miles is nothing for these cars. However if you get one that has had very little routine maintenance performed, you open yourself up for a chance for potential problems, and repairs at one time.

#4 jackandrew

jackandrew

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 07 January 2009 - 02:42 PM

Thanks a lot legacy7777 for the informative reply and and for the great advice!

#5 Olnick

Olnick

    Ol' Subaru Guy

  • Members
  • 2,545 posts
  • Honolulu HI

Posted 07 January 2009 - 03:06 PM

Another thing to consider if you're a DIYer at all, the Subaru engine layout is a pleasure to work on. Accessibility is excellent compared to most of today's transverse mounted engines.

Shoot, I don't consider myself to be much of a mechanic but I've been able to do a number of jobs on my '95 Legacy--including the timing belt.

Probably the greatest thing about having a Subaru is what you've already figured out . . . this board!!!

Good luck.

#6 PeterD

PeterD

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 562 posts
  • Renton/Cheney ( EWU )

Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:33 PM

Well since I do my own repairs I can't say they are expensive to fix, if you ever have to turn a wrech on the car they are fairly simple and inexpensive ( not as cheap as my scirocco, but still cheap ) the cool thing is that they are very reliable. :) at least all my subarus have been.

#7 screwbaru2

screwbaru2

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 566 posts
  • hope valley

Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:09 PM

My .2, soobs are the easist cars I've ever worked on. I've been DYI since age 16 I'm 54 now I've worked on hundreds of different cars hands down soobs have it. Expensive? Seems to me at least more parts are dealer only and some parts need to be original equpiment or the car doesn't run right so that part is probably true. However the bang for your buck is better with a soob.

#8 The Scooby

The Scooby

    EJ Swap Junkie

  • Members
  • 1,752 posts
  • South Seattle

Posted 07 January 2009 - 06:43 PM

soobie's are alot cheaper then honda's, i know that first hand. find a 90-99 legacy with a 2.2 engine, do the oil changes, and timing belt when needed and they will last for ever.

#9 schlit

schlit

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 95 posts

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:34 PM

soobie's are alot cheaper then honda's, i know that first hand. find a 90-99 legacy with a 2.2 engine, do the oil changes, and timing belt when needed and they will last for ever.



I think you guys are getting a little out of hand there. From regular maintence to major repairs, Subarus are not any easier or cheaper to work on than Hondas. At least for my 2.5L Forester almost everything is a PITA compared to my Civic, my moms Accord, and dad's CRV.

Back to the OP, I wouldn't buy any foreign car with 150,000mi on it if I weren't a do-it-yourselfer and was afraid of paying $500 for a repair.

#10 The Scooby

The Scooby

    EJ Swap Junkie

  • Members
  • 1,752 posts
  • South Seattle

Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:42 PM

i can do a tune up on a DOHC 2.5 in 30 minutes, you just need to learn the short cuts or tricks to make your life easier.

honda timing belts are a ***************, oil changes are a pain on lowered ones, etc. anyways i have worked on cars for over a decade now, and by far i rather do a tune up/timing belt on a DOHC 2.5 then a honda anyday.

#11 monstaru

monstaru

    wow, relevance....

  • Members
  • 4,379 posts
  • OlyWa

Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:12 PM

you have to remember that personal preference is what you are asking about basically.....of course most of the folks on here do there own work.and with that in mind you will get a plethera of "hell ya's"...........but look at your own situation.what are you willing to fix to have a good car,that is 4wd or awd,and can get you anywhere normal folks go?you have to be honest with yourself,are you going to turn into a doityourselfer?that is what everyone is saying.....it can be easier if you allow yourself to be open to learning......cheers, brian

#12 unibrook

unibrook

    Sube1

  • Members
  • 469 posts
  • Boston

Posted 08 January 2009 - 12:53 PM

Yah hum, well there mr. honda lover, changed an alternator on a honda accord lately? enjoy!

#13 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,607 posts
  • WV

Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

expensive to repair is not true. learning and asking what to buy will be your biggest help here. you can end up with a great, cheap, and reliable subaru if you know what you're doing.

but not ever 10 year old 150k subaru (or any make) is going to be cheap and reliable. you're going to need helping picking out the right one and being wary of issues, and important maintenance.

there are a few parts that are going to be Subaru only, you won't find them at the auto parts store. but that's rare.

there will be some parts that are more expensive, but the difference is minimal. and compared to american cars, you'll be fixing a lot less stuff. Ford stuff is cheap...and readily avaiable - because there's a GREAT MARKET for those parts. meaning - they break all the time!

if you're looking at 150,000 mile 10 year old vehicles, nearly anything you buy will be incurring a certain amount or risk. mostly just because of not knowing the vehicle history or how well maintained it was.

nearly any 150k vehicle is going to have concerns:
american cars - they're a crap shoot at that mileage
foreign cars - are going to need timing belts and seals done ($500 at a dealer)

knowledge is your friend here. knowing the details, which motor to look for, and getting all the important maintenance stuff up to par is key to having a cheap and reliable vehicle.

#14 The Scooby

The Scooby

    EJ Swap Junkie

  • Members
  • 1,752 posts
  • South Seattle

Posted 08 January 2009 - 06:06 PM

yah hum, well there mr. Honda lover, changed an alternator on a honda accord lately? Enjoy!


+10000000

expensive to repair is not true. Learning and asking what to buy will be your biggest help here. You can end up with a great, cheap, and reliable subaru if you know what you're doing.

But not ever 10 year old 150k subaru (or any make) is going to be cheap and reliable. You're going to need helping picking out the right one and being wary of issues, and important maintenance.

There are a few parts that are going to be subaru only, you won't find them at the auto parts store. But that's rare.

There will be some parts that are more expensive, but the difference is minimal. And compared to american cars, you'll be fixing a lot less stuff. Ford stuff is cheap...and readily avaiable - because there's a great market for those parts. Meaning - they break all the time!

If you're looking at 150,000 mile 10 year old vehicles, nearly anything you buy will be incurring a certain amount or risk. Mostly just because of not knowing the vehicle history or how well maintained it was.

Nearly any 150k vehicle is going to have concerns:
American cars - they're a crap shoot at that mileage
foreign cars - are going to need timing belts and seals done ($500 at a dealer)

knowledge is your friend here. Knowing the details, which motor to look for, and getting all the important maintenance stuff up to par is key to having a cheap and reliable vehicle.


+10000

#15 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,591 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:58 AM

knowledge is your friend here. knowing the details, which motor to look for, and getting all the important maintenance stuff up to par is key to having a cheap and reliable vehicle.


Amen!!!!

maintenance history is a big factor - if you have access to it - Great...
If not - then any car at 150K is a crapshoot - yes, even a Subaru.
This is especially true if you are not a diy kind of person because not only will you have the cost of the parts to consider, but the labor as well.

as an example - my 1990 Legacy LS wagon - purchased for $200, trailered home. Had to replace all 4 struts (including springs & tophats) due to blown air suspension (reason car was so cheap)- converted to standard coilovers - went used parts here to start with, but new struts came later - also had to replace 80% of the exhuast since p.o. drove the car with blown air suspension...
then it needed basic tuneup items - plugs, wires, filters, oil change, etc.
Then, had to do timing belt - including pulleys, water pump, new hoses, etc (did have reciept for a new radiator by p.o.)
Also had to replace one rear brake caliper and pads on all 4 corners.

total cost for parts - rough guess-timate - was around $600 +/-...
labor - did the work myself
total cost to have a good running, non-interference EJ22 - priceless (sorry, couldnt resist :-p ) about $800 - and that doesnt include the new tires i had to put on either - those were another $200...

had i taken the car in to have all that work done - sheesh, dont even want to think about what it would have cost! probably in the $2000 range (+ parts cost)...

so - you need to consider what you are willing to do yourself, what you wont do, what kind of history is available for the car, and what you are willing to spend - both to purchase the car, and to get it up to par.

sorry for the book here...i tend to get carried away sometimes... :grin:

#16 Olnick

Olnick

    Ol' Subaru Guy

  • Members
  • 2,545 posts
  • Honolulu HI

Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:13 AM

so - you need to consider what you are willing to do yourself, what you wont do, what kind of history is available for the car, and what you are willing to spend - both to purchase the car, and to get it up to par.


Nice summation, heartless. And true of any "mature" used car! Thanks.

#17 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 8,810 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:44 AM

I think you guys are getting a little out of hand there. From regular maintence to major repairs, Subarus are not any easier or cheaper to work on than Hondas. At least for my 2.5L Forester almost everything is a PITA compared to my Civic, my moms Accord, and dad's CRV.

Back to the OP, I wouldn't buy any foreign car with 150,000mi on it if I weren't a do-it-yourselfer and was afraid of paying $500 for a repair.


Bullsh*t. Ever do a timing belt on a Honda? a clutch? Hell just try to replace the starter! You have to unbolt half the motor mounts, and a billion other things just to get the damn covers off.

In a Subaru, you just have to take off the AC belt tensioner and the Radiator fans and BAM.... you're there at the T-belts.

Hondas are WAAAAAYYY more difficult to work on. And Honda parts are every bit if not more expensive than Subaru.

And what is this Foreign car over 150k crap? I would ONLY buy a foriegn car that had 150k. I have seen too many Jeeps, Dodges, Buicks, and Fords, completely lose major engine internals around 150k

With a Subaru, you might have to replace a clutch or headgaskets, but you are unlikely to have a piston explode.

#18 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 8,810 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:50 AM

I can't really afford to drop 500 or a 1000 on a used car so thats a problem if something goes wrong with the car (most of the cars ive looked at have at least 150,000 miles on them).


So let me get this straight? You buy a used car? but feel you couldn't afford to spend $500-1000 to fix it?

Well, if that is you're attitude, you will surely be unhappy with ANY car you buy. EVERY car WILL need work done to it.

The good thing about a Subaru, is that if you do bother to INVEST in the life of the car, it will hold a high resale. Subaru have some of the Highest resale of any brand.

I contend that you can't afford to NOT spend money to fix things. Because if you don't fix them, then you're whole investment is worth nothing, and you still have to buy a new car.:-\

#19 schlit

schlit

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 95 posts

Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:31 PM

Bullsh*t. Ever do a timing belt on a Honda? a clutch? Hell just try to replace the starter! You have to unbolt half the motor mounts, and a billion other things just to get the damn covers off.

In a Subaru, you just have to take off the AC belt tensioner and the Radiator fans and BAM.... you're there at the T-belts.

Hondas are WAAAAAYYY more difficult to work on. And Honda parts are every bit if not more expensive than Subaru.

And what is this Foreign car over 150k crap? I would ONLY buy a foriegn car that had 150k. I have seen too many Jeeps, Dodges, Buicks, and Fords, completely lose major engine internals around 150k

With a Subaru, you might have to replace a clutch or headgaskets, but you are unlikely to have a piston explode.


It took me the same amount of time to change the 200,000mi clutch on my Civic SI last year as it did to do a few tune up items on my forester. To name a few, Sub spark plugs and front diff fluid changes were huge PITA's. Foreign cars are packed tight and their parts are expensive. Some items will be easier on a Sub and others on a Honda.

I personally feel more apt to work on my honda because of the MUCH better (and about $250 cheaper) service manual, and that there's no VIN guessing game when getting parts.

#20 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,591 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:32 AM

ok boys - lets not get into the "this is harder than that" BS - if you are not mechanically inclined - ANY car is gonna be a PITA - same holds true for something you are not familiar with....I find Subaru's pretty easy - but then I have been wrenching on one for almost 10 years - the Geo Prism (toyota corolla clone) we had breifly was a royal pita...generally speaking, the newer the vehicle, the bigger pita it will be...just my .02 cents.

the point here is - ANY used car is more than likely going to have issues of some sort and will therefore need attention - meaning parts and/or money - unless you happen to be incredibly lucky and find one that has been very well cared for and has a complete maintenance history.

I personally would not hesitate to buy an older Subaru with 150K on the clock - but I have enough knowledge and experience to deal with 98% of the problems it may have - and what I dont know, I can generally find out here...

I repeat my previous statement:

...you need to consider what you are willing to do yourself, what you wont do, what kind of history is available for the car, and what you are willing to spend - both to purchase the car, and to get it up to par.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users