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Subaru Outback 2.5 2002 Good buy???


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Sturgeon

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 01:44 PM

HI!

First question from en swede that needs advise.

I am looking to buy a Suburu 4wd to us pulling my car and of course for normal duties living outside the city.

Been looking at a few Subaru Outbacks 2,5 (EJ251) from 2002 with 80000-100000 miles.

Is it considered as a good car (from what I've seen it is)? What should I be aware of? I do know about the HG problems.

Should you recommend me to buy one of these?

Please all feedback is welcome!

Regards Kris

#2 porcupine73

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:29 PM

Don't know of any major issues with that other than the possible external HG peeping leak. Not sure your region's coverage, but in the U.S. they increased warranty for HG to 8 years from date of first retail sale or 100k miles if the VIN was in the recall range and the goop was added.

Timing belt replacement is due at 105k miles and there's a bunch of stuff prudent to do at that time if you want a relatiavely smooth nother 105k miles.

#3 Olnick

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:49 PM

Welcome aboard, Kris. You certainly found the right place to talk about Subarus. Just be aware that our feelings won't be unbiased!!!

From what I envision as your geography, climate and lifestyle I think an Outback would be an excellent choice. They're rugged, dependable and fun to drive. Relatively easy to work on too.

The only drawback is the HG weakness, but you say you are aware of that.

Some questions: When you say "pulling my car" do you mean towing another vehicle? That's something we don't do much here.

Are Subarus very common in your area? You might want to check on parts availability and service--and the expense involved.

Are you mechanically inclined? Can you do basic (or advanced) work on a car yourself? With good maintenance a Subaru should last you a long time.

Good luck with your decision--and feel free to ask questions.

Aloha!

#4 Sturgeon

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:04 PM

Hi, and thanks!

First of all, I don't know how it happened but somehow the word boat was transformed into car. Sorry!:rolleyes:

I have a 21 feet Alu boat with a weight (including trailer) of 3000 lb. Have become more and more fond of bringing it with me when fishing far away from my home town. And we do get our fair share of snow even though global warming is taking its toll on the winter.

Yes I am fairly mechanically inclined. No problems with breaks, exhaust system, electric parts, wheel bearings and such. I would not tear down the gearbox, that is above my skill level. So this car can be considered as a car that is easy to maintain yourself? Have not had a boxer engine before.

I have always loved asian cars, drow my previous mazda beyond 300k mark with almost no maintenace at all. Not all swedes stick to Volvo.:)

I can find parts and service for subaru within a close range, so that ia not a problem.

Does the 4 WD system function well? I am looking at the models with manual gearbox, I like to get the low gear ability. Your considerations about that? What is the mph/kph at 3000 rpm on the lowest gear?

Places one the car more prone to rust. I live on the coast so salt present.

Regards Kris

Welcome aboard, Kris. You certainly found the right place to talk about Subarus. Just be aware that our feelings won't be unbiased!!!

From what I envision as your geography, climate and lifestyle I think an Outback would be an excellent choice. They're rugged, dependable and fun to drive. Relatively easy to work on too.

The only drawback is the HG weakness, but you say you are aware of that.

Some questions: When you say "pulling my car" do you mean towing another vehicle? That's something we don't do much here.

Are Subarus very common in your area? You might want to check on parts availability and service--and the expense involved.

Are you mechanically inclined? Can you do basic (or advanced) work on a car yourself? With good maintenance a Subaru should last you a long time.

Good luck with your decision--and feel free to ask questions.

Aloha!



#5 Sturgeon

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 05:30 PM

What mpg do you get while on the freeway and in the city? If you have experiance from pulling trailers (2500-3500 lb) what mpg do you get then driving down the freeway.

Regards Kris

#6 Sturgeon

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 05:35 PM

By the way Porcupine, the timing belt has been changed on all of them. It was done around 70-75k. I thought the belt was to be changed att 120000 km/75000 miles.

#7 Olnick

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:19 PM

[quote name='Sturgeon']I have a 21 feet Alu boat with a weight (including trailer) of 3000 lb.

I've never towed anything with my Subaru ('95 Legacy L Wagon, 5MT) but here's a recent thread that may shed some light for you. By the way, make use of the USMBs "search" function--this board is better than an encyclopedia!
http://www.ultimates...&highlight=haul

[So this car can be considered as a car that is easy to maintain yourself? Have not had a boxer engine before.]

Quite so, everything is relatively easy to reach under the hood. And you'll love the boxer engine.


[Not all swedes stick to Volvo.:)]

Good one!

[I can find parts and service for subaru within a close range, so that ia not a problem.]

That's very reassuring.

[Does the 4 WD system function well? I am looking at the models with manual gearbox, I like to get the low gear ability. Your considerations about that? What is the mph/kph at 3000 rpm on the lowest gear?]

AWD works very well especially with a manual tranny. But this is not a dual range 4WD system (at least not over here it isn't.)

[Places one the car more prone to rust. I live on the coast . . . ]

I live on the coast too and yes, rust can be a problem. I have an ugly patch on the driver's side A-pillar by the windshield and another in the center of the roof around the middle screw hole of the roof rack's bumper strip. Oh, well . . . !

Hope that helps. Let us know how it goes.

#8 welly

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 05:20 AM

Hi Sturgeon
I have 2001 2.5 manual over here in Scotland. It has low/hi range which I like a lot especially if crawling in stop go town traffic. We dont have as much snow as your but the little I have done on snow with snow tyres I think the Suby will go anywhere ground clearence permitting. I have 110k miles on mine now and it has been trouble free. Did HG last year - external leak that had been there for over 80,000 miles and I finally got fed up topping up the coolant all the time. Over here in Uk there seems to be confusion over T belt inteervals. In the USA they have options for 105k mile belt or I believe 60k miles. My handbook and dealer task cards mention TB every 45k miles. Other literature says 60k miles. I did mine at 60k and it was fine. No bad wear or similar issues so I am going to stick with this interval.

If no one else post up I will test drive mine and give you mph for 3000 revs in first gear both low and high range.
I dont tow anything like your boat load so can comment. But when I go get my firewood from the forest I like the low range to get moving with a heavy trailer. I only pull this short distances , 10 kms.

MPG freeway is around 28 (UK gallon = 4.55 litres). Dont do much in town but mixed driving get 26 - 28.
Hope this helps.

#9 Sturgeon

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:09 PM

I have tried the search function with both good and bad results. I have not really gotten the hang of it yet.

What is it that makes the boxer so good? The torque? Smoothness? Reliability?

All Outback MT in Sweden comes with the dual range system. The low range/gear is what I like to have when I am doing ramp work. Is it possible to go from low range to high range while under way?

And about towing (I did read the link). I have hade much weaker cars towing pretty good loads for 1000 miles non stop. The limit in Sweden while towing is 50 mph. The problem has been in and around the ramp. I would love to have a pickup, but the downsides are to many. Huge fuel consumption, high tax, less maneuverability and such.

Any other comments on the rust issue? I can see that your car is 7 years older then the cars I am looking at. Might be the cause. I know the all Subarus delivered to Sweden during the first years of this millennium went through extra rust preventing treatment.

Regards Kris


[quote name='Olnick'][quote name='Sturgeon']I have a 21 feet Alu boat with a weight (including trailer) of 3000 lb.

I've never towed anything with my Subaru ('95 Legacy L Wagon, 5MT) but here's a recent thread that may shed some light for you. By the way, make use of the USMBs "search" function--this board is better than an encyclopedia!
http://www.ultimates...&highlight=haul

[So this car can be considered as a car that is easy to maintain yourself? Have not had a boxer engine before.]

Quite so, everything is relatively easy to reach under the hood. And you'll love the boxer engine.


[Not all swedes stick to Volvo.:)]

Good one!

[I can find parts and service for subaru within a close range, so that ia not a problem.]

That's very reassuring.

[Does the 4 WD system function well? I am looking at the models with manual gearbox, I like to get the low gear ability. Your considerations about that? What is the mph/kph at 3000 rpm on the lowest gear?]

AWD works very well especially with a manual tranny. But this is not a dual range 4WD system (at least not over here it isn't.)

[Places one the car more prone to rust. I live on the coast . . . ]

I live on the coast too and yes, rust can be a problem. I have an ugly patch on the driver's side A-pillar by the windshield and another in the center of the roof around the middle screw hole of the roof rack's bumper strip. Oh, well . . . !

Hope that helps. Let us know how it goes.[/QUOTE]

#10 Sturgeon

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:27 PM

I had contact with a Subaru service centre and they told me that the timing belt interval for the cars sold in Sweden is 105000 km/65000 miles or every 48 month.

Have not thought of the low range usage in slow town traffic.

Love to get the figures from a testdrive at 3000 rpm. I can ask it in this post to as it seems like you might have the correct answer, is it possible to shift between low and high while under way?

The mpg is lower then I thought, have seen figures of 33-34 mpg on the freeway doing 55 mph, and 26-27 in city traffic.

/Kris

Hi Sturgeon
I have 2001 2.5 manual over here in Scotland. It has low/hi range which I like a lot especially if crawling in stop go town traffic. We dont have as much snow as your but the little I have done on snow with snow tyres I think the Suby will go anywhere ground clearence permitting. I have 110k miles on mine now and it has been trouble free. Did HG last year - external leak that had been there for over 80,000 miles and I finally got fed up topping up the coolant all the time. Over here in Uk there seems to be confusion over T belt inteervals. In the USA they have options for 105k mile belt or I believe 60k miles. My handbook and dealer task cards mention TB every 45k miles. Other literature says 60k miles. I did mine at 60k and it was fine. No bad wear or similar issues so I am going to stick with this interval.

If no one else post up I will test drive mine and give you mph for 3000 revs in first gear both low and high range.
I dont tow anything like your boat load so can comment. But when I go get my firewood from the forest I like the low range to get moving with a heavy trailer. I only pull this short distances , 10 kms.

MPG freeway is around 28 (UK gallon = 4.55 litres). Dont do much in town but mixed driving get 26 - 28.
Hope this helps.



#11 Olnick

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 01:05 PM

[quote name='Sturgeon']I have tried the search function with both good and bad results. I have not really gotten the hang of it yet.]

Yeah, it can be a bit frustrating. But once you hit the info you want it can be a gold mine. Try the "advanced search" option, enter your key word(s) then select "new generation."


[What is it that makes the boxer so good? The torque? Smoothness? Reliability?]

Hard to say. The torque is plenty for me--but I have always driven small 4-cylinder engines (MGB, Morris Minor, VW Diesel Rabbit) and enjoy the experience of driving the car rather than having it drive me.

Smoothness? For sure. The inherent balance of the opposed cylinder boxer design is fantastic. To me.

Reliability? Very much so. If I do run into a problem I can usually fix it--leaning over the engine with a Haynes manual in one hand and all my USMB friends waiting patiently on the computer!


[All Outback MT in Sweden comes with the dual range system. The low range/gear is what I like to have when I am doing ramp work. Is it possible to go from low range to high range while under way?]

Looks like welly in Scotland (post #8) can help you with 4WD D/R information. All I can say is "Ya lucky bums!!!"


[And about towing (I did read the link). I have hade much weaker cars towing pretty good loads for 1000 miles non stop. The limit in Sweden while towing is 50 mph.]

Again, I can't really comment. But Subarus are well built and reasonably rugged, so if you're comfortable with towing . . . !


[Any other comments on the rust issue? I can see that your car is 7 years older then the cars I am looking at. Might be the cause. I know the all Subarus delivered to Sweden during the first years of this millennium went through extra rust preventing treatment.]

Yes, age is a factor. My first Subarus (a DL and a GL, both '85s) had rust issues too. But then many early Japanese imports had problems--I remember seeing Honda Civics from the '70s that looked like they were made of lace! I'm sure Subaru has worked to solve the problem and the extra treatment you mention may have solved it.

You might want to eyeball Subies in parking lots or wherever--even strike up conversations with owners, talk to mechanics who know the cars.

As always, good luck and do keep us up on your progress.

Aloha!

#12 Sturgeon

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 04:48 PM

Has anyone ever put a winch on the front of your car? That is a gadget that I always have wanted to have. A remote controlled winch when it gets tought.:rolleyes: Women just loves it...grrrr:)

When it comes to parts for the Subarus, both spare parts and styling parts, who has the largest selection? Web-based would be nice.

I just read about a guy i Sweden that drove his 2000 OB 500000 miles in 6 years. And still had de original clutch, gearbox, exhaust system, suspention and so on. That is impressive.

/Kris

#13 welly

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:11 AM

Have not thought of the low range usage in slow town traffic. - I like it for this.

Love to get the figures from a testdrive at 3000 rpm. I can ask it in this post to as it seems like you might have the correct answer, is it possible to shift between low and high while under way? Yes you can shift under way. You just de clutch and shift range. I will get you data from 3000 rpm.

The mpg is lower then I thought, have seen figures of 33-34 mpg on the freeway doing 55 mph, and 26-27 in city traffic. Is that 4.55 lt gallons? To be honest most I have ever got was 31 mpg I believe. Havent done much motorway driving but I figure I am doing well to get 30.

#14 Sturgeon

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 04:18 PM

Have not thought of the low range usage in slow town traffic. - I like it for this.

Love to get the figures from a testdrive at 3000 rpm. I can ask it in this post to as it seems like you might have the correct answer, is it possible to shift between low and high while under way? Yes you can shift under way. You just de clutch and shift range. I will get you data from 3000 rpm.

The mpg is lower then I thought, have seen figures of 33-34 mpg on the freeway doing 55 mph, and 26-27 in city traffic. Is that 4.55 lt gallons? To be honest most I have ever got was 31 mpg I believe. Havent done much motorway driving but I figure I am doing well to get 30.


That would be great if you could give me the specs om the 3000 rpmĀ“s.

I have narrowed it down to just 2 cars.

One with 100000 miles and one with 115000 miles. The first one has leather interior, sunroof, new summer and winter tires, new rear discs, new window and timing belt is new. The other has engine heater, half leather, advanced audio system and one year warrenty.

Both seem to be in fair condition, serviced well, no rust.

The first one is the prime choice if he admits to have the car tested at a certified car testing centre.

#15 welly

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:25 PM

Speed @ 3000 rpm in low range:

1st - 14 mph
2nd - 24 mph
3rd - 35 mph
4th - 42 mph
5th - 60 mph

#16 Sturgeon

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:25 AM

I really appreciate it Welly!

Thank you very much.

By the way I will test drive them next week. So hopefully I will be one of you in a couple of weeks.:)

Cheers

/Kris

#17 Sturgeon

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 04:33 AM

Does anyone hava a tourqe curve for the 2,5 liter Outback (SOHC)?

/K

#18 Sturgeon

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:32 PM

I tried my present car today, and it gave almost the same figures on the first and second gear. And I do not at all consider my car to have lower ger sets the other cars.

I would prefer to get 5-10 mph at 3000 rpm. I mean the low range should be much lower then the high range, otherwise I do not se the point in using the the low range.


Speed @ 3000 rpm in low range:

1st - 14 mph
2nd - 24 mph
3rd - 35 mph
4th - 42 mph
5th - 60 mph



#19 welly

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 03:59 AM

I think the main difference is that the Suby makes more torque at lower revs. TBH when I drive in any gear and any range I rarely use 3000 rpm (it will for example happily accelerate from 1800 rpm in 5th gear on normal road driving) unless I want to smartly press on. When I do use low range - usually when pulling a trailer load of logs I never get to 3000 rpm in any gear. The low range is really good for getting going.
What might be more interesting would be to do it again at 1000 rpm. Let me know - am happy to get you the data.

#20 Sturgeon

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:27 AM

I would be glad it you could give me that info. You might very well be correct!

Best regards Kris


I think the main difference is that the Suby makes more torque at lower revs. TBH when I drive in any gear and any range I rarely use 3000 rpm (it will for example happily accelerate from 1800 rpm in 5th gear on normal road driving) unless I want to smartly press on. When I do use low range - usually when pulling a trailer load of logs I never get to 3000 rpm in any gear. The low range is really good for getting going.
What might be more interesting would be to do it again at 1000 rpm. Let me know - am happy to get you the data.



#21 welly

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 03:24 AM

Here we go- data for low range @ 1000 rpm

1st --2 mph
2nd--9 mph
3rd--12
4th--16
5th--21

Hope this helps.




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