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Canuck Bob

Looking at 2003 Outback Wagon H6 Lim Ed?

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I have my eye on a 2003 Limited Edition Outback Wagon with the H6. Is there any reason to be concerned about this model? Anything one should inspect before purchase?

 

The car is clean and has 80K miles. I'm a new member and have never owned a Subie.

 

Thanks,

Bob

Calgary, Canada

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Hi Bob and welcome to the board.

 

That soob should be pretty solid. Any used car needs a good going over to check for any problems and used Subaru's are no different. Also checking for torque bind, and make sure all the tires match model and treadwear.

 

Things I know of as possible issues on that era H6 - serpentine accessory drive belt tensioner and idler - can fail; not expensive parts though.

A/C - compressor rotation sensor can fail and leave a/c not working; there is a TSB out from Subaru on it; iirc the part is around $100.

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oh yeah, the H6 is a fantastic engine. more reliable than the 4 cylinders of that vintage.

 

the serpentine belt pulleys like he said are very common failures. the good news is that you already know and it's really cheap and easy to replace. frankly i'd replace them right now as preventative maintenance, unless they're "perfect". they take a matter of minutes to replace, it's very easy.

 

you can either buy the entire pulley from subaru or you can buy the bearings for like $4 and tap the old out and the new in, they're really easy. takes 30 minutes tops to do the entire job.

 

you could ask the selling party to inspect or replace them for you as a condition of sale. you could even print out this thread or the long thread on subaruoutback.org about those pulleys as indication of their susceptibility to fail.

 

if i was selling this car i'd be more than willing to do it for the sale as it's very quick and costs only a couple dollars in bearings.

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Listen closely for trans noise. Whining under load.

 

I've seen 2 H6's now with trashed pinion shaft bearing and seal........ lot's of noise, "rocking" on-off throttle, and leaking of ATF into Diff.

 

Requires some serious trans removal and disassembly to fix.

 

Worth it for the H6, if you get it at a good price.

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Found a few more cars in the Province, oddly all 2003's.

 

Does VDC work or is it a sensor driven failure prone gimmick? I guess my attitude shines through in the question! I usually find these systems a constant source of failure lights.

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Does VDC work or is it a sensor driven failure prone gimmick? QUOTE]

 

Bob, I have a 01 VDC, the only time the light has come on is when the car sat for 3 days atop of Snowshoe Mtn, WV in sub zero temps. If you read the owners manual it can come on if you use a poor grade of gas, which means you need to use Premium gas. I always use dry gas when in extreme cold conditions. Also I had an O2 sensor go bad, list for $160, got it on Amazon for $87. there are 3 O2 sensors on the car. Its a beast in snow, and have only had the VDC come on while driving just a couple of times and that was on Ice. OH, yea change the pully bearing ASAP!.

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