Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board

Recommended Posts

I have known a whole lot of Subie owners with 2.2s and smaller who did minimal maintence and just cured the oil leaks with another quart of oil.

Treated like this these cars have been wonderful.

The 2.5s have been another story.

The good part is the way the new 2.5 head gasket fails is that if you keep water in the car, and just sort of expect that it goes down now and then, the car will run fine.

The owner I bought my car from had no idea the head gasket was weeping, and I would not have known to look if I had not read it here on the board.

I suspect there are a bunch of phase twos running around that just seem to lose a little water.

Like you I would love to know the real percentage of cars that have problems like this, but it would require some sophisticated surveys.

You could probably make an educated guess if you were to contact all the engine rebuilders that do subies in a city like Seattle, and take that number by the amount of subies registered in that city.

This would give you a percentage anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since there is a lot of talk about head gasket failures in this thread, I have a quick question/comment.

Does anyone pop off the valve covers, say every 60K (when changing the timing belt), and retorque their head bolts?

Just a thought that may help the head gaskets last longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wondered about that. The Subaru does not lend itself to an easy retorque, but if it would save head gaskets it sure would be worth the pain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be relatively easy to do except the final stage of the torque down is based on degrees of bolt turn rather than ft-lbs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well my 93 2.2 has 230,000, with no engine problems and 10 Buffalo, NY salty winters. All this head gasket talk has me thinking NO OUTBACK or 2.5 when it comes time for a replacement. What a bummer, for someone who has always had 200,000+ mile engine trouble-free subarus, this sounds as bad as owning a ford or chrysler. What is the real scoop? Should I only look at used 2.2 legacies (up to what year?) Outbacks, seem definately out of the question if the darn thing is gonna need that kind of work by 200,000. Spoiled, you bet....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a bit of a classic.

Picking up a low mileage example of one of the last ones might be good while you still can.

That is what I would have done if our hauling needs did not dictate the Forester shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What years are the Phase 1 engines and the Phase 2 engines? What are the major differences between the two? The reason I'm asking is because I'm about to buy an OBW but I'm wondering if I should be getting the newer style (2000 and up) vs. the older style (currently looking at a 98 and 98).

 

Thanks,

Matt

 

Originally posted by 99obw

Well, with the Phase I 2.5 is does seem to border on routine maintainence. My guess is that a huge percentage of these engines will eventually have head gasket failure, it's just a matter of when. I feel pretty confident that my repair with the newest gasket revision should last the life of the car. If not, it's a pleasure to work on, and I would gladly replace it again.

 

I must add that despite the troubles I have had with the car, it is extremely well designed and built. By far the best car I have owned, and I have had ford, dodge, chevy, cadillac, buick, nissan, and toyota. I am not saying subarus are the best cars in the world because I haven't owned every make, but they are IMHO the best car I can afford.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The gen II outbacks have the phase II engine. Unless you know how to work on engines or have some extra money burning a hole in your pocket I would avoid the phase I.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At 90k miles I had the dealer change timing belt and perform the maintenance schedule. Then at 94,000 miles the head gasket failed. I always have wondered if there was a connection. Other than the head gasket my '98 Outback is great. But the timing belt and other service was $1100 and the head gasket was $2500. I always had regularly scheduled maintenance performed by the dealer also. So it probably cost over $4000 to get past the 100k mile mark. Right now I have 103k miles and it drives like a champ.

 

In august I test drove a legacy LE and a Forester. They were both '03's with automatic and the legacy seemed a lot slower 0-30 and still seemed slower than my '98 throughout the range to 70mph. The Forester was better, probably because it is lighter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At 96,000Kms I had the "Big" service done on my 2000 Legacy, It included a bunch of things and cost me over $1K CDN.

 

One of the things included was to replace / flush the coolant.

 

Immediately after I noticed an odour, which turned out to be an external head gasket leak.

 

I was wondering if there was a connection????

 

The Leg SE has a 3.90 rear end which causes it to be slow.

 

The Phase 2 is no better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

134,000 on my 93 Legacy wagon. I bought it with 101,000. I had an oil leak fixed along with the timing and fan belts replaced. I currently am trying to find my check engine light problem. Just have not had the time to run the scan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many DIY auto parts stores will check and clear check engine light codes free. Do you have either Auto Zone or Schucks Auto Parts stores near you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just found out that I do have one near me. I will try and get over there when I am off if I can't find the connector.

 

Bare with me I am new. DIY?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All this head gasket talk has me thinking NO OUTBACK or 2.5 when it comes time for a replacement.

Good question, as I noted earlier I own two '97 Outbacks with 87K and 118K, no problems, and six other friends own '97 or '98's. One has 146K. None have had head gasket problems. So we're all really lucky or the problem isn't as widespread as the sample of users here would make it appear. The fact that these crs receive high reliability ratings from everyone makes me think it is the latter. No consolation if you have had the problem, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DYI is short for 'Do-It-Yourself'. I'm not sure where your connector is; everything manufactured after 1995-1996 must be to the left and below the steering column (Left hand drive cars). Re-post the question and I'm sure someone will respond.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope you are right in that hd gaskets are not a wide spread problem and just a few of us making noise. Subaru of America agrees with you. Although, when I picked up my new headgasketed '98 Outback at the dealer. the Service Manager said there were now 3 more sitting in the lot waiting for new headgaskets. He also said it wasn't a big deal. He had worked at the Toyota and Honda dealerships and they also had head gaskets go bad. He said at least I didn't need a new tranny or engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good topic learned a lot but what i want to know is that anyone have a oil leak around the spark plugs? Please let me know  what you did to stop it and post it please. gunner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my 95 legacy outback has 240,000 mi on its original HG after surviving an overheat from a failed WP that took out the timing belt. It has a re-seal with the repairs but the same HG's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wrecked my '96 with the infamous EEE JAY TWENTY-TWO at 250,000 miles. Never replaced a wheel bearing, or head gasket, or water pump, or oil pump, nothing major. Timing belt, hoses, a/c belt, oil changes, brake pads and diff/trans fluid. Car was ROCK solid, and the engine now resides in my sisters '96 Legacy that had a bad valve because she drove it on a miss too long (my fault, I told her it was fine to drive on a miss. I think the miss was a bad injector, but not sure). It is now pushing 280,000 and doesn't even burn oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2000 Forester has 230k miles
1997 OBS has 265k miles
2005 OBW has 108k miles

92 Loyale had 336k when I sold it
Flipped a 95 Legacy Sedan with 318k and no problems but reverse going out in the auto tragic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

259k, 93 legacy wagon.  Haven't had to do anything too major, clutch, cv boots, ball joints, tie-rod ends, some wheel bearings, etc.   Right now I need to change the timing belt and replace a bunch of blown out bushings (mostly my fault for driving on a blown strut or bad ball joint and just driving like a madman on dirt roads) and she should be ready for another 100k.  The body is pretty rough these days but she runs strong and takes me to amazing places.

Edited by 14D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our EJ22 in our 94 legacy just started getting oil in the coolant at 292000 miles. New motor in, since I got a 150k one for $300. Our 02 outback has 198000. So far so good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a '96 from General Disorder early 2012, had over 200K.  Got about 238K now.  Has been an excellent car.  Smokes a little after long downhill coasts from Tahoe, but Just about every other Sube of that era does that.  Completely satisfied. 

 

Just my 2 bucks

Edited by NV Zeno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good topic learned a lot but what i want to know is that anyone have a oil leak around the spark plugs? Please let me know what you did to stop it and post it please. gunner.

You may want to start a new thread on this and include Year Model and engine size.

 

Getting read to roll 225k in my 96. On its third transmission due to mainshaft bearing failures. Pulled the engine and did a complete reseal at 190k to fix all of the oil leaks (did the head gaskets too, even though it didn't need them at the time).

One wheel bearing replaced, have another on the way out. Did rear struts around 170k because the rear springs were worn out and sagging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just hit 265K this week, got my emissions done today which I passed car idles smoothly just gotta take care of the rust on the passenger side rear area.

 

Noticed the car is starting to get a little bouncy now.. it's going to suck getting struts again.. I might put STi struts on... lost 4 brand new KYB struts in my last legacy that i totaled.. they had to only be like 4 months old.

Edited by 1-3-2-4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×