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How long will a subaru wagon last?
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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Nov 5, 2010
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012

I'm looking at late '90s legacies and outbacks. most have upwards of 160k miles and I'm wondering how long they'll be able to go... gonna be driving from WA to AZ and everywhere inbetween in the next few years and want something reliable...

thanks!


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By ABG
From Winston-Salem, NC
Nov 5, 2010

mine has 225 and it is still running perfect


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By Rob Kepley
From Westminster,CO
Nov 5, 2010
Yosemite Valley..

Subaru's never die. I drove a 1980 wagon for a few years them moved up to an 85' with about 230K on it when I bought an 07'. After driving the 07 thru a bad hailstorm I decided to upgrade to a 2010. The 1980 is still hands down the most fun I've ever had in a Subaru because that thing would go just about anywhere.


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By Graham Johnson
Nov 5, 2010

I used to own a 1987 (in 2006) that had 325,000km on the clock and ran well on it's original engine and transmission. I currently drive a 1992 with 230,000km on it and still drives great.


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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Nov 5, 2010
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

Until you get sick of it overheating and send it to the junkyard.

Seriously, though...

Be careful of 1996-2001 Legacy Outbacks. The ones that had the 2.5L engine. Nearly all of them have had head gasket issues I had a horrible experience owning a 1998 that kept overheating no matter what i did. Sooo glad to be rid of that lemon.

google "subaru head gasket" to find out more.

I'd get an 02 at the earliest.

Sounds like Rob skipped the lemon years.


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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Nov 5, 2010
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013

Aah actually the forum I found most informative was the first link when searching

"Outback head gasket"

As far as I know, the standard legacy did not have these issues. The 2.2L legacy did not suffer the same as the 2.5L legacy outback.


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By Evan1984
Nov 5, 2010

Subaru's are great except for the certain years with head gasket problems. They are a time bomb that goes off between 100-150K miles.

A subaru mechanic friend of mine said it was because they didn't beef up the cooling system when they went from the 2.2 to the 2.5 engines.


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By Umph!
Nov 5, 2010

As long as it takes you to wise up and sell it for a real vehicle!

Ok, I know that they seem to have a strong following from hippies and homosexuals. . . and as we all know hippies and homosexuals know nothing about cars.
That said, I believe that I was the first straight square to ever buy a Subaru. I did buy it from an Alpha lesbo who took poor care of it, and who permeated its interior with Alpha lesbo musk. . . I can still smell it. . . .

I've always had problems with head gaskets, wheel bearings, and CVJ's (what is up with those cheap-ass CVJ's?). They all seemed to take more maintenance than the other vehicles I've owned.
But then, I've only owned 3 Sub's, and all three were owned by a hippy or a homo.

If you want reliability and great gas mileage, I'd say go with a Honda.
The problem with buying used Honda's is they all smell like old librarians, Jr. College professors or nasty-ass teenagers (who all smoke).


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By erik wellborn
From manitou springs
Nov 5, 2010
Top of Bridalveil, feelin good

Having had both a Forester and Outback,(95 and 98) and Toyota Tacoma, I have to say the Toyota is far superior in the reliability department


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2010
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

Tavis Ricksecker wrote:
The 2.2L legacy did not suffer the same as the 2.5L legacy outback.


Exactly. My current 1997 Sub legacy is at 267,000 (That's miles, not kilometers) and runs quite smoothly- no engine work yet, just brakes, timing belt, water pump, oil pump, and spark plugs (the usual every 80,000 mile stuff). I expect to get another 2+ years and 30+k miles out of it. Not that I expect it to break down after that, I just don't look beyond that horizon.

My last one died at 227,000 miles, but not of an engine death- just because I hit a cow. I grilled that beef in an unusual style, I say. The engine was pulled and put into another car.


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By mcarizona
From Flag
Nov 5, 2010

UMPH! Thanks for the laugh! But I think a delicious Slurpee will improve your attitude today.

Tavis, thanks for the info on the LEMON. I used to work on cars a lot and subarus came in to the shop as kind of rattle traps so I didn't really like them.

As time went on,I noticed a lot of them are still on the road though. Then when the Forester came out I thought it was a sign of the apocalypse (cheaper version of the outback that I would soon be pulling out of the mud on my samaritan days in the woods).

Anyway OP Keenan: subaru - good car, they don't work for my lifestyle though.

Steve


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2010
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

Umph! wrote:
But then, I've only owned 3 Sub's, and all three were owned by a hippy or a homo.

Hmmmm... So which are you?


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By C Scariot
Nov 5, 2010

I had an '87 wagon and a 96' outback. the wagon was one of the most reliable cars i ever had until a tornado totaled it at around 160K miles. on the other hand, the outback was without a doubt the worst car i ever had. problems starting at 30k, and eventually was told it wasn't worth fixing at just over 100k. most definitely would not recommend - i've been told that 96' was a very bad year fot outbacks. also, my old housemate had a new forester (04' model?) that died (engine blow up) at ~120k. have owned multiple toyotas with much better results. good luck!


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By Hansel
From Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2010
My ride

Umph! wrote:
Ok, I know that they seem to have a strong following from hippies and homosexuals...


What's that old adage, "we despise in others what we fail to see in ourselves"? Sounds like Umph! has some latent tendencies that need to be expressed..., and the guy doesn't sound like a laid-back hippie to me. Not that there's anything wrong with that, Umph!;-)

My '95 pseudo-Outback has 170K and still going strong!


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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Nov 5, 2010
Me, of course

A friend of mine drove a late 80's wagon with something like 350,000 on it, literally, it was ridiculous, and a piece, but it kept on running. I had a '96 legacy that was the damndest piece of crap ever. It kept blowing, yes, the head gasket, over and over and over. Thank god I got rid of it. As with many vehicles it seems, pre '95 or '94 are made well, late 90's, no thanks.


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Nov 5, 2010
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

I wouldn't be so sure they've fixed the head gasket problem. My 2004 Forester needed a head gasket at 130 K, and I've heard other owners mention similar issues.


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By portercassidy
From UT/CO
Nov 5, 2010
Deep in a slot canyon, somewhere on the colorado plateau

They last until you start Jumping them. Except for the CV Joints, they are always broken.


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By Umph!
Nov 5, 2010

Hansel wrote:
What's that old adage, "we despise in others what we fail to see in ourselves"? Sounds like Umph! has some latent tendencies that need to be expressed..., and the guy doesn't sound like a laid-back hippie to me. Not that there's anything wrong with that, Umph!;-) My '95 pseudo-Outback has 170K and still going strong!


Ha! How dare you question my lifestyle choices, dear Hansel.

My sub-conscious desires are at times raised to the surface of the reflection pool. . . but usually they lay stagnate upon the silty bottom.
I will confess that my past Subaru ownership may very well be the surfacing of some hippy and homosexual desires.
However, they were quickly destroyed by the shrapnel of the exploding CV joints, seized with the locked-up wheel bearings, and bled away with yet another master clutch cylinder replacement. . . . Oh yes, and that musky Alpha lesbo permeation, forever locked into the memory of my sinuses. . . forever haunting me. . . forever.


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By Scar
Nov 5, 2010

Our engine's shot on our 2004 Outback - it's in the shop. 130K miles. The last 3 Subarus I've owned have done much better. Usually get 200-300K miles. HTH.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2010
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

You know, it takes go ing no further than Consumer reports car guide to see that the Subs are right up top with Honda and Hyundai (and formerly Toyota, who has fallen from grace as of late) for reliability, but that the 2.2L's are the ones to get, not the 2.5L's.


Ummph!: What an expensive way to meet up with Lesbians! Dude, you are digging to the bottom there.


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By Mattberr
From utah
Nov 5, 2010
uintas

I have a 1978 wagon with 162k still running strong with original engine and tranny. It was a steal at 250 bucks! I think it has another 100k still left in it.


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By Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
Nov 7, 2010
Tour Ronde North Face

I have a 1990 Loyale wagon with 260,000 miles.

We've changed the oil and brake pads an done regular maintenance. Only thing that ever broke on it was the timing belt. (Although the exhaust pipe is rusting through.)

I don't think it will ever die.

My 1990 Loyale and my 2005 STi were both made in Japan. They seem to have fewer problems than the Subarus that were made in the US.


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By England
From ?
Nov 7, 2010
Alpine toothpick.

I drive a 97 Outback Legacy (2.5L) with 240,000 miles, and still running good. I had to put some $$ into it though-timing belt, and water pump.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Nov 7, 2010
Stabby

2 things to remember about Subaru's:
Its very hard to get speeding tickets with 'em
Replace the timing belt PROACTIVELY at 50K intervals


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By Chris Owen
Administrator
From La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Nov 7, 2010
There's more than one use for an Ice Hammer. Lake District (UK) late '70s

I had three Subarus in a row, a 86 GL Wagon, a 90 Legacy Wagon, and finally a 96 Outback Wagon, all 4WD, the GL and the Legacy were fine, and gave lots of reliable service, unfortunately the Outback was a lemon due to the previously mentioned cooling issues with the 2.5 litre boxer. I hadn't even had it a year (bought it new) when it started overheating. Neither the Subaru dealer, nor factory tech would give me any satisfaction so I traded it in and swore to never buy another Soob :-(

Avoid the 96 2.5L Outback.


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By Ryan F.
From Tucson, Arizona
Nov 7, 2010
chillin.

The specs on my Outback: 98 w/ 130k miles. Had 3 water pumps go within a one year period, with the last one leading to overheating and blown head gaskets and thats about it for anything major. One mechanic told me that the camshafts leak oil, but other than that a good car. I feel very much more confident about mine now that i see others with such high mileage......guess i'll have to take that longer road trip after all.


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