I rented a Subaru Forester a few years ago in Utah/Wyoming.  Fun toy, but struggled a bit making it up 'n over Teton Pass.
Get a Toyota, instead.  I've driven the 4 cylinder 4WD pick ups since 1994.  Let's see: 19 years, 3 trucks and 644,000 miles and I've had to get 2 separate cracked U-Joints taken care of as well as some wheel bearings replaced.  Then a radio button fell off.  That's all....... though it helps that I drive like a whose.  The one I currently have has 189000 miles on it and since it's getting a bit long in the tooth, I have to punch it to 85+ MPH crossing the White River bridge in order to get the necessary mo' to make it up the subsequent big hill on I-89 in Sharon but other than that, it runs fine.  It also has what it takes to handle rotarys and other bemusing assorted Boston area traffic scenarios and believe you me, there's lots of 'em.
Mark P. Renson

From: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, April 26, 2013 9:22 PM
Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] Seeking list wisdom on Subarus

I was sold on Legacy sedans after watching EO&apos;s old machine billowing snow over the hood.

My 1997 Legacy GT sedan blew it&apos;s headgasket at the end of a sporty ride up and over the Roxbury Gap, somewhere just short of 100k.  This was a weekly route when we had a rental on Lincoln Gap road so lots of steep ups and downs. Thanks to MikeW for the rescue.  I ended up replacing the short block on this car and my cousin is still ripping around with somewhere over 180k on the clock.

I replaced the 1997 with a 2009 Legacy sedan.  I bought it with 17k and a whining drive.  2 days after the private sale the dealer swapped the entire transaxle under warrantee after finding the fluid full of metal filings.  Not sure if this was a one time failure but haven&apos;t heard of any others with this failure.

2 Subarus, 2 major failures.  Other than those 2 issues I&apos;ve had nothing but endless confident snowy rides.  The sedan is perfectly balanced and if it does skid it will be the most predictable, drivable skid.  In nascar terms it&apos;s just a tiny bit loose,  with no hint of a push.

I&apos;ve never had a clearance issue in the non-outback models.  I&apos;ve driven in all conditions and at worst needed a little extra speed to power through a deeper pile, and good snows always help.

And Ortiz just hit a bomb to dead center.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

Patrick Haskell &lt;[log in to unmask]&gt; wrote:

We've got a 2007 Forester and a 2011 imprezza with the 2.5L engine, both with about 60K on them. so this is something that I've thinking about lately.  Subaru's headgasket issues have genreally gotten better over the years, but they never truly went away.  The last 1990s vintages were the worst, not because they had the most problems, but because they allowed antifreeze to get into the engine oil, which could wreck the engine.  The early 2000-era 2.5L engines primarily suffer from oil leaking out, rather than from hidden internal leakage with the 2004-2005 being better than the 2000-2003, and the 2006 and later being better than 2004-2005.  That being said, it's still an issue with their 2.5 L engines.  The 3.0L V6s are much more solid, as are the turbocharged 2.5L engines and the 2.2L engines, aside from the original year Outback Sport. 
The head gaskets typically go bewteen 100K to 150K miles, unless they are being driven at high speeds or up and down mountain passes, in which case they can go sooner.  If you are looking at an Outback with 100K, you might want to factor in the cost of head gasket replacement, which will probably run you $1,000 to $1,500, depending on who works on your car.  Note also that Subarus usaully get their timing belt changed at around 100 to 120K, as regular maintenance.  When this gets done, the engine will already be pulled and open, making the head gasket replacement be much less costly (shouldn't add more than a couple $100).  I would definitely recommend changing the head gasket then as preventative maintenance.
There are other after market fixes to help with this problem, but they really aren't worth doing until you are changing the head gasket.  They range from sealants to put on the gasket to help extend it's life to re-tapping and bolting parts of the engine around the head gasket, so parts don't move around as much there, but I haven't gotten around to researching those, as I'm still a couple years away from having to face this issue. 
- Patrick
From: S H <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2013 3:09 PM
Subject: [SKIVT-L] Seeking list wisdom on Subarus

Today I had the opportunity to buy my friend's old man's 2006 Subaru Wagon for $12,500 with 36,000 miles. I had all the forms filled out, and when the car arrived, what I thought was an Outback wagon, was actually a Legacy Wagon. 

I have a Legacy wagon now (1996) and it has treated me quite well. Rust is starting to take over, so I have been shopping. I decided I wanted an Outback because of it's better clearance. I have had issues with ice/snow build up in the wheel wells of my Legacy and with the low clearance on my steep n gnarly driveway. More than 8" of snow can be an issue for it. I thought the Outback would perform better, so that is what I'm shopping for.

The Forester and the Honda CRVs were given consideration, however, they will not fit in my garage with the ski box on the roof. So that was a deal breaker, though I do prefer the drive of the CRV over any of the Subarus. I'm more about practicality and the Subaru Outback Wagon has always been a good fit.

My used car dealer friend says to stay away from the 2006's and that generation and don't buy anything older than a 2008, unless you know the head gasket has been replaced.

The high end of my price range was $10,000, so the Legacy was a bit out of range but with the low miles I thought it should be considered. It's clean enough and was well cared for. It is more money than I wanted to spend and not exactly what I wanted. I have until tomorrow at noon to make a decision on it.

Whattya think? Splurge on something I didn't exactly want? Wait and find something more suitable? (There's an 08 Outback with 100k for $10k...which is kinda what I was thinking). Would it be more worthwhile to spend more for less miles?

If you have a Subaru with a 2.5l engine, at what mileage did you blow/replace the headgasket? and what year was your car?

Thanks for any info and help for my next car acquisition.


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