1 2
ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory SuperDork
10/29/14 7:40 p.m.

Because that's what I'm reading.

I'm admittedly all over the map with my next $4k DD purchase but the lot that I'm inclined to buy from has a huge variety to choose from and they've got a few Subies with the 2.5.

I simply cannot get into a HG nightmare but with all I've read... That's what they are.

I'm right, right?

The_Jed
The_Jed UltraDork
10/29/14 7:45 p.m.

Try to find one with the EZ30. No hg issues and a timing chain instead of a belt.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory SuperDork
10/29/14 7:47 p.m.

In the 2001-2-3 range? I'm off to Wikipedia!

Edit: '03-'09. That's gonna be pushing me past my $4k limit.

NGTD
NGTD SuperDork
10/29/14 7:59 p.m.

Most 01-03 Subaru's should have their HG's done already. Once they are fixed properly they normally stay fixed.

The 97-99 2.5's (EJ25D - DOHC) engine are known to be much worse. They leak internally. Mine had 260k miles on it when I sold it and it's still running.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory SuperDork
10/29/14 8:04 p.m.

In reply to NGTD:

I've had that same thought. The lot I deal with is very likely to have zero maintanence records. I've no way of knowing whether it's 1,000 miles til HG nightmare or if it was fixed (properly or otherwise) recently.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
10/29/14 8:24 p.m.

Had a 2001 Outback with the 2.5 for about a year. Pretty sure it was the worst car I've ever owned. Needed head gaskets during my ownership, which fortunately, I did not have to pay for. The car had other issues, including a wonky clutch. Really, just not a well-executed automobile.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
10/29/14 8:29 p.m.

Friend of mine has one. He had the HGs done, and I think a clutch. Transmission rear output thing-a-ma-jiggy blew recently and he put a new used transmission in it for about a grand. He's got around 200K on it. I mean, it's no Toyota, but it's no Chevy or Fiat either.

The_Jed
The_Jed UltraDork
10/29/14 8:29 p.m.

In reply to ebonyandivory:

Woops, sorry.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory SuperDork
10/29/14 8:39 p.m.
The_Jed wrote: In reply to ebonyandivory: Woops, sorry.

About my $4k limit? No worries! You made me learn something I didn't know so I thank you!

Btw, best avatar ever!

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UltraDork
10/29/14 9:18 p.m.

I know of an awesome GC8 2.5RS Impreza for sale. In your price range.

bgkast
bgkast SuperDork
10/29/14 9:25 p.m.

In reply to Dr. Hess:

Sounds worse than any chevy I've ever dealt with

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltraDork
10/29/14 9:27 p.m.

I had an '02. HGs done @ 45k.

Despite commonly reading on GRM that they are a once-and-done item, elsewhere I commonly come across Subaru owners/enthusiasts who will tell me "you just have to replace them every 60k, get used to it"

I liked the car, aside from the fear of imminent trans/HG failure. I've had too many friends plagued by these cars.

Oh, also, awful gas mileage.

ssswitch
ssswitch Reader
10/29/14 9:50 p.m.

I've been tooling around on externally leaking headgaskets in my 03 for a year or so. No problems other than going through coolant and oil faster than I would like. As said, the DOHC/Phase 1 motors with internally leaking headgaskets are where you have to worry.

@ProDarwin: If you let the dealership replace them, they just replace them with the exact same low-quality head gaskets. Turbo (multi-layer steel) or Six Star gaskets are good for much longer, assuming you prep the mating surfaces properly (i.e. use a sanding block instead of a whizz wheel like the Subaru of America recall guide said to).

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi Reader
10/29/14 9:58 p.m.

This question keeps coming up. Maybe because winter is on its way, otherwise known as "Subaru Season"?

I have an 01 Legacy sedan auto. Did the HG's (dealer) / intake / exhaust (felpro) / timing belt / water pump (gates kit) over a full weekend, while keeping the engine in the car. It wasn't the hardest job I've ever done, but not the easiest either. I did it around 100 or 120k miles IIRC.

Head gaskets aren't the only weird things on these cars. Listen to the wheel bearings too - I've had to replace the front and rear bearings on my car.

We have a love / hate relationship... its slow and has needed significant repairs given the mileage, but it does really well in the snow!

The_Jed
The_Jed UltraDork
10/29/14 11:38 p.m.

I'm a big fan of how these cars are built, very easy to work on.

I would pull the engine to change the headgaskets, though. I had the engine out of the wife's '93 Impreza in about 2 hours when I replaced the clutch. Easiest engine pull I've ever done. A fella with better wrenching skills who wants to get it done quick could easily cut that time in half.

Nick_Comstock
Nick_Comstock PowerDork
10/30/14 12:10 a.m.

I can't speak to the engine issues but I'm pretty sure more people have been killed by Subaru than Ebola.

Duke
Duke UltimaDork
10/30/14 7:39 a.m.

My daughter has an '02 2.5TS. At 100k miles, it weeps a little oil but doesn't use any coolant, and there doesn't seem to be any cross-contamination.

Zomby Woof
Zomby Woof PowerDork
10/30/14 7:42 a.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: it's no Toyota, but it's no Chevy or Fiat either.

In 2001 a good friend bought a nearly new 2.5 RS at the same time I bought a similar age Z24 for my wife. I would say his was pretty good for a Subaru, but it was nowhere near as trouble free as our Z24. I also watched a coworker get nickle and dimed by an outback so badly that he just gave up and scrapped it after a year.

One thing sticks in my mind. When I was rallycrossing, I let a competitor drive my car in one of the rounds. He had written off his Impreza over the winter and was telling me about his and the other cars in the series that, although they were great cars for rally and rallycross, they were (in his words) falling apart in front of our eyes, and said he would never buy another one.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
10/30/14 8:01 a.m.

I don't think that you can really blame any car that is rallycrossed for falling apart.

Petrolburner
Petrolburner Reader
10/30/14 1:20 p.m.
Nick_Comstock wrote: I can't speak to the engine issues but I'm pretty sure more people have been killed by Subaru than Ebola.

+1

With a $4k budget there are so many better options. I'd go for an older Acura TL personally.

sachilles
sachilles SuperDork
10/30/14 1:42 p.m.

You want a sohc 2.5. If they have a hg problem it is visible externally. Get under the car and look, especially at the back of the engine. If you see oil, yep, HG time. OEM sti head gasket is the way to go. Fix it right, use that gasket and it's never a problem. People rush through it, throw an aftermarket gasket without the heads ever seeing a machine shop are destine to repeat the process. Easier to do with the motor out....and if the motor is out, there is all kinds of stuff that is worth doing on an unknown motor...and that can raise the price on the job.

Some do not leak very much and stay that way. I bought a beater that had some seeping from the HG. Drove it for three years(45k miles ish) like that, didn't get any worse. Didn't use enough oil between changes to be a problem. Think of it as an active undercoating system.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 PowerDork
10/30/14 4:55 p.m.
ProDarwin wrote: Oh, also, *awful* gas mileage.

Thanks for reminding me of that! I figured that with the 5-speed, the car would return decent mileage and be reasonably responsive. I figured wrong! Low 20-mpg range, and an absolute dog in any gear!

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
10/30/14 5:20 p.m.
Duke wrote: My daughter has an '02 2.5TS. At 100k miles, it weeps a little oil but doesn't use any coolant, and there doesn't seem to be any cross-contamination.

I bought my son a brand new Impreza 2.5i in 2006 for college. He drove it for four years while he was in college and put on 100K miles during that time. Best car ever. Completely reliable and never a problem. Went through the worst winters Michigan could throw at it and asked for more. We faithfully did all the required maintenance work as needed when he was home. Around 110K miles the HGs got just a little weepy, nothing terrible, and we replaced those (At home in the garage using a YouTube video we found online as a guide) with some upgraded gaskets. After that he bought a new WRX and sold the Impreza. As far as I know it's still going. My experience with Subaru's is completely different to most everyone else's on here apparently. I am OCD on performing maintenance work, maybe that's why it did so well. Did I mention I have had 5 Subaru's and that they have all been trouble free? I also have a RX7 with 120K on the original rotary motor. I guess I live dangerously.

series8217
series8217 Reader
10/30/14 6:26 p.m.

A few years ago, I bought my 2001 Outback 2.5L 5-speed manual with a 125k miles on it. I'm about to reach 200k now.

At 130k I replaced the head gaskets due to an external coolant leak. At the same time, I replaced the clutch, flywheel, pressure plate, and throwout bearing, and changed the timing belt. Total cost ~$500 for all the parts.

Later, I had to replace a front left wheel bearing ($100 and a pain in the ass to do), some CV joint boots (<$50; even a whole rebuilt axle is less than $100), the center differential viscous coupling[1] due to binding $400, the front lower control arm bushings (expensive but pretty easy to do), and maybe a few other minor things.

The car is VERY easy to work on and dealer parts are cheap. It's also possible to find chassis stuff at the junkyard but engines are a little harder to find. A brand new short block is only $2000 from Subaru though.

It currently needs some rear suspension bushings, and a transmission input shaft bearing. Otherwise it's still going strong.

Gas mileage sucks though. Don't expect better than 24 mpg on the freeway, and even that may be hard to get.

All in all, I think that's pretty good for 75k miles of use and frequent rough off-roading, crashing into rocks, driving through water, and two full seasons of rallycross - I'm NOT easy on it.

I have never ever been left stranded by this car.

1 - the autos have a clutch pack; different issue if they are binding, and maybe less expensive to fix.. auto transmissions are easier to find too

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
10/30/14 6:47 p.m.
series8217 wrote: A few years ago, I bought my 2001 Outback 2.5L 5-speed manual with a 125k miles on it. I'm about to reach 200k now. At 130k I replaced the head gaskets due to an external coolant leak. At the same time, I replaced the clutch, flywheel, pressure plate, and throwout bearing, and changed the timing belt. Total cost ~$500 for all the parts. Later, I had to replace a front left wheel bearing ($100 and a pain in the ass to do), some CV joint boots (<$50; even a whole rebuilt axle is less than $100), the center differential viscous coupling[1] due to binding $400, the front lower control arm bushings (expensive but pretty easy to do), and maybe a few other minor things. The car is VERY easy to work on and dealer parts are cheap. It's also possible to find chassis stuff at the junkyard but engines are a little harder to find. A brand new short block is only $2000 from Subaru though. It currently needs some rear suspension bushings, and a transmission input shaft bearing. Otherwise it's still going strong. Gas mileage sucks though. Don't expect better than 24 mpg on the freeway, and even that may be hard to get. All in all, I think that's pretty good for 75k miles of use and frequent rough off-roading, crashing into rocks, driving through water, and two full seasons of rallycross - I'm NOT easy on it. I have never ever been left stranded by this car. 1 - the autos have a clutch pack; different issue if they are binding, and maybe less expensive to fix.. auto transmissions are easier to find too

Thanks for that post.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
XY1aOB4XlvmYB9LseDqTtsUn3W79uN0IFwlYBNzfhJOl0BwuW1fXlpfKRQUFPmji