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Hello and Thank You in advance for your help. We are looking to buy our 1st Outback wagon and need your expertise in what to watch out for as in all the head gasket issues I see talked about in these forums. Any help would be highly appreciated.
I know enough about cars to watch out for the most common issues and have requirements for a used car like: Service records, Original owner, Clean title ect. Thanks again, Sara in Portland,Or
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I see this is your first post, so welcome to the forum from another Oregonian! :biggrin:

I can't directly address Outbacks, since I've never had one. Foresters had head gasket issues up to '03. There are reports of head gasket issues in '03 models, but much less. We haven't had a problem with our '03. :wink:

As to service history. Having it is a plus. There are specific services that need to be done at specific miles. Coolant, transmission, brake fluid change. Then there's spark plugs plugs & the expensive timing belt change which is due around 100K miles. :icon_eek:

If you buy a local (Oregon) vehicle, you shouldn't have a problem with rusting. We don't have any rusting on our '03 or our '95 Neon Sport. :smile:
 

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2004 Subaru FXT MT
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Welcome to the forum!

I have 3 Subaru's myself, one of which is a 96 Legacy Outback. Really, there isn't anything extra or specific to be concerned about with a Subaru of that generation that you wouldn't have to be concerned about with any other car.

If I remember right, you don't need to be worried about the head gasket issues until MY98 and later.

Also, I prefer the 2.2L motor over the 2.5L. They are a bit easier to work on in my opinion...
 

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2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
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Hello and Thank You in advance for your help. We are looking to buy our 1st Outback wagon and need your expertise in what to watch out for as in all the head gasket issues I see talked about in these forums. Any help would be highly appreciated.
I know enough about cars to watch out for the most common issues and have requirements for a used car like: Service records, Original owner, Clean title ect. Thanks again, Sara in Portland,Or

The 2.2L is considered to be the classic 'bulletproof' Subaru engine, but it DOES require a TB change every 60k miles, if I remember correctly. That's a turnoff for me, since I put miles on cars quickly. The 2.5 has a nice bump in power and torque, but there was one year that it required premium in the Outback (95-96 maybe?) so make sure you don't get one of those. They don't make as much power, and it just doesn't make sense to pay extra for gas like that.

Don't count on the owner having all the MX records, it's pretty rare that anyone does on a car of that age. Take it for a good test drive, and if the owner doesn't mind (or isn't with you :biggrin:) run it up near the redline once in 2nd gear to make sure there aren't any engine issues... sometimes things won't show until you put the engine under a load, and the last thing you want is to find out three months later that the engine power cuts after 4,000 RPM when you really need it, trying avoiding an accident. Listen for suspension clunks (often worn out bushings on Outbacks), and check the oil as well, but don't freak out if it's a little dirty. If it looks freshly changed, be sure to give the powertrain a thorough examination, as they may be trying to hide something. Not always the case, but people can be shady. :shrug:

Ever thought about a second-gen? I love mine, and they aren't too much more pricey. Smoother rear suspension, and nicer interior.

My 2000 just turned 143k today, still going strong! :smile:

Good luck finding one!
 
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