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Hey everyone. As you might know, this is one of my first posts, but I had a quick question, something that couldn't be answered on subaruoutback.org because I am having a really difficult time registering there. Anyways... I am very interested in a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback 30th edition with a 5 spd and 143k miles. I actually went and test drove the car today and I really like it. Now, the only thing that is really bothering me about the car is the infamous 2.5l head gasket problem. I was able to look at the carfax (I can't link it because this sight won't let me until I have 15 posts. *sad*) and it said it had one owner (the original owner) for 11 years, and then they sold it in late 2009, then the second owner bought it, and then sold it only 4 months later. Which scares me.

So anyways.... what is the likelihood that the head gaskets have already been replaced? I've read that there is a small chance of a repeat failure. I also know of all of the ways to see if the gaskets have failed (oil residue in coolant tank, exhaust smell.....) but I completely forgot about it when I went a drove it. My other question is if I take it to a shop that is familiar with Subarus, will they be able to tell me if the gaskets have been replaced?


I would be able to post the link to the AutoTrader ad and the Carfax if I had more posts but I can't. Can someone help me out there somehow?

Any and all help is much appreciated! I really want my first Subaru!!
 

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I have a 97 OB with 158,000 miles, and while it did have a few things go haywire at 150,000, it's still truckin' - no signs of headgaskets leaking. What kind of deal are you getting on the car? If you didn't smell anything (and even if you forgot to check, I can't help but think that if it did smell, you memory would have been jogged), and the car wasn't overheating, I bet it's fine. I wouldn't worry about the 2nd owner only having it 4 months - there are so many other reasonable explanations for that.
 
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