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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there everyone. I just joined the site and am already learning lots!

I am thinking of buying a 1998 Outback with 200K miles on it. Owner says it is in good shape other than the transmission slipping a little in low gear when it is not warmed up.

I was wondering if there are any big things to be aware of when looking at an Outback of this year/generation? I'm asking for a quick education. Teach me if you would.

Thanks in advance.
 

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2,893 Posts
Hey there everyone. I just joined the site and am already learning lots!

I am thinking of buying a 1998 Outback with 200K miles on it. Owner says it is in good shape other than the transmission slipping a little in low gear when it is not warmed up.

I was wondering if there are any big things to be aware of when looking at an Outback of this year/generation? I'm asking for a quick education. Teach me if you would.

Thanks in advance.
The #1 thing to watch out for on that car is head gaskets. It's not a matter of if they will go, but when. Do a search and you'll find a good amount of information on warning signs that they're going. Most original head gaskets on these engines don't make it to 200k, but it's definitely possible.

Also, torque bind...try driving in figure-eights. You shouldn't hear any noises, feel any binding, or have to use much (if any) throttle to keep the car moving.

Those two things can be expensive to deal with...I'm sure others will point out some more.

As far as the transmission goes, a fluid change can often work wonders in these, though any slipping would make me nervous. Hard shifts and the like are one thing, but slipping is another.
 

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I may have worded that poorly. What the owner told me is happening with the transmission is, when it isn't warmed up fully,if he drives down the road and stops at an intersection, the transmission doesn't want to shift from first to second when he takes off. He has to rev the engine a bit to get it to up shift.

Does that make sense? Hope I explained it better.
 
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TN_Mike
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