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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! I'm contemplating my first Subaru purchase and am a bit lost... hoping for some sage advice from those of you who know far more than I.

2007 Subaru Outback - 3.0 R LL Bean / For sale by (2nd) owner / $5,000 /133K Miles / Clean Title

The seller has had the below maintenance done over the years on Subaru's schedule. When I asked if the timing belt was replaced, he said "no, haven't had any issues with it." That's my largest concern right now, given the car's age/mileage.

  • Oil changes every 4K.
  • Transmission fluid flushes every 30 since 100k.
  • Front struts, CV joints, and plugs replaced at 100k.
Lastly, if there are any other important maintenance ticket items I should inquire about... I'd greatly appreciate some pointers!

487330
 

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2008 Outback 3.0R L.L. Bean
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Looks nice! I absolutely love my 120k miles 3.0r and unfortunately I beat it to **** by constantly flooring it, loading it up with woodshop heavy machinery and lumber/plywood, and driving daily in NYC whiplashing it through the streets. It's still driving just fine and makes me smile ;)

The ez30 has no timing belt, but rather a timing chain, which lasts for a very long time, although I'm unsure of how long. I've had my 3.0r from 70 - 120k miles.

I don't know too much, but I can tell you what issues that I've had with my vehicle. So far, it's been just high mileage maintenance, like replacing control arm bushings, wheel bearings, brake pads/rotors/calipers, transmission mount, exhaust, cv joints and my suspension. I can see a slight leak around the timing chain cover gasket, and it leaks a quart of oil every 1000 miles. My steering rack is leaking quite a bit, but it hasn't affected driving yet. I think these are all normal for a 100k+ mile car though.

I would definitely look out for CV joints. They're next to the exhaust so they break down easily. Just get a new boot and pack it with grease before the axle gets bad. The axles should last as long as the boots are not empty of grease.

Give it 91+ octane gas since the manual says to and it's a higher compression engine.

The engine still runs smooth though and sounds great.

Check out MrSubaru on Youtube and he can help you understand common issues on this type of vehicle since he's a Subaru mechanic. Subaru mechanics tend to like the 3.0r much more than the 4 cylinder boxer engine. Plus, it doesn't have the Subaru head gasket issue.

Salty roads and daily rough driving is the main culprit of replacement parts.

I live in NYC, and drive everyday, about an hour or two a day, because my job. The roads here are rougher than a lot of trails. I've seen many oil pans taken out because of how bumpy it is here. Your mileage may vary, but the car has been good to me thus far and may be even better if it's not in such a hazardous environment like NYC.

I've actually never flushed the trans fluid (I've heard from some mechanics that if you don't know if it's been flushed, then it's best not to keep changing the fluid).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looks nice! I absolutely love my 120k miles 3.0r and unfortunately I beat it to **** by constantly flooring it, loading it up with woodshop heavy machinery and lumber/plywood, and driving daily in NYC whiplashing it through the streets. It's still driving just fine and makes me smile ;)

The ez30 has no timing belt, but rather a timing chain, which lasts for a very long time, although I'm unsure of how long. I've had my 3.0r from 70 - 120k miles.

I don't know too much, but I can tell you what issues that I've had with my vehicle. So far, it's been just high mileage maintenance, like replacing control arm bushings, wheel bearings, brake pads/rotors/calipers, transmission mount, exhaust, cv joints and my suspension. I can see a slight leak around the timing chain cover gasket, and it leaks a quart of oil every 1000 miles. My steering rack is leaking quite a bit, but it hasn't affected driving yet. I think these are all normal for a 100k+ mile car though.

I would definitely look out for CV joints. They're next to the exhaust so they break down easily. Just get a new boot and pack it with grease before the axle gets bad. The axles should last as long as the boots are not empty of grease.

Give it 91+ octane gas since the manual says to and it's a higher compression engine.

The engine still runs smooth though and sounds great.

Check out MrSubaru on Youtube and he can help you understand common issues on this type of vehicle since he's a Subaru mechanic. Subaru mechanics tend to like the 3.0r much more than the 4 cylinder boxer engine. Plus, it doesn't have the Subaru head gasket issue.

Salty roads and daily rough driving is the main culprit of replacement parts.

I live in NYC, and drive everyday, about an hour or two a day, because my job. The roads here are rougher than a lot of trails. I've seen many oil pans taken out because of how bumpy it is here. Your mileage may vary, but the car has been good to me thus far and may be even better if it's not in such a hazardous environment like NYC.

I've actually never flushed the trans fluid (I've heard from some mechanics that if you don't know if it's been flushed, then it's best not to keep changing the fluid).
My man, THANK YOU! So much good stuff here! I appreciate the deep-dive. Great to know it has a chain as opposed to a belt - I feel more at ease now. The other option I'm weighing is a newer outback (2010) with higher mileage (163K) for an extra grand. Seemingly well kept and maintained, but it does have a 2.5L H4 engine... I wasn't aware of this head gasket issue, but a quick google search and it doesn't look pretty. Would you say the older model with the 3.0r is the better bet?

I'm actually just moving from NYC... the reason I'm car shopping. Kudos to you for braving the city streets. I haven't driven for the last 10 years, hence my little knowledge. Anywho, thanks again.
 

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2008 Outback 3.0R L.L. Bean
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No problem!

I personally would go with the 3.0. There’s a big difference between the power and reliability of the H4 and H6. I used to have a 2003 H4 and it was painfully slow, but I’m also picky. I think Mrsubaru on YouTube states whether or not the head gasket issues are present in the 2010 H4 models (I think so but don’t quote me).

The 3.0r may have better off-road capability since they come with a mechanical rear LSD with VDC (which allows more power to be sent to the rear tires).

Although the external dimensions are similar, I think the 2010 has much more rear seat room than the earlier model, so if you have teens for children or frequently have adult passengers on long trips, you may want the 2010.

2010 may have frames around the door windows whereas the 2007 have frameless windows. That’s the one thing I don’t like about my car - it’s loud on the highway due to wind noise. It’s possible to change the door frame gaskets but I have yet to do that. I don’t know the difference, but I assume the 2010 may be quieter on the highway.

I also personally think the older gen looks way better ;) I’ve even had outback owners with a newer generation car approach me and say that the 2020 Outback looks great, meanwhile they had no clue it’s a 2008 lol!

I’m unsure of the 2010 or 2007, but my 2008 was a huge pain to change the stereo to a aftermarket double DIN CarPlay stereo since the radio and dual zoned climate control are wired together. It’s definitely possible, but it requires a $350 JDM double din dash plate and a custom wire adapter. If you plan on changing stereos, keep this in mind.

Regardless, buying used is always a gamble and if all depends on your preferences. Good luck and let us know which one you get!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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2008 JDM Outback 3.0R, 5EAT
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I have the '07 3.0R. The H6 3.0's occasionally have a head gasket coolant seep under the engine - mine does. Actually you can check with a torch even with the engine undercover attached but is easier without.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey guys - update here. I too was leaning towards the 3.0R, mostly thanks to your pointers here, but the seller got cold feet and didn't circle back after I asked for a pre-purchase inspection. Sooo I must've dodged a bullet lol.

I took the 2010 2.5i to a shop to get it checked out and am likely pulling the trigger later today! (Although Chris, I must admit I too think the older gen has such a better look to it).

Started a new thread here in Problems & Maintenance about the timing belt in case you care to follow or have any thoughts to add yourself. Thanks again for your time! Timing Belt Mystery 2010 2.5i Limited
 
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