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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm looking to purchase a used Outback H6 VDC ('02 or '03) and most of the vehicles have about 70-90k miles on them. I was wondering, are there any known problems with the H6's as they start getting older? From what I can tell they seem to have excellent reliability, but I figured I'd check with actual H6 owners to see if any of you have started having problems as the miles started stacking up.

Is there anything specific to Subaru's or the H6 that I should make sure to check out or have a mechanic check out before buying a vehicle?

If you could share any information you may have on long term reliability it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
sicko
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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sicko said:
Hi, I'm looking to purchase a used Outback H6 VDC ('02 or '03) and most of the vehicles have about 70-90k miles on them. I was wondering, are there any known problems with the H6's as they start getting older? From what I can tell they seem to have excellent reliability, but I figured I'd check with actual H6 owners to see if any of you have started having problems as the miles started stacking up.

Is there anything specific to Subaru's or the H6 that I should make sure to check out or have a mechanic check out before buying a vehicle?

If you could share any information you may have on long term reliability it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
sicko
I bought mine in October with 55Kmiles, now have 75Kmiles.

Nothing significant so far.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Overall, does anyone know what the general concencuss is, will this car hit 125k or more without any major problems?

I just want to make sure there are no known issues, like no leaky head gaskets that start showing up after 100k, etc. I realize stuff happens, I just want to make sure there are no known problems that have a higher tendency to happen on the H6 then normal. Normal wear and tear on the engine I can deal with, I just don't want to start getting hit up with big service bills every year after only having the car for a year or two.

Thanks,
sicko
 

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2003 Outback LLB 3.0 H6
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I have a 03' H6 and im about to break the 110 k mark late next week. No major engine problems thus far. But like with any car, major problems can be avoided with routine maintenance. Enjoy your new H6!
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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sicko said:
Thanks for the reply. Overall, does anyone know what the general concencuss is, will this car hit 125k or more without any major problems?

I just want to make sure there are no known issues, like no leaky head gaskets that start showing up after 100k, etc. I realize stuff happens, I just want to make sure there are no known problems that have a higher tendency to happen on the H6 then normal. Normal wear and tear on the engine I can deal with, I just don't want to start getting hit up with big service bills every year after only having the car for a year or two.

Thanks,
sicko
The timing chain and water pump (you just do the pump when you do the chain) are the biggies, aside from just plain old wearing out the axles and struts and wheel-bearings, etc.

Except for the engine itself, everything else is just like an H4, even the transmission (but I hear its geared a skosh higher).

I hear the chain and tensioners are good for 150,000 miles. Less if you drive around with dirty oil (the chain does a lot of sliding along tensioners and guides).

If I don't get 300,000 miles out of my wagon I'm gonnna be super pissed.



Dave
 

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03 Outback H6
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I have 125k miles (200k km) on my 03. Haven't had any real issues. Currently it's boggin' when it just starts up. But I'll run some seafoam through it (when I get around to it) and we'll see if that cleans things up.

I'm also not gentle on it either. I've skipped traffic by tearing through a plowed field (under construction). I regularly pull 3000+ towing with it. I've pulled 4k once or twice when necessary (custom class III hitch).

It's pulled it's share of cars out of ditches etc.

Overall, I'm pleased and I think you will to. Don't assume you can abuse as well, I may have lucked out. My next Subaru won't be abused like this (hopefully it's out of my system).
 

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06 2.5i LTD, 13 2.5 LTD SAP
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my 03 h6 sedan has 136k miles on it and my only complaint is that once the engine gets to normal temperature there is a valve ticking that is quite annoying. this noise is not present when the engine is cold, however. it does not take away from the performance of the car though. nice ride for 6 grand..
 

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'03 Outback H6-3.0 Black Granite Pearl, base model with cold weather package and cloth seats.
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I have about 130k miles on my '03, and the only engine related issue has been the time chain replacement (under warranty) because of a ticking sound when warm. I was told this was extremely rare.

Apparently, as the engine and chain warm up, the chain get's longer and the tensioners weren't able to adequately compensate. So they replaced both chains, the guides and tensioners.

According to the manual, the chains are to be life-of-the-car items, not needing replacement.

There have also been the usual set of wheel bearing, CV boot, etc., issues, and a Duty C solenoid replacement (not sure this was really needed, but it was done under warranty).

I recently did the Seafoam decarbonizing treatment, and it significantly smoothed out the way the car was running. Almost couldn't hear it running!

I drive it gently, and regularly get 28-29 miles (primarily highway) on midgrade gas. The original Potenza tires lasted 70K miles before they got loud and I had them replaced (Nokian WR).

Oil is Mobile1, and I have Royal Purple synthetic ATF in the tranny. It likes it!.
 

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05 Outback XT LTD 5Spd.
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I bought my 02 ****** with 89K on it and have 178K now. I have had to replace the front wheel bearings and half shafts, but that is normal wear and tear. I also replaced the valve cover gaskets about 20k ago, not a hard job to do if you take your time. Other then that the engine has been running great. Just wish the tranny was a 5spd........
 

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chevy nova
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wilsonhp said:
I have about 130k miles on my '03, and the only engine related issue has been the time chain replacement (under warranty) because of a ticking sound when warm. I was told this was extremely rare.

Apparently, as the engine and chain warm up, the chain get's longer and the tensioners weren't able to adequately compensate. So they replaced both chains, the guides and tensioners.

According to the manual, the chains are to be life-of-the-car items, not needing replacement.

There have also been the usual set of wheel bearing, CV boot, etc., issues, and a Duty C solenoid replacement (not sure this was really needed, but it was done under warranty).

I recently did the Seafoam decarbonizing treatment, and it significantly smoothed out the way the car was running. Almost couldn't hear it running!

I drive it gently, and regularly get 28-29 miles (primarily highway) on midgrade gas. The original Potenza tires lasted 70K miles before they got loud and I had them replaced (Nokian WR).

Oil is Mobile1, and I have Royal Purple synthetic ATF in the tranny. It likes it!.

Wow, what's your trick to the high mpg?? Mine pulls maybe 24mpg all highway. Then again, I'm going around 70-75mph... I'm going to try the Seafoam myself on my next tank, it can't hurt.

My car now has 134k and I suspect it was neglected a bit of its life. I put around $1400 into it doing the 100k tuneup stuff, a new battery, plus a new axle because a cv boot tore. I've only owned it since June, but its been rock solid. I can't say the same for my ex-Saab that didn't go a couple of weeks without having to be in the shop for something. :mad: My only problem still is the lack of power getting onto the highway, but it seems to be better since the visit to the mechanic yesterday for draining of the overfilled oil, Lucas cleaner in the tranny fluid, and an axle switchout. :)
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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teblhasa said:



Wow, what's your trick to the high mpg?? Mine pulls maybe 24mpg all highway. Then again, I'm going around 70-75mph... I'm going to try the Seafoam myself on my next tank, it can't hurt.

My car now has 134k and I suspect it was neglected a bit of its life. I put around $1400 into it doing the 100k tuneup stuff, a new battery, plus a new axle because a cv boot tore. I've only owned it since June, but its been rock solid. I can't say the same for my ex-Saab that didn't go a couple of weeks without having to be in the shop for something. :mad: My only problem still is the lack of power getting onto the highway, but it seems to be better since the visit to the mechanic yesterday for draining of the overfilled oil, Lucas cleaner in the tranny fluid, and an axle switchout. :)
Power getting onto the highway is this cars strong suit, as long as you hit the gas hard enough to kick the trans down to 2nd.

I'd trade some top-end power for more at 3000. Or a 6 speed close-ratio would be nice.


Dave
 

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chevy nova
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Sometimes I end up having to be light on the gas because the morons in front of me have no clue what an onramp is used for. :11: Then my car really, really sucks trying to match everyone's speed on the top before I'm run over. On the times I have the ramp to myself I seem to have no problem. I really want the turbo engine; I really liked the power of my Saab. Although, I did beat a souped up "sport car" with my OB off the light, man, I would have been embarrassed! I also outpaced an Audi on a cloverleaf too. :D

So how's the OB in the snow?!
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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teblhasa said:
Sometimes I end up having to be light on the gas because the morons in front of me have no clue what an onramp is used for. :11: Then my car really, really sucks trying to match everyone's speed on the top before I'm run over. On the times I have the ramp to myself I seem to have no problem. I really want the turbo engine; I really liked the power of my Saab. Although, I did beat a souped up "sport car" with my OB off the light, man, I would have been embarrassed! I also outpaced an Audi on a cloverleaf too. :D

So how's the OB in the snow?!
Fricken' awesome in the snow, the only thing that stopped me with good snows was when the snow was pretty solid, and I 'rode up' on it instead of plowing.


Dave
 

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SWEET! I can hardly wait! All my other cars wanted to go off the road in a bad way, even with TC. My boyfriend used to whip donuts in ice covered parking lots for fun with his old SVX...
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean 3.0R
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I'm just getting to 100k miles on my 2001 Outback VDC. This is the first-generation H6 and thus far the engine has been pretty good. Like all Subies, it's not the most powerful engine on the planet and does struggle on steep climbs in the high altitudes here in Utah, but it's not too bad.

The issues I've had have been wear and tear items mostly except for my ABS and VDC issues. I've spent about $1500 just getting ABS and VDC lights to go off and function properly.

I've only owned the car since 70k, so I don't know what the previous owner did to it. The interior is spotless and the exterior was well-maintained, but it was an East Coast car (Long Island, NY), so it has more than its share of undercarriage rust, etc. I thoroughly cleaned everything and spray painted the bad stuff with a rust inhibitor.
 
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