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2010 2.5 Premium - Satin Pearl White
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2010 2.5i Premium I bought brand new in 2009 and so far has been a great car but at a decison point on it. It has over 228k on it.

I was told the head gasket, cam and crank seals on the engine are needed to stop the oil leaks.

The subframe is rusted its going to be an issue soon, ball joint needs replaced along with control arm and an axel too.

I also know the ac needs fixed as it barely blows out cold air and the fan that blows in cabin air is starting to make noise.

The stealership will take it as a trade in but i can't really get another vehicle, i do have a truck and motorcycles as well. Plus nothing out there that catches my eye, they had a 2013 legacy with under 100k miles but not really sure.

I'm probably going to take it to a local shop for another opinion as over 7K in repairs is a bit much.

Don't want to let it go but maybe the most sound decision too.
 

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2010 2.5 Premium - Satin Pearl White
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is it about this particular car that you love so much? And Subarus in general?
I mean up to this point it's been reliable mechanically. I've had all four wheel bearings replaced, both axels once, all wear and tear and other general wear and tear items. I mean for over 13 years and 228k think the only thing that's given me grief was the head unit which was replaced once or twice plus the sat radio antenna.

I also like the design of the Outbacks and having one from day one until now it's been a good vehicle so a plus there for Subaru. My truck is a Toyota and I would own a 4Runner or Rav4 as well.

The plus is I don't need another vehicle, just nice to have the daily driver that has better mpg than my truck.
 

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2020 Outback 2.5i Premium
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848 Posts
You got your money's worth. If the subframe is rusting out, the body is on it's way out. The car won't last long enough to recoup that 7K in repairs. Drive it, until it blows and junk it. Or donate it while it's running, for tax break.

Saw your avatar. By chance do you hang out with other guys in Ohio running Ghost Buster OBs? Every now an then I see what is obviously a car club group on the road. Usually there is a group with GB OBs. I see the same guy with the full roof rack, tanks, ladders, and prop stuff.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT Caramel Bronze Pearl
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55 Posts
Before you shop around for repairs, what is your "this is the max I'll spend on this car" price? If you set that before you shop for repairs hopefully you don't make an emotional choice. Your current motor / head fix sounds like the beginning of spending. You list subframe and AC, neither are going to be cheap.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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19,179 Posts
2010 2.5 do not leak oil from the head gaskets. The service dept or whomever told you that is FOS. This engine has MLS from the factory. 2009 down SOHC engines had oil leak issues from the HG.

Had a 2011 w/212k miles and never had HG issues and no leaks when I sold it.

I'd agree to valve covers and cam seals may be leaking.
 

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1998 Outback Limited
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352 Posts
My worry would be structural rust. Minor oil leaks may not be a bad thing, free rustproofing. Brucey has a point about driving a money pit. I've owned my 1998 275,000 mile money pit for 3 years. Could have made a decent car payment with all the money that I've put into it. Still it's kept me busy and out of trouble fixing it. I call it my Whack a Mole car.
 

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224 Posts
I might hurt their feelings more -
You've neglected maintenance on your car to the point you have let quite the laundry list of things build up.
Crank Seal
Cam Seals
Headgasket
Subframe
Ball Joints
Control Arms
Axles
AC
Interior blower soon.

I understand if you were between jobs or had a hard time, peace, I get it. If that wasn't the case, then you clearly liked how little money you had to dump into it to keep it on the road, and not the car itself, or you would have kept it in better condition. I'd dump it and get a new one and hope you can get another car that will last you just as long with just as little care.
 

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‘12 Outback 2.5 Premium
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278 Posts
2010 2.5 do not leak oil from the head gaskets. The service dept or whomever told you that is FOS. This engine has MLS from the factory. 2009 down SOHC engines had oil leak issues from the HG.

Had a 2011 w/212k miles and never had HG issues and no leaks when I sold it.

I'd agree to valve covers and cam seals may be leaking.
I recently took my car to a mechanic (‘12 2.5). I was under the car with him and he pointed to a bit of burned oil under the driver side cylinder head and first thought it was a leaking head gasket. Further inspection found the source was a cross over tube on top of the engine that crossed between both cylinder banks. So far I’m just leaving it be since the car isn’t using any oil nor is the leak actually dropping any oil under the car.
 

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2010 2.5 Premium - Satin Pearl White
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You got your money's worth. If the subframe is rusting out, the body is on it's way out. The car won't last long enough to recoup that 7K in repairs. Drive it, until it blows and junk it. Or donate it while it's running, for tax break.

Saw your avatar. By chance do you hang out with other guys in Ohio running Ghost Buster OBs? Every now an then I see what is obviously a car club group on the road. Usually there is a group with GB OBs. I see the same guy with the full roof rack, tanks, ladders, and prop stuff.
Nah I am kind of on my own which is fine, never been any groups close by for a while, I think there is one now.

Before you shop around for repairs, what is your "this is the max I'll spend on this car" price? If you set that before you shop for repairs hopefully you don't make an emotional choice. Your current motor / head fix sounds like the beginning of spending. You list subframe and AC, neither are going to be cheap.
Maybe like 2k at most which probably isn't feasible for the subframe haivng a shop do it.

I might hurt their feelings more -
You've neglected maintenance on your car to the point you have let quite the laundry list of things build up.
Crank Seal
Cam Seals
Headgasket
Subframe
Ball Joints
Control Arms
Axles
AC
Interior blower soon.

I understand if you were between jobs or had a hard time, peace, I get it. If that wasn't the case, then you clearly liked how little money you had to dump into it to keep it on the road, and not the car itself, or you would have kept it in better condition. I'd dump it and get a new one and hope you can get another car that will last you just as long with just as little care.
So subframe rusting out in the rust belt is due to lack of maintenance? What else should be done besides cleaning off the salt from it. And I've put a decent amount of money into it for fixing issues and other wear and tear that has come up. Isn't the first time an axel has needed replaced, done that already, done all the wheel bearings. So I haven't just coasted on little cost. AC was just this last summer and the interior blower was litterally just a couple weeks ago.

And what is the maintenance schedule to replace ball joints and control arms? Or are they are they wear and corrode (rust belt)

I do get routine done on it, honeslty every 5K at most miles. Fairly presumptuous that I didn't take care of it and have done most if not all the things the stealership has recommended. I'd say the stealership is the blame is all of a a lot of those issues just popped up at once as until I recently switched jobs I was putting a lot more miles on and would have more frequent routine stuff. They are supposed to be inspecting the vehicle.
 

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224 Posts
So it sounds like the dealership neglected to inform you of all these things that needed to be done, if I am understanding your post correctly, until lately. That's fine, but that's a detail that was left out in the initial post. When you have a list of 9 things across several locations in the car and say they all need to be done, and they're mostly inspectable, wearable items, and say I take care of my car, but then provide a list like you did, that leads one to question the validity of the prior statement. It's sort of the "I'm an excellent driver while on my cell-phone" philosophy many people say, but are actually oblivious to the fact that they aren't. I get it, so thanks for filling in the detail here that resolved that discrepancy. It makes more sense now than before.

As for what rustproofing strategies there are on the subframe, youtube is your friend here - there are many, I had to do one on mine when I noticed the rust was starting to become a problem. Find one your pocketbook is okay to handle. When you get your replacement subframe, have it treated first before installing and it'll give you a much better lifetime. The same goes with other parts. There are solutions out there to solve lifecycle problems. They're not going to be stealership approved, but if they extend the amount of time before you have to go back, they may be worth the paltry cost and time investment to install.

I also understand your desire to blame the stealership - but realistically, you put too much faith in an organization designed for the priority of making money at the expense of as many customers as they can stay profitable from. Organizations like them are based on where the two curves intersect - basically where profit crosses with customers. They don't care about you (or your car), they care about your money. In that same vein, your car is your responsibility, as is ensuring you get the service you paid for. A lot of those parts are inspectable items, and I think you should inspect them to confirm their findings - Especially with the amount of stuff dealerships are being documented telling people they need that they don't actually need since the car bubble is collapsing. Just my .02 there, not worth much but may save you some hefty $$$ in the long run.
 

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1993 Loyalle/Manual, 2004 Outback 2.5/Manual, 2009 Outback Limited 2.5/Auto, 2015 Outback Limited 2.5
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89 Posts
Just an observation. Nobody who neglects a car, even a Subaru, gets to 228,000 miles.
I agree that your head gasket is likely not the culprit. Most of the other things can be DIY if you are pretty handy. Depending how bad the rust is it could be a safety concern. You have done extremely well. There are lots of DIYers out there who would love to have this vehicle, so you may be able to get a fairly decent price out of it. Since you only want to put $2000 into it, which makes perfect sense, it would depend on if you are willing to tackle these things on your own. If not, time to part ways and fall in love with another Suby. Again, well done and best of luck!
 

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2011 Outback 2.5L
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31 Posts
So it sounds like the dealership neglected to inform you of all these things that needed to be done, if I am understanding your post correctly, until lately. That's fine, but that's a detail that was left out in the initial post. When you have a list of 9 things across several locations in the car and say they all need to be done, and they're mostly inspectable, wearable items, and say I take care of my car, but then provide a list like you did, that leads one to question the validity of the prior statement. It's sort of the "I'm an excellent driver while on my cell-phone" philosophy many people say, but are actually oblivious to the fact that they aren't. I get it, so thanks for filling in the detail here that resolved that discrepancy. It makes more sense now than before.

As for what rustproofing strategies there are on the subframe, youtube is your friend here - there are many, I had to do one on mine when I noticed the rust was starting to become a problem. Find one your pocketbook is okay to handle. When you get your replacement subframe, have it treated first before installing and it'll give you a much better lifetime. The same goes with other parts. There are solutions out there to solve lifecycle problems. They're not going to be stealership approved, but if they extend the amount of time before you have to go back, they may be worth the paltry cost and time investment to install.

I also understand your desire to blame the stealership - but realistically, you put too much faith in an organization designed for the priority of making money at the expense of as many customers as they can stay profitable from. Organizations like them are based on where the two curves intersect - basically where profit crosses with customers. They don't care about you (or your car), they care about your money. In that same vein, your car is your responsibility, as is ensuring you get the service you paid for. A lot of those parts are inspectable items, and I think you should inspect them to confirm their findings - Especially with the amount of stuff dealerships are being documented telling people they need that they don't actually need since the car bubble is collapsing. Just my .02 there, not worth much but may save you some hefty $$$ in the long run.
I really like the question about why keep a car for that many miles - was it just cheap to run, or do you really like the car? I'm origianlly from PA, and drove a "rust-proofed" Dodge for over 200K miles, until the rust caught up with it. I really liked the car but was not going to do major bodywork with that many miles. I think some of the posts mentioned that if you have some Ohio salt rust, there is probably more that will be revealed soon. I just don't get the sense that you really like the car beyond it was cheaper to drive than your truck.
In my case I now have 180K miles on a 2011 Outback, and I just did a major service: replaced all fluids, replaced all the original rubber hoses, new radiator (plastic! was leaking). I previously did the timing belt replacement (which you don't mention?) and replaced the OEM soft shocks with KYB, 19mm rear sway bar, and a new Kenwood aftermarket sound system.
BUT, I'm in Southern California, so no rust at all. AND, I love this car. It is solid, rattle free, comfortable, economical, reliable, and carries the stuff I need to move around better than any other car I have owned.
In your case, the rust would put me off. I'd go with the advice to just keep putting fluids in it and drive it till it quits.
 

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2010 2.5 Premium - Satin Pearl White
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So it sounds like the dealership neglected to inform you of all these things that needed to be done, if I am understanding your post correctly, until lately. That's fine, but that's a detail that was left out in the initial post. When you have a list of 9 things across several locations in the car and say they all need to be done, and they're mostly inspectable, wearable items, and say I take care of my car, but then provide a list like you did, that leads one to question the validity of the prior statement. It's sort of the "I'm an excellent driver while on my cell-phone" philosophy many people say, but are actually oblivious to the fact that they aren't. I get it, so thanks for filling in the detail here that resolved that discrepancy. It makes more sense now than before.

As for what rustproofing strategies there are on the subframe, youtube is your friend here - there are many, I had to do one on mine when I noticed the rust was starting to become a problem. Find one your pocketbook is okay to handle. When you get your replacement subframe, have it treated first before installing and it'll give you a much better lifetime. The same goes with other parts. There are solutions out there to solve lifecycle problems. They're not going to be stealership approved, but if they extend the amount of time before you have to go back, they may be worth the paltry cost and time investment to install.

I also understand your desire to blame the stealership - but realistically, you put too much faith in an organization designed for the priority of making money at the expense of as many customers as they can stay profitable from. Organizations like them are based on where the two curves intersect - basically where profit crosses with customers. They don't care about you (or your car), they care about your money. In that same vein, your car is your responsibility, as is ensuring you get the service you paid for. A lot of those parts are inspectable items, and I think you should inspect them to confirm their findings - Especially with the amount of stuff dealerships are being documented telling people they need that they don't actually need since the car bubble is collapsing. Just my .02 there, not worth much but may save you some hefty $$$ in the long run.
Yeah that's my bad on not mentioning those things. I will see what a local shop has to say. I'm really only concerned about the safety issues, I can keep popping oil in if I keep. That's still up in the air until I get a second opinion.

Just an observation. Nobody who neglects a car, even a Subaru, gets to 228,000 miles.
I agree that your head gasket is likely not the culprit. Most of the other things can be DIY if you are pretty handy. Depending how bad the rust is it could be a safety concern. You have done extremely well. There are lots of DIYers out there who would love to have this vehicle, so you may be able to get a fairly decent price out of it. Since you only want to put $2000 into it, which makes perfect sense, it would depend on if you are willing to tackle these things on your own. If not, time to part ways and fall in love with another Suby. Again, well done and best of luck!
Not like the handiest plus lack of tools to probably tackle some of this work. I'm still slowly building up tools to do things though. Some of that coming form having motorcycles which are fairly easy to work on so far.

Im sure there is demand for a project car. I know i could also donate too. I'm fairly certain I won't have it much longer but will see after I get another opinion on the repairs. If I could just toss another control arm, ball joint, axel and alingment id be content to keep going if the subframe isn't as bad as the dealership made it to be. I also haven't put it up on my ramps to look at either.

I really like the question about why keep a car for that many miles - was it just cheap to run, or do you really like the car? I'm origianlly from PA, and drove a "rust-proofed" Dodge for over 200K miles, until the rust caught up with it. I really liked the car but was not going to do major bodywork with that many miles. I think some of the posts mentioned that if you have some Ohio salt rust, there is probably more that will be revealed soon. I just don't get the sense that you really like the car beyond it was cheaper to drive than your truck.
In my case I now have 180K miles on a 2011 Outback, and I just did a major service: replaced all fluids, replaced all the original rubber hoses, new radiator (plastic! was leaking). I previously did the timing belt replacement (which you don't mention?) and replaced the OEM soft shocks with KYB, 19mm rear sway bar, and a new Kenwood aftermarket sound system.
BUT, I'm in Southern California, so no rust at all. AND, I love this car. It is solid, rattle free, comfortable, economical, reliable, and carries the stuff I need to move around better than any other car I have owned.
In your case, the rust would put me off. I'd go with the advice to just keep putting fluids in it and drive it till it quits.
Cheap to run generally with routine maintenance and gas millage and i do like the car. I haven't ran into any of the major serivce intervals yet with the truck, it's a Tacoma 4WD off road and looking at its schedules I know it has more over time.

Timing belt has been done twice on mine at 105k and 210k.
 
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