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2009 Subaru Outback 3.0R Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
First post, but long time reader.
I know there are way too many threads on this kind of thing already, but I’m just about to buy an 08 Outback 3.0r LL Bean and I need some reassurance. I know the H6s are far less prone to head gasket failure and I was feeling very good about buying this Outback, but I’ve been trying to do all my due diligence and I keep coming across threads about H6s with bubbling coolant and head gasket failures. It’s making me nervous. The Outback I’m looking at has 137,000 miles. It’s had two owners. The Carfax doesn’t have all the maintenance on it but the car is in pristine condition inside and out. Makes me think it has been well cared for, but maybe that trust is misguided.

So, how likely am I really to have a head gasket or overheating related issue? I just need reassurance that I’m not making a silly decision. Are the H6s really as reliable as they’re cracked up to be?

Sorry for the long post!

-Sean
 

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merged posts. how much?

got a link? post it up with some ??? in front of it so the forum software does not think its a link. (antispam bot feature, as you typically need 10 posts to make a link).

the good news is about buying used 2001-2009 H6,

worst case: needs a engine or a trans, and those can be had for cheap used from Japan. (= JDM ) a lot cheaper then doing head gaskets or rebuilding a trans.

ones with so little miles usually don't have a problem though. although any previous owner could drive around with no coolant in any aluminum engine and melt it to a head gasket failure. (be it a subaru, or a kia, or a ford,...or anything).
 
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If you are happy with the price buy it. You are probably over thinking things. Good to see you are running things through your head, but don't make purchasing a car a stressful chore.
 
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2005 Outback H6 3.0 LL Bean
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Yes, when it comes to major engine failure like blowing head gaskets, the '05-'09 H6s are really as reliable as they're cracked up to be. If you're searching car forums like a hypochondriac though, you'll always find what you're looking for...

It is a 10 year old car. These models tend to nickel and dime you over the years, so be prepared for that. It will probably develop some minor oil leaks eventually, although if the engine under-tray and its absorbent "diaper" liner are intact, that can mask small leaks for years. But replacing things like hatch wires, wheel bearings, control arm bushings, etc. are an unfortunate fact of life with '05-'09 Outbacks. Sometimes I get frustrated when things seem to break faster than I can fix them, and start feeling like I should dump the Outback and buy something else, but then it snows and... :roadtrip:
 

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added working link

as nice as a 2007-2009 H6 wagon is.

I think I could find cheaper then $9200.

so as its at a ford dealer in slow sale january, ...try low balling the crap out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hahaha thanks eagleeye! I do feel better about this now.
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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You do know you don't get great gas mileage - right? On the interstate and if I keep it under 70 I can get about 24 mpg (that's what shows on my dash and there's doubt that's true).

Be certain to run the heater controls through all the different modes to check if the air is being directed to the corresponding location. Also listen for any gurgling noises inside the dash once you shut it down.

Check your seat heaters and make sure the driver's side seat bottom is working.

Not sure about your model, but ask about the airbag recall and if this car is part of that campaign.

When you test drive, watch for any vibration from 20-60 mph under acceleration. Could indicate a broken transmission mount or worn U-joints on the driveshaft.

Look to see if there are signs of the struts being replaced.

If you do purchase, I'd suggest you have an alignment done right away.

It's a really nice looking car and even though the H-6 uses premium gas and not great mileage, it's fun to drive! You won't have to worry about passing, especially in sport mode!

Shoot them a low number, you can always come up!
 

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I can get 27mpg on my 2002 EZ30D, high octane gas though.

maybe 25mpg fighting the cold temps with the studded tires.

____

and this vs. $2000 worth of head gaskets on any 2000-2009 plain jane H4. (somehow I get 29mpg on my 2002 sedan running plain regular octane. maybe because is a little lighter then a wagon, when everyone else seems to only eek out 27mpg on good days).
 

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Outbrat XT, Foz, 3.0R Limited
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You do know you don't get great gas mileage - right? On the interstate and if I keep it under 70 I can get about 24 mpg (that's what shows on my dash and there's doubt that's true).

Be certain to run the heater controls through all the different modes to check if the air is being directed to the corresponding location. Also listen for any gurgling noises inside the dash once you shut it down.

Check your seat heaters and make sure the driver's side seat bottom is working.

Not sure about your model, but ask about the airbag recall and if this car is part of that campaign.

When you test drive, watch for any vibration from 20-60 mph under acceleration. Could indicate a broken transmission mount or worn U-joints on the driveshaft.

Look to see if there are signs of the struts being replaced.

If you do purchase, I'd suggest you have an alignment done right away.

It's a really nice looking car and even though the H-6 uses premium gas and not great mileage, it's fun to drive! You won't have to worry about passing, especially in sport mode!

Shoot them a low number, you can always come up!
On SI drive models premium is only recommended, not required. I’ve average about 22mpgs over 70k on mine, and it isn’t babied. Especially in the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You do know you don't get great gas mileage - right? On the interstate and if I keep it under 70 I can get about 24 mpg (that's what shows on my dash and there's doubt that's true).
Yeah, but I’m coming from a 94 Ford Explorer so it’s still a pretty good upgrade haha

Thanks for all the tips though! I’ll be sure to check all those things out.
 

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Yeah, but I’m coming from a 94 Ford Explorer so it’s still a pretty good upgrade haha

Thanks for all the tips though! I’ll be sure to check all those things out.
hey congrats on keeping a first gen boxy ford exploder for all these years.
(and I thought they "ALL" had rusted away,...or had a drive train failure, a long time ago.).

the other good news.

its at a ford dealer, ...some place that would not know a highly desirable 10 year old subaru H6,...from a overripe turnip.
(and maybe willing to deal on that turnip).
 
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Fwiw I literally just bought the same vehicle with 52k for 10g. Just drove it back from Seattle to Boise and averaged just a tick under 23,mpg. Love it so far. You'll notice when cruise is set take it out of "I" and into s/s#, so it will have some grunt holding rpms up some hills at 70+.
Be weary of a lot of Subarus on KSL. The area around salt lake is known for many many many rebuilt titled cars that car pop up for cheap. Just do your research before making the adventure. That one appears to be in the clear. I'd offer 6500
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hey congrats on keeping a first gen boxy ford exploder for all these years.
(and I thought they "ALL" had rusted away,...or had a drive train failure, a long time ago.).

the other good news.

its at a ford dealer, ...some place that would not know a highly desirable 10 year old subaru H6,...from a overripe turnip.
(and maybe willing to deal on that turnip).
This Exploder only has 158,000 miles on it but just recently became verrryyy stubborn about going into drive. I have to rev it pretty good to get it to go. It’s time for it to be done haha and this Outback will feel like a super car compared to it. Not that I’m looking for a rocket, that’s just they way it’ll feel, I imagine.

And yes, I’ve been very cautious about these Subies on KSL. I got the dealer to send me the Carfax and it is indeed a clean title. The dealer also told me that the guy who traded it in was a Subaru fanatic and got into another Subaru. He owned it for the last 3 years. I’m not sure whether that’s a great sign or a not so great sign. Could go either way in my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Fwiw I literally just bought the same vehicle with 52k for 10g. Just drove it back from Seattle to Boise and averaged just a tick under 23,mpg. Love it so far. You'll notice when cruise is set take it out of "I" and into s/s#, so it will have some grunt holding rpms up some hills at 70+.
Be weary of a lot of Subarus on KSL. The area around salt lake is known for many many many rebuilt titled cars that car pop up for cheap. Just do your research before making the adventure. That one appears to be in the clear. I'd offer 6500
Just curious, were you on premium? And what speed did you average? I know these things don’t get the greatest of gas mileage, but almost anything will be a step up from the old Explorer.
 

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a tube of a product called "trans X" might help you with your explorer.
($10 or so, its a put in and leave in product that people have had good luck with here).

does it not want to get into drive if you leave it in neutral? (with the emergency brake on, or with a wheel chock).
is that dependent upon the temp of the engine and trans?

ATF new?

any mechanical clunking going form park to drive?

_____

I ask as being in a position of carefully spending this much on a newer vehicle,
should not be forced by the one you have just up and crapping out forever, leaving you without a daily driver. and then "needing" something.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah I already dropped the pan (which was spotless), replaced the transmission fluid filter (which really wasn’t in need of changing), when refilling the trans fluid I added a bottle of Lucas Transmssion Conditioner, but it had no effect. Once it goes into drive it drives flawlessly, so I’m thinking it’s a gummed up valve body, but it could be something much worse I guess. And yes, it does clank into gear sometimes. It’s clanked into reverse for a while now so it’s nkt really a surprise it’s failing. Ford transmissions...
 

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Wasn't using premium. Just the standard 87. Noticed in town i was just over 20, so here these last to fillups I've been running premium from Costco and averaging 1.5 better. I'm not much of an aggressive driver though around town. The busier parts I leave it in sport but otherwise always in I
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wasn't using premium. Just the standard 87. Noticed in town i was just over 20, so here these last to fillups I've been running premium from Costco and averaging 1.5 better. I'm not much of an aggressive driver though around town. The busier parts I leave it in sport but otherwise always in I
That’s great to hear! That’s about what I’m expecting. Thanks for the reply!
 

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Fwiw I literally just bought the same vehicle with 52k for 10g. Just drove it back from Seattle to Boise and averaged just a tick under 23,mpg. Love it so far. You'll notice when cruise is set take it out of "I" and into s/s#, so it will have some grunt holding rpms up some hills at 70+.
Be weary of a lot of Subarus on KSL. The area around salt lake is known for many many many rebuilt titled cars that car pop up for cheap. Just do your research before making the adventure. That one appears to be in the clear. I'd offer 6500
In the same aspect, you can't compare that price to the car that OP is looking at. The car you're speaking of has a rebuilt title (and hopefully you knew this going into it)

08-09 H6, 100k miles will be about $11k, 120k @ $10k, 140k @ $9k, 80k @ 13k. These are all PNW region cars but pricing is fairly similar throughout the country

I shopped for the past 4 months before I finally found a car and those prices were pretty consistent. I found a 1-owner 70k car for 12k and think i got a pretty good deal on it
 
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