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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Originally posted on Reddit, but quickly fell to page 3 because it wasn't cool enough.

I like my 2011 Outback. This is not my first Subaru, I used to have an 09 Legacy (bought new, traded around 70k miles, was my wife's DD), but I haven't owned any as long as my Outback, which currently has 80k miles. I've owned a few cars (Civic, Sentra) in the past that pushed close to but never over 100k before selling/trading, and I've had no issues with my Subarus (can't say that for the other manufacturers I've owned)...

I'm trying to plan for the major service staring down at me: 105k. With my EJ253, it'll be time for the timing belt, and with it, I'd also do the idlers and tensioners along with the water pump and thermostat. So we're probably talking close to 1k at the dealership (not comfortable with some of the Indy shops around me, they seem to be a little unfamiliar for such a major job. Oil? Fine (but I do it myself now) but I wouldn't let them do a timing belt. And on such a major job I'll absolutely be using OEM parts.

Along side that I'm looking for a coolant change very soon thereafter. I'll probably need brakes and rotors in a year, maybe two at most. And tires, yep, down to 6/32". Probably will need them before next summer I'd think, maybe Fall 2018 if I push it.

All these little costs for maintenance are okay - it's part of ownership - but I'm curious when things start to actually fail. I'm unfamiliar with Subaru in the long term.

It's by far the most reliable car I've ever owned, and I'm curious when the bigger things like struts, muffler/exhaust system components, cv boots, axles, etc all start to have problems. The engine itself I've read is probably good till close to 200/250 if the oil is changed regularly and on time. I guess because I have the California Spec PZEV Outback, I'm covered with warranty for a very long time on the emissions parts, which will include the catalytic converter...

Just trying to figure out the long term plan. I would love to own one of the new Outbacks on the global platform with the 3.6, but my gut (and several posts on the forum) tells me they'll get rid of it and replace it with a turbo.

If that happens, I'm not fully opposed to the turbo, and would probably still pick a turbo over the NA as long as it had a timing chain and not a belt, just for a little more power and acceleration.

The 2020 model year refresh is about 20 months away. I'm just hoping not to make a decision to ride this thing another 5+ years and then the wheels, literally, start falling off. Other concerns include the CVT since it was among the first few years it was introduced, and the enhanced warranty drops away at 100k.

I drive about 10k a year, so that does give me until around September 2019 to play with - and we'd most likely see the 2020 Model Year refreshed OB announced around April at the New York auto show, with them hitting the lots sometime around July.

The good news is that if I don't like something on the '20 at the auto show, there's enough time to place an order in for a '19 and get the 3.6R.

Also considering the Foz a little bit, it has some pretty harsh reviews on Edmunds & Car and Driver, that's supposed to get refreshed on the global platform next year on the 2019 MY. The one thing I do like about the Foz is the panoramic moonroof and the Touring Trim with more than 4 colors and 1 interior.

Thoughts? Thank you.
 

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2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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Hahahhahah

:21:

This totally cracks me up....plus you weren't cool enough. LOL.
 

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I'm surprised you haven't shared your plans for replacing the 2019/2020 Outback with a 2032 yet.

Friendly teasing aside, I'll share an example in the hopes that it helps.

I started getting a little nervous about too much stuff breaking at once on my old Outback somewhere around the 145k/13 year mark.

That was in 2010, and I replaced it with my current Outback... which now is now at the 190k/12 year mark. And I plan to keep this one a bit longer. My needs have changed, and unless I found a fewer-miles copy of the same car there really isn't anything on the market that I'm interested in.

Mind you I bought both cars with about 100k on them. Since nearly half of the miles on the '06 are my own doing I'm a lot more comfortable taking that car out longer. I know where the bodies are buried.

At 15 years in NJ you can expect rust to become a factor. That is the ultimate end for any car driven on chloride-treated roads. There will be cosmetic problems well before then, but I say 15 years is the tipping point where any & all maintenance and repairs start getting multiplied by the difficulty of frozen bolts, corroded sheet metal and compromised crash safety.

At 10k miles per year you aren't going to wear much over a 15 year span. The wildcard is still the CVT, but even the earliest ones from 2010 seem to be doing OK and we know they've already done incremental improvements.
 

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2017 base Outback 2.5i
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It is a good question because the cost of a car, includes the cost of repairs and maintenance. I bought a new 2017 Outback 2.5i five months ago and generally put on ~27,000 miles/year. Before the Outback, I had a Prius that I put 262,000 miles on. No repairs, no timing belts, no radiator or brake fluid change, and brake pads once. My cost over those 262,000 miles was oil changes and tires.

Granted, that is highly unusual and I would not expect to be lucky enough to have that track record again. There must be statistics that shows increasing costs associated with increasing mileage and some crossover point where the cost to maintain (considering time and headaches) begins to exceed the cost to purchase. I have no idea where that is and each of us has their own tolerance for car problems. Me, I have no tolerance and if the Prius had a major repair on the horizon, it would have been off to dealer for something new.

I'm probably spoiled but the notion of spending $1k on a "routine" maintenance check confounds me a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm surprised you haven't shared your plans for replacing the 2019/2020 Outback with a 2032 yet.

Friendly teasing aside, I'll share an example in the hopes that it helps.

I started getting a little nervous about too much stuff breaking at once on my old Outback somewhere around the 145k/13 year mark.

That was in 2010, and I replaced it with my current Outback... which now is now at the 190k/12 year mark. And I plan to keep this one a bit longer. My needs have changed, and unless I found a fewer-miles copy of the same car there really isn't anything on the market that I'm interested in.

Mind you I bought both cars with about 100k on them. Since nearly half of the miles on the '06 are my own doing I'm a lot more comfortable taking that car out longer. I know where the bodies are buried.

At 15 years in NJ you can expect rust to become a factor. That is the ultimate end for any car driven on chloride-treated roads. There will be cosmetic problems well before then, but I say 15 years is the tipping point where any & all maintenance and repairs start getting multiplied by the difficulty of frozen bolts, corroded sheet metal and compromised crash safety.

At 10k miles per year you aren't going to wear much over a 15 year span. The wildcard is still the CVT, but even the earliest ones from 2010 seem to be doing OK and we know they've already done incremental improvements.
Thanks. Yeah, I know that Subaru is no stranger to longevity (aside from a few infamous design issues), so I'm confident in the car, just not sure what's going ahead. I usually try to look around at older vehicles and see what makes/models they are. For example, I see a lot of older Honda Accords running around but not so many Civics. It could be observer error, but I think Honda builds the Accord better... In the past I've had electrical issues with my Civic (failed oxygen sensors, failed instrument cluster/speedometer - that was a fun one... driving based on the RPM...), Sentra (failed MAFs, suspension issues, exhaust issues), and it's okay. Comes with the territory of ownership.

Yeah frozen bolts and metal will be a problem, the roads are no stranger to snow here any time from as early as October through late March/April.

I think if everything holds fast the way it is presently I'll look to trade it in before the 105k mark. It's been a great ride the last couple of years, but the Gen5 and upcoming Gen6 just seems so much more modern... something as simple as infotainment systems, onboard Bluetooth A2DP, rear vents, rear heated seats, LED brakes/DRLs/headlights, and most important of all, anticollision systems.

I'd rather drop 30-40k on a new Outback 3.6 (or whatever Turbo they offer) and avoid an accident altogether than be in an accident.

Here's hoping the Magnetite Gray is available on the Touring trim going forward (otherwise might have to go White and make it a Stormtrooper)
 

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All these little costs for maintenance are okay - it's part of ownership - but I'm curious when things start to actually fail. I'm unfamiliar with Subaru in the long term.

If I could tell you that, then clearly I could tell the future and I sure as _____ would not be working because playing stocks would not be a gamble! :wink2:

No one knows what any manufacturer is doing for sourcing parts. Parts used to be made to last a while but now there are a lot of junk parts out there that is made cheaply and built to last a certain amount of time.
For example the difference between a good bearing and an OK one can be $30 and last just outside the warranty. A car needs 4 so it's $120. And 150,000 cars come out of the line and by using the cheaper bearing the company is saving 18 million. And maybe the msrp doesn't reflect cheaper bearings, so the company takes in 36 million more just with that. And potentially a service visit for the failing part which may use a better quality part (more $$)....

**Not saying anyone is doing this, just cynical typing**

Anyways, tough question when the car you have is using a new transmission design. Not a lot of feedback. But like anything, if you don't abuse it and give it fresh fluid once in a while (like we mentioned before), it should treat you well.

Your other cars also had CVs/axles. How did those hold up? I have no reason to suspect Subaru's axles are different. Drive it until it clicks when driving straight and replace then. Muffler/pipes, have it looked at when there is a problem. You're clearly worrying about nothing. It's a machine, enjoy it while it works and deal with the issue when it comes about.

Your tires are only 50% worn, not bad yet. I've let mine go to the wear bars and have lived to talk about it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You're clearly worrying about nothing. It's a machine, enjoy it while it works and deal with the issue when it comes about.

Your tires are only 50% worn, not bad yet. I've let mine go to the wear bars and have lived to talk about it!
Worrying about nothing? Inconceivable!

Thanks. I decided not to touch the CVT Fluid because of a few reasons, mostly because they've given us the enhanced warranty and I don't want to do anything to stir up any stuff from the bottom of the pan at this point. Also because of that, I decided to not DIY it, even though I believe it's in my ability to do it (thanks for the confidence booster when I was getting into the whole DIY maintenance thing months ago)...

Yes, I agree with what you and @rasterman said - the CVT is the wild card. It's new, it's been revised a few times since then, and they've certainly had their share of issues with it (TSB for TC revision, etc.)

I used to avoid cars on a first model year revision, but not so sure anymore. At least, not from a Subaru. They get big kudos from me for extending the warranty on a potential trouble spot, and reimbursing anyone that actually paid for a repair. That's pretty rare to see in business these days. Makes me feel like they've got my back if something's amiss with the 2020 Gen6.

I'll be extra gentle on the brakes and tires and maybe - just maybe - they'll last me another 20k.

Thanks for the input.
 

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1. NJ - rust. Look under it right now - if you see rusty exhaust - it's likely to get expensive quick. post pictures if yo'ure unsure how bad it is. Anything more than very minor surface rust at a couple tack welds and muffler folds is going to be impending issues.

2. A good friend in Cherry Hill (i've helped her buy cars and maintain hers) hasn't had great luck finding a good shop either, I've asked around with little success, and so she decided to buy newer cars sooner to avoid the hassles, which is the best option for her situation/time/constraints. And she was starting to show some not-minor rust so her last Subaru would have lost value quickly if she kept it.

3. Given your prior mileages, lack of repair options, frequency of rust (though you can inspect and gauge this), it would seem large expenses and maintenance of an older car lean more towards "not a great fit" than "great fit".

4. Items that routinely fall in the 125k-175k arena, I would almost say it's uncommon for a Subaru to not need these within those mileages, and these are mostly consumable items:

Struts: $350 for rears and $350 for fronts (some people say they sould be replaced between 60k-100k, though i never do)

Front CV boots: $150-$225 per axle to reboot (do not replace the axle like most shops will want to do!!!) These more commonly fail due to their use in salt/conditions and angles required for the higher ground clearance - so these are more of an "outback" expense than other vehicles.

Valve cover,spark plug tube gaskets: $300

Rusty exhaust: varies wildly based on quite a few variables

P0420 issue: varies wildly but frequently a $500 - $800 catalytic converter/O2 sensor replacement

The good news - is none of those will strand you and you can literally wait weeks and months to plan your repair.

You should be able to make 150k with only hitting a couple of those and maybe getting lucky and only hitting one or none, so your 105k timing belt maintenance should be worth that extra 50k miles.

Timing belt - replacing the water pump is nearly pointless on that engine, they're often replaced at the second timing belt, but i understand the sentiment and sometimes replace them as well.

Spark plugs, brake fluid, front diff, ATF, air filter obviously...not sure where those all are so they need mentioned.
 

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Worrying about nothing? Inconceivable!

Thanks. I decided not to touch the CVT Fluid because of a few reasons, mostly because they've given us the enhanced warranty and I don't want to do anything to stir up any stuff from the bottom of the pan at this point. Also because of that, I decided to not DIY it, even though I believe it's in my ability to do it (thanks for the confidence booster when I was getting into the whole DIY maintenance thing months ago)...
The enhanced warranty won't do much if the fluid is crap and fails outside the extension. I like DIYing but I will let Subaru have it on their record that it was done there, mostly because of the chance we Canadians will also get the 10-year extension on the CVT (still not extended for us...), seems easier.

You could always have the pan removed, cleaned, and then put back together and filled if you want to be sure there is no crud leftover. More of a PITA, but certainly thorough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I'm surprised they haven't expanded it to Canada. I wonder if there's something that's actually different inside, or just a difference in the laws between both countries that it's not necessary?
 

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@Pilot1226

Laws. It's a wild west here where the government has no teeth in corporations. I've written to SOC and the response was that they are monitoring what is happening in the US and might act accordingly. SOC is separate from SOA and have different laws to go by (i.e. if we're not forced to do it, we won't).

They tried to tell me that my canadian OB is different than the us OB. I'm like no, it's all made at the same plant in Indiana..... There is only 1 TR580 model CVT. WTF would you complicate things by having different transmissions for the same model?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That my friend is the million dollar question. Perhaps it's related to heat issues and Canadian topography isn't as hard on the CVT/Fluid as it would be if you were living in, say, southern US where the heat can exceed 100F? Hoping there's a method to their madness. Either way they seem like a pretty sympathetic company.
 

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My 2010 Premium 2.5 6spd manual has a little over 170k miles and is pretty solid. It needs new shocks and maybe something else in the suspension department because I can hear some noise down there. Won't know for sure til I look at while doing the brakes this weekend. All of the general maintenance items have been been done, like fluid changes and timing belt. What was out of the norm was while the clutch went around 110k miles it took out the transmission with it. Apparently it's a rare occurrence, like almost never, but when the clutch went, it somehow made a piece of metal puncture through the manual transmission casing. The clutch AND tranny needed to be replaced. About 5k USD using a supposedly low mileage (30k) used unit. This all happened to the previous owner who happens to be a coworker, so I believe him.

I'm hoping this car gives me a few more years at around 12k miles per year. I take a lot of short 4-5 miles trips, so we'll see how it holds up.
 

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Catalytic Converter

My 2014 6MT just hit 70k. I had a P0420 Code. After trying to find everything else it could possibly be I relented-took it to the dealer. They plotted the emissions and found it was the Cat.

Luckily the clean air act (USA) guarantees a new cat up to 80k or 8 years.

So anecdotally I'd add Catalytic Convert with 70K to the 4th Gen fall apart list.
 

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Keep in mind that fuel quality combined with fuel-burning efficiency can be significant contributing factors to early catalytic converter failure in ANY vehicle. When raw fuel fails to ignite and winds up getting dumped into the cats, it does not take long for the cats to begin deteriorating.

Glad to hear that the 8 years / 80,000 miles rule paid off handsomely for you.
 

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T For example, I see a lot of older Honda Accords running around but not so many Civics. It could be observer error, but I think Honda builds the Accord better...
Accords owners are by and large a different demographic than Civic owners.

One takes better care of their cars, the other are mostly clueless millennials.
 
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