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16' Focus ST; 16' B8.5 Audi A4; 06' Saab 93 Aero; 16' Civic EXL
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, fresh-from-the-oven newbie here!

Im very close to get my first ever Subie as my new winter daily. Before making the final decision, I just wanna hear all you guys thoughts on 3.0R's reliability and suggestions for what to look out for when buying a 3.0R.

So the car is a 2009 3.0R Limited with 89K on the clock, dealer is asking $11K which is ok to me but I will try to talk it down to 10K.

What I gathered so far from the internet is that the 3.0R with EZ30 engine is more robust than the 2.5L version with less likelihood to have headgesket issue. And how about the frameless doors, I heard the sealant tends to fail especially on the driver side door's; are the struts easily worn out? Im also aware of its drinking problem but what's the usual mpg you guys get from this engine tho?

Thanks a lot!
 

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Premium Member
2006 Outback Sedan LLBean
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625 Posts
I have an 06 with 112000 miles. Only things that have gone wrong were a throttle pedal and idler pulley. Had plugs done at around 80. No issues with weather stripping at all. I get 19-21 mpg consistently. Mixed driving. On treks to NC for mostly freeway driving I get close to 26. Sounds like you have a good car. Have fun!

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

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2009 3.0R Outback
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534 Posts
Bought a 2009 3.0R limited almost two years ago. I think it had 134k on it at the time and I paid $10.5k. Quite a few intertior and exterior cosmetic flaws.

I've had to do quite a few minor repairs...

Coil packs (rusted and busted)
Idler/tensioner pulley bearings
Oil cooler gasket
Fix wonky radio/climate display (common problem)
Fix overhead passenger airbag light bad solder joints (common problem)
Re-attach driver side door internal crash bar (common problem)
Replaced every bushing and suspension component
Currently needs new rear diff and propably a new prop shaft
Ticking sound near oil fill neck; timing chain component?
Drivers side door weather stripping worn through along bottom

I get around 23mpg mixed driving.
 

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Premium Member
2006 Outback Sedan LLBean
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625 Posts
Bought a 2009 3.0R limited almost two years ago. I think it had 134k on it at the time and I paid $10.5k. Quite a few intertior and exterior cosmetic flaws.

I've had to do quite a few minor repairs...

Coil packs (rusted and busted)
Idler/tensioner pulley bearings
Oil cooler gasket
Fix wonky radio/climate display (common problem)
Fix overhead passenger airbag light bad solder joints (common problem)
Re-attach driver side door internal crash bar (common problem)
Replaced every bushing and suspension component
Currently needs new rear diff and propably a new prop shaft
Ticking sound near oil fill neck; timing chain component?
Drivers side door weather stripping worn through along bottom

I get around 23mpg mixed driving.
What did you do for your radio/climate lighting? My radio display only went dim about a year ago. It's just hard to read in daylight, but annoying. My climate display is fine.

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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597 Posts
I have an 05 3.0. At 150K my original engine died. I needed to get the car back on the road asap since it was a daily driver. So, I opted to go for a JDM engine - no regrets there!

The 3.0 is a solid engine without the frequent head gasket woes of the 4 cylinders.

The do have some electrical quirks here and there.
HVAC actuators seem to be a common thread. You'll hear a bubbling sound or something resembling a percolator inside the dash and they aren't fun to replace or repair, but it can be done if you are handy in the shop.
Rear hub assemblies seem to be a weak point.
Look at the ends of the axles to see if they have green paint on them. That tells you if they are OEM or if no paint, then they are replacements and some replacements don't hold up very well.
Look your exhaust system over good. Some heat shields will become loose and cause noise problems.
Some have reported wiring breakage at the rear hatch affecting wiper failure and lighting problems.
Depending on where you are geographically, suspension bushings can deteriorate and need replacement....traildogck is an authority on that subject.

I wouldn't be afraid of this deal! Mileage is at the lower end of where troubles start to crop up.
Mileage on my car averaged 24.7 mpg on a 1600 mile trip through a variety of terrains.
Keep fresh oil in it and it should use much at all.

Good luck and welcome! You'll find folks on here are a priceless resource of information and guidance!
 

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2009 Subaru Outback 3.0R Limited
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90 Posts
I'd say that if all the maintenance records are up to date and the test drive goes well you're golden! I just bought my 09 3.0R Limited in early April of this year with 150xxx miles on it and it's been great! With such low miles on the one you're looking at you should be good to run for a very long time. Also, I haven't noticed any issue with the frameless doors at all. They still seal great. I do need to replace my tensioner pulley bearing though, but that's been mentioned already. As far as mileage goes, I just took mine on a 2,500 mile trip with my wife and baby and loaded with luggage and we averaged just under 27mpg. In mixed driving (commute) I average 21-22. The compromise for the power is worth it to me. Just be nice to all the ricer Civics and such ;) Cheers!
 

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16' Focus ST; 16' B8.5 Audi A4; 06' Saab 93 Aero; 16' Civic EXL
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I have an 06 with 112000 miles. Only things that have gone wrong were a throttle pedal and idler pulley. Had plugs done at around 80. No issues with weather stripping at all. I get 19-21 mpg consistently. Mixed driving. On treks to NC for mostly freeway driving I get close to 26. Sounds like you have a good car. Have fun!

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
Looks like the pulley bearing is common for 3.0R, not a huge deal to me at all :)

21-26 is way enough to me :wink2:

Thanks for the reply!!!
 

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Registered
16' Focus ST; 16' B8.5 Audi A4; 06' Saab 93 Aero; 16' Civic EXL
Joined
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Bought a 2009 3.0R limited almost two years ago. I think it had 134k on it at the time and I paid $10.5k. Quite a few intertior and exterior cosmetic flaws.

I've had to do quite a few minor repairs...

Coil packs (rusted and busted)
Idler/tensioner pulley bearings
Oil cooler gasket
Fix wonky radio/climate display (common problem)
Fix overhead passenger airbag light bad solder joints (common problem)
Re-attach driver side door internal crash bar (common problem)
Replaced every bushing and suspension component
Currently needs new rear diff and propably a new prop shaft
Ticking sound near oil fill neck; timing chain component?
Drivers side door weather stripping worn through along bottom

I get around 23mpg mixed driving.
Hmmm, I wonder how many of these can be checked out when doing pre purchase inspection. I do hope I wont run into rear diff replacement or bushing replacement tho. The rests r minor to me ;)

Thanks for the detailed info, this really helps a lot!!
 

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Registered
16' Focus ST; 16' B8.5 Audi A4; 06' Saab 93 Aero; 16' Civic EXL
Joined
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I have an 05 3.0. At 150K my original engine died. I needed to get the car back on the road asap since it was a daily driver. So, I opted to go for a JDM engine - no regrets there!

The 3.0 is a solid engine without the frequent head gasket woes of the 4 cylinders.

The do have some electrical quirks here and there.
HVAC actuators seem to be a common thread. You'll hear a bubbling sound or something resembling a percolator inside the dash and they aren't fun to replace or repair, but it can be done if you are handy in the shop.
Rear hub assemblies seem to be a weak point.
Look at the ends of the axles to see if they have green paint on them. That tells you if they are OEM or if no paint, then they are replacements and some replacements don't hold up very well.
Look your exhaust system over good. Some heat shields will become loose and cause noise problems.
Some have reported wiring breakage at the rear hatch affecting wiper failure and lighting problems.
Depending on where you are geographically, suspension bushings can deteriorate and need replacement....traildogck is an authority on that subject.

I wouldn't be afraid of this deal! Mileage is at the lower end of where troubles start to crop up.
Mileage on my car averaged 24.7 mpg on a 1600 mile trip through a variety of terrains.
Keep fresh oil in it and it should use much at all.

Good luck and welcome! You'll find folks on here are a priceless resource of information and guidance!
Vert thorough info, really appreciate it! I will try to check out everything you mentioned either myself or through pre-purchase inspection by independent shop.
 

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'07 Outback 3.0R LL Bean, '74 BMW 2002, '65 Datsun L320, '99 Land Cruiser
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199 Posts
We bought our '07 3.0R LL Bean with 77.5K miles, and currently at 147K miles (wife drives it mostly). I progressively got it through normal preventative maintenance with proper fluids and such (two diffs, which is more than most cars), plugs, filters, front inner CV boots, and normal stuff you'd expect from any car. Thankfully no timing belt to worry about.
Model specific issues: New idler bearings, as expected. Oil cooler gasket seeped a little, and replaced it. I've had two window motors fail, haven't replaced left rear yet. Flaky HVAC controls I fixed. Every wheel bearing has been replaced at some point, but roads are very rough here. At least they give a good gradual warning. Replaced big front control arm bushings that were torn. Had a torn/squeaky rear shock mount. Replaced all 4 struts/shocks at 127K. The originals I took off weren't completely dead, but around half the resistance as new ones when I pushed on them.

Only real breakdown was the throttle pedal sensor, but it eventually restarted OK and got home fine until I could get the part.
 

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Registered
16' Focus ST; 16' B8.5 Audi A4; 06' Saab 93 Aero; 16' Civic EXL
Joined
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
We bought our '07 3.0R LL Bean with 77.5K miles, and currently at 147K miles (wife drives it mostly). I progressively got it through normal preventative maintenance with proper fluids and such (two diffs, which is more than most cars), plugs, filters, front inner CV boots, and normal stuff you'd expect from any car. Thankfully no timing belt to worry about.
Model specific issues: New idler bearings, as expected. Oil cooler gasket seeped a little, and replaced it. I've had two window motors fail, haven't replaced left rear yet. Flaky HVAC controls I fixed. Every wheel bearing has been replaced at some point, but roads are very rough here. At least they give a good gradual warning. Replaced big front control arm bushings that were torn. Had a torn/squeaky rear shock mount. Replaced all 4 struts/shocks at 127K. The originals I took off weren't completely dead, but around half the resistance as new ones when I pushed on them.

Only real breakdown was the throttle pedal sensor, but it eventually restarted OK and got home fine until I could get the part.
Great info! Roads here aren't any better either.

Did you do all the work yourself? which one you found the toughest?
 

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Registered
16' Focus ST; 16' B8.5 Audi A4; 06' Saab 93 Aero; 16' Civic EXL
Joined
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
We bought our '07 3.0R LL Bean with 77.5K miles, and currently at 147K miles (wife drives it mostly). I progressively got it through normal preventative maintenance with proper fluids and such (two diffs, which is more than most cars), plugs, filters, front inner CV boots, and normal stuff you'd expect from any car. Thankfully no timing belt to worry about.
Model specific issues: New idler bearings, as expected. Oil cooler gasket seeped a little, and replaced it. I've had two window motors fail, haven't replaced left rear yet. Flaky HVAC controls I fixed. Every wheel bearing has been replaced at some point, but roads are very rough here. At least they give a good gradual warning. Replaced big front control arm bushings that were torn. Had a torn/squeaky rear shock mount. Replaced all 4 struts/shocks at 127K. The originals I took off weren't completely dead, but around half the resistance as new ones when I pushed on them.

Only real breakdown was the throttle pedal sensor, but it eventually restarted OK and got home fine until I could get the part.
Great info! Roads here aren't any better either.

Did you do all the work yourself? I checked youtube and it looks like I could handle tension belt bearing myself.
 

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'07 Outback 3.0R LL Bean, '74 BMW 2002, '65 Datsun L320, '99 Land Cruiser
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199 Posts
Great info! Roads here aren't any better either.

Did you do all the work yourself? which one you found the toughest?
Yes, do my own work. One rear wheel bearing was done before we bought it. Other than that and regular oil changes, no history known before me.

I'm a bit paranoid, and had to trust it to take my wife and baby 4 hours away to in-laws many times in winter without me, so I want to make sure everything is good and reliable. Labor costs nothing for me. I want this car to last to 200 to 300K too, if possible.
Honestly, it'd probably still be running fine if I did none of that maintenance and someone just kept blindly driving it. Eventually the idler bearings would've gotten loud and maybe seized and thrown the serpentine belt and could've been fixed easily by any mechanic, and the wheel bearings would've gotten louder and louder until going to a mechanic. Some oil would've dripped from oil cooler a real long time before being amounting to much. Would've been a few other squeaks and rattles. I catch stuff real early and fix it, though.

For what's the toughest, spark plugs seem a bit daunting but weren't as bad as expected. Wrestling lower control arms/lower ball joints free to change control arm bushings is pretty miserable due to the pinch bolts that seize up and twist right off. Really bad to have exposed threads like that here where they dump salt on the roads, and everything rusts.
 

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16' Focus ST; 16' B8.5 Audi A4; 06' Saab 93 Aero; 16' Civic EXL
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Yes, do my own work. One rear wheel bearing was done before we bought it. Other than that and regular oil changes, no history known before me.

I'm a bit paranoid, and had to trust it to take my wife and baby 4 hours away to in-laws many times in winter without me, so I want to make sure everything is good and reliable. Labor costs nothing for me. I want this car to last to 200 to 300K too, if possible.
Honestly, it'd probably still be running fine if I did none of that maintenance and someone just kept blindly driving it. Eventually the idler bearings would've gotten loud and maybe seized and thrown the serpentine belt and could've been fixed easily by any mechanic, and the wheel bearings would've gotten louder and louder until going to a mechanic. Some oil would've dripped from oil cooler a real long time before being amounting to much. Would've been a few other squeaks and rattles. I catch stuff real early and fix it, though.

For what's the toughest, spark plugs seem a bit daunting but weren't as bad as expected. Wrestling lower control arms/lower ball joints free to change control arm bushings is pretty miserable due to the pinch bolts that seize up and twist right off. Really bad to have exposed threads like that here where they dump salt on the roads, and everything rusts.
always better to be safe than sorry, especially on cars. this is well enough for me to get prepared for what's lying ahead. Used to own a 110k miles Saab 93 aero plus my gf's 100K+ Nissan Rouge so to me stuffs for 3.0R are totally acceptable :laugh: Super insightful, thanks again!
 

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18 horizontally opposed cylinders of fury
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359 Posts
If you have access to a press, the idler & tensioner pulleys can be reused by pressing in a new bearing. I think 6203 is the bearing number & they shouldn't cost more than $10-15 apiece at Napa or online. If one of those pulleys seizes the direction of belt motion will rapidly unscrew it & the belt falls off, possibly with collateral damage from the flying pulley.

All H6 engines have a coolant hard pipe that corrodes & starts leaking over time, info & photo here. A new-to-you 9 yo car with 89k should have a coolant service anyways, including Subaru thermostat & radiator cap (OEM is key here) so try to eyeball that pipe & have one on hand if it's less than perfect. Maybe a bargaining chip with the seller.
 

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'07 Outback 3.0R LL Bean, '74 BMW 2002, '65 Datsun L320, '99 Land Cruiser
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199 Posts
If you have access to a press, the idler & tensioner pulleys can be reused by pressing in a new bearing. I think 6203 is the bearing number & they shouldn't cost more than $10-15 apiece at Napa or online.
No need for a press, just a hammer and an appropriately sized socket and you can knock them right out. I've actually replaced mine twice, cuz its cheap. I actually used the same size bearing in my septic aerator too, hah.
 

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Premium Member
2006 Outback Sedan LLBean
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625 Posts
Looks like the pulley bearing is common for 3.0R, not a huge deal to me at all :)

21-26 is way enough to me :wink2:

Thanks for the reply!!!
I got a full new idler pulley for mine, and it's a much beefier unit. I posted on the install some where I'll try and find. But I got it on amazon, and it was pretty cheap. All I had to do was install, no bearing press or socket substitute.

This one:
https://www.amazon.com/Gates-36330-Belt-Drive-Pulley/dp/B009HL6VY2/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1531845794&vehicle=2006-13-66-1347---6-6-204-1737-1-1-2603--1-0&sr=1-1&ymm=2006%3Asubaru%3Aoutback
 

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16' Focus ST; 16' B8.5 Audi A4; 06' Saab 93 Aero; 16' Civic EXL
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Discussion Starter #19
I got a full new idler pulley for mine, and it's a much beefier unit. I posted on the install some where I'll try and find. But I got it on amazon, and it was pretty cheap. All I had to do was install, no bearing press or socket substitute.

This one:
https://www.amazon.com/Gates-36330-Belt-Drive-Pulley/dp/B009HL6VY2/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1531845794&vehicle=2006-13-66-1347---6-6-204-1737-1-1-2603--1-0&sr=1-1&ymm=2006%3Asubaru%3Aoutback
woah! very nice! I may just change it regardless!!! :laugh:
 

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2008 Outback H6
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79 Posts
I just bought an 08 H6 at 95K miles. I've been chasing little things here and there. I had a power steering hose with a tiny crack causing a high whine. The drivers side master window switch didn't work for the passenger window, so I pulled one from a junkyard. while swapping out to Crosstrek wheels I spotted the front control arm bushing that looked like it was about to fail with cracks but apparently Subaru says thats normal. I'll just keep my eye on it since it doesn't seem to be messing with ride quality yet. I just had an issue with the transmission giving me weird clunky shifts last night and then going back to being smooth. Today was a drain and refill with Subaru HP fluid to hopefully take care of the problem. Overall its been a pretty nice car.
 
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