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2015 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
Joined
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey OB gang 馃憢

First post on the forum, new to Subaru and trying to buy a used Gen5 Outback Limited. Have been looking private party for a few months and found what appeared to be a good deal the other day.

2015 Limited in White with 107k miles. Asking $15k - Good shape overall but cracked windshield, one mismatch (new) tire from a blowout a month ago, and after getting a Pre-purchase inspection from a Subaru Dealer; they said it needed both cylinder head gasketsand Valve gaskets replaced. This was a surprise to me and the seller. They found an engine oil leak and deemed this the problem, saying they looked like an 8 out of 10 with 10 being worst. Quoted me $2,100 for the repair.

The seller was surprised and willing to work on price coming to $13.5-14k. I asked my local shop and without seeing it estimated $4.4K for the repair and feared the head could be cracked but suggested a diagnosis from them before buying it.

What would you do? The car felt good overall, drove nicely and was in good shape. Everything else checked out.

There is also a pre-owned Limited with 84k miles at a dealer nearby for $17.5 that looks like a decent option. Detailed and inspected by the dealer with car fax, but not sure if it鈥檚 worth the extra money or if it may hve the same issue after a few years.

After researching, I really want to buy an Outback but want a car that is reliable and low maintenance. Would be great to get some insight 馃 Thanks!!
 

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2019 Outback Wagon 2.5i limited
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333 Posts
A cracked head would be very unlikely, IMO. You probably could get a better price on the HG repair form an independent repair shop, just make sure the shop frequently works on Subarus. The windshield replacement bothers me because it seems like shops will chip the paint and you don鈥檛 realize it until it starts to rust. If the extra money for the lower mileage car bothers you, the higher mileage one sounds like an okay deal also. Keep in mind that with the 84k car, it may need HG repairs before too long also.
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
Joined
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A cracked head would be very unlikely, IMO. You probably could get a better price on the HG repair form an independent repair shop, just make sure the shop frequently works on Subarus. The windshield replacement bothers me because it seems like shops will chip the paint and you don鈥檛 realize it until it starts to rust. If the extra money for the lower mileage car bothers you, the higher mileage one sounds like an okay deal also. Keep in mind that with the 84k car, it may need HG repairs before too long also.
Thanks for the reply. In some ways the high mileage car sounds enticing because I get the repair out of the way and shouldn鈥檛 have to ever do it again or wonder when it鈥檚 gonna be necessary.

It鈥檚 $4k cheaper but needs about $2.5-$3k of work, basically immediately. Think I鈥檒l check out the lower mileage one today and see what鈥檚 what.
 

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2015 OB 2.5i Ltd replaced 2010 OB; 20 mm WRX rear sway bar & Michelin LXT Premier tires; replaced 2010 2.5 OB Ltd. City car is 2019 Kia Niro PHEV EX Prem
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462 Posts
Leaking head gaskets in pre-gen 5 Subies were very common, not so much later models but still occurs some.

Mine is '15 with 39K. Trouble free except for leaking camshaft journal gaskets. Leak was extremely minor, no oil drips on my garage floor but SOA replaced gaskets under warranty.

Either one of these two is getting to the point where problems may start to occur although there seem to be quite a few on this forum that report 100k+ with minimal problems.
For my money, I'd go for the one with the fewest owners and best maintenance history. If it is a toss up in that category, go for the low mileage model -- especially if you can talk dealer into selling it as a CPO car (not sure that is possible if miles are > 75K).
 

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2015 Outback Limited, 2.5i, 2021 Touring XT in White, 2018 Crosstrek
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387 Posts
We have a 15 Limited we are trading on a 21 Touring XT. We only have 56,000 miles on the car with no problems. Subaru had a recall on windshields due to cracks. Was this car being serviced by a Subaru dealer? You can not run mismatched tires on a Subaru. I am surprised the dealer did not point that out. There is a current recall on certain models that required cat converter replacement. My dealer did that with our 15 at last service.
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
Joined
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Leaking head gaskets in pre-gen 5 Subies were very common, not so much later models but still occurs some.

Mine is '15 with 39K. Trouble free except for leaking camshaft journal gaskets. Leak was extremely minor, no oil drips on my garage floor but SOA replaced gaskets under warranty.

Either one of these two is getting to the point where problems may start to occur although there seem to be quite a few on this forum that report 100k+ with minimal problems.
For my money, I'd go for the one with the fewest owners and best maintenance history. If it is a toss up in that category, go for the low mileage model -- especially if you can talk dealer into selling it as a CPO car (not sure that is possible if miles are > 75K).
Yeah, that鈥檚 what I鈥檝e read as well. Not 100% positive it鈥檚 the issue, could be worth a second opinion.

I test drive the lower mileage one at the dealer today. A few less features, but feels very solid all around. Theysaid they did an inspection, then could provide paperwork and said they don鈥檛 have it but that I was welcomed to get an independent inspection. Annoying and a little odd, but they seem to be willing to let me due my due diligence. Also, I鈥檝e talked them down $1k on price and feel pretty good about it if it checks the Pre Purchase Inspection from another dealer.
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
Joined
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We have a 15 Limited we are trading on a 21 Touring XT. We only have 56,000 miles on the car with no problems. Subaru had a recall on windshields due to cracks. Was this car being serviced by a Subaru dealer? You can not run mismatched tires on a Subaru. I am surprised the dealer did not point that out. There is a current recall on certain models that required cat converter replacement. My dealer did that with our 15 at last service.
the crack thing is so strange. Weird to see that on very OB ive looked at.
 

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2014 3.6R Limited
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1,140 Posts
I believe I would pass on that one. I would also be concerned about the mismatched tire. Read up on what happens when you run different circumference tires. The flip side would be to make sure it's actually a head gasket leaking and not something else, like a valve cover, etc.
 

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Joined
490 Posts
I don't see in your original post if the 2015 limited that needs a headgasket is a 2.5L or 3.6L. 2.5L's haven't shown a tendency for headgasket issues yet, the 3.6L's are slightly more likely to have the problem. Either way, I would also be curious if the oil leak is misdiagnosed by the dealer, not an uncommon occurrence.

Other than differed maintenance needs and abuse, the things to look for with used 2015 outbacks are CVT transmission problems and leaks and oil consumption. Both issues are hit or miss, we would hate for you to buy someone else's problem car and have an annoying ownership experience. There is a CVT 10 year 100k mile warranty extension that will cover any common issue. The oil consumption problem is tricky to have covered.

I have long owned a 2015 2.5L with over 150k miles and haven't had any moderate or bigger problems.
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
Joined
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't see in your original post if the 2015 limited that needs a headgasket is a 2.5L or 3.6L. 2.5L's haven't shown a tendency for headgasket issues yet, the 3.6L's are slightly more likely to have the problem. Either way, I would also be curious if the oil leak is misdiagnosed by the dealer, not an uncommon occurrence.

Other than differed maintenance needs and abuse, the things to look for with used 2015 outbacks are CVT transmission problems and leaks and oil consumption. Both issues are hit or miss, we would hate for you to buy someone else's problem car and have an annoying ownership experience. There is a CVT 10 year 100k mile warranty extension that will cover any common issue. The oil consumption problem is tricky to have covered.

I have long owned a 2015 2.5L with over 150k miles and haven't had any moderate or bigger problems.
Oops, forgot to mention they are both 2.5L Engines. I also thought about getting the higher mileage/less expensive one re-diagnosed by my independent mechanic.

All that said, I鈥檓 having an independent inspection of the lower mileage model today to see if it checks out. If it鈥檚 all clear, I鈥檓 gonna try to buy it today.
 

Registered
Joined
19 Posts
Hey OB gang 馃憢

First post on the forum, new to Subaru and trying to buy a used Gen5 Outback Limited. Have been looking private party for a few months and found what appeared to be a good deal the other day.

2015 Limited in White with 107k miles. Asking $15k - Good shape overall but cracked windshield, one mismatch (new) tire from a blowout a month ago, and after getting a Pre-purchase inspection from a Subaru Dealer; they said it needed both cylinder head gasketsand Valve gaskets replaced. This was a surprise to me and the seller. They found an engine oil leak and deemed this the problem, saying they looked like an 8 out of 10 with 10 being worst. Quoted me $2,100 for the repair.

The seller was surprised and willing to work on price coming to $13.5-14k. I asked my local shop and without seeing it estimated $4.4K for the repair and feared the head could be cracked but suggested a diagnosis from them before buying it.

What would you do? The car felt good overall, drove nicely and was in good shape. Everything else checked out.

There is also a pre-owned Limited with 84k miles at a dealer nearby for $17.5 that looks like a decent option. Detailed and inspected by the dealer with car fax, but not sure if it鈥檚 worth the extra money or if it may hve the same issue after a few years.

After researching, I really want to buy an Outback but want a car that is reliable and low maintenance. Would be great to get some insight 馃 Thanks!!
I got a 2015 3.6R limited for just over 18k with 55k miles body and interior close to mint condition. Does have an odd idle when cold but did an idle re-learn this morning so waiting for it to cool off to see if that resolves it. It's very minor and goes away in less than a minute or once you start driving. Bought from a dealer so it has 60 day engine/powertrain warranty but I don't think this issue will be reproducable enough to get any coverage. Anyway just a reference point for price. I don't think we got a great deal but seemed fair based on what we could find for sale around us with the V6.
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
Joined
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got a 2015 3.6R limited for just over 18k with 55k miles body and interior close to mint condition. Does have an odd idle when cold but did an idle re-learn this morning so waiting for it to cool off to see if that resolves it. It's very minor and goes away in less than a minute or once you start driving. Bought from a dealer so it has 60 day engine/powertrain warranty but I don't think this issue will be reproducable enough to get any coverage. Anyway just a reference point for price. I don't think we got a great deal but seemed fair based on what we could find for sale around us with the V6.
I would jump on it if I found a similar deal around here. Pricing seems to be high in the PNW but maybe I鈥檓 off in that.
 

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2015 Subaru Outback 2.5 Limited
Joined
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for everyone鈥檚 help here! Picked up the lower mileage, no head gasket issue Outback from the dealer this morning. Felt good about the deal we struck, but do have some minor things to sort out with the car.

Day 1 impressions...I love it! Coming from a 160k 2010 Corolla that I bought new and this car literally feels better than the Corolla did on day one. Feels solid and it鈥檚 nice to be off the ground a little. Happy with the MPG on the highway (not that it鈥檚 a primary concern) and loving the interior on the Limited, especially at night.

Problems to fix post inspection...
  • Driver door lock won鈥檛 work from remote or electronic locks, only manual
  • Dealer that inspected said it sounds like it needs wheel bearings on both rear wheels (definitely a tad noises back there but wasn鈥檛 sure if that was just the way the car sounds in the cabin.)
  • Newr 90k, recommended replacing diff fluid
  • Battery failed test (draining seems to be common)
  • Tires at some point (considering running a winter set

Anyways, looks like I have a lot of searching and reading to do on this forum to get me started on the right foot. Thanks again for the warm welcome and help 馃檹
 

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Joined
8,918 Posts
Don鈥檛 forget to update your profile with the year and trim level... helps people identify what car you have when asking questions.

Wheel bearing replacements aren鈥檛 uncommon, so I could see it needing one or both rear bearings.
 
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