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Discussion Starter #1
2006 Outback, 113K. K?

So about ten days ago I saw it - smoke coming from my engine - is that the guy next to me? - no, it's me, and I can smell it in my interior.

Darn. Hope it's not head-gaskets. I really, REALLY wanna pay off that last student loan. I'm so close, another month would do it, I mean, I almost have enough saved up to....

So I bring it to Subaru today, "let's change my oil - synthetic - rotate my tires, and, oh yeah, got a smell of burning oil in the cockpit when I stop. Let me know, a'right? Thanks," and I go for breakfast. I didn't tell him my head-gasket concerns, didn't wanna give him any ideas, you dig?

Anyway, long story short, after a breakfast that was much too salty and greasy, I walk back, and here's what he tells me: "Ok, that burning oil smell you got, that was from the boot on your axle. It's spitting oil everywhere, and when it hits your exhaust pipe, it turns to smoke."

Alright, I think, and to answer your question (and mine also), $430, US (and this will get me a whole new axle, which is pretty cool, I'm thinkin, because I really like the car).

So I say "Ok," because I could tell he dropped the boot - I could just tell - and now he was about to drop the other shoe.

"And you also have a leak from your head-gasket," he says.

Ugh. Great. And - wait for it...wait for it...here we go:

$1900.

For that price they better be giving me good head-gasket. Unless I'm getting screwed?

Anyway, after a deep breath and a few silent expletives, I ask if he can knock off ten percent, and he agrees. And throws in the oil change for free. And a loaner (2012 Forester, if you're curious).

So, moral of the story...well, heck. Guess there ain't no moral. Maybe I'll get a big tax return this year? Let's hope.

And how was your day?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hello Lads.

Update: wanted to pick up the Blue Beast today, but Subie told me that the mechanic wanted to put in new head bolts (at no extra charge - woo-hoo!), and they need to order them, so I can pick the Beast up tomorrow.

Ok, not bad. Here's what we have for the visit: tires rotated (got all-weather Continentals, if you're curious), oil change, new head-gaskets, new axle, new head bolts. He should be runnin like new, once again!

And then it's off to be cleaned, inside and out. If he's running awesome, he should be looking awesome too. Makes sense, right?

Also, I've been driving the Forester for the past 3 days. It's been an interesting experience - a different aminal altogether! If you're curious about my take on the differences, ask me, and all shall be revealed! Have a great night.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5i
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52 Posts
Bummer about the head gaskets. Last time I was at the Subie shop a woman was in there with her car, think it was an 06 as well with about 65k on it and she got the bad news.
The service writer told me the WRX gaskets don't fail like these but that Subaru doesn't warranty them.

My wife has a 2012 Forester. Different car for sure. Smaller and all that head room. How did you like you loaner?
 

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Silver 06 2.5i
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696 Posts
Had my 06 head gasket replaced ar 58 k miles and they also replaced my head bolts.
They did have a problem and broke one of the valve cover bolts. Which took 3 days to get . Im at 87800 now about to start my 90k service's.
In addition to the 90k service I'm also going to replace the plug wires and both drive belts. The plug wires look good but with the miles and the years just good peice of mind for me.

Mike K
 

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I know there are many on this site because they love the brand but I actually joined because I hate it.

I still drive the one and only Subaru that I will ever own.

My wife and I purchased a 2003 Outback Legacy wagon 2.5 in 2008 and it the cost of ownership has far exceeded that of any other vehicle we have ever owned.

To begin with we had to replace the head gasket at slightly over 80K miles. The dealer originally quoted us $1600. SOA was no help but the dealer knocked it down to $1100 after we complained relentlessly.

There have been numerous items we've replaced since then, some routine maintenance to be expected, others being things which we have never had to replace on other brands such as rear tail light assembly. It seems like even the regular maintenance items that must be done on all vehicles are much more costly with Subaru than other import brands.

The last straw was when the handle on the rear hatch needed to be replaced. We wrote Subaru a very polite letter explaining how over the years we'd spent thousands of dollars maintaining the vehicle and how it seemed to be more expensive than other brands. We had asked that Subaru comp us the labor and part for the rear hatch handle because of the amount that we'd already spent.

A few weeks later we got a call form a SOA rep. He basically kept me on the phone for an hour telling me how great the brand was and how reasonable he was being by taking the time to talk to me but in the end they wouldn't help us at all with the cost of the repair so I hung up on him. A week later he emailed me a coupon for fifty dollars toward the repair. I found it insulting.

Having owned this one vehicle it's become clear to us that Subaru does not want to earn our business and that their product and service is not comparable to the other two most popular Japanese import brands that we have owned. The experience has been terrible and we will never consider purchasing another Subaru again. Not only that but we refuse to give Subaru any more money in the form of repair/maintenance on the car that we still own. Whenever something comes up we do the work ourselves if we can or take it to a non-Subaru repair shop.

I know many of you may prefer the brand but as for us, we're done with Subaru for life!
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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1,036 Posts
The head gasket issue is well documented - if you did some research you should have known about it going in. That, and not every 2.5 liter head gasket has failed. It seems like some of the cars that are better maintained are less likely to have a head gasket failure.

Why did you have to replace the rear tail lamp assembly? If it is cracked due to an impact, I don't see how that is the car's fault. If it leaked, it is an easy repair you can do yourself but sealing it with some new silicone. Cheap, effective, and easy (although I'd like to say at 117,000 miles mine still don't leak).

The springs are broken in my rear hatch handle but it has been that way the whole time I've owned it... does not make the hatch unusable at all, I just have to remember to pop the handle back in to place after I open it.

Taking the car to the dealer for so much work is probably part of the downfall. It looks like you have later found a reputable repair shop in your area... that is good.

I am sorry to hear your negative experiences with SOA.

In this post you say you bought the car in 2008 and replaced the head gasket at 80K miles. In another post you say the car has 182,000 miles on it. You've racked up 100,000 miles on the car in about 4 years? Certainly you can expect to have the occasional major repair in that time period, especially racking up the miles so quickly.
 

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It may have been 2007 when we purchased. i don't recal the exact date but could look it up.

The point is that in the past we have owned multiple Hondas and Toyotas. This is our first Subaru ever and it hasn't stacked up. It's been less reliable and far more costly to own. I can only go on my own experience and so far it has been very negative as a Subaru owner. I would say that they are better than brands like Mitsubishi, Nissan or Mazda, but to me that's not saying much.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi everybody.

Update! When I got the car back, he continued to leak oil onto my rather expensive driveway, and when I stopped for a minute or two (for gas or coffee), I smelled burning oil.

Gave it a few days, because these things might be residual...and it looks like they were! (whew!).

Looks like no more leaks, and no more burning oil smell. And he's really purring once again.

As for the Forester, I liked it very much. I found it peppier than my OB, and the handling was crisper and more responsive (my OB tends to understeer during more "ambitious" driving). And the big sunroof was awesome (I have a hardtop). However, I felt that the Forester's interior was not as comfortable as mine.

Here's what I've been telling those people unfortunate enough to be in my presence: the Forester is a "beach" car, and the Outback is a "trip" car.

Hope that doesn't insult anybody!

Did I mention that I love my Outback? :cool:
 
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