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I am in the market for a used Subaru Outback, looking for recommended years and things to look out for. I have been told to stay away from DOHC engines, are they as bad as I have heard? I need a solid car that costs under $10k with around 80k in miles. Thanks for your help. Heard this group are the pro's in Subaru guidance!
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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I am in the market for a used Subaru Outback, looking for recommended years and things to look out for. I have been told to stay away from DOHC engines, are they as bad as I have heard? I need a solid car that costs under $10k with around 80k in miles. Thanks for your help. Heard this group are the pro's in Subaru guidance!
Who told you to stay away from DOHC engines? Was he about 80 years old? Seriously, my dad has this same opinion and I can't fathom why. In the case of a lot of DOHC engines I guess the big negative is the addition of a timing belt (thus increasing the cost of maintenance), but for Subarus that only affects the 4 cylinders (pre 2013 I think?). Even so, you only need to do it ever 105K miles... not something to be worried about.

In that price range you are most likely going to be looking at 2nd and 3rd gen Outbacks, in which case, here is what you need to know:

2.5 = timing belt. Make sure it has been done, if not, get it done soon. Also these have the potential of the head gasket failure, so watch for that.
3.0 (also a DOHC) does not have a timing belt, and is not known for head gasket failures. You may want a 3.0 expert to chime in here, but these are fairly indestructible engines.

Both engines are overall fantastically reliable and relatively low-maintenance and should push your grocery-getter around for many many miles.

2.5 Turbo (3rd gen only)... most powerful, worst fuel economy, and I would wager the most expensive to maintain, though they don't have head gasket failures like the N/A 2.5s do.

Check for split CV axle boots on all models.
 

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2005 LL Bean
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I am in the market for a used Subaru Outback, looking for recommended years and things to look out for. I have been told to stay away from DOHC engines, are they as bad as I have heard? I need a solid car that costs under $10k with around 80k in miles. Thanks for your help. Heard this group are the pro's in Subaru guidance!
What are your other requirements? MT or AT? More power or more MPG?

I just bought a 2005 H6 LL Bean, but I was also specifically looking for one of those. In my are, at least, you can get a very nice late model OWB for 10k. (2005-2008, under 100k miles) From what I've read, these engines (and cars in general) respond very well to regular maintenance. If you can find a 1 or 2 owner car with a full maintenance record, you should be fine. Keep in mind, the 2.5 need a timing belt replacement around 100k, so many people sell them before paying for that. Not that it is all that much and you can always use it as a bargaining chip. The H6's have a chain, so don't need as much maintenance in the higher mileage ranges. (but, they use more fuel, so....)

Good luck and Welcome!
 

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2011 Outback Limited. White, Sunroof, 2.5, CVT. Bought 2/15/11. Love it! Broke 109K, 2/20.
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