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2009 Outback 2.5i Limited 4AT
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been a member of this forum for about seven months but I've never really introduced myself. I've seen a few other people do this so here's the story of my Outback:

Any time I tell a story I'm pretty long-winded so get comfy 😂

My name in Jon and I'm from the US. The last car I had was a Toyota Yaris, which I loved despite its lack of power. Or power windows. Or a dash in front of the steering wheel. Or really anything you'd want from a car. I learned how to drive in that thing, it got me through high school, took me to my first date... needless to say it had a lot of sentimental value. I creamed a deer with it and even though it still ran like new it wasn't worth fixing so the insurance company totaled it. The bumper was messed up and the passenger headlight was done. It still worked though! Since I needed something pretty soon to get to work and college, I started looking for something that was less than 100k miles and had more engine and space than the Yaris (not hard to do). After looking around for a few hours, I found a 2011 Impreza Limited with ~76000 miles. I called the dealership to set up an appointment (during the height of the pandemic) but they never called me back so oh well. In the meantime my dad and I made a plan of attack to look at a few local dealerships for something in my price range.

To be honest, the Outback was the one wagon I didn't think I would like. I didn't like how they look from the front coming down the road and I really hated the reverse lights being in the middle of the rear hatch. The first dealership I went to had two Outbacks, a 2008 w/ 65000 miles and a 2009 with 82000 miles. I started with the 2008 which was deep bronze metallic with beige trim/cladding. I think it was the special edition, it didn't seem to have much for options but did have heated cloth seats and I think the heated wiper rest up front. Both had the 4AT but having a manual wasn't the priority. The 2008 ran great and sounded pretty good, the previous owner clearly took good care of it and put some sort of aftermarket exhaust on it. Then I test drove the 2009 which was a limited so it had the sunroof, harmon/kardon stereo, etc. It had a terrible exhaust leak and the brakes were bare metal. The headlights were also faded.

I sat in a 2010 Forester too but it was pretty dirty inside and for some reason made me feel older. Anyway, after driving both Outbacks I decided it was actually the perfect car for me and that I was going to buy one of these two cars. The 2008 had 20000 fewer miles than the 2009, a stainless exhaust, and the paint was in better shape save for a few dents. The 2008 was the obvious choice. I bought the 2009. I usually don't splurge on myself so I figured what the heck it's the limited ooo ahhh. The poor thing had 4 owners before me, weird scratches in the paint, and smelled kinda funny. Not bad... just... different. I've always had a soft spot for cars that aren't treated all that well but just keep running anyway, like the little engine that could I guess.

The dealership, which was not a Subaru dealer just a local used car dealer, put about $2500 into the car after I signed for it. They replaced the headlight assemblies (for freeeeeeee!) and put a brand new oem grade catback exhaust on. The tires that were on it were fine but they replaced them anyway. They installed the surprisingly meh LingLong Crosswind HP 4x4. They're a real tire, I swear. Somehow I didn't notice the severe coolant leak until I got the car home and realized there was no coolant in the resevoir. They replaced the head gaskets with Fel-Pros so we'll see what happens. They paid for it so I can't complain too much. It's a long story but I don't take the car there for any reason anymore, and I'm doing my own oil changes which voids their too-good-to-be-true 2 year unlimited mile warranty. I don't want them touching it anymore because I kid you not every time they touched the thing they broke it more and I don't even think they were trying. I usually do my own maintenance anyway so it works out well.

So for the first time I have a car that is all mine and everything works great. So of course I immediately started changing things. I'm just going to list everything I've done so far rather than explain it all:

Subaru hose clamp mod (+5hp)
Takata airbag fix (+5hp from Subaru!)
Head gaskets replaced by dealer (see how long they hold lol)
Water pump, timing belt, accessory belts, and spark plugs replaced
Both headlight assemblies replaced
New fuel cap (tether broke on the old one)
Replaced head unit with fancy Pioneer one
Replaced all four shocks/struts
Painted the factory rims black
Replaced front lower control arms
Added spunky exhaust tips
Replaced all exhaust gaskets

I love my Outback and I've put about 10000 miles on it in seven months, which is more than it had usually seen in a year. Here's a picture from when I first got it:
Automotive parking light Wheel Car Tire Automotive side marker light

And here's a recent picture:
510589

And one with the exhaust tips (I have different ones now):
Wheel Tire Automotive tail & brake light Car Vehicle

And finally of the head unit install:
Car Motor vehicle Gear shift Automotive design Steering part

Hopefully this was somehow entertaining.
 

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Premium Member
2020 Onyx
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13,294 Posts
Congratulations and your story is heartwarming. Sounds like the Subie's in good hands!

After the dealer did a head gasket job you re-did it, or were you listing the head gasket change that the dealer did?

If you think the dealer's service department is sorta sketchy (not subaru specialists) another proactive/preventative step could include drain and fill the transmission fluid with genuine Subaru or Idemitsu HP, just in case the dealer had put in a different fluid.

Can also change the differential fluid (or at least check it).
 

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Registered
2009 Outback 2.5i Limited 4AT
Joined
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Congratulations and your story is heartwarming. Sounds like the Subie's in good hands!

After the dealer did a head gasket job you re-did it, or were you listing the head gasket change that the dealer did?

If you think the dealer's service department is sorta sketchy (not subaru specialists) another proactive/preventative step could include drain and fill the transmission fluid with genuine Subaru or Idemitsu HP, just in case the dealer had put in a different fluid.

Can also change the differential fluid (or at least check it).
Thanks for the nice comment! I was just listing the head gaskets as something that has been done, I didn't re-do them. This summer I'm going to flush the transmission and differentials and do whatever else it needs. The dealer isn't really sketchy, they just don't treat customers as well as they should. Thanks for the tip I will definitely make sure I use the good stuff!
 
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