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Looking into purchasing a 3rd gen Outback.
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Orgers.

I'm looking into purchasing a Subaru 3rd Gen (2008 - 2009) model replace one or two of my other vehicles.

I've been a member of other car forums -- one from AutoGuide. I am accustomed to AG forums and the rules. I currently own the following vehicles.

91 - Infiniti Q45 150,000 miles (the summer daily driver)
98 - Nissan Maxima 240,000 miles (daughter drives it)
99 - Nissan Maxima SE 5-MT 230,000 miles (the modded toy)
04 - Honda Civic - 55,000 miles (eldest son drives it)
04 - Subaru Forester 2.5 - 135,000 miles (new addition that is getting a mid-life refresh for seals, gaskets, hoses, belts, water pump, head milling, the workis) it was running but suffered from a blown headgasket when my son bought it). Repairs for it finish next weekend. (youngest son will be driving it)
06 - Honda Ridgeline 150,000 miles. (the winter daily driver)

The Subaru Outback may replace the Q45 and Ridgeline. I like the idea of an AWD station wagon.

Me and my son and his neighbor buddy do all of our car maintenance. Normally I only use an outside shop for front-end alignments and tire installation/balancing services. Everything from engine swaps, clutch jobs, and air/cond work happens in my driveway or garage. I am equipped with 30 gallon compressed air tank and various impact tools. The tools have been collected over the past 10 years of DIY automobile maintenance.

Why am I interested in a Subaru Outback?

Based on my recent exposure to the Forester, these cars are easy to work on. Pulling the engine was one of the easiest that I've seen in a while -- especially on a modern car with all the emissions and feature loading.

I like:

1) Subaru AWD setup
2) Outback look
3) 2.5 L engine and the fact the engines haven't experienced radical change in a long time..
4) Legroom in the Forester. I understand the OB has the same room for the driver.
5) Easy to adjust valve lash clearance on the 3rd gen engine -- though I have no complaints with the shim/spacers on the VQ30 engines that not required any change

I dislike:

1) Cars with touch screens and NAV. Though I could tolerate it if the only thing I would lose would be NAV if the touchscreen fails. I try to keep the dashboard simple.
2) CVT transmissions. I know they have come a long way. I'm just not ready to go there until after the 2020 models are released.
3) Cars that consume oil.

When I look at the things I like about my other cars at a high level, it looks like a Subaru OB 3rd gen would be a good fit. Most likely the used OB I can find will have between 120,000 to 150,000 miles and need a timing belt service.

Fellow Org members, please share your 3rd gen OB experiences for this newcomer.

Thank you,
Craig
 

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2005 Subaru Outback 3.0R
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41 Posts
You can find earlier gen 3's without a touch screen, tho I have not heard about failing screens on OB's

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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596 Posts
It seems the H6 is the old reliable engine with few problems. Turbo H4's are a different story! The Gen 3's have their quirks and gremlins but overall, I'm happy I bought mine.
Yes, the Subaru engineers thought about maintenance when they were designing these vehicles. Most things I've encountered were fairly easy to work on.....
Under the dash is a different matter! There are actuators for directing the HVAC that will fail and when they do, especially on the driver's side, you better be ready to roll up your sleeves and start disassembling! Rear hub assemblies (bearings) are a problem in most Gen 3's, you'll be replacing those if the previous owner hasn't already and then you may anyway.
You got to have high quality struts and maintain a good alignment. Make sure to check the moonroof closely - some track problems and few parts to repair them.

Timing belts on the H4's, you must change at recommended intervals and head gaskets do fail, especially in the higher mileage 4's.
H6 doesn't have the same belts and therefore not the same problems.

You'll want a scanner/code reader that iis capable of digging into the subaru engine and transmission codes....Romraider and FreeSSM are very popular.

OK, time for fireworks!
Good Luck
 

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Looking into purchasing a 3rd gen Outback.
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone for the helpful information.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,304 Posts
A well running 3rd gen is a lovely vehicle no matter the engine combo to me. Currently have a 2006 2.5i for my wife and I'm hoping I'll be getting dad's 2006 OBXT when he retires and gets a new car. IF not I'll likely be looking to replace Mal with a 3rd gen H6.
 
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