Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Our 4th of July contest is live! Enter HERE for your chance to win a $400 Walmart gift card.
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
2003 SUBARU LEGACY OUTBACK LIMITED
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - I posted in the noobie section yesterday. Here is my "hello" post:

"Hi all - I am a long time car fanatic and am a forum member on multiple other car forums. I have been shopping Subarus for a while now and go tomorrow to pick up a gen2 2003 Subaru Outback Legacy Sedan Limited to be my new DD.
Here is a quick pic:



Just wanted to say hello and get any offered opinions on the car I am about to purchase. I wish it was an H6 3.0 VDC. Any opinions on this? I could wait if that is truly a better option.

Love the car and the color scheme. Wish it had the rear spoiler. I will likely post a wanted ad soon.

Anyway - glad to be a new member and hope to utilize the site to learn all I can on my new DD. "

So basically I am just looking for opinions on the 2.5 vs the 3.0. There is a nice H6 VDC in my hometown of Asheville, NC that is for sale.

Main concerns are head gasket issues and the fact I will have to do the timing belt replacement soon. Is that costly on a Subaru?

I will continue to research the site as it has already proven to be a wealth of knowledge.

Best,

Ash
 

·
Registered
2013 OB 2.5i Premium/DDD Graphite Gray Metallic OP#2 Weathertec Window Deflectors
Joined
·
405 Posts
Have them do the timing belt & what goes along with it, to seal the deal, if they want to sell it, it's not the last car in the world!! Good Luck.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
I agree with Shadow. If the car has more thank 90k miles, I think the timing belt should be taken care of by the dealer. I would have them replace the water pump too while they are in there.

IMO the 2.5 is a solid, trustworthy engine when maintained properly. HOWEVER, if I were getting an AT Legacy SUS, I'd jump on the 3.0 with the VDC. Simply for the power bump and the VDC. The price difference in that year car should be minimal and worth every bit of it. Just keep in mind that the H6 in that gen had "premium recommended". I've read of people running regular just fine, but for optimal performance you'll want premium.

But either way you go, you'll have a solid, dependable car.
 

·
Premium Member
'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
Joined
·
3,109 Posts
I drove both the 4 cyl and the 6 cyl before purchase. The gas mileage was negligible for how long I had planned to keep the car. I went with the H6 simply for the advantage in torque. It's been 11 years now and timing belt, water pump, and just now the idler and tensioner pulleys replaced. No head gasket issues for me, or any other "major" problems. 168k mi. now and still going strong.
 

·
Meh.
I has wagons.
Joined
·
12,345 Posts
You won't want to replace JUST the timing belt. That is a recipe for disaster when a tensioner fails down the road.

Belt, ALL tensioners/pulleys, and water pump (yes, it is overkill at 105k, but rarely will make it to 210k and you have to take the belt off to replace them anyways) at minimum.

Recommend crank and cam seals, as well as resealing oil pump.

Total this should be in the $1000 range, give or take depending on your area.
 

·
Registered
2003 SUBARU LEGACY OUTBACK LIMITED
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I decided not to buy the car. Going to hold out on an H6. It was an extremely clean Outback, one-owner / clean carfax - but lacked the 6 cylinder torque and the dealership was pretty firm on price ($7k).
I am going to keep searching for the right one and will post pics once i have it.
Thanks again!
 

·
Premium Member
'02 Bean H6, AWP & ORP, factory hitch
Joined
·
3,109 Posts
Don't feel bad, you did the right thing. Like AWDFTW said, just the timing belt is not enough. Book value on my car, very similar to the pic you posted is $6,200.00 in "excellent" condition. The only 11 yr. old cars in excellent condition probably don't get driven! And don't be hesitant to buy the H4, it's a good engine too. I just needed the 6 because I sometimes carry good-sized loads, and on occasion pull a small trailer. Real good people on this site. Had my car for 11 years and still learn new stuff every day.
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i CVT - '06 Forester X 5MT
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
If you can hold out for the car you WANT, insted of a car you need, it will be worth it. I drove my wife's Elantra for 1.5 yrs while I waited and found the exact car I wanted. I enjoy driving my 5spd Forester everyday, and love the sunroof on sunny days.

I just about pulled the trigger a couple times on a car that had most of what I wanted at my local dealer, but now that I have my Forester, I'm glad I didn't. I can see we keeping this one until it falls apart, if I had settled I would have wanted to trade in a couple years.
 

·
Registered
2003 Outback, 5 MT, 134K, HG changed.
Joined
·
184 Posts
I agree with taking your time to find the right used car. After a long search and many failed attempts, I finally came across my Outback almost by destiny. Everything fell into place and felt right. And then a few months later I discovered my head gaskets leaking and had to fix that. Aside from that, my 2003 OB has run like clockwork in every other sense.

As for buying used, I’m of the philosophy that avoids dealerships. They have no idea of the car’s history, and at least when I was shopping around, none that I contacted had any service receipts and records for their cars. The ideal private seller will have retained all these to hand over to you.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top