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2008 Outback Limited, 2001 Outback LL Bean
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I bought my 2001 LL Bean with 130,000 in 2009.

Had it in for inspection yesterday and got a laundry list of failures:

  • Leaking valve cover gasket
    Leaking oil pressure sender
    torn passenger side CV boot
    Leaking steering rack
With the exception of the steering rack, I have had all of these things replaced since I have owned the car
valve cover gasket in 2010
Pressure sender in 2011
CV axle in 2010

Am I just having bad luck? The mechanic told me that the valve cover gaskets go out frequently on Subarus and that 2.5 years and 35,000 miles wasn't all that unusual. True?

As for the steering rack - they quoted me $950 for reman, installed. Does this seem reasonable when the part seems to be around $200. and $130 for tie rod ends at the same time (my request).

Rest of Quote is $662 for the valve cover gasket job, $125 for the pressure sender, and $190 for the CV axle.

I am in PA. The inspection was done by a dealer and the quote is from the shop I usually take my car too. Should I find another shop?

thanks for any and all input
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,109 Posts
sure seems weird to have 2 steering racks leak.

you can probably find a slightly better price on having the axle work done. depend on labor rates in your area.

yeah, might be a good idea to have an indie mech check out the car - mention only symptoms (drips or smoke/smell w'ever), don't tell him the list you got from the first shop - well, maybe after he checks it over.

post your city and perhaps someone can recommend a shop.
 

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Registered
2008 Outback Limited, 2001 Outback LL Bean
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
you misread me. The steering rack is the only thing on that list that hasn't failed twice. :)

my main issue, I guess is with (the most expesive item) the valve cover gasket. It seems kind of ridiculous to me to have to re-do this job after about 30,000 miles.

what do you think?
 

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2008 Outback Limited, 2001 Outback LL Bean
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
and forgot to mention that I'm in Southern Chester County PA near the DE line. Would love the name of a highly recommended, gifted Subaru mechanic.

thanks!
 

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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
If the rack is leaking, it calls for 3 hours labor, then you have the realignment. Multiply by the shop labor rate, and that tells you how much more he's adding in.

The valve cover gaskets, depends on the type used the last go. Subaru, 50-80k before they dry out enough to crack. You could probably just retighten the bolts and it will stop leaking. If its necessary, 3.5 hours labor.

That price for a CV axle is a reman, probably Auto Don't. Check that.

Oil pressure switch is $22.00 from Subaru and less than an hour labor called for. Actually takes 20 minutes.

So, I would retighten the valve covers, clean the oil sender and surrounding areas to recheck for a leak and find someone to reboot the axle. Clean and check the rack to be sure its not just a hose or line leaking.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
oil sender - that is a very odd failure, very rare. that shouldn't be happening once...much less twice?

i would expect valve covers to last longer than that but they are prone to leak.

use Subaru gaskets and the surfaces must be properly cleaned and bolts tightened properly.

i like cardoc's idea - a gasket that new should still have some give to it and tigthening might help. it's usually a no-no on older gaskets that are hard and brittle though and that's not a good idea.

passengers side CV boot is above exhaust and prone to failure as well. a cheap aftermarket axle is likely to fail earlier than normal. it might be failing just becuase it's and aftermarket axle, they are very poor quality and low percentage.

*always* reboot CV axles, do not replace them no matter how much the mechanic begs or tries to sell you on it. it's easier for him but you throw away a good product for risky aftermarket junk. you can google axle issues and read all day long.

rebooting your existing axle with a SUbaru or high quality CV boot might get you more miles this time.

if you were in the other southern corner of PA i could do it for you.
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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14,437 Posts
and forgot to mention that I'm in Southern Chester County PA near the DE line. Would love the name of a highly recommended, gifted Subaru mechanic.

thanks!
I know of excellent shops 2 hrs North & 2 hrs East of you.. PM me if you don't find anything closer.
 

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2008 Outback Limited, 2001 Outback LL Bean
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
That price for a CV axle is a reman, probably Auto Don't. Check that.
Not sure what you mean by "Auto Don't". I have read about the problems with certain axles. So what brand reman axle would you suggest?

Is it the inner or outer boot on the passenger side that is typically the problem? I haven't crawled under the car yet to check it out yet. If it's the inner, would you still reboot rather than replace? Keep in mind that the axle in there now is not original and might be one of the suspect axles.

thanks!
 

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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
Auto Don't = Auto Zone. If its not a major brand from their shelf, avoid it.

Cardone Industries builds new and reman parts. One of which is CV axles for a variety of vehicles. The reman division is A1 Cardone and contracts to the manufacturers. Besides them, an independent axle rebuilder that knows what they are doing is a good option.
 
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