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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i 4EAT
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622 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In less than 12,000 miles my car will be off its extended warranty...Obviously I know that things break and nothing lasts forever but I am not sure if I want to own another subaru. My car was in the dealer 3 times last month when my power steering rack failed, my thermostat failed, and my abs and wheel bearing were replaced as well...now if I didn't have my gold plus warranty I would have had to pay close to 2,000 bucks for the repairs(The steering rack cost was over 900$ to replace) So being that my car will be off warranty I know I will have to pay out of pocket for repairs where ever I decide to have my car fixed. However in the past week I discovered that my front diff is leaking gear oil...and it's worsened in the past week and now I'm leaving puddles where I park. So now when my car is off warranty I don't know if I'd want to own another Subaru. Any car I buy will have its share of problems, but I've always considered myself to be a pretty loyal subaru owner but since my car has been in the shop 5 times in the past month and a half I don't want to deal with that anymore. I just wanted to get that off my chest and get some opinions from people. -Karl
 

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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i 4EAT
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622 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been leaning towards buying a Volkswagen but I want to look around before I commit to anything
 

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2013 Outback 3.6L Limited with EyeSight
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218 Posts
Volkswagon's repair record and cost of parts greatly exceed Subaru's.

The 2013 Outback is outstanding. We're considering adding a 2014 Forester to the stable of Subaru's with very satisfied owners.
 

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97 Outback 240000
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1,139 Posts
I think the cost of auto repairs is going to continue increasing for all makes and models. Skilled mechanics are going to be hard to find in many places. Your choice may be limited to who you can find to do maintenance and repair that isn't charging an arm and a leg. My mechanic isn't cheap and hasn't figured out my current issue so I wonder if a new Subaru is the right choice for us also. That said I think a VW would be even worse here.
 

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2005 LL Bean
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138 Posts
All cars break. Except maybe Civics.....The steering rack and abs (what was done, that is kinda vague) stink, but wheel bearing is maintenance repair of a sort. I think it's just that they happened close together that makes it seem bad. Have you had any other issues before those? Also, do you make use of what the Outback offers? (as in, there is a cost/benefit to all things. If you don't need the AWD or the cargo etc...)

I had considered a VW before picking up my new(er) OBW, but higher potential maintenance costs made me stay with Subaru. Nothing is guaranteed.
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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14,447 Posts
It sounds like you are extremely averse to owning a car outside of warranty. That should simplify things. You can search for your next car based on repair incidence and warranty terms. Between consumer reports, edmunds and the other trade publishers, this shouldn't be too hard.

Almost forgot! Try carsort.com, they have some neat tools for comparing cars.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
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276 Posts
I wouldn't purchase another. My 2006 has required much more maintenance per mileage than my other/previous vehicles, and they had double ( in some cases triple) the mileage of the Subaru.

Example: Clutch.

2006 Subaru clutch replacement: 90k miles due to failed release bearing. Original clutch (Exedy) worn.

1996 Saab 900 Turbo clutch replacement: 210k miles due to corroded release bearing sleeve (made for a stiff clutch pedal). Original clutch (Sachs) still in great shape.

Porsche 944: 180k miles. Replaced clutch when engine was removed. Original clutch (Sachs) still in great shape.

Example: Interior.

Subaru: at 102.5k, unless you drive down a recently paved road, there are constant noises. The sunroof chatters, the center console creaks, the hatch area rattles, and the dashboard vibrated until I shoved a piece of foam in between the it and the windshield. If there is a crosswind a rattle in the passenger door is present. I've tried to remedy the center console rattle. As far as I can tell it just the cheap plastic that makes noises. The sunroof seems like the front glass is separating from the metal frame. These noises didn't start until about 90k miles.

Saab: No noises that I can remember. Much higher quality interior. It has been a few years so I drove the car, but I don't remember anything.

Porsche: Loud car in general (exhaust and rear mounted transmission), but no creaks as far as I can tell.

Example: CV Axles.

Subaru: By 80k miles both front axles needed rebooting. 6 years old. Pathetic.

Saab: I think I had to replaced the passenger side axle at 180k or so. Approximately 12 y/o.

Porsche: Original CV's still going strong (29 years later!)

Example: Oil Consumption

Subaru: Per OCI. At 2k miles add a quart. At 3k add a quart. At 3.75k add a quart. Better do a 3k OCI if you don't want the engine to seize. This is running synthetic. I'm trying conventional next change to see if it helps.

Saab: 6k OCI. Oil may be at half way mark at time of change. Remember this car is a Turbo.

Porsche: 0-6k. No oil consumption. Porsche recommended a 15,000 mile OCI in the manual. I don't do that, but I believe the car could make it.



These are the things off the top of my head. Were my other cars perfect? Of course not. The Saab had an annoying problem with the wiper motor contacts corroding and the cabin blower resistor blew at 160k miles. Heck, the Porsche requires a timing belt change every 30k miles!

Still, the Subaru is definitely an outlier. Why did I buy? I heard they were reliable cars (although the guy that convienced me to purchase one had to replace his motor 6 months after I bought mine). It's also one of the few AWD vehicles with a manual transmission, cargo space, and ground clearance.


Take a lesson from you '98. Cars shouldn't die at 169k. My uncle still drives a '92 Camry with over 415k miles. No one in my family has ever sold a vehicle with less than 200k miles (well, besides my brother).
 

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2013 2.5i Limited
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22 Posts
We have a 2013 Outback with 5500 miles on it and we have been to the dealership 7 times. 5 times for the vague steering and 2 times for something else. Now that the steering is sorted out, the car seems ok.

I'm still on the fence if I would buy any other Subaru. I really want to like the car, but I have NEVER had to visit the dealership this many times for any of my other cars. I usually keep my cars until 180k.
 

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154 Posts
I retired my 99 last year after 230k trouble free miles. Individual results may.

If you want to avoid the mechanic, a Volkswagen probably isn't what you should be looking at.
 

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557 Posts
I've been leaning towards buying a Volkswagen but I want to look around before I commit to anything
don't do it.

i was seriously looking into a golf tdi... hpfp and intercooler issues were enough to keep me away.

also, if you search here you will find quite a few ex VW owners who switched to subaru.

Volkswagon's repair record and cost of parts greatly exceed Subaru's.
^^^^ this, too.

sounds like you will likely be getting rid of your current outback... at least someone will have an outback with a great repair history!!!!

regardless, sounds like you should be buying a new car with an extended warranty for your own peace of mind.

if all goes well... my daughter will have a crosstrek very soon :)

good luck to you.

joel
 

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2015 Outback 2.5 limited
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86 Posts
After 6 months of ownership, I'm not sure I will buy another, either. The car seems to have issues that a car with 55k miles simply should not have. Lots of wind noise, weather stripping seems to be coming off around the windows, using coolant (and has a coolant smell after driving for an hour or so). Plus, the mpg plain sucks.

3 GMs, a VW, a Honda, a Dodge, and an Acura have been in my driveway the last 15 years, and I haven't had anywhere near the problems with any of them that the OP has had with his OB (except the Acura, which chewed through 2 transmissions in 55k miles, both of which were paid for 100% by Acura/Honda). Hopefully the Subaru stop leak magic potion works on my OB, and the other issues don't get any worse, but I don't really trust this car so far.

And that includes a VW Passat 1.8t, which was perfect from 33k miles to 128k miles. The only problem that car had was 2 blown ignition coils, which were $20 from Autozone and took 2 minutes to fix. I would definitely own another VW -- if they sold a Passat TDI 4motion wagon in the US, I would be all over that.
 

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64 Posts
Check the repair history of the 1.8 turbo. It is VERY bad and you were lucky. The oil lines clogged up, low oil pressure light, etc. Several blown engines UNDER warranty and warranty was denied unless you could PROVE with receipts that you changed your oil on schedule. My daughter's car had $1200 to remove oil pan and clean clotted oil out and replace turbo oil lines with no guarantee that would fix the problem. They traded it in. Just saying that you were lucky. All cars can have problems; just some more than others.
 

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2019 Forester Sport. Love the Orange.
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4,018 Posts
Without commenting yay or nay for another Suraru or flaming the warranties war it would appear that this would be another vote yes for the Extended Warranty yielding more than it cost.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
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276 Posts
did you replace the engine? and complain abt replacing clutch? :):):)

Removing the engine was the result of the PO botching a timing belt install. Had to replace a bent valve. These engines are installed at a slant in the 944. Head work is easier when the engine is out of the car in this case.
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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Removing the engine was the result of the PO botching a timing belt install. Had to replace a bent valve. These engines are installed at a slant in the 944. Head work is easier when the engine is out of the car in this case.
no mechanic here but that sound more painful than replacing clutch!
and I believe cars in general have to replace clucth (which is a wear and tear item) instead of Bending Valve(which doesn;t sound like a Wear and tear item)... Again, No mechanic here!
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
When selecting your vehicle you have to play the odds game. Look at data from places like consumer reports and message boards. See what people typically have to replace on older vehicles.

Outside of warranty repairs can be a challenge with any make or model. VW's, while nice to look at still have electrical gremlins and the 1.8T is a pretty dirty engine. Hondas will pretty much always start if you keep clean oil in the engine and keep up on your maintenance. If you don't mind NVH you'd be well served. "Domestics" are a dime a dozen but if you're looking at any GM vehicle that isn't a truck you're going to get burned sooner than later. Ford and Mopar are in the same boat though Ford's Fusion is a solid performer. Toyota is Toyota. Build quality and refinement has become subpar but it will hold its value so you won't have much trouble dumping it when you get sick of vanilla. Nissan is along the lines of Toyota. If you don't like cars you'll be served well.

Don't even look at a luxury marquee if you're concerned about maintenance and repair costs.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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Volkswagon's repair record and cost of parts greatly exceed Subaru's.
...depending on the model. My TDI has been a fantastic car over the last 8 years...best long term car I have ever owned...not much more than regular service checks. One sensor, a wheel bearing, and a heater blower. I have not had the OB long enough to compare but I am banking on it being just as good or better..

When selecting your vehicle you have to play the odds game. Look at data from places like consumer reports and message boards. See what people typically have to replace on older vehicles.
I agree. An informed consumer is the smart consumer. Nothing worse than just going out and buying something that appeals to you. That is the best way to get burned. I use consumer reports, car cost Canada, Wheels.ca.,
motoring., etc. Lots of info...almost to the point of info overload. Narrow down what you want in a vehicle at your price point and start from there.
 

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2010 OB 3.6R limited
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3,284 Posts
When selecting your vehicle you have to play the odds game. Look at data from places like consumer reports and message boards. See what people typically have to replace on older vehic.
This forum is one of the main reason I stay away from the 2.5 h4 engine with its hg issues...
Funny part is consumer report and others did not report any of the head gasket issues.... so, yes car forum is a good source.... you just have to filter out some loud mouth.....
 
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