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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
1,390 Posts
gary's right, not only is this one of the best engines subaru ever made it is one of the best cars they made. and it is easy to work on. and it is highly unlikely that the head gaskets are bad. thet could be but it is highly unlikely.

depending on your financial situation, i would keep it and make a plan for addressing the leaks over the next year. even if you can't do the work yourself you can get the work done over time and have a good car. (if you sell it for $1000 and buy another $200 car, that is the same cost as spending $1000 in repairs now on your suabru.)

as long as you keep coolant and oil in the engine you can drive this car for 150k more miles. i would start by checking the oil several times a week until you figure out how much it leaks and how often you need to add oil.

(on a side note, this engine has Hydraulic Lash Adjusters for the valves that operate on oil pressure. when the oil level and the pressure drops, the HLAs start to make noise. this acts as a kind of early warning system, that the oil is low. ideally you check it and add oil before this happens, but if you hear it making unusually loud clatter noises when you start it , add some oil.)

start an ''oil leak'' saving account. put money in each month and when you get enough, spend it on the car.

the timing belt is due every 60k miles, was it done at 120k miles?
as mentioned, having that done will address all the leaks on the front of the engine and may cost $500 - $800 . if the timing belt fails on this engine there will not be any internal damage. you will how ever be stranded when it happens.

the valve cover gaskets cost about $30 at the local parts store and this might be a good place to try your and at a repair. only 3 bolts for each side and it is pretty easy to do. a shop may charge $125 for this repair. lots of help here if you decide to try. lots of tips for almost every repair.

one tip for this: clean off as much dirt on the top of the engine / valve cover before you remove the them. you do not want dirt falling inside the cover.

the rear separator plate is a big price tag for one oil leak, but it can be done in a day so it will only cost so much. $500 - $800 ???? the part is only about $35.

even if you spend $1000 now on repairs, you will have a good car and it will run for years. if you drive it for 30k miles the cost per mile will be 10 cents. you can always sell it then for $1500. if you drive it longer your costs will be lower.

where are you located?

good luck.
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