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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

New to the board, looking for some information. I've searched around your site and found some great information on the H6 motor. Seems like most of you really like it. Sorry if I'm not down with the correct terminology, I'll have to apologize for that.

I'm not new to Subaru, but I am new to the H6 motor and specifically something higher mileage. I'm currently looking at a 2005 Outback LL Bean edition with 127,000 on the 3.0 H6 motor. I live in Minneapolis so rust is typically an issue with almost any car that is more then 3 years old. This car is from TN and has almost no rust on the underside. Amazing shape compared to anything up here. Carfax on this car checks out ok. Overall the car is in good shape.

I know that the H6 motors get "wet" or leaky oil gaskets on them. This one had the gaskets replaced in the last few months by a local subaru mechanic who I know about. Very reliable so I'm not questioning the work done to it. When I test drove the car the transmission and motor seemed solid. Engine bay was amazingly clean with no corrosion. Also the spark plugs were recently replaced. Belts look new(er).

My question to those of you who know, what issues, if any, should I expect with a car with this high of miles? The person I'm buying it from is the 2nd owner which he's only owned the car for a few months. His reason for selling it is he wants something better on the MPG and he's looking to reduce some of his cars (he has 4 already).

Should I throw out an offer or should I walk away?

Thank you all in advance,

Ryan
 

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Sounds like a great car.

That is low mileage for an H6. You'll need maintenance here and there and you can never predict the future, anything can have issues - but that engine/transmission is about the most probable 250,000 miles combination you'll find.

The timing chain guides and tensioners ocassionally cause noise. So drive it aggresively and listen for high pitched whines from the engine.

The serpentine belt bearings fail all the time. A few dollars and 30 minutes or less, very easy repair and should be considered maintenance and done on a new-to-you H6. There's a sticky in this forum about it - read it.

That is about the only "common" issue that can be a surprise.

Valve cover gaskets and oil cooler gasket leaks are fairly common on any vehicle with age/miles and should be expected to be replaced. Those are basically maintenance items in my book.

I would plan on having the car 250,000 miles and the following will need replaced, these are typical maintenance items:
Struts and springs
CV boots - front inners are most common, *always* reboot the axle, do not replace them.

Fluids - over time have a plan to change the transmission fluid, front and rear diff oils, coolant, and even brake/power steering fluid is a good idea.

The only surprises you might encounter are O2 sensors and the Throttle Position Sensor ($100 and easy to replace). They won't leave you stranded though, replace if you have issues or get a check engine light.
 

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Thanks Gary for the information. Sounds like normal stuff. In the garage I also have an '02 impreza 2.5rs and a Stage 2 '05 WRX which is going out the door for the '05 Outback Limited. I've had to replace everything that you talked about between those two cars.

I'm getting older. The "boy racer" fun of the wrx is going away. Need something that I can fit 4 people, 2 dogs, and a weekend worth of camping gear in. Smaller dogs, not big :)
 

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So the guy I bought it from informed me that just before I bought it, it through a o2 sensor check engine light. He replaced both front and rear sensors on the passenger side.

Driving to work today it threw a CEL, P0420. Our buddy. Had NAPA clear the code. Just wondering if it's best practice to replace both sensors or just one? If just one, front or rear?
 

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that code really doesn't point to a sensor or cat converters, it can be triggered by many issues. Maddening to troubleshoot for many people.

certainly original sensors at that age may need to be changed, but vacuum leaks, exhaust leaks, etc. can lead to codes like the P0420. freezeframe data might be helpful - or that Subaru Select Monitor w'ever the dealers have, might find fuel trim or other hints as to a problem.

I'm guessing the car is on its second set of plugs? maybe they need changing. Also, I've read that valve adjustments might be needed around 200K - perhaps yours needs that a little earlier?

if you want to just try changing a sensor and if the car is running well, getting normal mileage and performance and the plugs look good, I'd probably change the rear one first. But, the important one for actually setting/adjusting the air/fuel ratio is the front one. That's why the short term fuel trim numbers might help. If they are double digits, it may be the front sensor, or the MAP (maf?) or a vacuum leak - or etc.
 
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