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I am looking at a 02 vdc h6 with 126000 miles on it and what should I look out for on the h6 cars? I know that the 2.5 have sever head gasket issues.
 

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2001 OBW H6 VDC
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828 Posts
I'm not aware of any common problems with the EZ30 (Gen 2 Outback H6).

Mostly, look for a history of regular oil & filter changes. The EZ30 H6 has two timing chains that rely on a good supply of clean oil for longevity. There are two tiny jets that spray the chains with oil. If those jets get clogged with old/dirty oil, the life of the chains and chain guides can be compromised. Replacing the chains or guides is a huge job.

I'd also look for a history of ATF replacement, since the transmission on this car is more rare and expensive than most. Especially look for ATF change history if the car has a tow hitch installed.

Head gasket issues are not common with the H6, though of course any car can have a head gasket leak if a cooling system problem was ignored.

:7:
-Jeff
 

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00 Outback wagon 03 VDC wagon 18 Touring 3.6 white
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417 Posts
One thing I would check for sure is the belt tensioner. My 03 went at 70K. Heard a kind of rattle and knew I better check it out but the roller sheared off before I got to it (next day) Just had the fuel pump go (actually it was the O ring swelling up) but the dealer would not change just that. Talked them down to $700 for the job (ouch) Really no other problems other than routine maintenance, now at 90K.
 

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2001 OBW H6 VDC
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828 Posts
Good point on the belt tensioner. Several folks on this forum have mentioned the tensioner & idler bearings. I replaced my serpentine belt at 100K and checked both bearings. They were still spinning smoothly, so I kept the new idler as a future spare, but you never know until you check. :)

Fuel pump replacement cost = WOW ridiculuous. A complete new fuel pump ASSEMBLY costs $340 and takes just 5 minutes to swap...it's right there under the rear seats. Or maybe $5 and less than an hour if you have to disassemble the pump to replace just the o-ring.

Yet another reason to avoid your dealer for maintenance. :(

:7:
-Jeff
 

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00 Outback wagon 03 VDC wagon 18 Touring 3.6 white
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I have 2 of the bearing rollers ready to go myself since I know when I first hear the sound better swap them out.

I was in a time bind on the fuel pump and even told them what the problem was (O ring) but they would not change just it. I talked them down from $1000! I replaced the O ring on my old one so have a spare for that now too. Of course will do it myself on the off chance it goes again. Flat rate was 3 hours to change it!

I think people have had issues on an A/C switch but searched and could not find it. Also the metal tubes that go to the oil filter mount have been mentioned once or twice. Mine still look great.
 

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2001 OBW H6 VDC
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I wonder if there was a bad batch of belt idler bearings at some point. It would be good to know the codes on the bearings that folks have had fail. Mine (which were still smooth at 100K) are marked "NSK 6203DUL1".

Funny I just replied to a post about the AC rev sensor, which had a TSB. Basically if your AC fails, you want to check first whether this sensor has gone bad. Pull the three-pole connector off the top of the AC compressor and check resistance between the rearmost two poles. Should be around 1.6kohm at room temp, 2.0kohm warmed up. If the resistance is much higher or there is no continuity, the sensor probably needs to be replaced.

The oil filter mount is an oil cooler. I noticed grunge on mine during oil changes and thought it might be leaking. Turns out it was just oil collecting at the lowest point from a valve cover leak. Someone on this forum suggested tightening the valve cover bolts, which stopped that leak. No need to replace valve cover gaskets. :)

:7:
-Jeff
 

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'00 Outback H6, '08 BMW 335i
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Yea my oil cooler is lightly leaking (apparently they're not too bad to replace)... mine also has a jerky trans but I think it was because the ATF was never done by the Jap owners before it was imported. It's cost me a bit but thats because I like everything perfect... like the CV joint, wheel bearing, AT fluid, diff fluid, trans mount.. But i'm more than happy.
 

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2004 Outback H6 3.0L Beaner
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From my short time here I have seen mention of the throttle position sensor and AC-Relays, possibly clutch problems. Most importantly, it seems like the most major issues are very rare on our engines. Myself being an exception to the rule with a blown HG that I'm still fighting.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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Yea my oil cooler is lightly leaking (apparently they're not too bad to replace)... mine also has a jerky trans but I think it was because the ATF was never done by the Jap owners before it was imported. It's cost me a bit but thats because I like everything perfect... like the CV joint, wheel bearing, AT fluid, diff fluid, trans mount.. But i'm more than happy.

Leaking oil or coolant?

Dave
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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2,449 Posts
Assuming you are talking oil, its the seal. $6 part. Requires 24 mm deep socket to replace.

I have an 01 H6 (167k on the clock) and I think I have had every H6 defective part fail.

TPS Sensor
Idler bearings (blew out on a road trip.....)
Timing chain tensioner and guides (Just got done replacing that ;-) )
AC Compressor rev sensor
Oil cooler gasket (I think this is an issue on many subu engines.)

I also think I have a fuel pressure problem. How was your leaky fuel pump diagnosed?
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R
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Just wanted to chime in and say I bought my 03 H6 VDC 5 years ago at 80,000km (now at 180k) and of the supposed H6 issues I've only had the TPS sensor problem (at 90k, tricky to diagnose, but managed to get it fixed under warranty). Today the serpentine belt snapped but that should be an easy enough fix.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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I wonder if there was a bad batch of belt idler bearings at some point. It would be good to know the codes on the bearings that folks have had fail. Mine (which were still smooth at 100K) are marked "NSK 6203DUL1".

Funny I just replied to a post about the AC rev sensor, which had a TSB. Basically if your AC fails, you want to check first whether this sensor has gone bad. Pull the three-pole connector off the top of the AC compressor and check resistance between the rearmost two poles. Should be around 1.6kohm at room temp, 2.0kohm warmed up. If the resistance is much higher or there is no continuity, the sensor probably needs to be replaced.

The oil filter mount is an oil cooler. I noticed grunge on mine during oil changes and thought it might be leaking. Turns out it was just oil collecting at the lowest point from a valve cover leak. Someone on this forum suggested tightening the valve cover bolts, which stopped that leak. No need to replace valve cover gaskets. :)

:7:
-Jeff
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is the A/C rev sensor just an issue on the older H6 engines (2001-2002) and was corrected in the 2003s and 2004s? The A/C in my 04 was not working when I bought it, and it just needed a recharge--been fine ever since.

I've had no problems with mine so far at 110K...my transmission acts a little odd some days, but most of the time it's fine. I expect that the tranny will be the first major thing to go in mine.

Just wanted to chime in and say I bought my 03 H6 VDC 5 years ago at 80,000km (now at 180k) and of the supposed H6 issues I've only had the TPS sensor problem (at 90k, tricky to diagnose, but managed to get it fixed under warranty). Today the serpentine belt snapped but that should be an easy enough fix.
I should look at doing the serp belt on mine. One good sign is that I can see it when I open the hood! That's more than I can say about the spark plugs :D
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,359 Posts
At 110k how old is your trans fluid?
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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At 110k how old is your trans fluid?
I haven't the faintest idea, so I plan on changing it soon. I've only had the car for the past 5K miles or so. I did change the front and rear diff oil, since they were both a tiny bit low and I had to add oil anyway.

Previous owner had some service records, but admitted he wasn't good at keeping them in order. He said he never had anything non-routine go wrong and supposedly followed Subaru's recommended service schedule, but through a local mechanic instead of the dealer. It drove well, the fluids all looked good, it was very clean, he was honest and upfront about everything that wasn't quite perfect about it, and the asking price was well under book so it was good enough for me. Haven't regretted it yet. :D

Basically, though, there's a good chance that the fluid and filter is original.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,359 Posts
I just changed mine out at 100k, it looked original to me. It wasn't black, but it was not a nice pretty light red either. Very deep dark red.

Did 3 drain and fills with Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF. Happy car. Trying to replace the AT filter, bought a new OEM Subaru one, but the factory one is rusted/seized to the car.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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I just changed mine out at 100k, it looked original to me. It wasn't black, but it was not a nice pretty light red either. Very deep dark red.

Did 3 drain and fills with Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF. Happy car. Trying to replace the AT filter, bought a new OEM Subaru one, but the factory one is rusted/seized to the car.
Based on what I've seen on the dipstick, it sounds like what yours looks like, definitely not cherry red anymore, but not black either.

I may have to do the same before the snow arrives. Mine's been lucky as far as rust goes...barely a speck anywhere. I haven't had a problem freeing anything yet. Nice change from my old Maxima...everything that could be corroded was corroded on that. I'd have to get major leverage even on things like caliper bolts just to budge them.

I also should do the plugs soon...still debating on if I want to tackle that myself or have someone else do it. I wouldn't be afraid to do them on my father's '98 2.5, but the H6 has so much less room to get to them, plus there's two more.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,359 Posts
Ugh, don't get me started on the rust. Every drain bolt except for the oil pan on 03 is seized due to rust. It took a lok of PB Blaster and a hammer to break the AT plug loose. Diffs are still seized up.

They H6 plugs are a real PITA, although Peaty has a good DIY thread over on Scoobymods.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Ugh, don't get me started on the rust. Every drain bolt except for the oil pan on 03 is seized due to rust. It took a lok of PB Blaster and a hammer to break the AT plug loose. Diffs are still seized up.

They H6 plugs are a real PITA, although Peaty has a good DIY thread over on Scoobymods.
Just give mine a couple years...after a few winters here I'm sure the underside won't look so pretty. The towns stick mostly to sand, but the state uses mountains of road salt every storm.
 
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