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When to sell my 2005 Outback 2.5 XT?

5596 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Seabass
I just got a check-engine light and brought it in to the dealership for a look and minor check at 82,500 miles.

Seems like they're suggesting a valve adjustment ($2,000+) and a front and back axel boot tears and timing belt need replacing. Further, brake pads apparently need replacing at front and back for additional $600. All this would be about $4,000 total.

Should I just sell/trade the car before making repairs or is this model worth repairing? For example, if I spend the $4,000 will the car last me another 40,000 miles or so before another major expense or is this model destined for added repairs/costs?
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These are very desirable cars, and aren't trouble-prone for most people, provided that the engine is kept well lubricated (synthetic oil only, changed at a 3,750 mile interval). You also need to use premium fuel. My family has one with 184,000 miles and no issues worth mentioning in the year that we've had it, nor anything big with the previous (original) owner. The turbo is still original I believe, performance is good, and oil consumption is something like four ounces per oil change.

Your dealer certainly won't be the most economical source of maintenance; those numbers all seem quite high to me. Also, the mileage interval for valve adjustment, spark plugs, and the timing belt job is 105,000; I don't know why you would need to do these sooner, except to enrich the dealer. Maintenance at 105,000 miles does bring some cost, though not $4,000 worth of cost. After that...nothing major is due until 210,000. Note also that brake pads, CV boots, etc. will require periodic maintenance with any car you may own; but they really shouldn't be that expensive. I won't recommend against that valve adjustment at its scheduled mileage, but I believe many people don't bother; for $2,000 I don't think anyone would bother.

What code do you have with your CEL?
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