So many problems--is it normal?
My 2000 Outback has 144,000 miles, and I've had to put SO MUCH money into it! Here are a few repairs:
Two new front axles (right and left), new CV Boots, new axle boots, catalytic converter, head gasket, wheel
bearings, leaking transmission, control arm bushings, AC vacuum pump, water pump, and that's just what
comes to mind. Should I sell this thing or hope that it keeps going? I don't have money to buy another
car, but it seems like anything's better than this!
cv boots/axel boots are a common issue with subarus in my experience and if you don't fix them when they go bad then yes you have to to axels, water pump and head gaskets along with oil pump and timing belt should be done at roughley 120k-150k miles on a subaru, leaking transmission could have happened to any vehicle, suspension bushings depend on how and where the vehicle is driven same with wheel bearings to an extent, the ac pump could be caused by several things. catalytic converters on newer vehicles do not last as long because they get hotter and are more likely to plug, don't use low grade fuel (90's and newer subarus should be given premium octane fuel) low grade fuel will not burn as cleanly in a subaru as it's designed for higher octane thus ruining your catalytic converter faster by making it work harder and plugging it up faster. Not to offend you but as a mechanic I will just remind you, any time you buy a used vehicle you purchase any potential problems the previous owner may have caused by how they did maintenance and how and where they drove it. There are a lot of variables at play in all of this and some of what you've listed probably was just its time to be done, some of them are not "typical" of a subaru though. Take care of the car and it will take car of you.
This makes me feel a little better, though I have never heard of another Subaru owner have to do this level of maintenance and repair. It is not a used car; I am the original owner. I have taken care of this thing meticulously; that's why the repairs have been so frustrating at times. My main problem at times seems to be poor mechanics. I will know that something is wrong, such as with the bad front axels, wheel bearings, and brakes, yet when I have taken it to mechanics, they say everything looks perfect! Then one day I'm on the side of the road, and the same mechanic says my axel needs to be replaced and they blame a torn boot that they didn't see the last five times I've taken it in for this very problem. Sigh. I've done all of the preventative maintenance for this thing (timing belt, etc), and I'm aware of that expense with any vehicle. It just seems like all of my family and friends who own the same vehicle with the same mileage have done none of this. I drive like a grandma and store it in a garage, so it has surprised me a bit every time I'm stranded on the side of the road for an alternator, head gasket, or something else.
well this is my experience with my own subarus, 1993 subaru legacy wagon. my parents bought it new in 93, I got it from them with 145k miles in 06, in winter 06 I slid off the road (stupid 16 yr old driver) tor a chunk out of the frame on a metal post sticking out of the ground and had to have a 3ft section replaed, driving it you'd never know. at 164k miles was a new motor because the orrigional one seized (dad was bad at oil changes and treated it like a truck) new alternator, at 175k miles blew 2nd gear in the 5 speed (trans fluid was never changed before I got ahold of it) also had to replace the exhaust maifold and catalytic converter a couple years back. before it was mine it had new front axels and hubs, boots have been done 4 times, full brake job 2 times 2 clutches. now at 190k miles on the suspension I have to do all busings and new shocks, also need new injectors at 190k miles on the injectors. my father was rather hard on it, as I said oil changes were always long over due, if wee needed 40, 30lb bags of top soil it went in the subaru and in a near 20 year timespan probably has had $12k in repairs done but has been an excelent car. then there's the 99 forester bought in 08 when the motor went bad in the legacy, 6 months after replacing the legacys motor, the foresters transmission went bad, it's got an exhaust leak, and likes to burn out O2 sensors, it also spun a bearing in the motor at 150k miles. (admittedley it's been a lemon). then theres the 02 forester bought in 06, the only issue it's had has been a couple O2 sensors and the secondary catalytic converter has had to be replaced. I would rate my experience with subarus to be excelent overall, by no means perfect, but definately satisfactory, short of a catastrophic failure they have run through everything me and my family have thrown at them and come back beging for more.
the head gasket was a common problem with the 01 and 02 outbacks because prior to this the car had a 2.2l engine and when it was upgraded to a 2.5 some issues occurred. while it seems like you've done a lot you would've spent the same or more on any other 12 year old car.
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