Replace 2004 Subaru Outback engine or move on?


Asked by May 18, 2016 at 04:36 PM about the 2004 Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I purchased a used 2004 Subaru Outback with carfax, service history, etc. and 145,000 miles on it in July 2015 for $4K. I've since put 20,000 miles on it, and made about $2k in various repairs and maintenance, but I seriously overheated the engine this last month of driving and let it go too long without checking it. I'm now being told the engine needs to be replaced, and I'm being quoted $3k for parts and labor for an engine with 117k miles on it. So that all would add up to 9K spent for a car I've had less than a year. Everything else besides the engine is now in solid condition. Is it worth replacing the engine? I'm having trouble swallowing all these costs, but I can't afford a new car payment either. Advice?

4 Answers


I suggest you DON'T shoot a dead horse... Heres' a typical post "I have owned three Outbacks over the years, and this is my second one to develop a head gasket failure. I had the car in to the dealer today because I am moving across the country in a few weeks and wanted a transmission flush and oil change. I told them to check things out while they were in there, and low and behold, I had a small oil leak on the drivers side head gasket." Common issue for many years of Subaru. "shooting a dead horse"means that you are repeatedly doing or saying something that is pointless because of the .the fact its dead already.


3 grand for an engine with that many miles on it is crazy. I would get another opinion, even E-bay has those engines, check it out.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

Put a bullet in it and move on.


The oil is constantly in contact with the head gaskets on these engines. If the oil gets contaminated/dirty and left for long enough, it erodes the gasket material. I didn't know this until recently. As far as sourcing an engine, 3k for a used engine is insane! Check car- - 3k for a NEW engine.. meh, might be a good price? (just checked - yeah, reman units on are 3300 bucks for 2.5). I would be more inclined to fix it and know that you have a good vehicle for years to come, since you've already done other things to it. Verses buying another used vehicle with unknown history and potentially repeat this scene. The heads are prone to warp with this scenario, but idk about the block.. it has to be checked though. If the block is okay, replace/machine the heads and roll on. Read more here and check out the video: explained-part-ii/

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • My car won't accelerate 2004 Subaru outback 3 answers

    The other morning I went out to my car warmed it up to temperature then started my drive to work after driving about a mile I turned onto another road and went to accelerate and nothing would hap...

    2004 Subaru Outback Sport


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 2000 Subaru Outback Timing Chain (Or Belt?) 20 answers

    I Have a 2000 subaru outback I bought with 98k miles. It's now at 114k, and I was under the impression that it's critical to change the timing chain/water pump before 120k miles. Is this a timing be...

    2000 Subaru Outback


    Maintenance & Repair

  • What Engine is a direct swap without any troubles in my 2000 Subaru outback with 2.5 sohc 56 answers

    Hey all... NEWBIE here... i have a 2000 Subaru outback limited with the 2.5 sohc... was on a trip last month about 200 miles from home and it started knocking... but i cannot find a 2.5 engine... SO ...

    2000 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Can the SOHC engine & transmission be swapped from an Outback and a Forester? 13 answers

    2000 Subaru Outback Base Wagon


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 2014 Subaru outback 21 answers

    New car, but get a constant smell that cat con maybe bad already. Book says to use 87 octane gas. Dealer tells me to try Mobil gas, really.. I am a big fan of Sunoco and that's all i use. Anyone hav...

    Subaru Outback




Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 30,435 nationwide Outback listings starting at $1,295.


Search Subaru Outback Questions

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Reputation 4,250
#2 FordNut
Reputation 1,470
#3 TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,100
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester"
366 Great Deals out of 19,905 listings starting at $1,099
Used Subaru Legacy"
245 Great Deals out of 18,022 listings starting at $1,300
Used Subaru Impreza"
251 Great Deals out of 8,290 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda CR-V"
1,602 Great Deals out of 81,723 listings starting at $1,695
Used Toyota RAV4"
1,231 Great Deals out of 49,397 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota 4Runner"
363 Great Deals out of 18,973 listings starting at $2,400
Used Toyota Highlander"
663 Great Deals out of 31,090 listings starting at $1,990
Used Toyota Tacoma"
657 Great Deals out of 30,629 listings starting at $2,850
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee"
1,201 Great Deals out of 74,214 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord"
1,313 Great Deals out of 78,754 listings starting at $1,395
Used Subaru Impreza WRX"
48 Great Deals out of 1,348 listings starting at $2,500
Used Toyota Camry"
1,654 Great Deals out of 99,024 listings starting at $895
Used Honda Pilot"
574 Great Deals out of 19,670 listings starting at $1,800

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
20,115 listings starting at $23,920
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
24 Great Deals out of 917 listings starting at $23,626
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
86 Great Deals out of 1,500 listings starting at $16,595
2014 Subaru Outback For Sale
75 Great Deals out of 1,925 listings starting at $10,900
2013 Subaru Outback For Sale
65 Great Deals out of 1,256 listings starting at $9,753