Newer used Subaru Outback with a lot of miles?

10

Asked by Oct 26, 2016 at 03:14 AM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

Hey guys,
I want a Subaru and I recently saw a listing on Craigslist for a 2010 Subaru
Outback 2.5i Premium. It has 185k miles, which is a lot, but it has a clean
carfax and the owner says it was mostly highway miles between Wenatchee
and Spokane (around 175 miles each way on an interstate). They also recently
got the timing belt, water pump, and radiator replaced at an authorized Subaru
dealership at 171k miles, and most of the previous maintenance was done at a
dealership also. It is a one owner car, and the exterior and interior are in good
condition, and it has the CVT. Should I buy it at the asking price of $7500? To
compare, a similar 2010 Outback 2.5i Premium with around 100k miles (typical
for a 2010-era) would run about $11000 in my area, so $7500 is much cheaper.
I would obviously have a pre-purchase inspection at a shop, and if it turns out
clean, should I go for it? I have a tighter budget, so it would be hard to go over
$10k, so this Subaru looks very enticing. I plan on keeping it for probably 4-6
years, drive it around 10k miles a year, and get regular maintenance at the
dealership. If the pre-purchase inspection comes up clean as well as the test
drive, should I be able to get through the next 4-6 years without major
problems? Thanks guys!

42 Answers

135

You should think about it this way, a 2010 yo car has 180k miles means that it ran everyday for hours. If you want it to run for another 4 years you should put aside a few thousands bcuz ur 100% gonna face problems like transmission change or something fam to it. Plus if he's asking 7500 for such a mileage its way too high

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
247,525

pass

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
1,950

Don't buy that car, Davin. If you do, you're making a big mistake.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
6,625

That's tough man. Nobody wants to say yeah cuz nothing is certain. Highway miles could mean a couple things depending on how hard of a driver they are.. will that dealer warranty their work to you?

20,565

DavinL- how does the CVT drives? I imagine that it's as smooth as my 2010 Subaru Outback? And, I personally know someone who went 300,000 miles in his 2010... There's been some reports of some people who say that they're cars "stall" when they come to a stop and people are blaming the CVT transmission... My guess is that anyone who has driven this many miles so quickly probably did all the maintenance required just as you've reported otherwise they would have never gotten this far so easily. That's over 25,000 miles per year.... It's way over priced though, see this below, http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2010/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-i-Premium-AWD/Values

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
70,455

If the CVT goes you are in for a world of hurt. From what I have read the repair cost could be as much as the car costs. Have the head gaskets checked out and if you still want the car offer them less, what do you have to lose?

20,565

They're basically asking for the full retail price.....

70,455

They are going to be selling that car months from now because no one will want it. If you really like the car I would offer them $6,000 tops after it checks out at a mechanic. If they were to trade it in a dealer would probably give them less than $5,000 if it is really clean.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
70,455

SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED for a new CVT! Call I call it or what? https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-t41690_ds701517

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
70,455

CVT up to $9,500! http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/299136- Through-with-Subaru-anyone-care-to-guess-what-a-Subaru-cvt- replacement-cost

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,625

realllly Mark??:: """It doesn't matter that they did all that work, I'm sorry, but, you cannot add that all back in and ask $11,000 for this car.""" Back to Davin though.. did you already buy it? haha

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20,565

DavinL/ Walt-. Yes, my error, should not typed $11k. Look, people don't get their entire investment back on all repairs, BUT, a fair price for this car is more like $6,000... Now, if you were to drive it another 50,000 miles, you'd get your money's worth provided the CVT transmission doesn't fail...its a gamble like anything else. If the car is in remarkable condition and your easy on cars, then consider it. What else have you seen in the $6,000 price range to compare?

10

Mark: To get a Subaru in my region for around 6-7k it usually requires getting something like a 2004-2006 era Outback with 100- 150k miles, usually closer to 150k miles, that is why I was considering this Outback. Even more miles (along with being a newer car) but less time for other things to wear out and it seems to have been maintained good. It also comes with things like an aux port, heated seats, CVT, etc. that would not come with an older model. I talked to them and they said "transmission and diffs serviced at 171k" which I'm just assuming the fluids but it's good that they did anyways it seems. I haven't been able to test drive yet but I will look out for any potential transmission problems or stalling.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20,565

DavinL-. I agree, it's a great car, I have one. And, I think that you're right it's better to have the newest model irrespective of mileage.. besides, if the car has been well maintained and fits the description you say it does, I think you can easily get another 50,000 miles . I think all of this concern about the CVT is over exaggerated. Condition and who owned and maintained the car is very important. Good luck.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
5,060

To correct Mark again: the CVT risk scenario is NOT exaggerated...especially as the cost to remedy is very high; secondly, 2010+ stalling upon decel to idle IS DEFINITELY a CVT failure mode...not just anecdotal "blaming" as you state. That said, what happened, Davin? Condition is everything, so aside from the wonky handling of all 2010-12 OBs (and why I won't trade in them), $6-8k is short-to-fair money for all that iron...IF the condition merits. But I'd say the odds are against you...and don't be deluded by CarFaxes nor dealer service receipts. I'm curious as to why it ate a radiator, for example? That's usually head-gasket or age-related, so it'a an item for closer scrutiny as well.

20,565

DavinL-. YES, Ernie and I don't agree on the CVT... plus see this from True Delta car survey, 6 percent of the 2010 Subaru Outbacks with the CVT transmission have problems....I don't think that is a "widespread problem". And, yes, it has a lot of miles, but, it's the overall condition that's important here. You're looking at this particular car, what does your "gut" tell you.... Don't pay attention to what others say. I personally know someone who drove 300,000 miles mostly highway, and had no PROBLEM, but, he did service the transmission regularly. Good luck. http://www.truedelta.com/Subaru-Outback/problems-253/2010

20,565

DavinL- see this thread below on discussion of the 2013 CVTs- https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-t44088_ds763571

5,060

Mark, I've had to take you to task for being utterly clueless re statistical inferences and interpretation many times now. For you to state that a population of 6yr old autos that has a 16% failure rate of a $6k component isn't a "widespread" issue is completely erroneous and naive. What do you think the percentage will grow to in a couple of years? And please stop referencing TrueDelta's meagerly skimpy data...it's still not statistically relevant either. Sigh...my little Grasshopper.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20,565

Ernie,. I'm sorry, BUT, that is a SIX PERCENT failure rate..... Please take another look at this below, and these statistics are based on. 2016 .. responses..,.. Which means that 94 percent of the samples based on this study.by a well respected data source... http://www.truedelta.com/Subaru-Outback/problems-253/2010

20,565

94 percent with no problems is pretty darn good......I KNOW that you are in the automotive repair business so, you're definitely likely to see the worst problem cars, it's the business ... You're not going to see the cars that are fine. And there's a lot out there on the road.

20,565

Interestingly enough, the 2014 has more CVT transmission troubles at 13 percent, see this information below,. http://www.truedelta.com/Subaru-Outback/problems-253/2014

5,060

Grasshopper, you're off your rocker on this one. 6% midlife failure rate...that's one in only sixteen that blows up!...is alarming. Let's see how it piles up. The manufacturing targets are below 1% for a very critical high value component. PLEASE stop being such a poseur wrt stuff you just lack knowledge of.

5,060

That you also suggest that this naive normal guy go with his "gut" re technical evaluation is ludicrous. This is how newbies (inc you) in the market get slaughtered every day. His specimen requires LOTS of expert operation. To suggest that he dive into unknown waters on his stomach acid level is borderline criminal. Yikes....

5,060

operation=investigation

30

My 2010 Subaru Outback with only about 88k milesjust started stalling upon breaking. It was stalling on just about every stop, but I cleaned the MAF and now it's only stalling on very hard stops. Dealer said it was the torque converter and quoted me about $3k. (Welcome to LA.) After reading all your back and forth here I'm not sure at all what to do. It doesn't really bother me, but I'm assuming as things usually go, one day the car will just drop dead. The weirdest part of this whole situation is that it didn't start happening until the moment i brought it home from the shop for a totally unrelated repair. The coincidence was just too much. I can't help but think they did something to it...

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,625

Anna, have you looked at reviews for this dealership? That does seem strange ... trade it! http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104- gen-4-2010-2014/310889-cvt-torque- converter.html#/topics/310889?page=1

6,625

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66- problems-maintenance/358330-another- torque-converter-failure-2010-2-5-limited- cvt.html#/topics/358330?page=1

5,060

Wonder what that 7 yr old's CVT fluid looks like....

5,060

Anna... I'd drain and refill the CVT pronto. If stalling recurs...and you're sure it's not something simple like bad plugs, then it IS probably the torque converter. Sorry, but they're adding up....

30

Yes, that sounds like a good idea. I'll get the fluid changed this week. Fingers crossed it helps, but not holding my breath! I'm pretty sure it's the torque converter too.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,625

(Way better than my advice lol) Hope it helps!! Don't get a flush btw.. just drain it like an oil change, tighten bolt, refill. If it helps, you might consider doing it again in a month.

5,060

Ask your wrench to pump in 4 qts CVT fluid, temporarily plug fill hole, start and run car for a minute, then pump in about another qt as necessary to fill. Usually 5.5 qts gets in there if level.

20,565

Annawilborn- define "very hard stops"? SO, it doesn't do this in normal driving? I have the exact car with 83,000 miles. I do some very light towing with my teardrop trailer and had the transmission fluid changed at the Subaru dealership... yes, it was expensive and contrary to what Ernie thinks, I decided to follow their advice on a complete fluid change... They have a special machine for this, similar to a "blood transfusion"... And, I now have fresh transmission fluid in my car.. did this at 70,000 and everything seems fine. Another person I know who has done this every 50,000 miles went 300,000 miles on his 2010 Subaru Outback Limited. Maintenance is a strategic move on going the distance and even $3,000 is less than you would pay in sales tax for a brand new car...

30

It will 100% stall if you stop at a yellow/red at the last second. It will stall at a typical LA driving around town speed (faster than most towns) at a stop sign or red light unless you feather the break pedal. So as the engine starts to flutter I let up on the break which gives it a little life, then press it again and it doesn't stall. How much is a transmission flush? Did you ever have stalling? The annoying part is we were thinking about selling it anyway to get a bigger car for the family, and now i'm stuck with this situation. Oy!

70,455

Don't flush the transmission. Just replace the fluid and hope for the best. I do think you need to be prepared to replace the torque converter. I would still sell it if it were my situation. Next time don't buy a CVT!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
30

Right, I'd hate to pay the extra money to flush it only to have to replace the converter anyway (and probably the transmission fluid again, right?). Damn car!!! I'm getting a Highlander next. Third row. Can't wait for Subaru's.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
70,455

Just don't get a Highlander with a CVT!

20,565

Annawilborn-​ hmm, what dealership told you that you needed a new torque converter? I purchased my car from Galpin Santa Clarita dealership in Valencia CA. They're an honest dealership. If they told you that the torque converter needs replacing, I would believe them. Recently, I brought my car there for the warranty/ recall on the passenger side airbag. Again, I have had no issues with them and​ when I purchased my car almost three years ago, they certified it as a pre-owned vehicle.. To this day, three years later, not one single problem with the car.... OK , as far as the transfusion, it was just under $400.... Like I said not inexpensive, but, I did that while my car was still under an extended warranty and I wanted to ensure that "no one" would blame someone other than a Subaru dealership if something went wrong. NO, my car has not had any stalling issues. I drive a lot of freeway miles, don't know if this makes a difference? By the way, I have a very honest independent mechanic who I can trust, if you want me to let you know who is provide an email and I'll send that to you. Lastly, for FOR's information, if you look carefully at statistics, you'll find that Toyota's hybrid snyergy drive is one of the most reliable compared to their traditional transmission... Look at the difference between the hybrid Camry vs the regular one. The regular Camry transmission has way higher failure rates.

20,565

You still think Subaru's are not great, read this below; https://www.yahoo.com/tech/subaru-rugged-2018-outback-gets- 143849530.html

5,060

Apple pie on Passover? Oy.

5,060

Grasshopper, it's not what I "think"...it's simple fact: you can drain and refill half the CVT for under $100 or spend $400 at the dealership for a "flush". It's not a "special machine" other than a motorized pump that back-flushes the CVT under pressure. The risk is that ANY dirt in the system gets pushed back up into sensitive valve areas, actually causing the problem you want to try to prevent! But once in awhile they'll get someone to help them pay for this gizmo at $400 for $60 worth of fluid and simply pushing a switch and returning a few minutes later. Need a second serving?

5,060

Anna, just saw your post. Do NOT spend hundreds on a flush; but $100 on a drain and refill is a decent gamble on a repair. Nonetheless, the odds are against your remedying the situation short of replacing the torque converter. Sorry.

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