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Kevin C.
Kevin C., Subaru Master Tech.
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 1727
Experience:  34 years of Subaru service experience, ASE Master Technician.
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I'm a former mechanic that still maintains my own 86 BMW 325

Customer Question

I'm a former mechanic that still maintains my own 86 BMW 325 with 440,000 miles. I am shopping for a Subaru for my stepdaughter who has $2500-4000 to spend. Would like recommendations and to know the common weak areas to look for... Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'm Brandon.
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
I'm assuming you are talking about the early 2000 Subaru?
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
Common weak area for the high mileage Subaru is the Headgasket
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
AC evaporator leaks.
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
what year and model are you looking at?
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
Hello?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What happened to the Subaru mechanic that was supposed to answer my question? I'm aware of the head gasket issue... Common Knowledge. Have you ever changed the head gaskets on a Subaru?
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
You will need to change the category to Subaru because you have chosen the BMW category.
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I have changed the headgasket on a Subaru.
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
I will opt out now and you can choose a Subaru tech.
Expert:  internal88 replied 1 year ago.
Please do not rate me. I am opting out.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not sure what happened, when I posted the question it was showing a Subaru tech ready to answer...
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
Hi,what year and model is in your price range?
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
I'm a experienced Subaru tech ,25years
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm a former mechanic that still maintains my own 86 BMW 325 with 440,000 miles. I am shopping for a Subaru for my stepdaughter who has $2500-4000 to spend. Would like recommendations and to know the common weak areas to look for... Thanks! From researching, it looks like probably a 2nd generation Legacy or Impreza Outback. There is one of each locally on eBay right now - both are 2003s.
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
You know about the headgaskets,so the next biggest problem is the transmission,transfer clutch failure ,low clutch failure which causes and long delay from park to drive,next would be the rear wheel bearings.Outside of those major things there really is nothing else to worry about or nothing your keen eye couldn't pick out and repair easily
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My understanding on the headgaskets is it is actually the gasket between the cylinder base and the engine block (so won't show up on a compression check) and it results in coolant and/or oil leaks.. is that correct?
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
Yes this is correct,they do leak internally between cylinders sometimes but 90% of the time its a external oil leak
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would think repair would typically be just replacement of the gaskets and would not require machining the mating surfaces like a typical inline engine with a blown headgasket...
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
Yes, correct also
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, that sounds straight forward. Can you tell me more about the transfer clutch and low clutch problems? I just did a transfer case rebuild and viscous clutch replacement in a '91 BMW 325ix. Not fun and not cheap either...
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
You know the obvious signs of failure,binding in turns,if this so happens to be a problem it would cost in the neighborhood of $300-400 if you did it yourself,its a matter of removing the back case of transmission and replacing the clutches and most likely the reduction shaft you'll see the clutches actually wear into the reduction gear shaft and get hung up when they should release.the low clutch is a much more expensive repair, in this case a total rebuild would be cost efficent,the piston seal on the low clutch becomes bad and obviously the the piston cannot apply ,that is unless you build enough line pressure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sounds simpler than the BMW. In the case of the low clutch, can you give me an idea of cost for a reman and a good source?These are the two I'm looking at:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121700266227
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121700266227
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oops... 2nd is:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121700266227?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
My experience is nothing but a Subaru reman,being a dealer tech that's all we used and from memory approximately $3500
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then that would definitely be the issue most important to avoid... When you say low clutch, are you referring to the lowest gear, or is there a low range? Sorry, not very familiar with auto trannies - have always owned manuals. Also how would I detect the problem with a test drive?
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
The problem would only be noticed at first when switching from park to drive or neutral to drive,the low clutch is what applies the transmission in forward gear .
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay... Gotcha! Off to go look at the 2 local ones. You've been a great help! Any final thoughts on Impreza vs Legacy, or just personal preference?
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
No preference but the legacy is a little roomier,either way a great dependable AWD vehicle
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Thanks again!
Expert:  tamaz replied 1 year ago.
Your welcome,good luck!

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