Subaru question

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 18:04
ThreadID: 105063 Views:2449 Replies:7 FollowUps:15
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Hi all
Thinking of buying a Subaru wagon as a second car for the wife around town etc. Forester or Outback, maybe around 2009 ? Any thing I should be careful of or look our for ?
Any suggestions welcome, cheers Steve
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Reply By: Peter T9 - Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 18:29

Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 18:29
With regard to a Forester I suggest you try and get the auto version unless you are hell bent on the manual.

We have a MY09 manual (2008 build) and it has been very reliable however not the easiest to drive as the motor has very little torque low down in the rev range. Completely different story however at higher revs.

Besides service items the only things we have replaced are suspension bushes however we live on rough gravel roads and our car has now travelled over 170,000km.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 19:27

Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 19:27
Ild agree with Peter. We have a diesel Outback manual. It is quite tricky to drive around town because of the low torque. You need a lot of care with that 6 speed box to get the ratio exactly right and to get the point where the turbo rush is where you want it. It can be done, but it requires lots of care and experience. Out of town however it is great and the fuel consumption is very very low for a vehicle of this size.
I have read that the auto model is also a problem around town as the changes are set very high to give the best fuel figures. This would be consistent with the gearing of the manual box, but I have never driven the auto version. It might be worth trying both around the city before committing. I would think that the petrol versions would be less of a problem in this regard than the diesel.
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Reply By: baz&pud (tassie) - Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 19:22

Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 19:22
We have as a second vehicle a MY06 Subby Outback, which is mainly driven by the wife, a fantastic vehicle, 3.5ltr motor, auto and goes like the clappers, and we have had no trouble with it at all.
Baz
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 20:19

Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 20:19
Subaru never made a 3.5L engine - you mean the 3.0L six cylinder EZ30 engine?
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Follow Up By: baz&pud (tassie) - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 09:03

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 09:03
Yes, you're right, a slip of the finger, maybe that's why i think it goes like the clappers.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 16:38

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 16:38
They make a 3.6 for the liberty/outback/tribeca and it goes very well indeed - we have a tribeca as a second car.
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Reply By: Andrew D. - Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 19:57

Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 19:57
Suburu are the most expensive vehicle to service. Speak to mechanic preferably who worked for Suburu dealer. Once Suburu is 4 years old you need deep pockets. If buying second hand you need to made damn sure the vehicle has been log book serviced.
AnswerID: 521190

Follow Up By: Peter T9 - Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 20:32

Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 20:32
I don't know about that, we have never gone back to Subaru for genuine servicing and cost has been in line with anything else we have owned. Biggest one to date being timing belt etc approx $500.

What is supposed to happen after 4 years? The running gear on the Subaru is probably amongst the most reliable there is. We took ours on a huge trip from Narrabri to Darwin and back towing a camping trailer and included Oodnadatta Track and never had a problem and it was 4 years old at the time.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 09:42

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 09:42
I'm with Peter T on this one - my Impreza is a fairly cheap vehicle to run and service.

Andrew - you've obviously never owned a late model BMW .......
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Follow Up By: Mark S (cns) - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 13:37

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 13:37
Andrew, do you base your comments on first hand experience or 'I know a mate who knows a mechanic.....'?

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Follow Up By: gbc - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 16:45

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 16:45
Over ten years of subaru ownership here - all dealer serviced. Our twin tubo b4 that we had for 9 years from new never had anything but services it it got used on the track on club days too. The only repair it had was a replacement keypad when an over zealous detailer sprayed some heavy cleaner on it. The hondas we had prior were rediculously expensive to own. The little e36 BMW the wife had was also surprisingly good to live with and reasonable to service. Haven't had one since though.
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Reply By: mikehzz - Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 20:42

Saturday, Nov 09, 2013 at 20:42
I had a 6 cylinder 3 litre 04 Outback and couldn't fault it. There can be problems with Forester manual gearboxes and clutches.
AnswerID: 521194

Reply By: Member - Brian R (WA) - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 00:58

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 00:58
Hi Steve

Not that often that I see a thread that really gets me to reply. post haste.
We have (in the last4 or 5 months ) updated our vehicle to something that would tow a bit more........whatever whatever.
To the point...we have parted with a 2006/2007 Subaru Forester, to a young lady who is thrilled with her buy.
We owned the Subi from new and it had done 130,000 klms was serviced (with our local) Subaru dealer. The price of parts and Service were the same as any other car.
Both my wife and I think it was the best vehicle we have owned..,...i would have to recommend any ( looked after ) Forester
Brian
AnswerID: 521197

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 01:48

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 01:48
Steve, they're an excellent little chariot and largely trouble-free. I don't believe maintenance costs are any higher than any other brand. I would hazard a guess that Andrews complaint about high maintainence costs might be more to do with a rip-off dealership.
Find a good independent mechanic with Subaru knowledge and you'll be sweet.

The important things with Subarus is pretty much the same as all modern car engines - timing belt, and coolant quality.
Up to 2010, the EJ25 (2.5L) engine had a timing belt. With the release of the new FB25 (2.5L) engine in late 2010, Subaru went over to a double steel timing chain, so there's one less maintainence item to worry about.

Make sure any Subaru you buy has a good record of kms covered, with no "gaps" or doubtful maintainence periods. Ensure the timing belt has been replaced as per maintainence requirements.
These engines are an interference engine, and any timing belt failure means valves contact pistons with resultant costly damage.

As regards coolant - like all modern engines, coolant additives must be maintained and coolant flushed regularly. Failure to do so results in water pump problems, head gasket problems, and engine internal corrosion problems.

Early EJ25 engines were somewhat notorious for head gasket failures due to poor gasket design. This problem was fixed by about 2003, so there should be no concern there.

Spark plugs are notoriously difficult to replace, but they don't need replacing too often, fortunately. Apart from these points, just a careful check of the previous owners style of useage to eliminate any abuse problems, and you'll be sweet.
I always try to find out if the previous owner had a teenage son or sons - and whether they had access to the car.

Giving a vehicle to teenage males is a recipe for abuse - and generally entails exercises such as to how far the car can lay rubber - how fast it can corner without ending up on its roof - and how much it can be overloaded by, and still be driven at 150 kmh.
AnswerID: 521198

Follow Up By: Axle - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 20:31

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 20:31
Hi Ron, just for interest sake I have witnessed a EJ22 suby motor with the timing belt off being spun and theres no interference,surprised a few..lol. Not sure if the later ones are any different.


Cheers Axle.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 20:34

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 20:34
Hi Axle - Yes, that's right, the EJ22 is a non-interference fit engine - the EJ25 was redesigned and became an interference-fit engine.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 06:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 06:00
The 2.5 (designed for north american cheap fuel) has now also been dropped again from the aussie line up. Back to the trusty 2l again across the board.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 11:39

Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 11:39
GBC - This is news to me, news to 7 billion people around the world, and news to all Subaru engineers and salespeople, too!
I've just been organising a new 2.5L Forester for the missus, and there's 2.5L engines available in Forester, Outback, Liberty, WRX, and WRX STI. Only the XV, BRZ and Tribeca miss out on the 2.5L engine.
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Follow Up By: gbc - Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 12:54

Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 12:54
The xt forester is back to 2.0 only. Forester is the first model update to come through. The new wrx is. 2.0. Highest output ever. Specs have been released.
Notice the forester is now available in 2.0 and 2.5 in the naturally aspirated range now?
The 2.5 is in run out.
I have a fair bit to do with Subaru and can well agree that their salespeople would raise an eyebrow when asked.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 14:22

Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 14:22
It seems odd to me, that Subaru would produce an entirely new 2.5L engine (the FB25) in 2010, and then scrap it, just 3 yrs later??
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Follow Up By: gbc - Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 20:16

Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 20:16
Good question, and one I don't have the answer to. I do know that the 2.5 naturally aspirated engine does well for it's design brief, providing decent power on not so good fuel. The turbo 2.5's have been not so good.
I would have thought going to 2.0 turbo and 2.5 na would give the better outcome.
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Reply By: Axle - Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 09:34

Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 09:34
G/Day Tooley, ..Iv'e Had Two Subaru Libertys over the years, and they are reliable overall,.. Generally its electrical components that fail on them, Camshaft sensor a real trap ,airflow, sensor,and the harmonic balancer has been a problem with some models. My brothers 2005 2.5l had one where the rubber disinergrated and the thing went through the radiator. But after a few negatives there I would still buy one over the rest, they are just a great thing to drive.

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 521204

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