The head gasket has a high failure rate due to cooling system problems. Subaru is aware of the problem and has extended the warranty to 8 years/100k miles on many vehicles.
Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 1999 Subaru Legacy
1999 Subaru Legacy
1999 Subaru Legacy Problems
Front engine oil leaks can develop from the camshaft seal and the crankshaft front seal. If one or more seals require replacement, it may be wise to consider replacing the timing belt as well. These seals are commonly inspected and replaced as needed as part of a timing belt service.
The leak may develop from the oil pump seal. Our technicians prefer to use thread locker when replacing the seal to prevent the bolts from becoming loose again.
Subaru issued a recall (WWG-90) because the mass air flow sensor has a manufacturing defect.
1999 Subaru Legacy Recalls (Recent)
Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER AND SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEM (ABS). (THE 1999 2.2 LITER LEGACY VEHICLES ARE EXCLUDED). IN EXTREMELY COLD WEATHER, THE BRAKE PEDAL GOES TO THE FLOOR AND THE VEHICLE STOPPING DISTANCE IS INCREASED.Learn more »
Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES, ALSO SERVICE PARTS SUPPLIED TO SUBARU DEALERS ARE INVOLVED (LOT NUMBERS F01 J21D2, F01 J30D2, F02 J09D1, F02 J09D2, AND F02 J20D1). THE PUROLATOR OIL FILTER CANS USED ON THESE VEHICLES CAN FRACTURE CAUSING A VAPORIZED OIL SPRAY AND SUBSEQUENT OIL LEAK.Learn more »
Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH FRONT COIL SPRINGS ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KENTUCKY, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, AND WISCONSIN, AND IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THE FRONT COIL SPRINGS WERE PRODUCED WITH POOR PAINT QUALITY WHICH, AFTER CONTINUED EXPOSURE TO CORROSIVE SALT, CAN RESULT IN BREAKAGE OF THE SPRING.Learn more »
1999 Subaru Legacy Questions and Answers
a mechanic told me my front differential has to come out, before they can tell me anything else
I recently had a front bearing replaced. Prior to replacing it they told me there might be a strut issue. After replacing the bearing the car runs great but there is a faint clicking from 15 to 2...
I run a garage and I have a weird problem:
When you first start this car, the abs brakes pulsate constantly while driving and braking for about 15-30 minutes of driving in traffic. After that, the...
This is a right hand drive subaru for mail purposes. While driving the car on my route it will lose power at different times and even wants to run toward the hot mark. I have changed oxygen sensors...
Can a plug from a heated/electric mirror fit to my Subaru legacy that only has the electric option, no heated? If not, is there a way to make it work? I need a new mirror and the only mirror I ha...
1999 Subaru Legacy Reviews
My experiences with reliability have not been as good as Subaru's reputation would indicate. We bought this car new, it now has 140k on it. We had the mass air recall when only a few months old, then the oxygen sensor died a few months later, then we had an oil leak around the valve-cover gasket that fouled the spark plugs, then at around 65k miles the odometer/speedometer failed and had to be replaced, at around 80k we noticed increased oil usage which steadily got worse, until we needed a new engine at around 120k (bad rings on one cylinder). Warped brake rotors not too long after that, now the alternator has died.
My father-in-law also has a 99 Legacy Outback, with similar mileage, and he's just had a cracked head.
My wife's friend has a 99 Legacy sedan, with around 150k, and she's on her second engine as well.