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 2002 Subaru Legacy
2002 Subaru Legacy
2002 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.
There is a technical service bulletin on the ABS control module. It is replaceable without having to replace the entire anti-lock brake hydraulic unit. Previously, the ABS control module was only available as a complete assembly that included the hydraulic unit.
2002 Subaru Legacy Recalls (Recent)
Summary: ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE BRAKE MASTER CYLINDERS MAY NOT FUNCTION PROPERLY IN AMBIENT TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING 32 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT AND LOWER).Learn more »
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The transmission park mechanism located inside the automatic transmission may not hold when the selector is in the "park" position. The vehicle could move/roll without warning, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the automatic transmission parking rod assembly to correct this concern.
Summary: ON CERTAIN PASSENGER SEDANS, WAGONS, AND SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES, THE CRUISE CONTROL CABLE COULD COME OUT OF ITS TRACK ON THE CRUISE CONTROL LEVER AND LODGE ON THE CONTROL LEVER TAB WHEN THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL IS RELEASED. IF THIS CONDITION OCCURS, THE THROTTLE WILL NOT RETURN TO THE IDLE POSITION AND WILL REMAIN IN AN OPEN POSITION.Learn more »
Summary: THIS RECALL APPLIES TO CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KENTUCKY, MAINE, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, WISCONSIN, AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. CERTAIN REAR SUSPENSION SUBFRAME COMPONENTS WERE PRODUCED WITH POOR PAINT QUALITY WHICH, AFTER CONTINUED EXPOSURE TO CORROSIVE ROAD SALTS FOR A PERIOD OF SEVERAL YEARS, COULD RESULT IN RUST-OUT OF THE COMPONENT AND POSSIBLE BREAKAGE OF THE SUBFRAME.Learn more »
2002 Subaru Legacy Questions and Answers
How often do you need to replace the struts? The dealer said that they were leaking and needed replacement. The car has 60000 miles on it.
how serious a problem is this?
HElp!! How much oil goes in a 2002 subaru legacy 2.5L engine. They put 6 qts in when I had the oil changed. is this too much? My engine light keeps coming on - had spark plugs and wires replaced t...
Air conditioning works 1st time, good and cold,till you arrive at your destination, but fails to work when you restart the car to come home. firstname.lastname@example.org
The rear brakes need to be replaced 12/2010 at 130K and was just recently replaced at 4/09 at 120K. Why so frequently?
2002 Subaru Legacy Reviews
My 2002 Legacy has been a total freaking disaster ever since I bought it. I basically has cost me as much in repairs as another new Subaru! Every possible aspect of this car has gone amuck including 3 new head gaskets, wheel bearings, suspension parts, AC. All the mechanics I've hired "can't believe that this could happen to a Subaru", and the dealer and manufacturer completely disappeared after the warranty expired.