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 Outback
2002 Subaru Outback
2002 Subaru Outback 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 Outback 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 »
RepairPal Expert Overview:
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 Outback Questions and Answers
I'm considering buying a 2002 Suburu Outback. The maintenance records show that the timing belt, front seals, heater core, radiator hose and brakes (twice) were replaced. This car has 161,000 ...
Cost to replace Engine 5 speed Standard Shift? Or replace engine with Automatic shift? Mileage 125,000.
how do i replace the dash light on my 02 subaru outback?
is there going to be a recall on 2002 subaru outback headgaskets
2002 Subaru Outback Reviews
I have a subaru outback 2002 w/190000 miles I am mechanic (small engines ) I do good maintenace and service every 3000 miles. on driver side when I remove the spark plug I founded oil around the spark plug boot wire. ( when has 95000 miles) now leak oil from both head/valves cover the question is only gaskets or major problem?
I have a 2002 Subaru Outback Wagon. I had both head gaskets replaced at 54,527 miles at Subaru dealer. I now have 98,000 miles and took my car to dealer because of the same issue. Dealer now says that I need to have them replaced again. This seems to be odd, as I was told by dealer that if the head gasket job was done correctly that it would be good for 100,000 or more miles. The dealer first told me that both gaskets were bad and would cost me $2,100 to fix. Then they said that only one side was bad and it would cost $1,200 to fix. Subaru of America tells me that because of the age of the car that there is not anything they can do.
Prior to the first gasket job, all maintenance (oil changes) were done at the dealer every 5000 miles. I have continued to have the oil changed every 5000 miles, just not at the dealer. It obviously did not make a difference on the first gasket replacement and do not believe that this has any bearing now.
I am not sure who to contact next. Any ideas???
Recent problem; about two weeks now. Hear a noise while accelerating which disappears when the foot is off the gas pedal. Increses with increasing speed. Hear this noise again as the car is coming to a stop. The shop that changed oil and serviced AC says this is because of bad bearing in front differential and the transmission has to come off to replace this bearing and has referred me to a transmission specialist. The projected cost of repair is $3,000. I will be grateful for any guidance here. Thanks....Tumkur
I bought a 2002 Subaru brand new. This car spent a lot of time at the dealership for various reoccurring problems that the dealer seemed unable to fix. Eventually the problems got ironed out. I snow board and surf and love the versatility of All Wheel Drive and the ground clearance of this car is great.
The car has experienced clutch “chatter” from the first day I owned it, dealer said its normal and live with it. Maintenance costs have been higher than I was expecting. To replace the timing belt in particular is an expensive service. The heater core went out requiring the dashboard to be removed to repair. I get about 25 miles to the gallon but feel the engine needs more umph! for mountain driving. Despite its initial problems I would consider buying another Subaru. I presently have around 135,000 miles on my Subaru.
Pat Mannion Santa Cruz CA