Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your Subaru Legacy
Subaru Legacy Models:
Subaru Legacy Problems
A failure in the anti-lock brake system (ABS) causes the ABS pump to continuously run, which will eventually wear down the battery. An improved ABS relay is available to solve the problem.
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.
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.
The front oxygen (air fuel ratio) sensor element may develop a crack, causing the Check Engine Light to illuminate. Subaru has recalled certain models to replace sensors that may fail. The Subaru service program number is WXW-80, this is not a government mandated recall.
Subaru Legacy Recalls (Recent)
Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. INADVERTENT AIR BAG DEPLOYMENT CAN OCCUR AFTER UNDERCARRIAGE CONTACT OF THE TOW HOOKS WITH CURBS, DIPS, SPEEDBUMPS, POTHOLES, ETC.Learn more »
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 »
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.Learn more »
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 »
RepairPal Expert Overview:
555 vehicles with a 4-cylinder engine may have a water pump pulley with a center hole that was improperly machined and is too large. This could result in the pulley coming off of the water pump during normal vehicle operation, causing severe engine damage. Dealers will replace the water pump to correct this concern.Learn more »
Subaru Legacy Questions and Answers
When I pulled the hood release latch under my dash in my '90 legacy i heard a snap and a piece of plastic fell down now I'm getting no redidtance when I pull on the release and the hood ...
Head gasket blew, and water mixed with the oil.I am told that I should have all gaskets & seals replaced, and the heads milled. I have a 2.2 engine. Est received Labor & Materials -$1,175.0...
will it damage the motor if i continue to drive with only 3 cylinders working?
all the coolant is in the overflow reservoir. is the problem the thermostat?
Subaru Legacy Reviews
2010 Legacy GT 6spd manual, 2nd Subaru ( last one was a 2002 WRX Wagon ). I am a HUGE Subie fan, and have enjoyed fantastic experiences with both vehicles. In fact, my mother now drives a 2008 Outback v6, my father 2013 Legacy Premium, my sister-in-law 2013 Forester.
The Legacy GT offers a much more mature and sophisticated ride, plush comfortable interior, and upscale styling to the WRX's street fighter demeanor. But it doesn't give up any performance with 35 HP more than the old WRX.
I baby my Subarus with maintenance, Mobile 1 oil and filters, BP premium gas, nothing but the best in parts. It may cost a little more ( $0.20/ gal, no biggie ), but you will get that money back if you ever sell it.
I sold my WRX at 10 years old with 177k miles, sold in 3 days for $3000.
Take care of your Subaru, and it will take care of you.
When I test-drove my '07 Legacy I fell in love. The car handled like a dream. Steering was tight, with zero body roll - which the five star score for suspension and steering hints at - and the engine let out a gentle rumble that I loved. The car had an understated elegance which the new model lacks. "Platypus" comes to mind. During snowstorms, so common in the Northeast, this car kept driving long after Accords and Camrys got stuck.
Fast forwarding to ~50,000 miles, I had to replace my first wheel bearing. Two more were to come, both before 150,000 miles. I soon learned that wheel bearing failures are epidemic with Subaru cars, be they Legacy, Impreza, Forrester, or Outback models. So much for Subaru's safety focus.
The beginning of the end came at 140,000 miles. At that point, I discovered that both head gasket and front cam seal were leaking. Subaru specialists told me I had little time before the engine went bust.
Being worn out with my Legacy's issues - in addition to a deer hit that cost 8k to repair and a rear collision from a young kid talking on a cell phone which led to a poor repair - I lost any shred of motivation to fix this car. I was simply not paying over 1K to repair the engine only to wonder what else would break.
Honestly, I love the way the car handles. I love how I can count on this car during a snow storm. I know that if my car can't handle a road, most cars can't handle that road either. But I feel cheated. I thought I bought a car, but I bought a toy.
I don't know what this "Subaru Reliability" thing is that people talk about. Data and reviews based on that data clearly show that Subaru has subpar reliability. Ford and Dodge, two brands I have long associated with low reliability, have superior reliability. My previous Mercury Mystique, a cheap cheap car, drove to 175,000 miles without major issues. Subaru can't?
So figure out what you want in a car. Reliability you probably won't get. If my experience says something, you may find yourself in the shop more often than you expect.
...but you will get good handling for a cheap midsize sedan. You will get a car with an outstanding all-wheel drive system that you genuinely can count on. If these matter to you, the Legacy still makes sense. But you will need to budget for the extra time and money you will spend on this car. Here are some of the costs I ran into in 150,000 miles:
- Three unexpected 4-tire changes due to a single sidewall cut (which you can't repair). At $125/tire, this equals roughly $1.5K unexpected expenses (vs
I've had to replace a head gasket once and then decided to buy a crate engine when appleway subaru decided that since I was 2,000 miles over my 15,000 mile warranty when they installed the wrong head gasket! There are 3 different types of head gaskets for this year. I love how the car handles and rips through the snow but I personally will probably never buy another 98. I'm beginning to have problems with my electrical that has been nothing but a head ache. Love the car hate the problems
This is my 1st and perhaps last Subaru (not that I think it will last me forever). It is a 6-speed manual with the short-throw shifter (that is the only "extra" that the car has -- and it is factory installed). The car doesn't have 20K on it yet & already, I've had 2 clutches put in it (so this is #3) -- about 1 every 8K. Just this evening, I have lost reverse gear. I do not grind gears, I don't ride it hard, I don't rock it back & forth, I drive reasonably & responsibly.
This is the second Subaru I have owned, It will be the last. It's great when everything is working properly. So far outside of routine maintenance, let's see where to start. At the radio was recalled, the one in my car would actually spit the cd's out when it felt like it and shot them into the back seat, the heater control panel went bad had to be replaced under warranty. The rear wheel bearings went bad, and not at the same time, at about 40K. There was a recall but the garage wouldn't fix both at the same time, had to return about 2 months apart to have the other one replaced. Less than a year later there was another recall for the main computer, it took only a few minutes once the garage got it in. At about 100K the driver side muffler went bad, this is a FACTORY item to the tune of $400. ( Side note, outside of brakes, filters, fluids,wipers, small things, its ALL Factory items ) At 120K kept hearing this high pitch squeal inside the car, only when the car was moving at least at 20mph, bearing in the main drive shaft leading to the rear, $640 just for part. Check engine light on at the 120K also. Catalytic converters not functioning properly, there are 3 on this model. One is $1,400, the other two are $820 a piece. With the check engine light on the cruise flashes and does not work. Bought it with hopes of having a car that would last 300K, but it will bankrupt me before I can get to that point. All wheel drive means replacing all 4 tires at one time. Definitely not a car that I would recommend to anyone, and for craps sake Subaru, I am not the only one that has had the exact same issues, its called a RECALL, if the other car manufactures can back theirs, I don't see why you can't! Regardless last Subaru this family will own.