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Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your Subaru Legacy

Subaru Legacy Models:

Image for car images Subaru 1990 1994 Subaru Legacy size thumb Image for car images Subaru 1995 1999 Subaru Legacy size thumb Image for car images Subaru 2000 2004 Subaru Legacy size thumb Image for car images Subaru 2005 2007 Subaru Legacy size thumb Image for car images Subaru 2008 2009 Subaru Legacy size thumb Image for car images Subaru 2010 2011 Subaru Legacy size thumb

Subaru Legacy Problems

Brakes -- Verified

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.

Engine -- Verified

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.

Engine -- Verified

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.

Engine -- Verified

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.

Exhaust & Emissions -- Verified

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)

Body, Interior & Misc., June 1, 1999

Summary: VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. INADVERTENT AIR BAG DEPLOYMENT CAN OCCUR AFTER UNDERCARRIAGE CONTACT OF THE TOW HOOKS WITH CURBS, DIPS, SPEEDBUMPS, POTHOLES, ETC.

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Brakes, June 7, 1999

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.

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Drive Train, January 8, 2003

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.

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Drive Train, April 12, 2004

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.

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Engine, September 12, 2002

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.

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Subaru Legacy Questions and Answers

sub_90, 1990 Subaru Legacy, Fairbanks, AK

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 ...

woodsrim, 1990 Subaru Legacy, San Antonio, TX

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...

funkyjunkyheidi, 1990 Subaru Legacy, Meridian, ID

will it damage the motor if i continue to drive with only 3 cylinders working?

Visitor, 1990 Subaru Legacy, Anchorage, AK

all the coolant is in the overflow reservoir. is the problem the thermostat?

Visitor, 1990 Subaru Legacy, 2.2L 4 Cylinder, Riverbank, CA

my 1990 subaru legacy wagon wouldnt start when leaving to go to work the other morning,checked fuel line its pumping gas,checked all belts they are fine its even getting spark,when trying to start ...

Write a Review About Your Car

Subaru Legacy Reviews

I have hade my 2003 Subaru legacy for 2 years runs great drives great the best car I have owned for winter driving heats great cools great I just cant say more than just a great car seems if you take care of them they run great don't take in red and wow you don't have head problems drive with common sense and it will treat you good never ben on the side of the road more than I can say for vw much nicer car love it will by another next time a wrx sedan cant what

Bought this car in 2012 with 166,000 miles on it, it is now 1year later and i have spent no less than $12,000.00 just to keep it running. I still have yet to have ac as it was also broken when I wasted my money on this money pit. as I ran out of money. Both head gaskets were blown when i bought it and did not know as the mechanic in blue jay calif doctered the car to get far enough away from his 76 station before it died. Now the heads are cracked and loosing 12 to 16 ounces of coolant per day for a 50 mile round trip to my job.
I will never buy another piece of crap subaru again. Thie car was totally misreprensented if not downright lied about when he sold me this wreck.

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