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Subaru Durability to 200k


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I have a premium 2018 Legacy with Eyesight that so far (10k) has been a great car. I am hoping to keep the car for at least 200k miles, with yearly mileage of about 12k and consistent maintenance.

 

Consumer Report''s praises the Legacy and considers it a car with above average reliability. JD Powers is not so enthralled.

 

Yet, from 2000 on, head gasket and possibly transmission issues have plagued generations of Outbacks/Legacys- particularly past the 60k point. And selectively increasing the transmission warranty to 100k is nice, but raises the question of why they did it in the first place.

 

So my question, perhaps impossible to answer, is whether with proper maintenance and gentle care, this generation of Legacy can likely reach 200k? With some brands/models it would be a very poor bet. With the Subaru Legacy- I really can't tell.

 

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I have a premium 2018 Legacy with Eyesight that so far (10k) has been a great car. I am hoping to keep the car for at least 200k miles, with yearly mileage of about 12k and consistent maintenance.

 

Consumer Report''s praises the Legacy and considers it a car with above average reliability. JD Powers is not so enthralled.

 

Yet, from 2000 on, head gasket and possibly transmission issues have plagued generations of Outbacks/Legacys- particularly past the 60k point. And selectively increasing the transmission warranty to 100k is nice, but raises the question of why they did it in the first place.

 

So my question, perhaps impossible to answer, is whether with proper maintenance and gentle care, this generation of Legacy can likely reach 200k? With some brands/models it would be a very poor bet. With the Subaru Legacy- I really can't tell.

 

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

 

Since you are worried about head gaskets, you have the 2.5 I presume? I think you are pretty safe to get a 6th gen Legacy to 200K+ and beyond, provided you do proper maintenance - in this case, proper fluids and filters.

 

The CVT is a crap shoot - i would change fluid at every 50K miles at least, if I was shooting for 200K. I personally hate CVTs and will not buy another if I can help it.

 

My greater worry would be the weird electronics, like Eyesight going haywire before the engine.

 

Im willing to bet the 6th gen Legacy will get to 200K (and more) more often than not with proper maintenance.

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If you look back at Subaru's past two decades you can sort of plan for what will happen. HIstorically, head gaskets and oil consumption are what clobbers Subaru's engines, but they seem to have that sorted on the new motors. 200k on the motor shouldn't be a problem ....

 

The CVT, wheel bearings, and side bolsters of the seats will wear out.

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Yes, wheel bearings are an issue with these cars. The 6th gen eats wheel bearings like a fat kid eats popcorn. On my wife's 2016, both rear bearings and the driver's side were replaced under warranty.

 

Fortunately, wheel bearings for this car are cheap and dead simple to replace and I wouldnt consider them a substantial issue.

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... from 2000 on, head gasket ... issues have plagued generations of Outbacks/Legacys- particularly past the 60k point.

Head gasket (and timing belt) issues went away with the introduction of the FB25 4-cylinder engine in MY 2013.

 

And selectively increasing the transmission warranty to 100k is nice, but raises the question of why they did it in the first place.
Or maybe the glass is half full. Subaru CVTs are neither more nor less reliable today than they were before the warranty was extended. Edited by ammcinnis

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." ~ The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)

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200K miles is pushing it for any car. Everything just wears out and unreliability creeps in. YMMV.

 

I dont know. i think any car made in the last 10-15 years should get 200K with regular maintenance without too much hassle. Nearly all modern engines do that without much hassle. The auto transmissions on the other hand are a bit harder to get there, but still very common.

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I’m at 52k miles and I had to replace the rear strut and now it sounds like the front ball joint is going out. Getting some clunks over every bump in the driver side. I also drive in NEPA so that might having something to do with it.

 

Shocks,struts, balljoints, bearings are all wear items and will need regular replacement. You cant ding the dependability of a car because you wore out shocks or balljoints - might as well complain about changing tires, brakes, and oil filters if you're gonna do that.

 

When folks says dependability, they mean core systems like engine, transmission, differentials/transfer case, and ECU/electrical systems.

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Head gasket (and timing belt) issues went away with the introduction of the FB25 4-cylinder engine in MY 2013.

 

Or maybe the glass is half full. Subaru CVTs are neither more nor less reliable today than they were before the warranty was extended.

 

Right. Any non-manual transmission can be expected to require repairs by 150k. Some go earlier (i.e. 100k on a BMW) and some later ... even the Honda/Acura's transmissions are their achilles heels.

 

The difference is in what it takes to repair them. BMW's usually need a $1100 Mechatronic sleeve, and many Automatics can be rebuilt or repaired, but CVT's seem to require full replacement for ~$4k.

 

Compare that to a manual transmission ... they rarely requirement replacement, but they will require a clutch every 120-160k miles for ~$1500, and occasionally repairing the input shaft. Well, Subaru did drop the ball on the WRX throwout bearings ... but put in an oversize non-Subaru bearing and you're good to go.

 

200K miles is pushing it for any car. Everything just wears out and unreliability creeps in. YMMV.

 

The question is how expensive the repair is, compared to the value of the vehicle. Fortunately, Subaru's are easy to repair, they're not overly complicated, and as they age the aftermarket supplies parts and solutions which are higher quality and less expensive than OEM.

 

Couple that with Subaru's tendency to maintain higher vehicle values, and it's usually worth it to repair rather than tow to a junk yard.

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Right. Any non-manual transmission can be expected to require repairs by 150k. Some go earlier (i.e. 100k on a BMW) and some later ... even the Honda/Acura's transmissions are their achilles heels.

 

The difference is in what it takes to repair them. BMW's usually need a $1100 Mechatronic sleeve, and many Automatics can be rebuilt or repaired, but CVT's seem to require full replacement for ~$4k.

 

Compare that to a manual transmission ... they rarely requirement replacement, but they will require a clutch every 120-160k miles for ~$1500, and occasionally repairing the input shaft. Well, Subaru did drop the ball on the WRX throwout bearings ... but put in an oversize non-Subaru bearing and you're good to go.

 

The question is how expensive the repair is, compared to the value of the vehicle. Fortunately, Subaru's are easy to repair, they're not overly complicated, and as they age the aftermarket supplies parts and solutions which are higher quality and less expensive than OEM.

 

Couple that with Subaru's tendency to maintain higher vehicle values, and it's usually worth it to repair rather than tow to a junk yard.

 

Historically, you're right about auto trannys. But the quality of the new cars (and transmissions) being produced nowadays is jaw dropping. i fully expect a modern, well maintained auto tranny to go to 200K and beyond.

 

Everything else you wrote, I think you're on the ball with.

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I will add this though .. of all brands my friends and family have owned, it seems that Subaru has had the most catastrophic engine failures. 80k on an Impreza, 155k on our Outback XT, 126k on a Tribeca, 80k and 110k on another Outback XT, 100k on a Forester, 260k in a Legacy. I'm probably forgetting some.

 

For comparison, 210k on a 2500HD, 130k on a MDX, 90k on a Sebring, 130k on a Sedona, 120k on a Jetta.

 

BMW/Audi/Jaguar's had their issues but were traded before they became problematic.

 

Currently, the champion is a 230k Ford F150. Rusting apart, but the engine shows no sign of quitting.

 

The remainder are Hyundai/Honda/Toyota/Ford/Mazda. The Hyundai's and Toyota's seem to be doing the best in terms of high mileage without significant repairs.

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Historically, you're right about auto trannys. But the quality of the new cars (and transmissions) being produced nowadays is jaw dropping. i fully expect a modern, well maintained auto tranny to go to 200K and beyond.

 

Everything else you wrote, I think you're on the ball with.

 

I honestly would have expected the CVT's to be the most reliable, considering how simple they are. Maybe the brands simply haven't had enough time to figure them out, like what is 'preventative maintenance' etc.

 

The other thing I wanted to add is the distinction between 'durability' and 'reliability'. For example, our BMW was very durable ... parts wear out but they're replaceable ... there literally isn't "that one thing that wears out and you throw the car away" ... but when we considered a 2500 mile road trip, we had zero confidence that it would make the trip without requiring a repair. It had 60k miles on it. Our Outback XT reached that point at 175k.

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I honestly would have expected the CVT's to be the most reliable, considering how simple they are. Maybe the brands simply haven't had enough time to figure them out, like what is 'preventative maintenance' etc.

 

The other thing I wanted to add is the distinction between 'durability' and 'reliability'. For example, our BMW was very durable ... parts wear out but they're replaceable ... there literally isn't "that one thing that wears out and you throw the car away" ... but when we considered a 2500 mile road trip, we had zero confidence that it would make the trip without requiring a repair. It had 60k miles on it. Our Outback XT reached that point at 175k.

 

Subaru has been making CVTs since the 80s. They were the first to sell one in a production road car in the US with their Justy. You'd think they'd have it all sorted out by now. That said, I do not believe in maintenance-free mechanical devices.

 

FWIW: I've had 6 Subarus now with little to no significant problems, especially in comparison to the Toyotas, Jeeps, and Fords I have also had. There are known problems/required maintenance with any car. I've been lucky with my Subarus, even at high mileage. Hopefully that continues.

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200K miles is pushing it for any car. Everything just wears out and unreliability creeps in. YMMV.

 

negative, if you properly maintain the car 200K is quite doable on any naturally aspirated engine/transmission without major design flaws....

 

keeping fluids changed and replacing broken things is key....

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negative, if you properly maintain the car 200K is quite doable on any naturally aspirated engine/transmission without major design flaws....

 

keeping fluids changed and replacing broken things is key....

 

It's more than that. Sure, it will "run" at 200k but not without effort. The question for each owner is their tolerance for such repairs, both in terms of money and trustworthiness of the car.

 

While the major components will do well with a little maintenance, as the car approaches 200k you'll be nickel-and-dimed with various sensors and solenoids that fail. Also coils, struts, axles, bearings, brakes, water pumps, alternators, starters, etc. While they're all repairable, and some quite inexpensively by the home mechanic, it all adds up over time and makes the car unreliable.

 

The big killer is rust. When the unit body and subframes start to rust out, there's usually little point in continuing to maintain the mechanical parts. Some places things rust faster, and some brands rust faster. Subaru does OK even here in the upper midwest, but we do make a point to wash the undercarriage every week or two.

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Should go to 200,000 no problem. my 2004 camry has 298,000 and my tacoma has 207,000 both still driven almost daily. 63,000 on the Legacy,it's a good car. You MUST keep up with maitenance!! Take care of your car and it will take care of you!
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It's more than that. Sure, it will "run" at 200k but not without effort. The question for each owner is their tolerance for such repairs, both in terms of money and trustworthiness of the car.

 

While the major components will do well with a little maintenance, as the car approaches 200k you'll be nickel-and-dimed with various sensors and solenoids that fail. Also coils, struts, axles, bearings, brakes, water pumps, alternators, starters, etc. While they're all repairable, and some quite inexpensively by the home mechanic, it all adds up over time and makes the car unreliable.

 

The big killer is rust. When the unit body and subframes start to rust out, there's usually little point in continuing to maintain the mechanical parts. Some places things rust faster, and some brands rust faster. Subaru does OK even here in the upper midwest, but we do make a point to wash the undercarriage every week or two.

 

outside of major structural problems all of those items are less than a new car payment...

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outside of major structural problems all of those items are less than a new car payment...

 

Agreed, and that's why we kept the Outback for 14 years. However, reliability (i.e. how frequently it breaks) and whether we can trust to take it on a road trip, were the factors that led us to sell it at 175k.

 

It was also why we replaced the BMW at 64k and bought a Legacy.

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I dont know. i think any car made in the last 10-15 years should get 200K with regular maintenance without too much hassle. Nearly all modern engines do that without much hassle. The auto transmissions on the other hand are a bit harder to get there, but still very common.

 

Of course you can keep any car on the road but it gets very expensive. So many things go wrong at about the same time and, when the vehicle becomes unreliable, most people will bail out. Our 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5XT was a case in point. By 170,000 miles it was just worn out. The $1200 broken drive shaft was the last straw after a long list of repairs including replacement radiator, replacement engine (after the turbo blew), steering rack, various suspension components, wheel bearings, O2 sensors, exhaust system leaks etc. I got used to the Engine light being on and the Cruise control light blinking. Interestingly, the transmission never caused any problems. I think this was an extreme case but 200,000 miles is about the point where most cars start to cost more to repair than to replace.

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