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'98 Legacy L 2.2 - Seeping coolant. Should I even consider buying this?


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So I tested this car the other day, and other than a shaky idle it seems just fine. I got it inspected, and there were two issues, one of which may have been resolved.



  • "Lots of oil underneath engine, especially from timing belt covers. Most likely one or more cam seals or a leaking oil problem (pump)"
  • "Coolant seeping - did not diagnose but it could be a leaking head gasket"

According to the dealer, the timing belt was just replaced, along with the cam seals (as part of about $900 of work total), so I'm thinking the oil issue was fixed. Based on what the shop and the dealer told me, the problem with the coolant is anywhere in between having to add some more when I change the oil and a blown head gasket and impending block cracking.


I'm having a more extensive inspection done tomorrow. Is there anything I should know? What's most likely going on here? Is it even worth it to spend another $150-200 on the coolant system diagnosis?

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unless it is very, very cheap, i wouldn't.


these cars do have issues with the oil pump leaking. its an easy fix, but requires disassembly of the front of the engine. on mine, almost all the screws holding the rear cover on were loose. replacing the front main seal is also very easy with the oil pump off. also, if the engine leaked any oil onto the timing belt, it will need to be replaced again. oil destroys timing belts.


the coolant leak probably isn't head gaskets, since those engines typically don't leak coolant externally when the gaskets fail, they leak internally so the coolant goes into the engine [or combustion pressure goes out into the cooling system] Without knowing where the leak is coming from, its hard to tell.

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