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2000 Subaru Outback Wagon Problems/Maintenance

I purchased my first Subaru this past June. It is a 2000 Outback Wagon automatic. So far I have loved this car except for the poor gas mileage. About 10 days ago my ck engine light came on and I took it in to my mech and he replaced the radiator hose and changed the engine plugs. The next day the ck engine light came back on and I took it in again. The alternator was making a racket and they said the bearing was bad and they replaced the alternator as the bearing couldn’t just be changed. A couple days later the ck engine light came back on and I took it back in. They replaced one of the fuel injectors hoping that was it. The next day the ck engine light came back on and the temp gauge went up to HOT. Limped it in and it was the temp gauge. Am wondering if there is anyone who has had a multitude of problems with this particular model. Wondering if I should sell it and cut my losses before I spend more money. It has 173,000 miles on it and not sure when the timing belt was changed so am going to need that ASAP. Mech said it looks fine but it makes me nervous as I don’t want it to break and lose everything.

I can’t speak about your check engine light . . .
But . . . if you don’t know when the timing belt was replaced, it should be a priority.

Granted, a lot of details about the process are unknown to me, but from the way your post is worded I might have some reservations about the person doing the work on this car. There are too many things there that come across as the shotgun approach to doing things and that seldom works out well.

I would suggest getting a chain type auto parts house to scan the car for you and tell you what codes are present. Post their codes here and we’ll try to help as much as the net will allow.

A visual inspection of a timing belt is usually pointless and I find it hard to believe that someone started removing belt covers and so on to tell you this; especially if done for free.

While it’s generally not feasible, alternator bearings can be replaced on a Subaru (I’ve done it) and the odds of a temperature gauge failure are very, very remote.

I agree with the other poster about getting a different mechanic. The temperature spike is often associated with head gasket failure on this vintage Outback. The thermostat should also be checked, as well as the more basic coolant level. It sounds like the person you’re using is throwing parts at things and doing too much guessing.

Have the coolant checked for exhaust gases.

When the check engine light came on, what codes were thrown? I ask because a mechanic replacing parts in the hope that that it fixes it sounds shady.

I agree with the others, from your description of events, it does sound like you need another mechanic. But for now, take advantage of the free code reading that several auto parts stores like AutoZone offer.

When you have this done, they will enter the code into their computer and should give you a print out on a cash register receipt. If they just tell you what the computer says is wrong, then ask them for the print out. At the top of the print out will be a code that starts with a P and has 4 numbers following it. It will be something like P0171 or something like that.

All we need to see is the code. The cash register printout will have suggested remedies, and we may agree with them, but sometimes, someone here will have a particular insight to a particular code on a particular vehicle that is different from the generic answer.