I’ve heard that these engines have had signifigant issues with the head gaskets. Can anyone confirm this? I am considering purchasing one for a camping/outdoors vehicle.
Yes, it is true that Outbacks of this vintage ('97-'02, I think) do have a much higher incidence of head gasket failure after ~90k miles than most other vehicles.
They have higher than average amount with thye problem. Not sure if you can afford it but by 2005 it was corrected full and the 2005-2009 vintage is significantly nicer car.
The interesting thing is I have two relatives who pretty much neglect maintenance on early 2000’s Subaru’s with 2.5L except timely oil changes and have over 200k miles without any issues.
Caveat; I own a Subaru station wagon. My car has the older 2.2 liter engine, which is not known for head gasket failure.
Yes, the late 90’s to early '00 cars have potential head gasket issues, but that doesn’t mean that EVERY '01 Outback will have head gasket failure.
If it does, however, head gaskets can be replaced, just like anything else. It’s not cheap, but it can be fixed. Subarus require a bit of extra care from their owners. If you’re looking for a drive-it-and-forget-it vehicle, the Outback may not be for you.
If, however, you want a sturdy station wagon with superior AWD capabilities, and are willing to accept the eccentricities that go with it, the Outback might be just the thing.
Before you buy a Subaru make sure all four tires are identical, and are equally worn. If the car has mismatched tires on it, walk away.