2006 Subaru Outback- Refurbish or replace?

Multiple. Want to refurbish instead of buying new. Power steering squeak. Hard shifting in cold weather until warmed up. Can’t lock, it thinks the key is in the ignition, etc.

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Get estimates and I think you will start thinking ’ Replace the vehicle '.

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I have a vehicle I may do something similar with. An '07 Highlander. It serves a few roles I need infrequently and we have other vehicles for the daily uses. However, like Volvo points out, every time I start dreaming about what I’d like to do the math is scary. I’m torn too.

This vehicule has a very good track record.I would get a couple of estimates from reputable general mechanics and do the math after.https://www.carcomplaints.com/Subaru/Outback/2006/engine/

A power steering pump is inexpensive and easy to replace. Take a look and see what the fluid looks like. Maybe just replacing it will help.
Hard shifting, when is the last time you had the transmission fluid and filter changed. That could help too.
Can’t lock, possibly a bad switch that senses whether or not the key is in the ignition. Shouldn’t be that hard to identify the problem…

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Actually you want to REPAIR, not refurbish, instead of buying new. Fix all the stuff that is broken and drive on until the next thing breaks. When the stuff that breaks starts to inconvenience, endanger or just annoy you, buy a 2-3 year old used vehicle to replace it.

Best I can tell you considering you didn’t tell us much about the car.

If you think you can rebuild the engine, repair rust and repaint, new upholstery, ect. to refurbish or restore the car to make it like new again, it will be as costly as a 2-3 year old Subie.

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Thank you to all who responded to my question. More specific information is the Subaru has 136 K miles. The car now averages less than 8,000 miles per year. At 120 K miles it received new head gaskets, cam seals, timing belt. Axle boots were replaced and bearings packed at 100 K miles. Transmission fluid was changed at 80 K miles. There is no body rust and there is no damage, it just shows the normal signs of wear. Based on my previous research I agree with those items as possible noted fixes to the repairs needs. Hard shifting transmission may be a failed solenoid. I’ve looked at two to three year old low mileage Outbacks but for the cost they bring I’d rather spend a fraction of that and apply the savings to my daughter’s college tuition and expenses. One more year to go! Finally, I am mechanical and could take on some of these repairs myself but I have other things I’d rather do more. My desire in posting was to look for recommendations for a non-dealer Subaru exclusive repair shop in the Portland, OR area. Cheers!

Please see my reply to Mustang Man.

And that is what Google is good at . Then you check the online review sites .

Or the Mechanics Files on this site as well.

Have you looked at the Mechanics File lately ? There are hardly any recent recommendations on there. I checked for my location and many of them are no longer in business or have changed hands . The most recent review was 12 years old .

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curiosity, how do shops end up in the “mechanics File” and who is vetting them? Seems any Joe or Jane can have their shop name on the list.

Supposedly the reviews are from customers of the facility . But some read like they may have been put there by the shop it self . Carolyn said that there are plans to make the Mechanic File more relevant .

I presume you have an automatic transmission. If so the hard shifting sounds like the only potential deal-breaker with your plan. The other stuff should be relatively inexpensive to repair, I mean compared to the expenses involved w/buying a new one. I’d start w/a basic transmission service, which varies with the vehicles configuration, but usually involves removing, inspecting, and cleaning the transmisssion pan, replacing the filter (if applicable), and refilling with fresh transmission fluid. Hard shifts are often due to seals inside the transmission getting hard and springing leaks. New transmission fluid will have new seal-preserving chemicals.

As far as diy’er jobs, if you simply don’t like the effort of dealing with jacks and jackstands & crawling under the car in your driveway, don’t do it, hire that work out. But sometimes if you examine the reasons you don’t that sort of work you’ll discover there are alternatives to the way you are doing it that will make it more palatable. The main reason diy’ers get frustrated or otherwise hate doing car repair is they haven’t taken time to secure the necessary maintenance procedure information. Or they are way overoptimistic about how much time it will take. But if you know the exact steps you need to do and an accurate estimate for how long doing all those steps will take, then you can plan it out. You don’t have to complete the entire job in on single effort, just a lot a couple of hours to do a couple of steps each day and eventually it will all get done.

Volvo, that’s my oversight. I checked for my location as well and there doesn’t seem to have been anything posted for several years. Sorry for the misleading suggestion.

Thank you for your perspective. With regard to the transmission, as the issue only occurs when the ambient temperature is at approximately 35 degrees or lower and doesn’t occur after the car is warmed up, based on my research I’m still leaning toward it being a selenoid issue but I’ll let a specialist deal with that. As far as the DIY issue, I am a gearhead and not averse to most projects. It’s a matter of how to best use my time and resources. At 74 I race go-karts, am a crew member for a traveling kart team, have one daughter who is soon to be married and another who is a Junior in college. I can easily afford a new car but as has been pointed out by previous wives I’m a cheap date, hence my approach to have the issues repaired and save the balance for the kart, racing is never cheap, the wedding and the 1 1/2 years of college expenses. ~ Be well and cheers.

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tmi :smiley:

Since I only oversee this little slice of digital heaven, I don’t have much detail, but I know there was a project underway to contact the shops to verify who was in business, at least. The goal is to make it useful and pretty consumer-driven rather than shop-driven, but as with most things here it is a highly incremental process.


I can’t even imagine how long that would take .

I told you it was an incremental process. We are a pretty lean operation here.