2006 Subaru Tribeca - Tribeca troubles?

looking to buy 2006 Subaru Tribeca , 130,000 miles.
What problems might I experience and should I look for? they’re asking $4000.???

2006 models in general, not only that make/model, are probably best avoided. Remember what was happening w/the car industry then? Wasn’t a happy time economically, lots of distractions. If you still wish to consider a 2006, suggest to ask your own mechanic perform a thorough pre-purchase inspection.

  • Is the check engine light functioning correctly, any diagnostic codes active or pending, especially worrying, for misfires?
  • Any unusual noises from engine or transmission?
  • Vibrations, noises from wheels/tires?
  • Cooling system leaks? Does it maintain the proper coolant temperature for both freeway and around town driving? Bubbling in coolant overflow reservoir?
  • Has all of the computer reprogramming suggested by manufacturer been done?
  • Seat belt inspection.
  • What’s the timing belt situation? If time to replace, what’s the expected total cost?
  • Any indications of variable valve timing malfunctions?

Improvements in power and fuel economy without the extreme complexity found on vehicles made today. 2005 - 2007 were great years for sales volume.

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Here’s a tip from a multi-time Subaru and Toyota owner. Get an 06 Highlander instead. If you find a Subaru owner who loved a B9 Tribeca, let me know. It would be a possible Pulitzer-winning interview.


A good friend of mine bought a 2006 Tribeca somewhere around 2009. Somewhere around 2014 or so (120K or so) I had to remove the timing cover and left chain to replace a water pump. Other than that the car required nothing more than routine maintenance and wear and tear repairs. He was quite happy with the car when he traded it for an Outback last year.

What issues did you have with yours?

The “situation” is that this engine has a timing chain, not a timing belt.
I had the same engine in my 2002 Outback, and the engine–as well as the rest of the vehicle–was still in excellent condition when I traded it in after 9 years. Zero repairs…

Bottom line… it is a 17 year old vehicle. It needs a careful look by your mechanic before you buy it.

Any 17 y/o vehicle has sone risk. Assume it will need something costly in a year. And more costly in the second year and so on.