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 some risk. Assume it will need something costly in a year. And more costly in the second year and so on.

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The owners of 2006 tribecas seemed to like them from 2009-2019.
What was confidence level from 2019-2023?
Ya, they were nice when 7 years old. How about 17 years old?
17 yr old 4 cyl Subaru is getting less desirable

Very true, however the Tribeca has the rock-solid, 3 liter, timing chain-equipped,
6 cylinder engine under the hood.

I have been rejecting the purchase of a new Suby due to the frequent head gasket problems. (I keep a car for a long time. My newest car is a 2007.) Is my information out of date? Is one engine more reliable than another?

That’s a very good price. Even private part sales for a clean vehicle are over $9000. There must be something wrong with it. Get a prepurchase inspection by a mechanic you trust. Body damage, rust, or interior rips, wear and tear could also reduce the price by $5000 quickly.

Yes, if you are shopping for a used Subaru, I strongly recommend that you look for one with the 6-cylinder engine. In addition to having a timing chain rather than a timing belt, they do not have a history of head gasket problems, and they have significantly more power than the 4-cylinder models.

My '02 Outback 6-cylinder had only one repair in 9 years (replacement–under warranty–of the Vapor Canister Solenoid), and my '11 Outback 6-cylinder also only needed one repair in 12 years (replacement–under warranty–of the WW fluid reservoir).

The problem, however, may be finding a 6-cylinder Subaru. Most people didn’t want to pony-up the extra cash for the larger engine, and as a result, not that many were sold.

Wasn’t the title of the original post about a 2006 Subaru Impreza?
From what I’m seeing it has the 4 cylinder 2.5L engine with a timing belt.

Look again, mi amigo.
The title of the thread is “2006 Subaru Tribeca”, and the info that I posted on that vehicle–and its 3 liter, 6-cylinder, timing chain-equipped engine–is correct.

No dispute that’s the title now, and that the 6 cyl Tribeca uses a timing chain. But what was the title at the time I responded? I expect it was edited.

When I first responded–two days ago, in post #6–it was titled “2006 Subaru Tribeca”.

Hopefully OP will chime in and clarify. Maybe there’s a way to see the edits, but I don’t know how.

OK , the original post was on the worthless ’ Ask Someone who has one ’ site . The heading was about an Impreza but the post itself was asking about the Tribeca . I doubt if they will return .

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