CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2007 Subaru Outback - Lemon?

We bought the car 3 months ago. Car fax showed no worries. Took it to the garage had them hook up to the computer no problems. Two weeks later dead. Took it back worked on it again. Good. Week later electronics go crazy dies for no reason. Took it back to the garage worked on the electronics and changed radiator and pump. Now it is dead in the drive way. Lemon is an understatement. A 4K. Car has now cost another 4K. And won’t turn over.

You bought a 12 year old car. Did you have your mechanic perform a pre-purchase inspection? If not, you have only yourself to complain to. I think you’ve just found out why the previous owner unloaded this car.

4 Likes

I reckon English comprehension is not your forte’. We checked car fax. We took to to the mechanic. He checked it out. There were no problems found. Two weeks later we started having issues. Thank you for your snarky ness. It was really beneficial. Bless your little heart.

Your descriptions aren’t helping much either.

Why would the mechanic replace the radiator and water pump if you took it in for a problem with the electrical system ?

4 Likes

On the Carfax web site they state that they only have what is reported to them . That means that there could be major problems and they are not aware of them . The only real purpose for checking Carfax is to see how many owners , where it has been , how many auctions it has been through and a possible verification of mileage.
I suspect with the problems you have that this is an unreported flood damaged vehicle .
Also Sorry , but this is a free forum and you will get answers you like and some you don’t like . just like real life.

3 Likes

Thank you. I get that. We took it to the mechanic and he checked it out. And did a tune up. Recommended a couple of things we had him do it to include a new battery. A week later we are stuck on the side of the road car over heated. Took it back to mechanic. He changed the radiator and thermostat out. Then the electronics started acting weird. Lights on speedometer all over took it back the electronic sensors needed replaced. Now it just won’t start. Was just looking for suggestions. This was supposedly a one owner until the car was used as a trade into a Subaru dealership then bought buy another dealership and shipped to Louisiana

A Subaru that overheats should almost routinely be checked for head gasket problems. Did your mechanic do that?

1 Like

how much did you drive it in the week leading up to overheating issue?
daily? 10 miles? 50 miles each day?
temps were normal every day? till it overheated on that 1 day?
when you saw temp rise did you pull over? or keep driving till you were forced to stop?

Okay, how many miles were on the vehicle, and did it come with any verifiable service history?

CarFax is not an end-all-be-all. It’s better than nothing, but it isn’t necessarily going to be accurate, and certainly not all-encompassing.

What was the diagnosis? And what work was done, specifics matter when dealing with cars.

Again, what specifically went wrong? And was this issue related or suspected of being related to the first problem? Was it a bad sensor?, BCM, ECU-related?

I assume you mean they changed the radiator and water pump. Was it overheating? Did it overheated whilst you were driving it? The engine in your car has a well known history of blowing head gaskets. If the engine had overheated there’s a fair change the head gaskets will fail sooner rather than later.

I wouldn’t reasonably expect a $4k to be problem-free and provide tens of thousands of miles of problem-free motoring. With that said, I do think that another $4k in repairs over the course of 3 months is also unreasonable.

Edit: I read further down the discussion

Get rid of this car now. There’s a good chance the head gaskets have been compromised, and another several thousand dollar repair bill is incoming.

3 Likes

An aged well used car is NEVER a Lemon. As mentioned, CarFax should never be taken as the Gospel truth. It only reports what is reported to CF and quite often much is not reported or inaccurate.

It bears repeating I guess but some years ago I ran a check on several of my cars through CF.
One was on a Salvage Title for 8 years and CF showed it as being clean.
My SAAB was shown as “currently stolen”. Not according to the original owner, the Highway Patrol, and the DMV.

For what it’s worth Subaru has had issues with head gaskets for decades and that’s without overheating being involved. Overheating just exacerbates the problem.
Another for what it’s worth tale is that there is no way on God’s Green Earth that the finest of inspections even by the finest of mechanics will guarantee a problem free car. It’s simply not possible. It helps but is not the end all.

8 Likes

Not a lemon just a 12 year old vehicle. $4k cars are fine but just expect breakdowns and repairs.

It sounds like there’s more than one problem. Starting with the most recent symptom, that it “won’t turn over”, do you mean it cranks ok but won’t start? Or do you mean it fails to crank at all with the key in “start”?