Buying Subaru?

I’m looking into buying a 1998 subaru impreza sport, hatchback 2.2 liter with 102000 miles on it. Are there any issues with this type of engine or recalls or other major problems with this model/car. Most issues are attributed to later years or the 2.5l engine.

Trans axle issues? Head gasket? Remember I’m getting the 2.2l engine. THanks!

The timing belt and other things in that area are due to be replaced soon so check out the cost of having that done. The headgasket problem is more pevalent in the 2.5 liter engine.

The 2.2L is not prone to any head gasket problems. My sister in law has the same car bought at 120k and now 200k with little issues. Hers is only getting eaten by rust(present when bought) but its a VT car.

Its a good bet but worth checking over by a mechanic pre purchase as the real factor like any old vehicle is the life it lead earlier.

The 2.2 liter engine is the one to have!

I have a '96 Legacy with the 2.2 engine. This engine is not subject to head gasket problems like the 2.5 engine. I’d want to know if the timing belt has been replaced. If not, you will have to replace it ASAP. In addition to the timing belt, you should replace the water pump and any oil seals that may be leaking (there are MANY potential leaking seals on this engine).

Good news: the 2.2 is not an interference engine, so a broken timing belt will not destroy the engine.

You didn’t specify transmission type. The drive system differs depending upon transmission type. If you’re buying an automatic, check for a worn transfer valve and/or clutch pack in the transmission. Drive in a tight circle, or make a tight turn into a driveway or parking space. If there is any binding in the drivetrain, the clutch pack and/or transfer valve may need replacement.

This is a standard service item, and if you don’t replace a failing valve and clutch pack the damage becomes REALLY expensive. DO NOT ignore a binding drivetrain in an automatic-transmission Subaru.

If the car you are looking at has a manual transmission, ignore the last two paragraphs. They do not apply.

What it comes down to is this: If you need an AWD vehicle, you can’t do much better than a Subaru. Just make sure the one you are looking at has been properly maintained. There are no head gasket issues with the 2.2 liter engine, and there are no transmission/transaxle issues, period.

it is a manual. We drove it in tight circles to forward and backward to check the joints. What does binding sounds like or feel like. We didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary.

Also, the car did have an engine light on and the owners took it to the Subaru dealer to read the code. They think it’s a gas cap issue- the code off the comp was PO440- Small evaporation leak detected? Are there any fixes for this? and my bro mentioned that it could be the solenoid that controls the gas tank pressure. See Pic!

Binding you will feel the car be jerky in the driving manner you performed.

It is extremely rare in the manual transmission AWD Subaru’s to have that issues with the AWD system itself. The manual tranny AWD is elegant, simple, purely mechanical and extremely effective when needed.

My extended family has had nothing but great luck with manual transmission Subaru’s(10 total) with the 2.2L and turbo engines. Even those with the 2.5L have not had the head gasket problem prone vehicle yet and they are in the 150k+ range of mileage.

I would tend to say that what the service shop stated about the trouble is true. A loose cap will cause the code to show up. Cap put on and tightened correctly, code goes away. It would be my first check for this kind of trouble.