Do I stay or do I go now? What if it's a Subaru?

subaru
repair
outback

#1

I’ve got a 1996 Subaru Outback Impreza. Bought it in 2003 in RI, drove it home to Texas that year, it’s got 150k on it and more than its share of dings and scratches, but I’ve loved it and still love it. It overheated driving to visit my folks in October and has been sitting in their drive since thing, irritating the neighbors. The official diagnosis is that it needs a new head gasket. Since I bought it, I’ve put about $3k worth of work into it, though $1800 of that was in the past year and a half, including:

new rotors

new cv joints

new bushings

new radiator

new thermostat

another new radiator.



I’m currently out of work but have a little cushion, though I’m not looking for a car payment. Is it worth putting the $900 into it now, and hoping it’ll see me through a few more years? Or do I let it go for scrap, and keep working on life without a car?




#2

$900 is worth putting in if you are out of work. $900 does not buy much of anything as far as different auto.

The car must have been really overheated during your ownership or previously. The 2.2L engine does not have the head gasket issue like the 1996-2004 non turbo 2.5L which is a ticking time bomb IMHO.

Then again its 14 yrs old.


#3

$900 is like 2 months of car payments, so if you’re confident it will last longer than 2 months, then yeah go for it.

To paraphrase others, it’s almost always cheaper to do maintenance / repairs than it is to haul away.

I have a 10 year old car that I like, I would not hesitate putting $900+ into it to keep it going, then again I’m a college student so a car payment really isn’t an option for me either.


#4

If the engine overheated it may need more than just a new head gasket.

If you can actually fix it for $900 I’d say do it. You can’t buy another car for $900, and, if properly maintained a '96 Subaru can last a long time.

Why did it need a second new radiator, and why did it overheat if the radiator and thermostat were new?