Engine Went on My Subu - Where to go from here?


I own a 98 Subaru Outback wagon w/ 152k, automatic transmission (2.5L). This car has been well maintained but the engine threw a rod and now the dealership says the cost to replace is $6k. Even though the rest of the car is intact, I am only getting offers of $300-600 for the car dut to mileage and engine.

I can’t afford to fix the car and now it seems the car has no value towards the purchase of a new car. I cannot afford to make a bad decision here.

Is it better to buy a real old toyota from owner and take my chances, or go into debt financing a new vehicle? Any advice is appreciate, Thanks.


There are options other than the dealer’s price of $6K for an engine. Call around and see if you can find an engine in a junk yard, or go to an independent mechanic and get a price to have a re-manufactured engine installed.

As you said, other than the engine the car is still usable. Don’t give up too quickly. The Subaru dealer will be the MOST expensive place to have this fixed.


My suggestion is try someone besides a dealer before throwing in the towel.

A very compentent Subaru specialized engine rebuilder is CCR engines (http://www.ccrengines.com/)

You can ask for a quote for engine and they may help suggest an installer and have general range of #'s. The dealer is top price for this repair.


Getting a used motor is not the best idea given these Subaru’s (96-2000 2.5L) are infamous for blown head gaskets. Unless you know the used motor was fixed for head gaskets with revised design its a serious gamble.


Regarding buying an old Toyota (or any other brand) from a private owner: it’s always a gamble, and if you don’t know what you are doing you can buy a pile of trouble.


On the option of old Toyota vs new car/debt. If you go this route make sure you take that old Toyota to trusted/recommended mechanic for a checkover(approx $100-$150).

The old car route/repairing or fixing your own car is the smarter route vs a new car/payments.


I agree, and I wasn’t necessarily recommending a used engine. I was merely pointing out some options. If I were to install a junk yard engine in a car, it would only be to get it running so I could sell it. It’s pretty hard to sell a car that doesn’t run.

If this were my car I’d look around for a rebuilt engine, and I’d start by getting away from the Subaru dealer.