Sell my Subaru!

The saga of my Subaru continues. I have a '97 Subaru Outback Legacy that I have officially given up on. I replaced the battery 2 months ago and once it had that, it was starting fine even in the -20 weather we’ve been having. It has an oil leak, a bad head gasket, and has terrible acceleration (I’m that driver merging onto a freeway at 35mph and flooring it because it won’t pick up fast enough). It was only a matter of time before the Subie kicked it. About a week ago it wouldn’t start (it was a cold morning, but not the coldest we’ve had that the Subie started in). The lights and radio etc all come on, which I take to mean that new battery is doing it’s job, but the engine won’t turn over. It makes this chugging noise, that sounds like it’s about to start, then with each try after it sounds more and more faded.

I don’t want to put any more money into this car. How can I sell my Subie and eek as much cash from it ask I can? Or is it total goner and I should just donate it? The water pump, radiator, and timing belt were replaced about a year and a half ago. The body has some rust around the wheels that is common with this model, and the right head light cover is cracked but still works. It isn’t terrible for a 17 year Subaru with 169345 miles.


Put up a for sale listing on Craigslist. Put a charger on the battery and hope it starts when someone comes to check it out.

I essentially agree with the idea that you rid yourself of it but you hide nothing from the buyer in a private sale. Short of finding someone who works on then, it is a near give away or project car. I just sounds like you you’ll have to put more money into then it’s worth or be lucky to find a similar owner/mechanic who can use it for parts.

Here’s an option if you don’t mind doing some extra work, and in return getting more money.

When I lived in Colorado and space to put a car out of the way was plentiful, if a teenager had a car that was deemed not repairable they’d post an ad in the newspaper titled something like “Parting Out 97 Subie Outback”. Folks – often it would be someone from a local shop – would then phone & make an appointment to come get the various parts they wanted. When you add up the parts cost of a modern day car, even if you discounted each part by 75% compared to the price for a new aftermarket version at a retail auto parts store, you’d make pretty good money selling it part by part. The radio, the seats, the sensors, the actuators, the doors, the panels, the manifolds, the head, the block, the wiring harness and connectors all have value. It’s just a matter of connecting you to the person who want that part.

& sometimes someone would want the whole car, like if they had a working version, and just wanted a junker to park behind the barn and scavenge parts from. Or they had a none working version themselves, and thought between the two they could make one working version.

I don’t know if parting out ads are done much anymore though. I don’t recall seeing any recently, but they probably wouldn’t be posted in the newspaper any more. Forum regulars, do people part out their own cars these days?

Charge the battery, take it to the north side, and leave the keys in it. Just kidding. I agree maybe Craigslist but cars with head gasket, rust, high mileage, and mystery problems are not worth much and you really need to disclose the problems.

Just take your hit and move on. When I developed unsolvable problems with my Riviera with 500K miles on it, one of the car rental sales offices was offering $500 in trade for any car brought in on its own power. I didn’t buy one there but a dealer gave me the same deal. At that point I would have paid them $500 to take it off my hands.

Some states with emissions testing will buy older cars just to get them off the road, as newer cars pollute the air less. Calif pays $1000 I think for cars 20 years or older. But each state is different. OP might look into that option.

I appreciate your concern, and the few cars I have sold on the open market had no problems. I was always concerned about liability issues for selling a car with issues even though as is. When I trade them in they have issues, and it is the dealer responsibility after that. If you list the issues somebody will buy it on craigs list, if you can take the tax deduction that may be your best bet. Otherwise trade it in.

I am a novice, maybe 6 different cars in the last 30 years.

I’d just take it to an auto recycling yard and take what money they offer you for it