Sell or repair subaru outback 03

subaru
outback

#1

My Subaru Outback 03 has 164,000 miles on it. I love, love the car, can’t imagine giving it up, but…it now has lots of hesitation when starting out slowly, sometimes, or trying to get up a hill…I think it may be the fuel pump. I JUST put in a new fuel filter, had the fuel injectors cleaned out and the throttle plate cleaned…to no avail, it is getting worse. I also need a new cat convertor, and recently an oil leak showed up, which I think may be the other head gasket I did not replace. I did replace one at 105,000 miles.

I had just recently put in new axles, sway bar, battery, radio, and rear brakes, and new tires about a year ago. What to do? fix, or trade in ??? I usually do long road trips in the summer , and figured I wanted a newer car for this summer, as this one is so old. Could I sell this car privately? Does anyone think I could do this , as I know the trade in will be awful! I still owe 500.00 for the past repairs.

thanks- Shari


#2

That could be something minor. Does it have a “check engine light” that is on? If so, you need to get it scanned or checked. Most parts stores will do it for free. If your catalytic converter is partially plugged, that alone could account for your driveability issues.


#3

If money is a little tight right now and not having new car payments to make each month would be a good thing I would say have the repairs done. If you are sure the CAT is bad and needs to be replaced the repairs might cost you several thousand dollars possibly. Hopefully less than that. There are some tricks that can be done to help revive a faulty CAT. Doing those repairs along with the other things you have already done should keep you away from anymore major repairs for some time.

I took a Subaru taxi home from the airport last week. It was a '08 model Outback. It had 300,000 miles on it and looked and ran like a new car.


#4

Someone should be able to diagnose it. As MG said, a plugged cat can cause these symptoms. You can ask your mechanic to remove the old cat and drive it around the lot. If the hesitation disappears, you know the cat was the problem. Then it’s just a question of buying a new cat, which is cheaper than buying another car.

The oil leak may just be from a leaking valve cover gasket, which is much less costly to replace than a head gasket, so I wouldn’t worry about the oil leak.

If you get the hesitation issue sorted out, you might get another 100k miles out of the car, so don’t abandon ship yet. :wink:


#5

That the Check Engine Light code “P0420” it is very common for the 03 Outback and rarely means the actual catalytic convertors are failing. It could be something as simple as an oxygen sensor. I did not see spark plugs or spark plug wires on your list (use NGK brand). Older cars can find new life after a simple tune-up. It is fairly easy and cheap for any reputable Subaru mechanic to check the fuel pump pressure. In fact, if you Google it, you can find out how you or a shade tree mechanic friend could do it.

New car=payments on time every month. Old car=payments occasionally on your own schedule. Cars are never free.


#6

wow, thanks everyone…So, both head gaskets were replaced at 105,000. The oil leak is not determined yet, it does smell like oil is falling on the manifold, I only smell it when driving, and not horribly yet .My car has a miss/hesitation, jerkiness at lower speeds…low rpms, like when I take my foot off the peddle, and am drifting, maybe 20 miles an hour, then put my foot back on, it jerks a bit, looking for gas, and not getting it. I give it a push or two , then I am okay. It drives fine at higher speeds. No misses. It always starts well, takes off okay, it’s just at this weird time , lower rpms, etc Also , it has been coded several place, only a cat code, no other codes.

I called a Subaru tech, he said the leak could be from some place under the care, between the something and the something??? he said to fix it if it is that, you have to take the engine out to fix it. How easy would it be to check the head gaskets again, and the valve covers??? my one mechanic said sell the car, the other didn’t say, but the Subby guy did say that if the transmission was going to go, it would have happened already.

So, oil leak, cat convertor , hesitation, and possible engine mounts later. what to do???