What a first car

Just about to buy a Subaru SVX for my first car. '92, 140k miles, new tranny and rotors, new power steering rack and pump. Sure, it’s bad mileage…but it’s fast! I’m so happy. I know I’m an idiot for buying this as my first car, but it’s got AWD and at 2.5k it’s a steal. There’s a little power steering leak between the rack and column, and I’m trying to figure out how much that would cost me to get it fixed when I want to. So, what do you guys thing? Less than $100? Less than $500?

18yr old SVX owner

Unless it is in really really good near-showroom condition, $2,500 is not a steal for this car. It’s 15 years old and a model very prone to engine and drivetrain problems. I think the rack, if you pay somone else to do it will probably be closer to $1000.

A 140k miles on a '92 is not bad at all, unless 130 of them were put on there at WOT.

No idea on the leak repair cost. If the rack has been replaced (and is not leaking) then I would think the most likely cause of a steering fluid leak would be either the pressure hose or return hose that connects to the rack.

There’s a possibility someone may have changed the rack and left the old seals on the original hoses, not tightened one properly, or incorrectly installed one.

Depending on the source of the leak, I don’t think the repair should be that major. Knock on wood.

There are two things you should do as soon as possible.

  1. Purchase a service manual for this car. I don’t know if Haynes makes one. You may have to pay the extra money for a Subaru factory manual, but you need a service manual of some sort. Try Books4Cars.com, they have lots of good deals on used manuals.

  2. If possible find an independent mechanic in your area who specializes is Subarus. The SVX is a bit more complex than other models of the period, and they are somewhat rare, so it will save you LOTS of money if the mechanic to whom you take the car knows something about it.

The SVW was WAY ahead of its time. Have fun with your new car.

Take the car to someone versed in Subaru for a price. $2500 is a great price however make sure the fix won’t bankrupt you.

The car is an absolute blast, comfy and way ahead of it time.

I owned a 92 that managed to avoid the transmission problems common with the model year. After 92 they installed a speed limiter (136 mph?) to avoid the stress on the transmission - it seems the engine was putting out more than the tranny could handle. I traded that for a 97, which I still have. The car is really sweet cruising the highway. But you have to be prepared to invest in upkeep, and it sounds like your candidate may need a good bit. My 92 also leaked steering fluids, but the 97, at 122k, doesn’t drip anything anywhere. For comparison on the cost, check the cars for sale on eBay.