HI, My beloved 2001 Subaru Outback needs a new engine. We’re really poor and my partner’s truck just got totaled by someone running a stop sign. I have two children (ages 6 and 10) and I guess could be classified as a soccer mom. I commute by train, so I use the car for going to rehearsals or to cart my kids around. I also have to drive 550 miles to see family a few times a year. I’d prefer a small, “green” car, but need room for kids and their friends. What should I buy??? Or should I just try to find a new engine for my Outback? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated by this stressed out mom. Thanks!
You didn’t say what they want for a ‘new’ motor, or how good a shape the car is in otherwise. These things make a difference in a good decision. Also, some experts here might have ideas on using a rebuilt motor, or even a guaranteed used one, if available. Did you take it to a Subaru dealer, which is probably the most expensive choice. Look around and see if a good independent mechanic with a lot of experience on Subaru’s is in your area.
Also, please do not get caught up in the ‘green’ movement. You need a good, safe car for your kids, not a car to suit some guy with a private airplane who wants you to clean up the planet so he doesn’t have to. Get what is best for your kids.
Usually a replacement engine will be the cheapest way out.
I might ask why you believe it needs a new engine? Maybe we should make sure that it really needs that new engine first.
The statement poor leads you to either replacing your Subaru engine (not dealer) if rest of car is okay. Or buying an inexpensive vehicle.
The problem is for the cost of engine you cannot buy a car much newer than your Subaru with a truly unknown history.
Did yours overheat or blow head gasket and was run a while?
I’d suggest a rebuilt engine rather than a new one. That would be less expensive, most likely, than any other alternative. I would have an independent mechanic do the work rather than a Subaru dealer. You want an independent who is familiar with Subaru vehicles and their idiosyncrasies, and you want a rebuilt engine that comes with some sort of warranty.
Then follow the factory maintenance schedule so you don’t need another engine in the future.
Fix the engine or find a green minivan and call it a draw.
I’d be interested in hearing exactly why you think it needs a new engine. I’d also like to know the overall condition of the rest of the vehicle. When you’re poor, you need to keep the ol’ buggy rollin’, and if we know more perhaps we could offer suggestions to do so.
The replies you have gotten should cover it for you.
But, the extra requirement that you find a vehicle that can do 550 mile trips a few times a year is one you can deal with by renting a car for that purpose. Look in web sites like Hotwire. In the long run it may be far cheaper to rent a car that is fairly new and reliable.