Replace 2004 Subaru Outback engine or move on?

Asked by May 18, 2016 at 04:36 PM about the 2004 Subaru Outback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I purchased a used 2004 Subaru Outback with carfax, service history, etc. and 145,000 miles on it in July 2015 for $4K. I've since put 20,000 miles on it, and made about $2k in various repairs and maintenance, but I seriously overheated the engine this last month of driving and let it go too long without checking it. I'm now being told the engine needs to be replaced, and I'm being quoted $3k for parts and labor for an engine with 117k miles on it. So that all would add up to 9K spent for a car I've had less than a year. Everything else besides the engine is now in solid condition. Is it worth replacing the engine? I'm having trouble swallowing all these costs, but I can't afford a new car payment either. Advice?

4 Answers


I suggest you DON'T shoot a dead horse... Heres' a typical post "I have owned three Outbacks over the years, and this is my second one to develop a head gasket failure. I had the car in to the dealer today because I am moving across the country in a few weeks and wanted a transmission flush and oil change. I told them to check things out while they were in there, and low and behold, I had a small oil leak on the drivers side head gasket." Common issue for many years of Subaru. "shooting a dead horse"means that you are repeatedly doing or saying something that is pointless because of the .the fact its dead already.


3 grand for an engine with that many miles on it is crazy. I would get another opinion, even E-bay has those engines, check it out.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Put a bullet in it and move on.


The oil is constantly in contact with the head gaskets on these engines. If the oil gets contaminated/dirty and left for long enough, it erodes the gasket material. I didn't know this until recently. As far as sourcing an engine, 3k for a used engine is insane! Check car- - 3k for a NEW engine.. meh, might be a good price? (just checked - yeah, reman units on are 3300 bucks for 2.5). I would be more inclined to fix it and know that you have a good vehicle for years to come, since you've already done other things to it. Verses buying another used vehicle with unknown history and potentially repeat this scene. The heads are prone to warp with this scenario, but idk about the block.. it has to be checked though. If the block is okay, replace/machine the heads and roll on. Read more here and check out the video: explained-part-ii/

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