Is it worth is to buy a 2004 Subaru Outback?


Asked by Jun 07, 2018 at 07:21 PM about the 2004 Subaru Outback

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I’ve don’t know anything about cars and I’m a
single mom on a budget so it’s super important that
it’s dependable. Priced it $6,969, has nearly 78k
miles...just wondering what I should be asking
about or possible repairs...? I’ve never bought a car
on my own before and would appreciate any

Thank you!

9 Answers


Have a mechanic check it out. Leaking head gaskets are the number one issue on these cars. If you decide to buy it offer less as that price is high for a 15 year old car. If the car is in good shape it could easily go to 200,000 miles IF you take care of it.

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Thank you for your advice :)

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NO.... I wouldn't advise purchasing a 15 plus years old car at this price.....time is way more important than mileage now...the only reason it's priced this high is the perception of the value of low mileage.... Getting this car to 200,000 miles is a very risky my opinion.. Sorry.

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ANY 14-15 year old vehicle is a crap shoot. In addition to risk of bad HGs and dirty transmission, the 200-2004 era Subaru bodies suffer from terminal unibody corrosion in the rear quarter panels. So it's extremely important to check the HGs, transmission function, as well poke around the rear quarters for corrosion. Axles, wheel bearings, brakes, tires, exhaust are all areas to spend another $200-500 PER ISSUE. So if this was a weekend-use car that saw limited winter exposure and checks out it may be a fair deal at $5-6k. But if a daily city runner that's rotting apart or needing a major component it has ZERO market value. The odds are AGAINST you here, as old Subies are best sussed out by experienced mechanics and prior owners with deep knowledge...NOT "normal" people. Be ULTRA careful....

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Mileage is not a factor on these cars as much as age, I just bought a 2004 Friday for my Son, 200K plus for 3K, that was a good price for the condition of the car, and honestly I'd prefer to see some miles on a car that old to know it was driven and maintained for driving. If you do get an old Subaru, know that gasket leaks are common, and it is a weekly tasks to check the oil and top off as needed when you get gas. Do that and they will run forever, we traded a 2001 in on this 2004, and short of some steering issues, the 2001 was still running strong.

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Rust issues are geographical. Western cars will probably be rust free.


Thank you all so much for taking the time to answer my question! I’m not going to buy it, and I feel confidrht about it thanks to your advice :)




No rust in Southern California... unless it's a beach car....

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