Is it worth it to fix my 99' Subaru Legacy?


Asked by Aug 17, 2017 at 06:48 PM about the 1999 Subaru Legacy 4 Dr 30th Anniversary AWD Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I own a 99' Subaru Legacy with 100k miles, two weeks ago I  replaced the
Rack and Pinion, All belts, cv boot and Axle, battery, front rotors and brakes,
oil, and even the radiator cap lol. The total at the dealer was over 2k.

A week later my Head Gasket blew, the dealer says the cost is $2600 with a
year warranty. One shop quoted me $1800 without the warranty and the guy
sounded super sketchy.

I guess my question is, Should I fix it? nothing else is wrong with the car, my
budget is $3500 should I just buy another car or fix it considering I JUST got all
that work done to it.


15 Answers


Tough call. If you fix the head gasket you might have a car that will last many more years to come, purchasing a newer one, you will possibly be starting all over. The question is, do you like driving the car? If it's in decent enough shape, and the answer is yes, fix it.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I tend to lean towards not fixing it. The vehicle is 18 years old and book value is surely less than what you have to put into it. I also think on something this old you're seeing the tip of the iceberg. Every vehicle reaches the point when it's one thing after the other. You're throwing good money after bad. I say cut your losses now and move on. Use the money towards something new(er). I think you'll be better off. HTH. -Jim


Shop around. Even $1,800 is probably high. Try to find Subaru specialist in your area.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

You neglected to state if you have the fragile 2.5 DOHC or a very late '99 w/ the sturdier 2.5i SOHC. Regardless, you're getting raped at the dealer. If your only option for an expert wrench is with SOA then I'd dump the car. Even if you find an angel who will reseal your carefully-checked heads for $1600 this chariot's getting too old (and outdated) to resurrect. Here in the northeast we've thrown away all subsequent era (2000-2004) OBs, and carefully considering repair costs on rusting 2005-2009 bods....

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I think dohc according to this: -99.html


Yes it's a 2.5 dohc

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks for the input you guys, I've been calling around all day.. I got quotes ranging from $2500- $3500 for this, still don't know what to do! I'm on a tight budget if I buy another car it might end up buying another headache!


There's a ton of info on this site (a lot provided by Boston) about the cons of the dohc phase 1 2.5 ej? Engine. If you did enough work on your subie and If later GTs came with the sohc (I'm a forester guy), you might consider buying one (preferred same color) and keeping this as backup or strip all the good stuff off and sell the rest. Really a tough spot and sorry for your luck here.


DO NOT REBUILD THE OLD DOHC!! You'll probably throw a rod within a year and then be REALLY up shit's creek. Time for parting gestures....


Good idea, Walt, but '99 was the last year of the 95-99 body, so no SOHC-engine subsequent body parts are interchangeable. 1confused is feeling the rock and the hard place.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.



yep, time to move on :( thanks fellas

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

You're welcome. Glad to help. -Jim


I'd think you can get some of that money back though if you sell it privately, disclosing the issue and with all your receipts. I've not looked at the outback crash videos but I'm impressed with the 03- 08 forester iihs test. I wouldn't scrap it, that's for sure.


The old Legs and OBs were extremely solid in all crashes at a variety of angles. I remember back in the 90s looking for crash parts in salvage yards and was surpised that even after severe frontal collisions the windshields were barely affected, and all the doors still articulated normally. The smaller Imp/For platform followed with almost as impressive rigidity. It's interesting to see how progressive-crumbling has evolved so that it's an even easier to sacrificially "total" one whilst protecting the occupants...assuming they're belted, of course. Most interesting is to look under the hood of a 2015+ Leg/OB and see NO inner side skirt! A hit with a bicyclist will take out that headlamp structure!

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