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fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,000 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Subaru Legacy electrical problems

electrical problem

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1998 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 042003

Legacy 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 78,000 miles


At the beginning of February, 2003, blown engine in a 1998 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT. Dealer stated that the problem was due to cold weather in the northeast, and that there were 4 other Subaru's with blown engines in his lot awaiting repair. I had the engine replaced with a 1999 Subaru at a trusted mechanic's (at a cost of $4000), and today the alternator on this 1999 engine died ( this had been a recall on the '98 Subaru's).

- Ballston Lake, NY, USA

problem #5

Aug 202001

(reported on)

Legacy 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The alternator failed.

- South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #4

Jan 112000

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
Comments from the dealers invoice: 671 miles: Checked for oil leak, found fluid leaking from power steering rack. Removed and reinstalled rack assembly.671 miles: I complained about smell in vents. Advised it was power steering fluid leaking onto exhaust. 944miles: Oil leaking from engine down onto exhaust. Found leak at top of engine on the right side near rear oil galley plug. Disassemble engine complete down to short block. Replace short block and all necessary gaskets and seals. Reassemble engine. 944 miles: I complained about smell in vents. This time told it was burning oil getting into vents before engine repair.6195 miles,03/27/98: Complained about smell in vents. Dash assembly disassembled, cleaned, reassembled. 7173 miles: Complained about smell in vents. Working with zexel rep. On A/C system located leak at evaporator cooling unit. Remove and replace receiver drier and A/C compressor. Reassemble. 8009 miles: I complained that the check engine light stayed on while driving. Told possible that fuel tank cap was not on tight. 10185miles 08/06/98: I complained check engine light still stays on: Found rear 0-2 sensor to have slow response times. Remove and reinstall rear 0-2 sensor. 8485 miles complained of burning smell from under hood. Told inner axle boot leaking. Inner axle cv boot grease in front replaced. 29901miles: Recall campaign wxq74 master cylinder. Perform wxq-74 and install label. 39150 miles: Complained about rattling noise from rear axle. Checked rear differential, heard pinion bearing to be noisy. Replaced rear differential. Warranty expired. 45330 miles: My altenator failed. I was towed 15 miles to the dealership, at a cost of $140 dollars, and paid $294.35 dollars to have it replaced. At the time I was informed that there was an open recall on both 1996 and 1997 altenators but nothing on the 1998's. last week I got a letter from Subaru informing me that some 1998's may require altenator replacements.

- Sonoma, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 242000

Legacy 4WD

  • miles


2nd Subaru to fail, both under 3 yrs old, under 42K mile. No safety defect listed in summary.

- Piscataway, NJ, USA

problem #2

May 262000

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
Alternator failed, causing loss of power in heavy freeway traffic, collision luckily avoided.

- Astoria, OR, USA

problem #1

Feb 212000

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
Alternator died will travelling on highway at night, total loss of electrical power

- Jamaica, NY, USA

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