Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine: Gasoline Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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 engine problems

engine problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 1998 Subaru Legacy:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

1998 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #8

Feb 012002


  • miles


While driving a tapping noise is coming from engine. Contacted dealer, and dealer cannot find cause of problem.

- Harwinton, CT, USA

problem #7

Aug 202001

(reported on)

Legacy 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine was died.

- South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

problem #6

Jun 262000

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
The fr0nt main seal failed repaetedly (3 times) resulting in leakage. Nlm

- Brookline, MA, USA

problem #5

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 #4

Nov 292000


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Engine piston noise continual, consumer has taken vehicle in to dealership on several occassions, dealership and manfacturer state that the engine noise is due to the new efficient design of the engine.

- Ulster Par, NY, USA

problem #3

Aug 072000

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
The obd system indicates check engine. The engine looses power and the cars acceleration becomes very weak. The car is turned off and restarted and the engine will either continue to malfunction or will run normally. The dealer replaced the idle speed control ($600) but the problem continues to occur. Now Subaru says that they cannot find any malfunction. When the engine malfunctions without warning it is dangerous to drive the car when accelerating onto a highway or in heavy traffic. I cannot trust this car to get me safely to my destination.

- Chappaqua, NY, USA

problem #2

Jul 251999

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
The car developed a leak at the oil filter (lee maxi filter) where it meets the engine. The leak started small and grew steadily larger (10 extra quarts of oil were needed to go the last 50 miles). This occurred toward the end of my trip, after traveling about 140 miles. I know that there had been a recall previously on the Subaru brand filter (1998) for this very same problem at the end of last year, but I had this problem with a lee brand filter, which I had but on 2100 miles earlier. Up until this time, no loss of oil had occurred with this filter or with previous oil changes (I had just checked the oil level a few days earlier). I believe that there may be a larger problem here, other than the Subaru brand filter from the recall. You should also know that there is an auto question and answer area in the Friday July 23 issue of the newspaper "newsday" (long island, NY the very first question is from an owner of a 1998 Subaru Legacy who had an oil leak attributed to the filter, and had to have his car towed to the dealer. He mentioned that the dealer required him to pay for the towing and repair, as the oil filter that failed was not a Subaru oil filter. Since this is another incident involving a non Subaru filter failure. This may indicate that other brand filters are experiencing the same problem, and that there may be a problem with the car itself, and not the filter. The car is currently parked, waiting for me to get off of work to put on a new filter (fram brand). I did notice that the rubber gasket on the fram filter is much taller than the lee brand filter gasket. I don't know if this has any relationship to the problem. Can you advise me if you have received any additional complaints of this type from people who either experienced this problem with a Subaru filter not covered by the recall or with a lee maxi filter or other non Subaru filter. Thank you for your help. (I will provide you with VIN number in the near future)

- Huntington Station, NY, USA

problem #1

Jul 161998

Legacy 4WD

  • miles
Sunroof drainlines were repaired twice, due to leakage, dealer believes that the windshield installer caused them to be disconnected. Cv joint leaking due to freeze plug in the cv joints, replace but leaks worse. Installed a battery hold down, top defroster line repaired twice, smell of burning oil.

- Dover, DE, USA

Not what you are looking for?