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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,250 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 Outback exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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1998 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #4

Jul 061998

Outback 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 93,000 miles


Engine overheating started 10 months ago on long trips only. Overheating was common when engine was under heavier than normal loads for long periods of time(climbing hilss, etc.). fluid in radiator was eventually deplented leading to sharp rise in engine temperature. Lately this has been worse as only 30 miles of normal driving will cause the same symptoms. The fault turned out to be a head gasket failure on Subaru R2.5L type 1 engines. The coolant was being forced out of the radiator by the slow leak of exhaust gases in the coolant around the radiator. This vechicle has been serviced since new by only the local Subaru dealer. A search on the internet for Subaru 2.5L engines 1996-1999 (legacy) turned up multiple hits for owners with this same problem. Failure is as low as 40K miles to over 100K for the same problem. This multi-layer gasket for the type 1 engine has be redesigned 6 times, leading one to surmise that the head gaskets are defective. The type2 engine also has this failure but this has been intercepted by Subaru of America by adding a "lubricant" to the coolant, ie: Block sealer. This engine should have been recalled to replace the multiple defects which Subaru will only do on type 2 engines and only if the owner knows to ask for the "secret waranty". given that there is no other choice, I plan to pull the engine myself and fix the problem. The dealer wants over $2K to do the same work.

- El Dorado Hills, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 012002

Outback 4WD

  • miles
Safety issue: Seal failure causes oil to leak onto hot exhaust (fire hazard).

- Danbury, CT, USA

problem #2

Dec 291998

(reported on)


  • miles
Exhaust system leaks fumes into the ventillation system.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #1

Dec 071998


  • miles
The consumer has been experiencing problems with exhaust pumps. Whe vehicle is parked or when vehicle is started up, consumert can smell a sulphur smell. The manufacturer has yet to be contacted.

- New Haven, CT, USA

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