hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,500 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

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1998 Subaru Legacy Owner Comments

problem #4

May 232008


  • 120,000 miles


It seems after 5 minutes of investigation that there is thousands of 1997 to 2002 Subaru owners who are have the problem with over heating and head gasket replacement. Subaru refuses to acknowledge an issue or design flaw and is making the customer bare the cost of repairing a faulty head gasket problem. Even replacing the head gasket does not insure that the problem will be dealt with and no further trouble will be had.

- Traverse City, MI, USA

problem #3

Jul 232007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles
1 X overheated on a hot day, heading up a hill. Noticed high temp and turned on heater, waited for car to cool, added H2O. 2 months later, driving on a hot day with ac on, sudden clicking, check engine light, lost power, smoke, stopped. Towed to garage that specializes in Subaru and they found hole in head gasket. Repairs to cost $3K and this is something they see 2X a week with Subaru vehicles. Found a web site where dozens of people complain of the same issue over the years. Subaru apparently has a recall on 1999-2002 vehicles, but not others with the same issue. Subaru should be paying for the parts on this widespread and known issue!

- Menlo Park, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 132004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer noticed that the temperature gauge was registering hot on the dashboard while driving. Consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle, and drove it to the dealer. Mechanic determined that the head gasket blew out and needed replacement.......it was necessary to tear down the engine and replace all the gaskets/hoses/radiator/water pump/thermostat, as well as the coolant and oil. From January 2004 to September 2004, Subaru replaced 13 head gaskets on outbacks, and vintages from 1996-1998, and a mileage from 60,000 miles-90,000 miles. This represented a serious manufacting defect, it should be addressed by the manufacturer with a recall notice.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #1

Feb 022004


  • 105,000 miles
Vehicle was leaking ant freeze, which was splashing all over the engine compartment. This resulted in the temperature gauge reading hot. This occurred because the head gasket blew out, and was replaced.

- Grand Junction, MI, USA

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