Unlike many other reviews that I have read on the 1998 Subaru Forester mine keeps going no matter what I do to it. I have never had a problem with head gaskets or wheel bearings. Yes I have replaced the timing belt at 80k but I do that with every new vehicle I buy. Other things that I have replaced over the life of the car are struts to an adjustable bilstein coil over , rotors and pads to brembo drilled and sloted rotors and pads , cv joints were changed based on the fact the car had 150 k and it was time, clutch to a center force stage two and two sets of tires cause each set wore out after putting over 75 k on each.
I got this car back in October from my cousin who was getting a new car and didnt want to trade his Subie in. GO HIM! lol It is by far the best vehicle I've ever owned. Reliability is amazing, the car has 136k miles on it, and i drove 400 miles to Ohio through the rain soaked mountains of West Virginia with no problems. Enough said. For reference in the rest of this, the Subie I own is a 2.5L 5 speed manual.
I'm a believer of the safety features after hitting a deer with the Forester at 65 mph on the freeway. I also love the way the Forester handles. But there were a few bugs that I wouldn't have expected given that the Legacy chassis had been out a while. First, the wheel bearings went out at 20K on two wheels. Then the oil seals went at 70K and 140K (just like our 95 Legacy). The head gasket went out at 140K When I complained about a manufacturer defect at 70K because of similar problems with our Legacy, Customer Service said it was coincidence and wouldn't negotiate a better rate on repairs, stating the warranty went out at 60K. If you buy a Subie, you better extend the warranty!
I bought this car uses so I cant say what the previous owner put it through. It had only 110,000 miles on it when I purchased it 6 months ago. Had my mechanic do a full inspection on it before I bought it. was able to drive it for 3 months, put a whole 3000 miles on it then the head gasket blew. The car is junk now because the cost to replace the head gasket is outragous. Will never buy a subaru again.
We bought this car used from a Subaru dealership. The day after we bought it the check engine light came on and has stayed on for almost 4 years. We have, in the past 4 years, replaced the clutch, had a major oil leak, replaced the rear wheel bearings twice, and now have a crack in our cylinder head which can not be repaired. The mechanic has recommended a new engine. I realize that the car has a lot of miles, but come on. This car is a lemon if I ever saw one. Subaru has refused to honor warranty issues. We hate them and this car.