White.Beard.DocParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 937Joined: 02/06/2016
As a well compensated professional, the lowest possible hassle factor is worth so much to me. I seek out low maintenance choices, giving me more free time. For many years I drove the highest rated and most reliable Japanese models. These days, most newer cars are very reliable, but Honda remains my all time favorite. In your shoes, I would buy something modest and brand new, then drive it for many years. Maybe a Honda Pilot?
Now later career with too much in the retirement and other accounts, I switched to Tesla. I like the fact that there is no maintenance schedule needed as that saves time, and I like that I charge every night in my garage. Charging at home saves the minor inconvenience of stopping at gas stations. I feel it might be reasonable to take a Tesla for a check up once every couple of years or so, but if it just needs topping off of the windshield washer fluid, I can easily add that at home once a year before the winter season.themightyquinnParticipantStatus: StudentPosts: 1Joined: 01/18/2019
Car mechanic and med student here. As others have pointed out Subarus, especially of your vintage, are notorious for this issue. Personally I’m not a fan of any of the Subarus and have a hard time understanding the loyalty considering their poor reliability.
However, if you’re happy with the car and it suits you, you might as well keep it, and with only 73k on the clock it makes sense to repair it and sell it or keep driving (a Dodge of any shape or form would definitely be a step down)
That being said, you should take it somewhere else to do it. I’m assuming that quote is from the dealer? Wherever it’s from is way too high. I’d expect to pay around half that for the job at an independent Subaru specialist, and they’ll use a headgasket that will permanently fix the problem not just kick the can down the road another 100k. Timing belt is essentially the same job and doesn’t add any expense beyond the parts themselves which are fairly cheap. I’d also be somewhat surprised if it truly needed a head gasket. It’s possible, but at 73k I’d guess it’s probably just weeping oil a bit at the head — an annoyance but not particularly troubling, and one that could take another 50-100k more miles to develop into anything substantial.redsandParticipantStatus: PhysicianPosts: 75Joined: 01/08/2017
A little under three years ago, I had my 2002 Honda Civic evaluated at the dealer (because one winter day it had no coolant–was completely dry) and the service advisor said I needed a new head gasket, and that it would be about $3000 to fix that and replace the water pump or whatever else they wanted to do. Then I posted on this forum about it. I then took it to an independent mechanic who said there was no evidence of head gasket problem. And, I am still driving it with just under 130,000 miles on it. Though at this point, the outside is getting a bit older looking and I’m ready to look at buying another car that has more than just steering wheel and passenger airbags (considering CPO used cars and possibly a new car…kind of waiting to see if Honda will bring its CR-V hybrid to the US for 2020).
Point being–definitely have an independent mechanic look at it.