Q: I want to buy a 1997 Subaru Outback Wagon that appears to have oil/fluid leaks.

asked by on

Upon inspection of the vehicle, there is caked-up oil on the sides and bottom of the oil pan. It was moist to the touch but not wet. Also, there is caked-up fluid on the back end of the rear differential. The engine is clean otherwise and sounds good. I have read about the head gasket problems with these models, and want to avoid buying a car that will shortly breakdown. The car is selling for $500. Is it necessary to repair the rear differential gasket or could I possible just keep checking the fluid level? Is the caked up oil on the pan a sign of imminent head gasket failure.

My car has 274000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. There are three categories for leaks, that I use. Seepage (by all factory standards considered normal) collects dirt, signs of a leak (wetter than seepage) may or may not see it on the ground (monitor level), and a leak (seeing it on the ground) time for repair. The price for the vehicle, may make it hard to pass up. Too put your mind at ease, before the purchase, I recommend having the vehicle, be inspected by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. I want to buy a 1997 Subaru Outback Wagon that appears to have oil/fluid leaks.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Buying a 2007 CTS

A pre-purchase vehicle inspection is a good idea. That inspection, carried out by a certified Mechanic, dispatched to your location, will give you very specific data regarding any current problems that the car has. You have additional opportunities, too, in...

Q: Slip differential slipping

Hello. When this happens it is an indication that the gears in your differential are worn out and need to be replaced. To repair this issue, the differential will need to be rebuilt or replaced. This should be done by...

Q: Question about oil leak filter base

I think what you might be referring to is an oil filter adaptor that is leaking. The oil filter adaptor will bolt on to the engine block and the oil filter will screw on to the adaptor allowing the oil to...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.