2003 Subaru Legacy Subaru Legacy 2003

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2003 Subaru Legacy repairs by problem area

Engine (33%)

Transmission and Drivetrain (18%)

Brakes and Traction Control (5%)

Suspension and Steering (14%)

Electrical and Air Conditioning (17%)

Paint, Rust, Leaks, Rattles, and Trim (12%)

Other (0%)

Chart based on 93 repairs.
See TSBs and recalls for the 2003 Subaru Legacy.

2003 Subaru Legacy repair cost distribution

$2500+ (4%)

$1000 - $2499 (10%)

$500 - $999 (13%)

$100 - $499 (46%)

< $100 (28%)

Worried about potential repair costs? An extended warranty can provide peace of mind.

Chart based on 72 repair trips. The repair cost chart excludes repairs made under warranty, do-it-yourself repairs, and repair trips that include maintenance.

2003 Subaru Legacy 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Legacy in Quebec, Canada
Jul 2013 - Oct 2015
Jul 2014

146320 mi

C $140
Front passenger wheel bearing was noisy when turning. 
Aug 2014

147720 mi

C $150
Pipe came off flange. It broke at the weld. Had to hold the pipe with a strap bescause it was touching the road. 
Oct 2014

148800 mi

C $150
Pipe of muffler broke at another welded flange. Not the same as july. Again had to hold the muffler with a strap... 
Subaru Legacy in Alabama, United States
Apr 2018 - May 2018
May 2018

235000 mi

US $228
This visit to the shop was for diagnostic purposes. The transmission needs to be replaced but I can still drive it. 
Subaru Legacy in Massachusetts, United States
Feb 2013 - Mar 2016
Jul 2014

161500 mi

US $1000
A/C service and recharge 
Sep 2014

164000 mi
Not clear. Failed state emissions test, mechanic could find nothing wrong or recorded in computer. Check engine light is off, so I will try the inspection again. 
Oct 2015

174000 mi

US $220
Passenger side ball joint replaced 
Subaru Legacy in New Hampshire, United States
Dec 2010 - Feb 2017
Jun 2011

149000 mi
AC compressor seized at 60 mph. Stalled engine. Restarted, terrible burning smell and noise. Popped hood, found siezed AC compressor. Shut off all HVAC and belt could spin again. Disconnected wire to compressor for now. 
Sep 2011

154000 mi

US $110
Front oxygen sensor failed.  Found rust hole inside left rear fender, cut out rust, did my own amateur-night welded patch panel and poor respray. 
Oct 2011

156000 mi
157k miles of hard use resulted in worn suspension bushings. Replaced all bushings on car, a ball joint and spindle, replaced springs with heavy duty aftermarket units(King Springs) that raise car about 2". fixed some rust fixed a water leak 
Jan 2012

204500 mi

US $180
Center viscous differential was showing signs of failure for a while (clunking), then failed completely, leaving front drive only. Replaced with used viscous unit purchased from a friend. Shifter linkage bushings worn and mount broken 
Sep 2012

167000 mi

US $800
Replace clutch, machine flywheel, replace transmission mounts, replace engine mounts. Replace rusted out oil pan, replace bad valve cover gaskets, replace timing belt and pulleys, replace water pump. Dealer changed timing belt at 100k miles, but didn't replace pulleys, bearings were shot in two of them. W/pump semi preventive 
Jan 2013

172000 mi

US $350
Head gasket failed, causing a 1 quart per 100 mile oil leak. Removed engine myself, had heads machined, installed new multi-layer steel head gaskets. 
Mar 2013

175000 mi
Rear windshield wiper got caught on chunk of ice and stripped out the motor's gears. Makes really annoying clicking noise, but won't move wiper 
Sep 2013

183000 mi
Finally replaced busted rear wiper motor with junkyard unit. 
Nov 2013

185000 mi
Bottom of left front fender rusted through. Made my own patch panel. Left rear wheel arch and rocker panel also needed patches. 
Jan 2014

187000 mi

US $500
Caliper seized, taking pads and rotors with it. Aftermarket CV joint sloppy and noisy RF wheel bearing noisy, steering felt a little sloppy 
May 2014

192000 mi

US $275
Driveshaft front U-joint seized. Had shaft rebuilt at area driveline shop. 
Nov 2014

198000 mi

US $100
Repaired rust in both rear quarter panels poorly with welded sheet metal, Bondo, and spray paint. Left rear wheel bearing (original 198k mile unit) noisy. Replaced, but let rear axle fused to splines and also needed replacement. 
Dec 2014

199000 mi
Battery not getting charge from alternator. Replaced battery cables, checked resistance on alternator cable. All good. Added "custom" ground straps to alternator and ground points with welding cable. 
May 2015

205400 mi

US $150
Rear brake caliper seized. Replaced rear pads and calipers 
Oct 2015

209700 mi

US $222
Left rear strut sheared off at mount. Replaced rear struts. 
Nov 2016

219300 mi
Car is worn out completely. Drivetrain has multiple faults, as does suspension, and body shell is rotted. Car is going for its final voyage on the 24 Hours of Lemons Rally in February. 
Feb 2017

220000 mi
Drivetrain has multiple faults. Suspension problems. Body shell is rotted. 
Subaru Legacy in Quebec, Canada
Nov 2009 - Sep 2011
Jun 2009

86800 mi

C $800
A/C compressor 
Mar 2010

96720 mi

C $1325
water infiltration in rear hatch door, front wheel bearing  
Oct 2010

101680 mi

C $560
Check engine light. Error code indicated seized "valve for fuel fumes"?? Part was replaced ($300 with tax and labour) 
Sep 2011

111600 mi
When sold needed a new rear wiper motor,  a new cat converter,  a paint job and fixing rust spots. 

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2003 Subaru Legacy 4dr Wagon

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Legacy in Virginia, United States
Jan 2003 - Dec 2010
Nov 2003

1500 mi
AC condenser drain stopped up and water came into car 
Sep 2010

82000 mi

US $110
Headlights where oxidized and foggy reducing clarity. Replaced both headlight assemblies. 
Subaru Legacy in Alberta, Canada
Jan 2009 - Apr 2014
Oct 2009

36580 mi

C $800
left side head gasket issue, Subaru Canada assisted with covering parts and half labour. leaking coolant under the car  
Dec 2009

37200 mi

C $95
Vaccuum sensor needs replacement 
Dec 2011

44640 mi

C $700
Power steering pump failed! 
Aug 2013

52160 mi

C $400
CV Joint work. Electrical also, instrument cluster half of the light bulbs did not lit. 
Subaru Legacy in Ontario, Canada
Nov 2014 - Jun 2015
May 2015

138260 mi

C $200
Diagnosing no cool air. 
Subaru Legacy in British Columbia, Canada
Feb 2009 - Jun 2016
Mar 2012

83700 mi

C $3000
head gaskets; timing belt 
Nov 2012

89360 mi

C $4000
engine heads needed to be replaced. as a result a engine rebuild was necessary including timing belt etc 
May 2016

109120 mi

C $280
Replace crankshaft pulley and belts 
Subaru Legacy in New York, United States
Feb 2012 - Aug 2015
Mar 2012

141000 mi

US $135
Blown head gasket leaking oil and coolant. My mechanic put in a can of BG cooling system sealer, and I keep an eye on the coolant. The engine now has a noise besides the piston slap that sounds like a bearing knock. 
Apr 2012

141300 mi
Accelerator pedal sticking open, engine holding 3500 rpm. Tried WD-40 on cable at both ends, didn't work. Packed high temp grease on engine end of accelerator cable and throttle return springs, fixed problem. 
Aug 2015

156000 mi
Replaced rear muffler. Engine never fully repaired after head gasket blew. 
Subaru Legacy in Florida, United States
Jul 2012 - Sep 2016
Aug 2012

119200 mi

US $950
timing belt,brakes,plugs,wires,valve cover and spark plug gaskets. 
Jun 2013

121000 mi

US $1400
I had the rear head gasket replaced also new front rotors and brakes I had my oil pump repaired and rebuilt. And I also had aa systems check the car. 
Jul 2016

158300 mi

US $250
Compressor bearing faulty. Replaced compressor 
Subaru Legacy in West Virginia, United States
Jan 2009 - Feb 2013
Jun 2009

78000 mi

US $360
Dash bulbs (took tech 1 hour to replace) upstream O2 sensor. 
May 2010

90300 mi

US $120
Inside right front CV boot split open. Problem caught before any damage was done to the CV joint. CV boot replaced. Damage to boot most likely caused by off-road use of vehicle (rough terrain and brush). 
Sep 2010

96000 mi

US $1500
Head gasket was leaking oil around the front of the engine. Had to have head gasket replaced. Also water pump replaced, and themostat replaced. 
Apr 2012

128500 mi

US $300
Outside front right CV joint was failing. Axle had to be replaced. Dealership provided a free loaner car. 
Sep 2012

137000 mi
Outside right CV joint failed 

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2003 Subaru Legacy 4dr Sedan

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 5-speed manual AWD

Subaru Legacy in Virginia, United States
- Oct 2004
Sep 2004

1000 mi
Warranty service. I complained that the engine was not running smoothly when the car was driven at neighborhood speeds. The service manager said that the car's operation was normal. 
Oct 2004

2000 mi
I tried several times over the next two years to figure out a way to make the engine run more smoothly. I helped a little but the engine still ran uncomfortably. 
Subaru Legacy in Wisconsin, United States
Dec 2009 - Jun 2013
Jun 2009

128000 mi

US $400
cv boot needed to be replaced 
Jan 2010

134000 mi

US $1300
Head gasket 
May 2010

142000 mi

US $189
AC did not work 
Subaru Legacy in Ontario, Canada
Nov 2009 - Jul 2010
Dec 2009

119660 mi

C $300
Knocking sound in engine and transmission seal oil leak Transmission shifter fork seal leaking 
Jul 2010

127100 mi
viscous center differential needed replacing when sold. 
Subaru Legacy in New York, United States
May 2010 - Jun 2011
Jun 2010

95000 mi

US $300
Replaced water pump for third time in 2 years drain for sunroof reattached 

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2003 Subaru Legacy 4dr Sedan

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed shiftable automatic AWD

Subaru Legacy in Maryland, United States
Apr 2009 - Dec 2014
Nov 2009

81000 mi

US $263
caliper on the left front brake system stopped functioning properly resulting in brakes failing to release. Discovered the problem through strong steering wheel vibration on the speed of 50 miles per hour. Also felt strong heat from the front wheel. During one of the trips the calipers on the front left brakes failed to work properly. Due to this problem the brakes did not release and resulted in bumping on the steering wheel as well as made the left front rim extremely hot. The failed part was repl 
Apr 2010

84000 mi

US $230
The air conditioner stopped working. When I took the car to mechanic it was determined that one of the hoses leaked the refrigerant liquid. The part was replaced and new liquid was put in the system. 
Nov 2010

88800 mi

US $230
Check Engine light came up. I took the car to a shop to check it out. The oxygen sensor had to be replaced to fix check engine light. 
Jun 2011

93000 mi

US $630
replaced catalytic converter and part of exhaust pipe. 
Dec 2011

99000 mi
Subaru original battery prematurely died with only about 25 months of use. Battery was under warranty. Dealer replaced without charge. 
Mar 2014

121000 mi

US $50
Had to replace power steering hoses due to air getting into the system and thus creating problems when extensive steering was required. 
Sep 2014

127000 mi

US $400
Alternator failed completely and needed to be replaced. 
Dec 2014

127000 mi
The car developed coolant leak, had to add few ounces every week. Given that the leak was not apparent, assumed that it was notorious head gasket problem. 

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2003 Subaru Legacy 4dr Sedan

165-horsepower 2.5L H4 4-speed automatic AWD

Subaru Legacy in Pennsylvania, United States
May 2008 - May 2017
Jun 2008

110000 mi

US $2500
Soon after I bought this car.... Off a kid who beat on it for about 20,000 the trans completely went and I had to have it rebuilt. Other than that tons of little things have gone wrong and I've probably spent another 2500 in repairs. 
Subaru Legacy in Maryland, United States
Sep 2014 - Feb 2017
Dec 2014

114000 mi

US $160
Strut tower collapsed due to rust. 
Jun 2015

123000 mi

US $500
Front Stabilizer links replaced along with ball joints. Severe knocking on bumps and it turns was fixed by this. 
Dec 2015

124000 mi
Replaced rear wheel bearings. Approximately $150 in parts, labor was performed by myself. Shop hours would be around 3-4. Parking brake was dragging and giving many issues. It was temporarily removed to make drivable. Replacement proved difficult and FREQUENT on the Gen 2 Subaru Legacy/Outback Platform. It is still problematic due to rust issues. 
Subaru Legacy in Ohio, United States
May 2009 - Nov 2009
Nov 2009

115000 mi

US $300
POS subaru head gaskets. common issue. subaru fix is Subaru branded coolant stop leak. never ever a subaru again. Have 1991 BMW no head gasket issues with 325k miles. Many other cars with more miles and had no head gaskets issues. 
Subaru Legacy in Tennessee, United States
- Oct 2006
Oct 2006

49600 mi
Sunroof and power lock system died. Subaru at first did not want to pay for the repairs. After I threatened a law suit, the dealership put in a new sunroof motor and seals along with replacing the power door modulator. Their cost >$3400. 

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2003 Subaru Legacy Repair Histories

See our lemon odds and nada odds page to see vehicles with no repairs or vehicles with more than three repairs. To see how frequently 2003 Subaru Legacy problems occur, check out our car reliability stats.

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