My name is Greg M. and I'm a Subaruholic.

I can remember the first time I drove a Subaru, I was a sophomore in college. It was a thrilling and exciting time.

It was then that I first learned of the 4 dimenisional properteries of Subaru's, how they appear larger on the outside than on the inside.

Being a poor college student, I couldn't afford a car, so for a number of years, I had to be content with driving other people's Subarus. They helped me get my fix.

Then, I got my break. In February of 1994, my dad gave me his 1985 Subaru Wagon. Well, it was a nice gift (thanks Dad), but I've got to admit the gift was not completely free. In the first few weeks, I had to get 4 new tires and a new muffler. But, hey, I was happy, I had a car, and it was a Subaru!

However, when I received the car, it was already in the beginning stages of a disease terminal to most Surarus; also known as Subarot. Subarot is the unrelenting creep of rust across body and frame of a Subaru. Once Subarot begins, there is little that can be done but trying to slow its spread.

Over the years though, Thurgood (as I named my first wagon) served me well. At 143K miles the engine still ran great. Thurgood suffered a few minor problems, I had to replace the clutch soon after I got, but is still in great shape after 60K on it; the radiator succumbed to Subarut and needed to be transplanted; someone snapped of my rear wiper; I fixed the rear defrost which didn't work when I got it; and the blower fan for heat mysteriously stopped one winter and needed to be repaired. But for a car of Thurgood's age, I think these types of problems were to be expected. And, they were all cheaply fixable for the most part.

But, alas, in 1997 as my wife and I were buying our first house, Thurgood was pronounced terminal. Subarot got him in the end (and front, and sides).

Finally, having to face the prospect of buying another car, Frebyrd and I went shopping. To our surprise, after stopping at a few places and having no luck, we were pointed to a Subaru lover's Nirvana, Star Motor Car. For those of you in the Capital District of NY, it's on State Street, just west of the Rte. 7 interchange. This is THE place to go if you want a Subaru or need parts. They almost exclusively deal in Subaru's. Within minutes we had narrowed our search down to two, and after a test drive, a little haggling, agreed on a 1986 Subaru Wagon with A/C, 5 speed, full power, with almost ZERO rust. OK, so the mileage is a bit high, but for a Subaru, Subarot will get you LONG before engine problems will. And this car has no signs of Subarot. It was amazing looking at an 11 year old car with so little rust. The reason was basically that the previous owner moved here from Texas. And of course since they don't salt the roads in Texas, Subarot never gets started.

Unfortunately that car turned out not to stand up to wear and tear as well as I expected and within two years I was faced with several hundred dollars in repair bills. So... bit the bullet and go a 1992 wagon with A/C, 5 speed, full power, etc. One previous owner. That car has stood up much better. Again I want to Star Motor Car. While the first car had been a disappointment, the service had not.

And on March 9th 2002 I changed my oil for the first time. With some guidance from friends and a web page I had no problems. I don't know why I didn't do it sooner.

Here's two photos:

Subaru after digging out from a snow storm.

Other Links

Some Notes about Subarot

All cars rust eventually, that's a given.

However, Subaru's, even though one of the more popular brands in the Northeastern US, have a tendency to rust quite a bit. The older the Subaru, the more likely it is to rust out.

Just about anyone who's ever owned or worked with a Subaru will tell you the same thing, the body and frame will rust out long before the engine will go. The person I talked to at Star Motor Car noted he had several perfectly good engines in back, waiting for frames unrusted enough to put them into.

So, what can be done about Subarot? Well, I don't know about these "extra" rust protection plans. My first car had a "Rusty Jones" sticker in the window and had as much rust as any car its age I've seen. So, "Rusty Jones" didn't seem to help a whole lot. In fact it seems I've seen MORE rust on cars with the "Rusty Jones" stickers. :-)

Newer Subarus tend to do a lot better in the rust department. This is not only because they've had less time to develop rust, but also because in my opinion, Subaru is building them better.

So, what can you do about preventing Subarot? Well, while poking around the Web, I did come across one page that talks about Rustproofing.

But I will pass on a nice simple inexpensive tip. Wash the car after any storm where salt has been applied. Since salt is a major factor in the rusting process, getting rid of it as soon as possible gives it less time to start rusting your car. Think of it as a teeth-cleaning for your car.


It should be obvious, I love Subarus, especially wagons. I intend on adding more to this page as I have time and get more feedback.

Please feel free to email me about your experiences. If you don't mind, I might include them on this web page. Let me know.

All material on this page is Copyright © 1995-2002 Greg d. Moore.
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