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Good Deal / Bad Deal? Desision imminent.....!


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14 replies to this topic

#1 MnDel

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 09:56 AM

Hello , - we are new to subaru's, but have been interested in buying one for quite some time. We are still learning the pros and cons of the different models, but yesterday we drove a 98 Forester, with 191,000 on it. We might get it for 5 grand or a little less?. It has had the head gasket changed recently, I think some sort of oil seal, heater blower. The body is in perfect condition and it sounds great. However, after reading some of the posts, we are a little hesitant as to what further problems it may have, since it has such high miles. At what point in price valuation is it worth it to gamble on all of the 98's problems?

It looks like the sort of vehicle we are looking for, and I wonder how likely it is to find the more recommended 99 for anything like $5,000? We'll need to decide soon (likely today - Monday!),

Can anyone helP?

thanks! Del

#2 mtsmiths

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 10:07 AM

We might get it for 5 grand or a little less?. It has had the head gasket changed recently, I think some sort of oil seal, heater blower. The body is in perfect condition and it sounds great. However, after reading some of the posts, we are a little hesitant as to what further problems it may have, since it has such high miles.
It looks like the sort of vehicle we are looking for, and I wonder how likely it is to find the more recommended 99 for anything like $5,000? We'll need to decide soon (likely today - Monday!), thanks! Del


Scroll down and read:

2002 OBW with dreaded head issue...sell or keep?

#3 northguy

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 11:12 AM

I'd pass and wait for something more appealing. Just my .02

#4 The Dude

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 11:31 AM

I own a 99 Forester with 172,000 miles. Personally, I would wait for a 99 or later MY as they have the 2.5L SOHC Phase II engine. Also, at high mileage expensive transmission repair or replacement is looming. BTW, its about $4,000 for a Subaru rebuilt AT.

#5 telemachus

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 01:34 PM

$5000 seems like an awful lot of cash for a 98 with 191K. You can definitely find something cheaper with fewer miles, IMHO.

#6 bjwirth

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 04:04 PM

I would probably pass as well. a couple of years ago we got a 2000 forester s w/60k for 10.5g. w/ 80k on the odometer now, i would figure it's gotta be worth around 8g today. I would think a 98 with about 100k would go for 5g's. A 99 might go for $1000 more w/ the same mileage. Last year my friend bought a 99 forester L w/ 65k for $7500.

If $5000 is your price point, and you want a 99, you might have to get one with more miles. a 99 forester w/106k just went for $5400 on ebay a couple of days ago.

good luck!

#7 MnDel

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 05:04 PM

The owners of the Forester are now saying "make an offer".....hmmmm....(I think the high mileage with the $5000 price is scaring many interested buyers away.)

Would any of you care to comment what they would consider a fair price for an '89 Forester with 191,000 miles on it?

The body looks in exc. condition, very clean - mechanically, no obvious present concerns. Sounds good when running.

It's helpful to have other folks input, as we are so new to the valuation of these particular vehicles.

#8 JT95

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 06:24 PM

Shoot them $4,000 and see what they do. If they don't take it...wait and see if they will later. I'd stay away from it otherwise....

#9 northguy

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 10:01 PM

The owners of the Forester are now saying "make an offer".....hmmmm....(I think the high mileage with the $5000 price is scaring many interested buyers away.)

Would any of you care to comment what they would consider a fair price for an '89 Forester with 191,000 miles on it?

The body looks in exc. condition, very clean - mechanically, no obvious present concerns. Sounds good when running.

It's helpful to have other folks input, as we are so new to the valuation of these particular vehicles.


What does Kelly Blue Book have to say?

#10 JT95

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 09:23 AM

Well--how'd it go?


You know, I was thinking...if you're locked into a $5,000 budget, I'd be hesitant to spend that on a car about to roll 200,000 miles, especially if you don't have some $$ on the side to cover a repair that pops up. Sure, it's a Subaru, but parts wear out with mileage regardless of how long the engine is purring.

Do you have your heart dead-set on a Forester? Would you consider a Legacy wagon/Outback that was a bit older but with much lower miles? If I were bound to $5K, I'd look for a 95-96 wagon that has right at 100,000 miles and has been garage kept. Drive it until you can buy the Forester you really want. IMHO, the Forester doesn't have that much more room anyway.

#11 MnDel

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 11:00 AM

Hi foks - all of your input is much appreciated. We haven't heard back from the owners yet...not sure what's going on, but that's okey, as we have needed this time to commiserate with this group. We will need to call them this morning, to see "what's up". But we will likely let it go, anyway.

To answer a few questions that came up -

No - we are not at all set on the Forester....this one came up in the paper, and any Subaru's coming up for sale around here is rare (although we see them being driven all over town.) So we thought we should go look at it and maybe consider it if the price was right. That was before we knew about the problems that the 98's can have.

Our focus on buying a vehicle, is one that has a good crash test rating, has dual air bags, and a good mechanicl repair record. And we would like a wagon. (I know that the Forester is sort of a cross breed). We like the AWD idea, but not essential. So, basically, we are wanting a vehicle that is safe and practical - don't need, or necessarily want anything with a lot of bells and whistles - just safe and practical. Our budget is probably about $5000-$5500 for whatever vehicle we buy.

One of the posters asked what the blue book said on this car....we were shocked to see that it was rated at $5000-$6000, for good to excellent condition. But, I guess Kelly blue book doesn't know about some of the problems this vehicle can have...

JT95 - yes! - we most certainly would consider a LEgacy outback. Does anyone know how they rate on crash tests? If anyone would care to comment further on recommendations for a Subaru - we are all ears.

....and are so appreciative of any and all feedback! Thanks again! Del

#12 MnDel

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 11:07 AM

OOps!!! I meant "Folks".....not Foks!!!.....geez....where is the coffee! :-)

#13 JT95

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 05:58 PM

I have a 95 Legacy LSi wagon. Never owned or driven a Forester, but have peeked inside a few--other than some extra headroom I couldn't tell any real space difference. If I were you, I'd get a well maintained, reasonable mileage Legacy wagon with a 2.2 engine. There's more of them out there, they are VERY solid mechanically with the 2.2, and they are old enough to have that "yeah, but it's almost new" tag to it. Mine has leather interior and is in great shape. Check classifides and sites like autotrader.com to find some deals.

I'm always on a budget when car shopping, so I know where you r coming from. If you spend all $5,000 on a Sube's price, then you don't have anything left for brakes, tires, tune-up, possible timing belt replacement, possible CV joint fix, yadda yadda yadda... Ihave seen some nice 95-96 Legacy wagons with "low" miles for $3,500-4,000.

Good luck.

#14 MnDel

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 06:02 PM

I have a 95 Legacy LSi wagon. Never owned or driven a Forester, but have peeked inside a few--other than some extra headroom I couldn't tell any real space difference. If I were you, I'd get a well maintained, reasonable mileage Legacy wagon with a 2.2 engine. There's more of them out there, they are VERY solid mechanically with the 2.2, and they are old enough to have that "yeah, but it's almost new" tag to it. Mine has leather interior and is in great shape. Check classifides and sites like autotrader.com to find some deals.

I'm always on a budget when car shopping, so I know where you r coming from. If you spend all $5,000 on a Sube's price, then you don't have anything left for brakes, tires, tune-up, possible timing belt replacement, possible CV joint fix, yadda yadda yadda... Ihave seen some nice 95-96 Legacy wagons with "low" miles for $3,500-4,000.

Good luck.



$3500-$4000 would be great! And yes, we were able to see a legacy that was next to the forester....and it actually seemed a bit longer! This has been a good learning experience......which subarus have the best mechanical reliability rating and such. We will keep looking - may have to drive out of state to find an older model that we can afford that hasn't seen rust. Living in the "rust belt" is a bit of a problem in buying older vehicles.

Thanks all! Del

#15 The Dude

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 06:27 PM

It's astounding. I'm originally from NY, but now I live in South Carolina. Twenty year old trucks and cars are commonplace. Without road salt, a car can last a long, long time. My 99 Forester, 172,000 miles, no rust at all.




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