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Thinking of buying:


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35 replies to this topic

#26 Invaderkymm

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 02:05 PM

On the subject of back seat room (especially for child seats):

...It's not that you couldn't fit the car seats in it; just a personal preference for a little more room. There is a LARGE difference between Legacy and Forester back seat space.


That is good to know! We are long legged peoples. Gosh, all of you have been so helpful. Thanks!

#27 zyewdall

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:43 PM

That is good to know! We are long legged peoples. Gosh, all of you have been so helpful. Thanks!


Yeah, I won't fit in the back seat of a forester (6'2") too comfortably but I will in a Legacy. If you can find a '96 outback wagon with the manual tranny, it still has the 2.2 liter, which doesn't have the head gasket problem. My dad got one of these recently, and is pretty happy with it.

Funny about the Honda Accord. I had an '89 accord for a while. I thought it would be a good car, and by most objective measures it was. More power and better gas mileage than my old subaru, and it didn't leak any oil. But I couldn't stand the automatic transmission, it was hard to work on (starter motor died, and it cost $120 and took 4 hours to replace it -- my subaru I can replace the starter in 20 minutes and $25), it wasn't a wagon so I couldn't haul lumber easily, and it turned out it had been wrecked and bent the unibody, which made the tires wear unevenly. I eventually sold it to someone who could appreciate it more than I.

#28 zyewdall

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Posted 01 March 2006 - 04:48 PM

This has to do with Lucas electrics and it isn't as much of a big deal as everyone makes it out to be. The English do call him "The Prince of Darkness" LOL.


Our '61 Landrover doesn't make it out much any more, it's true. But there have been times that it has been crankstarted by hand (fired right up on the third try), then driven around through the snow to jump start all of our other vehicals that wouldnt start because of dead batteries...

I'm not sure if it, or my old '82 subaru, leaked more oil. Or which had more electrical gremlins.

#29 Invaderkymm

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 06:03 PM

Okay Folks: what do you think of this-

http://seattle.craig.../137152749.html

(hope the link works!)
I'm going to look at this tomorrow. The Carfax came back clean. Why do you think they are selling it for so little?
You have to understand that this is my very first time buying a car without the help of "a REAL grown-up" to help me and I'm needing some reasurance.:D

thank you and soon, hopefully, I will have a rockin' new Soob.

#30 daehttub2000

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 09:15 PM

I don't know if the 2.5 requires it but check if there is a 60,000 mile timing belt change requirement and when they have done it. You should also change the water pump as a precaution at the same time. That could be one of the reasons $.

Double check the head gasket issue with the 2.5L. Did they have the Subaru gasket conditioning treatment done? Do you smell the sweet smell of coolant when it's been driven for a while? Does it leak oil/coolant?

I think it's worth paying a trusted mechanic about $90 to check the car out before buying. The pictures look nice though.

#31 Invaderkymm

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 11:35 AM

I don't know if the 2.5 requires it but check if there is a 60,000 mile timing belt change requirement and when they have done it. You should also change the water pump as a precaution at the same time. That could be one of the reasons $.


I asked them if they had done the head gaskets, water pump and timing belt in this car when I sent him my first e-mail. He said the Dealership swapped the timing belt when they did their 21 point inspection.

Double check the head gasket issue with the 2.5L. Did they have the Subaru gasket conditioning treatment done? Do you smell the sweet smell of coolant when it's been driven for a while? Does it leak oil/coolant?


I was wondering, this was only an issue with the phase II 1999's and there is a recall on them wouldn't that show up on the carfax?

I think it's worth paying a trusted mechanic about $90 to check the car out before buying. The pictures look nice though.

Now I just have to find a trusted machanic...Washintonians! let me know!
I'm actually going to take it into a shop on monday, since the owners are going on some trip this weekend, if I like how it goes this morning.
If you take it to a lousy shop they can still notice major issues, though, right?
This is the first time I've done this...

#32 cookie

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 11:40 AM

Tell them to look at the joint where the head meets the block under the engine. The car does have a lot of miles on it which should be a consideration. My 99 Forester has 125,000 and still runs fine, but it has had every bit of reccomended work and then some.

#33 Invaderkymm

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 08:07 PM

Tell them to look at the joint where the head meets the block under the engine. The car does have a lot of miles on it which should be a consideration. My 99 Forester has 125,000 and still runs fine, but it has had every bit of reccomended work and then some.


Okay. I drove the Forester. It was awesome! So peppy up the hills!
The owners are moving overseas and need to sell most of their stuff in a hurry, which seems to be why the thing is so cheap.

Anyhow, everything seems to be in working order. The only place that did Subarus that I could find wanted $150 for the inspection! My husband said NO WAY.
The owner had an inspection done, it sounds like reciently.

Here are my concerns: It does have a lot of miles on it.
The tires need to be replaced.
There is a weird small, but it's not coolant, it smells more like hot or burned oil. But there were no leakages where the car was parked.

I told my husband about what the tires looked like and he thought there may be an alignment problem! But I may have only thought they were worn on the inside and not so much in the middle.

I'm really only freaking out about this because it's the first time I won't be able to blame someone else if the car turns out to be a lame duck. :eek:

#34 daehttub2000

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 08:39 PM

Subaru's do tend to leak oil over time if they've been pushed hard. It might be nothing out of the ordinary. Ask to look at the seller's garage floor (or where he parks the Subie) and look for oil spots. If it's leaking from the back of the car, it's the differential. If it's from the front it's probably engine oil but also could be from the front diff. It depends on the color and smell. Your husband should be able to tell the difference. If you're concerned about the environment, some of the seals can be a bit expensive to replace. Make sure the oil isn't oozing out around the head gasket(s)...

It also could also be the result of a sloppy oil change (spilled oil on the block).

Caveat emptor. Buyer beware. That's what the $150 is for. You're getting a deal on Forester so I think it would be prudent to get it checked out. It doesn't have to be a Subie dealer but any independent shop that has serviced Subies. The mechanic can check the fluid levels, put it on a hoist, and locate the source of the leak. He/She will also be able to tell you if there is something wrong with the car and save you from making a mistake.

Good luck.

#35 Invaderkymm

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 08:55 PM


Caveat emptor. Buyer beware. That's what the $150 is for. You're getting a deal on Forester so I think it would be prudent to get it checked out. It doesn't have to be a Subie dealer but any independent shop that has serviced Subies. The mechanic can check the fluid levels, put it on a hoist, and locate the source of the leak. He/She will also be able to tell you if there is something wrong with the car and save you from making a mistake.

Good luck.

The shop I was going to take it to is a general Japanese Motors shop. There is a Subaru shop also (not a dealer shop) and they wanted about the same for a 2 hour rather then 3 hour inspection.
But those are my feelings exactly.

I think that maybe The Husband feels that I may be jumping the gun on buying the Forester (I haven't even put my Honda up on craigslist yet.) and that I should wait until I see a few other cars (Rovers, I'm sure!) before I drop too much on an inspection. 143,000 is a lot of miles on a vehicle, but I don't think he really gets that ALL the Subarus in our price range have this many or MORE on them. I'm not sure why all the Rovers we've looked at have so few. (90,000 and 110,000)
So I'm going to wait it out, get to work on selling the Honda and have some buyers interested before I work more towards getting the Subie. Hopefully I won't be without a car for any period of time.

He feels that a Rover would suit better because he has all the sweet hook-ups and an honest garage lined up for them, which is a very valid arguement in my opinion.
However the Rovers are gigantic and eat gas like crazy and I really don't think that we could comfortably afford gas for two.
I have been longing for a Subaru for years. I don't want that to cloud my judgement.

You all have been great. I would never have been so confident without all of you helping.

#36 cookie

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 10:54 AM

The reason Rovers don't get as many miles is that they are often a second car around here. With fuel what it is they make a better toy than a daily driver.
If you lived in a place like Tahoe there would be a better argument for a car like the Rover. In New Zealand my BIL has converted his to a Nissan diesel becuse fuel is so dear. These days he mostly drives Subies for his 4wd work, but the Rover is there if things get really ugly. This would include hauling out one of his rental cars that a tourist has ditched.




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