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General Impreza question


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10 replies to this topic

#1 jeffroid

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 06:45 PM

I am an old Generation Subaru packrat and rarely lurk on the New Gen board. I did search for a while, but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.

My GF wants to buy a '97 Impreza wagon, five speed, with all the bells and whistles for $3500. It's got 200K miles on it, but claims to have new timing belts, etc, and is really clean and in good shape.

From what little I learned from surfing, that should be a really good model year - non interference engine, etc. I'd like to have it myself, but I've got too many EA81 cars and parts around ! ! !

I was surprised and excited that she wanted to buy it because she hates my old beaters and parts cars. The high mileage definitely scares me. Again, from a little surfing, the price sounds a little high, but not too bad. She needs a car soon.

In general, is this a good purchase ? ? ? THANKS ! ! ! OH yeah, clean carfax too.

#2 sea#3

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 06:55 PM

My GF wants to buy a '97 Impreza wagon, five speed, with all the bells and whistles for $3500. It's got 200K miles on it, but claims to have new timing belts, etc, and is really clean and in good shape.


It is a good old 2.2 but it is an interference engine , Subaru went to mechanical valve lash adjuster in that year and when they did that it became an iinterference engine
SEA#3

#3 nipper

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 11:31 PM

Drive the car in tight circles at parking lot speeds. Make sure it moves smoothly with very little or no throttle at all.

Make sure the tires match

If those two things are good then it should be ok.


nipper

#4 edrach

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 12:43 AM

Owning a '97 Impreza wagon for a year now, I'd say go for it. However, know that the price is a bit high. I bought ours last year for $3995 with 120K on the odometer. Also, last year they were far harder to find than now. If you really like the car and an independant shop can inspect it for you (I suggest Smart Service in Shoreline) you should be relatively safe. I've seen a number of them on CL locally with that kind of miles for less than the $3500 you're looking at. Also, you know that the '97 EJ22 is an interference engine so make sure that the last timing belt change was done by a reputable shop and recently done. Good luck with it.

#5 jeffroid

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 10:28 PM

Thanks for the help, those who responded. She took me up to look at it after work today and it looks like she's going to buy it. It was really clean, tight, smooth, quiet, etc. Sure didn't feel like a car with 200K miles on it.

Well, first time something goes wrong with it I'm sure I'll be back, since I only know EA81's.

#6 jeffroid

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:38 PM

Well, when we got the car home, a closer inspection revealed that it had been significantly wrecked and rebuilt. There were a couple of other small things that reflected on the honesty (or lack thereof) of the seller, so the GF is bringing the car back (she had arranged to take it home overnight to let her mechanic inspect it before buying it).

I know that most of you probably could car less, but I just wanted to post this because I find it very interesting that didn't show up on the carfax. Lesson learned on my part.

It's a shame because she really liked the car, and of course I did. Back to shopping, I guess ! ! !

#7 porcupine73

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 08:39 PM

Good catch on the wreck&rebuild. It is interesting that it didn't show up on carfax. Carfax as far as I know only knows about incidents reported to the DMV. Sometimes the owner has no motive to report the accident, such as if he/she has no collision coverage anyway, increased insurance rates, etc.

#8 edrach

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:58 AM

Well, when we got the car home, a closer inspection revealed that it had been significantly wrecked and rebuilt. There were a couple of other small things that reflected on the honesty (or lack thereof) of the seller, so the GF is bringing the car back (she had arranged to take it home overnight to let her mechanic inspect it before buying it).

I know that most of you probably could car less, but I just wanted to post this because I find it very interesting that didn't show up on the carfax. Lesson learned on my part.

It's a shame because she really liked the car, and of course I did. Back to shopping, I guess ! ! !

Sorry to hear about the bad luck; good catch. In any event, keep looking there are many good finds in CL now and she'll find what she is looking for. Also, don't discount www.autotrader.com; even though it's mostly dealer cars, there are often good catches there. We got our '97 wagon on Autotrader last year after 6 months of very active looking at a local dealer only 4 miles from our home. Good luck; the car she wants is out there.

#9 grossgary

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 09:17 AM

that's awesome they found that out, great idea having it checked. they wanted way too much anyway, i wouldn't have paid $2,000 for that. i'd be wary of any 2.5 liter soobs myself, your girlfriend won't like them much if they loose a headgasket. i have a couple at my house right now with headgasket issues, you can get those really cheap!...get her to stick with a 2.2.

check craigslist, autotrader and ebay, avoid dealers and car lots. all they do is buy cars and sell them higher, people are of the oppinion that somehow car dealers end up with *better* used cars to sell...wrong! expand your search area as far as you can, it'll be worth it. it's easier to get exactly what you want and a great deal. i flew and drove home one of my soobs. it was nearly a steal and i put 100,000+ miles on it before it rusted to death. well worth the effort.

i bought an impreza earlier this year for a friend for $3,000 with 80,000 miles. i'm looking for another friend right now and am seeing plenty of soobs under $2,500 in great shape with far less miles. one as low as $1,200 with 130,000 miles that looks really sharp.

#10 jeffroid

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:14 PM

This was a 2.2, right ? ? ? '97 Impreza.

I thought I didn't have to worry about a 2.5L until like 2000 or 2001, correct? Does that hold true even with an Outback?

I thought the price was high, but not that high. This car was as clean as a 10 year old car could be. The mileage was high, but the compression numbers were 175-185 for all four cylinders.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the feedback. I will definitely keep looking.

#11 Bmm001

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:42 AM

That price sounded awfully high to me anyway. Your post brings up a good point about Carfax, reinforced by a recent New York Times article. Not all states are required to report the same things; as a result Carfax can often miss major problems depending on the state, and if/how it's reported. The woman interviewed in the article bought a 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo and later found out, thanks to her mechanic, that it was TWO different cars welded together--and her Carfax report was clean.

After reading the article, it certainly gives me second thoughts about trusting Carfax... I'm just as inclined to just take the car to my mechanic and have them look at it, especially since my state (PA) is one of the states that Carfax can't even get full information for!

Seems as if the best way is still the old way of either going over the car yourself (if you have the know-how) or taking it to a trusted mechanic.

Brian M.




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