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ksignor

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About ksignor

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
  • Referral
    Google Used Subarus
  • Biography
    A wildlife biologist by trade who should have bought a Subaru long ago. First-timer with a 2004 Forester.
  • Vehicles
    Used 2004 Forester
  1. Oh, nagging for low-cost services was not at all what I was implying. Translation - I wonder if there are any forum members in NC who could recommend local Subaru mechanics who do good work. I'm new to NC, and even newer to Subaru. This forum is invaluable and greatly appreciated! Believe me, it is agonizing to be devoid of expertise regarding all things automotive. In this case, ignorance equates to feeling swindled every time. Years back, a mechanic who had agreed to purchase my Xterra ended up stealing it while I was out of the country for several months. Now that would be an interesting thread...
  2. Indeed, an Elite Master of the Subaru. Are there any of those in North Carolina?! And, thank you!
  3. I'll go one step further in asking: If this is truly seepage or 'wet spots' right now, rather than 'leaking', are the head gaskets a 'non issue'? Or, due slight wet spots inherently indicate inevitable failure at some point, even if a long way off? If I have a worthwhile opportunity to replace and resurface at a reasonable cost while addressing the timing belt, I'm leaning towards doing so. If anything, I imagine it may help support any resale in the future.
  4. I meant to clarify one thing: In the end, will replacing original head gaskets with turbo and resurfacing heads truly 'fix' what may be slight, non-critical seeping, the root of my anxiety? The potential for needing hg replacement down the road is ultimately my primary concern, but does this potential still exist even if hg replacement and resurfacing is done as you describe?
  5. grossgary, this is brilliant analysis of the options at hand and a potential big win-win for all. Thank you again for your dedication to this thread! Stay tuned if you choose...
  6. I follow your logic completely. After speaking with the dealer briefly, they are going to re-inspect the spark plugs/valve cover gaskets. They are also going to see how much they can do so far as covering this and timing belt replacement. So, if they are covering part of the timing belt, spark plugs, valve gasket covers, I'll have them do it. The question becomes, at *this* point, if they are already doing the timing belt pkg, is it worth proceeding with replacing head gaskets with turbo and resurfacing heads as a preventative measure?? There is apparently the option to turn the car back in, but not sure if that is best for anyone. USMB and members, how I love thee...
  7. Ha, well I believe I am becoming less uneducated as a member of this forum no thanks to all of your comments, thank you again. The last two posts above provide a little more piece of mind for a newbie and also remind me that perhaps the best question, initially, would have been 'Is what I'm describing really an issue that needs to be fixed or evidence of an inevitable failure?'. As a complete novice, you bet I fall into the 'seeping is scary' category! I agree, I don't think the dealership is deliberately mislead. Lesson for the day: Seeping is not scary.
  8. Rooster2, grossgary, mikec03, points well taken, thank you. Beyond changing a tire, I am far from savvy with anything automotive. I understand the extent of the HG issue might be a matter of opinion, and I may get plenty more miles out of them. However, three mechanics have identified 'HG seepage'. Two are Subaru mechanics at other dealerships. I am the proud owner of a flip phone, so unfortunately no great pictures. I did get a look when one of the mechanics had the car lifted - nothing dripping, by any means, but definite 'wet' spots and oil residue at hg seals (hope that makes sense). Otherwise, extremely clean engine - they power washed it pre-sale. Waiting on other estimates, but it sounds like $418 is scandalous for 'Valve cover gasket replacement, both sides' (the non-Subaru dealer estimate): - R&R valve cover gaskets both sides, clean area and recheck for leak ($324) - Spark plug tube seal x 4 ($17.48) - Valve cover Seal Washer OEM x 10 (35.70) - Valve cover gasket set ($41.71) I agree it's not a perfect car, that doesn't exist in my price range. However, I asked two specific questions before I bought it: 'Are there any HG issues?' and 'It doesn't need any servicing for a while?'. Both answers were 'No'.... Anyone else want to chime in?!
  9. MR_Loyale, replacing the timing belt at 105,000 was mentioned to me by several individuals yesterday. Thank you for the reminder. According to the CARFAX, drive belts were replaced at a 30,000 mile interval service at 88,000 miles. The last major 30,000 service was completed in April 2016 at 104,000 and unfortunately no timing belt. What was performed: oil change, tire rot/bal, engine air filter, fuel system service, spark plugs replaced, cabin filter, cooling system service, front/rear diff. service, transmission service, brake flush. The dealer who performed this service (different state) said timing belt replacement should occur at 109,000. This car was just sold to me at 108,300. They provided me a copy of the recent work done in-house, including oil/filter change, new front brakes, machined rear brakes. I do not see timing belt listed, but it seems like something they would have done. So, a related question regarding 'dealer etiquette', *should* they have replaced the timing belt at 108,000 prior to the sale? When I was shown the list of in-house service performed on the car prior to making my decision, I specifically remarked, 'So the car will not need any service for a while then, correct?'. I was told 'nope'. Thank you for the input...
  10. Next, but not final, update: A different Subaru dealer offered to take a look beneath the chassis and commented that it looked super. There was what looked like an old seepage stain at one point, but he explained when they see leaks that are a problem, they are dripping oil and it's everywhere. What he saw was practically nothing, he said he'd have bought the car himself. Yet another dealer has offered his opinion as well, and he will be physically pulling the spark plugs out to investigate. Stay tuned! Hopefully this process is helpful to another skeptical car buyer down the road.
  11. Dave T, points well taken, thank you. All good things to keep in mind. And, as AdventureSubaru said, it's a 12-year-old =] A question worth asking at this stage is, what are the consequences of *not* changing spark plugs/gasket covers if there is, in fact, oil that has crept into these parts? I've read about misfiring, but is this more of an inconvenience if/when the engine fails, or is this actually risking further damage if not addressed?
  12. Thank you again, golucky66. That seems to be the most logical (but humble) conclusion to me, as well. I'll provide a status report/dealer response for the curious at heart tomorrow.
  13. Thanks for all the input - love this forum. Ah yes the mileage - 108,000, AdventureSubaru. And thanks for the links - just what I was looking for. Supposedly the mechanic fully loaded the battery, presumably how you are describing, golucky66. He didn't describe the 'toaster', but he said it wasn't the sort of test you'd get a your local AutoZone, either. It's coming out low on cold crank amps, specifically. As they said 'it could be fine for a long time, or it may not start in cold weather'. And yes, the mechanic suggested replacing spark plugs *and* gaskets... Meeting with the dealer tomorrow, and anticipating I'll still have two different stories: 'Spark plugs and gaskets are fine, we checked all that during our inspection' (Dealer) vs. 'You need to replace the spark plugs and the valve cover gaskets. There's oil in/around the spark plugs' (Inspected by independent mechanic). Any silver bullet to know who's telling the truth?! Other than saying 'yea, prove it to me....'?
  14. Thanks in advance to those of you reading this post... I've got a 'new to me' 04 Forester I just bought from a local Subaru Dealer, Performance Subaru in Chapel Hill, NC. It does have some character that I failed to notice prior to my purchase. A missing fuel door release handle cover, missing rear head rests, loose console latch. Ah,blinded by the excitement of being a potential Subaru owner! I had a week to get an independent inspection, post-purchase. The dealer said they would fix any significant issues, but are confident in their own thorough, in-house inspection. So, I just had a highly respected foreign car shop in town complete an inspection (Auto Logic). Auto Logic caught all of the aforementioned character flaws that I did not notice, nor which were pointed out to me during my extended, very indecisive negotiation with the dealer upon purchase. So, win for Auto Logic. They also discovered a few other issues: 1. The head gaskets are showing signs of oil seepage. An issue that they said is not urgent, but will need to be addressed down the road, as expected with Subarus. 2. The spark plug wells have oil in them. They are saying we must replace the spark plugs and spark plug valve cover gaskets (estimate $400-$500). 3. Battery is low with respect to ccas (440 of 550) and has the potential to fail in cold weather. I realize it's just a battery, but still worth noting in my opinion. The conundrum: The dealer says the first thing their mechanics look for are leaky head gaskets since it's a known Subaru issue. Had they seen anything described above when they originally inspected, particularly with head gaskets, it would have failed as a candidate for their lot and would have gone straight to auction. They are also saying the battery was tested in the same manner the shop did and it was not problematic. The Dealer Mechanic said to stop by to discuss these issues, but I am skeptical of the outcome. I hope they will take an actual, physical look again, but their lack of enthusiasm is concerning, and they remarked that I already got a 'big discount' (original sticker price, all told after dealer fees, registration, taxes, etc. was ~$7500, I ended up at $6600). So, Battle of the Mechanics. How would you recommend one who is uneducated with respect to all things automotive and mechanical proceed in this situation? Thanks in advance! Kari
  15. Cheers from NC everyone! I'm excited about this ultimate forum and my 'new to me' 04 Forester. I'm sure both will hold up to their reputations - I do not plan to be let down! The Forester - it does have some character that I failed to notice prior to my purchase from the local Subaru dealer (Performance Subaru in Chapel Hill) - A missing fuel door release handle cover, missing rear head rests, loose console latch. Ah,blinded by the excitement of it all. I had a week to get an independent inspection, post-purchase. The dealer said they would fix any significant issues, but are confident in their own thorough, in-house inspection. So, I just had a highly respected foreign car shop in town complete an inspection (Auto Logic). Auto Logic caught all of the aforementioned character flaws that I did not notice, nor which were pointed out to me during my extended, very indecisive negotiation with the dealer upon purchase. So, win for Auto Logic. They also discovered a few other issues: 1. The head gaskets are showing signs of oil seepage. An issue that they said is not urgent, but will need to be addressed down the road as expected with Subarus. 2. The spark plug wells have oil in them. They are saying we must replace the spark plugs and spark plug valve cover gaskets (estimate $400-$500). 3. Battery is low with respect to ccas (440 of 550) and has the potential to fail in cold weather. The conundrum: The dealer says the first thing their mechanics look for are leaky head gaskets since it's a known issue. Had they seen anything described above, particularly with head gaskets, it would have failed as a candidate for their lot and would have gone straight to auction. They are also saying the battery was tested in the same manner and was not problematic. The Dealer Mechanic said to stop by to discuss these issues, but I am skeptical of the outcome. I hope they will take an actual, physical look again, but their lack of enthusiasm is concerning, and they remarked that I already got a pretty good discount (original sticker price, all told after dealer fees, registration, taxes, etc. was ~$7500, I ended up at $6600). So, Battle of the Mechanics. How would you recommend one proceed in this situation who is uneducated with respect to all things automotive and mechanical? Thanks in advance! Kari
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