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I’m considering a purchase of a 2002 Impreza TS 2.5L, it has 110K miles on it, and it seems to be well maintained. The seller has priced it $20 less than the KBB value of a “good” condition. However, the seller has not changed the timing belt, and it has struts that need to be replaced, which I took into consideration when bargaining down the price $700 lower than the KBB value. However, I am now concerned about the gasket problem, which from what I understand is an expensive repair. Is the gasket issue something that is a scheduled maintenance that I could have expected to be taken care of in order for the car to be in “good” condition? I do not want to insult the seller by asking him to renegotiate the price if that is something that I shouldn’t expect from him. To buy/bargain or to let this car go? I'd appreciate any input you have on this.

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Car is not "well maintained" if the timing belt has not been done at the current mileage. Check the owner's manual to see when that should have been done (either 60K or 105K miles). Also check to see what the cost is to have that service done at a shop that you trust. Timing belt service can run up to $2000 or more depending on the shop and how many parts they replace. Add to that the cost of replacing the struts and you have some more justification to re-negotiate the selling price.


Head gaskets are not a "scheduled" repair. If there were a head gasket issue with this car, you would have seen it by now.


In any event, have the car checked by a reputable Subaru mechanic to see what really needs to be done before you buy this car.

Edited by edrach

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