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Nbe1210

Buying a new (to Me) Subaru. Need advice please, and maybe a carfax if possible.

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I sold my Civic suddenly yesterday and need a car.

I saw this Impreza and I was wondering if anyone has any advice as to what I should look for when I go check it out. The new timing belt and head gasket seems promising.

Also, can anyone run a vin check for me please?

JF1GG68544H814484

 

Thanks in advance for all the help everyone provides. This site is great because of all the great people who help each other out.

 

http://www.autolandmaine.com/detailAutoland.php?id=96680&qURL=%2Finventory.php%3FdealerID%3D%24dealerID%26year%3D%24year%26make%3D%24make%26model%3D%24model%26submit%3Dsubmit%26page%3D%24page[/url]

Edited by Nbe1210

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Hm probably main thing there would be head gaskets. I don't have any that new but from what I understand they still do fail even after '03. Oh I see it says it has new head gaskets. Well that can be good, but a lot depends on what gaskets they used and whether the job was done correctly.

 

There's a thread here somewhere about how to get an autocheck report, basically finding a site that has a unlimited subscription and pasting the vin in after the autocheck.php?

Edited by porcupine73

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Ah bingo it does still work. It looks like a lot of the sites where it used to work have restricted it to only vehicles in their inventory, probably due to so many exploits since this tip is posted on just about every car and motorcycle web site out there. But it's nice to see there's still some that work!

 

Some questions would be who did the head gasket and timing belt and what parts did they use. If they just slapped on a new timing belt but didn't replace any of the idlers or water pump that is not ideal as those idlers esp the geared/toothed can and do fail.

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HG's, torque bind mostly.

 

If different sized tires - that isn't good at all for the AWD. Same brand/model/size and hopefully close in wear.

 

Easy to test and often ATF light flashes at startup.

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Thanks for all the info. I know about he cronic head gasket failure in subarus as my legacy is starting to leak so the replacement seemed to make the car worth a lot more. I did not think about the quality of parts though so thanks for the insight. The price seemed a little too cheap but if the title is clean then maybe it is just a good deal. Unfortunately Maine used car dealers are closed by law on Sundays? Who knew?

I "had" to sell my civic si hatch since we have a baby girl coming in the spring and the lack of doors was going to be inconvenient (and my wife can but won't drive a standard). It sold rather suddenly yesterday. Money talks. We have been in the market for another subaru since the one we have is a tank.

 

How do I check for torque bind? I think I heard to crank the wheel all the way and let it run at idle in drive and see if it jumps. Correct?

 

Thanks again and any other hints, tips or insight into what I should ask about is greatly appreciated. I am handy and resourceful but I am not a mechanic.

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Torque bind is pretty evident. First subaru I drove with it I knew automatically what it was based on others description. If it drives and turns like a 4wd truck with locked differentials then it has torque bind.

 

Possible easy fix is changing the transmission fluid a couple times then putting some good stuff in. If that doesn't fix it then it requires a new transmission.

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Thanks for the torque bind description. I'll be sure to check that out. I saw the auto check report that is posted but it seems vague. There are big gaps in the mileage readings and no service records like I see on carfax reports through dealer websites.

Can anyone run the vin through carfax and send it to me or fill me in on any interesting details? I guess I may just have to pony up the $30. Thanks for all the help.

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Well I don't know, I've seen those exact same gaps in carfax reports. Those services know only stuff that got reported to them; they're not some omniscient data service. People buy cars only to find out later they were actually in an accident, it's just the accident was never reported, so those services didn't know about it.

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A few easy things to check. There are 4 CV flex boots on the axles and 2 stationary ones on the tie rods. See if they are ripped. One ripped CV cost me $400+. The ball joints or tie rods could be bad. You have to jack the car and check for wheel movement. The muffler/ cat/resonator flange joints could be ready to fall off. It could cost $1000+ to replace entire system or $200 if you can get anyone to weld on new flanges. If the brake calipers and their attachment bolts look like they are very rusted, it could require a complete brake replacement on all 4 wheels

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There won't be any different info in a car fax report. Autocheck and CarFax use the same sources to find information, most of it comes from DMV records. If the DMV record is incomplete (no mileage data, etc) then it doesn't show up on the report.

 

 

I'm a little skeptical of this car because the price is just a little low. I would have the car checked over by a competent machanic and a good body shop (look for repaired frame damage, recent paint work,etc) before taking the plunge.

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Thanks for the torque bind description. I'll be sure to check that out. I saw the auto check report that is posted but it seems vague. There are big gaps in the mileage readings and no service records like I see on carfax reports through dealer websites.

Can anyone run the vin through carfax and send it to me or fill me in on any interesting details? I guess I may just have to pony up the $30. Thanks for all the help.

Sadly the emissions places in WA state no longer require the mileage to be recorded so it doesn't get into a carfax/autocheck report. Apparently your corner of the country doesn't require it either. That's why I try to buy a car from a private owner who might have the service records. If the car goes to auction or is traded in, the service records (if any) are discarded because it would affect the sale of the car.

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I'll get it to a mechanic after hearing everyone's thoughts. I was thinking the price seemed a little low also but all of their cars seem to be priced a little low. We are going to go check out some newish foresters and imprezas at the subaru dealer this afternoon but the 2004 Impreza would keep me from having to take a loan. We are going to check it out Tuesday afternoon and I'll report back. Maybe I can get some pics.

 

I didn't know carfax and auto check used the same sources. My wishful thinking for some good news I suppose.

 

Thanks for all the info. It is appreciated.

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Price doesn't seem overly low, I punched it into nada for that zip and it says $8800 clean retail. I've noticed some used car dealers do always seem to have low prices. I think they probably just know how to get vehicles cheaply and then flip them. I am guessing a lot of these are straight buys from dealer trade-ins. They probably get them for less than auction price that way.

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Conclusion

 

We test drove the Impreza and it was a bit funny. The steering wheel center piece and the passenger airbag both looked newer than the rest of the dash and there were a lot of brand new parts under the hood at the front of the car that seems to be more than what one would replace when dining the head gasket. It didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling and everyone who had any dealings with this used car dealer did not have very nice things to say.

So...... We ended up with a 2009 forester that was very cheap for what it is and my wife is happier. That's what really matters in the end.

 

Thanks for all the help and advice.

Edited by Nbe1210

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Best of luck with the new (to you) Forester. It pays to check out a used car as carefully as you did. No one will hold it against you that you didn't spring for the Impreza. From what you say, I know I wouldn't have either.

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Best of luck with the new (to you) Forester. It pays to check out a used car as carefully as you did. No one will hold it against you that you didn't spring for the Impreza. From what you say, I know I wouldn't have either.

DITTO!!! If you don"t have a good feeling about a car-stay away!!You said the steer.whl.+pass. air bag colors didn"t match the rest...It"s been wrecked!! It"s good you picked the forester....Hope you like it!

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If it seems to good to be true it probably is! Glad you turned that Impreza down. Ditto what 88 said, new airbags... it was wrecked and repaired. Probably a back lot deal that will never even show up on a vehicle history report. You'd probably be surprised how often that happens.

 

Congrats on getting the Foz! Hope it serves you and yours well for many years.

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