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I have a friend that is looking at a 99 Forester, and she wanted to know what issues she should look at when buying one used. Any info would be great!!

 

02 Legacy L Wagon

"That baby can haul gear, darn tootin!"

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She has told me that the car has 160km on it, been in Edmonton Alberta Canada, and is an automatic. She doesn't know any other info. I think she was just thinking of any general concerns to look into in regards to Foresters as a whole. Anything would be greatly appreciated... Thanks!

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Mine had about 85,000 miles if I remember and required head gaskets, clutch, water pump, seals, and brakes.

 

Have a good Subaru person inspect the car, especially the clutch and head gaskets.

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The 99 should have the Phase II engine (SOHC), but even some of these are showing up with head gasket failures. Look for anti-freeze leaks.

 

Was this one of the years that had rear wheel bearing problems? Or was that 2000/2001 ish...

 

Listen for piston slap. Highway drive and listen for wind noise around the A pillar. I've driven a couple and found them to be quite bad.

 

Get a hold of the service records if you can. And do have the car thoroughly inspected. It's worth the cost.

 

Commuter

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I have gotten so used to the piston slap I forgot it.

Only when it is cold, and the only time I really hear it is in the parking garage at work with the windows down.

On start up at home the insulation makes it hard to hear.

The slap does not seem to hurt anything and my engine still acts pretty normal.

You should note that I am an ex mechanic and these folks warned me about the head gasket issue, and I still did not spot the exterior coolent leak for a week because it was so small.

The reason I bought a 99 was to get the phase two engine on advice from this board.

I have still poured a ton of money into mine to bring all the stuff Subuaru should have gotten right up to the latest fixes.

I planned on this when I bought the car and the fact that it is fun to drive makes up for it to me.

Because it was a 99 I could afford to pay cash and have no payments.

After that I have been spending a bit on it monthly to get it where I like it.

Off to buy a Sony explode now to fix the CD problem.

Best of luck to you and GF.

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I own a 99 Forester 99 AT with 140,000 miles on the clock. The engine definitely suffers from noticable "piston slap". There may be a head gasket issue with the SOHC, although it is MUCH less of a potential problem than with the DOHC. So far, I have not had any major repair problems with my car. Be aware that all 2.5 L Subaru engine are interference type engines. These engines self destruct if any goes wrong with the timing belt. Unfortunately, most Japanese, and many American cars, have interference type engines.

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