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Old 03-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is this a good buy?! 1999 Forester!

Hey guys, I've been looking for a Forester for a very long time now, I was hoping to get either a 98 or a 99 with a 5 speed.

I found one while searching through craigslist. Its a 1999 5 speed with 169,000. I know the miles are a little high but if the headgasket and timing belt have been replaced within the last 40,000. So should I worry?

It is a lot cheaper than what I originally planned on spending. I guess my extra money would be good for fixing anything it need and maybe some performance stuff

So is it a good buy?

1999 99 Subaru Forester L 5 speed 169k

Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The issue isn't only the headgasket..its the idlers, tensioner and water pump that cause the belt to fail.
And of course we are assuming the head gasket has been done properly.

Bear in mind if the timing belt fails you are looking at a 4 cylinder paperweight.

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Old 03-07-2012, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah that is true... I feel like there's going to be a gamble with any subaru I get I guess.
Is there a way to tell if the idlers, tensioner and water pump have been replaced if I look at the car myself? Or am I better off skipping this forester?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If it drives nice and seems to be in decent shape just plan on doing the timing belt and related components with the xtra money and it should be good for awhile.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The price is right. I'd like to know how the "head gasket is in good condition" though...

Did he take it apart and look? Is he assuming "good condition" cause it isn't leaking...right now...???

He doesn't mention the timing belt being done...he may not know. You could just ask what he does know. It is surprising how many people out there that have never heard of a timing belt...nor about the need to ever change one.

You could buy the car and send it to a shop, it isn't hard to "check the timing belt". You can generally tell a "recent belt" vs the one that has been on there for 169k since 1999.

There is no "gimme" in the used car world. Why is he selling it?

Problem with it? Maybe.
He doesn't like the mileage? Maybe.
Wants a newer car? Maybe.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The price is below the market as the statistics Subaru Forester Reviews and Research - Carsabi. take the car to a mechanic after you test drive it. If the mechanic says it's good and you think it's good then buy it. Also see if there any rust on it, and any accident signs.
In my opinion's it's a gamble with any used car
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