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Old 02-17-2012, 06:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Questions on '04 XT's

Hello all, I'm currently looking around for a Forester for myself after wrecking my Impreza Outback I've made the decision to go with an XT, it'll be my first turbo vehicle and I have a few questions I was hoping you friendly folks here on the forums could help me with. The first one I am looking at is an '04 XT AT, with 61k miles, they only want $8,995 which is almost half the KBB value which has me a little leery. The second is also an '04 XT AT, with 91k miles, they however want $10,495 which I think is a little more reasonable as its only about 2k under the KBB value. I feel like I could haggle the 91k mile one down to around $9,750 as I'm pretty sure I'm going to be looking at replacing the timing belt around 10k miles down the road, correct me if I'm wrong. I was also wondering if there are any quirks related to this year and model Forester I should be on the look out for, and if there's any minor/major maintenance I should be expecting in the coming miles (Not sure if there's already a thread for 50k/100k+ miles regular maintenance, if there is please kindly direct me towards it.) I look forward to hearing your guys' input on the maintenance and if you think the prices are fair (they seem to be). Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good luck with the Forester purchase.

Since you've already owned a Subaru, the maintenance on the Forester is similar. Most members would recommend having the Forester inspected before you purchase it.

You can find the '04 Forester recommended maintenance schedule here.

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Old 02-17-2012, 11:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for that link, Bobby. Some useful info there.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm looking around for XT's also, and there is a 2004 one near me with 105k (they just did the 105k Timing Belt & etc) and asking $10,750, if that helps you with another data point. The XT comes up so infrequently near me it is hard to determine the going rate.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Surf WRaX View Post
I'm looking around for XT's also, and there is a 2004 one near me with 105k (they just did the 105k Timing Belt & etc) and asking $10,750, if that helps you with another data point. The XT comes up so infrequently near me it is hard to determine the going rate.
auto or manual?

in good condition that is a fair price considering lower miles and expensive maintenance already done...
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That is for a 5MT. Here is in the add in case you are interested:
Cars for Sale: 2004 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Premium in Los Angeles, CA 90024: Sport Utility Details - 316024558 - AutoTrader.com

Not my favorite color which is why I'm not jumping on this too fast.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That is for a 5MT. Here is in the add in case you are interested:
Cars for Sale: 2004 Subaru Forester 2.5XT Premium in Los Angeles, CA 90024: Sport Utility Details - 316024558 - AutoTrader.com

Not my favorite color which is why I'm not jumping on this too fast.
This was exactly what I was looking for; love that color, espcially with tint...
drive it to michigan, I'll swap over all my mod's, and you can drive back my aspen white fxt, haha
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hmm... you are starting to talk me into buying this one. Didn't see it was the Premium trim, not bad.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm... you are starting to talk me into buying this one. Didn't see it was the Premium trim, not bad.
It's a premium..... but no leather and no sunroof.... exact same options as mine. other than the auto climate control, I'm not sure what else might be included in the premium package since i'm pretty sure heat mirrors/wipers come stock on all XT's...

EDIT: apparently it is NOT a premium... http://www.cars101.com/subaru/forest...4.html#options

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Old 02-21-2012, 12:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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04 Premium Package included leather interior, moonroof, and automatic transmission.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ah, thanks for detecting that this car was not a XT Premium. They advertise the car on CL w/o the "Premium" label for $200 cheaper:
2004 Subaru Forester XT 5-Speed

Or for $10,300 on could be had with only 88k, but has the 4AT:
2004 SUBARU FORESTER XT

These are both 100 miles away from me so I gotta do my research before diving in. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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bought mine for 11,000 out the door last year at a dealership w 91000 miles, auto, silver turbo, no moonroof, no leather, all stock.

that red one is nice... it has the rear upper spoiler which mine does not. it looks clean. I would amagine cars in L.a. are a bit more expensive cause the general living expense is higher than here in atl, ga...?

one thing to look out for is a mystery problem some here have w their turbo forester, as I do. the front right side of engine will smoke white smoke sometimes, cause unknown, dont think its a head gasket. no effect on performance.. have yet to figure this out.. need to take car into shop when I have money to fix. People are thinking here that it may be a turbo seal...?

good luck w search.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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bought mine for 11,000 out the door last year at a dealership w 91000 miles, auto, silver turbo, no moonroof, no leather, all stock.

that red one is nice... it has the rear upper spoiler which mine does not. it looks clean. I would amagine cars in L.a. are a bit more expensive cause the general living expense is higher than here in atl, ga...?

one thing to look out for is a mystery problem some here have w their turbo forester, as I do. the front right side of engine will smoke white smoke sometimes, cause unknown, dont think its a head gasket. no effect on performance.. have yet to figure this out.. need to take car into shop when I have money to fix. People are thinking here that it may be a turbo seal...?

good luck w search.
smoking under the hood? turbo seal would have to be SEVERELY blown, and you would see smoke out of the exhaust...
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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smoking under the hood? turbo seal would have to be SEVERELY blown, and you would see smoke out of the exhaust...
I'd bet this could be leaky valve cover gasket(s). They drip an occasional drop or two of oil onto the exhaust manifold which then stinks and smokes.

Other things to watch for: around 100K sometimes the plastic radiator end tanks can start to crack/leak, turbos also can go around 100K (mine lasted till 134K, but you want to be sure and remove the banjo bolt oil screens if the previous owner didn't do it or have the TSB performed) but those are the only big issues that come to mind. The turbo is probably the most expensive failure so if/when you test drive have someone follow you and see if it smokes when you get on it, that tends to be an OK way of telling if it's close to failing (other than removing the DP and seeing if there's any shaft play in the turbo). Maybe others can think of different common issues that I'm missing.... I think they're great cars, just stay on top of the maintenance!
I'm at 165K on the original motor and tranny while making almost double the stock HP & TQ.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the advice on my threadjacking of this 04 questions thread.

As for the smoke on drivers side, another thing to check is your CV boot below the turbo. My WRX tore the boot on both the CV and the steering rack on that side of the car around the 10 year, 150k mark. I think because of all the heat from the turbo. I had smoke and a bad grease smell that I couldn't figure out for several months as it kind of creeps up on you.

The WRX also developed a crack in the plastic radiator top around the same time and I replaced with an AL one.

I still have the original TD04 turbo with 166K and my clutch lasted until around 150k.
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