I have been wanting a forester for 10 years and have decided to go for it, despite government tax and higher running costs .
Looking at 02-08 model, don't think I want the sti (costs). Any opinions between 2.0 + 2.5 engine?
I have just joined and will search through the posts to see what to look out for when buying, anything obvious what these regularly fail on?
Is lpg a viable option?
thanks in advance for your replies
The 2.0 Turbo and 2.5 Turbo drive a bit differently. You might want to test drive both to see which suits you better.
The MY03 2.0 turbo came with quite restrictive exhaust manifolds from memory so might affect things if you plan to mod the car. These wheels will not clear WRX 4 piston brake calipers
MY05 got AVCS from memory, which boosts power and economy slighty. - The 2.5XT wheels clear bigger WRX 4piston brake calipers. I don't believe the 2.0XT wheels will
MY06 got a facelift and Secondary Air Injection - which can become a problem if an air injection valve sticks - the problem can be solved if you're brave with your computer/get the codes mapped out. These wheels also clear WRX 4 piston calipers from memory
Things to look for:
Oil in the coolant and coolant in the oil - Signs of head gasket troubles on the 2.5. The 2.0 isn't immune to this though - Neither are immune to ringland failure either
Rear Self Levelling Suspension can leak and cause the rear to sag. You'll want to replace the shocks and springs with non-SLS to fix this - I think parts are around £200 ish (Or were when I done the job a few years back) If you want to replace just the SLS shock from Subaru, expect a price of around £375 each.
Front control arms can rust - there was a recall on this
Driver's window motor likes to rust/seize - Cheapest source is RockAuto in the USA.
Radiators like to go pop around 10 years/100-120K miles.
Knocking droplinks aren't a big deal but is an annoying job if they're rusted solid.
Make sure everything electrical works like the heated seats, windows and sunroof etc.
The exhaust will likely be very rusty and you might factor in a replacement stainless steel backbox system if you're keeping her for the long haul.
Brake Calipers can seize due to mild steel pistons that are coated - as the coating wears off and the pistons rust, causing poor braking/sticking brake pads - Nice excuse to upgrade to WRX calipers
They generally like a full service history - Personally, I would prefer a Subaru specialist's history than a Subaru dealer history.
Timing belt is every 50K miles or 5 years from memory on the turbos
Transmission/gearbox fluids like to be changed every 4 years from memory.
Mine prefers Shell 99 or Tesco 99 for the best mpg. My 2.5 turbo gets 25mpg easy and she's recently been averaging 27-28mpg. She'll hit 34mpg on the motorway if you cruise at 60mph all day long.
As for LPG - There's mixed opinions on this........ It can be made to work but it's probably not going to be as simple as it might be on some engines. You would want to get a compression test done first to make sure the engine is healthy before going down this route.....Or I would anyway.