Seeking opinions - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Seattle
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Car Year: 1999
Car Model: Forester
Transmission: Auto
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Seeking opinions

I have an automatic 1999 Forester L, 169k, cosmetically pretty good in and out.

However, the car has the following issues:

Oil leak
Strange engine sound, clicky
Hesitation in shifting
Measurable head gasket leak

I have two repair estimates in hand for the seal-related issues only, no transmission work, at 4k and 5.5k, each approaching the resale value of the car in good working order.

A quick spin thru CL shows non-running 99s on offer at 1.6-2k. This car still runs, but it will fail. I am having a hard time figuring out a fair resale value.

I also have a cosmetically rough, mechanically sound '93 Camry SE manual v6, 107k. It is hard to find sale examples for this car but given the dings and scrapes I would guess the car would be fairly offered at 1.5 to 1.7k

I would prefer to just keep the Camry and drive it to the bitter end, but my household has a nonnegotiable need for a hauler/ snow car.

If I could get the seals fixed for 2k I would do that and sell the Camry, but that seems unlikely. I am not a mechanic and can't do any work on either car.

This community might be able to help me decide if the 4-5k estimates are market or inflated for the vehicle, and to help me set a proper resale offer price for the Forester, as well as thought on disclosures of the extant issues.

I am emphatically not looking for a new car or even a low-mile used car; any replacement car needs to come in at 5k so that the whole operation is a wash. I am sure folks here have faced this dilemma with regard to 98-99 foresters hundreds of times in the past. What should I do?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 09:09 AM
Taking a Walk in the Outback
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Oregon
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Car Year: 99
Car Model: Forester S
Transmission: 6 spd soon!
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
For 4 k you can put in an entire brand new motor in the foz installed by Subaru with warranty

*edit*
actually i think it was 4500. but that was for a 2005 2.5RS motor. might be just a hair cheaper for a 99.


Last edited by MonstarMotorsports; 09-24-2011 at 10:00 AM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 09:45 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Coon Rapids, MN
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Car Year: 2008
Car Model: Forester X Premium
Transmission: 5MT
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
It may be worth getting a quote from All Wheel Drive Auto: Independent Seattle Subaru Repair & Service A Subaru specialty shop in Seattle.

Is your '99 a early '99 being a DOHC or a late SOHC '99?

08 X Prem 5mt
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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flstffxe - I have no idea. How would I tell?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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chance, that engine replace info is helpful. the 4.4k estimate was from a dealership, but it was given verbally to my wife and she did not retain the detail on what was covered in the figure.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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well, the dealer confirmed that a replacement engine is about 4.5k but pointed out that there are additional problems in their proposed scope of work (separator plate leak, right front strut leaking, and some minor stuff like a cracked headlamp and an NF clock).

so an engine replacement would add cost to the repairs. not an available option.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwhybark View Post
flstffxe - I have no idea. How would I tell?
Easiest way to answer the "how do I tell if my engine is DOHC or SOHC?" is to take a look at the cam timing belt cover(black plastic that goes from left to right in the pics). Does it have one bump or two on each side?

SOHC


DOHC

08 X Prem 5mt
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 11:47 AM
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Why are you going to a dealer? Check out independent shops.
Try a barter for your skills in exchange for mechanical skills.

Last edited by upflying; 09-24-2011 at 03:46 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 12:39 PM
Taking a Walk in the Outback
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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i dont understand why a cracked head lamp would stop them from putting in a new motor? Sounds like you need to go find a new dealer lol. +1 on independant shops. you'll always get treated better. Only reason i ever go into my subaru dealer is because my GF's grandma is the manager and she treats me well lol.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
It may be worth getting a quote from All Wheel Drive Auto: Independent Seattle Subaru Repair & Service A Subaru specialty shop in Seattle.
^^^^This. The owner is a member here, although not on often enough. If you look through their website and all the information he provides to educate people, If I lived in the area, I'd pay him a visit for a second opinion. I don't know of any dealer that would provide the information for free that he does.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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I did drop them a line, closed on the weekend. There's another shop in shoreline I've seen suggested here too I will track that down on Sunday if I have the time.

Regarding the dealer, we bought the car aware of the possible transmission issues and my wife wanted to be sure that a corporate shop was watching the car; she also needed the loaners that come with service there. She's moved on to the next car, better for her long-*** commute.

Evaluating the small awd suv candiates, the Forester is still appealing from several angles. But this is now going to be my car and the soft ride and no manual transmission means it is not to my taste. My taste has a $2000 override.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Ryan got back to me with a 2.3k quote based on informal symptom descriptions. That's in the range I was looking for so I will be taking the car over there for a formal diagnosis in the morning. Thanks for your suggestions here.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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And to wrap up, new seals all around, oil leak fixed, resurfaced cylinder head, timing belt, a few more things: 2.6k.

the service addressed a clicking sound in the engine as well and the car feels better to drive.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 04:38 PM
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Dis you end up getting the work done at All wheel drive? Was your experience as good as everyone else? Thank you for finishing up your thread with the resolution! We love a happy ending.

04 X - getting a little too tired to keep beating up in the mtns
02 Pathfinder w/ only 224k miles
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, AWD did the work. It's been a while but if i recall correctly they may have missed a seal, which was noted on next maintenance pass at Suburb Service in Shoreline. I got in touch with AWD and they took a look, owned up, and completed the work.

Since then the car needed an axle replacement and most recently the alternator replaced, which I ended up getting at Scanwest on Greenwood, a mixed SAAB / Subie shop.

Scanwest also replaced the shifter bulb, which had gone out, at parts cost onl, despite it being an involved disassembly. I'll post a new thread about the alternator replacement here in a minute.
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