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2002 X
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in Australia and new to this forum.

I have a 2003 manual Forester. It has done 95000 km.

I took it in for the 100k service early. The mechanic showed me the leaking coolant and some leaking oil. I decided not to go ahead with the full service as he estimated that with these symptoms it would cost about $2000. ie replacement of head gasket and the cause of the leaking coolant.

I find the Forester expensive to run so am considering trading in. If it were not for this poor performance I would consider forking out with the $2000 and keeping for another 2 years or so.

I'm just wanting some input from other Forester users. Is this a common time to part with a vehicle?

Thanks

gerri
 

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2003 Forester XS
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74 Posts
Yes, 100k (miles) is a common time to part with a vehicle. That doesn't make it a good or bad idea, though.

Look at it this way: if you can make your Forester pretty healthy again for $2,000, you've got to ask yourself if you could get a comparable vehicle for that kind of money. The answer is (usually) no. It's usually more economical to keep what you have.

That said, sometimes you just want a different car. Nothing wrong with that! :icon_biggrin:

If it were mine, I'd have the repairs done and keep the car. My 2003 Forester is running great at 150k (miles). That said, at 95k you have decent resale value too, so that's a good reason to sell it if you're tired of it.

EDIT: wait, sorry, I had unit conversion issues :)
Your car has A LOT of life left in it. Mine has 240,000km and runs great. When I was talking about "common" mileage for trade-in, a lot of folks (here in the States, anyway) tend to do it around 150,000km.
 

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2000 forester
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Hi- I've got a 2000 Forester with 150,000 ks and my sister, her daughter, half a dozen friends and now, my partner, all drive either Foresters or the mechanically similar Impreza and no one I know has had any major problem. Mine did have a minor coolant leak when new that took some tracking down, but it was just a problem with a hose.

I not a mechanic but I had old cars when I was young and had a couple experiences with head gaskets leaking. In my case, there was always coolant coming into the oil, which caused some foaming of the oil, plus obvious oil in the coolant, which was easy to see. Maybe the boxer motor is different, but if you haven't got either of these, I'd think it might be something else. I'd get back to the mechanic, or get a second opinion, and track down specifically why are these leaks happening.

If the car needs a new head gasket, you might as well do it because its going to be hard to sell the vehicle with a problem like that- at the very least you'd have to discount the sale to compensate for the cost of the repair. But if you like the car, you ought to fix it- these things are fantastic and its not uncommon to see used ones with 400,000 ks on them, still going strong.

Good luck.
 

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2000 limted
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irish makes a good point, it would be more economical to get it fixed. Shop around and get a few other opinions as well , or if you feel the need to get another car, you would not get a good price for a car needing repairs.

jim
 

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2002 X
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your advice Irish and Tom.

Do you find the Forester expensive to run? Petrol (gas in US) is about AUD$1.30 per litre here. I'm thinking of diesel. However I can see what you say - spending $2000 or so now would be the much cheaper option

I'll speak to the mechanic about what you say tomd. I do trust the company I go to for servicing and they are Subi dealers so I thought their "diagnosis" would be fairly accurate.
 

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2003 Forester XS
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74 Posts
Thanks for your advice Irish and Tom.

Do you find the Forester expensive to run? Petrol (gas in US) is about AUD$1.30 per litre here. I'm thinking of diesel. However I can see what you say - spending $2000 or so now would be the much cheaper option

I'll speak to the mechanic about what you say tomd. I do trust the company I go to for servicing and they are Subi dealers so I thought their "diagnosis" would be fairly accurate.
Since you're losing both coolant and oil, I'd bet the mechanic is right.

I don't find my Forester terribly expensive to run, but then I'm used to Jeep and Mercedes. It's definitely not as economical a Corolla or Civic, but then it drives a lot better in less-than-ideal conditions too. If you're thinking about trading, do the fuel economy math comparing the new car and your current car before you do. Sometimes you're amazed at how much you can save, other times it equals out to only a few dollars per month.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes. You're right Irish. I just hear everyone raving about how far a tank of diesel goes and I seem to be always filling up my Foz!

I think I've decided to go ahead with the repairs. The $2500 is going to hurt, but it's a lot cheaper than a change over. I was considering a 'normal' FWD small diesel car, but I've decided I need the AWD function for my rural property.
 

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Here's something to look into, but I must say I'm not sure if it applies to you.

Here in the US Subaru extended the head gasket warranty on some of their late '90 and early '00 vehicles to 10yrs/100k miles b/c of the leaky head gasket issue. You should look into if this applies to you and your vehicle, b/c you might be able to get the HG paid for by Subaru.

I really have to repeat though, I don't know if this applies to you or your Subaru, it might've been a Subaru of America sort of thing
 

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2000 forester
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In my experience the most expensive thing about a vehicle is the depreciation- and that is where the Subaru's are particularly good. My 10 year old Forester is worth around 1/3rd what I paid for it new- and that is still, amazingly, close to what they cost today. Fuel costs are relative- the nearest comparison I can think of to a petrol Forester here in Australia is the Nissan X-Trail diesel, which costs a good 15 or 20% more than the Forester. I wouldn't sell my Forester to get a diesel that would get better fuel economy at this point, and if mine were hit by lightening tomorrow, I'd probably buy a new Forester- I just love the AWD and the overall build quality. Ok, I'm a fan- I admit it. Anyway, when the diesel Foresters come out here it will be interesting to see how many people dump their petrol Foresters- there might be some bargains out there.
 

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01 Forester "S" (FS)
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My current 2001 Forester has 147K Miles on it, she runs and purrs like a well fed kitten. /knock on wood.

Over the years I did have to spend time and some money to maintain the car, but as far as I am concerned - personally - if it costs $700 to maintain the used car for a year, vs. $23,000 to buy a new car + another $300 or so annual maintenance - I will stick with my old foz.

Also to me, buying a well maintained Forester used for $7,000 makes more sense than buying new for $20,000. I do not like having car payments.
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X
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I am in Australia and new to this forum.

I have a 2003 manual Forester. It has done 95000 km.

I took it in for the 100k service early. The mechanic showed me the leaking coolant and some leaking oil. I decided not to go ahead with the full service as he estimated that with these symptoms it would cost about $2000. ie replacement of head gasket and the cause of the leaking coolant.
95000 KM is 59030 miles. Might still be under warranty. U.S. is 5 years/60,000 miles.
 
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