Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
All,

New to the forums looking for some guidance/advice on a 2001 Subaru Forester L. I have never owned a Subaru before but have heard amazing things about them. The one thing I have heard about them is they need their maintenance done regularly but other than that they're fantastic. The car I am looking at is a L model with 99K miles, 4 cylinder automatic, one owner. Is there anything specific I need to watch out for when I got to look at this car? Does this year/model of forester have known issues that will need fixed or failures it is prone too? Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
2009 Legacy
Joined
·
582 Posts
It may need its timing belt, related pulleys, seals and waterpump replaced, if that has not been done yet. It should be done around 100K and is part of regular maintenance. That may be why they are looking to sell it; it could cost anywhere from $700-1200 and is considered a major required preventative service.
If it hasn't been done, definitely take care of that. A timing belt can break at random at that age and will wreck that engine.

That vintage does seem to have its share of head gasket problems. I've replaced two sets and replaced one engine on a 99.
There's a cheap tester (sub $30) you can buy called a "block tester". It basically tests whether there are trace amounts of exhaust fumes in the coolant, which is indicative of blown head gaskets.
Also check whether there's a slight oil slick drifting on top of the coolant in the radiator's neck - another indication.
Check whether the oil is clean and doesn't look foamy or like a brown milk shake substance - yet another indication.
Make sure it doesn't bellow a mess of white smoke for longer than a couple of seconds, after it has been sitting still. That's another indicator.

All that said, that's not to say you won't have that dreaded head gasket breach happening as the timing of it is random.
That vintage subie is a nice car. We've had several and they served us well.
If you can get it for a good price, you're golden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you this is exactly what I needed! What would you say is a fair price? KBB private party top condition is about $3500, this dealer is asking $4000. What does it cost to fix the head gasket if its blown? Is it better to find another car if it is? Thanks again
 

·
Registered
2009 Legacy
Joined
·
582 Posts
If the head gasket is indeed blown, there are several ways it can be blown.
In the case where coolant and oil were allowed to mix, it is quite destructive and that engine would be scrap.

If this is a dealer, the replacement cost isn't what it would be to the public.
As such, tell them you offer them X but ask them to replace the head gasket and timing belt before you sign on the dotted line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Roger that, I get the feeling its back-yard kind of dealership so unsure if he has a mechanic on staff etc.... Will check out the car and see what it looks like. Thanks for the help
 

·
Registered
2009 Legacy
Joined
·
582 Posts
No problem. If this is a second hand non-subaru dealer, you may want to get it checked by an trusted independent mechanic that knows these cars before you sign on the line.
Yes, it will cost you probably an hour's fee but is better than spending a bunch of money on a car that could have serious issues.
Good luck.
 

·
Registered
MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
If the dealership has workshop facilities, ask to see it on a lift, so you can see if there's any rust and how much underneath. Headgaskets can be fixed - Rust, depending on where is a whole different story and can be terminal.........
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top