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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I have been looking to buy a Forester for a few months now, and I come across this;

2003 2.5XS Premium Alpine White Auto Trans 130,000 Miles.

Since I have done some research I asked the dealership the essentials. Timing Belt changed, service history report and the such. They came back with the timing belt was changed and looks to have all service records by a dealership since it was bought new. So that is all fine and dandy. Problem is carfax score is 87 (I think 92 is highest in class) because it has been in an accident. The report said it was towed, but doesn't say any more info. I asked the dealership about this and they said they are unsure of the scope of the accident but that they inspected the car and everything is fine.

They are wanting $7500 for it but i may be able to get them down to $7 because it has a few dents on the drivers side fender, no biggie to me though.

My question is this. Is it worth pursuing? The dealership is about a 2 hour drive away so its not like I can just run up there and look at it 15 times before I buy it. Also I am wanting to get it purchased before May when I am getting married. Any and all input is great. Thanks in advance, I know you guys wont let me down.:biggrin:
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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My quick research tells me the average going price is around $9K, so if the '03 Forester is to your liking, the asking price is pretty good. :smile:

Keep in mind the '03 models have head gasket issues, much less than the previous years, but it's still something to keep in mind... especially when you're looking over the dirty side of the vehicle. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I forgot to ask them about any head gasket work. I have seen on here in places that the 03 models are a little hit and miss with the HG problems. If it winds up that it has not been replaced and there are no tell tale signs, like oil seeping, or oil in the coolant, or bubbles in the coolant reservoir, then is it somewhat safe to assume that by this time if it has not been a problem it might not ever be (at least in the near future). Its still something I would keep a close eye on.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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My slightly MODded :)wink:) '03X hasn't had a problem yet. I passed the '03 to my son last summer when I moved on to my '07. I still think the '03 feels & handles better than the '07, but I'm still trying to get the '07 to where the '03 is... :smile:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah I can recall seeing you posting something similar to that a few times while I was on here reading up on HG issues. :icon_wink:

Thanks again
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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If the head gasket is sound, I'd suggest having the coolant changed & add the recommended Subaru conditioner & call it good. I just had that service done to both our vehicles last year. :smile:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That reminds me. Every time I have flushed and filled a radiator (both times were on older Saturn DOHC's) the thermostat went out within a month. No big deal really just wastes some coolant. Its about a 15 min job to replace. I try to do most of my own work but I am no pro wrencher. How hard is it to change a thermostat on an 03 2.5 NA? Really how hard is most "typical" maintenance to do on these motors?
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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I've never done it or had one go out on my Foresters, but I've seen where it is (underneath) & you will loose the coolant if you have to change it. :wink:

The Forester, especially the N/A models are very easy to work on. They're also very easy to MOD, if you're into that. I always change my own oil & filter, but I leave the real messy & PIA stuff for my trusted dealership. :smile:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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2003 forester XS
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My quick research tells me the average going price is around $9K, so if the '03 Forester is to your liking, the asking price is pretty good. :smile:

Keep in mind the '03 models have head gasket issues, much less than the previous years, but it's still something to keep in mind... especially when you're looking over the dirty side of the vehicle. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
CRAP seriously ! I thought the 03 were the start of the HG prob free fozzies !... when did they stop haveing HG probs ? ....

what is the interval to change the HG to prevent a failure ?

crap! :icon_confused:
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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2003 appears to have been a transitional year in the head gasket department. Better than the previous SF models, but not quite as solid as subsequent years in the SG and SH series.

See our polls on the subject here.

He says keeping his fingers crossed!
(see below)
 

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2004 Forester XT 5MT
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Discussion Starter #11
Well after about 2 weeks worth of emails and calls with the dealership, I find out they are only going to give me $6000 for my trade (which is $2000 less than KBB trade in value!) and they say they can not finance the remaining balance to me! :mob::chair: So I guess its back to square one. Anyone know of a decent used 03 or newer Forester with an automatic for around $6000 to $8000. Still trying to trade in my car. Unless someone here wants a 2007 Hyundai Tiburon SE for some reason. :icon_wink: hint hint :icon_wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I am sitting in the dealership waiting for the bank. Got a 2004 XS in the lot with my name on it! Details coming soon...
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Good luck on the Forester purchase! We expect to see pictures. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Discussion Starter #14
:woohoo::woohoo::woohoo::woohoo::woohoo:
Ok so after a few hours in the dealership I am officially the proud new owner of a 2004 Java Black Pearl XS. With only 125,000 miles on it. I have only had it a weekend and I am loving it! :biggrin: My only thing with the car is the brakes seem a little soft or mushy feeling. I realize I am used to a small car with huge brakes (my Tiburon had cross drilled and oversized rotors and oversized calipers).But the brakes just dont feel right. Is this a common feeling driving the foresters or should I be a little concerned with them? I am going to look into changing fluid after checking the pads and rotors.
 
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