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2009 Forester 2.5XT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering talking my sister-in-law into purchasing a used 2003 Forester. My concerns are since I've done a lot of research here (thanks for all the info that's out there concerning everything Forester related!! Best site EVER!!) of the Head Gasket issue that seems to plague the '03 Foresters, the two we're looking at have not had their Head Gaskets replaced so I'm concerned that they will go out and need to be replaced. My question is: of the '03 Forester owners out there who have had their Head Gaskets replaced/repaired, was the problem solved and it's a one and done thing, or have their been multiple issues involving the new gaskets? Any other thoughts on purchasing an '03 Forester? Thanks!!
 

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2009 Forester 2.5XT
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Awesome polls, thanks for the guidance. From what I've read, it seems as if once you replace the Head Gaskets that should be the end of that problem and its just normal maintenance/miscellaneous minor breakdowns after that.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5XT
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40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well, I found an '05 for sale. Its $5995 and has 145k miles, the other is an '03 for $8900 with 105k miles. To me, the '05 seems like a better deal (price wise) but the mileage is concerning. I know Subaru's last a long time, but how much longer do you think this '05 has??? It's being sold by a Subaru dealer so I'd assume they stand behind the Forester. They are both 2.5X. My sister-in-law does ALOT of driving and once she gets a hold of the vehicle she will drive and drive and drive.... I just want to make sure that the Forester we get for her will be reliable and long lived... :icon_biggrin:
 

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2016 & 2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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I'd look really hard at the maintenance record on that 2005. It should have had the timing belt (and some associated stuff) replaced at 105k miles. If this hasn't been done it's not the sort of thing that would gradually degrade the engine it would however greatly increase the probability of sudden, catastrophic failure that would effectively take the whole engine with it. And it would be an indicator of a previous owner who didn't take care of the Forester.

There are still a lot of us driving 2003s with original head gaskets. I refer to 2003 as a transition year in the head gasket department.
 
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