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2002 Impreza AT
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone! I have been lurking the forums for a good while now and finally registered. I have settled on a Forester for our family and a used 2004-2005 model would fit our budget. I have narrowed down my choices and one vehicle sticks out in particular but before making a move I'd like some advice!

Here are the specs:

2004 XS with 87,000km (54,000 miles) apparently "in perfect condition" :icon_rolleyes: sold by a Subaru dealer 1.5 hour away from me
Automatic transmission, brake discs all around, 6-CD changer, alloy wheels, etc. The usual XS equipment and no sunroof.
One owner, full service record, all maintenance done at the dealer
Price: 13,000 canadian dollars
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What I'm wondering is: are dealers usually trustworthy when it comes to inspecting cars before selling them? I'd like my mechanic to look at it, but he's local and the car is 1.5 hour away, so that's not an option. I don't know any mechanic in the region where the car is. Is it safe to buy the car without having it inspected, relying instead on the service records?

And finally, is that a good price? It probably had the 72,000 km service done at the dealer (that will be to confirm when I contact them) and the next major service is due in 11,000 km, is that close enough to warrant asking for a price drop? The timing belt isn't due before another 83,000 km so that's a non issue.

Anyway, all and any advice would be appreciated! Thank you all :)

Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
9,824 Posts
Welcome glad you've decided to join all of the enthusiasts here.

I'd say thats a good price for a 04, keep in mind you should have some wiggle room with the price. Looks to be the XS model so you get some of the nicer options. Comparable pricing to what's available in Ontario at this time.

You can ask to see if any of the service records are available from the dealer, but privacy laws may prevent you from seeing them. Another option is to run a Carfax report, I'll assume they are available in your province, that will show basic information that the car has been serviced at a reporting dealership and if any accidents and repairs were reported. I looked on Autotrader so I'll assume that is the car at Victoriaville Subaru, Possibly you can ask for a printout of what was serviced when it was traded in, most dealerships would be issuing a service order and checklist for the mechanic to track expenses.

I'd suggest talking about what type of warranty is offered after purchase, usually it is 30 or 60 days, that would give you time to have your mechanic check it out.

The only concern that I would try to check out is the head gaskets. This is a problem area on Foresters, some leak and some don't. If you take an extendable hand held mirror (auto supply stores) and a flashlight, you should be able to extend the mirror under the cylinder heads and illuminate the underside with the flashlight. If there appears to be a leak that can be addressed at the dealer, the cost to do head gaskets can range from 1200-1500 dollars depending on additional work that may need to be done.

Overall it looks like it has been maintained and would be a good buy.

Let us know what you do and we hope you stick around and enjoy the forum, we've had a number of new members recently from Quebec.

2016 & 2018 2.5i Premium CVT
19,778 Posts
I can't comment on pricing, though it appears that you've gotten good advice there from Good Dog. As for the state of this Forester, it sounds pretty good.

None of the scheduled maintenance up to the 105k mile (or metric equivalent) timing belt job is really a big deal. Lots of 'inspect' and a bit of minor 'replace.' That said, it looks like this Forester was treated pretty well along the way. The 2004s and onward have proven to be pretty solid regarding head gasket issues.
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