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Keep her or set her free?

  • Set her free!

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2009 Forester XT with 144k miles on it. Its been a good car and compared to our Outback (totally coincidental that we ended up with two Subarus) that cost us 3k right off the bat with bad head gaskets, I've had relatively few problems with it...but that head gasket problem has been lurking in the back of my mind. It feels like a ticking time bomb. Were running a pretty tight budget right now and could not take the financial hit for a 3k repair on an 11yr old car. Ive been keeping an eye on things and recently started diagnosing a hesitation on acceleration issue I think is a mad MAF and/or PCV Valve. Ive noticed oil on the gaskets, but I'm not sure its the heads since the PCV is likely leaking and the valve covers seem to be leaking now as well. A combustion test didn't reveal any contaminants and I plan to replace the PCV, MAF, and eventually the VCG if those are leaking.

Here's where I'm at...do I keep the car (just paid off) and roll the dice or sell it now while its in good shape, has no supposed HG issue, and used car prices are high? The potential HG literally gives me anxiety. I appreciate all thoughts and opinions. Anyone else have an 09 with good or bad experience with high miles?

I'll attach a picture of her as well.
538070
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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Here is my opinion. You have an XT, the chances of HG issues are lower compared to the NA 2.5 engines, so I consider that a Positive. However the XT does require more maintenance cost compared to the NA due to the turbo charger, ie oil changes, oil filtering to make sure that the turbo is properly lubricated.

What do you want to get out of the vehicle? A daily driver for A to B? then sell the vehicle. Or do you want a fun slam into your seat vehicle? Then keep the vehicle. Fixing a vehicle or selling a vehicle based on it's book value is always a losing proposition. Vehicles are always a liability and never an asset, even though it is a depreciating asset.

My 2001, with 220,000 miles is probably only worth less than $2000. But last year I spent $2800 in HG, TB, WP, tensioner, idler repairs. So I spent more than what the car's book value was. However, $2800 is far less money than $5000-$12000 to buy a used vehicle with unknown history for my son to drive to college. So you have to look at the big picture, where do you want to be in the next 5-10 years? I figure with good maintenance, my 2001 has another 5-10 years left of life (at least another 100,000+ miles).

Many here would argue I wasted money on repairs due to repairs being more than book value. But I am looking at the larger financial picture. If I spent $5000 for a used vehicle, ie another forester, that vehicle would be maybe a 2007 unit. If I spent $10,000-$12,000, then I would be looking at maybe a 2010-2012 vehicle. Neither of which I know the history. The 2007-2010 would likely require Head Gasket work at some point down the road. The 2011-2012 would result in a vehicle that potentially be burning oil or needing a short block.

I would rather deal with something I know. I know the history of the 2001, I like the fact that there is no EGR valve. I like the fact that it is a low maintenance 4EAT vs CVT. It's a simple vehicle to maintain. Oil and oil filter changes, coolant changes, brake fluid flushing is pretty much all it needs. It will need a new battery in the near future. The body of our 2001 other than dents from hail is in great shape, no rust. I also don't want to get into a newer vehicle that uses Gasoline Direct Injection, pain in the rear carbon deposits.
 

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2022 Forester Limited 2018 Forester XT
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Keep it. HG are unlikely. But even so you need to do the timing belt, idlers, tensioner, and waterpump. In the nextg year you might have to put several thousand in it but they you are good for another 100K miles. I did that with my 2008. Put $4000+ in it between 120 and 130K miles and it now has 219K miles on for my granddaughter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is my opinion. You have an XT, the chances of HG issues are lower compared to the NA 2.5 engines, so I consider that a Positive. However the XT does require more maintenance cost compared to the NA due to the turbo charger, ie oil changes, oil filtering to make sure that the turbo is properly lubricated.

What do you want to get out of the vehicle? A daily driver for A to B? then sell the vehicle. Or do you want a fun slam into your seat vehicle? Then keep the vehicle. Fixing a vehicle or selling a vehicle based on it's book value is always a losing proposition. Vehicles are always a liability and never an asset, even though it is a depreciating asset.

My 2001, with 220,000 miles is probably only worth less than $2000. But last year I spent $2800 in HG, TB, WP, tensioner, idler repairs. So I spent more than what the car's book value was. However, $2800 is far less money than $5000-$12000 to buy a used vehicle with unknown history for my son to drive to college. So you have to look at the big picture, where do you want to be in the next 5-10 years? I figure with good maintenance, my 2001 has another 5-10 years left of life (at least another 100,000+ miles).

Many here would argue I wasted money on repairs due to repairs being more than book value. But I am looking at the larger financial picture. If I spent $5000 for a used vehicle, ie another forester, that vehicle would be maybe a 2007 unit. If I spent $10,000-$12,000, then I would be looking at maybe a 2010-2012 vehicle. Neither of which I know the history. The 2007-2010 would likely require Head Gasket work at some point down the road. The 2011-2012 would result in a vehicle that potentially be burning oil or needing a short block.

I would rather deal with something I know. I know the history of the 2001, I like the fact that there is no EGR valve. I like the fact that it is a low maintenance 4EAT vs CVT. It's a simple vehicle to maintain. Oil and oil filter changes, coolant changes, brake fluid flushing is pretty much all it needs. It will need a new battery in the near future. The body of our 2001 other than dents from hail is in great shape, no rust. I also don't want to get into a newer vehicle that uses Gasoline Direct Injection, pain in the rear carbon deposits.
Great reply, thanks for the perspective. I definitely see the value in the demon you know vs the demon you don't.
 
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