Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

Buy the 2002 forester with 33k miles or walk

  • BUY

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • WALK

    Votes: 3 50.0%
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
2010 Legacy Cvt
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a chance to buy a 2002 forester with 33k miles. A used car inspection at a dealer indicated a $1200 awd issue, $300 differential seal work and suggested tune up for $550

Never heard of a car needing $1200 awd work (plates,gaskets, seals, case) at 33k miles.

Is this a deal for $7000? Current owner willing to have the $1200 work and have me pay for differential and tune up.

Please let me know your experience and if I should buy or walk.

Thank you
 

·
Just a member
03 XS AUTO
Joined
·
847 Posts
Don't even think about. That is way to much money for an 02. Especially if it is a NA car. The mileage alone would keep me from buying it. Low mileage cars are great. Ultra low mileage cars, not so much. If you were going to drive it only the 3k miles a year that it is used to, it could be ok, but if you start driving it like a normal person you are gonna see failure after failure. That gets expensive fast. Everything from bushings to hoses to bearings can easily develop problems from a major change in driving style. Although it is low mileage, by age you are past due for the timing belt replacement. With sitting so much of its life I imagine the head gaskets are needing to be replaced also.
Then come the issues of the problems it already has. $1200 for a AWD problem is pretty vague and pretty expensive. A $550 tune up seems pretty far out there also. Does that include the spark plug wires? It should, and then some because the plug tube seals are probably hard as a rock and oil is filling the tubes up nod soaking through the wires. That means you need valve cover gaskets as well. Again, it isn't the mileage so much as the age.
I got a good deal on my 03 with 105k miles. It obviously needed head gaskets. The drivers seat had two worn spots and the front bumper had some damage that I covered with plasti dip. $2800, out the door. This is on an XS with leather and a huge sunroof, custom wheels and almost brand new tires. It was a good deal.
Just remember that you may have to put another $3k into it after you buy it for head gaskets and a timing belt package. You need to replace the idlers and tensioner when the timing belt is done.

.02
TUGG
 

·
Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
·
41,198 Posts
Was the recommended repairs from a prepurchase inspection that you paid for? :confused:

A $550 tune up sounds high to me. :icon_eek:

Nothing wrong with a vehicle with low miles, as long as it's been maintained. :wink:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

·
Registered
2010 Legacy Cvt
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
02 maintainence

Yes the 02 was/is very well maintained. Everything by the book. Garage kept, which is a bonus here in the northeast.
The cost of the tune-up is typical for up here.
The car felt like it had a sutter start so I insisted it be looked at by a dealer. They said the issue was because of the low mileage and lack of driving. This sounds odd to me.
Yes. The inspection was done at a subaru dealer and repair estimates from same shop.

Now worried about Tugg's comments. The car will probably be driven 10k miles a year after purchase.
 

·
Just a member
03 XS AUTO
Joined
·
847 Posts
My reply is based on me being in the auto industry for all of my life. A decade of certain temperatures, certain brake usage, certain driving styles in general, all have an effect on a vehicle. Its kind of as if the vehicle gets used to a driver and after a while it is all it wants to do. I have seen the issues I described many many times and once I even broke my own rule and bought an ultra low mileage myself. It didnt work out so well for me, but I drive a car fairly hard and usually do more than 20K a year. I am not saying all ultra low cars do this, I am saying I have seen it enough to remember it and try to pass my knowledge on. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

With all of that being said, you still have a car with very low miles that has issues that seem failry uncommon on cars with more normal miles. You mentioned it has a stutter start. That can be from soft carbon buildup that is common on cars that aren't driven at operating temperatures long enough. I have to wonder if the car has ever reached operating temps with only being driven 230 miles a month. A MONTH. Thats what the 33k divided by an age of 144 months breaks down to. In that kind of situation I also wonder if the rings ever properly set, to say nothing on the hardness of any and all seals in the driveline.
If it was a car I was considering, I would honestly take it out and run it through its paces and see how it did. That is a nice way of saying run the p!ss out of it. Drive it like you would normally drive it plus maybe 20%.
I will relate another story when I was buying an old car. I got a ride to the lot to buy it, had cash in hand, went for a final test drive. I had been there before and driven it before. I took it out and drove it like I planned to drive it for the time I owned it. The brakes became very weak after 5 minutes, it sounded strange under power, the oil light started coming on at idle. it was awful in the corners. This was not a low mileage vehicle, it is simply a statement to get what performance level out of the car on day one, that you expect to get out of it for a lifetime.
 

·
Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
·
41,198 Posts
Yes the 02 was/is very well maintained. Everything by the book. Garage kept, which is a bonus here in the northeast.
The cost of the tune-up is typical for up here.
The car felt like it had a sutter start so I insisted it be looked at by a dealer. They said the issue was because of the low mileage and lack of driving. This sounds odd to me.
Yes. The inspection was done at a subaru dealer and repair estimates from same shop.

Now worried about Tugg's comments. The car will probably be driven 10k miles a year after purchase.
All our vehicles have low mileage.
  • '07 FSXT = 26+K miles
  • '03 X = 30+K miles
  • '95 Neon Sport = 55+K miles
Our vehicles are VERY well maintained & are in perfect running condition. Both our Foresters are power MODded. I'm anal about leaks, so no oil or fluid leaks on any of our vehicles. :cool:

When We drive our vehicles, they're not babied... I tend to have a heavy right foot! :biggrin:

As to the vehicle you're looking at. In my opinion, it's has way too may problems. None of our vehicles have required any shop repairs in years. The price would have to be haggled down some more before I'd consider taking a chance on it. :icon_eek:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top