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Hello Subaru Gurus :) I've been eyeing the Forester for some time now and recently came across one that I'm considering making an offer on. It's at a used car lot and they are asking $9988 canadian. I was just wondering what might be some questions to ask before taking it any further ie: Does the 2004 model year have any "across the board" issues I should be aware of? For more info on the car in question.... (copy and paste)

cityautomart.ca/ddetails.php?idnum=300441


I've done my research online at Consumer Reports, and can't see anything that stands out, that would cause me concern. I do have plans to bring it to a Subaru dealer and have them perform an inspection on it. I drove it today for 30 minutes and was pleased, but would like to know if there are any "unknown to me" issues I should ask about.

Any advise or opinions on the car I'm looking at would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Jason
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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35,931 Posts
Welcome to the forum from Oregon! :biggrin:

The '04 model year should be pretty sound. If the tires haven't been replaced, they must be pretty worn. The brake pads might need changing. Spark plugs should have been replaced, with the other scheduled routine maintenance. You have over 40K miles before the timing belt will need to be changed. Of course, a detailed service history would be nice, but not even the '07 I bought last year (June/09) came with that. :wink:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,878 Posts
Welcome to probably the best resource for Forester information.
Sorry your link doesn't work until you have 15 posts (prevents spammers), so I took a look at the listing.

Pretty much the only issue that can be hit or miss is the head gaskets. Subaru recommends a conditioner that they sell which is advisable to add if the system has been flushed recently. It may help prolong the life expectancy, but don't let that be too much off a concern. You can use a small hand held mirror to inspect under the cylinder heads, according to my mechanic the drivers side towards the firewall is a common spot for leaks to start. Again don't let this deter you from pursuing this.

The second thing that may give you some bargaining power or have them do it in the price, is to change the timing belt, it's cheap insurance and is soon due. What should be replaced is the belt, tensioner and idlers, water pump is just extra insurance since it's accessible now. You may want to get a written estimate from the local Subaru dealer for this to bargain with.
Take a look at the tires, they should all have the same amount of wear. Transmission, differental fluids should all be changed and make sure they use the recommended Subaru fluids.

I'm not sure if it's required on "The Rock" but in Ontario a Carfax report or similar is required, it tells you where it was sold, any insurance claims, liens, and basic indication if it was serviced at a dealer that reports info, all this is done with the VIN. If you do go to the Subaru dealer to get a quote, see if you can get the VIN # and have them check too see if it was ever serviced there. Privacy regulations may prevent you from seeing them but they should be able to indicate to a potential customer what was done.

Browse around here for lots of potential questions and answers you may have, keep us posted as to what you do.

Good luck
 

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2010 Forester Limited
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I have a 2004 2.5XT Auto with 198,000 miles as of today. The only major thing I've done to-date is the timing belt. This model year has been pretty good to me. GOOD LUCK!!
 
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