Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am completely new to this. i the forester. my favorites would be 98-03. they just look so rugged. but i have no idea how to look for a used car. i dont know enough about the forester but i am well aware of the reliability of subaru. any tips on how much certain years should cost? or how many miles the car i want should have?
 

·
Registered
2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
Well, if you want reliable, I'd be looking more towards '04+. '98-'03 were notorious for headgasket failure, and it is not entirely uncommon on newer model years. :frown:

It wasn't just Foresters either, my Outback suffered from it too.

So, first thing when looking for a new Foz is maintenance records! Look to see in the records or ask about the headgaskets. Subarus are reliable, but only if they are maintained properly. They are somewhat maintenance intensive as far as cars go. It's cheap to do, but there is a lot of it (you have two differentials, 8 CV joints, etc)

As far as prices and mileage go, it's all very variable. I'd pay more for a higher-mileage, spotlessly maintained Foz than a lower-mileage one with no records.

Hope that helps. Others will chime in to add things as well. :biggrin:
 

·
Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
·
40,109 Posts
I see this is your first post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon! :biggrin:

When I was looking for my next Forester, I looked on autotrader.com to see what the year(s) I wanted was going for. :wink:

If the Forester has over 105K miles, the timing belt should have been changed. It's expensive, so you don't want to get stuck footing that bill. In addition, the earlier Foresters had a higher head gasket failure rate. This is another expensive repair, so check if the head gasket(s) has been replaced, or if there's any signs that it's starting to fail.

Good luck on your Forester search! :smile:

Bobby...

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

·
Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hey thanks a lot everyone! ive been looking into other cars to the forester. rav4, crv etc. but i just cannot shake the forester. but i will keep in mind the tips about the head gasket, timing belt, and the records. but with my budget, unfortunately, i wont be able to afford the newer models. so i guess ill have to search far and wide for a suitable earlier model.
 

·
Registered
2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
hey thanks a lot everyone! ive been looking into other cars to the forester. rav4, crv etc. but i just cannot shake the forester. but i will keep in mind the tips about the head gasket, timing belt, and the records. but with my budget, unfortunately, i wont be able to afford the newer models. so i guess ill have to search far and wide for a suitable earlier model.
The Forester, like most Subbie's, has an unshake-able attraction. They're just cool! :biggrin: Good luck in your search!

Check out the Legacy platform too. While they may not be as stocky or fun-looking, they are quite nice. Mine out handles, and out-stops our Forester, with only some mild modifications. I wanted a Foz originally, but eventually found out that it just wasn't going to happen. I've since fallen in love with my Outback as well! All Subbies are welcome here, so don't hesitate to check out some of the other offerings.

Subarus are lego-cars as well, meaning that most things can be swapped between different models. From seats, to engines and transmissions.


http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f115/battlewagon-muds-outback-55836/
 

·
Registered
2004 Forester XT Manual
Joined
·
11 Posts
hey thanks a lot everyone! ive been looking into other cars to the forester. rav4, crv etc. but i just cannot shake the forester. but i will keep in mind the tips about the head gasket, timing belt, and the records. but with my budget, unfortunately, i wont be able to afford the newer models. so i guess ill have to search far and wide for a suitable earlier model.
Ebay has some good and bad ones, non-turbo's should have self-levelling suspension, check for any flat spots when driving, not sure what causes it, but very annoying if your regular mechanic tries the usual of changing the HT Leads, spark plugs, etc, and still doesn't find the problem. Also there are a lot of imports around and the badge is different from the UK spec. I've had two, and love them, especially the hill holder function, (great for learner drivers) and the handling due to low centre of gravity and width. Turbo's are unusually fast and can surprise you. The rare ones have prodrive performance pack which takes the experience up to a different level. Mine is up for sale at the moment on ebay and pistonheads only because (read learner driver) my partner cannot drive it. So I have to find a standard model, which I am not altogether unhappy about.
All I can say is that on a daily basis, no matter where the car takes you and no matter at what speed (?) you do feel safe.
D
PS. I do not condone driving at high speeds and stick religiously to the local and national speed limits by law!
 

·
Registered
2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
Joined
·
2,000 Posts
Post up your location and perhaps someone might chime in with one they have for sale.
I have seen two local to me for sale by private owners. An 07 & 03.
 

·
Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Post up your location and perhaps someone might chime in with one they have for sale.
I have seen two local to me for sale by private owners. An 07 & 03.
I am based in long beach, ca....

i see a couple on craigs, they usually go around 6-11000 with over 120k...

i have no idea what to look for in buying a used car but the time needs to be soon. my 88 Cherokee is dying! (some might consider it already dead)
 

·
Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ebay has some good and bad ones, non-turbo's should have self-levelling suspension, check for any flat spots when driving, not sure what causes it, but very annoying if your regular mechanic tries the usual of changing the HT Leads, spark plugs, etc, and still doesn't find the problem. Also there are a lot of imports around and the badge is different from the UK spec. I've had two, and love them, especially the hill holder function, (great for learner drivers) and the handling due to low centre of gravity and width. Turbo's are unusually fast and can surprise you. The rare ones have prodrive performance pack which takes the experience up to a different level. Mine is up for sale at the moment on ebay and pistonheads only because (read learner driver) my partner cannot drive it. So I have to find a standard model, which I am not altogether unhappy about.
All I can say is that on a daily basis, no matter where the car takes you and no matter at what speed (?) you do feel safe.
D
PS. I do not condone driving at high speeds and stick religiously to the local and national speed limits by law!
Lol, what speed limit!?

I have never considered ebay as an option for buying a car before! Although, it does open up more possibilities for me, i am reluctant for i have never bought anything off of ebay and i dont fully understand it. I am mostly afraid of being ripped off i guess, thats probably why i have never purchased anything using that site. I will look into it though! Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
Joined
·
9,827 Posts
First Welcome.:biggrin:

Formalities out of the way now, you have lot's of good recommendations already, I'll just add my two cents

Have you considered looking outside of your area on Auto Trader or similar website? The reason I ask this is many members have found their dream car further away from where they live and travelled to pick it up. Think of it as a road trip to get your car.:icon_idea:
Start looking outside of your current search area and see what you come up with in your budget. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, don't rule out other states if this seems like something you'd be willing to attempt.
It is not any type of guarantee, but check out cars online that have a free CarFax available for viewing, it's just a small shopping tool to help you decide, just remember not everything is reported to CarFax, so it could have been serviced well at a local garage:icon_biggrin: or not at all:icon_frown:

Good Luck with your search and keep us posted with what you end up doing, maybe someone on here would be willing to go check out a car for you in their area.:rock:
 

·
Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First Welcome.:biggrin:

Formalities out of the way now, you have lot's of good recommendations already, I'll just add my two cents

Have you considered looking outside of your area on Auto Trader or similar website? The reason I ask this is many members have found their dream car further away from where they live and travelled to pick it up. Think of it as a road trip to get your car.:icon_idea:
Start looking outside of your current search area and see what you come up with in your budget. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, don't rule out other states if this seems like something you'd be willing to attempt.
It is not any type of guarantee, but check out cars online that have a free CarFax available for viewing, it's just a small shopping tool to help you decide, just remember not everything is reported to CarFax, so it could have been serviced well at a local garage:icon_biggrin: or not at all:icon_frown:

Good Luck with your search and keep us posted with what you end up doing, maybe someone on here would be willing to go check out a car for you in their area.:rock:
Thanks! I do love road trips. That is almost 100 percent of the reason i desire a forester so bad! Going on a road trip to get a car sounds really exciting i will look and pray.

question, what is the price that you guys paid for your subby's? and how many miles? and what is it if it isnt a forester?

thanks! i have around 5-10k to get a new car with.
 

·
Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
Joined
·
19,162 Posts
Welcome!

98-03 is a strange range, as there was a model change in 03. If you mean the original ('SF' model) Foresters, they stopped at 02. And they were much more susceptible to head gasket failure than the later models.

I wouldn't agree with MudRunner's assessment that 03s were "notorious for headgasket failure." Incidence was higher than subsequent years in the SG series but far from the systemic problems of the SFs. My 03 and lots of others here are still doing great at high mileage. I'd call 03 a transitional year at worst.

Tell us where you live, by filling out your profile. That way we can help steer you to local sources of parts and service and even offer to come help with the wrenching.
 

·
Registered
2014 CVT
Joined
·
824 Posts
5-10k can get into 04+ range which has had some better luck with headgaskets, you could buy couple 98-03 forester for 10k
 

·
Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Welcome!

98-03 is a strange range, as there was a model change in 03. If you mean the original ('SF' model) Foresters, they stopped at 02. And they were much more susceptible to head gasket failure than the later models.

I wouldn't agree with MudRunner's assessment that 03s were "notorious for headgasket failure." Incidence was higher than subsequent years in the SG series but far from the systemic problems of the SFs. My 03 and lots of others here are still doing great at high mileage. I'd call 03 a transitional year at worst.

Tell us where you live, by filling out your profile. That way we can help steer you to local sources of parts and service and even offer to come help with the wrenching.
my ideal forester would be a manual...

looky what i found
losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/cto/1740085214.html0

add the http thing since i cant yet posts url :/

is that to good to be true? i am so excited, craigs hardly ever has any foresters, now that i have the money, i have so many selections! and its in my immediate area!

i will fill out my profile also!
 

·
Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
Joined
·
9,827 Posts
2001 SUBARU FORESTER s MUST SELL $5000

Looks nice and clean, inquire if they have any service records, (oops I see they are offering those). Timing belt and assorted parts should be done at 105,000 miles.
Others will give you an approximate cost to replace the components.
+ price looks good compared to what's available on Auto Trader, even the wheels look like they have no curb rash !
 

·
Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i will call tomorrow, i don't think it is proper to call now, i cant contain my excitement though. there are a lot of foresters around my area running from 5-8k. man. i guess i have to go through the process of elimination. did i mention my excitment?
should i watch out for cars that have been owned by two people?
 

·
Registered
2006 V50 T5 6spd Manual
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
Welcome!

98-03 is a strange range, as there was a model change in 03. If you mean the original ('SF' model) Foresters, they stopped at 02. And they were much more susceptible to head gasket failure than the later models.

I wouldn't agree with MudRunner's assessment that 03s were "notorious for headgasket failure." Incidence was higher than subsequent years in the SG series but far from the systemic problems of the SFs. My 03 and lots of others here are still doing great at high mileage. I'd call 03 a transitional year at worst.

Tell us where you live, by filling out your profile. That way we can help steer you to local sources of parts and service and even offer to come help with the wrenching.
True... I'd forgotten about your '03, and Bobby's turbo'd '03.

I generally put '03'swith the '98-'02's when it comes to head gasket failure when I'm advising someone about buying a Subbie though, since they were still somewhat common (oddly enough, our neighbor here in NC just got his '04 XS back from the stealer for the HG's).

I should have noted that it IS less common than the SF models' failure. :smile:
 

·
Registered
2003 Forester XS
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
True... I'd forgotten about your '03, and Bobby's turbo'd '03.

I generally put '03'swith the '98-'02's when it comes to head gasket failure when I'm advising someone about buying a Subbie though, since they were still somewhat common (oddly enough, our neighbor here in NC just got his '04 XS back from the stealer for the HG's).

I should have noted that it IS less common than the SF models' failure. :smile:
i am fortunate, i think, there are many listings for foresters on Craigs and auto trader. a few 6k and below. what do you guys think, Black Manual for 3700. 133000 miles. wat do you guys think? togoodtobetrue....?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top