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2013 X premium auto
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife has had a 2013 forester and a 2017 crosstrek and my 23 year old daughter wants a subaru. I'm wondering how many miles is considered too many? My wife's forester had about 130,000 when we traded it and it had to have the engine block recall work done because it was burning excessive oil. We're looking in the under $8000 range so most subarus I've seen have at least 100,000 on them. One specific one she likes has 119,000 and the asking price is $6700. Another limited model has 160,000 for $5500, another has 90,000 for $7400.

Do those seem reasonable? Is it asking for trouble to buy something with over 100,000 miles?
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Depends on year, Turbo or non turbo and if the vehicle in question has had the head gaskets done or had a new short block ?

You can have the best maintenance records in the world, you can still suffer head gasket failure on the EJ25 turbo or non turbo and ringland failure on the EJ20 and EJ25 Turbo lumps.

Personally at 130K, I would start saving up for an engine rebuild or new shorblock if you haven't had one already, if you're on the EJ25 turbo platform - Depending on how the previous owner used the car ofcourse.

The Impreza 2.0 Non Turbo engines were very reliable, even the 2.0 turbo lumps were more reliable compared to the EJ25 turbo and non turbo - Especially in regards to the head gaskets.
I believe the 2.2 Legacys were arguably the most bullet proof. Even the Legacy and Outback H6 were better for head gasket reliability compared to the EJ25 - When those H6's went wrong though, they really weren't cheap to fix, so possibly bear that in mind.

Engines and Transmissions with some money can be fixed or replaced - The condition of the chassis body in terms of rust would be my biggest concern - Rust is probably the most expensive thing to fix on Subarus, especially if it gets to the subframes.
 

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2013 X premium auto
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
After looking at several both in person and online we decided to go with a 2009 with 111,000 on it. Asking $6700. It’s being sold by a small independent dealer who replaced the head gasket and is warranting the work for a year. It’s a premium with the all weather package and has a backup camera. It seems pretty solid, we put a refundable deposit on it and will be doing the paperwork on Monday if all goes well. Thoughts? What else should I look for and ask about?

We looked at an 11 limited that looked great far away but the tires were cracked and needed replacing and the u deride of the engine was soaked in oil. We looked at a couple outback sports with the same general mileage but sheliked the foresters more.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,152 Posts
After looking at several both in person and online we decided to go with a 2009 with 111,000 on it. Asking $6700.
Problem is that it needs the timing belt and really the water pump, 3 idlers and temsioner. But if all is done right. You are good to go.
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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18,741 Posts
Yes, any Forester of the timing belt era offered for sale at about 100k miles is probably in need of the timing belt job. Factor in an extra $1000 or so unless you have access to legitimate records which show that the owner had done the complete job.
 

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Sahuarita, Arizona USA 2018 Forester Limited
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2,281 Posts
Timing belt was due at 105k or 8.5 years, whichever comes first. Subarus have interference engines so if the timing belt breaks you'll have internal engine damage. You might find evidence of a timing belt change on a vehicle history report or by a sticker under the hood.
 

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2013 X premium auto
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for that info, didn’t know about the timing belt. I’ll definitely ask about that, do any of you know if the timing belt needs to come off when changing the head gasket?
Also, I’ll call and see if the Subaru dealer who did work listed on car fax can tell me anything. At 87,000 car fax has a dealer listed maintenance that says “drive belt(s) replaced”....do you think that means timing belt?
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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Ref my previous post, the 'Timing Belt Era' refers to Foresters prior to Model Year 2011. 2011 and onward switched to a timing chain, rated 'for life'. I didn't have the reference material available when I wrote that post.

It's our strong view here on the forum that simply replacing the timing belt at the specified 105k miles (or 105 months) is not enough. We have seen too many reports of failure of a replaced belt due to failure of one of the components that it touches - idler, tensioner, etc. That kills the belt, which in turn kills the engine. So, if maintenance records just show 'timing belt', you can't be sure that it constituted the whole job.

Our friend Jackie of Annapolis Subaru, a supporting vendor here, has put together a recommended list of everything that should be swapped out as part of the job. Anything less is false economy.

 

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2013 X premium auto
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for that info. I found out that when the head gasket was replaced all the belts were also replaced. For a used car this has the most detailed service info of any I've looked at. My daughter fell in love with a blue 09 Limited (this one is a 10 premium) but the 09 didn't have any records at all and looked like it was dripping a decent amount of oil from somewhere underneath so I had to talk her out of it.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,152 Posts
But again. If the timing belt fails bc one of the idlers, tensioner or water pump fails.
 
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