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2004 2.0 X
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440 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I've been away from a Forester 'for a while' :icon_razz:

I want back in as I have some great memories of my two years with my 2004 2.0 N/A.

Cars with low mileage though are currently thin on the ground within 100miles of me. So I was thinking...should I look at 100k+ 2.0 N/A and 2.0T?

Of course any car can suffer from lack of annual/regular servicing so I'll be looking for a car(s) with minimum of history of an annual service throughout its life so far.

What are your thoughts and personal experiences?
 

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12 Premium 5-speed
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4,486 Posts
No personal experience with the 2.0 motors you have over that a way, but our previous 150-160,000 mile '04 XT went its time with us without ANY parts-required repairs. Our current '04 Outback is nearing 105,000 miles and we've only replaced a couple suspension bushings since we bought it at around 50,000 miles. I think the only thing on her Legacy (50,000 miles so far, not particularly high) is the airbag indicator light assembly up by the rearview mirror. We might have a dinged wheel, too, since one tire loses pressure periodically; bought a great used wheel on eBay and am just waiting to verify which wheel has the fault. Gonna chalk that one up to a pothole.
 

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1999 Forester 5MT
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856 Posts
I picked up a 1999 S with 112k miles earlier this year. I'm not sure of how well the previous owner kept up on the details, but it had regular services for most items. I've had to replace the rear diff, replace the center diff, and do the headgaskets as my major investments. I got it cheap, so it was expected. I also did the work myself to keep costs down.

When you buy it, expect some maintenance to be required unless you have documentation that everything is very up to date.
 

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2005 Forester X Auto
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317 Posts
I found my 05 2.5X with 96k on the clock at 6800$ at a bmw dealership. At 102k right now, zero issues, previous owner was an older lady who recently passed and took very good care of it.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,796 Posts
Having owned a 2008NA (I know its not the same)...and having been on this board for 6+ years. I would never buy a used Subaru.


Reasons:

1. Subaru is a comlicated piece of equipment (comparatively). There are a lot of things to break that require a skill level higher than many people chose to use.

2. Subaru suffers from numerous weaknesses two of them are Head gaskets and timing belts.with associated parts that normally don't get repaced.

3. I believe many subarus traded in are traded because the owners were unhappy with the car, chose not to go the whole route on belt replacemment (water pump, idlers, and tensioner). Worse..there are mega cases on this board of botched repairs from the present owner and more likely the previous owner. It normally takes a Subaru specialist to work on these engines. And that doesn't always happen.

4. Subaru is a very well made vehicle but the engineering on some of the components shows weaknesses....mega leaks from the engine, poor engine desin vis a vis the head gasket and entire timing belt design, valve covers, wheel bearings, radiators...

5. My 08 vehicle receives the best of care, but after 115 K miles it has become problematic. I have dealt with all of the issues. But many owners wouldn't. The 2nd buyer would be forced to do that.

Am I dis-satisfied with my purchase? no. I would do it over again because it has been reliable for 110K miles. Just be aware that all vehicles with that mileage cause problems and one you buy used will likely have a much higher % of problems.

Call me a killjoy but I have been around the block (67 years old). Go into a used subaru purchase with a couple thousand U.S. dollars and and if you are lucky you won't need to use them.
 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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54 Posts
I respectfully disagree. My 2001 Forester has nearly 430,000 miles. And I've put over 200,000 miles on a 1995 Ford Contour, nearly 200,000 miles on a 1986 Nissan Maxima, and over 100,000 miles on a 1990 Chevy Astro Van, 1997 Dodge Dakota, and 1981 Toyota Tacoma 4x4.

Except for some transmission issues on both the Contour and Maxima, I never had a major problem with any of my vehicles. I have always used synthetic oil and changed all fluids regularly.

The key is to find a well-maintained and well-documented vehicle. Is it still possible to get a lemon? Sure, but the likelihood of encountering one is greatly diminished.

My two cents.
 

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2005 Forester XT 5 Speed
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109 Posts
I bought my 98 S with 160k, replaced the head gaskets and did the timing belt within 3k miles. I've got 221k on it now, and my old grandpa runs like a champ. Bushings are needed though for the diff and outriggers now, but its still going strong. Still on the original clutch. I did do all 4 wheel bearings at 180k.
 

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2006 Forester Premium 5MT
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3 Posts
I vote with the other higher milers. I have a '96 Outback @ 187.5K with the notorious 2.5 DOHC 4EAT and a '06 Forester Premium @ 188K with a 2.5 SOHC 5MT. I bought both used, both had high miles (177K and 156K). I am the third owner and have partial records. Both were treated with benign neglect so they were far from clean.

These are sturdy, tough vehicles. If you find a clean one with records, as another poster above did, it should last a long time with normal maintenance. As for my Forester (previous ranch vehicle that pulled horse trailers and saw some obvious hard off road use in the Rockies) I plan to keep it until 250K and should have minimal problems.

My advice would be to bear in mind the major maintenance items such as the timing belt, struts (seem to last around 100K although the Outback has original that sort of work), O2 sensors and cats (expensive) and clutch (110K for mine). In the US a lot of Subarus are sold around 100K w/o the maintenance. I recommend you look for one with a few more miles that have seen their service cycle. The maintenance can cost a few thousand and the difference in overall vehicle life will be minimal.
 

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2008 Forester
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2 Posts
High Mileage Worthwhile?

Hello there,

There's currently a 2008 Forester 2.8x 16v, standard, available near me for $2,500-$3,000 (they're only selling because they're having another baby and bought a minivan) Unfortunately, it's at 209,000mi :surprise: . It needs an oxygen sensor, otherwise is in great condition. It has had it's oil changed every 3-5,000 and new filters every other, timing belt changed at 75k, alt belt, and alternator about the same time. Other than that nothing major. Would love input from high mileage Subie owners. Worthwhile buy or run away?

Thanks in advance!
 

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'17 Impreza Hatchback CVT
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834 Posts
Well, for starters it sounds like about time for another timing belt change + all the bits, and probably do the water pump at the same time. Full service records? O2 sensor or a cat problem? It is getting up there.
 

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2001 Forester L 4 Speed Auto
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69 Posts
Well, for starters it sounds like about time for another timing belt change + all the bits, and probably do the water pump at the same time. Full service records? O2 sensor or a cat problem? It is getting up there.
I agree - figure $5-6k (including the vehicle purchase) will make that a reasonable daily driver.

I'd rather get a Subaru with 150k with a documented timing belt/pump change on time than one at 90k without it ... that 100k rework hurts the checkbook a lot.
 

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2018 Forester Premium BE CVT
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43 Posts
It seems that part of a Subaru's strength is in its quality workmanship, but is it "normal" for the timing belt to go or cv joints at 100,000? My Tacoma hasn't had anything yet after 160,000 miles, even brakes! The O2 was easy to fix and took 30 min, but I could work under it easily. I wonder how easy it would be to do your own repairs on a used Forester???
 

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2001 Forester L 4 Speed Auto
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69 Posts
It seems that part of a Subaru's strength is in its quality workmanship, but is it "normal" for the timing belt to go or cv joints at 100,000? My Tacoma hasn't had anything yet after 160,000 miles, even brakes! The O2 was easy to fix and took 30 min, but I could work under it easily. I wonder how easy it would be to do your own repairs on a used Forester???
Depends on what the issue is - the boxer engine means that the entire intake system is right on top and very easy. The exhaust, however... well, that's all below the car. I generally leave exhaust and brakes up to the pros, and do the rest myself.

I had to have my CV boots (not joints) replaced at 140k, and the boots do crack and degrade like any rubber part - and I'm in New England, aka car hell.

Timing belts are wear items that require periodic replacement - engines with timing chains such as the newer ones don't have to do this, as the timing chain is designed to last the life of the engine, and makes noise when it's going bad.

If you're still on the factory brakes on your Tacoma, you really do a lot of highway driving, which is nicer on a vehicle in general, so there's that, too.
 

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2001 Forester L 4 Speed Auto
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69 Posts
I've always wondered how to interpret those sorts of car maker claims. There is a definite relationship there! :surprise:
Well, the good news is, that the timing chain makes noise before it goes bad - so unlike a belt that can suddenly snap without any warning, you do get a warning for this one.
 

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1973 W300
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2 Posts
First Forester (high miles)

Looking to buy my first Forester. I know so very little about these vehicles - Subarus in general - but I respect the judgement of several people who swear by them. As well, the Forester fits the criteria of what we are looking for in terms of space, versatility and fuel mileage.

High mileage cars don't scare me. But just the same I'm not especially looking to get into a head gasket or timing belt change before the ink has dried on the contract.

One Forester I have looked at is a 2010 with 134xxx miles. The asking price is $7500. The woman who owned it regularly drove from St.Louis to Georgia to Oklahoma. It has a bit of cosmetic damage too. The interior is damaged from a large dog who apparently never got its nails trimmed. There are quite a few dings and dents and I don't believe it's ever seen a coat of wax. It would seem the price is in line with the state of the vehicle but I understand there are much more serious issues to consider.

The salesman pointed out that it received all of its servicing at a Subaru dealer. Every part replaced on it is labeled "Subaru" - even the battery.
It has the 2.0 engine and the automatic/sportshift.
I have heard that somewhere later in the 2000s they switched to a better head gasket. Was that done by 2010?
And I read on this forum that the timing belt was also replaced by a chain. Can someone tell me when that was done?
Also in regard to the possibility of the timing belt - are these 2.0s non-interference engines?

Thanks very much to anyone who has time & knowledge to share!
 

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2004 Forester 2.5xs Automatic
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3 Posts
To buy or not to buy: 2005 2.5x with 200k

Just found a 2005 2.5x 5speed with 196k on it. Claims to have had the head gasket, water pump and timing belt replaced (waiting to hear back on the mileage when these repairs took place) with a new exhaust/cat. Claims to be accident free with regular maintenance. With essentially 200k I am weary over spending (after loosing my 04 2.5xs recently after only 6 months). What should I be on the lookout for? Current asking $2750, but has been sitting in inventory for over a month. Thinking of offering $2k given the mileage. Thoughts?
 
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