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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at a 2003 Forester 2.5x with 65,000 miles at a local Dealer Toyota Dealer...

Is there anything I should look out for? I.E.Head gasket, differencial, tranny

Anything I can use to get them to drop the price? Like I will have to replace "X" in 5000 miles?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Mark in MN

PS I own a 2010 Legacy GT
 

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

The headgasket issue is the biggie, so look for the obvious symptoms. With that many miles, the Forester should have new tires & the sparkplugs should have been changed. If it comes with a detailed service record, that's great, but not even my '07, that I purchased last year (June/09), came with that. With no service records, I'd expect to service the coolant, brake fluid, transmission, including the front & rear differential. :smile:

Bobby...

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

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2008 XS 4EAT
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+1 with what Bobby said, not much to knock the price down, other than service items. If you find leaky HG's you could expect 1200-1500 in future costs, unless you're confident on doing them yourself or have someone in mind that is capable of doing a good job.

Would/have you checked out this? 2003 Subaru Forester 2.5 XS in Bloomington, MN CarFax looks good, it's an XS with more options. I'd still think there would be some wiggle room on price, but comparing what's available in your area pricing seems appropriate.

(the tires on the Forester look like the originals, so a new set of rubber is definately overdue)
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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Welcome!

2003 was the first year of a model change and kind of a transition year with respect to head gasket problems. While 2003 didn't exhibit the near-systemic problems of the previous SF model, incidence was a bit higher than that in the later years of the SG (-2008) model. That having been said, there are a lot of us here with high mileage 2003s that are absolutely solid. Like mine! Interestingly, I bought mine in December of 2002, very early in the model year, so it doesn't seem to be a matter of their using up old components before switching over to the new improved ones.

Since people tend to talk much more about how bad things are rather than how good they are, I set up a few polls regarding head gaskets, giving members the opportunity to vote Yes or No regarding problems that they might have experienced with their own Foresters so that we could get a balanced report. You can see the polls here.

As for upcoming big items of scheduled maintenance, there are none. The only piece of scheduled maintenance in the life of a Forester that could be described as large is timing belt replacement, and that's not due till 105k miles. Everything up till then is just routine—plus of course replacing anything that wears out like tires. You can see the entire maintenance schedule at cars101.

As for Good Dog's comment regarding an XS that's available in your area, do be aware that there are a couple of major differences between the X and XS that were the deciding factor that led me to buy an XS. (The XS Premium part was for fun!) These are disc brakes all around vs. drums on the rear, and limited slip differential. Cars101 is also the place to go to get the complete list of features associated with each different model.

For more info about Subarus in general and about our forum here, check out the sticky threads in the New Member Introductions Forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Would/have you checked out this?
I saw this one too. It looks pretty good from the pics,... I should call on the maintenace records.

I am more than capable of replacing anything on it.

The 2.5x I found was $10k so,... real close on the price.

I plan on letting my Wife drive it for about a year before letting my Daughter start to drive.,.... a few years later college,... maybe.
 

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02 with low mileage or 03 with high?

Don't know if anyone will see this, but I''m trying to make a decision in a hurry (like tomorrow). Dealer has two Foresters on the lot: an 03 with 141k miles for $5400 or an 02 with 87K for $3000 more. As far as potential issues with head gaskets (and other things) - am I better of with an low mileage 02 or a high mileage 03? Thanks!
 

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Was the timing belt on the '03 changed at 105K? Do you have the full service history on either vehicle? Both vehicles could have head gasket issues, perhaps a bit less on the '03, but the chance is still there. :wink:

Bobby...

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