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2004 Forester X 5 Speed Manual
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading for a while but just joined recently.

Our next vehicle *was* going to be an older 4runner, pathfinder, xterra, or similiar, but I couldn't stomach the high gas bills (I'm about to start a new job with a long commute for work).

I really want something with 4wd or AWD, at least moderate off road ability, and more room than our car, but not the horrible gas mileage of the hard core SUVs. So here I am :biggrin:

I found a forester nearby for $3400 for a 2000 L Model with 140K miles that appears to be in great condition except oil leaking from the front of the motor. (I suppose this could be the dreaded head gasket, eh? :icon_frown:). He has no idea if the timing belt has been done, which means I would do it immediately. At the same time probably do a WHOLE lot of other parts while in there including the HG.

I've never had a subie, but always done all my own car repair except tires and mufflers. (Including timing belts, clutch jobs, etc).

I'm considering purchasing this as it seems like a pretty good deal overall, as even if I had a dealer do the HG and timing belt I would probably still be slightly under KBB value, but I'm doing them my self.

I'm open to any input you guys have. Bad deal, good deal, run away, whatever :icon_question:
 

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2009 Impreza Outback Sport 4EAT
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387 Posts
Run away. 140k?! Yikes. It's entering an expensive period. Plan on at least spending $2k the first year on repairs. Have the cash? I didn't think so. If you're a student I'd seriously consider a economy car, which would not be a Subaru...
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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41,757 Posts
Welcome to the forum from Oregon! :biggrin:

If you're determined to buy the '00, pay a trusted shop look it over. It has a lot of miles on it & the leaking oil may be just the start of more serious hidden problems! :icon_eek:

Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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1,220 Posts
Congrats on seeing the light and realizing SUVs are stupid. :biggrin:

I wouldn't tell you to run away, but I would proceed with caution, which it sounds like you have. A front end oil leak could be a front seal or oil pump. When doing a timing belt, you'd want to replace all the front seals anyway. If it IS a HG though, you'll want to do ALL of it at the same time. Since there is no history of services on this one, I think I'd plan now for the worst and probably pull the engine and just do it all.

140k isn't a big deal to a Subaru, but there is the increased wear on everything so you may find yourself needing wheel bearings, a/c repairs, etc that any car of that age would require.

I would buy this example ONLY if it can be had for a KBB private party value price that would include the cost of having a dealer or specialist shop do the complete reseal and timing belt ($1500-$2000). Do not figure yourself doing it for free labor...you're gyping yourself.
 

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2008 Sports 2.5x
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335 Posts
I found a forester nearby for $3400 for a 2000 L Model with 140K miles that appears to be in great condition except oil leaking from the front of the motor.
Replace the PCV filter before looking for more $$$ problems. A plugged PCV filter was at the root of a similar problem on a friends Forester. $8 fix. I think your right to change the timing belt, water pump etc.
 

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2004 Forester X 5 Speed Manual
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35 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I ended up getting it for $3250.

The oil leak happens continuously, not just when the engine is running, but I haven't had time to take a look at it (or drive it either). I'll probably get it in the garage sometime this week and take a closer look at it.

I bought it with no known history, with the intention bringing all the maintenance up to date myself. I called a local dealer to see if they had serviced it. They had not, but the guy did look it up with subie of america and told me that 2 recalls had been completed (O2 sensor and adding the coolant additive), and he told me the dealer # that the recalls were completed at, but he didn't have a way to reference what dealer had that dealer #.

But google did :) I called the dealer, and they faxed me complete service records, looks like it got 3K mile oil changes at the dealer since new up until about a year (and a few thousand miles) ago. And the best part.... was that the timing belt was done on time so I don't have to mess with it for another 70,000 miles :woohoo:

Thanks to you guys for your help and suggestions. :icon_biggrin:
 
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