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My 2007 Forester with about 140,000 miles on it started rapidly burning oil without me realizing it and then the motor blew a couple weeks ago. A used one with 90k miles will cost me $4k and a new one will run me $6k, and in the rural town where I live it will be another couple weeks before the work can be done.

I found a manual version of the same vehicle (listed at $6k, 170k miles) which is desirable to me as I’d like the option to tow it behind an RV. The owner had done work to replace the engine as it had the same problem one had, timing belt, clutch, head gaskets. However, upon having it checked at a mechanic (with good rating but whom I don’t know), it was reported to have several leaks: the steering gear/rack and pinyon, camshaft seal, right front shock, valve cover, and transmission housing.

The seller claims at least some of this is due to lack of cleaning it up after the engine work had been completed, and not all are truly leaks.

I’m trying to decide if it’s a good idea to pick up this car, or worth it to fix my own (what might be prone to breaking as soon as I fix the engine), or simply continue my search. Opinions are welcome!
 

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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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I’m trying to decide if it’s a good idea to pick up this car, or worth it to fix my own (what might be prone to breaking as soon as I fix the engine), or simply continue my search. Opinions are welcome!
You don't say where you live or RV to. It's your individual call, but I'd look at what you want your next 140,000 miles to cover; including, why do you need an AWD? Is this a snow vehicle?

Is yours to be a city or hilly city vehicle, or a main daily driver? I've found 5 spd tranny clutching to get tiring over the years. The mechanic's listed faults on other vehicle didn't seem especially bad to me, but maybe you can take your time.

So, answer: 50% of me says you should look for a new / different vehicle. If I were fixing your old car, I'd get the new engine for the additional $2K, and take care of it.
 
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