Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

Pre-purchase inspection

7396 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ForesterBill
What all should I have a mechanic inspect on a ‘14 2.5i with 144,900 mi I’m considering buying? I’ve made an appointment with the service department of a Subaru dealership just down the street from the used car dealer that owns the vehicle. When I scheduled the appointment online, I identified the vehicle and said I wanted them to perform a pre-purchase inspection to assess the condition of the vehicle and its component systems and identify any evidence of collision or other damage and any corrosion, mechanical/electrical or other issues a potential buyer would want to know about.

If there are any Subaru mechanics reading this, how specifically would you approach inspecting a vehicle that a loved one or close friend were considering buying?

I plan to do a thorough visual inspection of the vehicle myself for those areas easily visible and accessible without putting the vehicle in the air. I’ll also test-drive the vehicle, do a functional check of things I can test from the driver’s seat, and scrutinize the body and frame from above the axels to sniff out collision damage/repairs.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Might be the old age cynic in me but I’d be reluctant to have car checked by a dealer right down the street from the dealer selling the car.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
If you have an independent Subaru-only repair shop in your area, I would take it there instead of the Subaru dealer.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
That's a lot of miles on a 2014! Any particular reason you are considering such a high mileage vehicle? Other than price, I imagine? Might be better off finding a slightly older vehicle with fewer miles.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
True, the car has high miles. But the pics I’ve seen of it and the CARFAX report (and the asking price) piqued my interest. I reason that, if it acts and looks like a 2014 with average miles and checks out with a mechanic, and if I can get it for under $9K, it’d be a good deal. Please

I’m finding almost no private sales of 4th generation Forester 2.5i’s in New England. The one I did find, at the outer edge of my 175 mi search radius, didn’t pan out; when I emailed the owner of the ‘14 Limited with 70K mi to schedule a look, I got no response...and immediately saw the asking price jump 5K, from just above Edmund’s TMV to $20K even.

The 4th gen 2.5i Limiteds I’m finding at dealerships here in New England either have high miles or are priced at north of $15K, often well north, with average miles.

My posting here for a recommended independent Subie mechanic in Rhode Island or southern Massachusetts so far has gone unanswered.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Problem is a mechanic would have problems determining if the vehicle is an oil burner. Certainly driving it will give you a sense about the CVT. But earlier CVT's had problems. You would be looking at $6K. I wouldn't touch it with a 10 ft pole.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
adc, when you say earlier model years, do you mean pre-4th generation (2014 and earlier)? I thought the major problems were resolved with the 4th gen.

gt2020, the 2011 2.5X Premium at Stateline Subaru is a turbo, whereas I’m looking for a 2.5i. And I’m targeting a 4th gen.
It's likely that none of the drivetrain fluids have ever been changed. I would want the dealership to change all of those if paying a retail price.

I would check for lifter noise, sludge from lack of oil changes, bearing and drivetrain noises. I don't think you need a subaru specific shop to inspect it for you. I imagine that most mechanic shops are familiar with subaru's in your area.
IMO too many New England miles. I know the resale is crazy but don't lose sight of the extra wear and tear our climate and roads entail. The only real way to rack up that many miles is lots of interstate driving or delivery driving. I would pass.
...the 2011 2.5X Premium at Stateline Subaru is a turbo, whereas I’m looking for a 2.5i.

That's not a turbo model.

As you have encountered, your budget does not get you a 4th gen with reasonable miles.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Oops. Thought the X indicated turbo. (I’m just now begining to learn about Subies, having never iwned one.)
Keep Looking

High mileage for what it is. I just found a 2005 Forester with 82,000 miles, and it lived
all its life in a garage. This took about 5 months to find: Carfax, Carmax, Carguru, and
Craigslist. If you can go beyond your radius of 175 miles, I found Subis in Virginia, Florida,
and the Carolinas with lower mileage. Oregon and Washington also had a lot of Subis that
for the most part would not have issues of salt on the roads. The really good ones were
quickly sold.
For the 2005, the independent mechanic changed the timing belt/tensioner/water
pump (because of the car's age, not mileage), a leaking brake cylinder, all the fluids and
filters. He said, "No body even farted in this car."
The new 2005 Subi is learning to live in the snow and outside in the forest!
Oops. Thought the X indicated turbo. (I’m just now begining to learn about Subies, having never iwned one.)
XT is the turbo desgination.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts