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OH Ranger
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been wanting to replace my Ranger with a Forester for a long time, but never was able to justify even shopping until today.

Went and test drove a 99 Forester L w/102,000 miles, and it seemed pretty good.

My biggest question is the clutch feel. My current truck is the only manual transmission I have driven, and I only have to let the pedal up a small amount (maybe 1/4 of the way) before the clutch starts to grab. On the Forester I had to let the pedal out about 3/4 of the way before I gave it any power. It was also much grabbier, but that seems to be common with Subarus from what I have read. It had no slippage at all though, and was easy to get into gear--is this the way they normally feel? If so, great! I can adapt. If not, I will definitely look elsewhere.

Also, are the doors supposed to automatically lock at any point? As soon as I sat down in the driver's seat and closed the door, the doors locked--that seems like it could be an electrical problem, but I supose it could be a desired feature. I've seen other cars automatically lock as soon as they are driven forward. This one was not even in gear at the time, though.

Finally, how fair a price is $6k for that mileage that seems to be in good condition (assuming the above problems are not problems)? Blue book says $6500 for excellent, but blue book might not accurately portray real world pricing. If it helps any, I know the car was leased for 10 years (!) and was always owned in the Cincinnati area.

Thanks for any info/advice!
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,121 Posts
sounds like a reasonable price for that year 100,000 mi aren't anything on these cars. Any maintenance records? has timing belt been replaced or the head gaskets ?
 

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OH Ranger
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Discussion Starter #4
Unfortunately there aren't any detailed records, they just had the Carfax reports.

It is my understanding that for the '99 the head gaskets didn't need to be replaced, but only needed to have something added to the coolant to prevent external leakage--or am I incorrect?

I would hope that since it was leased, regular maintenance would have had to be performed as part of the lease, but I may be falling victim to wishful thinking.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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The earlier years were more susceptible to head gasket failures then the later ones but it looks like no 2.5L is immune to it. All you can do is keep the fluids changed use the additive and keep your fingers crossed. If you like it get it but just be prepared to do some maintenance, as it is a 12 yo vehicle.
 

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OH Ranger
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Discussion Starter #6
How does one tell if it has the Phase 1 or Phase 2 engine? It looks like the Phase 2 would be much better.
 

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2007 Forester XT manual
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1,503 Posts
My biggest question is the clutch feel. My current truck is the only manual transmission I have driven, and I only have to let the pedal up a small amount (maybe 1/4 of the way) before the clutch starts to grab. On the Forester I had to let the pedal out about 3/4 of the way before I gave it any power. It was also much grabbier, but that seems to be common with Subarus from what I have read. It had no slippage at all though, and was easy to get into gear--is this the way they normally feel? If so, great! I can adapt. If not, I will definitely look elsewhere.
Doesn't sound like my clutch - it takes up fairly close to the floor, maybe about 1/3 of the way out. And it hasn't changed in all of its 118,000km. Smooth with great bite and always consistent.
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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$6000 is definitely way too much for this car.

Head gasket might be an issue, especially if it is DOHC. Also check rear wheel bearings. Consider condition of the tires - nowadays it's a major investment (relative to the price of the car).

A timing belt change is coming at 105K, $300-$1000 depending on how thorough you are (and whether you DIY or pay someone else).

There should be no auto-lock, AFAIK. May be it's an aftermarket security system? Or indeed some electrical glitches.

The clutch normally has rather wide engagement zone. 3/4 up for full engagement is ok, but you should start feeling something at least 1/2 way up. Otherwise I'd suspect clutch replacement in your near future (or may be it's just hydraulic issue). Also, keep in mind that the clutch might behave somewhat differently depending on temperature and humidity, engagement point moves down as things warm up).
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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Doesn't sound like my clutch - it takes up fairly close to the floor, maybe about 1/3 of the way out. And it hasn't changed in all of its 118,000km. Smooth with great bite and always consistent.
Turbos have a different clutch.
 

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North American 1999's all came with the Phase 2 SOHC 2.5.

Tau137 has it right, that's too much for the car that may need gaskets and the timing belt job. I think $3500 to $4000 would be closer to it for an eleven year old car in good condition even if it is a Forester. At that age you can expect a lot of small and not so small things to be failing like dash lights and steering rack seals.

I picked up a clean '02 S model with 110K on it for $6400 last year and felt like I made a bad deal after having the belts done. $5,500 would have been ok for it.

Guy
 
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