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2005 Forester 2.5XS 5 speed
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first time posting here. I just picked up a used forester with some issues, and I was hoping to get some opinions on if I should repair the car, or just try and sell it...

Background on the car:

2005 Forester XS manual
Just over 200k miles
salvage title for a rear end accident (rear bumper replaced with used, off color)
Alignment checked out, all good
Timing belt sticker shows it was replaced at 160k in 2014
all 4 brakes pads, rotors replaced recently, along with a new clutch

The issues:

I happened to notice one day that the temperature gauge didn't stay locked in one position. It would move up and down slightly, but never got over halfway. I figured I would need to replace the thermostat, put new coolant in, and be back on the road.

Got a look at the underside of the car today, and it looks like there's a coolant leak coming from the water pump! (I attached a picture)

The front u joint on the drive shaft also seems to be bad as well...

I picked up the car for what seemed like a good deal, and I have put about 200 miles on it. Everything seemed really great and in good shape before these issues showed up...


So I feel like I have 2 options:
1. Replace TB, WP, driveshaft and keep the car.
2. Sell the car as is, and try to get some money back, or do some repairs and sell it

I bought this car thinking i would keep it long term as my daily driver, and it would need work eventually. But I'm a little upset it needs work so soon!! Should I just wash my hands of this car or try and hold onto it?

What do you think I should do? And does the picture look like a waterpump leak, or should I be worried about headgaskets too? Thanks for any help you can offer!
 

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Registered
2012 Forester X 5 MT
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881 Posts
How bad is the leak? How much did you pay for the car? How long would you like to keep it?

If the leak is tiny, I'd just keep adding coolant. I wouldn't do any major stuff. I also wouldn't unload it on someone else without telling them about the problems.
 

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Registered
2005 Forester Automatic
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495 Posts
If you got a good deal and those are the only problems, then I'd say you are lucky.

I note that the picture under the engine looks VERY clean otherwise. That often means, someone else has been there recently, or cleaned it all up with degreaser and a power washer. Either way, your largest worry with this era subie is a headgasket.

When I hear of a "fluctuating needle" makes me worry about a cylinder to coolant leak. Why do you think a leaking WP would do that? My personal test is a hard drive a few miles and then jump out, perferrably inside a covered structure or shade, and shine a good light through the coolant overflow bottle. If you see bubbles and the car was not overheating, you probably have a blown HG letting combustion gasses get into the coolant. That most certainly can cause the temp needle to move around.

If the rest of the cars in great shape, then investing some personal effort is likely worth it. As the Goat suggests, you really cannot sell it to another party and NOT tell them about the leak and the drive line issue.

Lastly, you could tell us your details via your user profile. Helps a lot.

Welcome aboard....
 

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Registered
2005 Forester 2.5XS 5 speed
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the replies, it definitley helped to push me into trying and fix the car!

I ended up purchasing an Aisin timing belt and water pump kit with a tensioner and pulleys. The repair took a full day, but it fired right up with no problems or leaks so far.

The old water pump definitely seemed to be leaking from what I assume is the "weep hole"? So I'm hoping this has fixed the problem.

I did also notice that there was no thermostat in the housing... which makes me a bit uneasy... I installed an OEM unit, and I'll keep my fingers crossed someone wasn't trying to cover up a bigger issue.

No fluctuating temperature gauge so far though, and I'm going to be happy keeping this car going!

I also updated my profile a bit from your suggestions. And there's no way I would have sold that car in that state without full disclosure to a buyer 🙂 I've been on the other end of that scenario before...
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,785 Posts
Along with the timing belt the 4 idlers, water pump and tensioner need to be replaced. If that has no been done you are living on borrowed time. Any of those fail the engine is a big paperweight.
 
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