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The dealer is asking $11,000 for a 2011 Subaru Impreza 2.5i Premium with 90k miles. He replaced the timing belt, thermostat, and water pump. Said the gaskets were fine. There is a "free" 12 month/12000 mile warranty on the parts serviced and the transmission for up to $1500 in coverage. This dealership deals specifically in used Subaru's, they replace the gaskets on older models along with other parts like the timing belt, thermostat, and water pumps then sell the vehicles. The car fax report shows the value of this vehicle at $12,100

My father was with me when we were looking at vehicles because he tends to know a lot more than I do and I've never purchased a vehicle from a dealer before. However, I am paying for the vehicle. He doesn't like this car because he predicts I will have expensive issues with it in the near future. He also doesn't like it because he thinks I should get a larger vehicle with a V6 engine. We listened to the engine and it was quiet. I'm going to test drive it in a few days. I am somewhat familiar with gasket issues prevalent in specific Subaru engine models.

However I only know what I researched online. Does this engine in particular have any common problems? Do you expect that I will need to replace the gaskets or experience some internal engine failure? The guy said we could take it to any mechanic and get it looked at if I want to purchase it. The 11k price is at the upper limit of my budget so I can barely afford it at this price. I would hate for something expensive to break. I really like this car it's clean and sexy so I'm having a hard time looking at anything else.

This guy is also selling a 2009 forester at 129k miles with new gaskets, timing belt, thermostat, and water pumps for $9,000. Part of me thinks that would be the safer buy.





 

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those prices are not that great. for either the forester or the impreza.

is you father going to be pumping gas for that bigger car with 6 cylinders?

impreza are light cars, this one with a 170hp 4 cylinder.....the current model only has like 148hp with a even smaller 4 cylinder.

the impreza of 2011 has quality multi-layer steel head gaskets.
(subaru stopped using the weaker gaskets in 2009,...so the forester may have the old single layer in it,...and at some point need a $1800 head gasket job when it starts to leak oil from them,...not a deal breaker, just a reason to for a lesser asking price if the work was not done yet).

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Foresters sit and ride odd, some people love them. others like myself find the front seats hard and narrow. if you really want to buy one, I would recommend you take it for a extended test drive, maybe overnight. (just to see if you still love sitting in it for more then 45 minutes).

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they did not make Foresters or Impreza with 6 cylinder engines, only Legacy and Legacy Outbacks.

whatever you choose do not think of buying a turbo subaru. these are for experienced owners doing their own maint. and/or ready to fix the problems that crop up ...which could be at any given time $3000-$8000

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If you got links to the cars you are looking at post them up on this same thread, just add some characters like ??? in front of the http, as the forum software does not let people with less then 10 posts add working links, (and the extra characters will fool the anti-spambot software).
 

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those prices are not that great. for either the forester or the impreza.

is you father going to be pumping gas for that bigger car with 6 cylinders?

impreza are light cars, this one with a 170hp 4 cylinder.....the current model only has like 148hp with a even smaller 4 cylinder.

the impreza of 2011 has quality multi-layer steel head gaskets.
(subaru stopped using the weaker gaskets in 2009,...so the forester may have the old single layer in it,...and at some point need a $1800 head gasket job when it starts to leak oil from them,...not a deal breaker, just a reason to for a lesser asking price if the work was not done yet).

______

Foresters sit and ride odd, some people love them. others like myself find the front seats hard and narrow. if you really want to buy one, I would recommend you take it for a extended test drive, maybe overnight. (just to see if you still love sitting in it for more then 45 minutes).

______

they did not make Foresters or Impreza with 6 cylinder engines, only Legacy and Legacy Outbacks.

whatever you choose do not think of buying a turbo subaru. these are for experienced owners doing their own maint. and/or ready to fix the problems that crop up ...which could be at any given time $3000-$8000

__

If you got links to the cars you are looking at post them up on this same thread, just add some characters like ??? in front of the http, as the forum software does not let people with less then 10 posts add working links, (and the extra characters will fool the anti-spambot software).
The current Impreza has 152hp with DI and 7 speed CVT. Power is fine IMO. The problem with the 2011 was it had plenty of power but a 4 speed auto that sucked the life out of it. My son had a 2010 and it was a great car. The 17 in sport trim is a amazing car for the money
 

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The current Impreza has 152hp with DI and 7 speed CVT. Power is fine IMO. The problem with the 2011 was it has plenty of power but a 4 speed auto that sucked the life out of it. My son had a 2010 and it was a great car. The 17 in sport trim is a amazing car for the money
a while back I drove a 2014 impreza with a CVT for a day, ... lack of listed power did not bother me at all. (just stand on the gas to make the CVT do its thing).

the only thing I disliked, "thinking" about not dragging the front lip on the tire stops curbs in a parking lot.

... driving typical raised up outbacks for so long kind of spoils my brain for even looking for them typical things. (as on anything with a outback label the front lip is tall enough to clear those).
 

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those prices are not that great. for either the forester or the impreza.

is you father going to be pumping gas for that bigger car with 6 cylinders?

impreza are light cars, this one with a 170hp 4 cylinder.....the current model only has like 148hp with a even smaller 4 cylinder.

the impreza of 2011 has quality multi-layer steel head gaskets.
(subaru stopped using the weaker gaskets in 2009,...so the forester may have the old single layer in it,...and at some point need a $1800 head gasket job when it starts to leak oil from them,...not a deal breaker, just a reason to for a lesser asking price if the work was not done yet).

______

Foresters sit and ride odd, some people love them. others like myself find the front seats hard and narrow. if you really want to buy one, I would recommend you take it for a extended test drive, maybe overnight. (just to see if you still love sitting in it for more then 45 minutes).

______

they did not make Foresters or Impreza with 6 cylinder engines, only Legacy and Legacy Outbacks.

whatever you choose do not think of buying a turbo subaru. these are for experienced owners doing their own maint. and/or ready to fix the problems that crop up ...which could be at any given time $3000-$8000

__

If you got links to the cars you are looking at post them up on this same thread, just add some characters like ??? in front of the http, as the forum software does not let people with less then 10 posts add working links, (and the extra characters will fool the anti-spambot software).

Thank you, I wasn't aware the 2011 Impreza's have improved head gaskets. And no I'll be paying for gas. I tried asking the guy if he would settle for $9000 but he's firm on $11k due to his Carfax report showing the cars value at $12k. At $11k I'm looking at monthly payments on $200 and not to mention insurance + gas and all other expenses. I wouldn't consider buying a turbo Subaru.


This is the only way I could get around the spam filter. Here's the car


https://boise.craigslist.org/ctd/d/2011-Subaru-impreza-25i/6249829440.html
 

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Thank you, I wasn't aware the 2011 Impreza's have improved head gaskets. And no I'll be paying for gas. I tried asking the guy if he would settle for $9000 but he's firm on $11k due to his Carfax report showing the cars value at $12k. At $11k I'm looking at monthly payments on $200 and not to mention insurance + gas and all other expenses. I wouldn't consider buying a turbo Subaru.


This is the only way I could get around the spam filter. Here's the car


boise(dot)craigslist(dot)org/ctd/d/2011-Subaru-impreza-25i/6249829440(dot)html
The good thing is when you can walk away by choice if the deal is too expensive for you.

The bad thing is when something expensive goes awry when you're overextended and are forced to walk!

It's good to read you're not considering a turbo, for the right reasons: they're more demanding on fuel (usually needing higher octane) and you are penalized more for maintenance skips. If you think/know money will be tight, it's best to not take on too much of a financial risk.

You may have a better risk/reward with a cheaper car with fewer miles you can pay cash for: sadly, that likely will not be a Subaru.
 

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know this:

outback = raised suspension in subaru speak. (and that there is a low riding plain impreza,...vs. say a impreza outback, or as it is called now a Crosstrek)

not knocking it for its ride height,...it is just how they made it.
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legacy / legacy outback are longer wheelbase and ride better then foresters and impreza.

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where you live there you may want to save some for year round snow tires, or real snows. (those year round snows are sometimes called "all weather",...and designed not to melt in the summer). I run studded snows on one car, and plain snows on the other, with all seasons as for the remaining warmer months.

that is if you see other smart people running around with snow tires.

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buying used like this from a pricey dealer is not ideal,..

.vs. say buying from some person with service records , and they are like trading up a subaru for a minivan as they had one more kid then they could fit.

and yeah, this guy types 90 day warranty, ...so what.
 

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I'd move on and expand your requirements, it's generally a bad idea to spend all you can on a vehicle. Thinking month to month and spending all you can on a car is poor financial decision making but one isn't likely to stop those habits any time soon.

Rust - how is it? If you live in a rust area then favor no rust or newer to avoid it. I don't think Idaho is atrocious like the north east?

Subaru's easily make 200,000 miles, you shouldn't have a problem finding a lower priced Subaru that will easily get you to 200,000 miles.

On to the cars you mentioned:

1. I'd favor the Impreza. I'd rather have the OEM headgasket on the Impreza than the replaced gasket on the forester.

The Forester is worth looking at if they resurfaced the heads and used a top notch gasket and are really good at Subaru's - not just good at marketing and flipping them (those are two distinct things and the public at large usually isn't good at discerning the difference).

The shop sounds decent, but sounds like they may be appeasing customers more than top notch service. You should never replace the water pump before the timing belt tensioner and pulleys. Absolutely no elite Subaru shop owner in the country would suggest otherwise. They should have left the original water pump, because OEM pumps easily make it to the second timing belt change at 200,000 miles and never catastrophically fail. The timing belt tensinoer and pulleys however do fail and cause catastrophic 4 digit damage because it's an interference engine, they usually bend intake valves (and lots of them).

This isn't a big deal - just let it be known that you should replace the tensioner and pulleys now, or choose an early timing belt replacement like in 3 years or 50,000 miles instead of 105,000. It only takes an hour, so it's not hard to do at all on these engines if you know reasonable person/mechanic to do it. Unfortunately many places charge like $500+ for this 1-2 hours of labor.

You could try to negotiate that - you'll but it if they do those two things. Though they may not be likely to take your recommendation or acknowledge that they're normal practice isn't top notch...so could go either way. With fall coming - they know they're going to sell it, so they're probably not in the mood to negotiate, a few months ago would have been better.
 

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I'd move on and expand your requirements, it's generally a bad idea to spend all you can on a vehicle. Thinking month to month and spending all you can on a car is poor financial decision making but one isn't likely to stop those habits any time soon.

Rust - how is it? If you live in a rust area then favor no rust or newer to avoid it. I don't think Idaho is atrocious like the north east?

Subaru's easily make 200,000 miles, you shouldn't have a problem finding a lower priced Subaru that will easily get you to 200,000 miles.

On to the cars you mentioned:

1. I'd favor the Impreza. I'd rather have the OEM headgasket on the Impreza than the replaced gasket on the forester.

The Forester is worth looking at if they resurfaced the heads and used a top notch gasket and are really good at Subaru's - not just good at marketing and flipping them (those are two distinct things and the public at large usually isn't good at discerning the difference).

The shop sounds decent, but sounds like they may be appeasing customers more than top notch service. You should never replace the water pump before the timing belt tensioner and pulleys. Absolutely no elite Subaru shop owner in the country would suggest otherwise. They should have left the original water pump, because OEM pumps easily make it to the second timing belt change at 200,000 miles and never catastrophically fail. The timing belt tensinoer and pulleys however do fail and cause catastrophic 4 digit damage because it's an interference engine, they usually bend intake valves (and lots of them).

This isn't a big deal - just let it be known that you should replace the tensioner and pulleys now, or choose an early timing belt replacement like in 3 years or 50,000 miles instead of 105,000. It only takes an hour, so it's not hard to do at all on these engines if you know reasonable person/mechanic to do it. Unfortunately many places charge like $500+ for this 1-2 hours of labor.

You could try to negotiate that - you'll but it if they do those two things. Though they may not be likely to take your recommendation or acknowledge that they're normal practice isn't top notch...so could go either way. With fall coming - they know they're going to sell it, so they're probably not in the mood to negotiate, a few months ago would have been better.
I wonder if in such ads they put down "timing belt, waterpump, and thermostat" just replaced, signifying they replace "whole" timing belt kits on "all" cars,..subaru or toyota, or Peugeot,..chevy.

on all cars many customers may ask about timing belts, and water pumps, but
...and rarely does anyone ask if it they replaced the tensioner, idler, and pulleys.

you know: buy at auction, do a major round of maint to list in the ad,...and sell for big bucks.

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at least on this low miles 6 cylinder, with a rebuilt title, they did not copy that jazz about a timing belt, (vs. the smarter timing chain that it has)
https://boise.craigslist.org/ctd/d/2011-subaru-outback-36r-awd/6247410591.html
 

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My wife has the Impreza Outback Sport version of this car, just no moonroof.

The KBB pricing has this vehicle at $8600 to $11900 or so and yours is in very good condition with some pricey options, such as said moon roof as well as Sat receiver, which means it might have an upgraded speaker system and BT phone as well (it has the controls for BT phone). The KBB suggested retail price from a dealer is $10,786, but that's somewhat option driven. It might not have the performance tires and wheels they stuck on the Outback Sport, which is a PITA as the wheels are prone to pot holes and the tires are expensive.

I can state they are very nice sized cars, decent size for 4 adults, or a good amount of room with the rear seats folded down.

I am not allowed to drive it as I would lose my license to speeding tickets, it's a bit of a pocket rocket compared to the Foresters and Outbacks I've owned.

I would also get the Impreza over the Forester unless you had the need for the extra cargo capacity of the Forester. Both are good in the snow, though clearance is better on the Forester and gas mileage is going to be about the same. We have never seen anything above 30 mpg on long trips as BTW.

As far as I know the '11's did not have the head gasket issues that earlier Subaru's had, yet still has a good 2.5 engine.

I'd be tempted, maybe $10,000 - 10,500.
 

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I wonder if in such ads they put down "timing belt, waterpump, and thermostat" just replaced, signifying they replace "whole" timing belt kits on "all" cars,..subaru or toyota, or Peugeot,..chevy.
yep, that's a good point - check and see if they replaced the timing pulleys/tensioner.
since it's a selling point and it costs them money most places would spell that out so they're set apart from the rest, but for sure should clarify.

The KBB pricing has this vehicle at $8600 to $11900
Subaru's are priced insanely high out west compared to the east. Boise may not be Denver, Portland, or Seattle and this is new enough to not take the huge hits yet, but I'm guessing it's inflated somewhat.

Also time of year is enormously important - with school and winter coming each day gives them confidence. Maybe you're lucky and it's a tad early and you're just in the nick of time, but it's waning fast.
 

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Subaru's are priced insanely high out west compared to the east. Boise may not be Denver, Portland, or Seattle and this is new enough to not take the huge hits yet, but I'm guessing it's inflated somewhat.

Also time of year is enormously important - with school and winter coming each day gives them confidence. Maybe you're lucky and it's a tad early and you're just in the nick of time, but it's waning fast.
I think all the cars are inflated,...

could you imagine paying $2450 for a minty caviler, maybe you get free chocolate ice cream, with a steaming pile on the side???,


https://boise.craigslist.org/ctd/d/2000-chevrolet-cavalier-ls-90/6247399540.html

 
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