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2002 Outback 4cyl/AT, 2003 Outback limited 4 cyl/AT, 2015 Outback Limited 4 cyl
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Finally found an Outback-Edit-Got it!

Edit: Picked the Subaru up yesterday. Dealer was nice enough to have it washed and psuedo-detailed, just got done wiping down the interior good and thought I'd take a few quick pics. I'm very happy with this car, drove great the 80 miles home. Everything seems to work, heat, air, etc. Needs tires asap, and the timing belt/seals soon. Looked it over good and not a sign of rust anywhere, hope that stays the case. I asked the dealer if they undercoated it when it was sold, he said no, that only the factory does their undercoating? Unsure of that or if the PO had it done. Nonetheless, the underside looks great. After sitting overnight here I see no oil on the ground, but I can smell it when the engine is hot after it's shut off. Overall I'm very happy, especially at $2600 OTD.

One quick question, it has the original window sticker which lists Keyless Entry, but I did not receive any fobs. Is this a dealer-only purchase, to get 2 fobs?

I plan on sticking around here awhile now that I have my own Outback to work on. Thanks again for your help!

Jon

Long time lurker and VERY thankful to everyone on here who share their expertise! I've been on the hunt for about an 8 to 10 year old Outback (hopefully a one-owner) as I've always loved the body style, and also to let my 16 year old son drive to school until he can afford what he wants to get.

My step-dad works at a Subaru dealer driving the courtesy van and running parts, as a retirement job. Went to see him and mom for Christmas and as we always do, drove through the dealer lot. They have a 'back row' area where the older trade-ins are parked to be wholesaled. Low and behold there is a 2002 Outback sitting there. Dad gets the keys and we drive it around a bit, little loud on start up (probably 20 degrees out) but drives great. Non-smoker, 116,000 miles on it. It is in dire need of a car wash, but I check all over for rust and find none. The underside was apparently undercoated at the dealer when bought, whether thats good or bad, I don't know. Interior is mint and clean as I'd expect from a middle-aged couple. Dad asks the sales manager about it, he advises that it's a one-owner bought at this dealer 10 years ago. They just traded on a new one. Dealer is wholesaleing due to some "oil leaks". No mechanic on duty, so dad says he'll check Monday (today) on it. Price- $2600. I'm thinking probably needs head gaskets but that price is outstanding! I've only been able to find these year vehicles for twice that amount.

Dad finds out (service manager runs the vehicle maintenance history) that the owners did nothing to it other than oil changes. Nothing! So, the dealer figures it's the seals that need to be replaced along with the timing belt that are causing the oil leaks. Also, no tune up has happened. Only thing other than the oil changes on the history was a tie rod replacement. It also will need tires soon.

My question to you guys is this: Is this car worth $2,600? My son and I can do plugs, wires, fluids, etc. easy enough. I have a good mechanic friend that I know could assist with the timing belt and seals, etc. for beers on a Saturday.

I really think I'm going to buy it and hope for the best, but please throw me your ideas if you don't agree. I'm truly in no big hurry to buy one right now.

Thanks!

Jon
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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1,036 Posts
That car is a STEAL for $2600. Around here that car would probably sell for $6000-$8000. All of that sounds like pretty typical maintenance. I'd buy it.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,114 Posts
the way you've presented the story, that car's likely a bargain.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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2,345 Posts
Well you certainly have more info than most when buying a used car.

I'd go for it, but I'd get it checked out by my mechanic friend first.
 

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2002 Outback Wagon
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311 Posts
Sounds great to me! around here a similar outback would be at least $5000! As far as the HGs it will add expense to the cost but not enough to justify not buying. Hope I can find something like that here.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
I'd buy it.

$200 ebay timing kit
$100 in seals, valve cover gaskets, spark plugs, wires, and air filter

Drive it another 100,000 miles.

If it's oil leaking from the headgaskets - then those cost $1,500 to get done at the dealer. But even still $2,600 + $1,500 and you're at $3,100, still half what the car is worth and will be sold for by whoever gets it. Or do them yourself. Timing belt has to come off to do the headgaskets so combine those two jobs if needed.

2002's usually leak coolant, but can leak oil as well. If it's coolant change the coolant and add a bottle or two of Subaru's Coolant Conditioner - it's required for that motor.

Don't forget to add the conditioner if you drain the coolant for any reason. At 100,000 miles and 10+ years old, with a head gasket prone leaking engine - i'd be changing the coolant.
 

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2002 Outback 4cyl/AT, 2003 Outback limited 4 cyl/AT, 2015 Outback Limited 4 cyl
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your thoughts!

Unfortunately I live 80 miles from the dealership, so no chance of my mechanic seeing the car. Dad is hopefully going to have a chance to talk to the mechanic at the dealership today and get his opinion.

In my opinion, as long as the car is solid and not rusted out or beat on, some maintenance isn't a problem. In fact my son and I enjoy working on our vehicles, this would be a great learning experience.

Just wanted some opinions on if this thing is a time bomb waiting to explode if the belts haven't been changed out? I have to drive it home and aroud a bit before these things are addressed.

Edit: Posted at the same time-is there a specific vendor on ebay for the timing kits? I see some dealerships recommended on here that sell parts cheaper, do I stay with Subaru parts only?
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,114 Posts
if it has never been underwater and if it will idle through a tight circle on dry pavement without jerking from torque bind, I don't see a problem.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
Good color, no dents, no rust in the rear quarter we can see in the pic, already has good tint on the windows, snag it. Try an offer of 2600 "off the lot" which would include the taxes, title fee and registration. I bet they take it.

Spend a day cleaning everything, including the engine bay, then drive it a bit and check for the oil leak source. Could be as simple as valve cover seals and that can be done with the plugs and wires.

Put a new set of KYB all around, tires, alignment, flush all the fluids with the new timing parts and your good for another 100k or more on major maintenance.

Edmunds puts the car's value at $4k average private party, and over $5100 dealer with base package/auto 100k miles.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
Sounds like they're giving it to you for about what they paid on trade. Even with putting a significant amount of work into it, that's definitely a good deal!
 

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2002 Outback 4cyl/AT, 2003 Outback limited 4 cyl/AT, 2015 Outback Limited 4 cyl
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Edited original post with a few additional pictures. Thanks again!
 
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