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Discussion Starter #1
hi im looking into possibly buying my first Subaru. ive always like the look of the wagon in particular, maybe because i used to borrow my moms 87 cutlass wagon to hang out with my friends back in high school. or the versatility. Theres a local dealer selling a very clean 04 outback with 77k miles on it for 4,600. it looks like my opportunity to get into a Subaru for cheap. What things should i be looking for as far as things that go wrong or signs the car hasnt been taken care of properly? any info will help. heres a link to the car on the dealers site.
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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Timing belt/idlers/tensioner been replaced with quality parts (overdue at 14 years)
Head Gaskets leaking oil?
 

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'01 OBW 3.0 VDC 184,000 Miles '19 OB 2.5 Base <2,000 Miles - Formerly '14 Impreza Sedan 2.0 5spd 66,000 Miles at trade-in
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Mechanical condition, not age or mileage will dictate whether or not any car is worth the ask. Those 3 are not necessarily dependent on each other.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I couldn't tell from the pics, but if the tires aren't identical - RUN.

check that the FWD fuse is not installed in the fuse box under-hood, then do tight circles on flat dry pavement at idle or just above - car should feel smooth, no bucking.

do some acceleration and deceleration on/off the freeway after it's warmed-up. Temperature gauge should be solid.


could you get a pre-purchase inspection from a local soob-friendly shop?

looks like it has a warranty? check all local reviewers like Yelp, google, angies list - I guess if the lot has decent reviews, you could get a major problem fixed.....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
why run if the tires are identical? most dealers ive gone to will replace tires on used cars. also that warranty it supposedly has is most likely b.s. Dealers in miami are all shady they advertise lies to get you in the door. then you gotta jump thru hoops to get any warranty. Only warranty i would trust is a factory backed cpo. but seeing how this car so old. its basically sold as is in my book
 

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Discussion Starter #8
if it has it under the hood is that a bypass for something that commonly goes wrong ?

are these cars known to rust? if so were can i look, in Miami cars dont tend to rust but this car started life in Oregon i believe
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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You WANT identical tires, so, yeah, if the lot put a full set on, that wouldn't tell you if the AWD system had been abused in the past. The tight circle test might tell you that. do a search for " torque bind " .

the FWD fuse position is used primarily to allow use of the undersized spare tire without stressing the AWD system. In theory, someone could install the fuse, maybe pull a bulb from the instrument cluster, and hide torque bind problems. More of a very unlikely tactic, but possible. If the manual is with the car, check under use of the emergency spare.
 

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2002 Outback
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They do rust in areas where salt is used on the road. The most common spots are on the rear wheel arch where it meets the rear bumper and on the forward side where the body cladding meets the arch. A soft magnet will help detect if bondo is present. The mileage seems quite low for a car of this age. Look for tell tale signs of higher mileage (wear on rubber pedal pads & other interior bits). As mentioned, if there is no proof of HG replacement or timing belt & rollers, you should factor that into any offer you make.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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Spend the money and get a report from CarFax. It may not show ALL of the maintenance work done on it, but will at least let you know who owned it over time, and where, as well as let you know if any recalls are still open.


Unless the dealer can show you that it recently had a full timing belt job - meaning both the belt and the rollers ( it's the bearings that fail), then expect to do that job yourself sometime this summer. Aisin kit, not Gates, from subarupartsonline. An afternoon's worth of work. Plenty of videos on you tube showing how it is done. You will want the special pin wrench from Company 23 to hold the harmonic balancer while you break loose the bolt.
 
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