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00 Outback LTD
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, im not sure if this is the right place to post this question. I did some research on the outbacks and i like them. I went with the family to look at one at on i saw online 02 outback base . I go there the dealer is closed. we continued driving home and i stopped off at a random dealer and we saw a 00 outback limited and also the same color as the other one dark green. talk about luck really.

I started the car and played with the functions before i took it for a test drive. it drove smooth, no body noises. only 2 things i noticed that i told the dealer about after the test drive. 1. it needs new brakes and the rotors cut, he said he will take care of that. 2. the car would jump a bit when accellerating from a stop, like if the pedal sticks a bit. i checked the fluids and they look good. the outback has 174,xxx miles. it looks to be a 1 owner car and looks and drives like it was well taken care of. all original, no mods. we negotiated a price, 3400 otd and he takes care of the brakes. i left a 200 deposit and will pick up the outback on tuesday.

now i get home and decide to do a bit more research which lead me to this forum, very imformative i must say. now im reading about the headgasket issues and am a bit worried.

now i like it and it seems worth it to me for the price but of course i dont want a potential headache. What else should i look for before i buy it? any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Besides fixing the brakes, I would try to find out when and if the timing belt was changed.
Owners who let the brakes go probably delayed other maintenance too.
 

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00 Outback LTD
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Discussion Starter #4
Besides fixing the brakes, I would try to find out when and if the timing belt was changed.
Owners who let the brakes go probably delayed other maintenance too.
as far as the brakes....the pedal goes down pretty low when applying the brakes and the rotors are rusted....most likely from sitting in the lot. the dealer told me it was sitting for about a month and he started it every so often. now i did notice that the brake master cylinder looks like it was replaced. it has that yellow marker that junkyards write on parts to identify. i forgot to mention it to the guy. the car does not shimmy or shake when braking....only that the brake pressure is low.....maybe needs to be bled...who knows. the dealer said he would put new brakes on it and hopefully cut the rotors as well.
 

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00 Outback LTD
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Discussion Starter #5
$200 could be a mighty cheap way out of a downer car, if you really think it has problems.
well im sure ill get the deposit back if i decide not to buy. I honestly dont know if it has any unseen or hidden problems or issues. im hoping many of the gurus here can help me out by tuesday afternoon :)
 

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Installing second hand parts such as a master cylinder suggests the prior owner was "budget conscious" and only fixed stuff after it broke. Those parts were probably installed by a backyard mechanic, hence the low pedal you expereince. Again suggests routine maintenance was probably delayed.
Either way, $3400 isn't too much risk considering you are buying a car with 25% life left. That's cheap if you get 3 more years and 36,000 more miles out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Installing second hand parts such as a master cylinder suggests the prior owner was "budget conscious" and only fixed stuff after it broke. Those parts were probably installed by a backyard mechanic, hence the low pedal you expereince. Again suggests routine maintenance was probably delayed.
Either way, $3400 isn't too much risk considering you are buying a car with 25% life left. That's cheap if you get 3 more years and 36,000 more miles out of it.
Im hoping you are right about getting a few years and many thousands of miles out of it. Getting something like the outback has it advantages for my family. first off..its going to be the 4th car in our family. I have an 09 mitsubishi Lancer...which in 3 years will go to my daughter when she is in her second year of college. my wife has an 11 mitsubishi outlander sport. I also have a classic 84 Porsche 944 for pleasure.

The Outback is going to be my daughters learning car. it will also be the family cargo hauler. it will also be the car i take when the weather is bad since my Lancer handles poorly in the snow. I found the outback would fit our plans perfectly and my wife agrees. The forester would also fit our plans but its an ugly looking car...sorry to say.

I will most definitely bring up the brake master cylinder to the dealer on tuesday
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another question......is it possible for the headgasket to last 174,xxx miles without it being changed?
 

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2011 Prem. 2.5i, 1999 Outback
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I have a 1999 Outback with 177,000 miles with the orginal headgaskets.
There is no sign of a problem, at this time.
You dont tend to hear a lot about cars that dont have headgasket problems, just the ones that do.

I would find out if the car you are looking at has ever been in an accident.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a 1999 Outback with 177,000 miles with the orginal headgaskets.
There is no sign of a problem, at this time.
You dont tend to hear a lot about cars that dont have headgasket problems, just the ones that do.

I would find out if the car you are looking at has ever been in an accident.
It doesnt seem to have been in a accident. the body panels are straight, no major dings. no signs of respray or touchup. The outback looks like it was taken care of. normal wear on the drivers seat, no cracks on the leather seating. no wear on the steering wheel. no major stains in the interior. everything seems to work. I didnt really check the heated seats but thats no big deal to me if it works or not. the seal around the windows look good. no air draft when driving it with the windows closed. steering is straight...does not wander. ride is good...not bouncy or squeaky. the power sunroof does make a noise when opening and closing. no leaks from the sunroof where i can see.

I do plan in taking a closer look under the hood and underneath the engine and chassis tomorrow. i am going to run the engine without the radiator cover and inspect the antifreeze and flow. when driving it the temp gauge stayed just below half the entire time.
 

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In many states you can take the car back after three days if you change your mind. That's where the "extended test drive" idea came from.

You need to "test drive" the car after the "brakes are fixed" anyway, so use that time wisely.

Always take the car to a trusted mechanic before buying. If dealers balk at that, walk.
 

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00 Outback LTD
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Discussion Starter #13
Unfortunatly, i dont have a mechanic. My father and I do all our own auto repairs.
Im confident that the outback is solid, i guess i really want guidance as to where to look for the common signs of the headgasket issue. only experience ive ever had on a subaru was about 20 years ago on a friends 85 gl10...i believe...replacing front brake calipers.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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still might be a good test as to how the dealer feels about the car.

unfortunately, many folks have very odd HG symptoms - some of which overlap problems with aftermarket thermostat use, failure to 'burp' air from the coolant system after re-filling, malfunctioning rad fans, bad rad caps, etc.

But, overheating with a stream of bubbles coming up through the radiator is so damning, that it may be a waste of time and money to even try the chemical test sold at parts stores for detecting combustion gasses.

also, make sure the car does NOT have the FWD fuse placed in the slot in the fuse box in the engine compartment(if automatic) and that the car will smoothly idle through tight donuts on dry pavement with little/no throttle input. You don't want to pay good money for a subaru with torque bind.
 

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ask them the previous owner left any service records. if it was serviced at a dealership you might be able to get info on it via the VIN. mine came with a stack of service records.

Most dealers these day provide a Carfax. it will tell you a lot, but not the whole thing. its a 13 year old car now. don't expect it to be perfect. since you ca wrench, it makes it more palatable to buy it. people that can't wrench are usually the ones that get hurt by purchasing older used cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ask them the previous owner left any service records. if it was serviced at a dealership you might be able to get info on it via the VIN. mine came with a stack of service records.

Most dealers these day provide a Carfax. it will tell you a lot, but not the whole thing. its a 13 year old car now. don't expect it to be perfect. since you ca wrench, it makes it more palatable to buy it. people that can't wrench are usually the ones that get hurt by purchasing older used cars.
Thanks for the advice...i will ask tomorrow for any service records and if they have a carfax. its a small used car dealer with about 15 cars on the lot. I wouldnt even consider buying a car that old if i couldnt work on it myself
 

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Discussion Starter #17
still might be a good test as to how the dealer feels about the car.

unfortunately, many folks have very odd HG symptoms - some of which overlap problems with aftermarket thermostat use, failure to 'burp' air from the coolant system after re-filling, malfunctioning rad fans, bad rad caps, etc.

But, overheating with a stream of bubbles coming up through the radiator is so damning, that it may be a waste of time and money to even try the chemical test sold at parts stores for detecting combustion gasses.

also, make sure the car does NOT have the FWD fuse placed in the slot in the fuse box in the engine compartment(if automatic) and that the car will smoothly idle through tight donuts on dry pavement with little/no throttle input. You don't want to pay good money for a subaru with torque bind.
Thanks for the tip...i will check the fusebox. I will also ask the dealer to jack up the front to inspect under the engine and underbody throughly
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Any last minute advice? I will be picking up the car around 5pm EST if everything checks out ok.
 

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GET THE TIMING BELT CHANGED. Very critical. Don't trust anybody's word that it's been changed. Well worth the cost.

You mentioned a sticky pedal. I'm assuming that's the gas pedal. If the gas pedal is sticking you'll need to clean the throttle body with throttle body cleaner, not carb cleaner.

My 03 has 180,000 miles on it with no HG problems.

Remember to change the oil regularly, rotate the tires every 7500 miles, and you'll be fine.

Good luck!
 

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2013 OB 2.5i Premium/DDD Graphite Gray Metallic OP#2 Weathertec Window Deflectors
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Ask to see the car fax, or run the VIN yourself everthing has a fee if you do it.
 
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