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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at a 2000 with a N/A 2.5 and manual transmission... it's at 225k, but had the clutch, springs, clips, etc replaced just over a year ago, along with the timing system and water pump (two different service records) and they have the documentation to show it.

My question is, if I buy this, do I expect some sort of catastrophic failure in a year or so at 250k? What's the life expectancy on these? Based on the condition of the car overall (pristine interior) I'd say it's been well-maintained. I'd obviously check coolant and oil for contamination, along with bubbles in radiator...

My main concern is, this will tap me out on my play money. I don't normally like to buy something without keeping a little aside for tweaks here and there, so it'd be a few months before I can do anything further with it.

It's listed at $3k, which is high per KBB, but a running/driving car with good A/C, heat, and the major maintenance items handled within the last 15,000 miles is generally going to be able to pull $3k these days.

What say you guys? You've already saved my ass from diving into a '99 with possible HG issues arising... and last night, discussions here convinced me to walk away from a 2007 Outback XT with a P0302 code. Is this yet another "just hold out" moment or should I go look it over?

Thanks for all the help- you guys rock!!
 

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02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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26,212 Posts
I have seen people get 350,000 on such EJ252/ EJ251 engines.

depends on the owner. how much maint. it had, head gaskets done in a quality way.

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turbos are a must avoid to the uneducated buyer. (the bomb that likes to go off even under the best of circumstances).

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if you are worried about buying things get them listed as needing work (head gaskets/ leaks, and you the new owner do it the "right" way)
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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Depends entirely on how well it was maintained. No need to check for bubbles and milky coolant, these leak externally 95% of the time. Oil, coolant, or both.

It would not be uncommon for it to have HG issues by this point. If they were addressed correctly, it should be good.

Outside of some old car oil leaks/consumption, if it has not been abused, it should go another 100k.
 
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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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I had a 2000 H4 outback before the cars I have now. that one used more gas then the cars I have now, it was a early model that I bought new in the fall of 1999.

edit: on that 2000: like 23mpg on 87 octane, and 27mpg on 93 octane.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Any 2000 OB that has made it to 225k on the original H4 engine, and that has documentation available, is likely indicating that (1) the owner knew something about setting up a PM schedule and sticking to it, and (2) the owner correctly diagnosed and fixed the things that aren't much a matter of PM, such as the head gaskets.

You can always back us up with a pre-purchase inspection, which I would recommend.

At this mileage level, there are never any guarantees. But that's the way to bet, as the saying goes.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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pre-purchase inspection could cost $100 but save you $3000 .

ask for the tech to break things down into ; what needs fixing NOW, what you need to save-up for, and what you can just live with/monitor (burned-out dash lights, bad radio, drips, seeps, squeaks, etc.)

then negotiate or walk away.
 

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Outbrat XT, Foz, 3.0R Limited
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An engine with almost a quarter million miles, almost 20 years of service, and who knows how many owners? Be thankful it runs at all. Could die tomoors, could do another 225. Soooo many variables here. It also depends on your threshold of value.
 

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This is the most-likely-to-succeed candidate you've posted.

It could still choke tomorrow, but it seems you have already come to terms with the idea that you just can't buy much automotive certainty for $3k.
 

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18 years old with a quarter million miles, I'd say that engines best days are behind it.

No way to predict how long it will last.

If 3k is your max budget, there are most likely better choices.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon, 2.5l Automatic Transmission
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My current car is my first subaru, purchased 3 weeks ago, 253,000 miles. Similar situation to the OP, the car was mechanically sound, well maintained, and appeared to have the major service work done. Timing belt replaced 40k miles ago. The price was $1000. Probably worth more, but at that mileage $1000 was as high as I was willing to go. There were plenty of other cars available in the $3000 price range, most of which had under 150k.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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That's a lot of miles and age so risk is expected but otherwise a reasonable gamble.

Inspect the headgaskets carefully - that year usually leaks externally under the engine at the head to block mating surface - it's a very specific location to check. Look there.

2. Was the coolant conditioner added as part of the water pump service which would normally require coolant replacement? It's required by Subaru.

3. Why are they selling it after $2,000 in clutch/timing belt work?
4. Private sale or dealer? I favor private party sales and consider the seller as much as the vehicle.

along with the timing system.
Were the pulleys and tensioner replaced?
 
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