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Looking at 2002 w/ only 43K

3007 Views 21 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  1stgenfarmboy
Local dealer has a trade-in 2002 they sold to the only owner. CarFax lists everything done....all service, etc since it was all done at the same dealer. It would appear the vehicle has never really left the area.

Getting a good vibe from the salesperson who is texting me pics since they aren't on the site yet.

It's listed at $9999...w/ book value as $8500.

Any thoughts, red flags, too good be true's, etc?

I really was thinking more like 04-06 this time around, but the very low miles caught my eye.
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I'd be texting pictures around too if I thought I could get $10k for a 10+ year old car.

Mileage doesn't mean that much to a Subaru... so why pay a premium for an old car with less safety technology?

The biggest dollar impact mileage has on a Subaru is whether or not it leaves you having to pay for a timing belt job soon. This car should have had one in 2010 based on age, even though it doesn't look like it needs it by mileage. You should confirm this if you go down that path.
at 11 years old the timing belt is past due. (105k miles or 105 months = 8.75 years) has it been done?

look for leaks around the head gaskets they can seep for a very long time before they need to be replaced. and there is always a chance you will need to do them at some point.

but if it looks good i would go for it. of course not at the asking price, it is a dealer after all.
Trust me...there's no way I'm paying that. So the timing belt at 105 months is scheduled maint in the book? I would definitely work on them to have that done.
Also carfax isn't exactly infallible. Once people started trusting it, other people started gaming it. It isn't 2002 anymore.
you say the service was done but was it done on the TIME side of the schedule?

should've had a lot more than 7-8 (or w'ever) oil changes, closer to 25 for instance.
Also carfax isn't exactly infallible. Once people started trusting it, other people started gaming it. It isn't 2002 anymore.
True. The dealer is a well reviewed dealer on this site and others. The CarFax actually shows a minor fender bender I will ask about for sure. I'm sure if they we dishonest that would have been removed.
Not to be a sour puss, but the mileage equates to 82 miles a week. How was the car used? Did it sit while being used for vacation trips? Was it used for a few miles a day to commute from home to the train station? Did it only go "to church and grocer"?

Low mileage cars that don't get driven tend to have issue pop up when someone starts driving them. Yes, it's a Subaru, but you still have things like compressed suspension bushings from the weight of the car sitting on them without movement, wheel bearings taking the weight load in one area, braking system components that remained motionless, emission components, transmission solenoids and valves, old tires that have also sat motionless and more. Think of it like the human body. If you were to take a child and sit it in one place for 11 years with only a walk around the block once a day, what do you think will happen when you have that child attempt a jog after all those years? A marathon? Poor circulation, week joints and no muscle.

Low mileage does not equate a premium unless it is akin to a 1959 Corvair in prestige condition. What does command a premium is if it was operated in a normal manner and did not have major issues during it's life. All the "what ifs" just expanded by 10. When this car is taken out on he road and driven more, expect some issues unless its all taken care if from the start. All fluid flushed, brakes taken apart and cleaned/lubed, new set of tires, new struts, alignment, front engine overhaul (t-belt and components), electrical harnesses thoroughly inspected and the whole car cleaned. Then you pay attention every day it's driven for the noises and odd issues.

To me, the value of this car is at minimum half what Edmunds or KKB may list it. It doesn't matter if its an Outback 4 or 6, manual or automatic. No movement equates to no lubrication in every moving part and a high risk of water build up in everything just due to humidity.

Tread lightly.
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I am right with you CARDOC.!!!! The WORST thing you can do to a car is " let it sit"

Not worth the $9999. and why is it $ 1500 above KBB ?

Listen to Cardoc....................he knows........................

If you are still interested..............check ALL rubber on the car...........and start it for an HOUR or so
I had to pay bluebook value to get my '03 ****** with 55k on it 5 years ago or so, wouldn't have paid that much but as you might guess in central NY people lika-da-subarus... why the heck do people in NC have AWD cars anyway :)
LL BEAN....................................awesome car !!!!!
struts are probably bad

check the transverse link bushings on the LCAs

serpentine belt pulley bearings are probably rough

might have bubbles in the power steering from hard/bad o-ring on top of PS pump

make sure the a/c charge is good, might soon need a couple of o-rings at the compressor

our 03 (which IS a side street/'grocery getter' - type car)needed all the above before 64K miles.

may need to inspect the cap/o-ring on the fuel pump

may need plugs soon (ugh)

PCV valve could be gummy

much of the above 'could' be issues with ANY older car.
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That is a lot of money for a 10+ yr car!! If you have 10k in the bank and want a car, why not go for new? Any car that old, regardless of mileage will have some kind of problem. I would get something cheaper and have a buffer incase something do go wrong if you want an older car. My 2 cents.
I paid more than most would have for my 03 LLBean and it has over 100k, but i wanted the year, color, trim pakage, and a southern car ( not any rust under the car or on any bolt head) i have been fighting a northern rust belt truck on my daughters for 3 years and never again, even if i have to pay 2 or 3k more than it's worth.

i don't like the new outbacks as well as the 2nd gens.
You got that right 1stgenfarmboy !!!!!!!! Gen 2 LL Bean H6 !!!

Way to go..AWESOME CAR !!!
So, after reading through this thread again, nowhere does the OP mention which model it is.

#1 (and maybe most important) is this car an H6 (LL Bean or VDC)? If so, NO TIMING BELT - they're chains. Also, rare likelihood of head gasket issues. And, if so, that just bumped up the value of this car to a great degree for those who are saying $10k is way too much money. I'm not saying it's work $10k, but it's still worth a premium... if it's an H6 of either variety.

To put this in a slight perspective, I paid $3,300 (fairly good deal, in my book) for my '01 VDC H6 with 226,000 miles on it. It was a 2-owner, and the 2nd owner put 219k of those miles on it.

I missed that, I thought it was an H6

4 cyl. way overdue for a belt if it's original (105 months)
Sand, beach, flooding. I have mine for comfort, handling, traction and a **** good launch time.
I had to pay bluebook value to get my '03 ****** with 55k on it 5 years ago or so, wouldn't have paid that much but as you might guess in central NY people lika-da-subarus... why the heck do people in NC have AWD cars anyway :)
Outbacks are EVERYWHERE in Western NC...mountain roads, more snow that you'd expect, no plowing or road treatment to speak of, and plenty of dirt roads. Also tons of bikers, climbers, paddlers, etc. Outbacks make perfect sense in the mountains.

The car sold in what appears to be less than <48 hrs. Good points all around, and I'm now ruling out dealers in my search. There are so many Yoga Moms in this town the dealer prices are insane because the Outbacks get snatched up at any price.
That really stinks.

So, curious... was it a 4 cylinder or H6?
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