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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to buy a 2003 OB with 160,000 for $5000. Seeing as this is the 3rd OB I've had the privilege of mucking through Oregon i am looking at it with open eyes.

The seller is moving overseas and needs to sell it fast (my first suspicion) so i talked him down from an asking of $6000. He says there are no problems with the car, vehemently states, except a very small oil leak.

I plan on having a reliable mechanic give it a look but are there things in particular I personally can check for to see if it's even worth taking in?

  • If it's leaking oil here vs. here
  • make sure to check for (x)
  • These always go bad so check if it's been changed.
  • Etc?

Thanks for any advice.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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4 or 6 cylinder?

power steering noise usually due to air sucked in, often bad o-ring(s) on top of pump hose adapter

struts weak/leaking - pull up boots, feel for oil

serpentine belt idler and tensioner pulleys worn on 6 cyl serpentine belt

cracked fuel pump cap mostly 6 cylinders (leads to shutdown of the car)

split inner boots on front axles

you definitely want to check for torque bind

the older the car, the more important its prior care and current condition. less important is the make/model. So, good for you wisely paying for pre-purchase inspection!
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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Timing belt, ALL idlers and pulleys, water pump, crank and cam seals due at 105k miles.

If no records, consider them not done and needing it ASAP. Offer price accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok so far the list Im handing to the mechanic will include all normal items, plus:
inspect sparkplug wires
power steering noise usually due to air sucked in, often bad o-ring(s) on top of pump hose adapter
struts weak/leaking - pull up boots, feel for oil
split inner boots on front axles
definitely check for torque bind
Timing belt
ALL idlers and pulleys
water pump
crank and cam seals
Check coolant overflow tank and see if the fluid is dark and dirty. Fire the car up for a while and look in again. See if it's bubbling.
Look for crusty greenish residue around the seams of the heads and block. Subaru's OEM coolant has a green tint, so that would indicate an external leak.
Make sure all the tires are the same. The AWD system is sensitive.
Am i missing anything?
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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about half that stuff is really just for the obsessive-type (known, but kinda minor or rare issues) , the other half is stuff you'd check on any used car. But, actually, it's a decent list.

is the car you're considering a 6 cylinder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
is the car you're considering a 6 cylinder?
No 4cyl. Base Model. Guy says there is a very small leak but that everything has been replaced or serviced on time...we'll see what the leak is and if a seal needs replacing. We meet tomorrow (drum roll):cool:
 

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2003 Outback, 5 MT, 134K, HG changed.
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For a 4 cyl, I'd imagine checking for signs of a head gasket leak would be wise.

-Peak in the coolant overflow tank and see if the fluid is dark and dirty. Fire the car up for a while and look in again. See if it's bubbling.

-Look for crusty greenish residue around the seams of the heads and block. Subaru's OEM coolant has a green tint, so that would indicate an external leak.

-Make sure all the tires are the same. The AWD system is sensitive.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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No 4cyl. Base Model. Guy says there is a very small leak but that everything has been replaced or serviced on time...we'll see what the leak is and if a seal needs replacing. We meet tomorrow (drum roll):cool:

OK, drop these from the list
serpentine belt idler and tensioner pulleys worn on 6 cyl serpentine belt
cracked fuel pump cap mostly 6 cylinders (leads to shutdown of the car)
consider adding inspection of sparkplug wires.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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you might post your city. There could be special concerns if you're in a rust belt State or the southwest, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The Oregon Department of Transportation uses magnesium chloride with a rust inhibitor.

The guy did mention the car was Rhino lined on the underside. This could be a potential for rust but the Carfax shows service records from Southern Oregon which isn't known for having a lot of snow.
 
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