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Ok I have located a 97 Outback thats for sale and I need some input.

Here's the specs:

108,000 Miles

Tires at 80%

Trans: Automatic

Its clean inside and out. Engine runs fine. Timing belt has not been replaced. They are asking $1650.00 Is this a good buy?; and Is there anything I should look out for?


-Thanks for all future Input
 

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IMO that's a GREAT deal. But I would be leary as to why it's priced so low. Is it at a dealer? Private party? I'd try to find out as much as you can. I would definitely get a carfax. that's low mileage for a 15 yr old car.

But even if it has a spotty past, that still seems like a good price.
 

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sounds like a bargain to me. dirt cheap.

you will need to do , or pay to have done ($550 - $750), the timing belt. do not delay on this. if it fails the price tag will jump to $1500 - $2000.

BUT, the head gaskets have not been done either. so at some point you will have to have them changed. they may be leaking now and that is one reason for the low asking price. this does not mean the car is not worthit, but you do need know what you are buying.

regrettably, the 96 - 99 2.5L engine subaru used WILL at some point need to have the head gaskets replaced. i use a very basic 10 cents per mile as a guide. will the $1500 used car go 15,000 miles. in this case it may, or it may not. but if you buy it and then invest another $1500 in the head gaskets and timing belt stuff it will easily go 50,000 to 100,000 miles. which is way less than 10 cents a mile.

so that it the situation.

good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Its private party

They are selling it because they have a storage shed they are loosing and have to get rid of it fast. I think I can get the price down a little bit more because I have to drive 5 hours to get to it, the timing belt needs changed, they have to get rid of it, and the head gaskets will eventually need to be replaced. I might be able to pull off $1200 :D . Im just scared the timing belt may not make it on the way back.
 

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it will probably be fine, but you just never know. your only other choices are to rent a car carrier trailer or have the belt work done before you take it home.

but a car that cheap that is five hours away is going to be a challenge unless absolutely no one else is interested in it. i would think the car would sell pretty quick. a a buyer standing next to the car with cash is a much better prospect than a buyer 300 miles away.
 

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it is simple, you paid $25,000 for your 2013 new car and i paid less than $1,500 for my 97 GT plus a weekend to swap the engine. and i have already driven it 32k miles. that is less than 5 cents per mile.

you like yours and i like mine. but i didn't have to work all those hours to come up with the extra $23,500 that you paid.

my pennies per mile is going to be way less than yours unless you drive yours 500k miles.

besides, we enjoy working on our own cars.
 

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I drive a 1997 Nissan Altima back and forth to work. It has over 150K miles. I am now at a point and armed with a list of "what to do in order to keep it on the road" I am thinking about getting something different. If I found a 1997 Outback with that low of miles I would jump on it especially if it ran and had a smooth rumble to it. Does the city you live in have any auto tech schools or technical colleges? I am considering buying the half shafts for my Altima and letting the kids have a go at it. Technically an ASE Certified mechanic leads them and tells them what not to do so we should be ok. I like tinkering on vehicles, but driveline components I haven't attempted. My wife drives the new Outback and I got stuck with her old college car. I only drive a few miles to work so my philosophy is that if it breeaks down I can walk or she can pick me up. It sure beats dropping 21K on a new Impreza (which would be my preference).
 

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Kyle, buy it, but realize you need to do the timing belt + water pump AT THE VERY LEAST. Some other candidates for inspection: Tires, tie rods, ball joints (to check for ball joints, crank the steering wheel to each side and do full circles. If you hear a pop, you've got a bad ball joint), shocks/struts....having said that, even if most of that stuff is in bad condition, you'll STILL be getting a good deal. That is considered low mileage for a vehicle of that "vintage." Things I would automatically budget for if I were buying that vehicle: timing belt, water pump, flush coolant, diffs (oil), plugs, and wires, possibly fuel filter and pump as well.

SubiOB, those old cars have roughly the same AWD your car has, just less electronics, like traction control (which I'm sure actually detracts from driving in inclement weather, if you know how to drive in the snow.) They are amazingly simple, and amazingly effective. If you watch the value of most other cars that old, they hit rock bottom. Subaru's are like Toyota pickups - the resale value is generally higher because of their utility factor. Some people want cheap vehicles so they can spend their money elsewhere. So when we all see a Subaru with these stats going for this cheap, it's a no-brainer (to us, at least.)

Besides all that, your question might be somewhat inappropriate. It's sort of like asking someone "Why do you shop at Goodwill when you can just go down the street to Nordstrom's?" Of course we all want a new car, but not all of us can experience that luxury.
 

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SubiOB, I suppose one could argue as to why one would buy a NEW car and trade it in with less than 50k miles, when a used car bought with 50k miles performs all the functions cost less and can be bought as CPO and still have a 50k mile warranty.

Does the new car make you feel more elite? Is it a collectors item that is better when bought new?

The fact is people have different funds when buying cars. Some due to personal income limitations, others because they have different priorities and would rather spend (or save) their money elsewhere.

As far as "getting what you pay for", that's why the OP posted here. He is being smart and doing his research so he knows what he is getting.
 

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97 OB - 100K on it. $3000 green backs is the highest I would ever pay for it even in this stupid high priced used car market we have now.
 

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As for people with money? I've found that the people who actually have money I'm talking lots of money - tend to be cheap ass bastards when it comes to buying cars. Talking Auction cars etc. Given transportation is the least of their worries and dropping a few thousand on repairs is still far far FAR cheaper than buying a new car even at the Auction. LOL

Do they own nice cars? Sure but the nice car is usually their 3rd car they use on the weekend. People who are beyond wealthy might have a whole bunch of nice cars they bought used or at auction. Very few actually ever buy new cars. The poor working stiffs who need to finance their cars are the people who generally buy new and finance them and often spend more than the rich and wealthy spend. There is a reason why many people are rich / wealthy it generally has to do with how they manage and make money. This includes how they spend it too.
 

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They were only asking almost half that. ;)
K then - go for it - you can get almost $400 for it at the scrap yard so $1600 is almost nothing.

Keep a close eye on fluids - get the timing belt done and run it till it doesn't run anymore. Don't drive it like its a brand new muscle car either. It's old and if it gets you from point A to point B then your getting your money's worth
 
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