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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm going to be checking out an Outback that has around 200,000 miles on it and I was hoping some of you could give me suggestions on where to look for wear/damage and what I should be paying attention to as I drive it. Is there anything specific to the 2009 model year that I should look out for?

Welp, I bought it! I'll probably need to replace the bushings in the rear suspension as there is a slight horizontal wobble going around corners with a bump at high speeds (60mph+). It's definitely drive-able while I wait for parts to come in since the wobble isn't too pronounced. Anyway, thanks again to all for you input!
 

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06 Outback 2.5i, 06 BMW 325xi wagon, 02 2.5rs, 82 CB750, Polaris XC SP 500, and a single speed bike.
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Can't think of anything specific to 2009 or H6s, but things to look for on higher mileage 2005-2009 Outbacks (coming from the owner/maintainer of three 200k+ 2005-2006 Outbacks :) ):

- Struts and strut mounts ever been replaced?
- Any work to the rear suspension, specifically the lateral links? The rear end will probably wallow over bumps if not.
- Ball joints, tie rod ends, alignment?
- Front lower control arm rear bushings like to wear out, usually replace the entire arm with new bushings.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply! The owner has the service records so I should be able to check if any of what you mentioned has been replaced! I'm a bit of a newbie, so I'm familiar with the "wallow" in the suspension you are talking about. Can you elaborate a little bit about that would feel like when I drive the car over a bump?
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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Any factory suspension is likely at/nearing end of service life.

IF engine, transmission, differentials were serviced routinely and not abused, vehicle should have another 100K or more in it.

That said, a car with 200K on it...nothing is a surprise if it breaks.

Service records should tell you plenty about what it may need.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i, 06 BMW 325xi wagon, 02 2.5rs, 82 CB750, Polaris XC SP 500, and a single speed bike.
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Thanks for the quick reply! The owner has the service records so I should be able to check if any of what you mentioned has been replaced! I'm a bit of a newbie, so I'm familiar with the "wallow" in the suspension you are talking about. Can you elaborate a little bit about that would feel like when I drive the car over a bump?
No problem! Glad to help.

When driving at highway speeds, through a curve, if you hit an expansion joint or bump in the road you'll be able to feel the rear end of the car wobble and float around and generally feel... not right. It should just bounce up and down, not side to side. It's due to worn bushings in the rear suspension. If they haven't been done, you'll want to do them. The difference is night and day, and makes for a much more comfortable and safer ride.
 

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Good advice so far.

When you look at cars with that much wear and tear, the brand and model are relatively meaningless. It's all about how that individual car has been cared for.

Has the car always been in California, or was this 198,000 miles of New England salt slush plus a one-way trip to retirement?

Suspension & wheel bearings are going to be tired just from that odometer reading. It's probably going to need attention there.

cars101.com has general info from when that car was new. Great resource.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
rasterman, The car has mostly been in California. They've only driven it in the snow a few times.
 

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Treat it like any other car purchase. Look over the the records,drive with the radio off and windows up and down. I always ask that they don't start it so I can look for smoke or any knocking when it's first started.
 

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06 3.0R JDM facelift SI Drive-shift paddles. 87 Brumby EA81 (Brat) 4MT D/R
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2009 3.0Rs are the best 3rd gen. :grin2:
Agree the later 3rd gens 2008 / 2009 with SI drive face lifted - identified with pointy headlight enclosures and legacy like open front grill and different wheels look better and less dated than compared to the cheese grater front grille and squarer headlight enclosures 5 spoke wheels of earlier 3rd gens.





In NZ early 3rd gen was 03 - 06 , facelifted with SI Drive from 06 (in the case of mine - JDM) to 08
Here in NZ the JDM / NZDM, the facelift (06-08) got its own grille


In 2009 here - predominantly 4th gen apart from the ocassional 3rd gen (end of its production run)
 
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