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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
This is my first time posting to this forum and I had a few questions about this model and year Outback.

I found a beautiful used Outback limited edition sedan at a used car lot with 105,541 miles and selling for $8,495. Is this the normal asking price? I checked on Kelley BB and it looked like it was about a grand more on there in excellent condition.

The vehicle looks to be in excellent shape although I am concerned about the fuel economy (22 City / 28 HWY) because it is AWD and the high mileage. Should I be worried?
Are Outbacks prone to any problems when they reach a certain length in miles? Are they expensive to fix?

Also, do the back seats go all the way down for storage? The salesman could only get the middle seat arm rest to drop down but neither one of us were sure there was a latch to lower the actual seats to fold flat?

Thanks!
 

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105k isn't much for a Subaru. Just getting broke in :)

You didn't specify the year so hard to say what it's worth.

If it's a 2.5 they're prone to headgasket failure. Subaru has a coolant additive that seems to do a pretty good job of prolonging the life of them (I bought a 2000 model OBW recently with 275k that finally went only after the 2nd owner bought it and didn't use the additive).

That's par for the course for an AWD sedan even with a 4cyl. Expect about 25mpg average and you won't be disappointed. Unless you live somewhere it never rains and all the roads are beautifully paved you won't mind the trade-off in mileage for the confidence Subaru AWD gives you in inclement weather.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Dito. 105k is just breaking in. I've owned a lot of Subarus and the highest mileage I put on one was 300k without having to perform any major repairs on the engine or transmission. Just keep all your maintenance up to date and don't ignore that MIL. Use quality premium unleaded and proper oils. 105k means its due for a timing belt kit and spark plugs. Change the water pump and thermostat also. (With this in mind, offer 7k off the lot and haggle from there)

The rear seats do fold down. There is a pull strap just off center towards the passenger side that lets you lift the seat, then you fold down the backrest after removing the headrest, and the bracket on the top of the seatback rest in a rail on the bottom of the seat. The strap may be down behind or under the seat if someone put it down without making sure the strap stayed within reach.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Use quality premium unleaded and proper oils.
If it's a 2.5L N/A SOHC H4 (that's what it sounds like), there's no reason to run premium fuel. If it's an H6, sure.


The rear seats do fold down. There is a pull strap just off center towards the passenger side that lets you lift the seat, then you fold down the backrest after removing the headrest, and the bracket on the top of the seatback rest in a rail on the bottom of the seat. The strap may be down behind or under the seat if someone put it down without making sure the strap stayed within reach.
You're definitely correct for a wagon, but I'm not sure if this can be done in the sedan, which is what the OP is referring to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Follow up....

Yeah it's definitely a sedan Outback. No listing on the engine details.

Thanks for the helpful tips on what to expect as far as car repairs. I can use that to my advantage when we start talking price.
 

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Yeah it's definitely a sedan Outback. No listing on the engine details.

Thanks for the helpful tips on what to expect as far as car repairs. I can use that to my advantage when we start talking price.
It'll be easy to tell if it's an H4 or an H6. The H6s have a grill badge in the lower right corner (my avatar) and another badge on the trunk. If those were removed for some reason, you could tell by looking under the hood. The H4s have no engine cover, and the H6s have a large cover that says "Subaru H6 3.0" on it. Now, if THAT cover was removed, you could also easily tell by counting the pipes on the intake manifold. Four means it's a four cylinder (H4), six means it's an H6.

Unlisted engine details on an ad for an Outback usually translates to an N/A H4 2.5. If it were an H6, they probably would have advertised it since it would be a good selling point. Same deal for the 05-09 XT cars, if it had the turbo (was an XT) it is usually well advertised.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Forgot to mention...

That it is a 2003 Limited Edition Outback. I guess it's going to come down to the whole back seat issue because not only would I be transporting my artwork but I could always throw my bike in there with the front wheel detached. There is a rear spoiler on the back on the Outback so I doubt I can get a bike rack on there unless I put one on the roof, but I really don't care for storing the bike up there. I think it would be nothing more than a struggle getting it up there and down.

Few more questions: If I do manage to get him down in price and I do purchase the car, what's my next objective? Should I take the car to a garage and have the water pump and timing belts inspected specifically and then possibly replaced or just wait for them to break down?

Also I have been shopping around for car insurance and my former Insurance company Allstate gave me a quote that was insane. I have a major point on my driving record so I can understand why Allstate wants $972.50 for the first six months. I know if you raise the Collision and comprehensive from 500/500 to 1000/1000 it gets cheaper, but I think Allstate is still a rip-off.

I looked up SafeAuto and they slashed that number in half with the same information entered. I was amazed. SafeAuto provided me with a number of $632.00 for the first 6 month term @ 500/500. If I raise it to 1000/1000 it drops to $622.00.

If I go to purchase the car, do I need to have the Auto insurance before I purchase the car? Obviously I can't drive it off the lot right? Can I even take it for a test drive?
 

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If I go to purchase the car, do I need to have the Auto insurance before I purchase the car? Obviously I can't drive it off the lot right? Can I even take it for a test drive?
You can definitely take it for a test drive without having insurance for it. I think as long as you have insurance (not necessarily for the potential new OB) you're good.
 

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That it is a 2003 Limited Edition Outback. I guess it's going to come down to the whole back seat issue because not only would I be transporting my artwork but I could always throw my bike in there with the front wheel detached. There is a rear spoiler on the back on the Outback so I doubt I can get a bike rack on there unless I put one on the roof, but I really don't care for storing the bike up there. I think it would be nothing more than a struggle getting it up there and down.

Few more questions: If I do manage to get him down in price and I do purchase the car, what's my next objective? Should I take the car to a garage and have the water pump and timing belts inspected specifically and then possibly replaced or just wait for them to break down?

Also I have been shopping around for car insurance and my former Insurance company Allstate gave me a quote that was insane. I have a major point on my driving record so I can understand why Allstate wants $972.50 for the first six months. I know if you raise the Collision and comprehensive from 500/500 to 1000/1000 it gets cheaper, but I think Allstate is still a rip-off.

I looked up SafeAuto and they slashed that number in half with the same information entered. I was amazed. SafeAuto provided me with a number of $632.00 for the first 6 month term @ 500/500. If I raise it to 1000/1000 it drops to $622.00.

If I go to purchase the car, do I need to have the Auto insurance before I purchase the car? Obviously I can't drive it off the lot right? Can I even take it for a test drive?
That Allstate figure is very high! My insurance is around $1300/year for a 500/500 deductible on my 2004 LL Bean and I'm 20!
 

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Which insurance company do you use?
Hanover. It was Commerce which was significantly higher, but the local insurance company decided to change it over to them last year. Fine with me since it costs less. Never had a situation where I've had to use the coverage (knock on wood) so I can't vouch for how good either company is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I finally test drove the Outback. Very sturdy yet comfortable ride! Everything seemed to run fine although when the salesman handed me the keys the battery was dead. He had to jump it. Is that a good sign? LOL. I may ask them to put in a new battery before I make that all important purchase. I think due to a few other circumstances, I'm going to stick with the car I found. I asked for $7000 but he wouldn't budge. Kelly Blue Book has this model and year in excellent condition listed around $9000. He only knocked off $195 but I may try and get him down one more time. They offered a great warranty for 4 years and full mechanical and electrical coverage with unlimited miles which brought my monthly payment to $161.26. Without the warranty it would be a basic 3 month warranty at $123.84 at 2.49% interest. He checked two credit unions here in town. The first was 5.99% and then he checked my actual credit union and they gave the number of 2.49%.

Overall, I think this is pretty fair. I'm putting $2000 down which will leave me some money for the first payment in October.

* Oh, and the back seats do not come down. Just that stupid armrest in the back. Only the Outback wagons have that feature. I looked it up in the Owner's Manual from the glove compartment.
 

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Dead battery at a car lot is pretty common. The price of batteries has skyrocketed in the last few years. . . it's something a lot of dealers cheap out on as it's $100 out of their pocket.

But yeah push to replace it. Never hurts to ask.

I work at most of the area lots here cutting and programming spare keys when they get cars in from the auction. . . it's gotten so bad at a lot of them I just assume the batteries are gonna be dead and take my jump box from car to car so I can program keys (yours will not have a chip key so don't worry).
 
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