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Old 01-21-2013, 11:48 AM   #1
Mazaev OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: The rotten apple.
Oddometer: 180
Eh? Used Subarus and the head gasket thing...

So I've been looking for a used cage and settled on an '02 Impreza Wagon that's a little expensive but drew me in with things like documented maintenance records and that it's owned by a family with a bunch of high-mileage Subarus. They want 7k for it, which as I just noticed is higher than kbb.

In any case, I'm willing to spend money on a well documented and maintained vehicle if it serves me well for the next several years without expensive repairs. So, I've been searching around forums and such and came across what seems to be quite a common issue with the 2.5L SOHC engines: The head gaskets.

The thing is, looking at the Subaru forums, it's almost as if EVERYONE has their head gaskets go at 60 - 130k. I'm wondering if it really is that prevalent, or if seems that way because people without the issues wouldn't go bitching on a forum about it. I'm sure you FFs have Subarus, so I'm wondering what the experience has been like here.

Also, I'm in a verbal "committed to buy" sort of agreement with the current owner, but this is a new issue that crept up so I'm curious how to deal with it. They said they had spent $1500 on the 60k service recently as part of why their price is a bit high, but it's at 85k now, which, to me, makes it a bit irrelevant. They seem like nice, honest folks, but at the same time I'm wondering if their dealer told them to get rid of it before the gaskets struck.

I'm thinking of arranging something with their mechanic to at least lift the car and check for any leaking at the head (SOHC engines seem to mostly have external leaks). I'm kinda thinking that if they spot anything, to either walk away, or split costs with them because if that's the major failure point, it would be good for years to come once the fix is in. If there's nothing, then it's probably good for at least 20k before it creeps up.

While I'm tempted to just say "Screw it" and walk away, I do need a car, and with our current budget it's unrealistic not to expect issues to creep up with ~80k mile vehicles.

Any suggestions?

Anyone else have a similar scenario or could suggest something?

Mazaev screwed with this post 01-21-2013 at 12:22 PM
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