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Old 12-13-2012, 06:22 PM   #1
sub_sifu
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Member#: 301690
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default Let's play "Did I get ripped off?"

While out of state, my fiance purchased a 99 outback sport for xxxx. Since it runs, I told her to go for it at their crazy low asking price. Now I've seen it, I want to pass it on to the old pros here.


Vehicle is in AZ, was back East. I don't have a lot of experience with rust, but the car definitely does.

The question is:
How much is it worth knowing only the following:

Pros:
Starts up, runs clean. Everything works as it should.
Tires in good shape. Clean interior. Clean title, 2 owners.
Overall, looks like its in nice shape

Cons:
Needs break pads, possibly rotors.
Rust bucket (see pics)
Check engine light
185k miles.


I really got on here for advice on how bad the rust is (cosmetic, structural), what I should do to thoroughly check it out (pull up carpet? Anything easier?) ... what I should do to repair it (fiberglass/bondo or metalworker?)

I tried snapping the worst of the rust.





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Old 12-13-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
yman
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Member#: 199051
Join Date: Jan 2009
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: mesa, az
Vehicle:
04 sti
psm

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$900-1100ish
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
ktmrider
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Member#: 125687
Join Date: Sep 2006
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Vehicle:
2005 Legacy GT - 6MT
Black

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CEL gonna make it no-dice for registration.

What is said CEL? Could be major $$$ to fix.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:48 PM   #4
kpluiten
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Member#: 120273
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: AZ
Vehicle:
06 WRBWRXWGN
Now with 100% more Spec-C

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Yeah, I'd put it at 1500 tops. Less if it can't be registered due to the CEL. And only if it has AC.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:11 PM   #5
tibug
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Member#: 273906
Join Date: Feb 2011
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Best be on my way...
Vehicle:
2003 brokeback
wagon

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The rust is gonna be extremely difficult and costly to fix. It wouldn't be as difficult to hide it, but it would be crazy difficult to actually stop it. EDIT: You'll never "stop" it. I have that exact same car with almost identical rust and I can tell you where you very likely have rust.

This is the inside of the car. This picture shows the intersection of the passenger's side shock tower and the C-pillar. You can see the seat belt in the foreground. The rust goes all the way through and you can see the quarter panel inside.



This is what the rust inside the quarter panel looks like.



One more picture. Look on the right side on the shock tower; you can see rust spots on the side of the tower.



I paid $550 for my car. When I bought it, it had 1) leaky injector seals, 2) an EVAP system code, 3) Shot tires, 4) 259,000 miles. I replace the injector seals, replaced the tires, did the timing belt, and brought it to emissions. It had three codes (idle malfunction, EVAP, and catalytic converter) AND the CEL wasn't working. So...it failed.

I looked online and found that the EVAP code is common on old rusty Subarus and is very difficult to pinpoint (could be a pressure leak anywhere in the fuel system/charcoal canister/lines...). I'm only mentioning this because it is such a common problem. If your CEL is not EVAP related, you can breathe easy and disregard this. Most other common codes are simpler more straightforward fixes (but it's all relative). Now, here's the important part, if you have an EVAP code:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2402867

Essentially, the car only runs the EVAP test if you have less than 9.6 gallons of fuel in the tank. SO, I never let my car get near 3/4 of a tank before filling it up, and lo and behold, the code shut off.

I replaced the CEL bulb and brought it to emissions again. Pass. The cat code and idle code did not show up, for some reason. Lucky me.

EDIT: Let me also point out that my car has the original clutch (which is in sad shape) and most of the exhaust exits before the tailpipe (it's that rusted). I think I got a good deal for $550, but it's also likely that your car is worth more than mine.

Last edited by tibug; 12-13-2012 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:31 PM   #6
sub_sifu
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Member#: 301690
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default

This is an incredibly helpful post. Thanks a lot for taking the time to write this. I'll check out those areas and see what I'm dealing with. She paid $950, which I thought was a fantastic deal for such a reliable car. Hopefully just a little TLC is all that is needed.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tibug View Post
The rust is gonna be extremely difficult and costly to fix. It wouldn't be as difficult to hide it, but it would be crazy difficult to actually stop it. EDIT: You'll never "stop" it. I have that exact same car with almost identical rust and I can tell you where you very likely have rust.

This is the inside of the car. This picture shows the intersection of the passenger's side shock tower and the C-pillar. You can see the seat belt in the foreground. The rust goes all the way through and you can see the quarter panel inside.



This is what the rust inside the quarter panel looks like.



One more picture. Look on the right side on the shock tower; you can see rust spots on the side of the tower.



I paid $550 for my car. When I bought it, it had 1) leaky injector seals, 2) an EVAP system code, 3) Shot tires, 4) 259,000 miles. I replace the injector seals, replaced the tires, did the timing belt, and brought it to emissions. It had three codes (idle malfunction, EVAP, and catalytic converter) AND the CEL wasn't working. So...it failed.

I looked online and found that the EVAP code is common on old rusty Subarus and is very difficult to pinpoint (could be a pressure leak anywhere in the fuel system/charcoal canister/lines...). I'm only mentioning this because it is such a common problem. If your CEL is not EVAP related, you can breathe easy and disregard this. Most other common codes are simpler more straightforward fixes (but it's all relative). Now, here's the important part, if you have an EVAP code:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2402867

Essentially, the car only runs the EVAP test if you have less than 9.6 gallons of fuel in the tank. SO, I never let my car get near 3/4 of a tank before filling it up, and lo and behold, the code shut off.

I replaced the CEL bulb and brought it to emissions again. Pass. The cat code and idle code did not show up, for some reason. Lucky me.

EDIT: Let me also point out that my car has the original clutch (which is in sad shape) and most of the exhaust exits before the tailpipe (it's that rusted). I think I got a good deal for $550, but it's also likely that your car is worth more than mine.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:51 PM   #7
tibug
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Member#: 273906
Join Date: Feb 2011
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Best be on my way...
Vehicle:
2003 brokeback
wagon

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sub_sifu View Post
This is an incredibly helpful post. Thanks a lot for taking the time to write this. I'll check out those areas and see what I'm dealing with. She paid $950, which I thought was a fantastic deal for such a reliable car. Hopefully just a little TLC is all that is needed.
It really is reliable, and being that you're in the Southwest (I didn't notice I was in the SW forum at first), the rust won't get worse as fast as it does in CT where I am. Considering you're not in the rust belt, it may be worth trying to get the rust fixed, but I'm certainly no expert in that area. You'll also want to check out the underside of the car. Mine is not bad and it seems like the factory undercoat did its job, but you're gonna have to give that a look too.

I think $950 is very reasonable. If it can pass emissions (not sure what emissions is like where you are) and you can tolerate the rust, I see no reason why the car won't have a lot more miles left in it. The 2.2 liters are dead reliable and pretty gutsy for a small engine. At 262k miles it burns no appreciable amount of oil and has no leaks. I can hardly say the same for my 2.5L Outback.

Good luck with it!
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:02 PM   #8
shemoves
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Member#: 80663
Join Date: Jan 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Glendale, AZ
Vehicle:
1997 Outback

Default

That rust is pretty bad...as you said, was definitely back east. Rust isn't an issue here in AZ (unless there are parts up north where it snows where they use salt instead of cinders). Know that rust near structural junctions can pose some major safety risks...as those spots are much more likely to 'give' when there simply isn't the material there that is supposed to be.

AZ won't pass with a CEL. It might be something simple...you can take it to a local AutoZone/Checker and they will pull the code for free. Do you have the car? Are you in AZ?
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #9
sub_sifu
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Member#: 301690
Join Date: Nov 2011
Default

UPDATE:

Fought the rust to redo the brakes. Now to the CELs. I've been doing some research and so far addressed one code.

PO325- Knock Sensor ( I hopefully addressed this today)http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2204739


----

I still have 3 to go. I noticed a hole in the gas tank. Fortunately, when you fill it up, the gas nozzle extends past the hole.
PO183- Fuel Temp Sensor
PO463-Fuel Level Sensor

PO1400-Fuel tank pressure control solenoid failure or short. I noticed there is a hole in the gas line. Fortunately, when you fill it up, the gas nozzle extends past the hole.

PO420-Cat or o2 sensor-Anyone want to weigh in on this?
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:08 PM   #10
USLiberty
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Member#: 294466
Join Date: Sep 2011
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: prescott az
Vehicle:
1993 Legacy SS
white

Default

The fuel level sender probably just needs to be pulled out and cleaned. Did the trick for mine.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #11
USLiberty
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Member#: 294466
Join Date: Sep 2011
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: prescott az
Vehicle:
1993 Legacy SS
white

Default

Electronic Anti rust protection www.counter-act.com . This is supposed to keep rust from getting worse
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