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Old 07-11-2019, 05:31 AM   #1
wdodge0912
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Default New here, looking at a Subaru

Hello, I'm New Here! the names Weston

Anyways, I'm looking to get a Subaru, preferably a AWD Wagon of some kind. I'm here to ask some questions I have about what to look for on these, like common issues, and also what I can do tonone once I have it.

Right now My wife and I have a 2017 Equinox we call Nox, and a Dodge Stratus. We got Nox when my Zr2 S10 pickup took a puke. The srtatus is beat up body wise, some are looking to replace that, the wife just got a new job that requires she has access to a decent vehicle. The status is mechanically sound for the most part, but the outside is pretty banged up. She takes Nox to work when she has to, otherwise it's "my" vehicle. But she want to get rid of her stratus, give me something, and take over Nox.

There are 2 reasons I want an AWD wagon of some kind, and leaning towards a Subaru.

I want the AWD as I miss the go anywhere of my old S10. I didnt offroad it, it it was more the Snow conquering in the winter, as well as when I park on the soggy side if the road. Wanting a wagon (and the soggy roadside part) is my hobby of RC warships. I go battle my ship year round, and all my junk should fit in a wagon, and since I park on the side of the road for the battles, I just dont want to get stuck.

Anyways, I'm eyeballing an 06 Impreza 2.5I Sport Wagon. Is there anything particular I should look for in this that may be a common problem? kind of a something that would end up costing a bunch shortly after getting it?

Also, I was wondering about wheels and tires. The car I'm looking at is about the same color as Nox, so I would like to get some black rims to match. I figured since I'm doing that, if there was anything I should look at doing to maybe be able to fit some more offroad-ish tires on. Like go down a rim size, but go up on the aspect ratio to fit some? I did find some General Grabber 205/75R15 tires, I had bigger ones on my S10 that I liked, so I would by them again. I'm not opposed to changing rim sizes, having the speedometer off a tad, or having it sit a little higher (or lower) as long as I dont have to do anything to the car, as it'll be a daily driver. I'm not looking to supe the car up or anything like that, just want it to be a winter road warrior, if you will. Also, I doubt I ever would, but taking it out on Silver Lake sand dunes would be awesome, if that would be at all possible, I may look I to setting it up for something like that.

Thanks in advanced for the knowledge and help!
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Last edited by wdodge0912; 07-11-2019 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:47 AM   #2
Jack
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It would be best to take any car you're looking at to a Subaru specialist mechanic. You're looking at pretty ancient cars, at well over a decade old, so anything from munged up wiring to rusted out shock towers are fair game. A low mileage car with an owner who didn't bother to replace the timing belt, ignoring the 105 months part means you've got a timing belt with probably a water pump and maybe tensioner to replace. If you don't do this yourself, figure between $500 and $1000. Of course with a car this old, pretty much everything that hasn't been replaced is probably close to needing it. Have the coolant tested for hydrocarbons because this is right in the prime of internally leaking head gasket time, and you won't see anything without testing. Of course, you want a compression and leak down test to know the health of the engine and heads.

On the tires, those are really good offroad tires, which you probably know. They start with way more tread than no-season tires and are soft, so will wear quicker than no-seasons would. They'll be a bit more noisy than passenger tires. Check out places like dirtyImpreza for ways to raise the car up a little, to fit bigger tires.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:58 AM   #3
bdubblu
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A 13 year old car is around the corner from repair at any given moment. If you're prepared for that, no problem. If it's not a major repair, then it's usually a bunch of ongoing things. For instance, ball joints, wheel bearings, bushings and mounts, hoses, alternator, starter, PS pump, struts, a caliper or two... these types of things start to add up. So it's really a roll of the dice. You might get one that is a gem for 2-3 years. But more likely, you'll have repairs right away and regularly from here on out.

Edit: And by the way, this comment isn't specific to Subaru. I'd be saying this about any brand. So I'm not trying to scare you away from Subaru. In fact, I think it's one of the better brands.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:42 AM   #4
wdodge0912
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdubblu View Post
A 13 year old car is around the corner from repair at any given moment. If you're prepared for that, no problem. If it's not a major repair, then it's usually a bunch of ongoing things. For instance, ball joints, wheel bearings, bushings and mounts, hoses, alternator, starter, PS pump, struts, a caliper or two... these types of things start to add up. So it's really a roll of the dice. You might get one that is a gem for 2-3 years. But more likely, you'll have repairs right away and regularly from here on out.

Edit: And by the way, this comment isn't specific to Subaru. I'd be saying this about any brand. So I'm not trying to scare you away from Subaru. In fact, I think it's one of the better brands.
oh yes, I know this. The Status we have is an 06 as well. I can always walk to work as I'm about a half a mile away, and I work 3rd, and the wife works 1st, I get home when she is just waking up, so it all works out that way that we always have a vehicle if I want to drive to work.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:46 PM   #5
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Thinking a little more with this age car.....Subarus are known for wheel bearing problems. Not just that they go bad early but that they can be nearly impossible to remove. I had 3 done in a 13 Crosstrek recently and because 2 of them (rears) were grizzly bears, it cost me $1300 from my very good independent mechanic. At that age, the boots for all the CV axles are very likely dried up, broken and leaking. The good news is that reman'd cv axles are as cheap as 2 boots these days. But you're still looking at $150 to do the 2 fronts yourself.

What can you do? As mentioned before, get a pre-purchase inspection by a Subaru specialist shop. Figure $200-$300 worth of work to thoroughly go through the car.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:06 PM   #6
wdodge0912
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Originally Posted by Jack View Post
Thinking a little more with this age car.....Subarus are known for wheel bearing problems. Not just that they go bad early but that they can be nearly impossible to remove. I had 3 done in a 13 Crosstrek recently and because 2 of them (rears) were grizzly bears, it cost me $1300 from my very good independent mechanic. At that age, the boots for all the CV axles are very likely dried up, broken and leaking. The good news is that reman'd cv axles are as cheap as 2 boots these days. But you're still looking at $150 to do the 2 fronts yourself.

What can you do? As mentioned before, get a pre-purchase inspection by a Subaru specialist shop. Figure $200-$300 worth of work to thoroughly go through the car.
good to know about the wheel bearings and CVs. thanks for the knowledge. I'll probably do the inspection myself. I did go to college to be a diesel mechanic, graduated with my associate's degree and also passed the tests to be a state certified master HD mechanic. Now I work at a drinking water filtration plant, so there goes all that hard work, lol. I was lucky enough though that I had enough scholarships and grants to go for free, just had to go for 3 years on a 2 year degree.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:39 PM   #7
Fahrezz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
Thinking a little more with this age car.....Subarus are known for wheel bearing problems. Not just that they go bad early but that they can be nearly impossible to remove. I had 3 done in a 13 Crosstrek recently and because 2 of them (rears) were grizzly bears, it cost me $1300 from my very good independent mechanic. At that age, the boots for all the CV axles are very likely dried up, broken and leaking. The good news is that reman'd cv axles are as cheap as 2 boots these days. But you're still looking at $150 to do the 2 fronts yourself.

What can you do? As mentioned before, get a pre-purchase inspection by a Subaru specialist shop. Figure $200-$300 worth of work to thoroughly go through the car.
+1
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:02 PM   #8
bdubblu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
Thinking a little more with this age car.....Subarus are known for wheel bearing problems. Not just that they go bad early but that they can be nearly impossible to remove. I had 3 done in a 13 Crosstrek recently and because 2 of them (rears) were grizzly bears, it cost me $1300 from my very good independent mechanic. At that age, the boots for all the CV axles are very likely dried up, broken and leaking. The good news is that reman'd cv axles are as cheap as 2 boots these days. But you're still looking at $150 to do the 2 fronts yourself.

What can you do? As mentioned before, get a pre-purchase inspection by a Subaru specialist shop. Figure $200-$300 worth of work to thoroughly go through the car.


Iíve done wheel bearings on that generation and didnít find them to be unusually difficult. My 04 was routine as well. Of course I have a press work with. I also bought the hub/ bearing assembly and not just the bearing. Doesnít make sense to fiddle with it any other way.

That said, Iíve seen the driveway style hammer them out deal some people do. That doesnít look easy.
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