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Old 04-13-2004, 04:48 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 17903
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Default Checklist for buying a used Impreza?

What are things I need to look at on a 1998 Impreza before I hand over my hard-earned cash?

Here's my checklist so far:

Call Iowa DMV (Where I live) and New York DMV(where I'm buying), find out who I pay tax to, and who I get temp tags from.

Carfax the VIN to make sure the title is clean.

Title search the VIN to make sure it actually belongs to the guy that's selling it.

Make sure he has all maint records.

<insert flying out to New York here>

Check all rubber parts.

Drive it, make sure it's aligned correctly.

Once warmed up, open it up. Make sure 1-2 shift is smooth, and that she runs hard all the way to redline.

Take to <fastest possible speed> and make sure she's appropriately smooth at this speed.

Check for condensation on oil filler cap and dipstick.


What else should I be checking? What are the problems with this year?
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Old 04-13-2004, 05:20 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 30798
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: kansas city ks
2001 RS-T Hybrid


Make sure that he has the tiltle and that there isn't a lein on it. This will save you lots of hassles. I didn't even drive my car until I got it home from detroit. Sounds like you've thought of everything else though.
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Old 04-13-2004, 10:28 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 11620
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Ontario
1997 GF4-STiV3 clone


I don't know how far you are flying, but it may be worth it to you to have a local person check out the car for you. Someone like a pro appraiser or subaru tech. That way if it's a 98 with a blown headgasket, you don't waste your money and time on the trip.
Check for:
Blown headgasket (if replaced you want the latest design)
leaky cam, crank seals
torn cv boots
borked rear wheel bearings
chipped hood and bumper (paint is thin and crappy)
evidence of having been turboed (you don't want somebody's ex RS turbo)
worn struts
rear brake caliper operation

Most other things are pretty good.
linsavy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2004, 08:26 PM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 51340
Join Date: Dec 2003
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: on this forum-shut me off HELP
03 modifed WRX
turboless OBW Ltd 5spd


You may have thought of this, but not jotted it down -

check the paint and under the hood for overspray & the mounting brackets (also the bumper if you can get under it) - make sure it was in a collision (even one that doesn't show on the title may do enough damage to be noticable) - on our OBW we noticed vibrations when at idle - turns out it's a classic sign the subie had a nosejob. But it looks like you're doin' your homework - good for you!
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