Hoping for the best

Asked by Nov 25, 2016 at 11:44 AM about the 2004 Subaru Forester

Question type: General

JuSt got a 2004 Subaru Forester from an "under 5"
used car dealership.  Unfortunately I haven't even
driven it yet because I can't find anyone to help me
with my carseat install but that's a whole 'nother
story. So temporary trade with my brother and he's
been driving it. Not even been home four days of
so and he stops to get gas and the car won't start.
So turns out it needed a new starter. Which they
fixed. Now today it failed inspection due to needing
a ball joint and a couple lights. We purchased an
extra three year warranty plan and of course there's
no returns, I just want to make sure this isn't going
to end up being a total dud. I know whenever you
get a "new" car there sometimes ends up being
some issues and things that need to be fixed but I
just feel we're not off to a great start. Your weigh

3 Answers


They are overall very rugged reliable cars, I've had several Subaru's over 200k. This one is a teenager and is going to act up and have breakdowns you wont escape that. Dont count on a dealer doing any preventative or courtesy repairs. You will likely need to put around $1000 into a car this old to get another 5 years out. Parts wear out, especially ball joints and starters, wheel bearings, struts, and RUST. Its just normal maintenance at that age and unpredictable. You didnt list the mileage, but the top concerns I'd have checked and know, are when the timing belt was last replaced, its due every 80 to 120k miles, have it inspected if its not documented, if that goes it grenades the engine, its a $300 job at a dealership to replace and worth it. They will replace the water pump and pulleys cogs attached at the same time. Have the engines head gasket inspected for leakage, a compression and leakdown test will give you good insight into the health of the engine. Have the transmission fluid drained and filled, DO NOT FLUSH. And have the differential gear oil replaced. You can do little tune up things, plugs, wires, fuel and air filter. And you will be fine for a long time.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Every used vehicle is out there for sale for a reason. You are very smart for getting the warranty! Rarely does someone trade in a vehicle because they're tired of it. It usually has one or two things that need attention. My friend recently bought a 2000 Blazer. It needed brakes and front end work. He put about $1000 into it on top of the purchase price. But now he has a nice reliable SUV. I'm sure once you get your issues fixed you'll be ok. Do as BCush83 says to get all the maintenance up to date and you'll probably have a nice vehicle! HTH. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Subaru's are great cars but you bought a 13 year old car so there will be things to fix along the way. How many miles on the car?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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