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
in?

3 Answers

385

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 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
63,055

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 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
52,035

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 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Forester

Looking for a Used Forester in your area?

CarGurus has 819 nationwide Forester listings starting at $1,500.

Postal Code:

Search Subaru Forester Questions

Subaru Forester Experts

#1 Nick Eidemiller
Nick Eidemiller
Reputation 3,570
#2 walth
walth
Reputation 2,890
#3 lifeson34
lifeson34
Reputation 2,470
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Outback
38 Great Deals out of 566 listings starting at $3,495
Used Honda CR-V
28 Great Deals out of 2,115 listings starting at $1,800
Used Toyota RAV4
79 Great Deals out of 2,652 listings starting at $2,995
Used Subaru Impreza
28 Great Deals out of 666 listings starting at $2,995
Used Subaru Legacy
13 Great Deals out of 354 listings starting at $598
Used Ford Escape
161 Great Deals out of 3,884 listings starting at $1,150
Used Toyota 4Runner
10 Great Deals out of 345 listings starting at $5,995
Used Toyota Highlander
13 Great Deals out of 523 listings starting at $3,995
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
4 Great Deals out of 94 listings starting at $9,990
Used Toyota Tacoma
23 Great Deals out of 744 listings starting at $4,999
Used Honda Civic
292 Great Deals out of 4,079 listings starting at $995

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Forester For Sale
7 Great Deals out of 317 listings starting at $26,619
2016 Subaru Forester For Sale
36 Great Deals out of 66 listings starting at $24,305
2015 Subaru Forester For Sale
10 Great Deals out of 86 listings starting at $16,218
2014 Subaru Forester For Sale
15 Great Deals out of 149 listings starting at $14,900
2013 Subaru Forester For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 26 listings starting at $11,500