2002 Subaru Forester value?

Asked by Nov 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM about the 2002 Subaru Forester

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I have an 02 Forester that runs great, no rust or body damage or accidents with 188,000 miles on it that is leaking oil.  It is going to need head gaskets and I can't afford the $3,000 I have been quoted.  My son only works on Chevy's so I purchased a used Impala to get my free mechanic back.  I don't need two cars and want to sell the Forester BUT with full disclosure on the oil leak.  I know that a Subaru guru can do the repairs much cheaper if they wanted to fix it for themselves but have no idea what a fair price to ask would be.  Can someone offer me some advice on this please?  I need some cash to pay off the Impala and don't want to rip anyone off. Photo Attached.

2 Answers

115

You should be able to get between $1500 and $2000 with the disclosed issues, on depending on what part of the country you live in. There is a strong market for Subaru in certain areas.

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I know this is a year late but others may stop by with the same issue or question about the 2002 or Foresters in general. This is sort of a story of how pleased I am with my Subaru and how simple the maintenance is. If you need this work done and can do basic parts changing, watch a few youtube videos and do it yourself. Keep notes and label parts as they come off and you can always reverse the procedure to get it back together. The hardest part was the bolt torque procedure. We have never seen anything like it and did not really understand the reasons for this procedure. My friend has 30 years as a full time mechanic. However, no issues 15K later. I have the same model as above and have 150K at present. I changed both my head gaskets at around 135K when one started seeping and I did the research on this issue. Could have gone a lot longer, or done just one, but I am fairly aggressive when it comes to maintenance as well as my thoughts that if you are already this far in, 10 to 15 % more effort ain’t a big deal. I had a mechanic friend help because we intended to pull the engine and this was over my head. We ended up just removing the bolts and jacking it up to get room to remove the heads but I was glad for the help and tricks of the trade. Other than a torque wrench, the only special tool needed was a cheater bar to get the dynamic balancer off and a big screwdriver to wedge into the timing port to hold the engine fixed while removing it. Remember to take the "Dog Bone" off the top, we busted it. While in there I took the heads to a shop to check flatness – Right on the money, and had the valves lapped. 2 got replaced but there was no indication from the outside. I also replaced the timing belt, pulley bearings, idlers, and water pump as well as the valve gaskets and those on the spark plug tubes. This is an interference engine, so make sure it is timed right before you turn it over with the starter. If you get the timing off, it is easy to tell as you slowly rotate the engine by hand. Almost no carbon on the cylinder walls. While I am not impressed with the head gasket issue I have never had an on road issue. Other things I have fixed: replaced the radiator when the top joint failed. The power steering pump bearing had been squealing for a few seconds after start up for about 300 starts so this and the steering rack, which was leaking, got changed with the head gaskets. CV axels failed at 70K and again at 110. I did not run to failure but they were clicking pretty good at 75 to 90 % steering input so I changed them. Be careful with the grease seals at the differential, easy to cut and you will not know till after you are back on the road. Also, plugs, fuel filter, 3 sets of pads and a set of disks on the front breaks, rear still original. I keep the fluids changed and flushed as well. After all of this, would I buy another Subaru? Absolutely! Would it be a 2002 Forester? If in good shape, price right with maintenance, condition and mileage, absolutely! I have kept mine at a level of maintenance, and will continue to do so, for this to be a 500K car. Interior is still at 99% with the only frayed spot being on the back edge where I slide into the driver seat.

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