I am looking for a pre-owned Outback for my wife
and have $10,000.00 dollars cash to spend. I am a
little limited in choices since she insists on the
large "double" moonroof. I believe these are
available only on LLBean and on the Limited trim. I
think I have settled on something like a 2008 LL
Bean. I have been finding them certified at
dealerships with 100,000 miles or less for about 9-
10 grand. Are these good cars? Is that a good price
range? 2.5 or 3.0? We have never owned a Subaru
but living in the mountains of Colorado I believe it
would be perfect for us. I would appreciate any
advice/guidance in choosing the right car. Thanks.
Mark, if you could afford a little more, the 2010 and later models pretty much addressed the head gaskets issues.. And, the 2010 and later has the newer more powerful 3.6. H6... I personally have a 2010 Subaru Outback, 2.5 Limited, CVT, plenty powerful and towed my teardrop trailer up to the top of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. No problems at all and I have been in touch with another forum member that went 300,000 miles on his car with regular maintenance.. Unfortunately, despite the supposedly better handling of the 2008, they still had head gasket issues..... Be careful.
Thanks for that information. I was indeed wondering about the 3.6. I have no problem with 4 cylinder engines, we own a 1984 Toyota Tercel wagon 4x4 that runs perfect, not one single problem. I just want something a little bigger and faster for her. The Tercel boasts 68 hp but does give us 37 mpg. My next question would be "What about all the problems I have heard about with the CVT? I have a heard a lot about very expensive maintenance issues with these and inevitably having to have them rebuilt. Any truth or concerns there? Thanks again for your informative answer.
Hi Mark. I specialize in sourcing '08-'09 2.5H OBs for my clients, eschewing the VERY thirsty and overweight H6 as unnecessary, as the added power benefit is only perceived at passing speeds. The H4 became nicely optimized with the advent of variable valve tech in '06. However, 52 is correct that under-engineered HGs plagued the H4 from 2000-2009. However, the subsequent 2010- 12 has severely compromised handling...and yes, mounting CVT problems. Hence I have NOT recommended these to my clients. Subaru received enough complaints from soft handling of the '10+ that when they did a midcycle refresh in '13 with a new 2.5 H4 motor they also beefed up the suspension to pretty decent handling. So I've just started chasing upcoming bargains in this short '13-14 era, as the subsequent redesign in 2015 returned to horrible handling. Sheesh.... Yes, the double roof is available only in H4 Limiteds and fancy H6's, so ya have to like leather. You should know that the '05-'09 OBs suffer from myriad minor problems now that they're aging; that said under $10k for a well-prepped '08 LL Bean CAN be a good value. That said, I find that only about 10-15% of the used '08-'09 OBs in the wholesale market (in the Northeast) are worth purchasing, so I suggest you be VERY careful! I used to be able to stock 2-4 of these for clients' selection, but after selling a freshly-gasketed perfect '09 for $10.5k I've not been able to find another one "clean" one for over a month. So be prepared with an expert SUBARU wrench to spend a LOT of time finding one on your own. Re the CVT further, I have now a pair of '13 LTD OB H4...one of whichh I'll give to my daughter in Chicago in the next month. These are a relative bargain at $18-19k-ish, but obviously out of most folks' budgets. Feel free to PM me, as there's too much info to impart from this old two-fingered typist. Cheers. Ern
Mark, please be aware that the 2013 Subaru Outback with the newly designed FB Series engine has been reported to burn excessive amounts of oil... It was the subject of a class action lawsuit... Subaru settled this by extending the warranty for 8 years or 100,000 miles.... http://jalopnik.com/subaru-settles-lawsuit-over-oil-burning- cars-1752805682 Again, the reports of the CVT problems are exaggerated in my opinion.. Remember, the person who went 300,000 miles.. Also, the oil burning doesn't affect all cars the same either.... BUT, the head gaskets were pretty consistent over the 2000-2009 years.... If you can find a 2008-09 car with the retrofitted head gaskets that would be different... One more thing, it's my understanding that the wind noise on the 2010 and newer cars is better managed due to the construction of the door frames in case this concerns you.
Mark, again you have it backwards. ALL CVTs will eventually fail, whereas only SOME FB motors' piston rings are porous...and perhaps greatly mitigated by avoiding 10w oil. Further, Subaru is simply saving a few bucks on window seals buy framing the windows in 2010; in fact the 2010+ has more ROAD noise than the preceding '05-'09 "frameless" body. But both eras are similarly moderately loud, so this is a non-starter. "Reports of CVT problems are exaggerated"? What does this mean? They're failing; they break. When something breaks the report of such failure isn't "exaggerated". I know you like to think that your first-year 2010 CVT is capable of pulling your little trailer for 200+k, but you're actually playing with fire at the slot table with this one. Plus the soft handling of the 2010-2012 is such that the LAST thig I'd do is pull extra mass behind it. Like a jello rope pulling a rock...or something.
Mark52 I shouldn't be so hard on you, compadre, as your responses at least show that you're teachable; I'm your age and I'm not so sure I am anymore...ha! Mark/wife: Your task is to find a leathered-up '08-'09 OB with head gaskets replaced after 2010 in great shape for about $11k all in. Statistically you'll have to evaluate 8-10 examples before finding one worth buying...regardless of the rust belt, as I'm NOT referring to corrosion issues. Good luck. If you're willing to travel to pick one up (I have Subies in about 25 States and 8 countries) feel free to contact me anytime...but again I don't have one right now. (FYI Limiteds are about 20-25% of inventory, so rarer than cloth moonroof-less OBs.) Note also that that moonroof, since it's bundled with leather in the LImited STILL trades for +$1000-1300 more...about equal to one year's depreciation (e.g., an '09 cloth = '08 Limited at $10k). So your wife's desire for seeing the sky will cost you a year...or about a G-note. For those wanting leather (pet owners, swilly kids or sports-folks) the Limiteds are a bargain. For others an extra year of use "for free"...and cooler cloth seats in summer means a better deal. Gotta go.
I just think it's funny that you fixate on one dude that went 300k miles.. OP - "Mark" at least you are doing a bunch of legwork and research and you have a lot of good info to work with. I'm going to stay subscribed and hope to hear back on your plans and what you eventually go with. Cool 4x4 Tercel, too btw! You could always buy a Justy :)
Ernie, Walt, Mark (w/wife), all mechanical devices fail, you're CORRECT.. It's a question of the mean time failure rate, yes, perhaps we disagree when this might happen, but, we all know it will... I never said anything about keeping my car past 200,000 miles. I usually think about switching cars after 125,000 and have normally only keep cars to 150,000 max. I only bought up the guy with 300,000 miles as an example, showing the durability of the transmission, some more, some less.. I suppose it will last longer with a mature driver... Ernie, I'm going to say you are right about handling, however, again, who drives an Outback like a sports car?? As far as my trailer, it weighs less than 1,000 pounds, and the Outback can easily tow 2,700 pounds, so, it's one third the weight of the car... It's pretty stable on the road. Look, we're probably the same age, I'm 64, and while I have not had as many cars as you or am a mechanic, I have been through a number of repair experiences over the years and can assure you that I've seen it all, my pocketbook and I know.. Why do you think I don't change cars too often.. I don't collect cars, houses are a better investment. I'll wait and see how my experience goes in the next two or three years.. So far , so good... My 2010 Outback seems to handle fine for me and the lower center of gravity with the boxer engine is nicer than other cars I've owned.. Good luck Mark with your wife's search for a replacement car.----- Markw1952
Hey Mark, who taught you about MTBF a little while ago? At least nice to see you Hoovering it up.... Tercel wags were by far the fastest rusting cars of their era. Used to be funny watching them totter around in the slush with their tail gates wagging off....
Thanks for all the information guys. This really helps. I think I found a good car at a good price. This dealer buys nice Subarus and upgrades them with the new upgraded gaskets etc. The one I am interested in is a 2008 2.5i Limited with 132,000 miles. It had a bad cylinder so they had the motor completely rebuilt top to bottom and did the brake rotors and pads, serviced the tranny etc. They are asking $12,800.00 for it (negotiable). It is fully loaded with the big moonroof, pearl white, leather, premium sound etc. I think it's a good price. What do you guys think?
Good morning Ernie, as you know, cars in Southern California, I live in LA, last longer than cars in the rust belt, which is why I was able to keep my old 1995 Honda Accord so long, 19 years is a very long time.. I'm thinking about not doing this again.... I'll probably switch out my 2010 in 2020 or 2022 for a late model or new car. Yes, mean time failure rates. I'm retired, but, I was a former Director of Plant Operations, my job was to assess systems, and have them replaced around the 90 to 95 percent stage based on age to avoid system failure... The worst thing is to actually break down out on the road and being hostage to some unscrupulous mechanic in the middle of nowhere.. For this reason, I carry a AAA Premier card, and have RV insurance as well... BUT, it's far better to keep your car's systems running in top condition especially if you go out of town.. It's fine to drive a "beater" in the city, you can always limp back to your mechanic.. My AAA Premier card does give me 200 miles of free towing, but, it's still a gamble. Based upon your responses and things I've read online about you, I know I you're an honest person, but, the mechanics business is littered with dishonest characters... When I get my cars repaired, I look forward to the future and try very hard to be proactive and get things done ahead of time... I don't fix things that are working fine and do unnecessary repairs, but, I do replace consumable items that looked stressed or things based on age... Over time, I've been VERY LUCKY to have things replaced like brakes and the at 90 percent of their life so I could have a higher comfort level... It's all about risk management... Have I had sudden failures, YES.. It's not fun at all and it's very inconvenient... Who needs or wants that?? I have been lucky enough to mostly have broken down more times in town than on the road. I can certainly see why people use OnStar. So, here in Southern California, it's always the engine and mechanical components that eventually fail. Hey, if I wanted to put enough money into an old car, I could still be driving my old 57 Chevy? But, we all know now that newer cars are definitely safer. Why would you want to drive an old 50s car, unless you were collecting them.
Mark, a few questions for you, 1. Is this a new car dealership or a used car dealer? 2. How do you know that the engine was completely rebuilt, did they provide you a list of components ?? 3. Transmission work, what did they do? 4. Are they WILLING to give you a 12,000 mile or 1 year warranty on their work? 5. Did you check NADA or Kelly Blue Book? See this below, Price seems high, but, this may be an exception with all the work done. Good luck. http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2008/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-I-Limited-AWD/Values
This is a used dealership that specializes in finding used Subarus in good shape, improving them (they always at least upgrade to the re- engeneered head gaskets) and then re-sell them. They have all paper work from the machine shop detailing all new parts and work done. The price is indeed over book but the motor appears to be virtually new. The rest of the car obviously has 132,000 miles on it so that does concern me and yes there is a warranty.
Mark, the price is just too high. I top PERFECT '08 LTDs at 10.5k- ish. It's even too high for a perfected 2009. keep trying unless this guy will also cut your lawn for a couple of years.
That was kind of my feeling. New motor or not this is still a vehicle with 132,000 miles on it and a top book in perfect condition of less than 10 grand. I will keep looking. Thanks again for the benefit of ya'lls experience.
Rebuilding a Subaru block is rarely a good idea, as it's cost- prohibitive if done well. Even Subaru just replaces entire short- blocks when something goes bad with one cylinder. Normal proper routine is to chase a good used 2.5H for mid-teens, regasket and t-belt it, and slap it in. Total investment is about $2.5k. When starting with a wholesale '08 Ltd at $7k you end up at $10k with a few little things added, but not much room for tires nor exhaust. But then the guy has to make a couple $k profit; therein lies the rub. So most "resealers" do only one side, without machine-shop prep. Tough proposition. Therein lies the rub. I suppose if you're not near the rustbelt and REALLY are an aficionado of the classic '06-'09 OBs because of their superior handling (with H/V rubber) it's hard to recommend overpaying for what is becoming a fast-corroding carcass. So this remains a tough one: either chase umpteen specimens and vet them to try to unearth a bargain, or get 2% money at AAA or your FCU and grab a better 2013-2014 like I'm starting to do for my clients. Of course that leaves a huge hole in the $10-17k middle, filled only by the excellent Legacy Sedans. Hmmm...For 10k I'd MUCH rather see your wife get a highway- driven nice 2010 Legacy Prem Sedan with a moonroof than an '08 OB, frankly. Two years for "free" in exchange for the 5th door vs folding-seats/trunk...AND you pick up 4-5mpg! But everybody likes to sit up high in those OBs, eh?
I count three semantic screwups in my post, but I trust you cobbled it nicely....
Mark, if you can avoid a "used car dealership", unless it's vetted, like Ernie's shop in Boston... I think that the price is too high, NADA shows that. I didn't know that it's hard to rebuild these properly, Ernie would know this! WHERE do you live, it makes a big difference... Southern California or the Western States is a whole world apart from New England.... I have family in Boston, it's very nice, BUT, the weather is a huge game changer... Ernie knows this as well.
We are in Southern Colorado. I have been here for 14 years and practical experience has shown me that rust is not and issue unless you just purposely abuse your vehicle. My wife wants an Outback mostly for the extra cargo space and the room to haul the grandkids around. What is the cargo space of a Legacy? If I could talk her out of the moonroof I would have a grand or two to maneuver with. Even the base Outbacks are nicely appointed. The search continues!
Legacy has same INTERIOR as OB, as they're from the same parts and factory in Indiana. The folding rear seats allow longish stuff, but of course the 5th door of an OB allows TALLER cargo. WRT grandkids they're the same, and can easily both fit 5 occupants comfortably. Just don't try it with a smaller Forester/Impreza body.... Moonroofs became a la carte after Toyota's involvement with Subaru in 2010 model year. So you CAN get a cloth interior with roof, AND not all leather (Limited) ones have roof. Discrete matrix.... Just avoid the stripped (non-Premium) Basic models as they have no power seats, steel wheels with crappy tires and no option for the winter pkg. Focus ONLY on the Prem w/ winter and roof, or a Limited with roof for +$1.3k-ish. Again, I have a pair of 2012.5 Limited Leg Sedans at $13.5 and $14.6k, both with roofs (just lucky), but that's out of your price range. But again, they're FOUR years newer than those '08 OBs you're chasing for $10k...or $12.8k!! That's a LOT of newness for short money. You're welcome to fly out and grab either one...they cary only by mileage and color. I hate to pull you off budget, but I've been able to steal these Legacy Limited gems for far better values than too-tall OBs go for. And getting 31-32mpg fast highway may become important again in a year or two, eh? I think you may be starting to flesh out the landscape...and my conundrum as a conscientious Subie-wonk too.
Ernie, you brought up an interesting point earlier about the "perceived extra passing power" of the H6? From what I understand, the H6 is about 1.5 to 2 seconds faster to 60? Of course, in CALIFORNIA, the legal limit for towing a trailer is 55, LOL.. And, even when I'm not towing, what's an extra 1.5 seconds.. The car still goes to 60 in less than 10 seconds.. I have to laugh, most of the cars from the 1960s like my parents 1968 Oldsmobile with a 455 V8 did 0-60 in ten seconds.. Wow, technology has changed a lot since those days. Even Motor Trend magazine recommended the 2.5 H4, it's got a lighter front end and reportedly handles better than the 3.6 H6.. Interesting that Subaru replaces the entire engine block with one bad cylinder? My stepson has Chevy Vortec 4.3 V6 with a bad cylinder, do you know if that's a fatal flaw? As far as the power of the H4, I think and seem to recall that you think it's a great combination with the CVT transmission.. I'm pretty careful to come to a full stop when shifting reverse to drive and vice versa....And, I never give it 3/4 throttle until I'm sure to be rolling at 20 mph or more, never from a dead stop. I'm not sure anyone would have the nerve to risk it, but, apparently these cars have a top speed of 124 for the H4 and 143 for the H6.. That's remarkable. I see that the Limited version is only about 20 % of the total cars in production and the H6 is even more rare.. I completely agree with you that the Premium or Limited are much nicer.. Let's face it, the interior of the car is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, that's where you spend all your time in and driving comfort is everything. It reduces driver fatigue and back pain.. I'd rather have an older model with some miles on the clock with a more luxurious interior than a newer stripped down version with non adjustable cloth seats... Just my opinion...
Mark, yes, I understand that Subaru cars are hugely popular in the Northeast, Northwest, and Rocky Mountain States.. You see them here in Los Angeles, but, not as much.... We don't get any snow in LA..I'm thinking if you're up for a road trip, fly to Boston, get a great deal from Ernie. You could do a lot worse... Get the Premium or Limited, it's true, you and your wife will be much happier with the adjustable seats... They're heated on the Limited, just what you need in Colorado.. I think in the two years I've owned my Outback, I've used the heated seats once or twice, LOL... I purchased this car to tow my teardrop trailer on occasion. Good luck to you.
Mark, another thing, 132,000 is about 22,000 miles too many on a 2008.. I know you can do better than that.
Mark, remember what I said about HOURS OF OPERATION vs DISTANCE TRAVELLED? IOW a highway-driven 200k is about the same as urban 40k, so paying off the statistical mean for age is only valid for finance and lease marketers...and maybe insurance analysts who make their living betting statistical valuations. When you're getting ONE ITEM for personal use the statistics are completely meaningless...ESPECIALLY the distance a vehicle has rolled around. Only tires and MAYBE wheel bearings wear linearly with mileage.
Ernie, YES, I agree with you 100 percent.... Great point, maybe they should replace the measure for cars from mileage to engine hours like a boat or aircraft? Probably won't go happen. A lot of the mileage on my car especially with you long road trips are less taxing than bumper to bumper traffic... When I acquired the car, the second owner put 30,000 miles on in one year.. They were a professional who drove more than 100 miles round-trip to work, I'm pretty certain that a lot of this was NOT bumper to bumper. LA has the dubious distinction of being the worst traffic congestion in the USA, with an average speed of 22 MPH, and I know that no one would spend 3 hours per day each way to commute. They either left very early or very late to make that trip every day.. Do we want to support a movement to make automakers to change from miles to hours. Yes, tires and wheels would not work with this. Maybe the need both measures? What about the perceived extra power, do you think it's really more of a feeling? Aside from the extra speedy jump to 60, I really don't see the point of burning more fuel than necessary.. Do you agree?
Ernie, FYI, I found this online, http://www.government-fleet.com/blog/chatty- chassis/story/2013/10/measuring-hours-vs-miles-in-medium-duty- truck-performance.aspx
Hi Ernie, could you address the question of "perceived passing acceleration" of the 3.6 H6?
Hi Mark. Not enough definitive experience yet, but my comment is meant to describe the older 3.0H6, which is 1.5 of the smaller 2.0H4, given its extra mass, is barely quicker in real-world city and country driving than the post-2006 2.5H4. On at higher speeds does its smoothness and those ponies make for effortless passing. Subaru then quickly realized it needed (maybe just for marketing and bragging rights) to make a six based on the 2.5L's cylinders (rounds down to 3.6L). Now THAT's much faster all around; yet it took awhile for Subie to develop a CVT supposedly rugged enough for the "new" H6. With fuel at such stupidly-low prices, and despite the +$5k-ish upcharge, some folks are buying the new H6, but I think the 2.5H/CVT driveline is the winner all around. The blown 2.0H is still too laggy to be as satisfying around town, and is left to boy racers manage to be nothing more than ticket-baiting slingshots....time for coffee.
Mark, you should have started another thread. Can you do so and then slide my response to it? If not don't bother, as life's too short.
Thank you Ernie, I'm drinking coffee and reading your reply right now. Yeah, the only reason I ever thought I needed the 3.6 engine was for towing my little teardrop trailer, but, after I test drove the car and realized how much power and acceleration it had, it was a pleasant surprise for a car as heavy and large as it is.. I find it was interesting that the 2.5 H4 can tow 2,700 pounds, yet the H6 tows only 3,000 pounds, not a significant difference.. And, towing up to the Grand Canyon even with the trailer was no problem. Of course, my trailer is all fiberglass composite, no wood, nothing to rust either, all marine grade materials. Too bad, the car can't be like that.
It's been interesting to watch Subaru's tow spec climb from 1000 to 1500 to 2500 lbs without ANY appreciable changes in construction. Meanwhile we've often seen Subies tow other Subies (3500lbs), so the recs are nonsense. The issue is really more transmission stress than chassis strength. ATF/CVT temp, cleanliness and luck determine the max inertial load. I wouldn't worry about your half-ton trailer, but gunning it on hills or tight-cornering are the bigger concerns than straight-line high speed cruising. The 4EAT's have a great track record if fluid is kept clean, but they become bulletproof until after 2000. We're all hoping the CVT doesn't have a first-gen high failure rate before it gets beefier. Still too early to tell....
Again, Mark: differrent thread!
Yes, just saw your last post, I can start a new thread... Sure, no problem. Yeah, I get it, life is too short.. The whole reason we got this little teardrop trailer was to be mobile enough to go lots of places and not cost a fortune in fuel... Although, I would like to get a Class B motor coach next time, thinking of the Sprinter.... Very pricey though, would have to find a late model one 5 to 7 years old.
YES, I'll start a new one now.
http://www.denverautoco.com/mobile/mdetails. aspx?VID=1627900 What do you guys think about this one? Fully loaded, new gaskets and other engine stuff and the email@example.com are about right.
http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/inventorylisting/ viewDetailsFilterViewInventoryListing.action? sourceContext=&newSearchFromOverviewPage= true&entitySelectingHelper.selectedEntity=d380& entitySelectingHelper.selectedEntity2=&zip=8021 6&distance=150&searchChanged=true&shopper ListingsSearch=null&promotionsOnly=true&max Accidents=0&installedOptionIds=2&installedOpti onIds=6&maxPrice=14000&showNegotiable=tru e&modelChanged=false&filtersModified=true#lis ting=135258842 Or this one
Mark, could you please just provide a clean link?? These too much here, and I tried to see what you are looking at with no success.
Okay, one of them is a 2008 4 cylinder LL Bean fully loaded with 110,000 miles for $12,000.00. It has been newly gasketed.
The other one is a 2008 Limited 4 cylinder fully loaded with 92,000 miles for the same price, 12 grand.
I also looked at a 2005 Limited 4 cylinder with 102,000 miles for $9,000.00
I would definitely skip the 2005 and 2008 . See this link, http://www.truedelta.com/Subaru-Outback/reliability-253
2008 Subaru Outback with 92,000 miles fully loaded, 12 grand is retail price, see this, http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2008/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-I-L-L-Bean-Ltd-AWD/Values
Mark, you realize that the timing belt, water pump, cooling system change coolant and thermostat among other things, is a big consideration asisd from the head gaskets.. Besides, the 4 speed electronic automatic transmission is a weak feature of this car.. Doesn't help fuel economy well...
Timing belt recommended changes are at 105,000 miles although Ernie might tell you that you can go longer, I really don't recommend this, and neither does Subaru.
2009? 5 speed auto?
YES, the LL Bean 3.0 engine is a 5 speed automatic.. http://gtcarlot.com/data/Subaru/Outback/2009 We're you looking at the 2.5 Four or the 3.0 Six?? Your earlier posts all referenced the 2.5 Four which has the "Four speed automatic transmission". Please clarify.
If you are looking at the H6 , LL Bean 3.0 SiX, you don't need it worry about the timing belt..
Mark, the 2009 Subaru Outback is definitely worth consideration over the 2005-2008 models.. Although, the 2.5 Four has the 4EAT transmission, look at this on car complaints, pretty good, http://www.carcomplaints.com/Subaru/Outback/2009/
Mark, was the loaded 2008 this car, see value, http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2008/Subaru/Legacy-6- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-L-L-Bean-AWD/Values
2008 with 110,000 miles, http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2008/Subaru/Legacy-6- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-L-L-Bean-AWD/Values
Trying to vet value on an older single Subaru remotely is incredibly low confidence gambling. Mark, just use NADA.com to suss out each specimen's average value, then find a Subaru wrench to carefully evaluate your chosen specimen. Old service records become almost meaningless. Again, T-belts can develop age/heat-related stress cracks after 10 years...NOT predicated by mileage. Water pumps and t-stats last forever. I evaluate many of these 2006+ chariots each month, and barely accept 15% of the crop. Can't imagine trying to do it electronically! Seems suicidal....
Mark- I'm thinking that if you have $10,000 cash to spend, why not consider putting this down on a lease return, a 2014 -2015 model as a certified pre-owned vehicle.. And make payments on time for the balance.. You'll be getting a completely vetted car , Four cylinders that are newer have timing chains.. Less miles, etc...
Ernie, I'm pleased to hear that you have so much CONFIDENCE in the Subaru thermostats, water pump and 10 years for the timing belt.. Weren't you the one who told me that systems can and do fail?? We know that they do. And, if it fails while you're out on the road, it's a major pain... I'd rather manage and control these situations. So, changing them out every 9 years is not unreasonable, you think? I was personally informed by Subaru of America that it's "highly recommended" to go 8.75 years or 105,000 miles... It's kind of like waiting to replace your tires when they're just about threadbare... If you intend to keep your car what's 15 months?? So, I would rather err on the conservative side of things and not blow the motor.. Just me.. Ernie, you're absolutely right, trying to ferret out a car electronically is ludicrous.. As in my earlier post, I think that considering Mark's location in the mountains of Colorado, he would be much better off with a newer car over an old 8 to 11 years old car.. If he were living in the Los Angeles area, or even Metro Boston and broke down, no problem, but, in remote areas, you need a good car.
Mark, I'm sorry, I thought you mentioned you were in Colorado, or maybe I noticed that you were looking for a car there. Is this where you live?
Mark, has all of this dissuaded you from considering a Subaru Outback, I hope not, they are great cars.. I can't think of another car that is so perfect for inclement weather, except we never get anything like that in LA, LOL....
I am indeed in Colorado, at over 7,000 ft elevation and routinely travel over at over 10- 11,000 ft . In fact this month we were gifted over 4 feet of snow in 3 different systems. No, I am not dissuaded from purchasing a Subaru. It's just that I have a limited amount of money. I think I have settled on one of 2 cars. A 2008 LL Bean with 110,000 miles, fully equipped with new gaskets, timing belt and gears. Or, a 2008 Limited fully equipped with 92,000 miles and no new gaskets. I think the Limited is the better buy. I would then determine which of my several mechanic friends have the most experience with Subarus. One is in fact a Subaru mechanic who works at a dealership. I would then proceed to have the timing chain and gears replaced along with the head gaskets. I believe I can purchase either of these cars for about 10 - 10.5 grand. I would prefer a 2009 but the closest I have found one is nearly 500 miles away. Decisions, decisions.
Mark, the Limited is worth more than the LL Bean and has the nicer interior, you can't add this on later very easily... And, the lower miles on the Limited added another $525 ... See these two profiles ..But, the LL Bean has the new head gaskets, you need to ask if they were replaced with the newly designed "multi layered head gaskets" or whether they used the standard gaskets?? Do you know the difference? If they are, that is worthy of consideration.. Be careful, replacing head gaskets is a $2,000 job, less if you can find a really good independent mechanic... In your area, it might be more expensive... It varies, there's a lot of competition in LA, Now, for the two profiles, here you go, see bottom, https://allwheeldriveauto.com/six-star-subaru-head-gasket-kits/ http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2008/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-I-L-L-Bean-Ltd-AWD/Values http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2008/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-I-L-L-Bean-AWD/Values Tough decision, it really depends on the overall condition of the car.. You're looking at it, we can't see it.. Good luck.
2009??? 500 miles away. That's not really that far. Is it the same price.
If the 2008 with the "new" gaskets are not multi layered , retrofitted specifically for the Subaru, skip it and have the Limited rebuilt when you face this... Are you saying that the car with 92,000 miles needs the work done right now, or you'll just wait and see??
Mark(s), you both seem to enjoy playing with fire. Try not to get burned.
Well then what is your opinion? I'm just trying to get the most car I can get for the amount of money I have to work with. Mark, the Limited is apparently running fine and as of yet is giving no indication of needing anything done. If, after driving this car on this coming Thursday, we do indeed purchase it, my plan is to save enough money to do the timing belt and head gasket before it needs it. What do you guys think?
Mark, if the car is in immaculate condition on the inside and outside, test drive it, and purchase the Limited, you won't be sorry with the leather seats and nicer interior...like I said before, you cannot easily change this later, you either have the inside creature comforts or you don't.. OK, so, you would rather have the lower miles and the interior.. And spend the money later on the head gaskets, just make sure that you do the multi layered steel gaskets. I definitely think that the Limited is the nicer more desirable ride, and will hold its value better over time.. As it is 20,000 miles younger than the other car, this should buy you some time...However, I would probably get the timing belt done in the 9th year, no later than 18 months from now.. Inspect the head gaskets at this time to see their condition... You can really tell a lot about how a car was taken care of by the way the owner treats the interior.. Good luck.
Thanks to you both for all your input and the benefit of your experience. I am still going to continue my search and hold off as long as possible. And continue to hope and pray for a 2009.
SubaruGuru, what is your opinion of this car's value? I know you haven't seen it nor have I (other than online) but surely you have an opinion?
SubaruGuru, what is your opinion of this car's value? I know you haven't seen it nor have I (other than online) but surely you have an opinion? According to NADA and KBB it is a good value on paper. When I drive/examine it on Thursday I will also have my Subaru mechanic friend go over it.
Use NADA.com and your Subie wrenches advice after CAREFUL evaluation. Note that '08 and '09s are clones except for nomenclature and HK speakers: '08 "i" = '09 Special Edition. Hint: be sure to check ATF cleanliness and that leaky rear Y pipe too.
Mark, you've somewhat reverted to being a fanboy again. Let's be more careful.... Further, interior and mechanical conditions are only loosely correlated, as intermediaries uniformly detail traded specimens; 20k miles IN NO WAY is correlated with "buy(ing) you some time". Yes, inspect the heads carefully, but also start INSPECTING the t- belt annually after the 8th year, replacing only if starting to stress- crack from heat-related hardening (this is completely non- correlated with mileage as well).
Mark(2), Ensure a BODY-guy checks your samples, too, as wrenches are notoriously bad at seeing paintwork!
More great information, thanks. I just found a 2008 Limited with 43,000 miles. They are asking $15,599 for it, approximately $1,500.00 over the NADA price. This car is loaded and appears to be in immaculate condition. I realize of course that a picture can hide a world of ugliness and just because it has a flawless pearl white paint job and low miles doesn't mean it's flawless mechanically. What you are both saying about the timing belts inevitable demise being based more on age than miles makes sense. Apparently the compound of which they are constructed breaks down with time so in that sense lower miles doesn't necessarily mean more time left before replacement is mandatory but it does mean less wear on the rest of the vehicle and a higher resell value in the future. I think I will offer about 12 grand for this car and see what happens. Some people think low miles mean they can demand thousands more for a vehicle. A 2008 Subaru with 43 miles is not worth a whole lot more than one with 43,000 nor even one with 143,000 miles. They are all 3 the same age.
I'm letting go of the reins...good luck.
Ernie, my point of bringing up the "appearance" of the interior merely gives one a ,"clue" and of course needs further examination, but, you can use this to easily dismiss the ones that have thrashed and depressed seats, worn carpeting etc. I think "time is more important than mileage" , yet, everyone is always looking for a "low mileage" specimen, a public relations marketing Invention ... Ha, it seems to work,. A lot of people gravitate towards this. I'm more interested in service records, if they have them... Mark,. Please ask the people offering these cars for sale if they can show you the service records and receipts... they will probably tell you they don't have them or that its a privacy issue, baloney... They could redact the names of the individual.
Mark,. I've had good and bad experiences with cars.. It's partly luck, and just choosing a car with a great pedigree as in you wouldn't ever consider buying a "Yugo".. there are lots of American"Yugos", one only needs to look at the various Chrysler products... if you know what I mean..... Now, as for your situation, a 2008 car with 43,000 miles is still an 8 year old car, and as I mentioned in the last post, I'm a believer that "TIME IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MILEAGE". Meaning, you cannot ignore certain maintenance intervals like the timing belt and how is it that this car has only a little more than 5,000 miles per year? Find more information about who owned it and how it was used, it may be a totally legitimate explanation or not. Do I think it's worth $16,000 ? You're paying for the ultra low mileage, just do the math and figure out how much they are charging you per mile for the difference.. Based on what I saw on NADA, they are charging you over $3,000 for this feature, but, since miles become less important as a car ages, a similarly priced 2008 with 170,000 miles would only suffer a $1,500 penalty because of excess mileage. How long do you intend to keep this car?? I've come to conclusion that it's better to switch cars in ten to twelve years no matter when I acquired the car... Hmm, $16k,. , you're getting closer to the price of a much newer car , I would think it would be better to have a four year old car with 65,000 miles than an 8 years old car with 43,000 miles... Have you considered that or getting a late model lease return and financing a small amount over two or three years? Markw1952
Mark,. See this http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2011/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-i-Limited-AWD/Values
Mark, this profile is for a 4 years old car with 66,000 miles, which is about the same mileage when I purchased my 2010 two years ago.. I have not had one single issue.. http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2012/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-I-Limited-AWD/Values
I would never pay $16,000.00 for this car. I don't care if it had 43 miles, it is only worth about $13,000. I will probably offer them something like 11-12 to start and will not go beyond 12,500. I am still looking, it's not like I have settled on this one. I would prefer to have a 2013 or 14 but we don't finance anything. The only monthly bills we have are living expenses. Even our house is owner financed at $550.00 a month with no interest. $145,000 paid in 18.9 years is better than the same amount financed at 3.9% for 30 years at about $740.00 a month. We always pay cash except in the case of the house which is no interest so a lease or purchase with down payment is out of the question.
Mark- sure,. I understand. Good luck with your decision..
Thanks, to you both. You guys have given me a lot to think about.
Mark, you're welcome... by the way, what's your time frame for acquiring a vehicle? I hate to bring this up,. but ,. have you considered a Toyota Venza with AWD?? Toyota recently discontinued the. Venza and you might find a used one. They are very competitive to the Outback and are available as AWD. See this below,. http://www.truedelta.com/Toyota-Venza/reliability-859/vs-Outback- 253
I found another one. 2005 Limited fully loaded with 114,000 miles. One owner, maintenance records, in the last couple of weeks the following have been replaced - front brakes, a/couple belt idler, valve covers and gaskets, spark plug tube seals, rear shocks, head gaskets, timing belt, water pump and tensioner. There asking $10,400 for it, I will try to get it for about 8-8.5 grand. The book is closer to 8 but they did about $2,000.00 worth of work to it.What do you guys think?
A/C belt idler. Darn auto write! Lol!
Good morning Mark, are you talking about this car,. http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2005/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-I-Limited-AWD/Values
Yes. I think with all the work done to it and the 1 year warranty and the retail price being $7,700.00 that 8.5 grand is fair. I will probably offer $7.5.
In 2005, there were many Limited Outback models, some with a turbo option, please tell me you're NOT considering a turbo? It seems that these cars really hold their value, especially since they're asking the price you stated.. It still seems like a bad idea for an almost 12 years old model,. the 2017 models will be out soon. Do you actually KNOW if the head gaskets were done with the newly designed multi layered head gaskets? This is critically important on this engine. I understand that they put $2,000 worth of work on the car,. but, it rarely works that you can expect that return on investment sale especially on a used car.. Again,. It's a matter of time on the whole car, not mileage. Did you notice that the additional value for the"low mileage" factor is only $450. The variance for high and lower mileage adjustments is much more significant when the car is younger,. not older... That's because time is a really big factor with a car's life expectancy. I know that you don't want to hear this,. but,. I think financing a "small amount" for a limited time as opposed to paying cash will get you a much more reliable and trouble free ride than an older "lower mileage" creampuff.. which is what you think this is.. I have found,. In my experience,. that newer cars are much more reliable regardless of mileage... Have you seen any 2009 or 2010s out there with 125,000 miles in your price point. See this as an example, below,. http://www.nadaguides.com/Cars/2010/Subaru/Legacy-4- Cyl/Wagon-5D-Outback-i-Limited-AWD/Values
Depending on what I actually find. I am on my way to check it out now.
Mark,. Just read your last post,. OK,. seems reasonable. SO,. It's not a turbo??
Yeah,. Look at it this way, if you really don't like the car after two years, you have only spent $8,000
Let us know what you decide to do.
2005 is the ONLY year that attempts to bridge the 2000-2004 era and the subsequent 2006-2009 motor/suspension upgrade era. As such, the 2005 had the WORST handling of all 10 years; choking early PZEV on this "older" motor required 5 O2 sensors and results in a very cumbersome, difficult to suss out emissions system. I avoided 2005 and skipped from 2004 to proper 2006 back then. i suggest you do so, too. The "mongrel" year in this case was a bad one.
Ernie;. As you have seen in my earlier posts on this thread,. I have repeatedly said that it's better to have a "newer car" with more mileage than an older car with low miles. Yes,. I'm not impressed by the 2005,. It's history of head gaskets problems are very much out there. I was not aware of the emissions problems, which amplifies the problems of this car. I'm sure that people in California are pulling the hair out of their heads trying to keep this in line. California has one of the strictest air controls in the nation..
Mark, so,. Did you purchase the 2005???
Mark,. How are you doing? What's up?
Mark,. Please tell me that you didn't fall down the rabbit hole?
Mark,. what happened to you,? Did you check out the 2005? Or maybe are just still looking? In any case,. hopefully you're pleased with the deal you made,? Good luck.
Sorry I haven't gotten back. I have been busier than a cat in a sandbox! Anyway, we purchased the 2005. It's a Limited in excellent condition with 114,000 miles. What convinced me was all the work/new parts that was just done to it. Head gaskets (new design multi layer), intake manifold gaskets, valve covers gaskets, clogged idler,upper and lower idlers (smooth ), thermostat, water pump, timing belt, camshaft and crankshaft seals, left and right ball joints, front brakes pads, left axle boot, a/c belt idler, window washer motor, rear shocks, spark plugs and tube seals, power steering pump, engine mount, and of course oil and coolant change and any pertinent gaskets not listed. It runs great and handles and rides like a dream. And brand new Goodyear Affinity tires. I think I did okay for $8,5000.00. Almost forgot, 1 year warranty on parts and labor. You guys helped me to know what to look for. Thanks. Do you think I did okay?
Of course. And an '05 Ltd should have the 17" alloys that became standard on all 2006+ OBs. The only compromise I see are the soft and sloppy Affinity tires. Just wear them out and get better H or V-rated next time. Oh...make sure you replace the ATF.
Hi Mark, good morning. My short answer is YES and NO. Allow me to explain. I think it's great that all those parts they put on this car are new, but, it makes me wonder why so many of these failures occurred at 114,000 miles? Who owned this car prior to you?? It kinda sounds like a car that was hard driven, and it is fantastic that it drives so well. The part that is concerning is the emissions controls on this car, and the multiple O2 sensors as Ernie pointed out above. In California, this would be a nightmare, don't know if Colorado has such stringent requirements for smog tests? Aside from the emissions issue, you should be able to drive to 200,000 miles or so, especially with all the work done to your car. And, you certainly paid a premium price for this work, so, I would say that in order to get the full return on investment, you'll have to keep this to 200,000 or more. If you do this you'll do well. Good luck and enjoy your car.
Mark(s), "all those parts" failed at the 11 yr mark...not the 115k mileage. Gotta keep remindiing you that it's TIME, not mileage. And yes, that Rube Goldberg 2005 emissions system is a Rubik's Cube....
Ernie, OK, that's it, I'm selling my car when it's 10 and one half years old.
Ernie,. I agree with you and I've repeatedly told a friend of mine that he can't consider a 1998-2000 car with 115,000 miles to be as reliable as a 2010 car with 150,000 miles, it just doesn't work that way. As for cost returns, even with large repairs, is it possible that $5,000 per year in car payments for five years is always going to be MORE expensive than just fixing your old car? One way or another, you have to pay for driving a nice car.
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