2007 Subaru Impreza
Looking at a used 2007 Hatchback for purchase-- at 111k miles I don't think the timing belt, head gasket and water pump have been replaced. Looks and runs clean otherwise, but I'm afraid that will be the first thing I have to do is get that work done. at $6k is it a good deal? or should I find one where it has already been done, or look for a AWD with a timing chain and not belt?
Have it inspected but if you buy it the belt/water pump has to be replaced immediately. Make sure the head gaskets are checked for signs of leaking.
Thanks. But I'm leery now. Considering that the cost of those repairs would likely be in the $1200-1800 range. What do you think of an offer under $6k?
Subie 2.5i motors' t-belts are unusually robust, but will develop age-related cracks in the rubber body. This deterioration is quickly and easily observed by visual inspection: remove the upper 10mm bolt securing the left front (driver) outer plastic cover; pry the plastic cover forward about an inch so that you can peer down at the belt; look for cracks; notice the nice teeth of the underside of the belt on its return path lower down (use a light); push the belt down with your finger to feel the "normal" tensioner rebound; repeat after budging the starter a bit to reset the belt in a different location to inspect more of it if you like. If the belt has NO cracks, rebounds firmly from a push, and has no missing teeth (VERY rare), push back the plastic cover and lightly attach its 10mm bolt. Repeat every year until you need a head gasket job (as the t-belt has to come off anyway) OR the belt starts cracking OR its tensioner fails and you hear a loose belt slapping against the plastic case sections at hot idle. Note that the t-belt job itself is only 4 hours, so don't overpay, and that the water pump is VERY sturdy, so almost never requires replacement. $400-600 covers it even with tensioner and pulleys. Checking for dry head gaskets is also easy: standi over the left (driver) side of the hood just in front of the windshield; bend over and shine your light down the left rear corner of the motor (take your time); look for wetness emanating from the left head corner (#4 cylinder); you may see light staining (pretty normal), complete dryness, (yippee!), or wetness below as coolant seepage drips down...or even a wet spot on the ground. Coolant loss from the #4 cyl head corner is by far the most prevalent scenario. Depending upon degree of coolant loss you'll need a head gasket job immediately or not for a few years IF you keep topping up the coolant as needed. Now move to the RIGHT (pass) side of the hood and peer all around down below the motor, or better yet inspect from below. You're looking for signs of OIL seepage from the right HG, which is a bit more pernicious as it can quickly escalate to great annoyance as it wets the cat conv and smokes up a noxious barbeque. It's that smell that provokes investigation more often than actual oil loss. Usually the left side coolant loss has been progressing awhile before the right side oil leaks. But that's why you ALWAYS replace BOTH HGs when doing the job (and NEVER omit having a machine shop test and clean the heads). If the heads are dry, the body's fairly rustfree, $6k is fair for this fun chariot. If it needs HGs...and/or maybe all brakes, tires, etc., then it's in the $4-4.5k range. 2004-2007 Imps are HUGELY fun to drive on high performance tires, but quickly get tiresome due to noise at speed and discomfort over potholes. (The 2008-2011 is considerably quieter and smoother.) Bottom-fishing older Subies is indeed tricky, but i hope the above helps. Good luck.
Excellent. very helpful. Thanks a bunch! :)
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