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Old 06-16-2012, 07:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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School me on Subarus...considering an 02 Impreza to dd

I'm going to look at a 2002 Impreza RS on tomorrow that has 135k miles on it.

according to the owner, the clutch was changed recently and the timing belt was done two years ago, which they have receipts to prove. I know the 2.5 is an interference motor, so doing the timing belt is crucial.

What other maintenance should have been done beyond regular fluid changes and the like? What are the things that I should look out for, any other notable problems?

I can post up the pics the seller sent me so you guys can give me an idea of what it's worth.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Check for head gasket leaking oil, drivers side, at rear of head. It's pretty hard to see with the steering rack up so close to it. I see it alot, some make it years with just a little seapage, others turn in to a full on hemorage.


Also see alot of pass side inner cv boots split because the cat cooks em. That's pretty minor though.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll look out for those things, thanks. Here's done of the pictures that the seller sent me...any estimates on what it's worth? market value in Colorado seems higher than other places since AWD makes a difference during winter.











Edit: it doesn't come with the ski rack in the pics. If it all checks out I was planning on offering 5k

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Old 06-16-2012, 09:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, Subarus in Colorado are worth more than other states(except the PacNW). On the flip side to that, is you get more of them to choose from when you want to buy. But that is an EJ251, which has a much better head gasket than the earlier EJ25D(which I have). But the 251 leaks externally(and is less prone to leaking), unlike the 25D which pumps exhaust gas into the coolant. Overall though, a pretty decent engine. Nothing holds a candle to the old EA81 though. The EJ22 comes close.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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your good with that motor, they mostly took care of the head problems by then. You are good on the timing belt for another 80k or so. Just don't over heat the bitch and drive it. Only other thing is the mpt hub likes to get chewed up in the transfer case, but thats on any subaru.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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cold engine noise -( tapping knock noise) from piston to cylinder wall contact when cold. some are good, some are not. There a fix with slightly oversize pistons on one bank. noise is normal if it goes away when u[p to temp ( from the drivers seat)
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I checked out the car today... When I arrived there was an "oh yeah the check engine light is on, if I didn't mention over the phone" -.-

They're taking it to their mechanic tomorrow for diagnosis, so I guess I'll see what it comes back as. Hopefully it's something minor...The A/C doesn't work, but I didn't see anything in the manual about a throwing a CEL for that

I asked and the head gaskets were supposedly replaced when the timing belt was done 2 years ago. I didn't see any leaks and didn't hear any knocking/pinging.

It ran and drove nice though.

I'm keeping my eye out for others, but these don't aren't too common and some are insanely priced
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dunno if Colorado is like WA, but in order to get registered you need to pass emissions. In order to pass emissions, you need no CEL's..

They changed the laws around ~6 months ago here, even a fucking p0500 speed sensor on a MANUAL TRANSMISSION VEHICLE, will fail the emissions test..
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dunno if Colorado is like WA, but in order to get registered you need to pass emissions. In order to pass emissions, you need no CEL's..

They changed the laws around ~6 months ago here, even a fucking p0500 speed sensor on a MANUAL TRANSMISSION VEHICLE, will fail the emissions test..
Yeah, luckily I live in a county where we don't have emissions.

I'm gonna see what the cause of the CEL comes back as before I make an offer on the car...Hopefully it's something simple/cheap, and not something catastrophic
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Old 06-17-2012, 06:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Subarus are pretty high priced around here too and to me they don't get good enough mileage to warrant them as a dd. Low to mid 20s out of a little 5speed car kind of sucks. They do good in snow but still set pretty low and bottom out in deeper stuff and I see plenty of them stuck around here in the winter. I'd rather dd something that gets mid 30's and has a cheaper initial cost then drive my truck on bad days, mind you I'm speaking from a WV winter not a CO winter. I still think a lifted WRX would be a kick ass dd, but it would probably get mid teens the way I drive.
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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why didn't you take it to autozone when you went to look at it and have them check the code?
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I thought Subaru had the headgasket issue fixed until they started leaking on my '06 Impreza with the EJ25 engine with only 55k miles on it. Subaru manned up and repaired it under warranty, but I think this will be the last Subaru I ever own. It's been 20 fucking years with this same engine and they can't design a gasket that doesn't leak.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i work on subs all day. i would rather light my hair on fire than drive one.
i hear people all the time say its the best car the ever owned. even after i hand them a bill for 2000 to do head gaskets. hate to see what they drove before
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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i work on subs all day. i would rather light my hair on fire than drive one.
i hear people all the time say its the best car the ever owned. even after i hand them a bill for 2000 to do head gaskets. hate to see what they drove before
Other than the shitty head gaskets, they're good little cars. Much better than the Jeep Liberty it replaced.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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why didn't you take it to autozone when you went to look at it and have them check the code?
Never thought of that

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i work on subs all day. i would rather light my hair on fire than drive one.
i hear people all the time say its the best car the ever owned. even after i hand them a bill for 2000 to do head gaskets. hate to see what they drove before
Any other major issues besides the head gaskets?

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Subarus are pretty high priced around here too and to me they don't get good enough mileage to warrant them as a dd.
Coming from a 4runner that routinely got 11-12 mpg mixed, I can say that it'd be a vast improvement

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I thought Subaru had the headgasket issue fixed until they started leaking on my '06 Impreza with the EJ25 engine with only 55k miles on it. Subaru manned up and repaired it under warranty, but I think this will be the last Subaru I ever own. It's been 20 fucking years with this same engine and they can't design a gasket that doesn't leak.
What other problems do you have with the car aside from the head gasket issues?
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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What other problems do you have with the car aside from the head gasket issues?
Nothing actually. It's been a good, fun little car to drive otherwise. I'm still just beyond livid that the headgaskets failed so early.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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According to the seller's mechanic, the code was for the catalytic converter, but it tested fine and passed emissions today without issue.

Do these cars store CEL codes even after they've been cleared? It'd be interesting to scan it and see if they're honest.

I'm still somewhat concerned about the non-functional A/C because that could get costly, but the mechanic is going to troubleshoot that too, so I'll see what it comes back as.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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subs blow up cats all the time. biggest things is keep it full of oil dont get it hot. and be easy on the tranny cause if you blow it up it will cost 4000 for just a tranny and good luck finding one. got one at the shop now that has 30k blown tranny. weve ben waiting 3 months for one from japan.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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subs blow up cats all the time. biggest things is keep it full of oil dont get it hot. and be easy on the tranny cause if you blow it up it will cost 4000 for just a tranny and good luck finding one. got one at the shop now that has 30k blown tranny. weve ben waiting 3 months for one from japan.
Outback, Impreza, Forester?

I change the fluid in the 4EAT in my Impreza every 30k miles and I'm pretty easy on it. They're usually pretty good gearboxes and I'm surprised to hear about one going at 30k. Maybe I shouldn't be.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:05 AM   #20 (permalink)
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^the 4EAT's do assplode under heavy abuse or poor driving habits.

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According to the seller's mechanic, the code was for the catalytic converter, but it tested fine and passed emissions today without issue.

Do these cars store CEL codes even after they've been cleared? It'd be interesting to scan it and see if they're honest.

I'm still somewhat concerned about the non-functional A/C because that could get costly, but the mechanic is going to troubleshoot that too, so I'll see what it comes back as.
Yes, the CEL's are possible to pull after they have disappeared. You need a good code reader I think it can be done with one of those. CEL for cat is an easy fix anyhow with some O2 sensor spacers.

Those are great cars. The headgaskets are NOT an issue with later 2.5's as long as they are maintained. There isn't really much of anything else to have for power after a decent intake. I see it's a 5 spd, a bad driver can screw the syncros up so make sure they work well. A/C could be a cheap fix.

This is the PBB of subaru's-
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/foru...ysprune=1&f=31

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Old 06-19-2012, 07:17 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Those are great cars. The headgaskets are NOT an issue with later 2.5's as long as they are maintained.
I drank that koolaid forever thinking the same thing, and I maintain my car meticulously.

The guy I bought it from said that when newer model EJ25 engines come in with blown gaskets that are out of warranty they're replacing them gaskets from turbo engines, which fit the same and NEVER leak.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:29 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Oh, I was under the impression it was very uncommon post 2001. Either way it's not a reason not to buy those cars. If it's over 100k without any leakage it's doubtful it will fail suddenly.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:32 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Oh, I was under the impression it was very uncommon post 2001. Either way it's not a reason not to buy those cars. If it's over 100k without any leakage it's doubtful it will fail suddenly.
Mine failed at 57k!

I'll see what the car is like at 100k. If there are any further major issues, it'll be no more Subaru's for me ever again. (I'm on my 6th!)
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:25 AM   #24 (permalink)
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As far as the Ac not working check to see if the fan on the drivers side of the car turns on when the AC is turned on. The Ac in my 03 stopped working and that's all it was. Ac would blow cold when driving because of airflow, but would stop blowing cold once the car set idle at a light for a few in. The driver side fan is for the Ac and the passenger side is the main engine cooling fan.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:46 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Every 00-05 sube on the road will need head gaskets, turbo gaskets are an upgrade and fit perfect. it's important to change the coolant every 30,000miles with the proper subaru coolant or equivalent (blue) or add the cooling system conditioner to alum engine safe coolant. the 4eat is near bulletproof and has a very very low failure rate unless abused or neglected. It is also interchangeable between years and different models as long as the diff ratio is the same. They also eat cats for breakfast, usually as a result of a failing front air/fuel ratio (oxygen sensor) or a failure in the ignition system ( plugs /wires/coil/injector) . Also check for ecm logic reflashes on occasion and always have a it reflashed when replacing o2 sensors ( stay far far away from non oem sensors-unless you like repeating the work or replacing burned up cats as a result)
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