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1998 Subaru Forester Failing -- Should We Trade In?

Our 1998 Subaru Forester with 250,000 miles on it is starting to have what I think is transmission trouble – at 45 mph it catches as I try to speed up – it’s as if it is coughing. But it doesn’t happen all the time and of course when we took it to the Subaru mechanic and he test drove it, no problem. He says to wait until it gets worse so he can diagnose. I say we should go ahead now and trade it in and not wait (I don’t want to be caught in a difficult situation), and my Husband says we should wait. Additionally, I don’t want to put a lot of money into fixing it with so many miles on it. I would appreciate any suggestions.

If the dealer doesn’t think there is a problem, then trade it. I would have no qualms about asking for a price in trade and not mention the transmission. They are experts and can figure it out for themselves. Do not tell them you want to trade until you have a price on a new car. When they ask, just say you haven’t decided. That way you will know what their best price on a new car is and what they think your Subie is actually worth.

I’d say start looking now while the car is still running fairly decently. This way you won’t be caught in the “I need a car now so I gotta buy the first thing that catches my eye” deal at the dealership.

There are people out there who, for unknown reasons, will give you good money for your run-out Subaru…Take the money…Dealers are smarter so I doubt they will give you anything for it…

I tend to agree getting rid of it now might be the better option. There is the unpalatable possibility of it “getting worse” when you are trying to accelerate in the fast lane of a busy freeway.


Sell the car to a private individual instead of trading it in. I agree with Caddyman on this one. I stopped trading vehicles in about 30 some years ago.