I just purchased a 2004 Subaru Baja Turbo with 160,000 miles on it. The AC does not work. There is some visible rust on the undercarriage. I have 2 questions: How can I address the undercarriage rust and what problems should I anticipate bc of the high mileage? It drives great and is fun - but my significant other thinks I am crazy for purchasing a vehicle with such high mileage. Thanks for your time!
Whether or not you can anticipate problems depends on how the vehicle was maintained by its previous owner(s). Subarus do not take kindly to neglect. Do you have any maintenance records for this car? If so, read through them and see what’s been done and what hasn’t
Do you have the owner’s manual? If so, read the maintenance schedule and have everything brought up to date. I’d particularly want to know about the timing belt and when it was last replaced. The Baja has an interference engine, and if the timing belt breaks it will cause internal damage.
If you have no proof that the belt was replaced within the last 60K miles or so you should move it to the top of your priority list. Your significant other will really love it when he or she finds out how much that’s going to cost.
I would also suggest replacing all of the vehicle’s vital fluids: oil, coolant, transmission and differential fluids, and brake fluid.
Clean the rust on the undercarriage and spray it with undercoating. You can buy undercoating at auto parts stores. Hope and pray that the rust hasn’t affected anything important like suspension mounting points.
One more important thing: Are all four tires the same brand, size, and type, with equal wear? Mismatched tires wreak expensive havoc on the Subaru AWD system.
Change the timing belt if you don’t know if done before or cannot find out.
Change your motor oil every 3000-4000 miles due to the turbo. Also make sure to check/top it. It has a great engine and is a hoot to drive.
Don’t worry about undercarriage rust, it is normal in salt exposed areas.
How much are they asking for this thing? That could play a huge part in whether you should pass on this vehicle or not.