A little help pls

I am looking at a 2005 Subaru Forester 2.5XS. Would like to hear from you. Dealer is asking $8,985. The veh has 142,000 miles (i assume highway, but do not know). Appears to be well maintained. I’ve been shown Carfax report which shows very reg. maintenance was performed. (timing belt at 103,000)

If your request is to see if that is a reasonable deal I would say possibly but the mileage is pretty high. The car should still have some good life left in it though. I would try to get the price down a little more and get some sort of free warranty from the seller in case something happens in the near future. If the car has been involved in a previous accident I would pass on it.

Don’t assume anything. For all you know it belonged to a delivery driver.

The asking price is a bit more than $300 below what a dealer in my area would charge assuming excellent condition. Of course, I don’t know where you live, so I can’t comment as to what they should be charging there. If I saw the dealer asking below book for a car, I’d immediately wonder why.

According to Carfax (in my area), the price is $40 above book value. Of course you are right about the assumption. The engine dust, not gunk, just kinda led me to think highway miles as apposed to city.

No accidents according to Carfax. The dealer says a warranty of some sore is available, but not Free. I have yet to find out the details of that.

Sounds overpriced to me considering the mileage and do not assume that Carfax will provide the entire story behind the car’s history. CF is frequently wrong, incomplete, or a combination of both. The main purpose of CF is to give you a warm fuzzy feeling about the car you’re considering purchasing.

You state CF shows the timing belt was replaced at 103k miles. Does that CF state whether the water pump and tensioners were replaced at that time? Not likely.
Just a few days ago someone posted about having the timing belt replaced on their Subaru and the water pump/tensioners were not replaced. The tensioner failed which snapped the timing belt when damaged the engine and which has now led to a world of unresolved hurt at this point.

Unless it has a lot of options, it is overpriced. With no options, it’s worth about $8600. Try offering $8500 and see what happens. BTW, what options does it have on it?

Anti-Theft Alarm System
Auto-Dim Rear View Mirror
Brush Guard
Rear Spoiler
Skid Plates
Trailer Hitch
Universal Remote Transmitter
Wheel Locks

You seem to place a great deal of faith in Carfax. Be careful. See OK4450’s comments about Carfax - as he worded his caution quite well.

Absolutely don’t bet $4,000 that the timing belt service was done correctly, i.e., top quality belt, new tensioners and idlers and new water pump. On an interference engine, especially a Subaru with 2 heads, it would be worthwhile to get an estimate for a complete timing belt service and deduct that amount from your offer and if you purchase the car have the work done.

$8000 is approx 1/3 of the price of new. For that you get roughly the last 1/3 of the car’s life. Sounds like a bad deal to me. Save your money a while longer and buy a new compact for around $16k.

The dealership actually has 39 pages of maintenance records showing what was performed there. I haven’t been able to pick them up as of yet. It sounds like a lot of pages but it is a complete breakdown of all maintenance performed. I would not rely on Carfax alone for any vehicle. PLUS, that’s why I’m asking you good folks. As for options; it comes with Heated Seats, Heated (Power) Door Mirrors, Remote Keyless…Panic Alarm, Illuminated Entry, Rear Defrost (wiper), CD…Weather Band Radio, Speed Control. Pretty basic features I know. THANKS EVERYONE for the impute. It is very very appreciated.

I will never buy a vehicle from a dealer. They get added 1000s compared to a private owner.

I would be extremely careful in buying a Subaru with a trailer hitch, unless it was only used to mount a bike carrier. Subarus are not good tow vehicles.

If the car has a trailer wiring harnes, walk away.

"They get added 1000s compared to a private owner."
That’s Not Always True. Also, Reputable Dealers / Manufacturers Can Include A Valuable Warranty.

Buyer negotiating skills are just one key to a good deal. The Certified Chevrolet I recently purchased came from a dealer at a lower price than from any individual (searched and negotiated for 2 months) and included unbelievable manufacturer warranty coverage.

Also, most individuals will not let you take a four or five day long test drive, but the dealer did.

Your statement that , “I will never buy a vehicle from a dealer.” may be true, but be careful when making “blanket statements.” I have decades of experience working at car dealers and buying cars from individuals and dealers and your second statement is not totally correct.


To Me A Car Like That (142K) Is Worth About Half That And I have Purchased Them. Even For The Car Savvy Buyer, It’s Still A Bit Of A Crap Shoot (Especially A Subaru).

You could have an unpredictable catastrophic failure (or 2) shortly after purchase. I just purchased a car with 132,000 miles less than that (1 1/2 years old) with a 100,000 mile warranty included, for less than $14,000. I’d save up for a while if I were you.

Get something without a timing belt while your at it.


A Warranty of some sort is exactly what I’m interested in. I am heeding you good folk(s) opinions and forgetting about the Forester (at that price anyhoot). I have since looked at a Camry 2004 LE.87,000 miles. (no maintenance documentation, two owners) Dealer was asking 10,000. With $1,575 for a 24/24 Ext @secure) Warranty, plus $399.00 for Documentation Fee (WT@) plus nearly $800 for taxes. Yes they charged the tax on the $399. Talked the dealer down to $11,200 for veh w/ 12/12 warranty. [BUT, I really didn’t want to spent that much.] Anyway, the car/engine looked to be in good condition. Drove very well. Timing chain instead of belt. I know I should be able to expect 200,000 + out of a good Toy, but, WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK… SECURE Warranty covers all but Fuel system, Cooling system, High-Tech Acces.

Invest your time before you invest your money. If you’re serious about buying it, have it inspected by a qualified mechanic before you do anything else.

I Don’t Know "SECURE Warranty " From A Bale Of Hay, But Do Yourself A Big Favor And Buy A Vehicle That Is Young Enough And Low Miles Enough (One Owner) To Have Factory Warranty Left. That’s How I Roll.

Often, it’s not a case what the warranty covers, but what it excludes. I’m not critcizing the warranty you mention, because I know nothing about it, but many (most ? all but that one ?) aftermarket warranty coverage does not compare to the real thing. Trust me.

I’ve seen warranties that cover cylinder heads, engine blocks, valves, etcetera. Sounds good. However, these things seldom ever fail. They don’t cover the things that cause major problems though, like head gasket leaks, transmission seals, etcetera. Read the fine print . . . or better still . . . reread the above paragraph.

And one more thing. Have the vehicle inspected by somebody who knows auto body repair. Warranties do not cover shoddy body / unibody repairs and problems caused from collision damage.

You’ll be fart’n through silk !