I was seriously considering buying a fun-to-drive 2006 Subaru Impreza 2.5i with 109K miles on it. Body and interior are in great shape, and I was pretty much sold until I took it to my trusted mechanic to have it evaluated. He found some oil leaking from the head gasket and according to him, that just goes with the territory when you are dealing with a Subaru. I’ve had 2 Subarus, one was great, one was a bit of a lemon and I had to fix the head gasket twice, and it was still leaking oil to beat the band. He said it was otherwise in pretty good shape mechanically speaking. I’m having real doubts…should I buy it?
I wouldn’t, why buy one you know has a problem that can, in some cases, be major?
If I bought it, I would ask the mechanic how much he would charge to replace the head gasket, including a head mill to ensure a good seal. I would then add somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 to that ( to fix what the mechanic might find once he has the engine torn apart) and demand that the seller subtract the total from the price. If they didn’t agree, I’d walk.
What is so special about this particular Impreza that you would even consider buying it with an obvious problem?
Used cars are like commuter buses. Skip this one and another will come along shortly.
Better yet ask the owner if he will get it fixed himself. If the owner says “no money to fix” perhaps you can work a line like “I am taking a big chance buying this with a known problem” (and you are) then you can really low ball him.
How much is one without any problems? Then you can decide, I would prefer to pay more for a car that has no problems. It is a gamble was that the head gasket for sure or a valve cover gasket? Head gasket could be expensive to repair.
It’s possible the leak can be stopped by retorquing the head bolts if the only problem is oil weepage. Wouldn’t be the first time.
A good rule of thumb.
Never buy a vehicle that leaks anything from the head gasket. Unless you can fix it yourself, and you get it on the cheap.