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Subaru Forester 2001 Used Car

I went to see used 2001 Subaru Forester. The dealer mentioned a few things that needed to be done on it.

Rear brakes 2/32

Rear rotors below specs

front rotors rusted below spec

R/F axle is leaking

A couple of other items that were mentioned are:

Both head gaskets starting to leak.

A/C not blowing cold air.

I am writing to find out how expensive could these things be and if should these issues keep me from buying this car. Please advice.


I hope they are selling it cheap. No more than $1,800. The repairs listed will add up quick and exceed to value of this car if it is sold for much more. Brake work is one thing, but both head gaskets and A/C are pricey fixes.

Kudos to the dealer if he did indeed list these issues with the car. Many will not reveal any problems that are not obvious to most lot buyers.

It will be 4 figures to repair all of this. It’s a 500 dollar car; maybe.

What are they asking for this peach?

Head gaskets just use $2000-$2500 to fix. The brakes $500, AC $1500,.

I would not bother even if the dealer gave you the car!

It is not a silver Forester in New England with over 200k and a dent in one of the fenders?

Well, if the dealer is actually revealing those defects, then that dealer is more honest than most.
That is the good news.

However–repairing every known problem will likely cost about $3k, possibly more. And, since this car was clearly not repaired as items began to fail, there are likely other mechanical issues that will surface shortly. That is the bad news.

Personally, I wouldn’t touch this “gem” with the proverbial ten-foot pole.
Used cars are like commuter buses. There will be another one along shortly, and hopefully it will be better than this ticking time bomb that you are considering.

Thanks all!

The list price on this car is $5,300. The dealer asked me if I had a price in mind and gave me this list.
I told him, I will need to know more about the listed issues before I can come up with the price. Looks like I should stay away from this.

$5,300 for this rolling piece of junk?

If you give this car any consideration at all, it should only be if you can buy it for less than $2,000.

I’d offer $500 while explaining that you’ll need the other $4800 just to get the rolling heap on the road.

Well, you have to give the dealer credit for sheer unmitigated gall by asking over 5 grand for this rolling embarassment.
One can only wonder how much he’d want for a low miles cream puff.

Head gaskets “starting to leak”? Maybe they’ve been leaking for years internally and coolant diluted engine oil is washing out the entire engine.

I’d be willing to bet if this car were put on a rack and gone over thoroughly that one could find a dozen or so other things wrong with it on top of what you’ve mentioned.
You’re to be commended for doing some homework and asking about this before making a purchase.

To the dealer this car is worth $0! He could not give it away at an auction.

Offer $300 and use the other $5000, if you really want to, to bring it up to scratch. Better yet, donate it and get the tax receipt.

I’ve been researching these Foresters too, actually I posted a question last weekend about the head gaskets issue and everyone was so helpful. I went with a different car instead. If you look at other old Foresters (98-03 I think), you have a fair chance the head gaskets will blow, there are engine defects common to those years. It’s not going to happen to all of 'em, but many of 'em… so… look for a newer one, I think.