Looking to purchase a 02-03 WRX, thoughts?
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This is a discussion on Looking to purchase a 02-03 WRX, thoughts? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I am looking to get into a Bugeye, 2002 or 2003 WRX. I recently found one (2003 with 121,XXX miles), ...

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    Looking to purchase a 02-03 WRX, thoughts?

    I am looking to get into a Bugeye, 2002 or 2003 WRX. I recently found one (2003 with 121,XXX miles), but it is a four hour drive from where I am located so I set up a used car inspection from a third party to do the inspection for me since I did not want to drive eight hours roundtrip for nothing.

    The results came back with the following results:

    Typical scratches, scuffs, and minor dings a 9 year old car. NO frame damage or flood damage. Good core support, radiator, hoses, belts, A/C, heater. Nothing out of the ordinary as far as engine noise, clutch, and transmission. No codes. Fluid levels were all correct, timing belt is good, clutch is good, and belts/hoses are in good condition. The only things negative that were said were about the typical exterior for a 9 year old car, a bent rim, low amp meter output, about 50% charge for the battery, driver side headlight and side marker light not working, and the brake pads being worn.

    I spoke with the inspector and he said the car runs good, he was quite surprised how quick it was and the only things he would be worried about would be the low amp reading on the alternator and the battery (since that may be because it was recently charged). I asked him if I could make the 4 hour drive back to my location, but he said he couldn't guaranteed anything, not even with a new car, but the alternator would need to be replaced soon.

    He took about 30 pictures for me and they can be found here: 03 WRX pictures by le14 - Photobucket

    Here are the pictures of most concern to me:





    Don't know why it's like this, would that screw be someone trying to hold it in place?



    Overall, my question is what do you think since you have/do own a wrx?
    Does the engine bay look like the car has been modified (from the pictures I've seen of various WRX, it doesn't look like it to me)?
    Do you think the alternator is a deal breaker and what is the cost to replace a WRX alternator?

    I'm new to this and just been reading this forum and NASIOC about the WRX but I don't know what to think as of now. I'm trying to look for a stock WRX with good upkeep. Asking price from the dealer is $7000 and the car comes with a clean carfax, one owner (in that same area where the car is being sold if it matters).

    Thanks ClubWRX (Kind of ironic, I came from clubRSX, don't know if the two are related though), lmk if you have any other questions!

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  3. #2
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Radiator has been replaced. Alternator a couple hundred $. The rest I can't say since I've not seen the car, however if the lamp is out you could not drive it anyway. What does "good" mean with respect to the timing belt? Intact? That can change... If there are no receipts, "good" is in my view not meaningful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Radiator has been replaced. Alternator a couple hundred $. The rest I can't say since I've not seen the car, however if the lamp is out you could not drive it anyway. What does "good" mean with respect to the timing belt? Intact? That can change... If there are no receipts, "good" is in my view not meaningful.
    Thanks, I appreciate the time to read it over. I am going to try to talk to the dealer who is selling it to replace the lights on the headlight and sidemarker as I would need it to drive the 4 hour trip. I am also going to try to see if he will replace the alternator as well. How could you tell the radiator has been replaced? In regards to the timing belt, the inspector mentioned being able to visually tell (no cracking or fraying) that the timing belt has been changed, but he said it looks like it has, but he could not guaranteed that it has since it is only a visual test. If I were to purchase this car, would there be a way to actually know for sure without any records?

  5. #4
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Only way to tell is records. My timing belt looked great at over 110K miles, did it myself and would not be able to tell if it was ok or not. Just me though. The rad has a cap, therefore it is a later model than the car.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  6. #5
    Registered User DiRty Impreza's Avatar
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    $7k i'd say is a good deal for this car, long as its completely stock. Sounds like normal wear and tear for a 10 year old car. being that its stock, guessing it was driven by an older person as for alternator, i would maybe offer $6500 cause its going to be around $500 for parts and labor if you don't do it yourself.
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