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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I need some help figuring out whether or not to buy this STi that came into the Subaru dealership I work at. It's an 04 and has 144k miles. I know the miles are high, and that's the reason I'm here :) I know a little bit about these cars, but I figured you guys would know more. According to the CarFax, it's had 3 previous owners and the reason the mileage is so high is because the last owner (who traded it in) was using it to commute about 80 miles a day and he was an older guy as well, so I doubt he abused it. CarFax said he had it for 2 years and 8 months with an average of 25k miles a year. The car was thoroughly checked out by the mechanics over here at the dealership and they said it passed with flying colors. With my employee discount I can get the car for $11k, which is a steal. Only mods on the car are an axle-back exhaust and boost gauge. Let me know what you guys think.
 

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BooSTIng
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Well the milage is high for sure. However, if it truly only has a boost gauge and an axleback its basically a virgin STi, whici is rare to find.

If I were you, I would use your mechanic friends and your dealership access to your disposal. Have a mechanic buddy do a compression or leak down test to make sure the engine is healthy. Also do all routine maintenance. Change the oil, coolant, transmission fluid, differential fluid, etc. Also, with the year and mileage it really needs the timing belt and water pump changed out.

After a good leak down/compression checks out, and you do all routine maintenance I think it could be a good buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well the milage is high for sure. However, if it truly only has a boost gauge and an axleback its basically a virgin STi, whici is rare to find.

If I were you, I would use your mechanic friends and your dealership access to your disposal. Have a mechanic buddy do a compression or leak down test to make sure the engine is healthy. Also do all routine maintenance. Change the oil, coolant, transmission fluid, differential fluid, etc. Also, with the year and mileage it really needs the timing belt and water changed out.

After a good leak down/compression checks out, and you do all routine maintenance I think it could be a good buy.
It seems to have been a daily driver all it's life. It's got small dings and scratches here and there, but it doesn't look beat on and the ride seems smooth and tight. They gave me the repair quote on the inspection that was done to the vehicle and it didn't mention anything about the timing belt being checked, but I'm pretty sure it was looked at during the 125 point inspection they do on the cars that have been traded in. It is a Subaru being looked at by a Subaru dealership. I definitely plan to do the regular maintenance once it's purchased, and I'm going to take it to an independent mechanic for the compression/leak down tests before it's purchased.

I just didn't know if it's something I should run away from at full speed or if it's something that's worth purchasing at the price I can get it for.
 

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BooSTIng
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Timing belts are not something looked at during an inspection. As there is a black plastic cover covering/protecting your timing belt. Subaru themselves call for timing belt and water pump replacement at 105k miles or every 8-10 years. If it has never been done. It needs to be.
 

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144k is getting up there. I would have leak down and compression tests done and post the results

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Timing Belt service is nothing to blow off. Make sure it's been done as well as the idler / tensioner pulleys, water pump, and thermostat. They may have had the service done at another shop, but a $500-1000 job now would be a lot better than a $5K motor build later if not, and it fails.

Make sure transmission and rear differential fluid has been changed recently (60K interval).

Have them swap spark plugs (60K interval), and while they're there, do a compression check. While they're there, have them do a leakdown test as well. These are tests to determine how healthy the engine is; offer to pay for them if the vehicle passes (cheap insurance), but if not, walk away from the car.

Assuming everything checks out, go ahead and purchase the vehicle. Normally, I would suggest a third-party inspection to cover all that stuff, but if you work there, they're not likely to screw you over and possibly lose an employee (if you can get a third-party inspection, especially from a shop that is familiar with modified Subarus, it's worth it, but not necessary)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Timing Belt service is nothing to blow off. Make sure it's been done as well as the idler / tensioner pulleys, water pump, and thermostat. They may have had the service done at another shop, but a $500-1000 job now would be a lot better than a $5K motor build later if not, and it fails.

Make sure transmission and rear differential fluid has been changed recently (60K interval).

Have them swap spark plugs (60K interval), and while they're there, do a compression check. While they're there, have them do a leakdown test as well. These are tests to determine how healthy the engine is; offer to pay for them if the vehicle passes (cheap insurance), but if not, walk away from the car.

Assuming everything checks out, go ahead and purchase the vehicle. Normally, I would suggest a third-party inspection to cover all that stuff, but if you work there, they're not likely to screw you over and possibly lose an employee (if you can get a third-party inspection, especially from a shop that is familiar with modified Subarus, it's worth it, but not necessary)...
Thanks for the info! I'll definitely look into having those things done before I buy it. I doubt they'd screw an employee over, but who knows? Didn't realize how cheap the timing belt job was. I've had mostly BMW's up until this point and I'm used to seeing huge repair bills for relatively minor things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Timing belts are not something looked at during an inspection. As there is a black plastic cover covering/protecting your timing belt. Subaru themselves call for timing belt and water pump replacement at 105k miles or every 8-10 years. If it has never been done. It needs to be.
I'll have them look at it then. I'm figuring that since the previous owner put so many miles on it, he was probably keeping up on the maintenance, but who knows?
 

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Thanks for the info! I'll definitely look into having those things done before I buy it. I doubt they'd screw an employee over, but who knows? Didn't realize how cheap the timing belt job was. I've had mostly BMW's up until this point and I'm used to seeing huge repair bills for relatively minor things.
Before anything else, have plugs changed and compression / leakdown tests performed...this will tell you the health of the motor.

If it fails, you might be out $200-400 as a result. I recommend trying to work this into the contract that you'll pay for the tests if it passes, but if not, contract is void and you're not responsible (that may not be feasible). Regardless, $200-400 is a lot better than $5K+ for a motor rebuild on a car you just bought. If it passes, you know you have new plugs, and the motor is strong.

If those two tests check out, pay to have the remaining "maintenance" aspects I mentioned taken care of. Even if it's "repetitive" (e.g., the work has been done but not documented with Subaru), you know you're getting a good car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the input guys. I've found a Subaru specialist in my area that can do the compression/leak-down tests and look at the timing belt as well. Hopefully everything goes well and I'll report back if I end up buying the car.
 
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