ok, so my old car recently died on me and I am looking at buying a used car.
I came across a nice 2007 Subaru Forester, or nice by my limited knowledge on cars.
I had my mechanic look at the car and approximately $1700 worth of work would have to be put into it within the next month. The timing belt needs to be replaced, the water pump needs to be repalced. There is a leak (didn't understand fully what he ment about the leak) that could take between 200-500 to fix.
In another few months the rear breaks and struts need to be replaced.
We have an available deal for $7000 on the table (with them fixing another issue included into that price).

I have limited knowledge on cars, but I have a mechanic I can trust who gives me decent breaks on labor costs as well as I pay at cost for parts. He was the one who did a unoffical quote on cost for repairs. He is a family friend and I have known him for most of my life, I can trust him when he tells me what needs to be fixed and costs.

If you were in my shoes would you by the car?

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How many miles on it?  Would you need to take out a loan?


What kind of "leak"?  Oil?  Water?  Transmission fluid?



104,000 miles. Buying outright via loans from family.
The leak wasn't oil or Transmission fluid, judging by talking I believe it was fuel related and a very slow leak. Judging by what he said it sounded like he thinks its a hose.

With the required repairs, I wouldn't buy it.  Too many repairs, too many miles.  In my experience with small SUVs, you've got maybe 80K miles left on that before it gives out (especially since there's already so much wrong).


A couple of years ago, I bought an '01 Suburban with 72K miles and no repairs required for about $9K.  Suburbans are bigger and more rugged than Foresters, and are likely to last more miles.  I expect it to last over 200K, so I spent $9K expecting to get 130K miles out of it.  That's .07/mi.  You'd be spending $8700 expecting 80K miles ... about .11/mi.


I'd look for something a bit older in the same price range with less miles and no immediate repairs.  Don't look at the years, look at the miles.  Either that, or offer $5K since there are so many repairs to be done.



Thanks for your reply, Jack.

Having a hard time finding that, most cars I've been looking at are requiring repairs, some were even worse then this, I test drove one that I was afraid while I was driving that it would die.

I did look at a Suburban at one place, required repairs as well, didn't get the milage. They wanted a minimum of $10,500 without doing the needed repairs.

I swear I must live in a nasty area to buy cars, guess that is New Jersey for ya.

If everything needs repairs, maybe you've got an overly aggressive mechanic.


Know anything about car repairs?  Water pumps and brakes aren't that hard to change on most cars.  You can save a bundle doing it yourself.  Water pumps are a couple hundred bucks, and a few hours of work (Edit: Looked up pumps for an '07 Forester.  They're less than $60).  Brakes are usually under a hundred, and an hour or two ... depending on what you need to fix.  Brake pads, shoes, and rotors are relatively simple.

I don't know how to do struts, though.  And, I'm still not sure what is leaking, so I can't help you there.  Whatever it is, you may be able to patch it with stopleak rather than repairing it.


I know very little, I can change my own oil, and do basic repairs that I can look up. I have jack stands, ramps, and a hydrolic jack for lifting the car for various needs. I don't know if I have the ability to fix these issues.

I will admit, he might be a little overly aggressive.
My Co-Workers recommended looking for something with lower miles as well, but all the dealerships near by me the costs goes up by the same ammount that the repairs would cost me.

I wouldn't buy the car, too much wrong with it. If you're looking for an inexpensive, decent car I would look for one that had a lower initial price (Hyundai, etc.) and currently has lower miles. I know, I know; buy American but Subaru isn't American either. Hyundai and Kia, now, are making pretty decent cars and the prices are much lower than American cars and comparbly priced American cars are made overseas anyway so what's the difference?

Oh no worries on that one. As much as I like the idea of trying to keep the money in the US, its impossible to do with cars when a majority of the labor is shipped out of the country, for everyone.

As an update, I will be buying this car. I've managed to talk them into repairing the majority of the expensive issues with only an added cost of $200 for the replacement of one of the parts. As well as I will be getting a written confirmation from them that it will pass inspection. If it doesn't pass I can then bring it back and have them fix what ever issue might cause it to fail.

Not sure if they would follow through but, it at least gives me some wiggle room if something does come up.


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