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2000 Impreza 2.2L
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(Apologies in advance for a LONG post; sorry, guys, but there's no other way.)

Hey guys, I'm looking for some feedback on a couple of issues I'm having with a used 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.2L sedan w/ 119K miles I bought just 4 days ago (the very end of 2013).

My wife and I paid a premium for this car over the KBB estimate because it had a 12+ year comprehensive service history from the local Subaru dealership.

The CL listing stated the following:

Dealer maintained, Major Services done, Clean!
A rare find!
Well maintained with TONS of dealership service.
All major maintanences have been done including timing belt and head gaskets.
This Impreza has also been inspected by our licensed Subaru technicians.


The timing belt & head gasket work was what caught my eye; the sales guy gave me copies of the service history for this car going back to 2002. All work was either done at the dealership (for things like oil changes and some CEL work in 2002) or at a nearby Subaru shop with a great reputation for the 50K, 90K, and 105K scheduled maintenance.

ISSUE #1: The Subaru shop confirmed that they changed timing belts at 90K, but there's no record of them or the dealership ever having done the head gaskets. So, unless the previous owner had them done somewhere else (highly unlikely since like clockwork she only used these 2 shops for 12+ years with regular records on CarFax), it seems that the head gaskets have NOT been changed.

What should I do about this? Unless the dealership can prove that this work has been done, I think they either need to replace the gaskets as advertised, or warranty that if the gaskets ever do fail, they will do all necessary repairs for free.

ISSUE #2: When I did my first walkaround of the car, I noticed that the gas cap was missing. I told the sales guy at his desk and he said: "Yeah, I got it from the back." However, the cap is an older, non-OEM brand, and the CEL has been turning on intermittently for the last 2 days, presumably because of this. When I mess with the gas cap, the light goes off, but it keeps coming back on.

Now, the CEL may *not* be due to the gas cap (I'd need to see what the code is), so who knows. I'm also concerned that 4 days off the lot the CEL is turning on and off, especially since the dealer had the car for nearly 3 weeks and put it through an inspection by licensed technicians.

ISSUE #3: One of the dealer work invoices for December 2013 stated the following: "Abnormal noise while car is rolling - sounds like RR area - Wheel BRG passes preliminary inspection (DIO)". I'm also hearing this noise; it only happens if the car rolls forward very slowly by its own weight/inertia, so I didn't hear it during the test drive. If it's under power then you don't hear it. Seems to me that since the dealership spotted this during their 11 point inspection, they should have addressed the issue.

DISCLAIMER:

I understand that when you buy a used car, you're rolling the dice. But in my defense, I bought a car with a solid maintenance history from a Subaru dealership to avoid these kinds of issues. And I don't think it's unrealistic for me to expect the dealership to address these issues.

I'm planning to swing by tomorrow morning (1/3/2014).
 

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2000 Impreza 2.2L
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Discussion Starter #4
Well, we love the car and want to make things work with this one.

I suspect that the "head gasket" issue may have been a mistake when the ad was created. Maybe the sales guy meant to write: "timing belt and water pump" but he accidentally wrote "timing belt and head gasket". Either way, I'm not able to verify whether this work was done, and the claim what what made me pull the trigger on this car.

I'm also hoping that the Check Engine Light is just due to the wrong gas cap. If so, it's a simple fix provided the dealer can track down an OEM gas cap (not easy AFAIK).

I certainly want to work w/ the dealership and give them the benefit of the doubt; just looking for any feedback from Subaru forum members on what to say tomorrow when I call the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You should have addressed these issues before purchase, after just makes it more headaches.
I agree, but I received a stack of close to 50 pages of service history that I had to organize. Also, it took a couple of days to get through to the other dealer so I could ask them whether they had done the head gaskets.

The gas cap issue (and the CEL) I couldn't have known about since it didn't show up until I added gas a few days later and had to take the gas cap off.

And the noise from the brakes or wheel didn't show up during the test drive. I heard it days later, then saw the information from the dealer *after* that.

I did as much homework as possible prior to buying the car, but it just wasn't possible to research everything.
 

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99WhiteMock22B/10TeslaRoadster
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You bought a 10+ year old car, I doubt that they will give you any promise on the head gaskets. You should stop by and ask for an explanation but I'd be shocked if you actually got anything out of them. All used cars, especially old used cars, are bought as is. You should have addressed this before you bought it... Not after.
 

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99RS 207 V9 AW
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Gas cap is universal, I had a CEL due to bad cap replaced with Stant fixed the issue. Sounds like it's more than a gas cap. If you can crawl under the car, you pretty much can tell if HG is original (some oil leak.) If they just installed new one, hg and valve cover gaskets should be super clean w/no oil, period!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You bought a 10+ year old car, I doubt that they will give you any promise on the head gaskets. You should stop by and ask for an explanation but I'd be shocked if you actually got anything out of them. All used cars, especially old used cars, are bought as is. You should have addressed this before you bought it... Not after.
But if a car is advertised has having had the gaskets replaced by a Subaru dealership no less, how am I supposed to verify this? They claimed that this work had been done; I've gone through the records they gave me and have contacted the other shop. All of this took time. 4 days later I can't verify this.

If the dealer stipulates that a car is a 2.5L turbo, you shouldn't have to measure the displacement to verify that this is so. My expectation is that the engine *is* a 2.5L turbo.
 

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'00 2.5rs coupe
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You bought a 10+ year old car, I doubt that they will give you any promise on the head gaskets. You should stop by and ask for an explanation but I'd be shocked if you actually got anything out of them. All used cars, especially old used cars, are bought as is. You should have addressed this before you bought it... Not after.
This. It's an old car: if you expected perfect, you should have gone to the new car lot, not one selling antiques like the one you bought.

But if a car is advertised has having had the gaskets replaced by a Subaru dealership no less, how am I supposed to verify this? They claimed that this work had been done; I've gone through the records they gave me and have contacted the other shop. All of this took time. 4 days later I can't verify this.

If the dealer stipulates that a car is a 2.5L turbo, you shouldn't have to measure the displacement to verify that this is so. My expectation is that the engine *is* a 2.5L turbo.
You should have taken the time to look through the records before hand. I don't care how much the car was serviced, it doesn't take longer than 20 minutes to go through the records.

As for the second paragraph in your post ... WOW, just WOW. I'm assuming you'd buy it as such without opening the hood and then complain later when you realized 1.6 liter Civics are blowing your doors off. :lol::lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You should have taken the time to look through the records before hand. I don't care how much the car was serviced, it doesn't take longer than 20 minutes to go through the records.
I'll concede this point. But it wasn't possible until today to get through to the other Subaru shop to ask them about the work that they had done.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, anyway, I'll stop by the dealership tomorrow morning, and will hope for the best.

My intention wasn't to bash them, either (I didn't mention any dealerships by name). I still believe that most people fall into 2 categories: reasonable people and unreasonable people.

You can't reason with unreasonable people, so don't try. But for everyone else, there's hope that common sense will prevail.
 

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'99 Impreza Outback Sport
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The way I see it, its a 2.2l. They didn't have the head gasket issues. I wouldn't worry about it. It easily could be a mistake.

The gas cap is something that needs to be replaced eventually. It is a part that wears out.

Then like everyone else is saying. Its a used car. When I bought mine, it had blown struts, destroyed ball joints, a broken taillight, a broken corner light to name a few things. Yah some are a little more obvious and easy to replace. But not everything was noticeable at the time. Its a risk you take, even if it is listed as a known problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
^^ OK, I won't sweat it out. This is only the 2nd used car I've ever bought, so I'm still very green around the edges.

My other used car was a 2-year-old Mazda CX-9 that had been leased for 24 month. The prior owner took exceptionally good car of the car and we have had essentially ZERO problems with this car except for replacing a couple of faulty relays.

I'm actually really excited about the 2000 Subaru Impreza we just bought and am looking forward to doing some sensible mods and upgrades.

But I just want to make sure that I understand up front everything that has and has not been done to this car so I can plan accordingly. If the HG's are original, fine. The ad was a mistake, and now I'll just have to keep my eye open for any HG-related issues down the road.

The gas cap should be an easy fix, but I expect the dealer to take care of this even if we're only talking about a $5 part. I did call this out when I performed the walkaround and I ended up with an apparently faulty cap. (Still, I want to see what the codes are for the last 2 CEL's.)
 

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Chances are you are not going to find out. You can't expect a 14 year old car to be without its issues, even if the stealership promised it was good. Just because it is a subaru dealership doesn't mean they are going to be completely honest and upfront, most dealerships aren't. And you can't compare a 2000 subaru to a 2 year old mazda, it's a night and day difference.

Also, in reference to your problems: The noise is probably just wheel bearing and the gas cap is also a relatively easy fix. As for the headgaskets, you could always just check yourself (like someone else mentioned) but the 2.2l's didn't have that issue.
Good luck!
 

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2000 Impreza 2.2L
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Discussion Starter #15
...the stealership...
LOL. I enjoyed that.

OK.

As noted, I'm going to be the friendliest guy tomorrow when I swing by the dealership, and with luck I'll drive off the lot with the NOS Impreza gas cap and all my CEL nightmares will evaporate like the mist on my back window after pressing the rear defrost button.
 

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99 RS 2.5 Blue, 95 L
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gas cap? get another. cheap fix.

sounds like the wheel bearing is out on a side. jack it up and do the usual procedures.

get a $20 CEL reader off of amazon and know what you are up against, i promise you will use it in the future anyway.

i dont get why people think buying from a dealership means anything special. they get a used car and sell it. it's a little shocking that they'd even have a 2000 in stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
get a $20 CEL reader off of amazon and know what you are up against, i promise you will use it in the future anyway.
This will probably be my next purchase...and maybe my next thread. Someone at work mentioned a bluetooth based CEL reader that also works with smart phones. That sounds appealing.

it's a little shocking that they'd even have a 2000 in stock.
Don't forget that I'm writing from Seattle, WA. Along with the Denver/Boulder area (where I'm originally from), the Pacific Northwest and Seattle in particular is a hotbed of Subaru enthusiasts, and this is reflected in the prices of used Subaru's as well.
 

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Once you get all this initial drama sorted out you might be happier finding a different shop to service your car at. This dealership sounds a bit creepy to me. As for checking CELs, some people here have mentioned being able to get that checked for free at AutoZone. (Pray it is not the catalytic converter because those things cost their weight in gold) I've thought about getting a CEL reader just for funsies, but it's been like three years since anything triggered that light in my car, and last time it actually was just the gas cap. My car prefers to just let me know about its problems by smelling like it's burning. (Leaking head gaskets and leaking axle boots all smell the same to me) Anyway, I've been averaging about $1k per year in dealership maintenance costs over the life of the car, and it's been trending more in the $2k range these last few years. Old car is old.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yeah, I'll probably be looking for a new dealership anyway because they're located so far from where I live and work. It will not be at all convenient for me to get oil changes or routine maintenance done at their location.

But I am incentivized to find a shop that reports their service histories to CarFax so I can keep the unblemished service history on this car intact.
 
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