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AYVI Motorsports
White 98 Impreza/06WRX
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440 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Im looking a buying a 1998 Subaru impreza L sedan, 5 speed with ~90000 miles. What things should I check when I go look at it. I am already probably gonna bring it to a dealer, but what should I check on my own. I gather that wheel bearings are a typical problem, but how do I check their condition?

Also where can I find a dealer service interval schedule for it?

Thanks.
 

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2000 RS ej20g swap
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505 Posts
Its deff a good idea to have it checked out by the dealer or a shop before buying the car... its saved my ass many times from buying pieces of junk. If the seller is serious about selling their car, they will gladly have it checked out.
 

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231 Posts
+1 about getting a dealership to check it

aside from that:
ask for service history. if done by dealership, ask the owner to get them printed.

have the car's VIN checked for accidents
check anything odd/out of place...mis-aligned molding, trunk, hood, headlight, grill, door alignment

check for rust near/under the fenders (also the corner where the front/rear bumper meets the fender), trunk water run-off,

window motors, rad fans (let it idle and it should kick in)

look for rough idle, take it for a spin with right and left turns, speed up and brake hard.
 

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1999 Subaru Impreza 2.5rs BDP
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2,079 Posts
When was the last time the timing belt, water pump were replaced??? also wheel bearings, the shocks (go to one of the corners of the car, push down hard enough to compress the shock and then release. If the car bounces up and down more than 2 times then the struts are shot). check under the car like on the headers and under the block to see if it leaks any oil. when was the last time the spark plugs were changed. basically just normal routine maintenance. if the previous owner followed the intervals, then it shows he took care of the car. if not, then......eat a sandwich.
 

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Premium Member
99 RS, 01 RS, 01 Forester S
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1,635 Posts
I've been looking for another one too. Make sure you look under the car. I've got some photos of sellers cars, and damn they are rusted to shit.

Easy enough huh...be sure to check out the above too!
 

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Modsterdomus
2000 STM RS Sedan 5spd
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7,850 Posts
NEVER FORGET THE HEAD GASKETS! They are terribly important when buying a used impreza. Make sure there are no signs of oil leaking and check the coolant to make sure there is no oil in it. If the car overheats at all this could also be a sign. Grill the seller, if they say nothing has ever gone wrong with the car walk away. He is full of shit. Every car has its own issues.

Good luck on your buy.
 

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30 Posts
Headgaskets were really only an issue on the 2.5's because they have a higher CR.

If the seller says nothing has ever gone wrong with the car dont walk away, ask if he/she has any maintainence records. :D
 

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AYVI Motorsports
White 98 Impreza/06WRX
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440 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks guys I am going on saturday most likely and will be arranging to have a dealer look at it, I'll post up when I get back ;)

And Is there any good way to check the condition of he wheel bearings
 

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AYVI Motorsports
White 98 Impreza/06WRX
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440 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Apparently (according to google maps) the nearest subaru dealership to Crown Point, NY is burlington, VT. So Maybe the dealer check won't be possible. Can I check some of these things myself.

Aparently the seller has complete maintenance history though so thats good, but should I try and find another place to bring it?
 

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1999 Subaru Impreza 2.5rs BDP
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2,079 Posts
try and get together with one of the guys on here. there are plenty of guys in NY and i'm sure they'd be willing to help you out. possibly bring them along with you to look at the car?
 

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Make sure you drive it and downshift into all the gears. 3rd gear synchro on mine is bad and I havent looked at the cost to fix it yet. Seems the trannies are troublesome on these cars and then you add in the hoodrats that don't know how to shift and theres issues.
 

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536 Posts
Look at the body panels and body seams. If anything is off or misaligned look else where, also get it up on the highway and listen for a whine/pulse, means the tranny has some bad bearings.

Also get into a parking lot and crank the wheel and slowly turn. If you hear the wheels popping could be a bad front differential.

-Cybin
 

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AYVI Motorsports
White 98 Impreza/06WRX
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440 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I Finally went and looked at this car this weekend. It was very clean little rust except on the underbody. I looked through the dservice records, had shocks replaced at 85000, timing belt at 62000 and then inspected again, and all oil change and other major services done. The deal with it is on one side the corner light sticks out from the headlight about an 1/8 of an inch. Does this for sure mean it was repaired at some point in its life?

This car was a trade in and then bought from the dealer. the person who bought it from the dealer is selling it to me because they never had a small car before and realized they like suvs better, and also didn't like driving stick. But that would still make me the 4th owner.

So, what do you guys think was this car in a accident? If so what problems could this cause down the road for me. Is it worth buying for the right price?
 

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2015 WRX
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2,350 Posts
Is this the white sedan in Crown Point, NY? If so, I went down to buy it a couple months ago and it was not at all what I expected... just an FYI. It needs valve cover gaskets and a front brake job at the least... clutch felt worn to me also. Head gaskets did show signs of leaks as well. It has GR2 struts all around. They told me they were selling it because the guys wife couldn't drive standard... dunno what they told you.

Just a heads up, those are the things I could identify that needed fixing and all I did was crawl underneath the car. PM me if you want any specifics or have any questions. I don't think that car was worth what they were asking...

EDIT: If this is the same car I saw, we ran a carfax on it and it came up clean. No accidents mentioned.
 

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AYVI Motorsports
White 98 Impreza/06WRX
Joined
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440 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Yea I noticed the brakes and valve cover gaskets, and clutch. I didn't notice any services of the clutch or brakes in the records either. How do you know the headgaskets are on the way out?

He told me she didn't want to drive standard, but when I was there She was the only one there and mentioned that she kinda learned to drive it, but was more of a Suv/Van person.

I wasn't planning on giving them what they asked but may make an offer. Did you by chance make them one?
 
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