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#4518802 - 09/17/17 05:52 PM Subaru Forester 2.5 durability
otis24 Offline


Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 1656
Loc: South Dakota
I'm looking at a 2003 Subaru Forester AWD with 2.5 engine. I've not yet driven it. It had150k on the odometer. A local dealer had it. I do not know it's history. Probably purchased at auction. Asking $1490. Are these durable engines? It will be a college car for my daughter. Mostly highway miles from home to school on occasion.


Edited by otis24 (09/17/17 05:53 PM)
_________________________
1991 Chevrolet K1500 (4.3, 4x4, 86k miles)

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan
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#4518812 - 09/17/17 06:03 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3970
Loc: New England
I may be off on the model years, but I believe blown head gaskets were an issue with the 2.5l in that timeframe.
I'm not sure how to check for that without doing a UOA, though...
_________________________
2014 Forester XT, 80500 miles
Last Change;
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#4518816 - 09/17/17 06:10 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
TinyVoices Offline


Registered: 09/12/16
Posts: 485
Loc: Vienna, VA
Need to make sure it's had the timing belt done recently and is want to know about head gaskets. I've had friends and fanily with this engine in different cars who have had head gasket problems.
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1993 Toyota MR2 Hardtop N/A - 157k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30
2006 Toyota Matrix XR AWD (Fiancee) - 126k miles - Valvoline Max Life 5w30

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#4518819 - 09/17/17 06:15 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: Virtus_Probi]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 15718
Loc: OH
Milkshake looking oil? The OP could also check for oily coolant as well as low coolant level.
Some of the 2.5s suffer external HG failures that are easily spotted and easily managed while an internal leak might exist for some time undetected.
The OP could check the glovebox for records. You'd be surprised what you find in used cars. There is a very good chance that this engine has already had the HGs done, which would also mean that timing belt service has been done. If done properly, there should be no further issues.
This is a pretty cheap car if it's in overall good condition. If it is, then even a HG job might be worth doing.
An AWD Subie would be a good pick for a young daughter in areas that see severe winter, like SD.
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17 Forester 12K MSS 0W-20
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#4518820 - 09/17/17 06:16 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4327
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
Also check for flood damage.
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#4518836 - 09/17/17 06:27 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
Kuato Offline


Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 7094
Loc: Colorado
Totally agree...check for head gasket, timing belt, and flood damage. Other than these items the 2.5 is generally good to go.
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Thick vs Thin test: 15k / 43k miles complete

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#4518875 - 09/17/17 07:10 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
ATex7239 Offline


Registered: 01/19/17
Posts: 331
Loc: Texas,USA
Head gaskets and weak automatic transmission...

Otherwise great cars.
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'12 Buick Enclave 139,xxx
Valvoline ML SynBlend 5w30
ACDelco PF63E

'17 Ford Fusion (Company Lease) 42,xxx
Oil Don't know
Filter Don't care

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#4518899 - 09/17/17 07:44 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: ATex7239]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12651
Loc: NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: ATex7239
Head gaskets and weak automatic transmission...

Otherwise great cars.


The 4EAT wasnt known to be weak. esp behind the non-turbo engine.
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#4518909 - 09/17/17 07:58 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
cadfaeltex Offline


Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 672
Loc: TX south plains
I had an '04. Good car but for me the seats were horrible. Not the answer to your question but something to check if you're going to drive any long differences.

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#4518911 - 09/17/17 07:59 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
Wheel Offline


Registered: 12/22/11
Posts: 570
Loc: Upstate NY
That year's EJ25 engine was somewhat prone to external headgasket leaks- leaking coolant. Subie's fix was basically stop leak, and regular coolant changes, re-adding the stop leak. My Dad's got one with 300k on the clock.

4eat is usually fine up to 300ish HP. It even has a nice drain plug to change atf regularly.
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2009 Subaru Legacy (N/A)
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#4518933 - 09/17/17 08:15 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
WhyMe Offline


Registered: 12/18/12
Posts: 513
Loc: Washington for now
if its got 150k on it most likely the HG has been changed. they leaked mostly externally unlike the DOHC models that leaked insternally. if its drivable and in a condition acceptable to you, for $1500 i would buy it.

if you self wrench they are really easy to work on. parts are not too expensive and readily available. look for bad CV boots, ball joint and tie rods and control arms. these parts are cheap and easy to install if needed. the seat cushions suck after so many years though

MY 99 OB has 279k miles and is still going strong.

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#4518955 - 09/17/17 08:38 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: Rand]
ATex7239 Offline


Registered: 01/19/17
Posts: 331
Loc: Texas,USA
Originally Posted By: Rand
Originally Posted By: ATex7239
Head gaskets and weak automatic transmission...

Otherwise great cars.


The 4EAT wasnt known to be weak. esp behind the non-turbo engine.


I wouldn't consider it to be strong transmission. Not bad, but not great.
_________________________
'12 Buick Enclave 139,xxx
Valvoline ML SynBlend 5w30
ACDelco PF63E

'17 Ford Fusion (Company Lease) 42,xxx
Oil Don't know
Filter Don't care

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#4518965 - 09/17/17 08:49 PM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
Floydian Offline


Registered: 09/13/17
Posts: 46
Loc: Outside U.S
One thing I know for sure about boxer engines is that changing the spark plugs are a pain.


Edited by wwillson (09/18/17 11:11 AM)
Edit Reason: bypassing censor

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#4519103 - 09/18/17 01:44 AM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: otis24]
FZ1 Offline


Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 4727
Loc: Texas
Opposed 4 is much harder to work on than an inline 4. I'd stay away jmo.

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#4519142 - 09/18/17 05:56 AM Re: Subaru Forester 2.5 durability [Re: ATex7239]
LoneRanger Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 4060
Loc: Midwest USA
Originally Posted By: ATex7239
Head gaskets and weak automatic transmission...

Otherwise great cars.


Wrong. The 4EAT transmission is pretty much bullet proof. If the head gaskets have been repaired properly it should be good to go.
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'09 Subaru Forester ...................(QSED DEXOS1 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)

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