Buying Used 2002 Impreza OBS

Discussion in 'Subaru Impreza' started by a monad of salt, May 30, 2007.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm considering buying an '02 Impreza OBS, used from a dealership in
    Idaho. It's got 86k miles, and the dealership is asking 9,995 for
    it. Also, it has a 5-speed transmission. Done a test drive, and
    everything seems okay, except there's a bit of engine noise.
    Additionally, when you rev the engine in neutral, there is additional
    noise--it's not a clunking, it's more of a scraping, and i'm wondering
    whether or not i should worry about this. Carfax tells me that
    there's been two owners, and the first seemed to take good care of the
    car; maintainance every 3,750 miles or so and the such. The car did
    not receive the 60k dealer-recommended maintainance, and it was sold
    off at 61k miles. A "fleet" company in the "eastern region" bought
    the car at auction and put about 20k more miles on it, and there are
    no maintainance records for this period on carfax. I was just

    1) Any thoughts about the engine noise? In gear, the thing is simply
    a bit loud, but rev'ving in neutral produces that scraping/grinding
    noise mentioned above (rev to about 3500-4000, lower rpm's don't make
    the noise). There's some other noise as well, but it seems to be from
    the nearly-new tires with rather deep tread that are currently on the

    2) Has anyone here owned the model for long periods of time? How has
    it held up? JD Power does not give the vehicle many bubbles in terms
    of long-term reliability or mechanical reliability from the get-go...
    How much does it cost to maintain? I intend to keep this car for a
    long time, so i intend to give it the best care possible...

    3) It's a bit rusty--the car is originally from MA and VT (no idea
    how, specifically, it ended up here in ID), so that may explain the
    rust. No rust on the outside, but the tailpipe and other metals
    underneath the car are a bit rusty. Also, there is some rust on the
    metal parts underneath all of the seats inside...

    4) I haven't taken it into an independent inspector yet. I intend to
    test drive it one more time--is there anything i should look out for
    that will indicate some sort of major problem with the vehicle?

    5) The only other competing vehicle right now is a 1998 Volvo 70V XC.
    I've read that these cars come with their own set of problems--it has
    about 95k miles and the dealer is asking 8,900. Any thoughts on how
    these two vehicles compare?

    Thanks for everything!

    Happy Driving,

    izak dunn
    a monad of salt, May 30, 2007
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  2. *bump*

    Did i not provide enough information? Really, i am most concerned
    about the reliability of this particular make/model, so if anyone has
    had experience with owning one, i'd like to know how they've fared.

    thanks again
    a monad of salt, Jun 1, 2007
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  3. a monad of salt

    Mk IV Guest

    a monad of salt scribbled:
    Scraping sound?

    Anyway, what you have to watch for is head gasket weeping, very common
    on these cars. Common noises are: belt tensioner when cold, makes it
    sound like a valve is clicking, and loose exhaust heat shield under the
    car. Common complaints are: head gaskets (see above) and clutch shudder.

    I drove a 2002 Impreza until this spring and loved the car. No problem
    with it at all other than the occasional clutch shudder. I suspect that
    it would've needed a head gasket job soon (under warranty) but I traded
    it in for a 2004 WRX.
    Mk IV, Jun 2, 2007
  4. a monad of salt

    isquat Guest

    i have 05 OBS but i only have under 24k. Zero problems so
    far but that's what's to be expected from a car bought
    as new. with a very used car,
    even the one that was built in japan all bets are off though.
    yes, OBS has an awd that works (50/50 split under normal conditions)
    and vulva has the one that does not.

    vulva might be cheaper to own since it's essentially an fwd
    car that pretends to have awd and fewer things might have
    gone wrong in those 100k. in my (limited experience) when
    subaru starts to fall apart it's like a snowball rolling
    off the mountain: the owner gets submerged in huge repair bills.
    no experience with the xc.

    used subaru: i just won't recommend it.
    you have to ask yourself why two people walked away from that

    if you must buy used get as simple car as possible.
    a one wheel driver like a taurus and a proper set of shoes
    will be much lighter on your pocket.
    isquat, Jun 4, 2007
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