Last post on May 01, 2013 at 9:15 AM
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#3529 of 19283 Justin: Used Impreza vs New Focus...?
Jun 25, 2004 (2:04 pm)
15K is low and it's nice that it still has 1 year left on the bumper to bumper. Don't forget also that Subaru offers a 5yr 60K mile power/drive train warranty that covers all transmission and engine components. It's pretty comprehensive in my opinion. I don't think I'd worry about it being a Fleet car... better than a rental and it couldn't have missed much if any maintenance in 15K miles. Although you could use that to talk the dealer down in price. Consumer reports says of the Impreza: "...The Impreza delivers nimble handling and a relatively comfortable ride. The rear seat is cramped and cargo space is tight. The Outback Sport model rides more stiffly.... Safety equipment: Dual front air bags standard. Side air bags available from 2002. ABS available, standard from 2002. Safety-belt pretensioners standard from 2002." Reliability is predicted high and it is a Consumer Reports "Good Bet" for a used car. Year 2002 was even better than some other years. Retail prices for '02 should be around $14K - $16K (but never pay the asking price, you know it was probably traded in for thousands less). You can make the dealer prove to you the recall was attended to - ask for proof - there is probably a sticker under the hood or something that was applied when the recall was addressed. Had you considered purchasing private party rather than through a dealer? You could save thousands and have a better idea what you are getting. Either way, check the Blue Book value of the car by going to http://www.kbb.com and selecting "retail price" if you want to see the expected dealer pricing, or "private party" if you want to see what it would cost to buy from a person.
Consumer reports says of the Focus: "Reliability has finally improved, allowing us to recommend it... All versions we tested handled nimbly and felt forgiving at their limits. The wagon is a cleverly packaged and very practical choice, with good rear-seat and cargo space." Although owner satisfaction is below average. You should also know there is a $3K consumer rebate on the Focus Wagon. Invoice is about $1000 below MSRP and the dealers get a $500 "dealer holdback" from the factory, which means they pay about $1500 below MSRP for the car. So... you should be able to get $4000 - 4500 below MSRP if you're tough. (alternatively, a new 2004 Impreza base model costs the dealer $16,600 so hard to get as a good a deal)
Jun 26, 2004 (11:44 am)
Yep, that was the CSX, with the plaque.
The base Focus models are pretty watered down, get at least the new 2.3l ST models, which are also PZEV. Torque is pretty good and fuel efficiency is better than the Zetec engine.
#3532 of 19283 Re: [edunnett #3520]
Jun 26, 2004 (5:41 pm)
which spark plugs & wires can you recommend for a 96 legacy?
#3533 of 19283 NOISE UNDERNEATH CAR DRIVING ME BATTY!
Jun 26, 2004 (5:59 pm)
There is a rattling noise coming from underneath my '96 legacy for the last few months. They keep telling me it's not the CV. A tire shop said its not the wheel bearings. One mechanic thinks its the axles (they have some "play") or the inner parts of the driveshaft being loose and something rattling around in there. Dealership says the axles should have some "play". Driving around in NYC today, the noise has become much more noticeable on the right side and going over bumps mostly. When we brake, the noise goes away. When I bring my car in where I live upstate, the noise is never as noticeable as it is down here. The roads in NYC and the boroughs SUCK major moose wang, by the way. We are at our wits end. The car sounds like my axle or wheel on the right side is going to fall off at any minute. My poor boy friend is outside now jacking the car up trying again to figure out where the noise is coming from. All of the mechanics seem perplexed. The car is running fine by the way, except I have a leak in the cam seals on the left side. HELP!!!!!
#3534 of 19283 Re: [xenakimbo #3532] (spark plugs for '96 Legacy)
Jun 27, 2004 (10:23 am)
Your owners manual should tell you when to change the plugs, what type of plugs to use and what the gap should be.... It just so happens that I have the Haynes Repair Manual for Subaru Legacies 1990-1998 so let me see here... You should have the spark plugs changed every 30K miles (unless you use Platinum plugs which are much more expensive and can be changed every 60K miles). Your spark plug wires should be changed at the same time. I think you have a 2.5L engine, so I suggest using NGK spark plugs, model PFR5B-11. NGK's are more expensive than other brands but well worth it. The gap should be between .039 and .043 inches. Don't forget to use that anti-seize stuff on the threads if you plan on keeping the car for the next spark plug change As for wires... I dunno, I think I would just go to an autoparts store or the dealer and buy what they recommended. I've only ever changed them once and it was for an '86 Toyota Cressida blowing blue smoke out the tail pipe - I wasn't being very discriminating on the spark plug wires. Good luck! If you want any instructions or tips, email me (email is in my profile) and I can let you know what the manual says and what my experience has been with the Foresters.
#3535 of 19283 Re: NOISE UNDERNEATH CAR DRIVING ME BATTY! [xenakimbo #3533]
Jun 27, 2004 (10:42 am)
Hey! Where in upstate NY do you live? I'm born in Nyack, grew up in Goshen, college in Albany, lived in Larchmont and UWS, NYC!
Anyway, is it a high-pitched rattle that sounds like metal shaking around? It could be your heat shield. A heat shield is a thin metal cover around your catalytic converter and exhaust to contain the heat that that part gives off. I had similar noises on my old Civic that took three trips to the dealer to identify. Then had the same problem with my Forester that two mechanics thought was the catalytic converter all broken. Heat shield was lose in both cases. Free of charge to re-tighten or re-clamp to contain the rattle. With the winters you get in NY, it's likely that the heat sheild and screws are rusty and causing some rattling. I could be way wrong, but it's the easiest and cheapest thing to check.
BTW - The heat sheild is just a cover, and is not part of any mechanical operation, it could fall off and your car would run just fine. Although you might start a fire if you were to park over dry leaves. Or you might melt your brake lines or catch fire to some dripping oil or something. It's unsafe to be without the heatshield, but mechanically if it's rattling, your car can be running fine.
Anyway, I've been reading and it sounds like in 96 and earlier models there were three heat sheilds associated with Subaru exhausts, the one toward the front tends to get splashed by lots of cold puddle water which causes problems - cold water on hot metal degrade the metal I guess. Anyway, if you (or your boyfriend) can jack the car up and look at the length of the exhaust pipe and surrounding aluminum (I think) heat sheild it might be obvious where the problem is and/or wether replacing or simply tightening the heat sheild will do the trick. You can read more about heat sheilds and their purpose under the "test the pipes" section here : http://www.babcox.com/editorial/bf/bf90072.htm
#3537 of 19283 Re: Any fit and finish/lemon law experts out there? [garrett #3524]
Jun 27, 2004 (11:06 am)
That sounds so frustrating! Have you tried calling SOA? The number is 1-800-SUB-ARU3 (800-782-2783) What state are you in? I hear that CA (where I live) has one of the more liberal Lemon Laws out there and it's really not in favor of the consumer. It basically allows you to sell your car back to the manufacturer, with an allowance taken out for mileage. When I looked into what I'd get if my car were a lemon, it was actually less than the Blue Book private party sale price of the car! To me, that's a law in favor of Auto Maker Lobbyists. A real disappointment. Maybe your state is actually more liberal? You could also try the BBB and various consumer protection agencies if you don't get any releif. Or, you could stuff muffling in your dash and sell it.
Jun 28, 2004 (8:00 am)
Brilliant, I love a solution like that. You should patent it.
You sure you can afford to fix the other one? LOL
For the windows you could use silicone from a tube, because it's clear. Or some RV grade latex sealer, that comes in black.
My guess is the tire shop was wrong, it usually is the wheel bearings. Get a 2nd opinion.