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  1. #1
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    Subaru problems :( Help appreciated!

    Our 2001 Subaru is having trouble with major systems, we just fixed the alignment.

    We got an estimate from another mechanic who has given us a list of what else is wrong and an estimate at around a $1000. (after doing a quick online search, it seems that part prices were inflated)

    Subaru parts where to get them, where to have the car repaired? Dealership or others?


    Because the car is 10 years old, we have 3 solution, fix what is wrong and hope nothing else breaks down in the middle of winter, convert it to an electrical or hybrid vehicle or trade her for a newer but used model.

    Of course, the better half aquaintances are or willl be giving their opinions from buying some random new brand to leasing (no way) to other wacky ideas.

    I have been put in charge of car decision making and I would truly appreciate any feedback from fellow Subaru lovers.

  2. #2
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    I don't have a Subaru but I'd like to offer a few suggestions:

    When I bought my first BMW nearly 25 years ago, I quickly realized that if I continued to take it to the dealer after the warranty ran out, I'd be broke very quickly. Instead, I asked every BMW owner I met if they knew of an honest mechanic who worked on BMW's. One name kept coming up--a mechanic who had a shop in an industrial park and only worked on Beemers. When I needed to, I brought my car to him. I told him things I felt I needed, and he'd say I don't need it. He first started working on the car when it was four years old and I finally sold it, still running great, 10 years later.

    So, after reading my long story, sorry, my first suggestion is to find an honest Subaru mechanic. Do that by asking Subaru owners you meet or even going on the net to websites catering to Subaru owners.

    My other advice would be to buy a new car. Not new, per se, but a Certified Pre Owned car. This is what I do. Most CPO's are the best of the bunch when it comes to used cars. The dealerships fix any minor problems--the cars with big problems get auctioned off--and usually also come with an extended warranty. Sometimes you can get a great deal. My current car was a CPO and I paid $2000 below book value. (It had been used as a dealership loaner car for a year, it was sitting on the lot, and the dealership wanted to get rid of it. I've had it for 5 years and the extended warranty just ran out a few months ago.)

    I'd suggest forgetting converting it to a hybrid.
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  3. #3
    Registered User TavaPeak's Avatar
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    There comes a point when there is a law of diminishing returns on car repairs, isn't there. If you're at that point, you might be money ahead to find a good-quality used car. I'm a big fan of hybrids, but I agree with Frank that it might not be worth pursuing for this car. I saved 4 years for my Toyota hybrid, and it was definitely worth the wait. The systems are well-integrated and efficient. There is even adequate legroom for my 6' tall 14-year-old. (!) In the meantime, a good-quality later-model used car might be your best (and safest) investment for now?

  4. #4
    dlg
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    On a ten year old car, I'd personally cut my losses and buy a "new" Subaru. A 2010 with 10k miles or so. You don't say if you're a one-car family, or the feasibility of becoming so. If you have two cars and could commute comfortably with one for a while while you replace, I'd vote for doing the minimum on the maintenance (find a friendly local mechanic!) and driving the dang thing into the ground.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlg View Post
    On a ten year old car, I'd personally cut my losses and buy a "new" Subaru. A 2010 with 10k miles or so. You don't say if you're a one-car family, or the feasibility of becoming so. If you have two cars and could commute comfortably with one for a while while you replace, I'd vote for doing the minimum on the maintenance (find a friendly local mechanic!) and driving the dang thing into the ground.
    One car. I think the mechanic padded the price of parts pretty much as much as possible. We didn't get a second estimate.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TavaPeak View Post
    There comes a point when there is a law of diminishing returns on car repairs, isn't there. If you're at that point, you might be money ahead to find a good-quality used car. I'm a big fan of hybrids, but I agree with Frank that it might not be worth pursuing for this car. I saved 4 years for my Toyota hybrid, and it was definitely worth the wait. The systems are well-integrated and efficient. There is even adequate legroom for my 6' tall 14-year-old. (!) In the meantime, a good-quality later-model used car might be your best (and safest) investment for now?
    Do you know if there are used Toyota Hybrid already on the market?

    I love the room afforded by the Subaru but I feel the need to switch to electric or hybrid.

  7. #7
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    We just went through this with my daughter's RAV4. It's her first car, a 1997 we bought from my stepfather. 100K miles, and we've had to put a bunch of work into it. My mechanic (who is a guy I trust) pointed out that (a) cars like toyotas and subies are built to run to 250K miles; and (b) that it still beats the cost of new car payments and insurance on a newer vehicle. Every guy at the mechanic drives either a toyota or a subie, so they practice what they preach.

    To be fair, however, this is my daughter's first car and she's not really putting a beating on it mileage wise. Cost management is a priority. If she was doing a heavy daily commute, we would definitely look into a used hybrid (i.e., less than 5 years old). They can be had if you look around.
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