To repair or not to repair?

Discussion in 'Modifications And Maintenance' started by Cotts612, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. Cotts612
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    Cotts612 Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone, I'm at a crossroads with my stock 2004 wrx wagon. She currently has 218,500 miles on her, and in need of some repairs. I had my timing belt, idlers, and water pump replaced 7,000 miles ago at JM, and had them inspect the car at the same time. I lost the quote from them, but have the invoice from the timing belt replacement with their notes.

    They found that the oil pan is leaking, the oil cooler seal is leaking, and the valve covers are leaking (duh). Also, a slight roughness at idle, so valve lash could probably be adjusted. I have no problems with it mis firing when driving, so they weren't too concerned about it, but it's there. I will also note that I have no drips on my garage floor. Chalk that up to the plastic cover I guess, but it has a chunk out of it and cracks, so you would think it would drip eventually. Additionally, I've been getting a p0420 code about every 100 miles, and since Saturday, my door ajar light is staying on:facepalm:

    So, I have a 16 year old car, rust on the quarters, and showing up elsewhere, with another $1200+ In work needed. I do want to buy a newer car someday, Outback 3.6r if I can find one. I'm just not sure if I want a car payment, or to drop 1-2 grand in the wrx, and hope nothing else fails in the next year. What would you do?
     
  2. tangledupinblu
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    tangledupinblu Event Coordinator Staff Member

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    Is it just $1200 in work needed? If so, fix it! Run it for another couple of years and start saving for that 3.6R;)
     
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  3. pillboy
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    pillboy Well-Known Member

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    Figuring out when to cut bait and bail on an old car is one of the hardest things to do. The rust is only going to get worse, and it will happen faster once it has gotten a good start. And I can guarantee it is a lot more extensive than what meets the eye at this point. If the oil leak is not ruining the asphalt driveway or making a mess in the garage, I would just check it regularly and do nothing to fix it. Put a piece of black tape over the Door Ajar light. Don't sink anymore money in it and start saving for a replacement.
     
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  4. Optimus8304
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    Optimus8304 New Member

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    I agree with you on this. I have a '14 outback 3.6R and it's a great car with alot of power for a n/a.
     
  5. Cotts612
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    Cotts612 Well-Known Member

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    Haha, I think that might be on the low end, but it was my initial thought. I don't know how I could give up on my favorite car that I've owned. I was thinking more on the lines of what @pillboy mentioned, at what point do I stop throwing money at it? I would like to fix all the little things, but time/money ect. Door ajar light so I don't have a brief heart attack every time I glance at the speedometer and see RED! Lol seriously, every time. I figured the responses would be mixed, just like my thought process on the whole thing :smoke: Thanks for the replies!
     
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  6. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    This situation sucks. I feel like I've been there for a while with mine, and it's just gradually getting worse over time.

    235k ish on mine now and it's got a handful of "minor" issues going for it.

    -Got a really slight crank bearing knock (I think) that developed after Powercruise a couple years ago. I thought for sure it was doomed and was only a matter of time until it grenaded. But that was like 3 years ago and it's never gotten worse. Yet.

    -Did a PDS day at BIR this summer back in May. Pretty sure I damaged a synchro in the tranny and have a little bit of a grind going from 3 to 4 if I'm trying to speed shift. If I drive "normal" you can't even tell.

    -Rust... Found out this winter that it's unfortunately much worse than I thought. The rear strut tower on the driver side is not pretty...

    -Intermittent misfires on cylinder 3. Gradually becoming less and less intermittent... Last time this happened I had a burnt valve on hole 3. That was like 5 years (and 100k miles) ago and I rebuilt the top end and she's been running swell ever since. Given the rest of the current issues with the car as a whole, if this is the case again I probably won't be fixing it...

    Not trying to thread jack, just sharing my similar situation. Haha. If you find a magic wand and figure out what to do, feel free to let me borrow it when you're finished.

    Currently I'm just waiting for the day somebody rear ends me or something and I can total the car (and strip all the parts off) and get an insurance claim. Haha. Would definitely be the best case financial scenario/solution given the current status.
     
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  7. Cotts612
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    Cotts612 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply, and no worries on thread jacking. This is why I posted on this site. There are enough people that are still active here who have owned cars as long as I have been alive, so it seemed like the right thing to do. Hey, maybe instead of a magic wand, if I end up buying a newer Subaru, you can buy mine! Fewer miles and fewer issues? Lol
     
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  8. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    It's damn near impossible for me to pass up a good deal on a Subaru. Haha. Even worse when it's a wagon...
     
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  9. pillboy
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    pillboy Well-Known Member

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    I think one things you guys need to keep in mind is how extensive rust can affect the crash worthiness of a unibody. It's one thing if you're just hauling around your unmarried, craft-beer swilling, vaping, non-parent ass, but totally another if you have worldly commitments or carry passengers.
     
  10. euro
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    euro Well-Known Member

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    To pillboy's point my 99 impreza donor car didn't look too bad but when i cut the top of the b pillar it fell down...
    20201227_132855_HDR~2.jpg
     
  11. pillboy
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    pillboy Well-Known Member

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    The moral is, don't risk your life (and those of others) just to set some misguided Subaru longevity record. For those of you who might be forced to drive an old, high-mileage vehicle (any brand) due to extenuating financial reasons, my apologies and I don't mean to come off as someone who doesn't understand those circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
  12. Cotts612
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    Cotts612 Well-Known Member

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    This is definitely one of things I'm trying to factor in. The wife and I are planning on having a kid in the next year. A newer outback would be perfect for that journey in our lives.

    Yeah, that's scary. I don't think my car is anywhere near that level of rust structurally, but definitely makes a good point.
     
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  13. Cotts612
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    Cotts612 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I'm quite the wagon hoor myself.
     
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  14. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    I definitely don't drive a 235k mile turd as a first choice, but not having a monthly payment on anything but the house is a nice thing, too. Luckily we have several vehicles and when we go anywhere as a family we usually take the truck. And the kid really only rides in my car anymore on Friday afternoons when it's my turn to pick him up from daycare (roughly 10 miles from home).
     
  15. MidnightImpreza
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    MidnightImpreza Well-Known Member

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    20210109_234004.jpg I'll jump in because I drive a 280K 06' Impreza, 2nd long block with 200K+ now, but car is still in decent shape. I have some rear fender rust that's probably worse than it looks, but the car is good, and safe, and worth throwing some money at once in a while. Haven't had a car payment in 8 years. It's all relative.
     
  16. Nhibbs
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    Nhibbs Well-Known Member

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    I definitely get the desire to not have a car payment but after my uncle recently almost died in a car crash in an old unsafe car Id say if you can afford a payment its worth it to get a relatively new safe non-rusty car.

    You can still get a pretty low total cost of ownership even with a car payment and a newer car if you choose wisely. Desirable models that are super reliable and last a long time that have very low depreciation (Tacoma, 4runner, etc) can be as cheap to own (from a TCO perspective) as an old POS.
    My CTS-V is worth a few thousand dollars more than I paid for it 4 years and 20k miles ago...If I sold it now my cost of ownership would be gas, tires, and insurance (which is admittedly a lot lol)
     
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  17. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    If I had CTS-V money I'd certainly have a CTS-V instead of a clapped out WRX. Haha. Would be nice cuz it would also check off a box on the dream car list for both me and the wife.
     
  18. pillboy
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    pillboy Well-Known Member

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    In hindsight, I should have taken my 401k and bought as many manual trans CTS-V wagons as I could.
     
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  19. Nhibbs
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    Nhibbs Well-Known Member

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    There's still time. lol
    But if you had your 401k in literally anything but bonds for the last 4+ years you did waaaaaay better returns than any car could ever hope to get you (except for some super rare hyper cars).
     

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