When is the Right Time to Purchase a Used Subaru Car?

If you have a flexible budget, the motivation to do a little research, then now is the perfect time to begin your search for a used Subaru car!

The Subaru brand is world-renowned and has an impeccable reputation for safety, road performance, handling, and high-quality manufacturing and artisanship. Consumer Reports and Automotive specialist publications routinely rate Subaru as a leader in automotive innovation, technology, and design.

2019 subaru legacy For example, the Outback model is considered its most popular line of cars with its reliable 2.5-liter inline-4 engine that produces 175 horsepower and 174 pounds per foot of torque. This automobile is truly in a league of its own with its sophisticated engineering for navigating even the most treacherous off-road environments and adverse weather conditions.

Additionally, the Forester, the Impreza, and the CrossTrek are popular among Subaru enthusiasts searching for used Subaru vehicles due to their superior engineering, spaciousness, and safety features.

In order to begin your search for a used Subaru, prospective buyers should be prepared to conduct extensive research regarding the vehicles’ history, multipoint inspection of the vehicles’ engine operation and road performance, and buyers should extensively research the fair market value of the vehicle they are purchasing by comparing the posted price to what others are paying for on average for the same vehicle model, year, and mileage count.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Used Subaru

But before scheduling an appoint through a private sale, we strongly advise buyers to first call the seller and collect some basic details through an informational interview.

For example, prospective buyers should ask about whether the car has been taken off-roading extensively, because if so you might be acquiring a potential lemon. Subarus are designed for off-roading, but some owners will abuse their Subaru vehicle and will not properly clean the undercarriage, engine compartments, or remove debris that has built up from all of those off-roading adventures. Dirt, mud, and small rocks can severely damage the engine, undercarriage, exhaust, and transmission of the vehicle.

The seller may provide great details about how the car was treated and how the car was primarily used. This information should allow you to immediately filter out high-risk purchases that have a significant depreciation value or the possibility of being an expensive car because of constant repairs. During the phone interview, if things go smooth and the buyer is satisfied with the information that was provided by the seller, then buyers and sellers should agree to meet and perform a test drive.

Test Driving a Used Subaru

Test driving a used Subaru can be an exciting experience to anticipate. However, we warn prospective buyers not to get distracted and instead they should bring along a professional mechanic who can objectively judge the performance, engine condition, and value of the vehicle being sold. A professional mechanic will be able to identify whether the vehicle has been properly maintained and if it will need any mild or significant repairs in order for it to drive safely in all road and traffic conditions. In addition, the potential buyer should sit in the driver’s seat and determine whether the vehicle is the right fit, has the right technological features, and feels spacious and roomy enough for their everyday needs.

If it is not possible to bring a mechanic along for the test drive, then potential buyers should examine a number of indicators to determine whether the vehicle would be a good fit and quality for purchasing.

First, the potential buyer should turn on the car and then walk around the car to listen for any of the following noises - grinding, ticking, screeching, clicking, and slight changes in the engine noise. If you hear loud noises, it’s probably a big red flag that the vehicle has something seriously wrong with its engine or transmission.

Next, the potential buyer should look at the dashboard to make sure all of the gauges are functioning. If you notice that the check engine light or other sensor indicator symbols are flashing on the dashboard, then you should probably look inside the user manual to find out what the car is trying to communicate. Pop the hood and check the engine. Look for debris, smoke, steam, and listen for grinding. If you notice that the engine compartment has lots of debris and looks dirty, then this car has probably been taken off-roading and may be at high risk for costly repairs and failure. Make sure you thoroughly examine whether windshield and car windows are in good condition. Small cracks or chips in the windshield can quickly lead to cracking and permanent damage, which will require a full replacement. Examine the paint status on the car. A car with paint discoloration or uneven paint surfaces may indicate that the car has been in an accident and replacement parts were sprayed and coated with aftermarket paints.

Next, pay attention to any smells or odor coming from the car. If you smell gas, oil, burning rubber, or any other chemical smells, then we strongly advise potential buyers to immediately reject the car offer and walk away. Smells are a big red flag that the car has been neglected and is not being properly maintained. Turn on the air conditioning to feel whether it is working and then check if the electrical system is functioning properly, such as, the blinker lights, headlights, high beams, tail lights, brake lights, reverse lights, interior lights, dashboard lights, and electric locks and windows. If it has remote key entry and security, make sure all the keys work and are able to arm and disarm the security on the car. Don’t be shy, turn on the windshield wipers, and see if the windshield wiper fluid squirts onto the windshield. Make sure that the airbag lights are off on the dashboard, because if the light is on, then it most likely means that the airbag is malfunctioning or that the vehicle has been in a serious accident and may not be safe for the road.

Finally, when you take the car out for the test drive, make sure that you shift through all of the gears if it’s a manual or automatic. Make sure the transmission is responding and not getting stuck or sticky. Transmission failure is one of the main reasons used cars fail because the previous owners did not replace transmission fluids on a regularly scheduled basis. In addition, buyers should accelerate the car and check for instability or rumbling when the car is in motion. A poor suspension and deteriorating CV joints may cause the car to shake and feel unbalanced. Additionally, check the brakes to see if they respond to the pressure you are applying to the pedal. If you are flooring the brake pedal and the car is not breaking or responding in a timely manner, then you can assume that the brake pads are severely worn out and will need immediate replacing, which could cost thousands of dollars in repair bills. The braking system may need to be tuned-up or replaced as well.

Also, keep in mind if your multipoint inspection causes you to feel uncertain or your intuition is telling you that the car is a lemon. Immediately walk away; another car that is in better condition is waiting for you to find it.

When purchasing a used Subaru, particularly on the private market, patience is truly a virtue that will reward you with a great driving experience. Impulsively buying a used Subaru can become a costly mistake that may also end up leading to accidents, injury, or worse.

Categories: Pre-Owned Inventory