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Old 03-28-2019, 08:00 PM   #1
clyde
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What now?

Will fill in details later this evening, but I need to replace the Outback pretty much immediately. Short version is transmission is failing, doesn't seem to be cost effective to repair, and the cost of replacing is nuts (and the cost of used transmissions and the amount of time I'd need to find one, get it, then get it in the car makes it an unappealing path). There's a slim chance I can get Subaru to goodwill a replacement or eat enough of the cost that it would be worth doing, but I'm not counting on it.

So I think I need to replace the car. Not entirely sure how that's going to work because there are many scenarios playing in our heads. Maybe something super cheap for her to drive temporarily while we figure it out. Maybe something pretty cheap for her to drive while we figure it out with an eye towards our teenage girls taking it over in the near future. Maybe something that is just a replacement. Dunno.

Inclined to not spend much ($15k or less?) under duress like this. Anyone have ideas? Criteria at the moment is: "Something the four of us can fit in comfortably to get to dinner and back. Or maybe go Connecticut and back in."

Anyone have anything cheap they're looking to unload?
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:18 PM   #2
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a couple year old mazde CX5 would be my go to in that class / price range.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:07 PM   #3
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a couple year old mazde CX5 would be my go to in that class / price range.
First gen CX5 would be a good choice. Except... Before we bought the Outback, she drove one and really, really didn't like it. It was a base FWD model, though, and I know the higher level trims would have been okay with me at the time. The base was just really super cheap feeling inside.

At the moment, I find myself looking at Gen 2 Outbacks with the H6 (2001-2004). As Nick put it when I texted him a link to Craigslist ad, "seems like a lot of car for the price." $2800

https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...850715001.html

Found a couple more that make that ask price look like it's right in the expected range. Of course, dunno how many miles, wrecks, or anything else. Texted the dude about an hour ago. This is the conversation:

8:19 PM Clyde: Can you tell me anything else about the Outback on Craigslist? Wrecks, miles, VIN? Anything? Thanks!

8:30 PM Dude: Let me put it up ?

8:34 PM Clyde: Adding to the ad? Ok. Really interested in the car

Ad has not been updated.

Found a few more. This seems like it could be the way to go, though. Just can't take forever to find the right one.
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:18 PM   #4
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And when did Carfax get so expensive? Sheesh.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:48 AM   #5
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Will fill in details later this evening, but I need to replace the Outback pretty much immediately. Short version is transmission is failing, doesn't seem to be cost effective to repair, and the cost of replacing is nuts (and the cost of used transmissions and the amount of time I'd need to find one, get it, then get it in the car makes it an unappealing path). There's a slim chance I can get Subaru to goodwill a replacement or eat enough of the cost that it would be worth doing, but I'm not counting on it.
My wife texted me on Tuesday the check engine, an "AT Oil Temp" light, traction control, BRAKE, and cruise control lights went on, but it was driving fine. I put my scanner on and read two codes: P0700 and P2764 which suggests that a solenoid in the valve body has gone bad. Subaru doesn't make the solenoids easily accessible and the normal repair is to replace the valve body, a $600ish part. Clearing codes worked for about 3 seconds.

I took it to a mechanic Wednesday morning. I've gone to him for the few things I've needed over the past 15 years. He's inexpensive, seems honest, quick, doesn't do work if he doesn't think the car needs it. He said the transmission has issues and suggested taking it to a transmission shop or dealer. I did not know that he does not do transmission work.

Drove it home and found another shop I've never heard of but had a ton of good Yelp and Google reviews. Called and set it up for my wife to bring the car this morning. Guy called me while I was on the way home on the Subway and told me that the car needs a new transmission. It was throwing more codes than I had last seen that led him to believe that the trans will shortly be on its way out. He couldn't find any remans, only a few used that he thought were way too expensive and priced closely to what new ones from Subaru would cost. He doesn't think it's worth replacing in this situation. Said he could give me a recommendation for a couple good shops that do transmission overhauls, but is pretty sure that will be ridiculously expensive. He thought the best thing to do would be to drive it straight to Carmax and take whatever they offer.

The weird thing is that a couple years ago, Subaru extended the original transmission warranty from 5/60 to 10/100 (and I must have missed the notice in the mail). For cars that were already beyond the mileage or age limit when the warranty extension was announced, there was a calendar date end to qualifying:

Quote:
Vehicles that exceed the terms of this extended warranty are eligible for warranty repairs if inspections and repairs are completed prior to July 31, 2018. After that time, all inspections and repairs must be completed prior to the 10 year or 100,000 mile warranty extension limits.
At the time this was announced, the car about four years old and had about 100k. It's kind of weird since the warranty extension would have covered me for just a few days since the original began in July 2013.

I'm going to call Subaru in the morning and see if they might be willing to goodwill a transmission or cover a substantial portion.

Without the transmission problem, I figure the car is worth $5000 tops (probably less). It's got a lot of miles, twice wrecked, looks like crap, etc. Mechanically sound until the other day. The only real problem we've had was a bad tank of gas about a year ago. I've had to replace control arms like crazy, but it's not the car's fault my wife treats curbs like I treat cones.

My wife will pick up the car in the morning and go get an offer from Carmax. I'm guessing they will offer $500-$1500. Hopefully, I'll have an answer from Subaru by then and we'll figure out what to do.
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Old 03-29-2019, 01:08 AM   #6
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Ugh. Sorry man. Don't really have anything to add but sympathy. That really blows. Way too young a car for that.

FWIW we love our new Mazda 3 5-door. I'm really happy driving it for what it is, I have no real issues with steering, brakes, transmission, suspension/chassis, other than the inherent compromises with FWD, auto trans, and underpowered 4-bangers. (It's really just slightly underpowered, honestly, for what it is)
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:22 AM   #7
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And you're still looking at Subarus? It's the only car brand that we've lost an engine in. At 78k miles.
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:42 AM   #8
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Was that warranty extension some type of settlement for a class action suit? If so, very little chance for goodwill exception in my opinion.
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:50 AM   #9
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Sorry about the car troubles.

CVT or slushy?
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
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And you're still looking at Subarus? It's the only car brand that we've lost an engine in. At 78k miles.
As a short term temporary bridge to whatever the long term solution is? Sure.

If I ruled out every make because I or a close friend/family member had a ridiculous catastrophic failure long before reason would suggest, there would be nothing to look at.

Spending maybe $3k on something that relieves the pressure to DO SOMETHING NOW because we're sharing a car so she can take her time to deciding what she wants and us finding the right one seems like a reasonable thing. Worst that happens is we leave it on the side of the road and try again. Best case, it serves her need for a short while, then I use it for commuting until one of my kids gets her license and then she/they drive it until we leave it on the side of the road in a couple years?

What's not to like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SARAFIL View Post
Was that warranty extension some type of settlement for a class action suit? If so, very little chance for goodwill exception in my opinion.
Can't find a specific reference to it being part of a class action settlement. Most of the discussion suggests they took the action to try heading off a recall - but that's internet discussion, so...
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