Too good to be true? 2k2 WRX, 9k miles, $15k (Edit: YES)

KEV1N

Platinum Member
Jan 15, 2000
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My roommate sent an email to a guy on Autotrader looking to sell his 2k1 WRX. Although his was sold by the time we emailed him, apparently his brother wants an STi and is selling his 2k2 WRX Wagon with 9k miles for $15k. We're going to check it out today and if it looks straight we'll run a carfax.

Does this sound too good to be true? Edmunds puts this car at $19k private party. Any advice in general in buying used cars?

Edit: I meant 19k private party.
 

iotone

Senior member
Dec 1, 2000
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just make sure you carfax it and if you can, have a mechanic or somebody check out the engine 'n' what not...
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: KEV1N
My roommate sent an email to a guy on Autotrader looking to sell his 2k1 WRX. Although his was sold by the time we emailed him, apparently his brother wants an STi and is selling his 2k2 WRX Wagon with 9k miles for $15k. We're going to check it out today and if it looks straight we'll run a carfax.

Does this sound too good to be true? Edmunds puts this car at $15k private party. Any advice in general in buying used cars?
What are you talking about? Edmunds says that a 2002 WRX wagon with only 9k miles is worth about $19,500 private party and KBB says $20,675.
If this car checks out, it's one hell of a deal. He's selling it below trade-in (or low) book value!! That means he should get more if he just traded it in at the dealer when he buys his new STi. That definitely should raise the eyebrows.

What to check? Definitely get a Carfax report on the VIN and make sure the title is clean. Ask if the car has ever been modified and look for any evidence of modifications. Call your local Subaru dealer and ask if Subaru of America has any red flags regarding warranty claims (or claims denied due to abuse or modifications) on the VIN. You want to know this because if SOA has no record then the manufacturers warranty (3 years/36k bumper-to-bumper -- 5 years/60k powertrain) will transfer over.

edit: If this car is clean, you will have scored mightily. But unfortunately, like Roger, I smell a rat. Probably a salvage title or voided warranty. Investigate carefully.

edit2: is this the car? -Text

edit3: saw your edit, no problem, I was just confused :)
 

KEV1N

Platinum Member
Jan 15, 2000
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Thanks for your help. We'll definitely scrutinize when we get there.
 

iamwiz82

Lifer
Jan 10, 2001
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i'm reminded of that BMW M horror story a few months ago. I cannot find the post for the life of me, though.
 

KEV1N

Platinum Member
Jan 15, 2000
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Originally posted by: iamwiz82
i'm reminded of that BMW M horror story a few months ago. I cannot find the post for the life of me, though.

Yeah, there are shades of that. But the difference is, I won't be flying cross country to check it, but driving 20 mi.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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Hmmm.... 2 different 2002 WRX wagons with low mileage for only $15k? :Q
 

gUEv

Senior member
Oct 11, 2000
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if you are really going to get a WRX, get a 2003. all model years before that have had somewhat weak/problematic trannies.

sorry to burst your bubble, read up on it. i-club.com i believe
 

OS

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
15,581
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Originally posted by: gUEv
if you are really going to get a WRX, get a 2003. all model years before that have had somewhat weak/problematic trannies.

sorry to burst your bubble, read up on it. i-club.com i believe

This might be why, the tranny could be going out, or it did go out and the owner wanted to get rid of it. My friend had a WRX and after only 2k miles he was already saying his second gear "feels funny."

2003 and up, there was a band aid fix, I believe it prevents the clutch from catching completely right after release to prevent too much shock to the gearbox.

Of course if it's an auto tranny, none of this applies. Supposedly the automatic is substantially stronger than the stick for the WRX.

Also, I don't believe all collision damage is reported to carfax, don't depend on it completely.

 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
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It's grossly undervalued. My advice is run that VIN check and jump on this opportunity - after a mechanic checks it out I mean. You could also call subaru to be extra careful and confirm that they have the VIN on their records and the car is still meeting their warranty requirements and what not.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
5
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Also I can't remember the name but there is another place on the net that runs vins as well and they have info that carfax may not have. Checking the vin along with calling subaru and having a subaru mechanic check it out (specifically ask him to check for any signs of damage) I don't see how anything could be wrong with it.

Dead tranny? Hell, warranty will fix that.
 

OS

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
15,581
1
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Originally posted by: Skoorb
Dead tranny? Hell, warranty will fix that.

I'm under the impression though that this is a potentially recurring problem. That is they fix the damage, but it doesn't address the inherent design weakness.

 

Rilescat

Senior member
Jan 11, 2002
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Any of you guys have bought a car recently?

KBB value? Trade in value? NO....not SQUAT in the real world right now. The dealerships are overloaded with used cars due to the huge number of new cars sold with the 0% financing deals. I just bought a Chevy Venture for $6,000 below KBB price, and the dealer was begging to give it to me. And NO...I didn't take a big van in the a$$, I had it checked out first by a very trusted mechanic that has nothing to do with the dealership.

Most used cars are selling for pennies in my area.
 

johneetrash

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2001
3,791
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Originally posted by: gUEv
if you are really going to get a WRX, get a 2003. all model years before that have had somewhat weak/problematic trannies.

sorry to burst your bubble, read up on it. i-club.com i believe

the "glass" trannies come from people expecting the tranny to work after launching the car from 5k everytime. launch any awd car like that repeatedly (w/o it being built) and you'll for sure have something break.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
50,415
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Originally posted by: OS
Originally posted by: gUEv
if you are really going to get a WRX, get a 2003. all model years before that have had somewhat weak/problematic trannies.

sorry to burst your bubble, read up on it. i-club.com i believe
This might be why, the tranny could be going out, or it did go out and the owner wanted to get rid of it. My friend had a WRX and after only 2k miles he was already saying his second gear "feels funny."

2003 and up, there was a band aid fix, I believe it prevents the clutch from catching completely right after release to prevent too much shock to the gearbox.

Of course if it's an auto tranny, none of this applies. Supposedly the automatic is substantially stronger than the stick for the WRX.

Also, I don't believe all collision damage is reported to carfax, don't depend on it completely.
Not entirely accurate. The 2002 model (the first year and only model before the 2003 :) ) had separate and unrelated tranny and clutch issues.
The clutch issue was a "cold shudder" where the clutch would shudder (or chatter as it is sometimes called) when cold. This was fixed via TSB with a heavier flywheel and improved clutch disc.
The tranny issue has not been addressed by SOA, but it is known that the 2003 model received improved synchos and gearset.
I can verify through personal experience that the "band aid fix" described is not accurate. Clutch dumps are very much possible in the 03 and 04.

As for i-club.com forums, let's just say that I don't put too much faith in stories from 16 year-olds who mod their first manual trans car to twice it original horsepower, then do repeated high rpm clutch dumps in that AWD car, and then get upset and blame the manufacturer when something expensive breaks.
rolleye.gif

It reminds me of the gen1 DSM rants about bad trannies, so what did Mitsu do? They strengthened the trannies for gen2. Then what happened? Crankwalk. It's AWD, people. The traction does not break easily and if you repeatedly dump the clutch at high rpms, something has to (and eventually will) give somewhere...

rilescat, location and model is everything. I recently sold a car that is desirable in my area for more than KBB private party to a buyer who had shopped and done his homework. Mine had clean title, original owner, and was in immaculate condition. It was worth the price and we both knew it.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
5
0
I know that KBB and edmunds are not God, but this car is CHEAP. I mean really cheap.

I've heard about tranny issues but wonder how much is because of young guys driving with their balls and not being kind to the car at all. It's, afterall, not meant to be driven rally style like the real thing 24/7. You pop the clutch at 5k every day and you can't expect longevity.

However, if the tranny IS weak perhaps new replacements in the future will incorporate fixes?