All Wheel Drive Auto: Independent Seattle Subaru Service


Subaru Repair Seattle- Buying A Used Subaru The Right Way

I funny thing occurred yesterday at the shop.  

A customer called us about a Subaru they were looking at.  The car was at a local used sales lot who informed the customer they could have it inspected, but just not by us?

The customer thought this was kind of odd, especially since the lot wouldn’t specify why.  So the customer called us and told us the story.  

I will still take the high road, and not mention the used car lot by name, but what I will offer is anytime you have a used car lot expressing they do not want a Subaru shop to inspect a used Subaru you are considering it’s because we are so much more thorough than the average shop will be.  We will inform you if the car is rusty underneath, if it looks like there has been bodywork or paintwork, whether or not it looks like it has been maintained.

We simply told the customer to look at some of the used car lots reviews, take a look at what so many have said about the cars they have purchased there.  You see this lots business model is to buy used late model vehicles at auction form the rust belt of the USA, where they sell at a discount and bring them here.  This doesn’t have to mean the car will be bad necessarily, but there is a real trend I want to let you know about.

If you live in an area that is tough on cars because they have heavy snow and thus salt and chemically treat the roads and you know you will simply buy a new car every three years, how well will you treat it?

Probably just like a rental.  The cars are then sold at the dealer auction at a discount to what the same car in Washington would sell for as the value of used cars in the rust belt USA area are not anywhere near as high as they are here.  This is why the Zip code must be entered in to know the value.  

The cars are shipped here, detailed as needed and put up for sale.  Anyone smart enough to have a pre purchase inspection done by a “competent shop” will be made aware of this.  Used car lots like this survive only by the uninformed customer buying a car based on how it looks and drives only.

My staff is trained to do a thorough inspection, to go above and beyond as this is such an important step.  Our hope is you buy a great used Subaru, continue to bring it to us for service and we have a great relationship for all of the years you own your Subaru.  

The experience I don’t want anyone to have is to finance a $15,000 used car and find out weeks, months or even a year later it has a lot of issues, or that the fact that it is rusty means that instead of $235.00 for front brakes its $750.00, and that will be the theme the entire time you own your new to you used Subaru.

Another shop won’t think this way they will instead think only of the revenue from the pre purchase inspection and that’s it, too many techs they don’t correlate the rust to expense to the customer, and may not bring it up.  

Now if you are in Pennsylvania  for example, pretty much any Subaru you will look at will be in the same boat as far as rust.  But here in the Puget sound region, rust isn’t an issue, and it’s not right that a rust belt car be priced at the same price as a Washington raised Subaru.  If you have a limited buying budget now and can accept that it’s possible that repairs could cost more than a non rusty undercarriage car that’s just fine with us, we just want you to be informed and make sure you understand the car should cost less.


In closing here are some important key points;


  • Know where any used Subaru you are looking at came from
  • Have a independent Subaru expert do a pre purchase inspection
  • Buy a Car fax or Auto check report if there isn’t one available for the Subaru
  • Look at the reviews for the business selling the Used Subaru
  • If the used car lot has a history of selling bad cars, and they won’t let a shop like ours inspect it, keep looking!  

Remember we work for you not them!


Thanks for Reading


If you are local to us and would like to have us perform a pre purchase inspection on a Used Subaru you are considering you can do so below.



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