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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
UPDATE: I found what I was looking for. Officially part of the Tribeca club now


Hello all,

This is my first post in the forum. I frequent NASIOC and r/Subaru and I am now looking to join the Tribeca club. I am searching for an option that is 2008 or newer (second gen) in white. I already have two Subarus ('03 Outback and '05 WRX) but the wife wants something a little bit bigger with a third row. We are intent on sticking with Subarus (die-hard enthusiasts), so we are naturally looking for a Tribeca. White is the only color she will go for and it must have three rows.

I live in the Inland Northwest in Post Falls, ID, but I am willing to travel in the right scenario. Thank you and fingers crossed that someone out there would like to depart with their beloved Tribeca.
 

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Any reason you don't want to go newer than '09? Some of the issues that older MYs have were fixed post-'09.

Good luck. There were only 78,000 Tribecas sold in the US in a span of 8 years, so you're probably going to have to travel to find exactly what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for the info mark. I'm sorry, I meant to say that I am looking for any model year between 2008-2014 (second gen). Do you know what prevalent issues may have been fixed in the later years of the second gen? So far what I have come across is: headlights often burn out quickly, torque converter can causing some vibrating at low RPM’s (I think my Outback is doing this right now) and the Idler, tension and drive belt need to be inspected before purchasing one. I assume these issues are most prevalent in the earlier years of the second gens? Basically 2008-2009? Did I miss anything important to look out for? Thanks Mark.
 

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Also the transmission valve body was updated too later on. I have an 08, and had to replace my valve body which was a $1,000 job because the part itself is between $700-800. I didn't know about the other stuff. But also be prepared to have to give up on white as it'll be hard enough finding one with the third row never mind the color u guys want. Btw also a r/subaru subscriber. Not a lot of Tribeca there!
 

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I believe serp belt tensioner/idler bearing issues is common to all H3.0 and H3.6 subaru engines. Just the newer ones haven't had time to fail. Should be changed no matter what at 90k.

You will have to travel to meet all your requirements. Look in subaru heavy areas, like Denver colorado and the NW. Here's one that meets your requirements: http://denver.craigslist.org/ctd/5560022142.html

Lots more, but not in white. I also believe at some point they stopped making the 5 pass, but make sure you keep an eye out to ensure it has the 3rd row. A few have made that mistake!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Also the transmission valve body was updated too later on. I have an 08, and had to replace my valve body which was a $1,000 job because the part itself is between $700-800. I didn't know about the other stuff. But also be prepared to have to give up on white as it'll be hard enough finding one with the third row never mind the color u guys want. Btw also a r/subaru subscriber. Not a lot of Tribeca there!
I'll pay special attention to the valve body. That is a pricey repair. I know very few Tribeca's make the rounds on r/Subaru. I am pretty active on there and its a solid forum. When I get a Tribeca I wont be shy about sharing mine. I plan on modding it to some degree as well so maybe they'll be more excepting then :D


I believe serp belt tensioner/idler bearing issues is common to all H3.0 and H3.6 subaru engines. Just the newer ones haven't had time to fail. Should be changed no matter what at 90k.

You will have to travel to meet all your requirements. Look in subaru heavy areas, like Denver colorado and the NW. Here's one that meets your requirements: http://denver.craigslist.org/ctd/5560022142.html

Lots more, but not in white. I also believe at some point they stopped making the 5 pass, but make sure you keep an eye out to ensure it has the 3rd row. A few have made that mistake!
Ill add the tensioner and idler to the hot list of things to examine. Thank you for the Denver link. That is exactly what I am looking for. They stopped making the two row options after 2009 so anything 2010+ will be safe in that regard. You are probably right that I'll be hard pressed to find exactly like what I want. I will do my best though. I live in the Northwest which helps, so OR, WA, ID, MT or all within a somewhat feasible distance. Fortunately I do have a little time before I'll HAVE to make the purchase. As long as I get before we have our next baby we're good. And you generally have some nice advance notice before that occurs :cool:
 

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I wouldn't stress on the tensioner/idler repair. It's just the serptine belt, which means you loose electricity, but no damage to engine. Just something to get taken care of when you get the car.

The valve body, although does happen on these 5EAT, and it's common in the sense its one of the few things that go wrong, it is rare from a % standpoint as far as I can tell. Just make sure no lights are on the dash, and you won't be able to predict a failure otherwise.

A more common issue is the standard subaru issue of people putting on one new tire and trashing the diff. Make sure all 4 wheels match or it puts up red flags. But you already know that :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wouldn't stress on the tensioner/idler repair. It's just the serptine belt, which means you loose electricity, but no damage to engine. Just something to get taken care of when you get the car.

The valve body, although does happen on these 5EAT, and it's common in the sense its one of the few things that go wrong, it is rare from a % standpoint as far as I can tell. Just make sure no lights are on the dash, and you won't be able to predict a failure otherwise.

A more common issue is the standard subaru issue of people putting on one new tire and trashing the diff. Make sure all 4 wheels match or it puts up red flags. But you already know that :)
Noted. Thanks again. By the time I find one I'll have the pre-purchase 'walk around' down solid. This forum has been a big help learning about this car. I'm happy to see support here even though its the least prevalent of the modern Subarus. I have only driven a 2008 Tribeca once, a year or so ago, but from what I can tell they are underrated/under appreciated vehicles.
 

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Ah nice. We just had our second daughter last week, and the Tribeca feels even more right. I like you got the car coming off of a totaled outback because I needed the extra row. Never mind the outback with a car seat behind me was a nightmare to drive especially rear facing infant seats. With the Tribeca there is a tad more space, but still wish there was more like you'll get I'm ford Explorer or ford flex. The highlander too has a lot more room behind the driver. But with a infant seat on one side and front facing convertible behind driver, we still have some room and a third row when needed. Can easily fit a double stroller with third row down, and a bunch of other stuff.

I had to have a subaru because we'll, I'm a Subie for life now. Sure hope they bring another updated 3 row suv to market, maybe larger too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ah nice. We just had our second daughter last week, and the Tribeca feels even more right. I like you got the car coming off of a totaled outback because I needed the extra row. Never mind the outback with a car seat behind me was a nightmare to drive especially rear facing infant seats. With the Tribeca there is a tad more space, but still wish there was more like you'll get I'm ford Explorer or ford flex. The highlander too has a lot more room behind the driver. But with a infant seat on one side and front facing convertible behind driver, we still have some room and a third row when needed. Can easily fit a double stroller with third row down, and a bunch of other stuff.

I had to have a subaru because we'll, I'm a Subie for life now. Sure hope they bring another updated 3 row suv to market, maybe larger too.
Congrats on the baby! My thoughts exactly on the Outback vs Tribeca. The Outback is awesome, but being a 2003, it’s a bit tighter on the inside, especially with rear facing car seats.

I actually just found out yesterday that are expecting our third child :D So I am definitely in full go mode to find the right Tribeca. I'm glad I started looking when I did!

I test drove a 2010 Tribeca Limited last night with 110,000 miles. It was solid. Seating position is very different from an Outback, you’re pretty ‘propped up’, but that is good for visibility so it’s all good. It doesn't 'feel' like a big car at all which is nice. I don’t like how ‘big’ SUV’s and vans drive and feel personally, so this is a real plus. Handles rather well and the power is adequate. The interior is nice and the space will be enough for a while. My wife will not drive a van and she doesn’t want a full size SUV. After seeing it in person, she said she’ll be happy with the space the Tribeca provides with 3 kids. The problem with the one I drove was that it had a fair amount of paint damage. No body damage per se, but there were a lot of unsightly scratches and scrapes. It’d be pricey to fix. The underside was more rusted than I’d prefer as well, so I’ll have to keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hello All,

I'd like some input on a Tribeca I am looking at buying. I found an option that checks all the boxes. 2008, white, three rows. The mileage is a little higher than I'd like, but its not bad. 107,391. Carfax is clean. Its at a Honda dealership. The dealer gets good online reviews. They have been very receptive to all of my questions and given what I feel are straight forward answers. The car appears to be in solid condition. The underside looks excellent, as the previous owners/s (there have been two owners) actually undercoated the car.

They say they have done a 150 point inspection (arbitrary phrase I know) and between two mechanics, they determined that an axle needed replacing as well as the oil cooler gasket. They replaced both parts, along with the standard fluid top offs and oil change. I've asked the important questions notably, about about the idler/drive/tension belts, ect. They said the belts are all in good condition and do not need replacing, but they are not sure if they are original or if they have been replaced before. When asked about the valve body, they said they couldn't actually look at it without taking the thing apart, but they cannot find any indicators of problems. No cash lights are on. The Carfax says the hood latch recall is till open. No big deal.

All this being said, they price range we are working in is good and fair. We have not struck a final number yet. The big thing for me is that is over 500 miles from my home. So I'd be flying down and driving back. This is always a bit of a gamble as we know. I will only truly know what I am getting when I arrive, but so far, the dealer has done a great job providing answers for me.

Does anyone have any advice, approval, words of wisdom, reg flags? I plan on putting a deposit on it today. I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Here is the link to the car:

https://www.kengarffhondaoforem.com...eca-Orem-68143e0e0a0e0ae829afd1976bbff842.htm

Thank you all for any input.
 

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Well, from your description nothing really set off any flags for me.
The pros,
Authorized dealer and not a used car lot,
detailed although not very high res pictures,
The fact that they actually changed parts and are upfront about them is a plus
Car seems relatively clean from those pics.

Cons:
You have not driven it yet, you have no idea if any of it is true.
because of that, be prepared to take a flight back, (make sure there is a flight back, time etc)


If possible bring basic tools with you, a set of sockets, pliers, two screwdrivers, needlenose. you never know what might happen during those 500 miles. Ask them to make sure spare tire is inflated, this is important as there is a low pressure light on.
When you are there if at anytime something doesn't feel right about the car, then it probably isn't. Don't just brush off your instincts.
Most importantly on the way back drive rather cautiously and what that temp gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, from your description nothing really set off any flags for me.
The pros,
Authorized dealer and not a used car lot,
detailed although not very high res pictures,
The fact that they actually changed parts and are upfront about them is a plus
Car seems relatively clean from those pics.

Cons:
You have not driven it yet, you have no idea if any of it is true.
because of that, be prepared to take a flight back, (make sure there is a flight back, time etc)


If possible bring basic tools with you, a set of sockets, pliers, two screwdrivers, needlenose. you never know what might happen during those 500 miles. Ask them to make sure spare tire is inflated, this is important as there is a low pressure light on.
When you are there if at anytime something doesn't feel right about the car, then it probably isn't. Don't just brush off your instincts.
Most importantly on the way back drive rather cautiously and what that temp gauge.
Excellent input. Thanks Dodik. The tire pressure light been addressed according to them. Probably just low PSI when they took the photo. The photos are annoyingly low res but I got additoinal photos from them showing some flaws. Little things I am ok with. I will be ready to fly back, but it would be a huge bummer, which is why I am running them through the gauntlet with questions. I am impressed with how they have handled them so far which is why I am considering this. haha. Either they are great liars (possible) or their good reviews are well founded and its a good car. I'm optimistic. The salesmen is out now driving it and inspecting some things further to address my questions.
 

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I would have them put a new idler and tensioner pulley bearing in and a new serp belt. It's due no matter what, even if you have to pay, unless you want to do it yourself at home (pretty easy).

Other than driving it and ensure the shifts and clean and crisp when cold and warm, there's not much else you can check out.

Paint appears to be in great shape, they must have had it touched up.

Tom
 

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<...>No cash lights are on.<...>
Really like your wording, LOL.
The asking price would definitely be too high for my area, but this of course varies. In any case, $477 below market average indicated by the dealer's pricing tool is not a lot and hopefully you will get it for $11,500 or under.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Really like your wording, LOL.
The asking price would definitely be too high for my area, but this of course varies. In any case, $477 below market average indicated by the dealer's pricing tool is not a lot and hopefully you will get it for $11,500 or under.
I'm going to work on price a little more, but its actually not bad for my area (Inland NW) or Utah.
 

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if you are not financing it and paying with cash/check or any other form of instant payment, you have more bargaining room, they are a honda dealer they want it gone period. So a buyer with cash here and now has more leverage on them. I'd start negotiating at about 9500, and try to get it for 10.5 max. they payed 8 for it max so they still make money.
 

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Dodik, that has not been my experience. Since the dealer makes money on the financing, they are more likely to work on price when you finance. Cash use to give you a bargaining advantage, but I don't think so any more. At least not for the last 2 used cars I bought from dealers. It absolutely is true with private sellers though.
 

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last two subarus i bought, the outback and current tribeca I got pretty decent deals.
My outback was advertized for 13.999 and had been on the lot for about 4 month, I saw an ad they ran in local newspaper that advertised it for 10.999 when I went to buy it the guy said it was last month special bs an on and on about how the best they can do is 12500 and not a penny less, that his manager will not let it go. At that point i was tired and just said well you haven't sold it for 10999 last month, and it was february now is march how many people will come to see a subaru outback at a dodge dealership after the winter is over? And then said 9500 take it or im out? he went back and forth with his manager for another half an hour and finally said yeah we can do that. So I bought a 02 H6 outback with 86k miles, back in 2007 for less than 10k, well below market value.
Current beca was advertised for 18k, its an 09 limited that had 67k miles,
similar experience but the guy was way more upfront and less BS i got for 15100, which i think was good price back then.

Both cars were bought in Subaru land where they are desired, both from authorized dealers, one dodge and beca from a chevy dealer.
Dealers make money on selling new cars the trade-ins they take is their own pocket money sorts off, so if they make anything like literally a grand on a trade that is still good for them. Like i said they want it gone, and will prefer a new honda takes it's place in the lot.
 
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