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Subaru Forester

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  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Hello folks. I need tires on my 06 Forester again and I'm not sure what to get. I do not want directional tires for various reasons. I've narrowed down the choices to the Cooper CS4 T-speed rated and the Michelin Harmony, which I think is also T speed rated. Anybody have any experience with either of these tires? I like the General Altimax HP but it's directional. I have a separate set of Blizzaks for the winter so I'm not all that concerned about snow/ice grip. Any thoughts for a good all around tire that doesn't cost a small fortune?
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    Consumer Reports rated the low priced Kumho Solus KR21 in November 2009 as better than the Cooper CS4 Touring. Check that issue for other choices.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    For a long lasting, inexpensive, quiet, and sure-footed tire, the Goodyear Allegra is a pretty good choice. I have had three sets of these tires (each on different vehicles), and they are very good. They run about $75-80 per tire.

    I actually ran my first set, on a '96 Outback, for three years and 76,000 miles on a year-round basis here in Fairbanks, Alaska. They were at about 3/32 when I replaced them due to an internal sidewall failure on two separate tires that caused rather fast "slow leaks."
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Thanks for the info. I looked up the Kumho on Tire Rack and it had pretty good ratings, except on wear. I've run the Kumho brand on another car and really liked them but they wore fast. Best I ever got was 12000 miles out of a set. I'm still doing research on what to get and it might take me a while to figure out what works. Luckily I've got a little time before I'm going to have to replace the Michelins. I'm going to look at the Goodyears the other poster mentioned too.
  • On my 2008 Forester I sold the original Geolandars at 3,500 miles because they were noisy. I looked for the quietest tire, and the literature and reviews indicated the Michelin Primacy MXV4 was quietest of all. After 13,000 miles on them, I am very pleased. Other quiet all season tires I considered were Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S and Goodyear TripleTread.
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Thanks for the info folks. I ended up getting a fantastic deal on the Coopers and like them so far. I had an alignment done at the dealer the same day I put new tires on. The car drives much better now and doesn't seem to drift back and forth going down the road now. Noise is less than the Pilot Exaltos I had, ride is about the same or slightly softer. I have noticed a little more understeer going around curves but it could be the tires aren't broken in yet. I'll let ya'll know what I think of them later as they get some miles on them.
  • I test drove a really nice 2007 Forester LL Bean edition today. At first we had trouble getting the ignition key to turn in the switch. I initially thought we had the wrong key, but it locked and unlocked the glove box with no problem. The salesman finally got it to turn by wiggling the steering wheel a little, even though the wheel didn't seem to be locked at the time. He said that someone probably left the wheel turned up against the lock stop when they removed the key. After the drive, I backed the car up into the same spot from where we started. I made sure the wheel was centered, and shut off the ignition and removed the key. Then, without touching the wheel, I tried to start the engine again. No luck. I had to wiggle the wheel back and forth with my left hand while trying to turn the key with my right. Again, it started, but it just doesn't seem right that you would need to wiggle the wheel when it hasn't been touched since the last time the ignition was switched off. Has anybody else experienced this phenomenon? I'm pretty sure the car still has a few months of the factory warranty on it (it only has 25,000 miles), but I don't really want to have the hassle of taking it to a dealer to get the thing worked on. It's been my experience that when they start tearing up the instrument panel or steering column, that things are never quite the same again. I usually start having lots of rattles after this kind of maintenance.

    Does anyone else have any experience this type of problem? Thanks.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    I have not experienced a "problem" with the steering lock on any of my cars, but I do frequently need to pull the wheel off the lock to get the key to turn. This is especially the case with my '98 Escort, where the seating position is such that I tend to bump the bottom of the wheel when I exit. Doing so moves the wheel just enough that it locks and puts pressure on the lock (which prevents the key from turning). So, when I attempt to start it, I have to pull the wheel off the lock to move the key into the accessory position.

    However, if you park the car in a flat space with no pressure on the steering (don't turn the wheel at all after the car stops moving) and do not even get out of the car, it should not have cause to lock the steering. If it does anyway, perhaps there is a problem developing.
  • Thanks for the info. It may not be a problem at all. My daily driver for the last 12 years has been a Cutlass (twin of the Malibu) that has the ignition in the dash, and therefore has no steering wheel lock. So, I am not used to dealing with the steering wheel lock. The next time I drive that car, I'll ask for the other key to see if there might be a problem with one of the keys being slightly worn. I wouldn't think that should be the case after only 25,000 miles, but I guess almost anything is possible.

    I really did like driving that car, and it's now on my short list. The dealer was nice--he offered to let me take the thing home for an overnight test drive, so my wife can have a good chance to see how it drives for her. I think I'll take him up on that offer. Anything else about the 07's that I should know?
  • TJ162TJ162 Posts: 7
    My 05 Forester does the same thing all the time. It locks itself without me even touching it and it can be a hassle to get the key to turn, but I can get it eventually.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... Anything else about the 07's that I should know?"

    I have an LL Bean one year newer, from which Subaru regretfully deleted the screw-on automatic transmission filter and the rubberized cargo area. They are nice cars.

    Check the moonroof operation. The motor, plastic gears and linkages are rather fragile. Some moonroofs fail after a few years, apparently because if they are left open and stuff falls into the track, it binds the operation. Protect the moonroof against excessive use, and against any debris (leaves, twigs) falling on the tracks.

    Check if the O7 has had the fuel valve recall done yet. If not, and you buy the car, warn the dealer not to damage the foam plastic storage trays, and inspect them afterward. They damaged two of mine by just tearing them out. They bought me one for $100 and I fixed the other one by devising a new fastener.

    You may want to invest in a full size spare and floor support bucket, as using the compact spare is unexpectedly complicated, and no good for snow, trailer pulling or offroad.
  • Thanks for all the information. Unfortunately, i was wrong about the year. The one I was looking at was an 08, not an 07. Also unfortunately, the dealer called me back the next day and said they had sold the car to another dealer, so I'm back to square one. I will keep these suggestions in mind when I find the next likely prospect. Thanks again, everyone.
  • jeffrljeffrl Posts: 1
    Hi,

    I am considering getting some splashguards for my 2004 Forester. Anyone have experience with these? How easy are they to install & what is the process? Is it something I could do myself, (with standard tools, but no lift available), or should this be done in a shop?

    Any tips would be great!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    They are fairly easy, but you do need to remove the wheels as you install them. I put a set on a 2007 Outback and it took about an hour for all four. You simply have to pull some plastic clips that attach the wheel well liner to the body, then mount the splash guards and put the clips back in. For tools, I think it may have involved a #2 phillips screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, and pliers. It is really simple. ;)
  • TJ162TJ162 Posts: 7
    I put mine on my 05 without taking the tires off. For the front ones I just turned the tires according to which side I was working on and for the rear I had to use a ratchet in order to screw in the screws because of the limited space, but it can be done without taking any tires off.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    edited April 2010
    "... am considering getting some splashguards for my 2004 Forester... How easy are they to install & what is the process? Is it something I could do myself, (with standard tools, but no lift available), or should this be done in a shop?"

    The dealer that installed my four splash guards in 2007 said he had to remove the wheels.

    I just ran over something that slashed a tire and damaged the splash guard. I will be replacing the splash guard myself.

    I see that each one is held by two hex head screws that can be turned by either an 8mm box end wrench or a phillips screw driver. You can either use the wrench, or remove the wheel(s) to get room to use a screw driver. I hear there are socket wrenches that will drive a screw driver bit, and fit without removing the wheel, but I don't have one.

    I am getting a free replacement tire, so I plan to replace the splash guard with the screw driver while I am replacing the wheel. Otherwise, I would use the 8mm wrench with the wheel on the car.
  • gouldngouldn Posts: 214
    This forum appears quite dead, but in case anybody stumbles across it, I first posted about my 2001 Forester in the year 2000. Fast forward to now, and it has 170K and has been a pretty darn good car. I almost jumped ship when I had to do the head gaskets at ~105K (I had one of the bad 2.5l engines), but since then it's needed only one more repair, a wheel bearing.

    In the time I've owned it, I've been fickle about my other cars ... in fact I've cycled through four different 2nd cars, but I always come back to my Forester. I hope to post when it hits 200K!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    Congrats! Overall, I had a very good experience with my 1996 Outback, and ended up cycling through several cars after losing that one before we finally seem to have settled a bit (I hope!).
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
    There is a parallel form and it is quite active.

    My first Subaru was/is a 2000 Forester (331,00 original). Right know I am driving a 2011 Outback(first repeat purchase for me). Though I like the Forester better. Just remember, maintenance.
  • phil2000phil2000 New JerseyPosts: 195
  • vtdogvtdog Posts: 163
    '02 Forrester with just over 100k miles. Had a CEL come on. Dealer claims that it is the CAT converter. They want almost $ 1000 to fix. Anyone have a comment or advice about this?
  • verbmomverbmom Posts: 4
    My husband is looking to buy a 2011 Forester 2.5x in the next week or two. Inventories are limited where we have looked, and we were told at one dealership that we could put a small deposit down on one slated for delivery to the dealer anywhere from now until the end of August. Has anyone been able to negotiate a good price this past week?
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "'02 Forrester with just over 100k miles. Had a CEL come on. Dealer claims that it is the CAT converter. They want almost $ 1000 to fix. Anyone have a comment or advice about this?"

    Our '03 Buick had a CEL come on a year ago. An independent shop diagnosed the converter. Fortunately the car only had 60,000 miles and the emissions warranty was still in force. We took it to a dealer, who confirmed the diagnosis and replaced the whole exhaust system including converter, pipe and muffler. He said the claim was $1,400.

    As to why the converter should fail, I theorize that it was stressed by the effects of water in the gas. A year earlier, the Buick received so much water in the gas that it would barely run, made it 20 miles to home, had to be towed to a shop, which removed the gas tank and showed us a jug of gas floating on water. They purged the tank and fuel system. It cost $900 which the gas station paid, saying they paid a dozen other similar claims.

    The 20 miles of missing and bucking and stalling probably put unburned gas and a poorly burned mixture through the converter, shortening its life.

    Another way of shortening converter life is long warm ups in winter cold. A person who used remote start to do this had his Forester converter replaced under warranty after three years. It takes a long while to warm up at idle, prolonging the time that the converter must handle a rich mixture.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,396
    Most likely, the system showed the P0420 code, "CAT Efficiency Below Threshold."

    It is possible that the cat is bad, but also could be a selection of other issues, and the code could likely return shortly after replacing the cat.

    I recommend that you get a code reader (fairly cheap these days) and monitor the situation yourself. After the second time you get a CEL and check/reset the codes, the reader paid for itself. If the code only sets once in a while and you are not seeing any drop in fuel economy, I wouldn't worry about it. If the code is setting each time the drive cycle sets (every day or two), then you probably do have a real issue and should get it addressed.

    Again, though, it is likely there could be other issues at play in addition to (or in place of) the catalytic converter, so don't be surprised if you continue to see codes.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There's little supply right now, so I doubt you'll see any big discounts.

    My brother had to wait a month to get a manual trans Premium AWP, and that was BEFORE the quake!
  • I have an 01 Forester with 70k miles and I am having the head gaskets replaced also. I had a oil leak on both sides. It seems that age does it. They had a problem in 01 and extended the warranty on them to 8 years or 100k whichever comes FIRST. Oh well. :-(
  • My new forester is covered in scratches and areas where the paint is worn off to some undercoat. I noticed when looking at new and used cars on the lot there seemed to be a finish problem on these cars. The dealer said don't worry there is a lifetime warranty on the paint. I brought my car for the 3700 mile check and asked what they could do about the paint problems. Where the scratches are it the paint and clear coat together are thinner than a single coat of nail polish! The dealer told my they couldn't help me with the scratches, it must be my driving. I am 53 and I have not done anything different in this car than my past cars which had no scratches! I turned in a 10 year old outback with no scratches. While I was there the dealer went over to another car to compare scratches .....I suspect the person had a similar complaint! I believe some of the scratches were there when I bought it. Honestly I believe a few trips through a car wash will leave it stripped to the metal. Can we get a separate topic for 2011 paint problems so we can see how others are resolving it?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There is a warranty if there is a perforation due to rust, not on the paint finish itself.

    Our blue '09 looks fine, FWIW.
  • Stumbled across this post and joined the forum just to confirm. My 2011 Forester is camellia red and is covered in scratches on one side from my other car's door hitting it in the garage. Seems like all I have to do is touch it with the other door and it's down to the metal. This never happened with the '97 Outback I had before it!

    Maybe this explains why, when I went in for my first oil change (and before the problem was noticeable), the service rep walked around the car inspecting it for scratches, which I thought was a bit peculiar. I had bought it the first day they showed up on the lot and was the first one in for service (the mechanic told me they'd been looking forward to seeing one), so they obviously knew about this issue from the start.
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