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Subaru Forester Suspension/Steering Questions



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Check out the pic below, this is what happened to our Mazda:
  • gagecalmangagecalman Posts: 11
    I have an 05 FXT with 17,000 miles on it. I hear a noise (mostly creaking) that seems to be coming from the front end whenever you hit bumps in the road. It seems worse when you ride over a series of small bumps that makes the front end move up and down. It also rattles like a loose shock. I just came back from the dealer. The mechanic told me that he hears what I am talking about but he can't find anything wrong. He said he tightened some frame bolts but that didn't help. I could use some help please.
    Thanks. Jim
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Sounds like an internal problem on the strut itself. Seen this several times. Or the sway bar mounts.

  • I have an 03 forester with a 2.5 engine. I started to see drops of thick blace oil on my garage floor. I took it to my local mechanic and he seems to think that the control arm bushing in the rear on the drivers side is leaking fluid. I checked with the Subaru dealer and he said there is no fluid in the bushing. Has anyone had thie problem? Is there fluid in the bushing or not.


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A bushing would have grease on the outside, but I don't see how it could leak.

    Check the axle boots. We had a 626 that leaked black grease from a torn boot.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Agreed, definitely not a bushing, it's either the strut leaking oil which would be thin oil, more than not it's the rear CV leaking. Costs about $200-250 to replace.

  • mrr5mrr5 Posts: 1
    hi - I've just bought an old 97 forester automatic from a vehicle auction here in the UK for my wife after her car was written off in an accident. I was expecting a few "hidden niggles" and, sure enough I got some. The rear silencer fell apart two days after I got it home. After phoning the nearest Subaru dealer and getting a quote for replacements I picked myself up off the floor and found a local guy who makes systems for the local racer crowd to make me a stainless system for a fraction of the cost (straight through, narrow bore finisher so its sounds snorty but not stupid). This morning I noticed the tail is two inches lower than the nose, defintely sloping down at the bac (its obvious when you look at the claerance from the door bottoms to the floor). A friend of my dads (who's a diehard Subaru fan) tells me the self levelling suspension can be a real dog and is prone to failing. What I want to know is will the back end sink down any further? I won't be towing with it so could I simply drop in some taller springs? Please help - I'm starting to love the old girl but I think I might have a lemon!!!!
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    You have to expect a car that's 10 years old to have a few issues and since you got it at auction there's a distinct possibility that little in the way of routine maintenance was performed. Certainly it's no surprise that the shocks and exhaust are due for replacement (assuming they're the originals).

    So calling it a lemon seems a tad premature. I recommend you take it to a trusted mechanic for a thorough going over. Once you get it in good running shape, the odds are good that it'll give you another 10 years of service :)

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I would swap out the air suspension for a non-air suspension. Shouldn't be too expensive to do.

  • Hi Gagecalman,

    I'm wondering if you ever got this problem resolved and what was it? My car is being repaired now for a similar problem but mine also makes a noise when backing up to the left or right and when braking. They think its a bushing so keeping my fingers crossed but won't rest easy until fixed!
  • I bought a 2002 Forester a few months ago and have driven it about 8,000 miles. A couple of days ago an extreme vibration started that feels as though it is coming from the front drivers side wheel. It wobbles/vibrates at 30 + mph mostly while giving it gas and to a more violent extent around 50 + mph . The tires were in pretty bad shape and i have bought new tires , new brakes, and got the car aligned at a Firestone tire place. They did not notice any problems other than a bad battery and a slight miss. It is still as bad as ever and the new items did not help at all . Does anyone have any suggestions?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Educated guess: wheel bearing.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I assume re-balanced the tires?

    I'd also move the tires around to see if it moves, that would indicate a problem with the rim or tire. If you move the tires and the problem is on the same wheel then it's either bearing or axle or both.

  • Hi Gagecalman, did you ever get this fixed? My 04 Forester is making the same noise whenever I go over a bump, especially a full-width speed bump. The noise used to come from all across the front of the car. The dealer replaced all the suspension bushes and for about 6 months the noise went away. It then began again, but this time just coming from the nearside. This time the dealer replaced the nearside shock absorber, for about a week the noise went away. It then started again, just from the nearside. The dealer has written to Subaru Head Office to get further advice, because they are at a loss as to what's making the noise.
  • Hi did you find out what the problem was with your forester(I've got a similar vibration at low speed-in car parks etc)
    Thanks Roy
  • Mine was/is not a vibration but rather a click/crack noise and it appears the problem is not with the suspension but rather the brakes. I have been told the axle nut became loose and caused excess play in rotor which caused the pads to creak and make all kinds of crazy noises when going over bumps, backing up and when applying the brakes. The dealer has been able to reduce the noise but its still present after many months. Hopefully this will be resolved next week as i have one more appointment. They are going to take the caliper apart and inspect the pads and replace if they have any unusual wear. I have been told that its normal for Subaru's brakes to make noises in similar situations and I think not otherwise these forums would be filled with peoples complaints like mine.
  • skarnes1skarnes1 Posts: 7
    Gagecalman did you ever get this problem fixed and what was it?
  • 2001 Forester L, 59+++mi., I had a passenger side front inner CV boot go bad and sling grease all over back and underside of engine and area. Especially on the catalitic converter and heat sheild. It smells real bad when warmed up. How and with what do I get underneath and clean it up? Regards, TimothyFC, Fort Walton Beach, Fl. 03/21/2008
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm good question, usually I just let it burn off over time.

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