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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • ozman62ozman62 Posts: 229
    Dforty, the clock bezel just pops out with some gentle prying. Very easy to fix, check wrecking yards for a cheap replacement. Apparently its a common Gen 1 Forester problem. I think I also read on another site about someone actually diagnosing the problem and fixing the clock. I think it involved re-soldering some resistor.
    Hope this helps,
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    well, this is getting interesting. There is no indication that the OEM hitch is rated beyond a Class I (200lb tongue, 2000 lb tow load). The OEM hitch is 39 lbs shipping.

    The Hidden Hitch is a Class II (300 lb tongue, 3500 lb tow load). It is an indicated 40 lbs total weight.

    The Hidden Hitch must be a very well constructed unit to do 1 1/2 times the OEM hitch but only weigh 1 more pound.

    Or, the OEM hitch is very robust? but underated. Why would they rate the Forester MT at 2400lbs but only sell a hitch rated at 2000lbs?

    None of the OEM parts on-line have much detail. Anyone know?

  • I have the OEM hitch. I looked at the hitch itself and there's no specific listing as a "class I" hitch but there is a sticker that lists the weight bearing limits of the hitch with separate columns for manual and automatic. For the automatic it lists the maximum tow weight as 2000 pounds with the manual listed at 2400 pounds. Interestingly, it sticks with the 10% rule for the tongue weight -- 200 pounds gross tongue weight for the automatic and 240 pounds for the manual.

    I don't have much experience with other hitches, so I can't say whether it looks robust enough to tow greater weight.

    I do like that the OEM hitch is curved to accomodate the design of the Forester (curves around muffler, etc.)

  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    Thanks Kevin. I am thinking that the OEM hitch merely restates the vehicle limitations, rather than its own.

    Did you install it yourself? It comes with the wiring kit and also the receiver?

    These are all separate items with the aftermarket guys and they bring the price up to close to the OEM unit.

  • I bought the OEM hitch as a dealer-installed option for my Forester; I didn't feel I had the capability to install it without buying additional equipment nor did I feel as safe installing it myself. It does come with the receiver (but no ball) and a small rubber insert to use when not using the receiver (to keep dirt out).

    It also comes with a wiring kit that seems to plug into the existing pre-wired setup of the Forester. I then took my Forester to a local trailer dealer to install a brake controller which used some of the OEM wiring kit from the Forester for lighting. I also bought a small cargo trailer with brakes from them.

    I haven't had any trouble with the hitch, receiver, or brake controller.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Mine is also OE except I installed it myself.

  • 435 miles on 14.5 gallons, for 29.9 mpg. There were 4 of us (2 adults, 2 kids) and it was a long road trip to the Uncle's at 75 mph.

    '03XS MT.

  • Yesterday I was driving on a bumpy rutted dirt road. I was parked for about an hour, started the car no problem, and after driving about 100 feet, noticed all the warning lights on the dash were on. I stopped the car and turned it off, then tried to restart it. It would not re-start.

    I got a ride back to my house, got my husband to drive back to my car, and he couldn't get it re-started either. When he tried to restart it, it sounded like the battery was almost dead, cranking slow for a few seconds. Then he said he heard an arc or snap sound, and the cranking (and battery) sounded fine. But the car still wouldn't start.

    We got back home and called Subaru roadside assistance and had the car towed to the nearest Subaru dealer, over 100 miles away. Talking today to the (non-Subaru-certified tech, as there weren't any working on Saturday), the car started just fine for them, and there were no computer codes to indicate anything was wrong.

    The car has 29,000 miles and is still under warranty. Aside from the aggravation of being car-less in the middle of nowhere for 5 days, and then having to drive 100 miles to pick up the car, my questions are:

    1)Obvious question: any idea what happened?

    2) If this happens again, should I pull over and stop the car, or just keep going?

  • Getting close to 40K miles on the 03 X and finally ditched the OEM Geo's before the weather changes. Ah but it's not that simple. I'd been checking around through local dealers and Tire Rack for information, ya know being an IT techno twit I couldn't help it. So happend this Big-O local dealer said he had a set of "Take Off" Michalen Harmony tires in my size will less than 100 miles from an 06 Nissan Sentra. OTD price fully warranted price was $418. Foolish me I was hasty and had them installed last Friday. On the highway drive home I noticed they weren't that much quieter than the Geos and had slight but noticeable squirming feel to them, not the dead-on steadiness I was used to with the Geos. Lesson learned, the Harmonys are only "S" speed rating and "B" temperature. After the fact began to feel really uncomfortable with "B" rating as I do have occasion a couple of times are year to do hot mid-summer driving up and down
    I-5 or highway 395 through the Mojave desert.

    So despite the rave review of the Harmony tires on Tire Rack and other places, I went back to the Big-O dealer explained my misgivings. Wow, their cooperation and professionalism to replace the Harmonys was outstanding. Ended up with their Falken 329's which from all I can tell is the same tire as the 512's. So had the Harmony's replaced with the 329's plus a 4-alignment, $490 OTD with full warranties. After a week on the 329's I'm happy to report these tires are very quiet, offer a solid feel on the open highway, and handle Sierra twisty roads confidently without the squeal we all learned to love with the Geos :shades:

    Have fun all.
  • We have a 2005 Forester with a non-turbo engine. If we switch from 87 octane unleaded to 89 octane Ethanol what can we expect besides a dime less per gallon locally?

    Will it hurt the engine &/or performance? Thanks
  • It shouldn't hurt the engine (your manual even allows for it, up to 10% ethanol). Cars today are made to interact with ethanol frequently found in gasolines (some states require all gasoline blends to contain 10% ethanol). You may notice a slight reduction in fuel mileage due to the lower energy content of the fuel (ethanol contains marginally less energy per unit volume than does gasoline) and you may also notice slightly more difficult engine starts in the winter due to the lower vapor pressure of ethanol. Your mileage will decrease approximately 2-3%, an amount not easily noticed.

    As an added plus, the ethanol will absorb any water in the gasoline tank.

  • 2001 Forester. Two new batteries in the last few months went into the automatic key opener/locker on the key chain. The buttons work OK for a couple weeks, then gradually lose effectiveness. Does anyone have a few suggestions on what to do for a remedy, before I take it into the dealer?
    Thank You!
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Sounds like something's draining the batteries. What about the other remote, does it have the same problem?

  • manamalmanamal Posts: 434
    Because of the high price of gas, we took our forester for the laborday weekend trip to the beach. It is an '05 LLBean. The car performed well. We kept it to the speed limit, and got 32 MPG of 380 miles!

    The only problem is that the radio was not turning on on the trip home: a significant problem because of the 3 yo in the back seat. This will be the fourth trip for repairs in 5300 miles. All minor though, and three dealing with the radio. Maybe I should buy an aftermarket radio.

    Oh, the radio works fine today.
  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    Try checking the battery terminal contacts. Rub them with an eraser head and then clean them with rubbing alcohol and let it dry for a few minutes before putting the batteries back in. Of course, you can verify if the problem is with the batteries or the contacts by checking the batteries with a volt meter. If the "dead" batteries measure full voltage, then it's the contacts. If the batteries are dead, then something is defective with the fob and draining the batteries.

    I've experienced on many occasions where dirty contacts show symptoms of dying batteries. Changing your batteries may have abraded the contacts enough to make the new batteries work OK for a while.

    I clean the battery contacts on my key fobs and garage door openers at least once a year, and I get at least 3-5 years of battery life from one battery!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Your guess is as good as ours...

    What I would try is I'd disconnect the battery. That resets the ECU. Nowadays cars are computerized to that would basically "reboot" the brains and give it a chance to fix itself.

  • Sounds like something's draining the batteries. What about the other remote, does it have the same problem?


    Good gosh, I had forgotten I had the other remote tucked away in a hidden drawer over the years. :blush: Works perfectly, which means that EPS105 is probably right about the contacts on my current remote. I'll check into it.
    Thanks, I knew I came to the right place!!!
  • Our 2006 Forester is just a month old now, but we have run across some "noisy" issues.

    There is a groaning noise that emanates from the muffler (as diagnosed by the service technician) whenever the car accelerates under load. The noise is louder if say you are start from a stop light on an incline. The dealer says that 3 other brand new foresters in the lot have the same noises. In such cases, it seems that the noise is determined to be a charateristic of the car and no repair is done!.

    Does anyone else with an 06 Forester have the same problem?

    Any suggestions as to how you go about getting something like this fixed?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Check if any of the heat shields in the exhaust are loose. Often it's just a quick weld to fix. Others remove them.

  • You can probably afford a pretty nice aftermarket system with the money you save on gas. ;)

    BTW, I read a report on the new mpg guidelines coming out of Washington. It said that small "SUV's like the Subura Forester" would have to achieve 28 mpg. Wouldn't this be a step backward for some of you?
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