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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Must be a '98? There was no '97 model.

    Any how, if it choked gradually, the bad fuel explanation is one I'd agree with. If leaded fuel was used, it might have clogged up the catalytic converter, and that would certainly choke the engine.

    Other things it could be? Fouled spark plugs, or spark plug wires, or a bad fuel pump. But let a mechanic have a look, hopefully the ECU stored some codes even if you did not get a check-engine light.

  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,264
    I was searching the boards but did not find a place where car audiophiles gather... I'm thinking of getting a good aftermarket stereo for my new baby forester 2006, but don't know where to start... looked at but they don't seem to have units integrated with 6 disc "in-dash" cd changer...

    I'm sure there is a topic somewhere on edmunds where people discuss car audio in length...
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Hi, Kate!

    We're reorganizing the Forums according to make and model and, since you're the first to ask here, you get to post the first message in the all new Subaru Forester: Audio & Entertainment Systems section!

    tidester, host
  • applejfapplejf Posts: 40
    A previous poster suggested that I do a search on the Hill Holder subject in past forum posts. I did that, and found many posts and a good bit of confusion, a little disgust, and lots of opinions, many favorable. Many said that the Hill Holder should not be active in reverse; I am finding that it is. These are the results of testing in my driveway, which has a gentle slope down to the street. In all previous cars we've had in the 15 years we've used our garage, I have gotten into the habit of getting the car rolling backwards out of the flat-floor garage, then pushing in the clutch and coasting the rest of the way down the slope to the street, with the car still in reverse, because I then have to back up with engine power to get up to the crest of the street before taking off.


    Engine off, car in gear, handbrake on, everything the way I left it last time I was in it.
    -Push in clutch, release handbrake, but leave engine off: car stays put (brakes still on)
    -Put car in neutral: car still stays put
    -Let clutch out: brakes release, car starts rolling backward

    Same initial conditions as above, then
    -Push in clutch, start engine, put car in reverse, start backing up using engine power
    -Resistance is noticed (yes I hear this thing is adjustable somewhat) to the extent that if
    I push the clutch back in, the car quickly comes to rest
    -This is repeatable all the way down the slope, whenever I push in the clutch, the car stops rolling backward.
    -I.E. unless I have the car in neutral when I let the clutch out, it will be braked to a stop.

    Conclusion: unless I change my habits, it would appear that I am wearing out disk pads every time I back down the driveway, have to power against the brakes all the way. Not a big problem, I'll just start popping it out of gear and letting out the clutch, using my foot on the brake to control speed. However.......I would not have designed the Hill Holder to be operative in reverse. And if I had my druthers, I would have it disabled completely. That opinion could change over time - I am very early in my ownership.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    let me see if I can add (not to the confusion, hopefully).

    HH will only engage 1) if there is an incline, nose pointed up; and 2) the brake pedal gets depressed while the nose is pointed up.

    HH will stay engaged only if brake is pressed and released on incline.

    HH will disengage only when clutch is released and car goes forward, and of course only if it has been engaged in the first place.

    Keep in mind that HH needs an incline for the ball check valve to seal in the master cylinder. It also needs some back pressure to keep it there. Releasing the clutch also releases the back pressure, when car goes forward.

    Unfortunately, backing up in reverse, nose pointing up an incline, is the one problem with HH. I solve it by not engaging HH in the first place when I know I will need to reverse out (ie don't use the foot brake on the incline. You can use the parking brake anytime and HH will not engage.)

  • applejfapplejf Posts: 40
    Thanks John, that is clearing it up for me. Conclusion still the same: I'll have to adapt to it to get out of my driveway without causing some kinda scene (Headline: Smoke pours from SUV driver's ears........but he suffers no ill effects).

    Seriously, I do think I'll have the dealer adjust it to be weaker, but I will wait another week or two before doing that. I just might wind up absolutely falling in love with the HH, like I have everything else about the Forester.

  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    When the HH is properly adjusted - it's a great feature. I've had the same grabbiness on my FXT when I first bought the car - pain in the neck to park on even the slightest incline. Dealer took all of five minutes to adjust it, and it's been great ever since.
  • applejfapplejf Posts: 40
    Just in from a visit to the dealer. I decided to talk to the service dept. and see what they think about adjustability of the HH. Their main Subaru expert took me to the car to talk about it and show me the HH valving. He peeped in (it's quite visible under the hood) and said Hmmm. Turns out at least our 2006 model has been changed since he last worked on one, he said it was different. I'll drive it a while before doing anything.


  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    OK, now that I've had my 06 Forester for a few months, mom's decided she wants one. She's retired so I don't think she'll be able to go new. Are there any issues with a 2004 that she may need to be aware of? She's impressed beyond belief with mine and wants one herself. Thanks!!
  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,264
    Foresters do not depreciate that much, and there are not that many on the market. I'd suggest to check with local dealer who might be able to extend that $2K off deal that ended on 07/31. In that case, she'll get a brand new Forester 2006 for the price of used Forester 2004!
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    I've noticed that the price difference isn't much between new and used but I figured used would have more room for negotiation. SOA is still running 2k off and 0% financing on the 06's until 9/5 I think. Just have to go talk to the dealer and see. I'd rather she buy new. Bad bad BAD experience with the Pontiac bought used. A little bit of everything has gone wrong with it and it has less than 47k on the odo. She's impressed with the fact I've had mine 3 months and haven't needed a trip to the dealer for anything.

    06's are getting hard to find though from what I've seen searching the web. It's like when someone buys one, they keep it until it comes apart! :)
  • 10years10years Posts: 48
    Congrats on the new Forester. I have an 03 X with 52K on it now. It has taken me through a number of tight spots in bad weather and does okay off-raod if you keep it's limitations in mind. MPG is decent too. My long term average is about 26.5, 75% highway.

    HH, why not just back-up into the driveway? ;)

    Have Fun.
  • Hi,

    I have a 2003 Forester, manual transmission, with 72,000+ miles. I am the original owner of the car. Recently, I have noticed an intermittent vibration that only happens at highway speeds. (60 - 70 MPH).

    Here's a synopsis of what’s been happening:

    I drive the car through city streets to the highway (about 1 mile). I get on the highway and drive for another 2-5 miles. I notice a low vibration that starts out faint and increases to a loud and deep vibration. This happens for about ½ - 1 mile. Noise and vibration seems to come from the whole length of the car, down low. If I increase in speed, the noise and vibration gets a bit louder. If I decrease speed, it decreases but does not completely stop until 10 – 20 mph. I can feel the vibration in the steering wheel, front car seats, pedal, etc. If you are in the passenger seat, you can feel and hear it too.

    If I pull over and let the car idle for a minute or two or drive slower through city streets the noise and vibration do not return.

    One time I was driving on the highway and couldn't pull over. The noise and vibration continued for a couple of miles -- gradually got louder then gradually decreased and went away. If I shift to neutral at freeway speed, the noise and vibration still continues. It is directly linked to road speed, not rpm’s.

    At first, this just happened occasionally. It usually happened around the same spot on the highway. (2 -3 miles on the road at highway speed, then would continue for another couple of miles, then stop) And it only happened once during the day from a cold start. Now it happens every time I drive on the freeway, after the car has sat idle for more than an hour. However, only if I drive a short distance on city roads, and then get on the freeway. If I drive on city roads for awhile, run errands and stop the car, then restart and get back on the highway, it doesn’t happen.

    I took it into the dealership. They thought it was the heat shield (as there was another noise that was a rattle). The dealership kept the car for a couple of days and test drove it, but they couldn’t replicate the vibration. They did adjust the heat shield, as it was loose. I have had the car home for a week and have driven on the highway & had no problems. But the last three days, the vibration has been happening every time I drive a short distance on city streets and then get right on the highway. If I pull over and stop, wait a couple of minutes then go again, the noise doesn’t continue.

    Any ideas? Has anyone else ever had this happen to their car?
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    Out of balance tires can cause a vibration at hiwhay speeds

  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Try the following:
    1 - check tire balance
    2 - check tire pressure (low pressure can cause flat spotting)
    3 - check wheel alignement
    4 - check tires for bubbles or other damage
    5 - rotate the tires front to back
    6 - loosen, then retorque all wheel lug nuts using a precision torque wrench

    If the tires / wheels are not the culprit, could be the front or rear differential, or even an unbalanced driveshaft.

    Hopefully it's something simple.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    04s are great, in fact 03 and later is a good bet.

    02 and earlier had some wheel bearing issues, and 01 and earlier we saw some head gasket failures.

    03 was also the 2nd generation, so it got a tad more content. About 8-10 items were added as standard, and only 1-2 items were taken away.

    03-05 is generally a good bet used.

  • slipjigslipjig Posts: 4
    I just bought a new '06 Forester! I am so excited to take it camping. This involves driving old loging roads - some of which aren't maintained. (I used to do this with my old Volvo 240 wagon - till I had to replace a muffler once and decided to camp in more refined areas.)

    What experiences have people had with the front bumber underguard, the differental guard, and the aftermarket skidplate that covers the oil pan? Are these wise to install? Or are they generally not needed on the Forester?

    Thanks much -

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I have the rear one, the OE differential protector. It's very sturdy, in fact I use it as a jacking point and it easily lifts up the entire back of the vehicle.

    I absolutely recommend it, sure.

  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    Juice - I've been tempted to use my OE diff guard as a rear jacking point, but been hesitant to do so. Thanks for letting me know it works.

    Of course this means if I break my car, I'm blaming you. :P

  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    For any off-road usage where clearance might be an issue, I'd recommend the rear diff protector as well as a good aftermarket skid plate. I've got a Primitive skid plate that was easy to install, a good fit, and the 3/16" thick aluminum feels VERY solid.

    Know also that the OEM diff guard is not your only option - even though it's the one I own. I think Primitive makes one, as well as Rally Armor. "Offroadsubarus" has a forum that is a good source of info on different parts and suppliers.

This discussion has been closed.