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My Subaru Forester is a Lemon!



  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    what year did the DOHC start running? I have a 2002 Forester approaching this something to be proactive about or wait until they go? i also have a timing belt change coming (within 20K i think) so may be do it all at the same time?


    PS..."questionable" trolls are amongst us...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    DOHC Foresters were only in 99 IIRC. Definitely gone by 2k.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually, my 1998 Forester was a DOHC.

    The 99 model was a bit of a hybrid - they went to SOHC but they still used the short block from the 98 models.

    By 2000 they were using the new block design and kept the SOHC.

    The Outback and Legacy waited until 2000 to get the SOHC design (at the same time as the redesign), which is probably what paisan is remembering.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Ah ha, yeah that makes sense the Forester and Impreza went to SOHC in 99 and were both DOHC in 98. Legacies moved to SOHC in 00.

  • I just test drove the 2008 Forester 2.5x (w/ Premium) and Honda CR-V (EX) yesterday and the Subaru won hands down for me.

    The CRV was literally shaking while idling, and I could hear something rattling in the back as I was driving. It was also fairly windy out and the CR-V felt like it was really getting blown around. The Forester on the other hand felt tight and well built. Guess anyone can have a bad day on the manufacturing line. ;-)
  • dt63944dt63944 Posts: 66
    Glad to see you joined the forums to complain about your Forester. I'm on my third one since 1999 and they've all been rock-solid reliable, my 2004 being the best yet. When I have to be anywhere at any time in any kind of driving conditions, the Forester will get me there. The CRV is also a very good car.
  • mb789mb789 Posts: 89
    RE: Forester Rattles

    I bought a 2006 Forester X, and at first the clear plastic covering the spedometer, etc. on my dash squeaked, but it does not do it now.

    Overall, it's been a dependable car so far, but at first I thought it had some annoyances -- probably because I had a good vehicle before the Forester that had many more features (sunroof, multi-CD player, etc.). I think it was my mind trying to pick the Forester apart and that I had a so-so dealership experience that left a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth at the start of ownership.

    I switched to the Forester because it had a better safety rating and better fuel economy than my previous vehicle.
  • aka57aka57 Posts: 8
    My 04 XT (100% Japan build and parts) has had a (at times very annoying!) dash rattle since almost day one. Sube Service tried 3 times to fix it - rattle keeps coming back. So it goes. Given all the excellent attributes of this vehicle and the bargain price, I can accept this minor annoyance. I am looking forward to buying an 09 XT as soon as they hit the streets.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Does it sound like it is coming from deep in the dash, near the windshield?

    There is a TSB out regarding this issue in Outbacks, not sure about Foresters - go to and click the "technical info" link under the Owners section. You cannot look at the TSBs there without paying, but it will give you a TSB name and number. The one for the Outback is called, simply enough, "Dash Rattle."

    My dealer is equally incompetent at hearing & fixing this rattle. I finally found and printed out three TSBs relating to interior rattles my car has. I took them to the dealer today and set up an appointment for the 28th. I hope it is cold that day and the technician's ears work because I really want a rattle-free car when I get it back.
  • aka57aka57 Posts: 8
    Thanks for the TSB tip, xwesx - yes, my rattle is deep - at first I thought there might be a loose clip or something along the lower edge of the windshield/dash junction. Service just keeps replacing the ‘dash basket’ to no avail. sigh.
    Good luck - here’s to a Rattle Free future!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,267
    Yep, sounds identical to the problem I have with mine (and I had with my last Outback as well!).

    For the Legacy/Outback, the TSB is 12-96-06. Go to and you can look at the entire TSB. Dash clips are indeed the problem. The "fix" itself seems somewhat hokey, but if it works and the dash remains securely attached then no big deal. I will try to update once my car has gone through the ringer again on Monday.

  • Just unloaded my 2010 Forester 2.5x at 4,800 miles, it was a cheesy car. The cabinet noise was so loud that I didn't need the radio. Plus, the radio in the car was lousy...static most of the time. I traded it in for a Nissan Rouge SV w/P package. Love it! If you haven't brought the Forester yet, don't buy it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Something must have happened between 2008 and 2010. I did quickly change my 2008 to quieter Michelin tires, but after that it was an almost silent touring car. I have made high speed trips from Kentucky to Minnesota, Maine and Florida. No problem with the radio, either, though I prefer listening to the iPod through it.
  • What a coincidence; my older brother's wife had a Nissan Rouge SV as well as my aunt in North Carolina. Both of them no longer have the Nissan Rogue because they traded it in after less than 1 year of miserable ownership.

    Yet they don't go around saying the Nissan Rogue is a horrible car based just on their experience. Then again, it's not like people with half a brain will pay heed and take words like yours to the grave. Those who do, I wonder how they've gotten this far in life.

    Funny how the people in this world act based just on their own personal experience.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What do you call a guy who posts one severely negative comment and then vanishes?

  • My husband had a 2004 subaru forester xs, now for sale w/ 131k miles on it, and the only reason we are selling is because a friend of the family wanted to buy a brand new car and so she was selling her 2007 forester w/ 40k miles. Lost a few of the "extra" features, but gained a newer less mileage car.
    My husband is in love with the foresters, we have had no mechanical problem in over 3 years, only had to replace brake pads, we did replace front rotors although they probably would have been okay, and of course tires.
    I traded my old Santa Fe in for a 2008 CR-V in February, with only 12k miles on it and I love my CR-V but its not the same in the snow, its more comfortable than the subaru, but they each have their pros and cons.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,552
    Oh, wow!

    It has been years since we had a troll on these boards.

    Welcome and lets have some sport with you!

  • clarkkentclarkkent Posts: 154
    edited September 2011
    It just depends (sometimes on the luck of the draw.)

    I have 3 jeeps. NEVER had any trouble with them and they all have over 200k on them. 91 Cherokee, 2000 GC 98 Wranger.

    I have had 5 Subarus. Never a problem.

    I have had 1 Honda, 1988 Van-O-Wagon. Biggest POS I have ever had.
    And Hondas are good cars. However, the CRV 4x4 system is very poor.

    Hondas are great cars. I just got a very poor example of their work.

    I have 3 Honda MC and they are all Fantastic. No porblems at all.

    So it really is just the luck of the draw sometimes.
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