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2009 Subaru Forester



  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    I remember seeing an extensive presentation where the H-6 cooling revisions were discussed. The older 3.0 used series cooling so that the cylinders at the end of the circuit ran hotter, encouraging detonation and was one reason Premium fuel was needed. Parallel cooling used in the 3.6 got rid of that problem.

    However, I don't remember whether the block and head, or just the head, were changed to allow parallel coolant flow.

    The XT's turbo engine still uses series cooling, and one cylinder (#3 or #4, I forget which) runs hotter than others and has the knock sensor for that reason.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 679
    Though the cooling problem was solved, mpg for that engine in the real world is poorer than for the turbo by 2 mpg average per Consumer Reports testing.

    While I personally chose the 3.0 over the turbo in 2005 because of excessive turbo lag, with a rumored 8.0 sec 0-60 for the CVT 4 I would choose the normally aspirated four today. That 8 second rumor may be incorrect, however.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    The '09 Forester got a different turbo, intercooler, head and intake manifold that reduced turbo lag and brought usable torque down by around 800 RPM. As far as I know the '10 Forester has the same system.

    Some testers comment the '09 Forester power delivery seems patchy. Local speed shops in Portland ran dyno tests and claimed the '09's tested frequently went into detonation detection mode and reduced power. The explaination was Subaru engines were originally designed for 98 Octane gas, and through detuning have encountered some problems. A "rechipping" supposedly fixes the problem, but will void the engine warranty.

    The '09 WRX got a larger turbo, new catalyst and exhaust system that improved horsepower, but moved the torque peak farther up the curve so the WRX now has the "turbo rush" either loved or hated by enthusiasts.

    The '10 Legacy got a revised turbo system that further reduced turbo lag, mostly by moving the turbo closer to the exhaust manfold and shortening some of the duct work.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 679
    The '10 Legacy got a revised turbo system that further reduced turbo lag, mostly by moving the turbo closer to the exhaust manfold and shortening some of the duct work.

    But the Outback lost the turbo option in favor of the 3.6l. Perhaps just one too many models to certify? Or is there some other good reason?

    With the low mounted turbo already in use on the Legacy, the turbo diesel might actually be introduced here. It certainly would help CAFE.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    My understanding is Subaru felt only a sedan represents a full-on drivers car, which is why the Outback, more slanted towards utility, lost its turbo option.

    Also, perhaps Subaru did not sell all that many Outback XT's to warrant keeping that version alive? They did cancel the Manual transmission Forester XT because no one was buying it (immediately raising howls from the auto journalists).
  • confused25confused25 Posts: 11
    The black tag is to signify that there is a side airbag.
  • confused25confused25 Posts: 11

    I just took delivery of my new 2010 Subaru Forester X Premium. I think that I am experiencing the same thing as you: when starting in the morning the engine first tries to rev at 750 rpm and it sputter and almost stalls, then the rpm kicks up to 1,000 and it does the same thing, then 1,250 ditto and at 1,500 it momentarily sputters and then revs smoothly. This has happened since purchasing. I brought the vehicle to the dealer to check. What they tell me is that this will happen during the break in period (500-1,000 miles) as the engine's computer is adjusting. The surging rpm's is normal duringthe break in period. Apparently the engine is trying to start while minimizing emissions (vehicle is listed a partial zero emission vehicle). The check engine light did not come on. I'm currently at roughly 330 miles. Let me know if your problem has been resolved and I'll let you know the same. How many miles do you have on the vehicle?

    As for the transmission shifting, even if you hold the gas pedal at the same position the vehicle may downshift on a upgrade. That is normal, I've experienced this with other vehicles.
  • confused25confused25 Posts: 11
    How did you fix the rattle from inside the door? What was cuasing the rattle?
  • confused25confused25 Posts: 11
    I just took delivery of a 2010 Forester X Premium with All-Weather Package and Automatic Transmission. Within the first week of ownership I brought the vehicle back in for 4 warranty items. Hopefully this information is useful to you. All said, the dealer and Subaru has been responsive and these items are minor (to me).

    1. During morning starts the engine would run rough for the first minute. The engine would try to rev at 750 rpm, sputter and almost stall. Then the rpm's would kick up to 1,000 and do the same. Then go up to 1,250 and do the same. Then finally go to 1,500 rpm sputter and then settle in. The same thing has happened every morning. The check engine light never came on. The dealer indicates that this is normal during the break-in period and will go away. This has to do with the emissions computer and the PZEV (partial zero emission vehicle). I'll probably send an email to Subaru of America to see how they respond (they have been very responsive to all my questions while I was considering this vehicle).

    2. The security etching on the windows (I did not ask for this but it was done anyway) had acid over spray that scarred the window. The dealer is replacing the window.

    3. A small buzzing/rattle in the dashboard/door on the passenger side. Dealer found a couple of body clips that were not fully engaged and set them back in place. This seemed to work but the buzz/rattle is back. So I'll ask the dealer to look at this again when the window is replaced.

    4. The rear rattles from the cargo floor panels, under floor tray and jack. I've checked to make sure that the spare tire was secure and that was not the issue. However, I've noticed the noise is less prominent as the suspension is starting to wear in a little. I plan to fix this myself with some foam/padding. I'm sure that a cargo tray would eliminate the cargo floor panel noise by keeping them down.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    Some of the rear cargo area rattles come from the tool kit perched on top of the spare tire. Nothing holds the holder in place save for friction within the spare tire, and over big bumps it will bounce up from the spare tire.

    Putting some kind of padding or foam over the spare tire tool kit can minimize that rattle.

    As for the door rattles (especially during cold weather), it was earlier reported that an internal waffle-patterned baffle is not always securely fashioned. My dealer added foam inserts between the baffle and the door's inner trim, which seems to have stopped most of the buzzing. That problem is a Subaru TSB.

    If '10 models still have this rattle, that will be surprising.
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    Hi "confused25"

    I now have 6,000 miles.

    After dealer kept car overnight for Subaru engineer to diagnose, I talked with engineer. He explained, and convinced me, this is normal (by design) for PZEV 4AT.

    On first cold start in the morning the computer wants to warm up the catalitic converter as fast as possible to reduce emissions. It does this by holding some valves shut for about 30 sec which causes the roughness and noise.

    It will not go away, it is by design. It is typical of all PZEV AT -- not only Subaru.

    Here is how to tell if operation is normal:

    1. After start slightly depress gas -- roughness will stop -- computer thinks you are ready to drive off and changes logic. or

    2. After start immediately shift to neutral -- same result as above.

    So, if it acts as described above and runs fine once warm it is normal.

    Engineer also claims it is impossible for engine to malfunction without check engine light coming on.

    Subaru has PZEV in all states even though all states do not require it. My state does not require it, and so my dealerr was not aware of this characteristic -- had not seen it before. To his credit, he called in the Subaru Rep to see the car.

    Are you in a PZEV state?

    I think the transmission characteristic you describe is normal.

    Hope this helps. Would appreciate hearing back from you.

    These are great cars.

  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    My 2006 PZEV had some idle roughness when new, something I had not experienced in my 2 previous non-PZEV Foresters. It also stopped doing it after the vehicle got some miles on it.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    The '09 XT appears similar. It idles fast and a bit rough during the first 20 - 30 seconds after cold starting, during which time the engine's driving an air pump sending air into the cat converter to help "light it off". The idle threshold gradually reduces as the XT warms up.
  • confused25confused25 Posts: 11

    Yes, it is disappointing that what you described is exactly what I'm experiencing. It was 67 degrees F this morning and there was a rattle in the front passenger door. When I left work this evening it was 82 degrees F and there was no rattle. I'll pass this onto the dealer. Thanks.
  • Recently purchased a new '09 Forester 2.5X (4th Subaru we've owned) and before completing the paperwork noticed a significant scratch on the hood of the car (someone had keyed it apparently). I was told they would repaint the hood and get it back to me the next day. The next day they weren't sure they could get it done until I reminded them I had been told it would be finished by end of business that day. Thankfully, one of the sales reps had them exchange a clean hood from another Forester on the lot, and I had the car roughly 24 hours after purchasing it. On the way home I noticed the steering wheel vibrating at 65 mph+, so I called the dealership and was told to bring it in last Friday. Brought it in, they replicated the issue and was then asked to bring the car back Monday (today) to have some tires replaced and have it balanced. Went to pick up the car today and the replacement tires were also said to have been defective, so now I have a loaner and have been asked to come back tomorrow. It's been nearly a week since a purchased this vehicle, and I've driven over 300 miles having to go back and forth from our house to the dealership. When asked what they would do to compensate me for my troubles the best they came up with was a free tank of gas! I'm a pretty level headed person, but this seems asinine to me. Anyone have similar experiences? What is a reasonable compensation request considering that the car is less than a week old and has already been to the service department 4 times? I love Subarus, but this is the second car I've purchased that has had initial quality issues.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    It was 67 degrees F this morning and there was a rattle in the front passenger door

    Hopefully your dealer will know what to do to get rid of the rattles. It took two tries on mine with foam added different places.

    Subaru reminds me of Saturn, whose vehicles also had numerous interior trim rattles.
  • bikerguy3bikerguy3 Posts: 43
    Since purchasing my Forester, I had noticed ocassionally a rattle from inside the passenger door. It was more pronounced in cold weather and when going over larger bumps.
    When I removed the door liner (to install a decent set of speakers) I found that inside the door there is a plastic "waffle" style baffle (the purpose of which I have no idea!). This baffle loosely floats in a sheet metal cutout in the door, and it was obvious this was making the rattling noise.
    I suppose there are lots of ways to address this...I looked around my garage and found some good caulking material, and placed a bead between the plastic baffle and the sheet metal.
    This appears to have worked, because the rattle has not reappeared.
    Hope this helps...
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    How easy is it to remove the '09 Forester door trim?
    What steps did you follow?
  • pgb0517pgb0517 Posts: 84
    I'll have to say that I am not happy with the interior quality of my 2009 Forester LL Bean (yes, we bought one of the last of those designations in April 2008). At first, I didn't think the posts regarding the rattles and flimsiness of materials were valid. Now, having seen how easily scratched the "metallic" portions of the armrests are, and how easily scuff marks appear in places where you don't even think of things scuffing, like the dash, and the intermittent rattles in various places, and how the little cover on the gas cap release keeps falling off (after having been replaced once at the dealer), and how the rear seat recline buttons keep popping out (after having been replaced by the dealer), and how easily the leather seats show marks ... Not really happy. And it is mostly my wife and I using this car, kids are not allowed to drive it unattended, we don't carry junk, we don't have a dog, and so forth. We treat it pretty gently overall. The materials and interior quality just don't hold up. And the paint job -- very weak. It really does scratch easily. Oh well. We made the mistake of buying a redesign in its first year, but we were banking on Subaru's reputation. Won't make that mistake again.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,747
    Subaru's not the only one.

    I took a look at a $55,000 Lexus RX450H. Many of the interior materials are just as flimsy as anything in the Forester. The door arm rests are covered in very thin vinyl like material that will easily tear. There are a number of hard, shiny surfaces that will scratch.

    Some of the BMW's I've seen are similar, and Edmunds reported how banged up one of their expensive BMW's consoles became during a user test run.

    Wrt Forester, I don't know of any user applyable finish that will protect the interior painted areas, and neither did my generally knowledgeable dealer.
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