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2009 Subaru Forester mileage reports



  • We have an '03 XTS and after I switched to the Goodyear Assurance tire (not the fuel miser, the one that's supposedly quieter), I began hitting 30 mpg pretty consistently with a high of 31.3 mpg. It was 24-27 range before these tires. It's got 115K miles on it and running like a top, although I keep smelling antifreeze and not seeing anything and my levels stay good...?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Are those the Assurance Comfortred?

    As for the antifreeze, check around the water pump to see if there is any staining. It doesn't take much coolant to smell it, and small amounts will more often evaporate (and leave a residue) than drip, especially when in contact with hot engine components.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Yes, they are the ComforTred tires. I would love to have bought Fuel Max', but also needed the quietest tires I could find as I travel frequently and discuss business during my travels, by cell. I mentioned during an oil service that I didn't think the tires are all that quiet and the mechanic seems to think I have an outboard bearing that's whining. $200 a wheel for parts and similar labor. I really wonder, especially since the car's mileage has improved so much with these tires. I really thought that noise was the tires before too... who'd have known ?

    I'll check the waterpump, if I can find it. These little things are really packed in there. It makes sense to replace it when I take it in for the timing belts. Car's at 115K and I still haven't done that service... oops !
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    It should be easy enough to find - just follow the lower radiator hose (on driver side of vehicle, in the front, on the bottom) back to where it connects to the thermostat housing - the water pump is directly above that.

    I considered putting ComforTred on my Caravan, but they were quite a bit more per tire than the Allegra I ended up putting on there, were not available locally, and I was in a time crunch. I had prior experience with the Allegra and know it to be a smooth-riding, long lasting tire that is also very capable in inclement weather; all of those are important factors for me. For $73 a tire (locally in Fairbanks, AK), they really are a bargain!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    Antifreeze vapor could be getting past one of the gaskets in the radiator cap. The smaller one in the center holds pressure in the radiator; the larger one keeps the liquid (and vapor) ion the system when antifreeze flows from radiator to overflow tank (when hot), and back again (when engine & radiator cool down). When engine and radiator are cold, remove the cap and check both gaskets.
  • How about blown head gasket...? Had it in to Gary's Subaru in West Eugene. $2000 later I've had three error codes fixed, replaced the head gaskets (both), water pump, all belts including the timing belts (overdue), O2 sensor, removed heat shields (rattling like the dickens) and the left rear wheel bearing. Funny thing is, the radiator hoses are still original and working fine...?
  • ecotrklvrecotrklvr Posts: 519
    For you to smell the antifreeze under the hood, it has to be leaking into that area. More likely it's a leak of a loose hose clamp, bad gasket in radiator cap, overflow canister lid/gasket, thermostat housing gasket; something more benign than head gasket.
  • I was wondering if anyone else is getting on average about 12-13 miles to the gallon in the city? I live in San Francisco and one of the reasons I bought my 09 Forrester was the city mileage. While I knew I wouldn't get the 20 something on the sticker I was hoping for 15-16.
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    "I was wondering if anyone else is getting on average about 12-13 miles to the gallon in the city? I live in San Francisco and one of the reasons I bought my 09 Forrester was the city mileage."

    That sounds really bad. I live in WV and while not city driving, I drive mostly up and down hills with virtually no interstate driving. Over the last year my readout shows 21.9, which is about what I expected.

    Unless you are sitting in traffic for hours, I would think you should do better.
    Much has to do with how much driving you do with a cold engine versus a fully warmed engine -- short trips really hurt mpg.

    Hopefully others will respond, but I would have it checked.

  • johnvjohnv Posts: 40
    Do you drive Lombard to work both ways? I'm on the other side of the bay in an 08 manual and the worst mileage I've seen is just below 20mpg. I average ~25mpg and come close to 29 on tanks where I've come down the 80 from the mountains.

    They say the car gets better mileage after being broken in, but 13 is ridiculous unless you're driving hills constantly or just sitting in traffic. SF is a hilly city -- if you just drove from Diamond Heights down to the Castro or Balboa Park I could imagine your mpg being really bad.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    That is what I was thinking, too: Short trips with significant idling.

    What was your previous vehicle, and what mileage did you see from it on the same trips?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Unfortunately, most of my trips are short, but not much idling. A lot of hills. My last car was a BMW X5 and I got the same type of mileage with a much larger engine. The main reason for getting the Forrester was due to the city mileage.
  • Most of my trips are up and down hills as I do live above the Castro, but I do drive all over the city, I wouldn't say constantly sitting, but a lot of stop and go. Still I think 13 is way too low.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try to combine errands when possible. In other words, start the engine when it's still warm from the last trip.

    It takes about 2 miles for ours to warm up. No matter where we seem to drive, the average MPG will drop at first, then start to go back up again.

    It's notably less efficient while it's warming up.
  • gabe1475gabe1475 Posts: 2
    Also try not to speed too much and get off the accelerator one you see a light has turned red. I am surprised by how many people are accelerating to withing 100 ft of a red light then slam the brake. We are consistently averaging 29MPG around town, and 34MPG on the Freeway (driving 60MPH). The numbers on this car are awesome for an SUV.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you time it just right, the light either turns green as soon as you get there, or you've coasted to a stop and not wasted any energy. :shades:
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    My 2009 got great!!! gas mileage, similar to yours. But, the 2010 gets poor gas mileage with the same driver driving the same way. Down as low as 22 or 24mpg out of a tank(sometiems less), best is about 29 with only hiway driving. The 2009 never got a tank anywhere near as low as the 2010's avg.

    Is there anything I should look at to try to tune the 2010 closer to how the 2009 behaved?
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    I now have approc 31,000 lbs on my 09. For full tanks have ranged between 27 and the lowest probably 21.5. Per computer, since "day one" I have averaged just about 26 mpg, actual mileage probably in the 25.5 range.

    Much of my driving, probably 75% is highway driving. If I drive distances more than 65 mph, the mileage will dip a bit, so I rarely go over 70
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    My 10 is doing about what yours is, although it is not broken in yet. Maybe your 09 was a "freak". In any case have you checked the obvious like tire pressure?

    I think I have missed something, what happened to your 09 that you got a 10?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Could simply be that the new one is still green, and hasn't broken in yet.

    I tracked my mileage on my 1998, every tank, and by 15k miles my average went up by 2mpg.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    His was the one that had the awful off-gassing - it was causing him illness! I think Subaru finally relieved him of it and he picked up the '10 as a replacement.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    edited April 2010
    I'm going to give my car through the end of May and then report on fuel economy. So far in April, with the weather warming dramatically at about the month split (night time temps the last couple days have barely dipped below freezing!), fuel economy is up dramatically from March and prior. We have about 11,000 miles on the '10 5mt.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    With still less than 1000 miles on my 2010 XT, mpg is at least 25% better in town than the 2005 Outback 3.0R it replaced: 15 mpg stop-sign-to-stop-sign versus 11.5! And for suburban driving 20 versus 17. It wont be hard to improve on the 24.5 mpg max highway for the 3.0R, but I don't know yet.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The XT is geared taller, so highway MPG should be quite good if you can stay off the boost. :P
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    Thanks Wes. I was hoping there was no accident involved.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    edited April 2010
    My 09 was poisoning me because of issues with the heater box. Breathing the coolant, refrigerant, lanolin blend oil and who knows what else, I was sick for over a year. Couldn't see out to drive, coating all parts of car including rear hatch, and the inside of my lungs. Finally got it switched out last September after 8 months of dickering. Didn't get medical bills paid.

    The 09 was great on gas mileage, but not so great for my health. I don't think it was a freak, think the 10 is the freak for poor mileage...I'll double check the tire pressure...was thinking it may be bad timing as the engine is noisier. Asked the dealer to check, but they said all 10s sound that way...much different sound than the 09.
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    Thanks for the update. I remember your issues just missed the final chapter. Glad you got it resolved and hope your health stays good.

    Timing is set and controlled by the computer, nothing to adjust. Your 10 seems to be doing about what mine and others report, your 09 seems to have been unusual. My 10 seems to be doing much better than my 06 or the 05 my wife had. My worst mileage is out on the highway because I drive faster than 65 or 70, but on rural roads I can get over 30. Still wish I had a fifth gear, although with the taller tires the RPMs are a couple hundred lower than my 06 was which has to be helping a little.

    If you suspect that your computer has picked up some bad "habits" during its learning process you can always disconnect a battery cable for a few minutes. When you reconnect it the computer will start from scratch and re-learn how you drive it.

    Good luck!
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    Thanks, Frank!

    Mine is a manual, so I would expect to get at least a couple of mpg better than many of the posts on here. I did love the mileage my 09 got. Best thing about that car.

    I will try disconnecting the battery! That sounds like a good place to try. BTW, do you happen to know if I will loose anything else when I disconnect it, such as mpg to date, programmed radio stations, or any of the other stored data?

    (I definitely want to write down my radio stations before disconnecting if I may lose them...)

  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    I forgot that you drive the 5-speed, so yes, you should get a couple or few MPG better.

    I haven't disconnected the battery on my 10 but on my previous 3 Foresters I lost everything, including radio stations and both trip odo readings. Since the MPG calculation is based on each trip odo I suspect you will lose those readings too.

    Possibly the Toyota influence has changed something but I doubt it. On my Tundra, when I disconnect the battery I lose the clock but not the radio, don't remember about the trip odo(s). Obviously they back up the radio with another battery somewhere, but I would be surprised if Subaru does that.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    I liked this's all in the details. As someone who tends to get into specifics myself, I'm sure that's why i appreciate posts like this.

    Juice, you guys still happy with the Forester? I can't recall if u still have it or went Toyota or? I've been checking into Saab, and discovered you had one of those too back in 01 or 02. Would you buy another?
    I have always been curious about them, but due to no AWD and my (possibly misdirected) perception of unreliability, I have always bypassed them. Recently I have read that they have wonderful seats, and far more dependable than many realize.
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