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Forester Interior & Passenger Comfort Questions

mooremanmooreman Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Subaru
I have a MY05 Forester, LL Bean model. With the light colored interior I have found that the very nice floor mats (LL Bean logo, etc) get dirty very easily. I've tried a number of carpet cleaners without much luck. This isn't grease but just dirt and what all that sticks to the soles of the shoes. Anyone have any luck with a particular product? Thanks


  • bayview6bayview6 Member Posts: 141
    Dirty, I bought the Subaru black rubber all-weather floor mats at the git-go. My beige floor mats are in their plastic bag in my storage building. If I ever sell my Forester, I'll put them in.

    To clean yours, I would try Tough Stuff. But the best long-term solution is black rubber mats. they look good too!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    They custom-fit, too. Try that or make sure everyone wipes their feet.

    When we go to the beach I swear my family pick up one pound of sand... :sick:

  • rochcomrochcom Member Posts: 247
    I have a similar problem with the gray mats on an older Forester. I can only tell you what does NOT work. They were stained by road sand used by one local town. The sand contained a large amount of red clay that thoroughly stained the mats. I tried washing with a high pressure hose (at a car wash) and detergent and only a very small amount of the stain was removed. I tried scrubbing with powdered carpet cleaner and had similar results. I tried vacuuming and brushing. No go. I suppose that you can try a professional carpet cleaning shop. They may have something that wil work and not destroy the carpets.
  • rochcomrochcom Member Posts: 247
    I have a similar problem with the gray mats on an older Forester. I can only tell you what does NOT work. They were stained by road sand used by one local town. The sand contained a large amount of red clay that thoroughly stained the mats. I tried washing with a high pressure hose (at a car wash) and detergent and only a very small amount of the stain was removed. I tried scrubbing with powdered carpet cleaner and had similar results. I tried vacuuming and brushing. No go. I suppose that you can try a professional carpet cleaning shop. They may have something that will work and not destroy the carpets.

    Sometimes the stain is better left alone. I remember when I worked in an office some years ago, and we had a manager who was very fussy about how things looked. He gave one of our interns some spot remover to use on carpet stains. I have to say, the cleaner worked flawlessly. The stains were gone. In their place, there were large faded spots about three to four times the size of the original stains. After all, the stuff was guaranteed to remove them.
  • kumarikumari Member Posts: 72
    Hi all,

    Just bought an '06 Forester XT Limited and today was the first day I saw it in the morning in broad daylight. VERY distressed to find that the windows have NO tinting whatsoever!! :mad: Comparing it to my old truck-based SUV (that I will be be putting up for sale), the truck's windows are almost black in the back - you can't see in even standing and peering right into it. The Forester's windows are absolutely clear! :cry: Just found out it's gonna cost $300 at the dealership to have them tinted.

    Anyone else do this? Is this a fair price?

    Another thing - it appears as though the sunroof is letting in moisture around the edges - the inside cover had a few damp spots around one edge this morning and it didn't even rain last night! It was just from the morning dew! Is this normal?

    Thanks, Samantha
  • marilynwmarilynw Member Posts: 24
    Call some local tint shops. I know the price for a four door car at the shop I used is around $189.00. (LI, NY)
    A small SUV like a Forester is probably only slightly higher. I'm sure the dealer is going to send it for tinting, and they want to make money on the deal. Get some estimates and check out some of the tinting work, before you make a decision.
    Good luck,
  • yu203964yu203964 Member Posts: 35
    I had mine tinted almost 4 years ago with Ziebart about US$200. It's still in good condition. If you find a franchisee near you, have a try.
  • subiedubiesubiedubie Member Posts: 10
    Has anyone included the giant moonroof in their tinting, and has has that worked out?
  • girlonthegogirlonthego Member Posts: 2
    Anyone else have this problem? Periodically, the latch to the rear door gets stuck and won't unlock from either the keyless entry device or by directly using the powerlocks. Sometimes I can just toggle betwee "lock" and "unlock" on the powerlock button on the driver's door a bunch of times and it eventually triggers the rear door to unlock, but this time it's REALLY stuck and there is no easy way to unlatch it from inside the car. Sigh. Last time this happened I took the car to my local Subaru dealer but he couldn't find anything wrong with the latch mechanism and, of course, it opened for him on the second try.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Did he lubricate the mechanism after he managed to open it? You probably want some lithium grease in there, something maybe even thicker so it'll stay on the moving parts.

    Are the temps really cold? I wonder if that makes a difference. By the time you drove to the dealer, the interior of the car had probably warmed up a lot.

  • cdanyowcdanyow Member Posts: 4
    well lets see, the lock wire should be red/white and the unlock should be yellow/red both located at grey plug left of steering colmn
  • girlonthegogirlonthego Member Posts: 2
    Thanks, juice. I will mention lube if/when I go back to the dealer. Honestly, I'd really like to resolve this myself. I felt like such an idiot...there I was unable to open my car door, then the mechanic strolls up and opens it in under 30 seconds. I'd really like to avoid a repeat performance if I can help it!
  • nickelpetenickelpete Member Posts: 21
    My wife has a suprisingly short list of things her next car MUST have. At the top of that list are a sunroof/moonroof and a seat height (a.k.a. step-in height), above ground level, that is somewhere between that of her Mazda 626 (20") and my Dodge Ram (33").

    She runs a lot of errands during a normal day. Falling down into, and climbing up out of her 626, is exhausting. The truck has the opposite effect, but is not as objectionable and she doesn't use it as much.

    I cannot find this measurement for any car/suv on the web and I am disinclined to visit all of the dealerships with my yardstick. I estimate it by subtracting the front headroom value from the overall vehicle height value, but I think this is wildly inaccurate.

    Since the list of possible-next cars includes the subject of this forum, I was hoping that somebody would, in their spare time, measure the height above ground to the middle (more or less) of the seat cushion (i.e. the top-center of the horizontal seating surface) and post that value here.

    I have read these forums extensively over the past few weeks and I have not seen any discussion of this. I beg your pardon if I missed it and am being redundant.

    Thanks in advance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Miata: 13" (talk about low)
    Legacy 2.5i sedan: 17.5"
    Impreza RS sedan: 20" (surprise, much higher than the Legacy)
    Outback XT: 22"
    Forester: did not measure but it falls between these
    Tribeca: 26"

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I would toggle the child safety locks on and off to make sure those aren't stuck in some middle position, that might be jamming it, also.

  • kenskens Member Posts: 5,869
    I'd still have the dealer investigate. From what you described they didn't open it on the first try (like it's supposed to), correct?

    And all of your other door locks respond normally?

    Seeing is believing for any dealer so try and figure out the exact conditions that cause the lock to stick. Maybe even leave the car overnight at the dealer?

  • growler5growler5 Member Posts: 67
    You'll just have to try a few on for size.

    If it helps - me mum (79 yrs old) has remarked on more than one occasion that the '05 Forester XS is a very easy car for her to enter / exit from the front passenger side because of the height of the seat from the ground.

    'tis like the Goldilocks fable. Her Malibu / sis's Camry / wife's Prius are too low. Sis's Tahoe / bro's Chevy p'up / wife's old Caravan are a tough climb when you have creaky knees. The FXS is just right for her.

    Again, you'll have to take the missus out to the dealers and try on a few vehicles for egress/exit friendliness. Some vehicles will pass the height test but may flunk because of interference from the center door post or from the door sill.

    Have fun shoppin' !
  • joseph50joseph50 Member Posts: 235
    My rear view mirror (01S) is clear mirror on the top quarter, then three-quarters of wavy tint below.
    Can it be corrected without replacement?
  • bat1161bat1161 Member Posts: 1,784
    Do you see anything dripping from the bottom? From your description, it sounds like a problem I had a year or so ago on my 2000 OB. The dealer replaced the mirror, under warranty.

  • joseph50joseph50 Member Posts: 235
    No, no dripping. The liquid must be going somewhere.
    Thanks for checking in.
  • puffin29puffin29 Member Posts: 2
    Hi ..
    Yep, the rear hatch started sticking this winter. At first I thought it was that something was wedged against the door..a piece of paper or something or other. But then it happened again and I thought maybe frozen water droplets or something. The third time it happened I was at a loss for why. Must be a glitch. Of course it opened for him! But at least it was on the SECOND try, lol.

    Oh, my Forester is a 2003.
  • puffin29puffin29 Member Posts: 2

    I am trying to locate all the accessories that come with the Forester by going to all the sites I can find. I even looked in my booklet but couldn't find what I was looking for. Maybe someone in here can help me.
    I have that handy wheel "bucket" that fits into the spare so you can use it for whatever. I also have this metal gadget that is one piece but one part of it moves. It is round at one end but indented like a really shallow cone. It's more flat than indented and it has a stem. On the stem is this piece that moves. I know this isn't much to go on but I never paid much attention to it until it was taken yesterday from some n'er do well employee where I took my car yesterday to get a new tire. I want to call the place tomorrow but I don't know what to call this piece. I always thought it had something to do with the tire (small jack?). Anyone know?
    Thanks in advance
  • baydrivebaydrive Member Posts: 48
    Is the automatic gear shift on the console supposed to be illuminated? I have a 2005 Forester and I don't know if I am going nuts or not. I have had the car for over a year and last night when I got into the car the lights on the console were not illuminated (PRD123 that show you where your lever is at that is located on the console... the dashboard indicator is fine). All my other interior illumination is on. Now I don't even know if the shift console was ever illuminated. Seems that it must have been or should be. Can anyone tell me what might be wrong (if the shift console is indeed illuminated) and if I can fix it myself or need to bring it to the dealership. I looked up the diagram for the fuses and there is just one listed for interior illumination. Since all other lights are on then I can assume that the fuse is fine. Thanks for any help.
  • jeqqjeqq Member Posts: 221
    from what I remember, they are illuminated. I was surprised that when changing the shifter, the selected position is not highlighted on the console only displayed on the dash.
  • pretzelbpretzelb Member Posts: 64
    I've only had my 2.5x for a week now but I'm a bit confused and concerned over the A/C. We've had a mild week here in Texas and I started to notice that I was getting warm in the car even though the A/C was going and it was only around 80f outside. Since it's not uncommon for us to hit the upper 90s for weeks on end I'm a little worried. The A/C does appear to be blowing very cold air but it's almost like there aren't enough vents to keep up.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Member Posts: 1,640
    the Forester's ac is more than able to meet any requirements here in hot central CA (100+ common).

    For faster initial cool-down, crack the 4 windows and turn the recirc mode on. Of course, there are the fan adjustments, position adjustments, and make sure the temp dial is all the way down.

    Tinting the windows also helps as there is a lot of glass.

  • boogie1boogie1 Member Posts: 6
    Does anybody have a problem with the lumbar support? I zipped open the back of the drivers seat and I can see a steel rod and a piece of plastic. This is the lumbar support. I have an awful pain in my back from that steel rod!!!
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Member Posts: 1,640
    not sure which seat model you have...

    2003 XS versions had a handle flip on the shift selector side of the seat back.

    You can also change the bottom seat height on some models, which affects where the lumbar hits your back.

  • wcw43wcw43 Member Posts: 1
    Hi--YES! YES! --
    I had the exact same problem -- 2003 Forester rear door electric lock occasionally would not unlock, but it was completely unpredictable. My wife nearly went crazy not knowing if her groceries, furniture, animals would be locked in or out. Desperate, I found this forum on an Internet search--and realized I was NOT alone. Thank you one and all... You gave me the strength to call my dealer who predictably said "maybe $100, maybe $500 to fix it, but it probably just needs lubrication."

    I seized the next Saturday morning --when the rear door actually DID unlock properly-- and I kept the door open, took off the inside trim panel so I could see the lock, and then took out the lock mechanism while still attached to wires and cable...and observed how it worked WHEN WORKING RIGHT. Both the electrical locking/unlocking and the physical operation from the external door handle were perfectly normal. Oh, well....

    So I applied WD-40 to the lock parts, removed the cable linkage and squirted it full of WD-40, PUT THE LOCK BACK ON, CLOSED THE DOOR, AND--OF COURSE---NOW IT WOULDN'T UNLOCK !!!
    But NOW I was sure the problem must be on the OUTSIDE and fairly quickly I FOUND IT! HERE IS THE SOLUTION:

    The external latch handle (the little horizontal flap your fingers squeeze when you open the rear door) was NOT QUITE FULLY RETURNING to its retracted position. This was due to some corrosion at the upper (hidden) corners of the flap, where it PIVOTS AND RUBS against the door. I PUSHED the little flap backward into its fully retracted position and it moved back about 1/4 inch. Suddenly the lock now worked fine. I applied more WD-40 on the FLAP PIVOT AREAS and VOILA! Flap now returned to correct position every time, and the electrical unlock mechanism worked fine once again.

    Long story short, the sticky flap meant the cable link to the lock mechanism did not retract fully--missing by about 1/4 of an inch. This meant one little part of the lock mechanism was staying in an open position, which prevented the lock motor from pushing on the part that unlocks the latch....As the dealer said--all it needed was a little lubrication. MORE USEFUL INFORMATION: there is a virtually unreachable little Lock-Unlock Lever located on one end of the lock mechanism inside the door-- a dealer knows how to get to it through a covered hole on the inside panel. But this lever doesn't work when the above simple retraction problem exists with the outside handle. MORE USEFUL INFORMATION: The inside trim panel goes back onto the rear door much more easily if the door is CLOSED...you just sit inside the back, close the door, and pop the panel onto the door. I give Subaru an A-plus on the trim panel and a D-minus for lack of any keyed entry to the passenger side and the rear door. Still love the car.
  • jwfbeanjwfbean Member Posts: 5


    My wife and I just completed a great long road trip through California and Oregon in our 2005 Forester. We had a great time except for one thing: After sitting for a long period of time in the forester's driver's or passenger's seat, my wife's sciatic nerve starts really bothering her. It got so bad, she had to sit on frozen peas to finish the trip! She is a runner and that's what's causing the problem, but we've also noticed now that just about all of our long trips in the Forester give this kind of discomfort.

    We've done long road trips in our other car, a 1997 Honda Civic, with no problems. There is something about the bucket seats in the Forester that don't literally don't sit well with her.

    Has anyone else had this problem? If so, how have you remedied it? What kind of adjustments should we be making with the seats? Can we replace the seats with something more comfortable? Or should we just sell the Forester and get something with better seats?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I would look for a seat pad of some sort, one which you could use only when you know you'll be on long trips.

    I have a co-worker with hemorrhoids issues and he uses a pad even for his office chair. So I know they make 'em.

  • jwfbeanjwfbean Member Posts: 5
    We actually stopped along our trip and picked up an ergonomic seat pad. It didn't help. Any other ideas?
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Member Posts: 1,640
    you might try adjusting the seat angle. The '03 drivers seat angle is adjusted by the height feature. Not sure what the current seats have.

  • samiam_68samiam_68 Member Posts: 775
    Forester seats are usually a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] on long trips. If you have the heated seats, the heating metal plates stick out towards the back of the seat bottom - you can usually feel them if you press your hands along the bottom close to where it meets the back piece. That's probably what's causing most of the discomfort.

    Either get a pad, or ask the dealer to do something about this - they can sometimes reposition the heating plates or add padding to the seat under the upholstery.
  • jwfbeanjwfbean Member Posts: 5
    Actually the seats are not heated. It's just a vanilla Forester. However, they are a pain in the [non-permissible content removed], for sure.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    My only other idea would be to consult with a local upholstery shop. Usually any place that installs leather can also custom-modify your seat, maybe add heating elements while you're at it.

    Turbos crave octane, I would not starve them of the stuff. As gas prices go up, the premium for premium as a % of your total fuel costs actually gets smaller. It's only about 6.67% extra cost at $3 per gallon when premium is 20 cents more, or $150 per year or so.

  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    As gas prices go up, the premium for premium as a % of your total fuel costs actually gets smaller

    Hey that's my argument! :P Actually though, I've noticed a disturbng trend recently around here where the price of premium at some stations is now 26 cents more than regular. Let's hope that pricing model doesn't catch on :(

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Price of regular went up 6 cents here today to $2.95. But Premium is at $3.35, a 40 cent leap!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Around here it's pretty consistently 20 cents between the two. Like I said, 6.something %.

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Hmmm, Sneakers posted and didn't plug the Subaru Crew chat tonight. The shock of filling up the tank will do that to you I guess.

    Differential in Boise is still .20 between regular and high test.

    Steve, Host
  • kavoomkavoom Member Posts: 181
    As gas prices go up, the premium for premium as a % of your total fuel costs actually gets smaller

    Hey, that's my argument too...or is that three now.

    Wow, those 40 cent differences between the two kind of shoot down the argument, but here in Kansas it is like they can't sell the premium as I have seen it (last Sun) at my local BP only 16 cents higher and silver only 8 cents.

    I have a plain old X manual, but I tow an 1800 lb pop up trailer in the mountains occasionally. People say I am nuts, but I know that premium at 8,000 feet works better than regular (87 in the mountains) while pulling. My observations are subjective, but I did utilize some rigor in my tests. I have done the same climb with both and was eyeing 2nd gear at one point with regular and didn't worry about it with premium. It was subtle, but distinct.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    So far as I know, the Octane need actually decreases the higher you go.....that is why regular unleaded will be dispensed as 85 Octane in higher elevations, and in NYC or LA, regular unleaded will be 87. ;)
  • 204meca204meca Member Posts: 369
    After spending 3 weeks in two rentals, it was good to get back to my 03 Forester XS. However, after riding a couple of cars with rather plush seats I fully realized how hard the fabric seat surfaces on my Forester. So I am considering something softer to sit on and 1" sheepskins sound like the ticket. Any suggestions for an economical source of good ones? Thanks
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    I bought mine @ the Subaru dealership, fit fine, made with the side airbags in mind, and high quality. I believe it was less than $100 for the pair.....
  • 204meca204meca Member Posts: 369
    Thanks for the suggestion. However, the Subie dealers in Bellingham & Seattle don't carry em. Any other suggestions?
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    I did a Web search on google for the brand I was sold by Lithia Subaru in Reno, Miss Sideless, Click here for that link.

    They are made by the New Zealand Australian Companies, Inc. And if you click this link it gives a list of dealers in Washington State, for that company, unknown if they sell the Miss Sideless sheepskins, or just some other products by that company...

    Some of the search results were Amazon links, so they migh carry them there as well. I think the first link, and numbers will be the most help in locating what you need. I hope this helps you. :)
  • kavoomkavoom Member Posts: 181
    There apparently is something that says Do NOT Tint the sunroof as it will crack. Why I don't know, but there are reports to that effect on these boards somewhere and pretty recently.
  • kavoomkavoom Member Posts: 181
    I have the tan interior and was in Sam's club and ran across Australian ones that perfectly matched the interior for 39 bucks apiece and they are sideless and say specifically they will NOT interfere with the airbags there. I love them. It was an impulse buy but well worth it...particularly on those really cold mornings when the seats are hard and cold...

    This was about a year ago and I don't remember seeing them since, but I haven't been looking.
  • terry92270terry92270 Member Posts: 1,247
    I enjoy them for the comfort in Summer actually, and have always regretted not getting the LL Bean edition for the leather seats.

    As for cold, my model includes those nifty seat warmers, and I always recommend that people get them, as they are well worth the small amount you pay. ;)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I just searched through 100 "sunroof tint" posts here and didn't see any cautions about tinting a sunroof. "Do not tint sun roof" got no net search hits, although there is one Honda guy saying that sunroof glass is somehow different and will expand/contract differently with tint on it and explode.

    Sounds a bit urban legendish - anyone have any info from a tinting company or manufacturer?
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