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Subaru Forester



  • Hello all - my first posting on this board - from what I've read through in the past everyone seems really helpful... so thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

    So I'm considering taking a kayaking trip in the Adirondacks and one of the access points requires a fairly substantial stream crossing (outlet from a lake actually). What is the maximum water depth I should consider driving through to avoid damaging the car (engine). The water level fluctuates but it's at least a couple feet deep - maybe around 3 ft. at high water; last year I went through with a friend who had a Honda Element and it made the crossing several times without a problem.

    Does Subaru actually specify a maximum depth for the car ?
  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,923
    Fording depth on a Humvee (military H1) is 2.5ft without a deep water kit, so no, I would not cross 3ft of water in a Forester. Or an Element. Are we talking about a true 3 feet here?

    15.5 XC70 T6 / 16 Soul EV / 17 Toyota 86

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If the element made it you can make it too.

    3ft is highly unlikely though.

    Where in the Adirondacks are you going? I have a place up there.

    Also if you do it, get a K&N Filter, I've used them in all my offroad vehicles and they are real good at preventing water/mud intrusion from such crossings.

  • So, I found a place in Cincinnati that will charge me $322+tax for:
    Oil & filter (which is all I'll provide)
    Fuel filter
    Automatic transmission fluid service
    Change F+R differential fluids
    Brake fluid flush
    Air filter
    Coolant Flush

    Its amazing how much prices vary between service locations. Joseph Subaru in Florence, KY, charges about $55-60 to install a cabin filter (parts+labor), while Beechmont Subaru in Cincinnati (28 miles away) charges $90! I think I found a good independant guy. He also deals in Nokians. I plan to replace my worn Falkens with the Nokian WR, and not worry about changing tires in winter.

    Thanks for all you guys' help. Any one ever used the WRs on their Subies?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Clearance is about 3" more than the Element, but 3' in either one sounds risky.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    Risky! The Subaru's intake would definitely be submerged at 3'. Even 2' is taking quite a chance, but is it a real 2', or estimated 2'? People tend to estimate deep (which is not a bad thing, actually!).

    Either way, it is definitely worth checking/replacing fluids after the trip to ensure no water is hanging out in differentials, etc.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I'll have to find the pics of Juice taking his Forester through a water crossing in the pine barrens years ago. Good fun!

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    I would love to see it. Every time I do something "fun" in my Subaru, there is no camera to be found.

    I am a "too bad I did not get a photo of that!" kind of person.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    This was fun, indeed, but fact is this wasn't even a foot deep, I suspect.

    Any how, here's that pic....

    lark6 has the black one, mine's the green one.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    Here's one more. I posted this before (a long time ago). This vehicle is currently listed in the Seattle ares Craigslist for $3600. :P

    modified subie GL wagon river crossing

  • Thanks everyone for the replies - I was definitely doing an estimate on the water depth but I realistically would say last year when we went through it was probably very close to 2 ft deep; I'm judging that based partly on wading into it and also the by the way the Element pushed the bulk of the water rather than spraying thru it as would happen if it wasn't particularly deep - it resulted in kind of a tsunami effect where it piled the water up toward the far shore...

    Anyways - I'll now be able to judge better whether to risk driving through there or just leave the car on one side and portage the kayaks in...

    BTW the location in the Adirondacks is called Chaney Pond and it's a great spot north of Lake George to do some kayak / canoe camping...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure rainfall and other issues will affect just how deep it really is. Just be careful and go with someone that has a tow strap, just in case! :shades:
  • acleme2acleme2 Posts: 3
    Hello everyone. Thanks for reading my post. I'll get right to it. I recently purchased a 2001 Subaru Forester L. It has a manual transmission, and 88,000 miles. It is my first Subaru, and I am very excited. The car has been well cared for and the previous owners kept meticulous records.

    After driving it for a few days, I began to notice several things that could be potential problems. I had a Subaru dealership check it out (they did the basic $70 used car 1,200,063 point check). It got a clean bill of health except that it has a small leak in a valve cover that is leaking into the plug chamber (i hope i got that right). He said tht it was not something I needed to worry about right away, but something I would want to get fixed in the future - and then he sent me on my way.

    I will now list out the other things that I think could potentially be wrong. Any insight into these problems would be very much appreciated. Here goes:

    1. The rear brakes are squeeling when coming to a stop at low speeds. It's a high-pitch squeel, and only when I come to a stop. Wouldn't the dealer have seen poor brakes when inspecting? Any ideas?

    2. The rear-end jumps and shakes the car when I let-off the clutch in first gear? The car bounces, and I have to re-engage the clutch and let it out slower. Is this an AWD thing (I have never owned an AWD before), or is it something I should be concerned about?

    3. The clutch feels like it might be slipping. When shifting from 2nd to 3rd, or from 3rd to 4th, there is a delay from when I let off the clutch, and when the gear catches. I let off the clutch, and then there is a 1-3 second delay, and then the gear catches (you can feel it and hear it).

    4. Puff of blue smoke when starting in the morning. I believe this could be from the oil leaking into the plug chamber. After first startup, the exhaust looks and smells very clean.

    So sorry for the incredibly long email. I'm just worried that our new (to us) Subaru might have some issues. I need to figure this out before it is too late to go back to the seller with the problems. Thanks so anyone who can help me out with this.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would probably go ahead and have someone change the valve cover gasket, it's not that hard. You do not have to drop the engine like some myths would have you believe.

    The rear brakes are drums, so it's probably just collecting some dust inside and causing the squeeking. I would spary in some brake parts cleaner and see if that helps. While you're down there go ahead and spray some lithium grease on the sway bar links.

    The rear-end jump is probably caused by a bad wheel bearing. Have those inspected. Up until MY2003 that was a common occurence.

    Good news is I don't think any of those issues are very serious. Enjoy your Forester.
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I have a 2001 Forester S, purchased new, which currently has 168K miles. The leak around the spark plug is common with these engines. I've found that I've needed to change these gaskets (a rubber o-ring, actually) every other spark plug change, or 60K miles. The shaking sounds like the clutch "judder" problem, which affected several years, including 2001. This would be most noticeable upon a cold start, and more noticeable in damp weather. The fix for this is to replace the entire clutch assembly. Subaru has some newly designed parts, which eliminated the "judder" problem. Some other common problems include defective rear wheel bearings and a leaking head gasket (the number 4 cylinder...check under the car for leaking below the driver's side rear cylinder).

    My Forester has experienced all of the above issues, and a few more. Despite these problems, all of which have since been repaired, I really love my car, and would probably buy a new Forester again. Best of luck with yours.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    At 88k miles you may be due for a clutch.

    As for the jumping in 1st gear, it's common that 1st gear really can't be used on a subaru while moving. You can use it to start out but you can't go back into 1st until stopped.

    Smoke is probably from the valve cover gasket leak.

  • I must say, you guys are a splendid resourse. Thanks for all your suggestions/pointers.

    Finally got new air, fuel and oil filters and the fluids changed (transmission, diffs, brake, coolant, oil). Since the Falkens were worn down to the wear-bars, I finally got the Nokian WRs for $136 each (balanced, mounted, alligned, tire-disposal, free lifetime balancing & rotations). After those Falkens came off, it was like driving a new car.... where was all that road noise? These Nokians are quiet... The car rides smooth. Now I'll sell my Blizzaks, and save the yearly switching expenses.

    The total for all but the tires was about $365, taxes included. I only provided the oil & filter.

    By the way, should I always stay with 5W30? I hear people with higher milage going to 10W30. That's not what the manual states. I plan to stay with Mobil 1, and aim to run this car into the ground. If the change is advised, at what milage can this change take place?


    PS: 4-Blizzaks WS50 215/60/16 for sale!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    If anything I'd run 0w30 in the winter. 10w30 will yield worse milage and generally isn't suggested.

    Mobile 1 is ok, but I'd suggest going to Amsoil or Redline as they have a better synthetic than M1.

  • Tire replacement time... I'm thinking of replacing the stock Geolandars (blech) to some 225/55s on the stock 16" wheels on my XT (2006). Anyone know if there's enough wheel well clearance to do this safely? Also, anyone have any opinions on the Conti Extreme Contact? Tirerack seems to like them.

    Thanks, Chuck
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    >>Anyone know if there's enough wheel well clearance to do this safely?<<

    You can put your head in there if you want. They put 17 inchers on the XT's so you shouldn't have any problem. has every question you might have answered...
  • Thanks for the tip. I'm going to look for one of those here in Cincy, OH. I was in South Dakota, and never had an issue with M1 5W30 even in the heart of sub-zero winters. Always had good, smooth starts. Oil analyses were consistently good, without any sign of engine wear or break-down. Oil changes were twice/year in Spring/Fall, and averaging about 7500 miles per change.

    Maybe, as the engine ages, I'll try the Redline/Amsoil. I plan to change filters every 3.5K miles, and change oil every 7K.
  • Why are you planning to change the size? I wanted to do the same thing, but the feel I got from this forum was there is an argument for and against both options. I did not want to change the full-size spare, so I elected to go with the stock size of 215/60-16. I went with Falkens (512s) 3 years ago. After those wore out, I went with Nokian WRs in the stock size (2 weeks ago). I had forgotten how much fun the car could be, and how quiet it could get. There previous deafening road-noise is history. Just amazing. And the traction is nothing to scoff at. I haven't noticed any drop in milage. I keep the pressures at 38 psi.

    Other than Nokians, there are the Michelin Exaltos and Bridgestone Potenza G009s to choose from. Hope this helps.
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Subaru has a thread re rumor 09 that may have pics of the new 09. It is from a Japanese magazine...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll go check it out, but note that the Japanese magazines tend to be WAY off when it comes to predicting what the final cars will look like. Look at the sketches for the Impreza and STI recently.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Interesting. It may be a photochop, but I like the look. Hope they bring the diesel over with the 09.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if we saw the same image.

    Gold one, with a sagging front end?

    Looks like a Forester with an Outback nose that melted slightly.

    I found it hideous and I'm praying it's not accurate.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Front end looks odd, but I liked the sides. No more strange creases. I'm guessing the real thing will look much cleaner. Given the more generic look of the new Tribecca, my guess is Subaru will stick to a pretty conservative design.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,000
    Cannot seem to find it.... anyone willing to just post the image? :sick:
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
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