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Subaru Forester



  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    by 'side impact protection' do you mean side airbags in the seats?

    Yes, sorry I didn't clarify that. The front seat mounted airbags also provide head protection.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, and they were pretty unique for the class. Side impact protection per IIHS and NHTSA tests were already good even before it got the curtains.

    The curtains (new for 2009) added protection for the rear seats, though.
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,736
    "The curtains (new for 2009) added protection for the rear seats, though. "

    Given that I may somehow permanently lower the rear seat to prevent my 16-year old from having more than one passenger, I don't mind the lack of curtains :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    But then the keg of beer won't be protected! ;)
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    That's what the cargo tie-downs are for! :P
  • spgrspgr Posts: 23
    I left my 2005 X parked in the airport for 5 weeks. The valet person brought it to the reception area and turned the engine off. It's a good thing he left the window down when he did this because all the doors all of a sudden locked. When I started the car, the cruise light was blinking and the check engine light stayed on. Since then, the cruise control does not work, the cruise light blinks and the check engine light stays on. Any ideas as to what may be wrong here? I am trying to save myself the diagnostic fee.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if the battery went too low, and that caused all this?

    After a long drive, to be sure the battery is fully charged, I would reset the ECU, to give yourself a clean slate.

    Just disconnect the negative battery terminal, wait 20 minutes. Have your key fob handy, reconnect the battery but be ready to lock/unlock with your keyless a couple of times to stop the flashing lights and beeping.

    At least that gives you a clean slate to start with.
  • spgrspgr Posts: 23
    Many thanks for the quick reply. I'll try it.
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I had similar symptoms a few years ago when the alternator went bad on my 2001 Forester. All the warning lights went crazy. After the alternator was replaced, all was back to normal.

  • spgrspgr Posts: 23
    I tried it. However, when I reconnected the negative there were no flashing lights or beeping. The battery had a slight difficulty starting but it did. I was very pleased to see the blinking cruise and the check engine lights disappear and that the cruise control worked fine all day that day. The following day however (yesterday) the blinking cruise and the check engine lights came back on. Any guesses on this? Do I need a new battery?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Do you have any friends that own an ODB2 scanner? I have an Actron that cost me less than $100.

    Those can read and clear the codes, so we know more.
  • We had exactly the same problem. Disconnected and reconnected the battery and filled the tank with premium fuel and made sure that the fuel cap clicked twice, as suggested in threads on-line and by Subaru. After about a week or so the light would always come back on. We finally took it into a mechanic who ran the CEL code and discovered that we had a really dirty spark plug. Has been running great the last 3 weeks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good idea.

    A while back I recall that Kate used a bottle of HEET to remove water contamination from the fuel lines, and that helped. Maybe he just got a bum tank of gas.
  • for05for05 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 2005 forester ll bean edition it is supposed to have a windshield deicer but I have no electric grids at the bottom only a black metal band at the top that appears to run around the entire windshield it this the deicer?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No, you should see a grid of lines (mine are dark orange IIRC) right around the wiper blades' resting spot.

    My guess is the original windshield broke and they replaced it with a cheap one, instead of one with the heater element.

    If you bought it from a dealer I would take it back and complain.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Found a sample pic, it should look like this:

  • spgrspgr Posts: 23
    Well, I found out that Autozone scans codes for free. Their scanner generated three reports which, in sum, they are:
    Report 1) the catalyst system efficiency for bank 1 (which I guess is cylinder 1) is below threshold for the current engine operating conditions. As one of the probable causes, the report says that it could be a defective catalytic converter.
    Reports 2) and 3) are the same: that a misfire has occurred in cylinders #3 and #4, for which a probable cause is faulty spark plugs.

    I plan to replace all four spark plugs and hope that this will do it. Is there anything else that you think I should be doing? Many thanks for all your help with this.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds familiar, I had a misfire that turned out to be a hungry chipmunk chewing up my spark plug wires! :surprise:

    Try the plugs first. Next in line would be the wires. Lastly, the ignition coil. Don't worry, the coil is just $80 and there is only one, plus it's very, very easy to replace.

    That should fix it, let's hope.
  • Hey Juice,

    My '09 has AWP and my wipers don't rest on the heating element thing; they sit above it...don't seem to be able to move them either. Wondering if it's something I should mention at the next service?
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    my wipers don't rest on the heating element thing; they sit above it

    Assuming the wiper blades rest somewhere close to the heating elements, I wouldn't worry about it. The heating elements will warm a fairly large area of glass.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    That photo is just a sample, I don't think it's a Subaru.

    They will melt the whole area around them. Also, if you're pushing slush beneath the wipers, that's just where you want them - to melt the stuff that piles up there.
  • Frank, Juice:

    Thanks for that. It's pretty nice having knowledgeable people to ask advice for advice! Especially when you're not a car guy...
  • The problem was not fixed in post-2002 Foresters. My 2003 2.5X has 119,000 miles on it, and I was told today the burning oil smell is due to the dreaded head gasket issue.

    I had the 'coolant conditioner" added every time coolant was changed. Obviously this didn't do the trick.

    I understand SOA has a warranty but just for pre-2003 models and under 100,000 miles.

    Despite that, would it still be worth calling SOA to see if they would help pay the $1,400 expense for a known defect?

    Also, is this an inherent problem with boxer engines, where fuel/oil and other corrosives are in longer contact with the head gasket, eventually leading to the problem? :(
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That plus there are 2 heads, while most 4 cylinders have only 1. That makes the problem twice as likely.

    At 119k, though, all bets are off. You're at double the powertrain warranty's mileage. I'd be surprised if they helped, but call 800-SUBARU3 and ask, can't hurt I suppose. Be friendly, you get more flies with honey.
  • psfod3psfod3 Posts: 63
    Just traded in my 03 Forester X with 187,000 miles on it. I felt it would go for another 100,000 but the check engine light came on about 27,000 miles ago and I ran it till it needed inspection in Oct. I did not want to put $1300.00 into a catalytic converter. I felt the car was a true work horse but did nothing exceptionally well. It was very reliable. My one big complaint about the car was its handling in snow. I felt the car would never get stuck from a dead stop, but would slide off the road in the snow. The more gas I gave it the more it would slide to the side with the road banking. It was annoying watching small civics and corrolas blow by me in bad weather. The car was a great hauler and I am going to miss it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What kind of tires did you have on it? Sounds like more of a tire problem than anything.

    I had snow tires on a 98 Forester and it was virtually unstoppable.

    On worn touring tires, well, let's just say it was easy to coerce it to drift on demand.
  • done37done37 Posts: 64
    When my Geolanders were worn down pretty low with 35K on my xt, I definitely noticed a side to side loss in traction and a pronounced plow in snow or low traction conditions. I soon after put on some Kumho all season tires and my Subie was back in action with superior traction. I don't think it had anything to do with the Brand of tire, they were just new with plenty of tread. Also, Rotating your tires is a must.

    I am sure we all know the little trick of applying the e-brake to help your car rotate around the corner if you start to plow. I do it occassionaly but can't recommend it, seeing that it depends on speed, conditions, experience, Etc...
  • Wondering if 2005 was a good or bad year for the forester? I am seriously considering buying the 05 LL Bean edition with 62K miles - should i go for it?
  • I think it depends more on the individual vehicle, and the care it has received, but we have had 2 01s, an 02, and currently have an 05 Bean and an 06 Premium. The Bean is my wife's and she loves it. The only problem she had was with the moonroof track, and everything but the glass got replaced under warranty.

    We haven't had a bad Forester yet. My wife's cousin has an 02, and my brother has an 08. Both of those have been very good vehicles too. There have also been a couple of Legacys around the family. Our extended family has never had a bad Subaru.
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,736
    We've gone and bought a 2007 base Forester. It appears to be in good shape. What might you recommend (besides what's in the manual) to make sure it stays that way? It's our first Subaru.
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