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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    to my eyes—it just looks right. No longer does it look like a "California Low Rider." Maybe that's a bit too much, as you say. Who knows what it does to on-road handling. I'm sure nothing good, since the center of gravity has been substantially raised.

    Maybe, as you say a compromise, somewhere in the middle. Perhaps a 1" body lift with 1" longer springs, riding on 225/60x16 tires?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the one with whole enchilada looks like it's on stilts.

    The Aussie folks say the Lovell springs are stiffer and handling stays more flat. One guy that did it all did end up rolling his, though he was off road (BTW, it held up so well, not any glass broke at all, and yes he has photos to prove it).

    iSR's springs are different, though. I think those with 235/60R16 tires on my rims would make for a nice package, don't you think?

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    look good on vehicles this size. That's what's on the Grand Vitara, and is available on the Rav4 too. I hope we see this tire size on the next Forester.

  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,271
    I also like how lifted Forester looks
  • dhdunndhdunn Posts: 51
    Okay, I was going to do another test drive of the Forester today because someone very excellently suggested that the sway which I felt in my first Forester testdrive might have had to do with incorrect tire inflation.

    Well, I noticed that the Outback wagons were less than I expected, so I decided to testdrive one of them as well. I was quite impressed with the Outback, but think I'd stick with the Forester. I think it's a better value $ for $, and I liked the handling better. I.e., I didn't notice the sway that I felt with the other one.

    So, I'm pretty much set on the Forester, which also has the limited slip differential which I think would be nice to have especially here in Colorado's Front Range.

    Any Outback aficionados out there who want to voice another perspective, I'd be very happy to hear it.

    Kate, are you a long-time Subaru owner? If so, have you been happy with your other Subarus? Thanks!!

  • twrxtwrx Posts: 647
    bought a Forester L just after they came out in the smmer of '97. replaced the Bridgestone dueler tires at 48,000 miles, even wear and exellent in snow. I replaced them with the same Bridgestones for less than $400.

    Long trips: i went to Colorado from Indiana (1000+ miles one way) three years in a row. I have a bad back and I can honestly say the car was great on all long haul drives.

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    The Forester is built off of the Impreza chassis, so it generally has tighter handling and feel (as others have mentioned here also).

    The Outback is based on the Legacy chassis, which is slightly larger than the Impreza. Still, it should feel pretty tight handling wise. Some have mentioned that the Legacy GT is Subaru's best kept secret (before the WRX). It doesn't have the raised suspension of the Forester or Outback, but has very good handling.

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    I forgot that there was no scheduled chat for tonight, so I'm catching up on the posts. Hope everyone who celebrated Christmas had a nice one. Mine was pretty low-key.

    I knew about the engine oil cooler on my '00 w/AT. Short of the moonroof (which, as I'm nearly bald on top, I miss less and less :-( ) and the variable intermittent wipers front and rear, there's not much more from the '01-02's that I miss on the '00. I may still have to try juice's cupholder swap at some point.

    Brian is on the mark re the Legacy GT. I was very close to buying an '00 GT wagon (black or green) based on its better ride and lack of body lean compared to Forester and Outback. The Forester's power-to-weight ratio and nimbler handling (being Impreza-based) won the day for me. I am not doing as much rough-roading as I thought I would be so, if anything, the Forester's ride height could be lower for me. Then again, as my parents age I expect I may be easier to road trip to see then rather than fly; as there are still a lot of unpaved, rutted rural roads in their area, having the ground clearance is a plus.

    Now that winter is upon us, those toasty seat heaters are appreciated yet again. They're best right when you get in the car in the morning or leaving work in the evening. Put 'em on high and I'm good and warmed up in under 5 minutes. Put 'em on low and it takes maybe 10. Once I'm plenty warm I turn 'em off again. They get me warm even before the heater knocks off the chill. Too bad the GT didn't have them available (does it now?) nor does the US-spec WRX.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Kate may still have her trusty-dusty Loyale. She piled on the miles and it refused to die.

    I say if you like the Forester, get that. You are the one making the payments, so you have be happy with the choice. I'm certainly not going to try to talk you out of it. Even if your needs change, worst-case scenario you still have excellent resale value and a long powertrain warranty for piece of mind.

    Ed: only the Legacy GT Limited, and that only comes as a sedan. We want heated seats in our next car, and the wife likes torque, so that pushes us into an LL Bean wagon most likely.

    Outbacks with the AWP have them, as do OBLtd models, and all H6s. The Legacy gets little attention from Subaru, it's a shame.

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    juice: Still no AWP for the GT wagon? That's silly. Look at SoA's press photos and where do they show the wagon? At a ski resort. Go figure.

    I had you pegged for the VDC; what makes you favor the Bean?

  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    Your Temp guage won't vary until your car goes over a certain temp. The sender is not set up to go past halfway until it goes over a preset temp. This is to keep people from bringing in their vehicles with cooling complaints when conditions make their cars run at a higher indicated temp. that may be well within the car's limits. Manufacturers are doing this to try to keep people satisfied with their vehicle's perceived reliability.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I was wondering if any of you Foresters live in the Buffalo, NY area and how you're dealing with 4+feet of snow! I know the area is pretty flat but 4' has got to count for something to an SUVer.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I heard that was true on the Mazda Miata but I did not hear that on the subarus. Can you verify undeniably this fact?

  • NancyNancy Posts: 5
    Hi, everyone. I need a little help. I am experiencing paint chips on the top side of my underdoor panels of my new 2001 Forester. The dealer says it's stone chips but where the chips are (on the top side of the panel) you need to open the doors to actually see the chips. I do not drive on any stone roads and have never had chips on any vehicle like this before. I think it's defective paint on my S vehicle- can anyone help me out or give me suggestions? I am having a terrible time with the dealer. Thanks, Nancy
  • Just wanted to warn people with Foresters. I own a 2002 Forester "S". I took it to a local auto place to get the first two oil changes done. The first time I had no problem. The second time (at 7,500 miles) I immediately started hearing a transmission whine when I drove it off the lot. I took it to the dealer and they told me that I had to have a whole new transmission! I took it to them on 28 Nov 01 and just got it back fixed on 27 Dec! They said it was okay to drive it until the parts came in (they said the parts would not even be shipped from Portland Maine until 18 Dec...that the car was so new that the parts had to be manufactured!) I drove it for the first week or so and it began chugging around so bad that I returned it to the dealer and demanded a loaner car. After some coercion, they sent me to the rental car place and gave me a Geo Metro! In the meantime, I contacted Subaru of America who were absolutely no help. After getting the car back yesterday, I spoke with the mechanic who worked on it. He said that the problem could have been caused by the auto place, but that after they contacted Subaru for advise, Subaru said just replace the transmission under the warranty. He said he has seen this problem before and that it may be caused by the fact that when they go to drain the oil, the first plug they see is the transmission fluid. He said there is a possibility that the auto place accidentally mixed up the fluids. He said that they even have to stress this fact to the mechanics at the dealer because it is confusing. So long story, I have my car back, supposedly with a new transmission, but now I feel like I should trade it in on something else because I don't trust it. The salesperson who sold it to me last May offered me $18,000 for it (I paid $25,000).

    The only other problem I have had with this brand new 2002 car is that the front power windows "catch" on something as they come back up. It makes a grinding noise and vibrates the door when the window passes that spot. Anyone else have that trouble? The dealer replaced the motor, but the catch is still there.

    Last thing, just beware when you have the oil changed! (or could it be that the transmission was really just a lemon?)

    p.s. SOA says they are going to give me a 6 year/100,000 extended "Gold" warranty for my frustration.

    P.S.S. If I do decide to trade this car in, what other "mini" SUV would you recommend?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Not SOA. The tranny isn't "new" in that car and they should have had it replaced in a week or so. No excuse for that.

    As for other mini-utes... the rest are pretty crappy, try an XL7 or Grand Vitara.

  • Thanks for the heads up on the oil change problem. Seems as though Subaru did you a huge favor. They could've made you fight with Firestone to get your tranny replaced. What Firestone most likely did was drain your front differential. Also make sure you check your engine oil, because Firestone may have over filled it thinking they had drained the oil when they really mistakenly drained the diff instead of the engine. When I bought my Forester I was wandering around the shop asking the mechanics many questions about maintaining my new Scooby. The fellow I was talking to took me over & showed me a Forester with the tranny in pieces being repaired for the very same reason as yours was. He also said the engine was over filled by 4 quarts! I'd be staying away from Firestone from now on! Altough I would let them know what they did to your poor car. Maybe you can shame them out of a new set of tires or something else to compensate you for your troubles. As far as your window problem goes I have no idea what it could be just let them fix it. Maybe it's just out of adjustment. Don't sell your car for such a loss, you have plenty of warranty left so don't worry be happy. Kinda sounds like a song title doesn't it. :-)

    Good luck
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    does it uses clutches or mulitple plates?


  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Chuck, there is no front diffy fluid, on the subarus the front diffy is enclosed and lubricated by the transmission.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    rear LSD is viscous coupling. I don't believe it's mechanical.

  • Mike, according to my owners manual for a 2000L auto the front diff takes GL5 gear lube & the tranny takes Dextron II or III. The front diff even has it's own dipstick. I think you may be right about the front diff for a maual tranny.

    I've always called the visous LSD the silly putty diff. No clutches to wear just silly putty.

  • Whew, guess we blundered into a love fest. Thought that this was a product of steel and rubber, not personal. Defensive and touchy guys.
    So, open up to facts. This is not Brazil, not Illinois, but a place where it snows....often. I buy what works. If it can be improved, do it. That's our system of capitalism.
    Too much for SOA to disclose that their OEM tires are unsafe in snow? That is reality. Blame the messenger....your problem.
    Sure, anyone will pay for value, but have any of you read the real world, unbiased reports on these tires? So culties (the juvenile attacks ad hominem offer in return): how about just a disclosure from your Subaru? Tell the consumer that these tires are not made for northern exposure. Period.
    I'll leave to your groupfest......not a forum.
  • Hi, did somebody use split fire spark plugs in Forester ? Any suggestions? Chris
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Why don't you relax and take a chill. These tires are std equipment on a lot of cars. They are not un-safe in snow and in 80% of the US it doesn't snow. No offense to canadians but you aren't their target market. What do you want them to do, put on Blizzaks for you? I'm sure that the people here in NYC, Illinois and FLA would be up in arms about having blizzaks as std equipment.

    You must be really dumb to buy a subaru though, knowing what crappy tires come on them, where else have they cut corners? I mean if they don't put your personal favorite tires on as OEM equipment the rest of the car is just crap right? Grow up, get a life, and spend an extra $500 on the tire *YOU* want on the car.


    PS: I guess that Honda, Mazda and a host of other companies are jeapordizing themselves by putting the RE92s on their cars. God forbid the user be given some responsibility for driving safely. Why don't we sue the car manufacturers everytime someone gets into an accident with their car? Afterall it *must be the car manufacturer's fault since they built the car!
  • Facts.
    1. Snow occurs in every state of the United States: including NYC, Mike. We had no snow in the Gulf or Nam. Not many other high latitudes don't have some snow. (Double negative Paisan).
    2. Read often? Check out the CR reports on testing --real world conditions --on SUV, All-Season, and Winter tires.
    3. Look over the online consumer (that is people who buy and use products in the real world) evaluations such as Tirerack.
    Still upset? Want to blame the messenger? I thought that this a "forum" for a product?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I live in NYC. We get 1-2 snow storms a year. Of which they are always 3-4" max snow per snow fall. Again I'd like to ask you which tires you suggest they put on instead of the RE92s in the same price range and overall comfort level. Tirerack is not an un-biased opinion. They get spiffs from different manufacturers and thus cannot be an un-biased source for information. CR is also the same people who say the Trooper and the Montero roll over, and that the Explorer doesn't, yet in the real world the Explorer is the one that rolls and there are no incidences of Monteros or Trooper rollovers, sounds pretty bias on CRs part to me.

    I take it you discount all the people who have posted saying the RE92s were decent in the snow here. Believe what you want. Don't buy a subaru because of the tires if you like.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    "1. Snow occurs in every state of the United States"

    Hmm you are right, but how many snow covered road days are there in any state south of NYC? I've lived in Philly also and they get 2-3 snow days a year, I know people that live all over the country and most of them NEVER have snow so I'm not sure where your facts come from.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ed: VDC is great, Bean is just available for much less. The wife think we're stretching the budget and likes the two-tone wheel and leather.

    The 1990-1994 Miatas had a working temp gauge, but they indeed went to a dummy gauge in 1995.

    caperosier: you're still yelling about hating the pizza (see story above), and that may be why few are listening. IIRC you were offered half credit for the tires, so given they've lasted 27k miles, that's like getting 54k out of the tires, which is remarkable actually. Take the credit, buy a different tire, and move on. Get over it, really.

    Frank: I have heard of cheap lube places draining the wrong fluid, but blame them, not Subaru. The tranny drain plug is very clearly on the bottom on the trans, anyone with an inkling of knowledge about cars can figure that out. They probably got lazy and did not take the plastic cover off the bottom, then made a huge mistake.

    Kudos to them for stepping up and fixing it anyway, instead of sueing the oil place, and for giving you a free extended warranty. Why trade? Seems to me like they did everything they could.

    OK, except for the Geo Metro. That was cruel and unusual punishment! ;-)

  • You don't get it guys. So involved with the company that there's too much of your emotion showing. "Get a life" !! C'mon now.
    Bought new tires 3 months ago. Do not want "credit" or anything...except:
    Now listen, read the lips: "The OEM tires are poor in snow, in slush, in cold rain (most of North America, people). Subaru should disclose to buyers of the Forester that this is the case." Period. No pizza, no gripe, no $$$. We like the car (not Love).The OEM tires are poor products for what Subaru is marketing to most of us.
    Why do you not get this? Why didn't SOA even respond (on their site and here)??. Nothing to get over. And it is not a hill to die on. So do not.
  • In your post #3601, where does your "read the lips" quote come from? Is that from Consumer Reports? If these tires are so poor in snow, slush, and cold rain as to be dangerous, why does Subaru (and as juice pointed out Honda and Toyota) continue to put them on their vehicles as OEM? If they are sacrificing safety for profit, I say take your data and go to 60 Minutes or Dateline. As stated in previous posts, the Duelers certainly aren't the best tires in the world, but from the reviews I've read they don't appear to be as bad or as dangerous as you claim.

    So if I understand you right, you want Subaru (and I would assume Honda and Toyota, and any other manufacturer who equips their vehicles with the Desert Duelers) to issue a statement that these tires are poor in wet and snowy conditions, right? I agree that they should do this -- if the tires are dangerous. If they are safe enough, why do they have to report anything?

    I guess the bottom line is I'm not convinced that these tires perform as poorly as you claim. To reiterate my first sentence; where's your data coming from?

This discussion has been closed.