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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • megs50megs50 Posts: 10
    I live in Houston Texas, my forester is in excellant condition, I installed a manufacture Cd player, Alarm system, has 34,000 miles, no accidents, very few flaws. Had purchased this with many upgrades, premium wheels, premium muffler system, heated seats, fully loaded. But apparently these are not to popular here. Dealers told me that up north this vehicle is a good seller, not in Texas. I don't know why , cause these fog lights have really helped me and the awd is good with all the rain we get. But still it is only worth about $7500.00. so don't know what I am going to do about it. I have got much time til end of Smart buy term.
  • Hi all.
    My Forester is three weeks old. And I love her to death. Last weekend we got rear ended at a stoplight. It was raining and the guy behind slipped into a skid hitting me at 45-50 mph (or so he told the cop). I can't see any damage on my car, but I want her checked out. What should I insist the insurance people check for?

    On another note...For the first week that I had the car, putting gas in was no problem...then all of a sudden the little hinged flap to the fuel tank got stuck. When I put the gas pump in, the door only cracks open so I have to very slowly dribble the gas in. Did I do something silly? Is this a quick fix, or do I need to take my car in to the doctor?
    Thanks so much
  • Hi, Just had 30K service at Stohlman SUBARU, VA. I found that there is a strong burning smell from the radiator, and the coolant level go above the max level while the engine has run for a while, but goes back to the max level, after it cooled down. I call the dealer, and was told that the opposite should happen: coolent level should be lower in the reservoir while the engine is running. I wonder if they have followed the correct procedure to change the coolant, Shame on their if they messed up. Also I am supposed to have spark plugs changed but the dealership said the plugs are plantinum plugs and should be good for 65000 miles. I have a colleague who got a service at 30K there, and a few thousands miles later, had to have the water pump replaced(within warrantee).
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    ...slipped into a skid hitting me at 45-50 mph (or so he told the cop). I can't see any damage on my car...

    I am quite certain that at 40-50 mph you'd see a whole bunch of damage!

  • ckirk4ckirk4 Posts: 11
    The recent comments about the Forester are very interesting. I found the wheel bearing problem to be so interesting that I contacted SUBARU3, after having had a conversation with a sales person on Feb. 23, 2002, in Lexington, KY. Specifically, the sales person told me to expect to replace the wheel bearings in 50K. However, he said this type of work is covered under the warranty. As for the person handling the calls at SUBARU3, she said this is a new complaint and had not heard about the wheel bearing problem prior to my call. She seem to believe that the complaints are isolated cases. I am interested in hearing more comments about this problem. I am very interested in the 2003 Forester but do not want to buy a vehicle that will constantly have wheel bearing problems.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423

    a. That sales person is an idiot if he actually said that and he obviously wasn't interested in a sale.

    b. SOA reps are under pretty strict rules on what they can and can not say. While SOA is better than most manufacturers in helping owners find out what's wrong with their cars and pitching in to fix the problem, it would be very unusual for them to admit to a model wide defect unless there had been a recall.

    c. Anecdotal evidence does suggest that early model Foresters did suffer from a higher than normal failure rate of the wheel bearings. Further more, many bearings improperly replaced by dealers lead to repeat failures (causing SOA to publish guidance for the dealers on how to correctly replace the wheel bearings).

    d. In spite of this problem, the Forester is still rated as above avg in reliability by Consumer Reports and is a recommended buy. So while there may in fact have been a problem, is was obviously never very widespread.

    e. In any case, reports of wheel bearing failures are rare to non-existent for the last couple of model years so the 2003 model should be free of this defect.
  • ckirk4ckirk4 Posts: 11
    Thanks for the info. I must admit that I was mildly surprised when the sales person made the
    50 K. replacement statement. I was even more surprised when he was so willing to let this be routine warranty work under the 5year, 60 thousand mile power train. As stated in my original text, the person representing Subaru at SUBARU3 seemed to know nothing about the matter.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 2003 model will likely use the new bearing/hub design from the 2002 Impreza, so the issue ought to vanish.

    Speak of funny number, what if you bought a 2000 Lotus Seven, could you call it a Double-OH Seven (007)? ;-)

    Lillian: I'd e-Bay that bad boy. You'll get $12-14k or so. Heck, I'd give you $8 grand and resell it up here in DC where they are in high demand.

    Hutch: sorry to hear about the collision. Hope Lynn's feeling OK. Mine got hit pretty good from behind, but it sounds like your damage was more serious. All that crumpling is what protected her, though, so we should be happy about that. I'd be looking at a 2003, too, that's the perfect excuse to trade up. It has bigger brake rotors, too!

    Richard: I'd suggest you shop on-line for parts. I don't recall exact prices, but I bought all the parts for my 30k service for peanuts.

    Dolphin: let a dealer look at the bumper for damage. There are parts that are designed to break away and absorb the impact, so just because you can't see it does not mean there was no damage. Don't rely only on their insurance company, which probably doesn't enjoy handing out money. Go get an independent damage quote from a Subaru dealer, and demand OE parts since it's so brand new.

  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    Did you say heated seats? I guess you might get to turn them on the next couple of days.

    I still say offer them a low number to buy it if it is only worth 7500 here and finance with someone else, since no one seems to want it.

    By the way, I saw a 98 Forester L Auto w/31K listed for $14,998 in this past weekend's Carmax ad here in Houston(Gulf Freeway location).

    The 60 plus inches of rain a year we get here is exactly why I'm interested in the Forester, as well as not wanting to drive an Odyssey in the traffic here.
  • Hey Forester Crowd!

    I drive a 01 OB, my sister a 98 OB, and mom is about to get an 02 Forester. Someone gave me an optional guage pack he had (compass, temp guage, barometer...) I think it came out of his 99 ... anyone know whether I can install this in Mom's 02? There is no wiring harness with this, I wonder whether the cars are pre-wired. Is it tough getting that storage cover off?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks all.

    HOUSTON: $7500 sounds WAY low for your Forester. List it on -- you'll surely get tons of bites. Low to mid teens sounds a little more accurate depending on specifics on your car. Try calling New England Subie dealers, they might like to buy your car (granted at wholesale, but more than $7500 for their used car lots)
  • Megs50: I shouldn't say this, but I'd think of buying your Forester. Write me if you are interested (email address is in my profile).
  • Recently my daughter was driving my wife's 2000 Forester S to school. She hit a patch of black ice, lost control and went off the road. She went over an embankment, went straight down horizontally (about 10 feet), hit a tree and rolled over onto the passenger side. My daughter's only injury was a broken collar bone which was caused by the seat belt. The Forester was a total loss. The frame was twisted, the engine was pushed under the car and the drive train was hanging from underneath. The roof was buckled and some of the doors were jammed. My wife found the front license plate up in a tree. I was extremely grateful for the design of the Forester which kept the passenger compartment intact while the vehicle suffered severe damage. I would highly recommend the Forester from a safety standpoint, besides that it is a great car.

    Our insurance (which is replacement value coverage) gave us a check for the value of a brand new Forester S including tax even though the car was 2 1/2 years old and had 45,000 miles on it.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Wow. That's amazing. I'm glad to know that your daughter was able to walk away with relatively minor injuries for such a terrible accident.

    Your story makes me feel better about my choice with the Forester.

    Are you going to buy another one? The 2002 or the 2003?

  • Rick,

    First of all, thank Goodness your daughter is OK! Without a doubt she had some ride! While both my sister and I drive Outbacks, and have selected these vehicles for reasons including safety, it is stories like these that reassure us about Subaru's safety. It also makes me feel good since my mom is about to take delivery of an 02 Forester L.

    By the way, what insurance company do you use? Your story is as much a testament to the safety of Subaru's ring shaped reinforcement frames as it is about your insurance company's appreciation for the value of Subaru's

  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    To whomever was asking about the stuck fuel filler neck flap -- take that into the dealership. I just had a similar problem with my new 2002 Subaru Forester S, although the flap wasn't stuck. A vent valve near the fuel filler neck, however, was faulty, causing me to have to fill the tank $.50 at a time. Quite annoying.

    Good luck!

  • dhdunndhdunn Posts: 51
    Thanks all for clearing up my disinformation (although I hope I qualified my posting with enough "I'm-not-sures") about the Freelander and the Escape. Does anybody have any crash test data on the Freelander?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The guage pack from the Impreza fits perfectly, so it should bolt right in. It's easy to remove the cover - I did when I swapped to the dual cup-holder.

    storyteller: you'll have to beat my bid of $8 grand. By all means, though, get in contact with each other. Sounds like both parties could benefit, big time.

    Rick: first off, glad to hear she survived. Sounds like an unbelievable amount of force to absorb. God bless her.

    Nice insurance, too. If she can, wait until May to peek at the 2003s.

  • Happy to hear the injuries were minor. Next time you watch the Forester vs. Escape commercial, you'll be able to smile and know your choice was a wise one.

  • My wife decided to replace her Forester with the 2002 Honda CR-V. Nothing negative on the Forester. I believe it saved our daughter's life and is a great vehicle. I highly recommend the Forester. The new CR-V had more interior room then the Forester which was important to us. I happened to be in Toronto when the Auto Show was there, so I stopped in to see the 2003 Forester. It was nice looking, but didn't seem to have much more room then the current model. I can't be sure however as they would not let us open the doors or sit in the car. The styling is a nice evolutionary upgrade to the current Forester.

    Someone asked about our insurance. It is Donegal Insurance out of Pennsylvania. One thing about replacement value insurance is that since the cost to replace a car with a new car versus a depreciated car is so much higher, it takes a lot more damage to total a car. Consequently, the insurance company will want to repair the car if it is cheaper then replacing with a new car. If the damage is more then depreciated replacement but less then a new car you may end up with a car that was repaired after catastrophic damage, unless you can work a deal with the insurance company. Our insurance company was initially talking about repairing the vehicle. I asked for a second appraisal of the damage and both the adjuster and the shop agreed that the car would cost more then a new one to repair. The shop also said that the car was "too far gone" to be safely repaired.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm glad you got a 2002, because the previous model didn't fare nearly as well as the Forester in IIHS tests. The new one, says Honda, will match the Forester's "Good" rating.

    Tell her congrats.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    The 2002 CR-V is a good alternative, especially if you're interested in more passenger space. The Forester raised the bar with mini-ute saftey and others have been following suit.

    In the interest of keeping you in the Subaru family, could we interest your wife with a roomy Legacy or Outback wagon? They've scored even higher on crash tests. :-)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Legacy did well in front and side impact tests, both IIHS and NHTSA. The new CR-V has not yet been tested.

  • Didn't have time to read all the past week's posts so I apologize if this has been covered already. Does anyone know if the 2003 Forester will be at the World of Wheels Car Show in Washington, DC this weekend? I know this might be pushing it, but if so, will it be open to inspect the inside (or has it been open at other car shows? I think Rick said he could not get into the car in Toronto). Thanks. Jackie.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't know, but my guess would be "no". You could e-mail and see if she can find out. If so, I'd actually like to go!

  • Thanks for the info, Juice. I will try to find out and post if I get anything definitive.
  • I am about to take my 98L in for a inspection on the drivetrain...the metal grinding noise during acceleration is not going away, even after a tranny fluid and filter change, and a switch to synthetic gear lube for both the front and rear diffy. Now I am getting this metal clanking sound at traffic light only happens when the car is in drive at a comes and goes...but very annoying, and kinda embarrasing. Anyways, here is my Q...will the dealer give me any hassel given the fact that I have removed the snorkus? Will they try to blame the desnorking for any damages? and finally, if they do give me hassel do I have any recourse with SOA?? Patti, maybe you can help me out here. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

  • I don't know who's quoting you such a low resale value, but, if your Forester really is in good shape, it sounds like a dealer is just outright trying to rip you off. There might arguably be a bit less overall demand for used Foresters here in Texas than up north, but I don't think there's really enough second-hand Foresters to meet even that reduced demand. When I was shopping a little less than 2 years ago, I couldn't even find any promising used Foresters in Austin -- although we do have 2 different Subaru dealerships here -- and ended up having to go all the way up to Waco to buy my '98 L. I think you just need to shop your Forester around a bit more to find someone who'll pay you closer to its real value.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    put the snorkus back in and you won't have any issues. Guaranteed.

  • Just got ~6" of fresh powder on the ground today, with high winds and other wintery goodies...its gonna be like this for the next couple of, no way to work on the car. Plus, I seem to have misplaced all the screws that I took off when I desnorkused the car...snorkus I still have...but no screws, no re-intall. Hence the problem and questions.

  • Just recieved the the April 2002 Conusmer Report edition of the yearly auto issue. In the new car section there is a picture of the Foresters rear end. Beyond that it's not possible to see much.
    It says that the 2003 model is due in May and will only have a "facelift".
This discussion has been closed.