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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Hey juice - I assume you are refering to CR? (let me guess, subscribers got their April "auto" issue this week?).

    Good news for Subaru!

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Oops, forgot my source! Yep, Consumer Reports.

  • tlunzutlunzu Posts: 5
    Hello from Spain.

    Does anybody know if there are any aftermarket Xenon headlamps for Foresters?

    Any hints about Subaru installing them as standard for '03 models?

    I am satisfied with normal headlamps, but would not hesitate in upgrading to Xenon if available.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068

    Got to

    They have a wide variety.


  • I have a 1998 Forester S (love it), and will be trading it in this spring. After extensive looking at other options, I will be getting another Forester (1 child, mainly concerned with staying on the road, occasionally driving on the beach to fish, don't need a truck). The question -- should I wait for the 2003? Will there be a significant price difference/savings if I get a 2002? I was looking at the S Premium Package, and I realize that the 2002 S has several improvements over the 1998 (more torque, limited slip).

    I apologize if any of these items have previously been discussed. I did review the Boards and found numerous helpful comments but no real consensus. And you all know a lot more than I do. Thanks for the help.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    From everything I've read to date, it sounds like the new Forester is more "refined" than the current model. It's supposed to be a lot quieter, and the interior is reportedly much nicer. It's certainly better looking IMO.

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    I too would wait for the new model. If the improvement in structural rigidity is the same as for the Impreza, that in itself would me enough for me (not that I think it's a problem in my 2001). Tweaks have also given it more interiour room with no added length.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    I'd wait for the 2003 also for the following reasons:

    - Updated styling inside and out
    - More rigid chassis
    - Slight increase in rear legroom
    - Improved handling: quicker steering and higher roll center
    - Less brake dive and squat
    - Improved saftey features (side impact airbags)

    You may be able to get a slightly better deal on a 2002, but in my area (Bay Area, CA) Subaru dealers usually sell new models for 3-4% over invoice so the price difference isn't that great, IMO.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would wait. I doubt the 2003's price will go up much, and the 2002 doesn't have any rebates, and likely won't. So you'll make up the price difference at resale time.

    Unless you much prefer the 2002, or need it right away, I'd wait.

    The new one is also 90 pounds lighter. Throw in the extra inch of leg room for your kid, and the choice is easy.

  • Thanks for the quick responses! I would prefer to wait, but for various reasons want to purchase this spring. I asked one of my local dealers when the 2003's would be in, and he responded (via e-mail) "late August or September," and that he had "heard talk of a turbo option." From the various press releases I thought that the 2003's would be in by May.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dealer is likely wrong, all indications are for a May launch.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Late August and September are normally when the new models get to the dealers. However, in the case of the 2003 Forester, it was a mid-year launch so they'll be at dealers in May, like juice wrote.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    either that dealer doesn't know what he's talking about, or he just wants to unload his current 2002 inventory. Everything I've seen said mid-late May.

  • andil1andil1 Posts: 97
    Even if the new 2003's arrive on the lot, you may not be able to buy them until the 2002's are all gone. I visited the dealer in my area the first week of August in 1999; the 2000's were in the back lot, but there were still 3-1999 models to sell. They would not let me even look at the 2000's! The salesman said he would call me when the 2000's were available--he didn't call me until the end of September! By that time, I'd bought another car.
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
  • jim1969jim1969 Posts: 62
    Is the tweeter package worth getting? What about the upgraded speaker package? How much power and what sound impovement is there? Any help?
  • Jim,

    I would recommend getting the up grade.

    I got the factory tweeter kit, speaker upgrade, sub-woofer/amplifier and the difference from the model I test drove without those was dramatic!

    Whether you choose to do the work yourself our at an after market shop or go with factory is up to you, but I would definitely do it.

    The one thing you might consider is that if the dealer/factory has any problems with the install or you experience any problems down-the-line, you're covered. As I've seen posted here, if
    someone screws up your electrical or you have problems with the electrical at a later date, some dealers won't do repairs until the after market stuff is removed and the system returned to original.

    Good luck!

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Upgrading your stock speaker will get the most bang for your buck from your audio system.

    The stock speakers are cheap paper units with whizzer cones. The upgrades not only add the tweeters and subwoofer, but the speakers themselves are of higher quality material. Since high frequency sounds are directional, the tweeters mounted at the top of the door will give you the perception of a wider stereo sound.

    If you like taking things on by yourself, you can get even better quality by going aftermarket. The door speakers are of standard size so you can simply swap them out with an aftermarket brand of the same size with no modifcations.

    Here's what I recommend:

    - Get the tweeters from the dealer and install them yourself. The doors are pre-wired for them and the installation is simple.
    - Buy front and rear speakers (get at least two-ways) from any reputable audio shop. Crutchfield is a good start.
    - Buy the subwoofer from the dealer or get the equivalent model (I believe it's a Clarion) aftermarket. I'm not sure about the installation but I believe it's prewired as well.

  • jim1969jim1969 Posts: 62
    Thanks for the speaker info. I did the Crutchfield thing once and it turned out well. I'll price out the dealer costs first.
  • Just got a used 99 Forester and have lost the manual already! What octane rating gas should I put?

    thanks in advance,
  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    sumitrana-- I use 87 in my 2002 which is recommended in the owner's manual. I had some pinging in the first 500 miles but since then, I've noticed no pinging at all. I'm not a Subaru expert as some who participate on this board but I believe that all Subaru H4 engines require only 87. I guess some H4 Legacy Outbacks have had pinging problems but so far with my Forester, I haven't had to use premium fuel to avoid pinging.

  • I have a 2001 Forester with about 22k miles on it. Sometime back I recieved a notice about some factory recall, I was supposed to get something fixed at the dealer, I don't know what the recall was about, or, if it is related to the problems I am currently experiencing.
    On low speeds, stop and go travel, the engine temperature indicator on the dashboard veers dangerously close to the 'red' zone. However once the speed rises to about 30+, the needle comes back to the center. Today when I was going up a steep incline in San Francisco, the needle even shot past the red zone!. Does anyone know why this is happenning?
    Also, I think the recommended tire pressures (27f/28r) is too low, I get comfortable handling at (32f/33r)-any comments?
    This being my first Subaru and AWD, I am surprised to experience some problems so early in the vehicle's life.
  • Does anyone know how to remove the cover on the rear gate. I have to replace the wiring harness, and am wondering how involved that would be....
  • ffsteveffsteve Posts: 243
    Check your coolant level today, and take it to the shop as soon as you can. Your engine is overheating due to reduced cooling capacity - low coolant, blocked radiator, bad water pump etc.

    It manages on the flat at high speeds because of the cooling as the car pushes the radiator through the air, but as soon as you ask the engine to do more, or reduce the air flow by slowing down, it can't keep up and your water temperature goes up. Temps into the red zone are not good.

    This is not a Subaru problem, or anything to do with AWD, simply a cooling problem.

    Get it looked at, and good luck!

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    sumitrana -- The recommended octane is 87. Start with that grade and move up if you get any knocking. Some light pinging isn't something to become alarmed about.

    rashorange -- Follow Steve's advice and check the coolant level ASAP. Could be that it's just low. As for tire pressures, the general consensus is that the recommended pressures are too low. Many of us have gravitated to around 32psi for everyday driving.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    rashorange- Definitely get your Forester into a dealer ASAP before you cause any damage to the engine. My first thought was that the radiator fans aren't working but it could be a number of things. Re tire pressure, manufacturers usually err on the low side because it provides a smoother ride. However, higher pressure provides better mileage and tread wear. As Ken said, you should be fine at 32psi.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Andi: shame on that dealer, I would have walked, too.

    I did the swap to the premium speakers. You basically go from 10/15 watt front/rear to 20/30, something like that. But they also swap out cheap cones for true two-ways. They do sound better. Now if I could only talk my toddler out of her choice in music...

    rashorange: check if the fans are stuck. Do they spin when you are idling? When the engine is off, do they spin freely?

    Once you figure this out, I would definitely have the coolant flushed completely, and change the oil. At those high temps the oil breaks down. In fact I would not drive it until you solve the problem.

  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Hey, folks,

    I just bought a new 2002 Subaru Forester S with the following options:

    - upgraded speakers
    - tweeter kit
    - subwoofer

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I just read above that the tweeters are directional and installed in the upper part of the door (A-pillar???). What the hell?! I don't have ANY tweeters mounted on the upper part of the door. Only speakers I see up front are the big ones in the doors and little ones just above the door handles.

    Please, for the love of St. Peter, tell me that THOSE are the tweeters.

  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    The tweeters are the ones on the door just above the door handle.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    burnsmr4- Dang, a little high strung today aren't we? :-)

    -Frank P.
This discussion has been closed.