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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    Wow. Searching for ABS low limits on various surfaces. Various emergency brake pulls. Can anyone say, "e-s-o-t-e-r-i-c"? But interesting reading for sure! But I also enjoyed a recent (Sports Illustrated) quote by a veteran NASCAR driver when asked what the pros do when "stuff" - like an 18 car pile up - happens. Response: "Aw, we all have our eyes closed." ;0)
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    I'm surprised you would fall for marketing hype. While BMW uses the boxer engine in some of their bikes, they also offer a flat inline 4 and a Rotax built Single. In fact, the inline 4 engine (along with the 750 flat 3) were going to be the only engines available in their bikes. That was until there was lack of acceptance by traditional BMW owners, which led to development of the excellent (although down on power to comparable 4 cylinder engines)boxers they have now. In their automobile lineup, inline 4, 6, and V8's are the engines of choice with the inline sixes being on Wards Automotive's top 10 engines for several years.
  • subiemansubieman Posts: 10
    I've had the same ABS behaviors since my Subaru was new (with new tires.) I was unable to come to a complete stop in snowy (or low-traction) situations without some difficulty. There is a strong metallic crunching sound and seemingly no braking action at low speeds.

    Its kinda fun when no one is around, but as indicated in my post in General Maintenance, I slammed into a rock ledge last week partly because of this problem. I've seen this ABS "noise" mentioned before...i guess Subaru's system is just quirky.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You people need to go slower in the snow. You need to leave 3-5x the distance you would leave in RAIN! Sorry but that is the truth. I've slid my cars with and without ABS in the snow due to going too fast for the conditions, not because my ABS caused a problem.

  • suzzannsuzzann Posts: 56
    That crunching noise is the ABS working. The brakes are activated and released several times a second.

    I drive on snow and mud quite often. Hate to suggest it, but perhaps you're backing off the brake pedal when the sound starts? Mine works flawlessly, but remember you still have to steer the car while braking!
  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    Just to remind, when I inquired here about braking on snow a few weeks ago, I was taught by others to do the old-fashioned foot pump stop (threshold braking is the term juice used), ABS or not. No mashing allowed.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is how you should use ABS, pumping will cause problems as suzann mentioned above.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree with the description of the changes for the Phase II engine except for one thing - at very high rpm power drops off sooner, in fact they lowered the red line a little. That's fine, the new engine just doesn't require as many revs.

    Jon: oh well, it was worth a shot.

    The best thing about ABS is that you keep control of your steering. My Miata lacks ABS and is RWD, so that thing is a real handful in the snow. A simple drop of the throttle send you spinning in a turn. Stab the brakes and hello, 360. It's fun when you're playing, but I never, ever drive my Miata in the snow to get anywhere.

    tincup: I wasn't falling for the hype, I just found it amusing to hear BMW talk about how great boxers are in print. I like their silky smooth in-line sixes, too.

  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    I've never heard of this on any of my cars, but my 01 OB definately will engage its abs below that speed if I stomp on the brakes. Backing down my short, snowy driveway (I'm guessing just a couple mph) can be enough to activate it. Incidentally, I've have had ABS-equipped cars for at least a decade living here in the snow and I honestly do not understand why some people overreact to ABS and insist on disabling it. I understand the "wedge theory" of getting some snow/dirt built up in front of the wheel to slow you faster in some situations, but in practice I doubt there is any real advantage. And on ice, there's absolutely nothing to "wedge" in front of the tire. A good friend of mine was in an accident several years ago on a slick road and he swears it was the ABS's fault for sending him through a guardrail...I tend to disagree. If you're driving too fast, ABS or not, you're going to have trouble stopping on ice/snow. Period. I can't imagine owning a car without it anymore.
  • peterson10peterson10 Posts: 116
    I typically drive with extreme-paranoid-caution when slick snow is on the roads. Still, I've had a few occasions to experience the rapture of Subaru's ABS and feel its a trade-off between distance and steering-control. Having learned to drive in Western NY (the glorious lake-effect snow belt) I intinctively feather/pulse the brakes in all adverse conditions and, hence, only ever have the ABS engage at fairly low speeds. On those occasions when the ABS kicks in I let up on the brake pedal momentarily (fraction of a second) every car length or so, and find the stopping distance to be less with no diminished steering control. Question: I know that pulsing the brakes defeats the ABS, but does it do any damage to the system?

    BTW, I recall reading a few years ago that Subaru's ABS was unique in the industry; developed from FHI's aircraft landing-gear technology. Did I dream this or have others heard the same?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    ABS does the pumping for you, much quicker than you could. Also, in 4 sensor, 4 channel systems like all Subies have, it's like having 4 brake pedals. In split traction scenarios, even a pro cannot match ABS, unless he equipped his car with 4 brake pedals and used both legs and both arms, all independently and right at the treshold of lockup.

    That's a funny image to have in my head. I guess you'd need long arms, like a primate, too.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    LOL, juice! So how does a driver steer in that kind of setup?

    I've also heard about Subaru's extensive development for their ABS. I thought I read somewhere (i-club?) that Subaru designed their ABS to release more completely compared to other systems to retain control on ice. I've also read how Subaru develops their ABS by testing it extensively on gravel roads in Australia too.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    With his teeth, of course!

    It just cracks me up when someone claims he can modulate his brakes better than ABS can (it was mentioned in another thread, BTW). It's simply not possible. At best you would be at the treshold of the tire with the LEAST grip. At best!

    Foresters are raced on ice in France, I had a really cool photo of one setup for this type of racing.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Talk about multitasking! :-)

    Maybe the claims of being able to modulate brakes better than ABS were true in the early days. I'm going to guess that 4-channel ABS wasn't always the case.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Hmmmm.... well my Panoz driving school instructors (all current or former race car drivers) claimed that an experienced driver could stop in a shorter distance using threshold braking. The argument being that ABS sacrifices some stopping distance in order to ensure steering control.

    Okay, it sounds like we have a challenge... which will stop a vehicle in the shortest distance? Threshold braking or ABS.

    All you need is a measured and marked section of pavement. Make a series of 3(?) runs where you slam on the brakes at the beginning of the measured section of road and keep them floored and let the ABS do its thing. Then make a second set of 3 runs with the ABS disabled. This time use threshold braking (defined as getting on the brakes hard and then gradually backing off in order to stay just ahead of the point where the tires would lose traction). Average the stopping distances for each set of runs and the shorter avg wins. Anybody willing to perform this experiment?

    -Frank P.
  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    Juice's message 4681:I would just try threshold braking - at the limit before lockup. It's tough on uneven slippery surfaces, though.


    See previous entry on thread.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Frank you are 100% correct. Non ABS will stop in a shorter distance, but...

    With ABS you retain steering control and can steer around an obstacle whereas without ABS there is no steering control and you smack into the object.

    I was an anti-abs type person til about a month ago. I was cruising down a 4-lane blvd. you know with traffic lights and cross traffic. A buse made a left turn across my side of the road to go into a depot. I figured he would stop when he saw me, but just came across the road. I was doing about 50-55mph. Slammed on my brakes in the Trooper but there was no was I was stopping in time. Due to ABS I was able to take a 90 degree turn, in control and squeeze between a pole and the bus onto the curb into the bus lot w/o hitting anything. Had I not had ABS I would have smacked square into the bus.

  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    As an ex-SCCA club racer, I agree that in an anticipated stopping situation (like at a corner entrance) threshold braking allows you to slow marginally quicker. In a panic situation, 99% of drivers will lock the brakes up, effectively losing steering control of the vehicle. We used to refer to this loss of attitude control as "going ballistic", which had the value of leaving the track in a straight line instead of looping around into another vehicles path. This worked due to the runoff areas designed into most tracks but is not recommended on street courses. On the street I want ABS, I want to be able to steer.
  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    I should have typed message #4642, quoting Juice from Feb. 28, responding to lakepop
  • jeijei Posts: 143
    I find I have to be careful about not going too fast on snow & ice with our Subarus. AWD can impart a false sense of "normalcy" in bad conditions that you just don't feel in most regular 2 wheel drive vehicles. I firmly believe that ABS is a compromise, trading better control for slightly longer stopping distances in some situations. Along the lines of what bkaiser1 said, if you're going too fast for conditions, ABS won't bring the moving mass of the car to a stop any sooner. It's through the intersection straight ahead instead of sideways.

    I'd rather have that compromise, even though I've comfortably driven lesser vehicles in snowy, icy places for some years. ABS, *along with good tires*, take some of the variables out of real-life braking situations for ordinary drivers. Less is left to skill or luck, such as at night on a road with patches of ice and dry pavement. My instinct has been to feather the brakes, not stomp & stay. After 3 years I'm used to my Forester's ABS, but have to remember to drive so I don't need it in normal circumstances. Tires are key. When I took our '92 Legacy with its all-season tires out on a slippery winter day, I was into the ABS right away and had to back off. My habits were used to the winter tires on the Forester. How easy it is to rely on advanced techonology.

    - John
  • danielldaniell Posts: 128
    My Forester only has 4,500 miles. Yes I turn the gas cap a few clicks. Light stays on (not blinking). Not a good sign with such a new car.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    My experience has been that AWD gives you traction that can easily exceed a car's braking capabilities in adverse weather, ABS or not. Yeah, it's great that we can accelerate on wet and snowy roads, but that can cause trouble when it's time to slow down.

    The one major benefit of 4-channel ABS in my opinion is that it can provide even braking no matter how traction varies from wheel to wheel. Never mind that you can still steer if needed -- the big benefit is that you can also keep going straight!! So many non-ABS cars will lock up one wheel early, and it can cause major stability problems. 4-channel ABS is nice because it will help keep the car on course.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    daniell- How far have you driven it since tightening the gas cap? It takes at least a 1/2 tank before the CEL goes off (if that's the cause). If you're sure the CEL isn't related to the gas cap, you should take in into the dealer to be diagnosed.

    Personally I don't think that the CEL is indicative of a poorly designed or manufactured vehicle. Many of today's makes and models have recurrent CEL problems with the frequency of CEL occurences being directly related to the government's stricter emissions standards. In the vast majority of cases it turns out to be a minor problem with the emissions system.

    -Frank P.
  • vonnyvoncevonnyvonce Posts: 129
    Will the 2003 have a similar sunroof to the 2002. I may be the only person on earth who thinks this but it seems too big for me. Any ideas?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I believe it will be the same size, and again only on the XS Premium model.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Just don't open it all the way! :)

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    I have an after-market moon roof, and I actually prefer it to the factory roof for 2 reasons. 1. The factory roof is very heavy and therefore raises the centre of gravity. I suspect (but I have no experience or data to confirm) that this increases body lean. 2. My roof both slides and *tilts* unlike the factory roof. In Vancouver we get a fair amount of rain and I can still use the tilt year around without danger of getting wet. On the other paw, I may just be rationalizing not having laid out the extra loonies to get the Limited (Canadian, eh).

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I highly doubt the % weight that the roof is over the aftermarket makes any difference in the lean. The tilt I do miss on my Trooper roof which is a few inches bigger than the Forester one. But I guess with a roof that big you can't really have it tilt and seal properly.

  • odd1odd1 Posts: 227
    I'm with you that moon roof has been way too super sized.
  • mrluthermrluther Posts: 23
    I have owned 4 subaru wagons since 1980 and every one of them has had a cel or egr warning light that behaves in an erratic fashion. My mechanic tired of hearing my pleas and told me to put a piece of black electrical tape over them. My 2002 Forester L MT had the cel go off in the first 1000 miles, it was due to the gas cap thing. It does take a while for the light to go off again. Subaru cars are unique and quirky but they have proved to be very reliable in my experience. Horizontally opposed engines are great in my opinion, just watch your idle speed!!! Mike
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