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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    a question for you:

    When I test drove a new XS yesterday, I had trouble figuring out the "auto" climate control. Can you "manually," without using the "auto" function, control either fresh air or air conditioning? From what I saw, it seemed like you had to have it on "auto" to get it to work. Am I wrong (I hope am!)? I couldn't figure out how to get fresh air, without having the AC on.

  • gregoreargregorear Posts: 5
    Comments for the Subaru team:

    I didn't notice any real difference in the driving (perhaps a little more hesitation than the 2002?). It was 90 degrees, and the demo model's AC wasn't working (Java Black!), so we had all the windows down and the roof open all the way. Boy was it windy! Also, the infamous "check engine" light was flashing.

    I wish there was an "adult override" on the rear windows so I could put them down all the way if I want. It's silly to have them permanently in "kid mode". Can I take apart the doors and remove something so they go all the way?

    Why, oh why, on a left-hand-drive vehicle is the gas filler on the right? If I buy one of these, I'm going to be cringing every time I fill up, that I don't scrape the right side of the car. I've been driving my Accord for 13 years, and know EXACTLY how big it is, but even so, the filler is on the left where I can see it.

    I think the monotone paint looks boring. While I like the features of the upper-end model, I like the two-tone and color options on the lower end model. Why only red, white, black, silver, and that icky gold? Why not blue and green as well? Seems kind of dumb to limit the customer's paint choices. Are they available as a custom order? I also think the body cladding would give me less heartache when I get my first ding. Or maybe I'll just have to spring for all the protection groups.
  • goldencouple1goldencouple1 Posts: 209
    Sounds like you better buy something else.

    I went from an Accord to a Forester and I'm happy as a clam. But you sound like someone who needs something other than a Forester.
  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    Synthia-- Most of us know that Edmunds has the most accurate figures for reporting invoice prices but they do not yet have their information pages up yet for the 2003 Forester. image

    The only place so far that I've been able to find invoice pricing for the 2003 Forester is ( It also has the most detailed spec. sheet of any site that I've found on the internet so far. Click ...don't know if that link will work or not but you can navigate to it once on the site. Crew members: can any of you confirm that those specifications are accurate? Beware: all the pics that carsdirect are using are of the 2002 model but their configuration pages seem to reflect the 2003 specifications.

  • barkasy1barkasy1 Posts: 44
    Hiya All,

    Can anyone tell me where I can find Invoice Prices on the 2003 Forester? Edmunds is not updated yet. My wife wants one (We still need to do a test drive) and I don't want to visit the dealer unarmed.

    Thx All,
    Dave ;^)
  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    Dave-- read my post above yours.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I think both your ships are passing in the night :-)

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  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    Okay Steve what's up with Edmunds not updating their Forester information???? Can you talk to somebody about that?


  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I could (ok I will), but I think it's even better if you guys use our Feedback Form.

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  • marcobmarcob Posts: 2
    I posted this question awhile back, but didn't get a response. Maybe no one else has this problem or minds it. Anyway, thought I'd try again...

    We have a silver '01 Forester which we still love. The only thing I don't like about it (and most other vehicles with a rear wiper) is the dark streak that runs down the tailgate from the base of the wiper arm. Any suggestions for prevention? Is there anything we can put on the rubber? It really looks ugly against the otherwise sharp-looking silver.

  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    Sandra-- I've noticed the streak too (I have silver also) but I don't really think there's anything we can do about it. It appears that it's coming from the residual dirt that's being wiped off the glass as the wiper sweeps across the window and comes to a rest at the bottom. The only solution I can think of --which I don't really know would be effective or not-- is to intsall the rear window deflector. I'd assume that it would keep the window cleaner thereby leaving less residual dirt to leave a streak.

    In the 4Runner I once had, the rear wiper was top mounted and it left the same streak only on the glass of the rear window instead of the body of the tailgate. When it dried, it left an ugly streak on the rear window that was distracting to look at when viewing out the back. I prefer the clean swipe of the bottom mounted wiper which the Forester has to the top mounted wiper arrangement.

  • kowskikowski Posts: 6
    I have noticed that a few of you have posted a problem with the check engine light. Is this a problem with the Foresters? Also about invoice price guides for the 03 Foresters. I loged on to the Kiplinger site and they had 03 invoice prices. Not sure how accurete they are but this might help.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    I've not paid attention to the Forester's rear wipers, so...
    Question: When the wiper comes to rest (stop), is it resting horizontally or at an angle?

    I have an OB, its rear wiper comes to rest horizontal and no streaks.


    p/s Scirocco- I see you'd learnt something new
    e-mail me a lesson on it :)
  • luvacatluvacat Posts: 2
    I recently posted in reference to a problem I was having with my 99 Forester L brakes. After having the dealer inspect the Forester twice, I was told that the loud squealing was "normal". I finally took the vehicle to our local mechanic and the front left brake pad was worn to nothing, (this at 30,000 miles). He also was quite honest with me about other problems he had encountered with Foresters including a problem keeping them aligned causing cupped tires. Apparently, they are not the easiest vehicles to repair or to obtain parts for. I have no faith in the Subaru dealer so I decided to trade the car in. I had previously driven a 1990 Integra (purchased new) so maybe that was alot to live up to, but I was disappointed overall with the Forester. It always made strange humming noises and the a/c was adequate at best. I'm happy for all of you who have had good experiences, wish I could say the same. And to Gregorear, you're right, the gas cap is on the wrong side of the car - I never could get used to that!!!
  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    Nancy-- gee, that's too bad you had such a bad experience with the Forester. I have a 2002 and haven't heard that many problems with brakes, alignment, a/c or hard to find parts. I hope they had those things (as well as the wheel the bearing problems) straightened out by the time they started manufacturing the 2002 model. Better luck with your Civic!

    Dave-- The rear wiper comes to a rest almost horizontally ...not quite but almost. It's just a very slight angle from totally horizontal. And, I think I know what you are talking about. The server for my main email account is down right now but I'll email you when it's back online.

    kowski-- I've never had a check engine light on my Forester yet. I had one on my Audi which went away after several driving cycles but it turned out to be a loose spark plug wire when the error code was diagnosed. And I went the the Kiplinger site and couldn't find the invoice prices for the '03 Forester. All I could find is the base MSRP figures. Do you have a link? The only site I can find so far is that has the invoice figures for the '03.

    Gas cap location: I really don't mind it on the right side least they give you a little arrow in the instrument cluster to tell you which sides it's on. *winks* I guess it's because both of my current cars have it on the right side. At one time I had two cars, one of which had it on the right and the other on the left ...that got kind of confusing because I had to remember which car I was driving. *lol*
    So Greg-- Why do you have to get so close to the pump that you'll scrape something? image

  • john385john385 Posts: 8
    While refueling at NJ turnpike, the waitingline for cars with cap on the right side is five times as long as the line my car sits in--no waiting! It is like driving with EZ pass! you go figure.
    Did you buy the forester with a lot of miles (>50) for a new car?
    Best luck with civic, what an econo box with too many things right!
  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    john-- hmmm, yeah, that's a benefit! But I'm assuming you meant "left-hand" side when you referred to the "right" side line being longer. :P

    I think Nancy said in her post back in April that she bought the car used with 19,000 miles on it.

  • dt63944dt63944 Posts: 66
    The reason for the flashing CEL was probably that the pre-delivery inspection wasn't done yet; I believe they flash from the factory until reset after inspection.

    I don't believe the rear windows were ever designed to go down all the way; did you take the time to actually look at the glass and notice that it cannot go down all the way?

    I believe the AC wasn't working because, again, the pre-delivery work wasn't yet done.

    Was the comment "boy was it windy" meant to be a complaint? All cars, with their windows open, will be windy - it's by design.

    Your comment "Seems kind of dumb to limit the customer's paint choices."; if you can tell me of a vehicle that doesn't limit the customer's choices, I'm sure we'd all like to know! I do prefer the two-tone to the monochrome, though.

    About the filler cap; are you saying that you can see the cap in your side-view mirror? If so, your mirror is not adjusted for a safe view of traffic, which is more important than being able to see the filler cap.

    As to your comment "I also think the body cladding would give me less heartache when I get my first ding. Or maybe I'll just have to spring for all the protection groups.". By "body cladding", do you mean the silver lower body color on the two-tone paint job? It will get nicked the same as the mono paint job. As for the protection groups, I don't know what you're referring to.

    I'm just about to take delivery of my second Forester, an 03 XS Premium (my first being a 99 S), so I guess it's obvious I like the Forester very much, but to each his own - that's why there are so many different vehicles out there! Good luck on whatever you decide.
  • grahampetersgrahampeters AustraliaPosts: 1,783

    Just saw an unmarked Forester GT (the turbo version sold here in Australia) with flashing blue and red lights. Spoilt someone's trip home. They are popular with the police here, particularly in rural areas but this is the first time I have seen one being used around the city.


  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I've felt for a long time that Subarus would make excellent police cars. I think some are used in the mountain areas of our country, and there was a WRX police car (that I posted some time ago) that was being used by the Canadian Mounties.

    However, I think our police, specifically the State Police who patrol the open highways, are really missing out by not at least giving Subaru a try.

  • jeijei Posts: 143
    Graham -

    Could you post a photo of a Police Forester sometime? We've gotta see this. Always thought they'd make great unmarked cars.

  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    Synthia and Greg, et al-- Thanks to kowski, I've just checked out the Kiplinger site and it appears up-to-date and accurate concerning invoice price and MSRP of the 2003 Forester. The Kiplinger's stated invoice price appears to be the true/standard dealer invoice price similar to how Edmunds would report on its calculator. Carsdirect tacks on an estimated figure for advertsing fees, etc. so you have to keep subtracting that figure out of the mix when configuring options the case of the Forester, $190. So use Kiplinger's site for a "pure" calculation. It's extremely easy to navigate and includes all options on one page giving both invoice price and MSRP for each option. It also updates itself with each option selected.

    The Kiplinger site also includes an extensive (and I assume accurate) spec. page. although it leaves out details such as approach angle, departure angle and ramp brakover angle such as the carsdirect page that I sited above.

    Bob-- did you check out the link I sited on post #6249? ...just curious about its accuracy. Again, the picture is of a 2002 but the page is titled for the 2003 X.

  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    Steve-- has finally updated their website to reflect the 2003 Forester information. I just sent in the form you provided a link for in order for Edmunds to update their Forester information. Can you do anymore prodding? I have friends asking me which site is the best to do research on the new Forester. Normally I'd say Edmunds without hesitation but I can't do that right now. image


  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The data people are in Santa Monica and I'm in Boise. So it's hard for me to walk down the hall and bribe them with donuts :-). Besides, they're off today. Patience....

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  • rsunicorsunico Posts: 82
    Has anyone else gotten the letter from Subaru to bring your car (2000-2002 2.5l) to the dealer to have the Engine Control Module reprogrammed? What gives.. I've never had the CEL flash on my car.

    Also, my car has stalled twice in the past month. Symptons: after hard rain. Start car. Car starts right up with no problems. Then dies. Have to restart -- starts right up again. Anyone else had this problem?

  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    If someone will explain, in detail, what I need to do to reset my ECU on my AT 2002 Forester S, I'll be a guinea pig for solving the occasional near-stall and odd transmission hiccups.

    On a lighter note, I put about 800 miles on my Forester this weekend during a trip to the beach. The sway bars (???) still are creaking, as I've not had a chance to grease them up. It wasn't bad, but it sure makes the car sound like something underneath is worn out. My next oil change is in about 1000 miles (about 1.5 weeks), and I intend to have the dealership check/lube everything possible underneath.

    Anyway...tell me what I need to do/have on hand to reset that ECU. I don't have a working relationship with my car battery. Time to start, I suppose. ;-)


    P.S. - What happens to my remote keyless entry if I do this?
  • qmarkerqmarker Posts: 20
    More than a week ago, I did write Edmunds an email asking about a 2003 Forester update. They answered by saying they update mid-year vehicles in June/July. They did say they update "specific" vehicles such as the Cadillac CTS when info is available?

    It did not make a lot of sense to me and I am not looking for a Cadillac, I already have one. :)

  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    you can't do the ECU reprogram unless you are Italian!!(HeHe).
  • scirocco22scirocco22 Posts: 721
    *doh* ...and here I thought you were just down the hall! *lol* And if you think they can be bribed with donuts I suppose I could send them a dozen Krispy Kremes. :p

    Donna-- They're gonna be missing the boat if they wait that long to update their Forester pages! *sheesh* I mean, where am I going to refer people that ask me where the best place on the web is to research Foresters? I'm always in the habit of saying "Edmunds!" but I guess they're losing their premier status!?

This discussion has been closed.