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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    Yup. As I concluded in some of my previous posts, the XS auto climate control never really goes into a manual mode, more like semi-automatic.

    Whatever button you push puts that button (and only that button) in manual mode, but leaves everything else in Auto mode, even though the Auto light turns off.

    So when you press RECIRC to turn it on, you will force the climate control to stay in Recirc mode and the Auto light will turn off, but your temperature settings, fan speed, a/c, and vent location settings will still be controlled automatically!

    When you've driven out of the nasty fumes, just press the Auto button again to let the climate control decide if Recirc needs to be on or off.

    Now that I understand how this works, I like the auto climate control EVEN MORE! Sometimes I find that when it is trying to initially cool down the cabin, it stays on fan speed 4 for a while, and the noise and blowing cold air can get annoying. So I sometimes set it on 3 until the interior temp comes down a little more (but slower than if it stayed on 4) and then put back in Auto, as it gradually brings the fan speed down to 2 and 1. It works great!

  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    Get the silver! That's what.

    OK, I could be cute and make mine rhyme too, but I'm lazy. :-b

    I wanted the blue, too but - - and this is just my opinion - - I think the new blue has a little more purple in it and is targeted to the many women who buy the Forester. (2/3 of sales are to women.) Maybe a deeper blue would be good, but this just isn't that masculine.

    The silver was my alternate choice and in the monochrome form is simply gorgeous! I'm very glad I got it.

    By the way, the silver looks absolutely GREAT with a hand-painted electric blue pinstripe - - so you can get your blue that way!

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    This is progress?!

    Again I say, the manual setup found on the X model is simpler and makes more sense.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    masan: congrats! Join us on Thursday for the chat and tell us all about it - live!

    duck: $100? Ouch. Darlene's dealership went out of business. Try

    Chris: I'm from Recife, in the northeast. I currently live in DC, though I'm a Brazilian citizen.

    Indiglo gauges? I've heard of white faced ones, maybe you could customize the bulb color. Try, under Mods.

    I like the Silver too, is it still called Silverthorn?

  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    I have done a little research and had the following sent to me contact the link if you are interested!



    While we have not been looking to produce the Subaru Forester, we are always open to producing vehicles which have not yet been produced. We have a great program for vehicles which people would like to see get made, but have not yet been made on our Website called the "Model Development Program". If you would like, we can put your vehicle up on there, and if we get 10 people willing to pay $49.99 each, we will make the gauges. If you would like us to do this let us know, and we will put your vehicle in the Model Development Program.

    If you would like to learn more about the "Model Development Program", you can go to our Website:

    Let us know.

    Thank you!

    Have a great day!

    Customer Service

    S/R Motorsports

    ----- Original Message
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Are the guages the same as for the Impreza? If so it would be a lot easier to find that many buyers.

  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    I don't know if they have one for the Impreza but that dash cluster is not the same as the Forester is it? In fact I don't know if 98-02 Forester dash clusters are the same. Maybe you would know that information?
  • masanmasan Posts: 77
    Since I prefer a darker shade of blue, I passed on the blue Forester. My mother also referred to it as "purple."

    Last year's green Forester was more of a yellow green than a blue green. I haven't seen a green 2003.

    I wanted the gray interior of the blue and the red exterior! The more I looked at the red with the tan/black interior though, the more it grew on me. I especially like the contrast of the tan/black.
  • masanmasan Posts: 77
    When should I wax the '03, and what can I use that will protect the red paint, not damage it?

    What is the best product to use on the black or gray cladding of the X?

    What are the do's and don't's of breaking in a new car? Keep it below X RPM's? Keep it below XX MPH?

  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    Most of your questions are answered in the instruction manual. I think it says (or I've read elsewhere) it's best to wait 90 days after the date of mfr. to wax a car.

    Zymol is the #1 top rated wax in Consumer Reports and is clear coat safe. It's available just about everywhere now. I bought some at Target.

    For the gray cladding, I use gold 'ol Armour All. Spray it on a cloth until damp, and then wipe it all over the cladding. It's much easier and faster to take care of than painted surfaces. That's why many people actually prefer the L and X models.

    Don't get the wax on the cladding, and don't get the Armour All on the paint. Wax on the gray cladding can be finnesed out with a soft bristle toothbrush and a little patience.

    Break in is first 1,000 miles, no more than 4,000 RPM except for emergencies.
  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216

    Everyone's got their opinions, but I had manual climate control on my '99 Forester L and now have auto on my '03 Forester XS Premium, and I definitely like the XS better. You never have to fiddle with the fan speed or temperature control to keep it comfortable when cruising. This is most appreciated when you're driving on a partly cloudy day and go from bright sunshine to cool cloud cover and don't have to adjust the temperature.

    I know I scared some people off with my in-depth analysis trying to figure it out, but now that I understand it, I like it even more than I thought I would.

    Juice - the silver is called Platinum Silver Metallic, and while it's new for the Forester, it's a carryover from other existing Subie's - the Impreza I think. The only other silver car on Earth that looks even better is the silver VW Jetta, which was my inspiration for wanting a silver car. (OK, the silver BMW 3-series looks pretty good, too!)

  • chaynes1chaynes1 Posts: 27
    Anyone know an E-vendor that sells the glue-on rear bumper cover to fit 2003 Forester XS. The dealer-installed one has "Forester" on it and fits about 80% of the depressed area on top of bumper.
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Man, I love those Indiglo gauges. They'd hurt my eyes, though, after awhile, I think. I have a couple of those Indiglo nightlights in my apartment, and they're bright as hell when your eyes adjust to the darkness.

  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    It looks like there is a dimmer included to control the intensity of the display.
    My wife's Sebring display is really nice and if I could get that look for my Forester WOW! White in the daytime and electroluminescent green/blue at night.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I gotz to get me some of them Indiglo guagez! I guess you are looking to get some 22" dubs on there too eah? Chillinz in de hood yo!

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    From what I've been reading, you don't have complete (manual) control when the "AUTO" is turned off. That's what I (and my wife) object to.

    We only use the A/C when it's hot and uncomfortable. Otherwise we just use the outside air and the fan. If it's nice out we have the windows and moonroof open. In that situation, I want complete "manual" control of the fan, etc.

    To me this sounds like "gimmickry," pure and simple. I don't see the quality of life being improved, but instead being intruded upon.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have auto-controls on my Trooper and will soon have em on my SVX. I know on the trooper it's 100% controllable, and pretty sure it is on the SVX also.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Read some of the earlier posts here. Don't go by what your Trooper has. Each brand does it differently. I had auto A/C on my '86 Saab 9000, and it was not 100% manually controllably. Don't ask me why or how, as it it's been over 15 years since I had that car. I just remember I hated the the auto A/C that it had.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Just curious what control was not manually controllable, and I don't feel like sifting through the posts :)

    hee hee.

  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    The climate control isn't 100% manually controllable, more like 95%. Remember from my posts, what I said is that for each control you set manually, it keeps everything else automatic. The only exception is the temperature control. Twisting the temp knob will not change the mix of hot and cold like a manual, it will simply blow either fresh or heated air in an attempt to achieve the interior temperature you have set on the dial.

    So, if for example you press the A/C button to turn off the A/C, twist the fan knob to speed 2, and set the outlets to the dashboard outlets, the system will in fact be entirely overridden and stay in those positions. If the temp knob is set at 75 and it is 80 out, it will blow in fresh, unheated 80 degree air, just like a manual system.

    I frequently do what Bob does - turn off the A/C and open my moonroof, and it requires no more button pushing than a completely manual control.

    I've said this before in earlier posts and I'll say it again -- the system is not that complicated and is very easy to use once you understand "the rules." I definitely like it better than my old manual control.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << Twisting the temp knob will not change the mix of hot and cold like a manual, it will simply blow either fresh or heated air in an attempt to achieve the interior temperature you have set on the dial. >>

    So how do you adjust the temperature, if the AUTO function is turned off? If you turn down the temp reading, does it blow in cool outside air&#151;without turning on the A/C?

  • gened1gened1 Posts: 256
    Yo P
    Do me
    a fav
    cut back on the caffeine
    in yo hood
  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    << So how do you adjust the temperature, if the AUTO function is turned off? If you turn down the temp reading, does it blow in cool outside air—without turning on the A/C? >>

    This goes back a week or so to my original posts where I thought in manual mode it would behave like a conventional temp knob, but it does not.

    I think it was Bear that pointed out that the temp knob still **tries** to maintain the interior temp set, no matter what.

    "Tries" is key because without the A/C, if the exterior air temp is higher than the temperature set (let's say 80 outside 75 set), then it will just blow unheated, 80 degree air knowing it'll never get down to 75. Even though the "75" position on the dial is mid-way between hot and cold on a manual scale, it still will not add any heat.

    Now, if I turn the temp knob up to 85 in manual mode, and it is 80 outside, it will add heat up to the point that it is 85 inside and then maintain it by adjusting the mix of heated and fresh air.

    This differs from a completely manual climate control where if you turn the temp all the way up, it will keep blowing out burning hot air forever and could get 95 degrees inside.

    So in other words, even in manual mode, it will still automatically adjust the fresh vs. heated air mix to obtain the interior temperature set.

    I don't know how much better I can describe this, so I think this will be my last post on the subject!

    I suggest you buy one and see for yourself!! :)
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That is exactly how my Trooper works with the temp analog temp control. What I usually do when I want to open air the car is turn the fan off, and flip down the temp to "65" and open up the roof, this will draw in air through the vents (whatever can get forced through by the car movement) and not add any heat. I'll have to try and see if it will add any heat if I move it up from 65 but below ambient temp. On mine I can also turn off the A/C completely by hitting the button, it won't override it even if I put on the defroster.

  • masanmasan Posts: 77
    Thanks for the info!
  • masanmasan Posts: 77
    Where can I order touch-up paint for the '03 Forester online? It didn't take long for a stone to hit the side of my new vehicle. :-( Do the experts in paint and body shops ever take on little touch-up jobs?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Masan - I've had good luck with, but a quick check shows that they don't have the '03 model, yet. If you can wait, you might want to try them later on.
  • jimbob17jimbob17 Posts: 77
    My father told me many years ago never get a real dark or real light car they show dirt too much. He also said a real dark car is too hot in the summer (that was before auto A/C). Thats why I got the silver 2003 Forester. No regrets yet.
  • sierratripsierratrip Posts: 53
    Just a couple of questions now that the summer heat has hit.

    My 2002 Forester manual say that when using the A/C the air flow control should be set to intake outside air. This seems like a good idea until the car gets cool enough, but it doesn't seem very efficient to keep cooling 95 degree air instead of re circulating the much cooler interior air.

    Isn't this making the engine and cooling system work harder than it needs to?

    Also, if you had the windows tinted on your model how much of a difference did that make? And how well does the tinting resist scratching and nicks in the rear cargo area? I do a lot of camping and am concerned that duffel bags etc. might beat it up pretty good.

    Any feedback is much appreciated!

  • ducktapeguyducktapeguy Posts: 115
    I tinted my forester, it makes a pretty big difference because of all the glass. It cuts down on the heat a lot, and provides some privacy. If you're worried about scratching it, I think the metallic tints are supposed to hold up better, but I wouldn't be too concerned about it. I throw a lot of stuff in the back of my car, and haven't scratched mine yet. But if I do, the place where I got it done has a lifetime replacement warranty, maybe most other places do too.
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