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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • masanmasan Posts: 77
    So I have to go to Collision City after all just to get a little paint chip taken care of? Aargh!

    I will use a delicate touch with the Langka and rub in one direction or back and forth. I had high hopes for this. I even bought the clear coat. Darned rock hit my car!
  • rlhermes1rlhermes1 Posts: 7
    Thanks to McKeown for the descriptive mounting instructions..saved me alot of time figuring it out.

    The reason I am replacing it is because it will not 'dim' enough. I had the dealer replace the original one thinking that it was defective.

    The compass is a nice feature, but I have never had a need for it in the wild and wooly suburbs of Washington D.C.
  • maverick1017maverick1017 Posts: 212
    I have a 98 L. I did the mod because my mileage was below expectation and I also had some dead spots in the power curve.

    Juice raised a good point, the grounding mod is not a performance/power mod. It is purely an attempt to resolve existing issues with the ECU. (it works for some and don't for others) If your car is running fine, such as Juice's, doing the grounding mod ain't gonna get you anywhere or anything. As the old adage goes, if it ain't broken, don't fix it.

  • bluejeanbluejean Posts: 3
    I purchased a 03XS Premium Silver a month ago. I'm at 2500 miles and enjoying the ride. Thanks to all who gave advice a couple months back about my concerns of double taxation while I'm in the process of moving from VA to FL. It turns out there was nothing to be concerned about. I was led astray by a unclear website. I did wait until I transferred residency to avoid double tag/title fees.

    Now my next question: any recommendations for reputable window tinting shops in either the DC metro area or Palm Beach county Florida? Any other advice about tinting? I know there's been lots of discussion before, but I cannot figure out how to search for past postings.
  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    BlueJean - I searched some older threads a few weeks ago about tinting and there are a lot of discussions about them that you may want to look at.

    However, the search function doesn't seem to really search right, but I figured out this trick:

    On the space in the left column that says "Search Town Hall by keyword. Enter keyword(s)", leave that BLANK and just click the SEARCH button.

    Then on the resulting screen, you will notice that it gives you the choice to "Search for messages in Subaru Forester (SUVs Board)." Select that and enter the word "tinting" (or any other words) and you will find a plethora of discussions on the matter.

  • lakepoplakepop Posts: 221
    Elliot..........thanks for the search trick. I had given up on the search function as it never seemed to work. Tried your method...voila!

    Kind of a backward way for it to work....but work it does...... THANKS!
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    There's a brief news item on Subaru's 2003 models and equipment packages at Couldn't post the link here, as it's too darn long. Anyway, the gist was that there's more standard equipment on all models with an average $250 or so increase in base price.

    Don't even think it mentioned the Forester, though.

  • sjbrodysjbrody Posts: 39
    I just replaced my leased 2000 Outback Limited with a 03 Forester XS Premium with MT. The sound system with the tweeter and speaker upgrade is very good and so far I have enjoyed the car very much, but I have one question. Why don't the brake lights stay on while the clutch pedal is held down to activate the Hill-Holder? I would think this would be a safety issue in traffic.

  • abpr1abpr1 Posts: 3
    Hey all,

    Just wanted to give a collective thanks to the group for all the great info. I've been lurking since the first of the year and just purchased on 03 XS. First 300 miles have been a joy...

    Wanted to know if the group had any thoughts on when to change over to synthetic oil? I was digging through old messages, and it looks like a post from the late 90s had a subaru rep suggesting to do the switch at 10K, but other claims for subaru service techs to do it earlier.

    wanted to see what the collective widsom is from the group.

    happy in austin,
  • As a long-time forum "lurker" and happy owner of a 2000 Forester, I want to thank forum members for providing insights that helped me to resolve two nagging issues.

    I cured my hatch rattle when I noticed that the spring-loaded "adjuster blocks" on the SIDES of the hatch were filled with road dust - making them inoperative. Cleaning them (without adding any lubricant) cured the hatch rattle.

    The valve noise issue was solved by convincing the dealer that the timing belt tensioner could be at fault even though the problem only appeared periodically.

    Thanks much.
    Scott Peterson
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats to all the new owners. Please stick around and tell us about your new rides, maybe at the chat tonight?

    The 6CD player also has a cassette, if it's the one from the WRX you're talking about. I have two of them and should know. :-)

    Tint: in MD, you can call New Again, in Silver Spring. I paid $170 for 35% SolarGard dyed film. Metallic film may be more, call to ask.

    Go synthetic? You can at 3k if you want. The service reps that came to chat with us one day said to do it sooner rather than later, if you do at all.

  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    A few years back my 99 Forester's hatch rattled when going over even slightly rough roads. It was under warranty so I had my dealer look at it.

    They said this was a common problem and there was a service bulletin that detailed the problem. They said all they do is unbolt and rebolt the hydraulic lift mounts. Apparently, the minute repositioning fixes the problem.

    Unfortunately, that's all I know. I don't know if there is a certain position the hatch needs to be in to do this or what, so try this at your own risk.

  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    When I bought my new 2001 Forester S I picked up on juice's recommendation of Vinylex, and have been happy to use it on my dash and seating areas.
    It didn't occur to me until last week to use it liberally on the rubber cargo mat. Now the boxes that I load and unload glide in and out sweetly.
  • rsay777rsay777 Posts: 100
    I just put on the first 100 miles on the new 03 Forester X. This is the best out of the 4 Soobs I've had. Smooth is the word. I've only one complaint. The hill holder engages on level ground and will take some getting used to. Embarrassing to kill the engine. My 91 Legacy had HH but only activated on hills. I will report back after my trip from Portland, OR to SLC Utah. Must have the correct diameter mug for the cup holder or it will tip. Air filtration and re-circ keeps the diesel out of my face. I'm not sure I will be able to sleep tonight, just like Christmas in August.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Congrats on your first 100 miles! The 03 Forester looks very nice (haven't driven one yet) and must have more refinement than the previous generation.

    I'm curious about the HH, though. How would it being engaged cause you to kill the engine on level ground? I thought it released when letting up the clutch. I'm going to have to try one of those these days!

  • 800 miles round trip: a jaunt up to Cimarron State Park here in New Mexico.

    My wife and I took a trip up to northern NM this week. We have just gotten our Yakima Lockjaw bike rack on the Forester and wanted to try it out. Well, it works! But gas mileage takes a real nose dive! On a stretch of interstate that would normally produce 30 MPG we got a tad over 25 MPG. And we got better gas mileage going from Santa Fe to Taos to Cimarron State Park -- about 28 MPG: probably the slower speeds.

    Cimarron: If you love the outdoors and camping, stay the heck out of the state parks in NM. Ick! We usually avoid the state parks here, but Cimarron sounded good: 33,000 acres of wildlife area, a river running through it, trails, biking. False advertising. The trails were awful. The camping was the usual cheek-by-jowl state park claustrophobia producing arrangement. There were maybe 4 or 5 good tent sites (out of over a hundred sites)

    However, if you are an RVer, or if you love do not walk to Cimarron! The campgrounds are very RV friendly. And we saw lots of people with lots of fish. You can camp within sight of a trout stream/pond/lake and catch fish until your arms are tired. And the area taken as a whole is very spectacular. The Eagle's Nest/Angel Fire valley is fantastic. And you should go to see the Vietnam Vet Memorial nearby.

    However...see The Smell Test.

    The Smell Test: Our Forester passed the smell test! The smell test? Picture this: you are camping. You hear a sniffing noise, just sniff-sniff...then nothing. The nest morning...muddy paw prints on your nice shiny platinum-silver Forester...bear prints! Bears won't eat what they cannot smell...right? There was a plastic wrap commercial that imparted that bit of wisdom. Well, bears won't break into a vehicle from which they do not smell a delicious odor. So, our nice, well-sealed Forester had intact windows the next morning...having passed the smell test. The camp host told us later that there was a bear popping car windows in the campground (then climbing in and helping itself to the smorgesbord) -- and that we were lucky. Well, on night two of our stay, I woke up just in time to see the bear shambling by our Forester on its way to a pickup truck deeper in the campground, where it would climb into the bed of the truck, pull out a plastic toolbox and chew a hole in it to get at the bread and other vittles inside.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Interesting story. On one trip I took to Yosemite, I had brought along a Cheese Board pizza (for those of you who aren't familiar with the Berkeley area, The Cheese Board is an awesome bread & cheese store that makes some of the best pizza in the Bay Area). When I arrived at Yosemite, the smell of garlic and cheese had pretty much permeated every inch of my Forester cabin.

    Given that it was peak bear season, I rolled down the windows and drove around for an hour to air out the smell. I was quite relieved to find my Forester intact the next morning.

    Locals in the Sierras often put some Pine Sol or ammonia in their food trash to deter bears. I wonder if a dab of Pine Sol on the exterior windows would do the same for a car!

  • subasuba Posts: 12
    Sorry for the doublemess.
    When I set the altitude at my house, 100feet, I can't understand the - + that occurs as I drive away. Is this the relative height difference from where I am at that instant compared with my original 100 feet? The barometer seems to have a life of its own and records the various pressures as I drive along. I have a copy of a manual that I eventually found for this gauge pack but I need some one to put it to me in English.
    Thanks in advance.
  • The final MPG for our 800 mile trip upstate to Cimarron is 27 mpg. We had two bikes in a Yakima Lockjaw rack on top of the Forester, we never exceeded 67 mph, it was on Interstate or Federal Routes or good State Roads and was a mix of hills and fairly level ground, with the exception of having to cut across Santa Fe on US 84/US 285 which is god-awful traffic for about one-half hour. Excellent mileage considering that the EPA highway figure is 27 for a manual transmission and we had two upright bikes on top of the car grabbing air.
  • rsay777rsay777 Posts: 100
    I had the air filtration added to my 03X and noticed that the glove box was installed crooked. I thought I'd attempt to mess with it myself now because in the future I will change the filters myself. My question: how do you get to the filter? the manual shows 9 screws for removal of the glove box I can only find 7. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • renzjrenzj Posts: 2
    Looking to add Ventvisor (or similar) to my wife's 98 Forester. Having trouble finding a source. Any ideas?
  • Regarding the question of why the brake lights don't stay on when the clutch pedal is held down to activate the HH...I'll guess that they don't expect you to hold the pedal down any longer than it takes to move your foot from the brake to the gas.

    My advice is to use the brake until you're ready to move - then clutch, shift, release brake, give it the gas and go. Holding the clutch down will eventually wear out the throw-out bearing. You'll know when it starts to go because of the loud squealing whine that just gets worse.

    The good news is that they can rebuild the clutch for about the same money while they have it torn apart fixing the T-O bearing.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Congrats Robert. I'm sure you'll get used to the HH.

    Golden: great story! That proves conclusively once and for all that frameless windows seal just fine, thanks. That's why the Porcsche 911 and BMW M3 coupe both use them.

    27 mpg with bikes is great.

    The air filtration on my '98 is accessible from under the glove box, so I don't have to remove it. I'm surprised they'd move it to a less accessible location.

  • I was reminded by another topic that I wanted to comment on the height of the Forester and its utility re: an on-top bike rack.

    One of the reasons we chose Forester was the lower roof height. In our exhaustive analysis we favored both ground clearance (higher is better) and roof height (lower is better). Forester had the best combination. This was in anticipation of using an on-top bike rack. And we were quite pleased with Forester, once we had the rack and were putting the bikes on top. Lindsey (the other half of Goldencoupe1)and I are both a tad under 6 feet tall, and we are just tall enough to get the bikes up there without having to stand on anything. A CRV, RAV, Escape/Tribute, or Santa Fe would be too tall. And to be honest, when I have a bike over my head and L and I are forming the four-armed monster that is necessary to fasten the bike down to the rack, a Legacy wagon starts to look pretty good -- the Legacy wagon being our second choice to the Forester.
  • eps105eps105 Posts: 216
    There are indeed 9 screws. When I got my 03 Forester last month, I took it all apart out of curiosity.

    The locations of the 9 screws illustrated in the instructions are correct, but I guess you need to have good spatial relations to interpret where they are 3 dimensionally. I am guessing that you missed the two near the bottom which are a little elusive. I recall needing to use a short-shafted screwdriver so it didn't scrape against the center console. I believe they are kind of down below the glove box door, accessible with the door shut, but my memory could be wrong.

    Be careful - there are two other screws that hold the door hinges to the interior of the glove box. These do not need to be removed and will hinder reassembly. (I should know.)

  • sjbrodysjbrody Posts: 39
    I agree that it is reasonable while waiting at a stop light to shift into neutral, but if I am on a hill, waiting to make a left turn at a gap in traffic, I would not shift into neutral. It would be nice if the brake lights stayed on while the clutch was depressed to alert cars behind me that I was not moving. With the Hill holder it is very easy to get into the habit of only holding down the clutch pedal rather than both the clutch and brake pedals in this situation.

    By the way, what is the logic for requiring the AT if you want the leather seats? I must admit that I am very happy with the gray cloth seats on my XS.

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Forester bike rack -- I'm 5'8" and I don't have any issues putting my bikes on my Yakima Steelhead racks on top. I'm sure this wouldn't have been the case if the Forester were any higher. One thing you can do for extra height is to open the doors and step onto the chassis while lifting the bike over your head.

    AT & Leather -- My guess is that by bundling the two features, Subaru expects to make more money than by allowing an independent leather option.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Or step on the tires, which I've done to load my rooftop cargo carrier.

    Subaru probably figures if you want the luxury of leather, you probably want automatic. Also, if you agree that 5 speeds are sportier, they may figure a grippy cloth seat is better suited to holding you in place during aggressive driving.

    You can always get aftermarket leather. I've seen a Forester equipped like that, and it looked better than the OE leather did.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Subaru produces very small #s of vehicles. The AT&Leather is probably 2 options that are most commonly ordered together, so they just churn out a bunch of em, rather than have to piece-meal it all together. Makes sense, same reason you can't get manual windows and door locks on the impreza TS.

This discussion has been closed.