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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Egad. Some of those numbers are preposterous. Unless your tires have worn unevenly and have become unbalanced, rebalancing is unnecessary, and so fifty bucks to rotate? No way.

    Unless I'm mistaken, quite a few of the expensive items you listed are nowhere required in the Subaru owner's manual schedule of items to service at 30,000 miles. If it were me, I'd direct the dealer to give me a quote to perform those services - and only those services. I also would get a second quote from a good local independent Subaru/import car mechanic.

    Also, doesn't Edmunds have a link that provides a close estimate of the entire cost to service various vehicles at various mileage intervals? You might check that to see what Edmunds estimates your 30K mile service ought to cost. I don't think it will come anywhere even distantly close to $1,200.

    I think you should be able to accomplish a complete 30,000 mile service for $400 to $600 max.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    if you live in California I will come do it for $500 and I will even use synthetics in your diffys. (joking). Seems way high to me.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Al- Yikes! Can you say highway robbery? You can get their estimate to perform only the Subaru recommended maintenance items like Jack suggested but it still appears they're over-charging for what they do. I'd find another dealer or a reputable independent mechanic. I'm guessing you can get everything that's truly needed done for about $350. And contrary to what the dealer would like you to believe, as long as you keep all your maintenance records, you're in no danger of voiding the manufacturer's warranty.

    -Frank P.
  • Edmunds estimates $351 for 30,000 maintenance on 2002 Forester.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    And I guesstimated $400 to $600? Obviously, nobody should ever accept any financial advice I provide!
  • joenhjoenh Posts: 11
    Thanks for the reply Craig. A couple of things.

    Trying to maintain 20 mph on a steep upgrade caused repeated bangs.

    For what ever reason, Subaru engineering came up with a fix to the transmission control unit to make a less agressive shift (their info).

    I never had another vehicle make that type of loud noise under the same conditions in 40 years of driving. I would hate to have something in the drive train fracture due to the sudden impact.
  • I have mailed you the contact info for ext. warranty. I tend to agree with juice - resale, roadside assistance...
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Edmunds estimates $351 for 30,000 maintenance on 2002 Forester.

    Hey my guesstimate was spot on! Maybe I should go by a lottery ticket ;-)

    -Frank P.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Were the wheels continually slipping on the steep grade? That's the only thing that would have caused repeated bangs (and I would not expect to hear more than 1 bang every 4-5 secs, anything more would worry me).

    I don't think the transmission has anything to do with it, so I'm guessing they were way off on that one.....

    There are certain quirks associated with AWD, and this is one of them in Subarus. I know it sounds bad, but I think it's just a matter of the driveline flexing against slack in the bushings and mounts.

    Again, this should only happen when the front wheels slip suddenly. If it happens any other time, then you should worry!

  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Maybe I should go by a lottery ticket

    That's right. Go by one. That's much better than to go buy one.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Jack- No reason I should waste my money by actually buying one :-)
  • joenhjoenh Posts: 11
    Yes Craig, about every 3-5 seconds on the steep grade. I remember following a sand truck one night when I could see alternate patches of sand and then ice. It seemed like the bang occurred each time a slippery spot came up and I was trying to accelerate slightly.

    I will be curious next storm to see how the new transmission control works. Supposed to be softer.

    Much more than this, I really want to find out why the brakes stayed on the other day until I shut the engine off and restarted it later. I hope it's not when I'm going down the highway.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Did the brake problem occur soon after any significant work by the dealer or a mechanic?

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    quit drinking coffee

    That could explain a lot! (joke!) or is it alot :-)

    Here's the service costs link:

    Edmunds Maintenance Guide

    Saying bye for tonight... but first a chat reminder. Starts in ~20 hours and the link is on the left. Wonder if anything special will happen at it?

    Steve, Host
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    That could explain a lot! (joke!) or is it alot :-)

    That seems to depend on whether you're over or under about age 25. <sigh>
  • burnsmr4burnsmr4 Posts: 318
    Thanks to everyone who responded to my last attempt at advice regarding this damned ext. warranty. Man -- what a gamble. My advice has been 50/50 in favor and against buying it.

    I'll make the decision tomorrow, I suppose. I couldn't get up I-85 in rush hour traffic in time to buy the warranty from the dealership rep with whom I spoke last night. Oh, well.

    Regarding the 30K service -- I paid just under $400 for mine 2 months ago here in Atlanta. That's after having them take out the oil change which I'd performed myself the week before. That's about all the service I can get away with doing on apartment complex property.

  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Has anyone installed another radio in the car for better reception or is the antenna in the glass the major issue for radio quality reception?

    Thanks Mike
  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Is there such an accessory as a frameless door rain protector???

    For doors with frames you can get WeatherTech plastic deflectors that fit around the window frame so you can crack the window during rain and hot weather.

  • m4ethm4eth Posts: 101
    Has anyone had problems with the rubber window gaskets freezing (freezing rain or snow) while vehicle is outside making it hard to get into the vehicle without damaging the rubber surrounding the window???

  • joenhjoenh Posts: 11
    No Craig, this vehicle has never been in for dealer service. Just happened out of the blue.

  • mckeownmckeown Posts: 165
    Shortly after I got my 02-L, I replaced the mediocre factory radio with a Sanyo single din AM/FM/Casette/single CD. Sound was Much improved using the factory speakers, which were later replaced also.
    Only catch is the power feed to the Intenna Amplifier. There is an antenna amplifier mounted by the rear window. It gets powered by the radio. I used the power antenna lead on the new radio to power this lead. #14 in the car wiring harness, blue wire with a red tracer on the 02 if I remember correctly. If this post correctly, here is how the Car wiring harness connector looks when you look at the 'face' of it.
    1 2 3 spacer 4 5 6
    7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    Put some silicone spray on a rag, then apply it to the window gasket. Make sure that you don't spray it directly because some of the propellents are harmful (cause it to dry out).

  • have gone thru all last winter & 2 snow/ice type
    storms so far this winter - never once had the windown on the 03 forester stick/freez to the rubber gasket thus preventing the door from opening - nor was the rubber gasket ever damaged from opening a door in sub-freezing weather. just my experience.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Mike- What's wrong with the radio reception? I'm perfectly satisfied with mine. Also, my Forester has been in freezing rain and no problems with the rubber window gaskets (but it did take a fairly strong yank to get the door open).

    -Frank P.
  • d0ugd0ug Posts: 7
    Thanks to all for responding. It looks like dealer is trying to make an extra $700.00 on my maintenance. I think that I will search out a local independent since there are no other local dealers. Chicago area would be next closest. My wife and I love the Forester. Great car inspite of greedy dealers. Thanks again. AL
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    They exist but not in the States. IIRC, Pat was able to order a set from a supplier in England.

    -Frank P.
  • Doug -

    When I had my 30,000 mile checkup done at the local Subaru dealer I wasn't happy either. Even though I gave them a detailed list of what Subaru recommends for the service they did some extra work without letting me know, and the bill was higher than I expected (around $500, still nowhere near the gouging that your dealer is trying to attempt!). Since then I have asked around and found a wonderful import repair shop that has really top-of-the-line service, and I feel much better taking the Subie there. In fact, my Subie is there right now getting an oil change.

    There may not be one around you, but ask around and see if there is a good private shop that knows Subaru. Peace of mind, honesty, and integrity are things I'm willing to pay a bit more for.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    These sky-high service visits remind us that today's dealerships don't make much money on the sales floor; the real bucks roll in from the service bays.
  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    The internet broke open the whole myth about MSRP, and our WalMart-ized brains now want the car for virtually what the dealer paid for it nowadays. Selling and servicing cars isn't a public service, so of course the service part is now so dang expensive.

    That's why I forged a good relationship with a reliable, local import-car service shop. I'll gladly pay their $60/hr. since all the dealers in my area now charge $92/hr.
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