Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I'm very skeptical that metallic tint could interfere with radio signals. I certainly haven't noticed any degradation.

    Dennis- What size sway bar/s did you get?

    -Frank P.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    I've seen several posts on nabisco where people had reception problems with in-glass antennas after installing metallized tint. Technically, true metal sheet would interfere with this type of antenna. Whether tint has enough metal content is something I don't know.

  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589

    You may or may not be aware, that any shade of tinting on the front/side windows (ie: driver and passenger seat area) is illegal in NJ.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    As Lee was installing the tint, I asked about the Charcool line. He said that no one ever asks for it and he doesn't carry it based on the fact that it doesn't last for more than 3-5(?) years or so.

    He said that it would be possible that I would get interference and I think that I do get a little more. It's only in certain areas around town and clears up as I'm driving.

    The in-glass reception isn't as good anyway, and I don't think the tint changed it much (if at all).

    I got the XT STi swaybar kit from It's the factory 20mm STi swaybar and I'll put it on this weekend. You can order the bar alone, but the kit comes with the STi mounts, hardware, etc. You can see pics at the site that is the shortened version of Scoobydomodifications. :-) Got that?


    edit: Thanks, Len. That's why I went with the lightest. Most of the WRX's around here have 35 and don't get hassled unless they're causing a problem. I had 50 on the WRX and my wife has had 50 on the OB for a year and passed inspection.
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    I've been wondering about that. Charcool seemed like a viable option but its lifetime is a strike against it. I'm curious about the factory pseudo-reflective tint that the Lexus RX330s come with but I'm not sure I could live with it.

    I generally don't like the look of tint but the Forester has so much glass area I'm starting to consider it a necessity, local revenue generators be damned.

    I too find the in-glass antenna reception to be less than ideal. There are a couple of spots along my daily commute where FM reception drops almost completely out - annoying when I'm trying to listen to anything except traffic reports on AM.

    I guess I should go over to the tinting forum and read up there.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    In general you aren't gonna get hassled unless you are a punk kid or someone with other stuff illegal about the car (Loud exhaust, weaving in and out of traffic, etc)

    I'm going with 20% on the Legacy, and have 35% on the SVX and 35% on the 2 front windows on the Trooper. Never been hassled in over 100K miles with the tint.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Roll your windows down if you ever get pulled over. Have your hands clearly visible. They won't bother you.

    Forester gets by as a truck in that regard, and trucks are generally allowed to have dark tint.

  • Can anyone comment on how easy/hard it is to get into the Forester for older folks? My parents have no trouble at all with normal sedans, but just cannot get up into my sister's Mitsubishi Montero without a stepstool. I'd like to go looking at Foresters this weekend, and thought you might give me a heads-up on any problems. Thanks!
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    As long as they're getting in the front seats, the Forester is the ideal vehicle for anyone with reduced mobility. That's because you can simply turn and sit versus larger SUVs where you have to climb up or passenger cars where you have to lower the body down to sit.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I forget the name, but Forester won an award from an organization that rates ease of entry for elderly and handicapped folks.

    It's great. The chairs are higher than cars but don't require a step up.

    When I had my back sprain, it was AGONY to get into my wife's Legacy, but a piece of cake getting in to my Forester. So we took my Forester, she drove.

    Recently our nanny (in her 50s) broke two ribs, again we had to take the Forester. The Legacy was too low and the Miata was just a torture chamber. No complaints at all in the Forester.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I hear that from lots of people but it also depends on how tall or, more appropriately, how short the person is.

    tidester, host
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I was thinking along those lines as I was typing. Suffice it to say for the average size individual the Forester's seat is at the ideal height. NBA players and 4'11" gandmothers being a couple of exceptions :-)

    -Frank P.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,016
    As long as they are getting into the front seats, which are terrific. The back seats are torture. Especially for older folks who tend to slump. My father cannot sit in the back seat without his knees poking the front, and he's not all that tall any more. I really wish Subaru would put in a sliding rear seat for those times when you want to carry people in comfort and not cargo.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • ellengelleng Posts: 33
    I curious to see if anyone has put a hood deflector on their forester and noticed a decrease in the amount of pebbles and rocks that cause small chips in the front windshield. If it truly seems to help then I'll go ahead and get one.
  • dnestrdnestr Posts: 188
    I don't know where is located a head light washer switch in the US Forester, but it's always brushed against by my knee when I get in. This button is located on fog light/mirror heat panel.

    35% Johnson metal film is installed all around (except a windshield, of course). No any problems with FM. The only thing I don't like is to turn to a dark alley right from the illuminate street. Some objects can be out of sight through difference of illumination, especially from the left side.
  • ltjoeltjoe Posts: 11
    The tint looks just fine on the rear defogger, and the antenna. I was just advised not to use the defogger for at least a week, ill make sure to give it a little longer just to be sure. The detail work around the defroster connections, and the radio connections to the window were precisely cut. I watched the work being done, one guy spent the entire 3 hrs on just the back windows. Lots of delicate trimming.
    As far as the 20%, I think it looked nicer, more uniform than going from 35 to 20. And hopefully if i get stopped, the fact that I am a 38 year old with a receeding hairline will prevent me from getting a summons. If that doesnt work maybe some professional courtesy will help (yes I am a Police Lieutenant)
    It has been my experience that only driving reckless, at high speed, or agressively or being a wise [non-permissible content removed] will warrant the extra summons for the tinted windows.
    As for the dots on the windows, the guy that did mine offered to acid wash them away, to bring the tint right to the edge of the window. I declined, he tinted right up to the dots, and unless you put your nose to the glass, you can't tell.
    Ok, please be kind with all the cop comments : )
  • ltjoeltjoe Posts: 11
    Why is that swith on top of the steering column that turns on the parking lights there? Seems like just turning the headlight switch to parking lights will do it.
    Also the tires, I just noticed that the Geolanders have a traction rating of B.
    Thank God the snow here in the northeast is gone, but im thinking about next year. Anybody ditch the oem tires right away?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That switch is for putting on the parking lights when the car is off. Subies turn off your lights when the car is off, so that allows you to leave your parking lights on when the car is off.

    No bad cop comments here. My uncle is on the Job in brooklyn so I've benefitted on a few occassions :)

  • dnestrdnestr Posts: 188
    >Subies turn off your lights when the car is off

    It is convenient in countries where you must keep your lights on all the time when the car goes. This rule is currently in force during Oct-Apr in some Scandinavian lands.
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    Only had one on for a couple of weeks not sure yet but talked to another owner who had one on he said it was great and he showed me marks on his from road debris. One note not easy to put on it come with a fair amount of hardware to install but they do look nice!!!
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Although it would seem that a metallized tint would interfere with radio signals, keep in mind that the radio antennae would be located between the glass and film -- the film isn't blocking the radio waves to the antennae. Also, metallized films are not a single sheet of metal -- they have very small discrete particles embeded in the film.

    I believe the RX330/300 comes with a Lumlar metallic tint. You can buy films with a simliar sheen to it.

    While tinting laws vary by state, most states do not allow a visible tint on the front side windows. However, a "visible tint" has it's own defintion too. In CA, you are legally allowed to have up to a 72% film on the front side windows. It's barely noticeable, but it does a lot to cut back UV and heat. I have them on my Forester and the difference in the summer is huge.

    You could take the chance of tinting your front side windows darker, but remember, the 98-02 Forester side windows don't roll all the way down. ;-)

  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    I'm a big fan of Rain-X. At highway speeds the rain droplets just zip off... no wipers needed.

    BUT, with a hood deflector, the droplets get all jiggy. They dance all over the place before exiting the scene... most distracting.

    No hood deflectors for me. (This was on a Toyota Tacoma. Your results may vary.)

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    ...the film isn't blocking the radio waves to the antennae.

    Of course it is, at least for the radio waves impinging from outside the glass. Those radio waves have to pass through the metallized layer to get to the antenna.

    Also, metallized films are not a single sheet of metal -- they have very small discrete particles embeded in the film.

    As far as the radio waves are concerned it would be equivalent to a sheet of metal since the wavelength is so much greater than the spacing between the particles. A chain link fence is very effective at reflecting radar for the very same reason even though you can easily see through it.

    Fortunately, most metallized tinting has sufficiently small amounts of metal that transmission of radio waves isn't greatly affected.

    tidester, host
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    Since window tint goes on the inside of the glass, and the imbedded antenna is between the inside of the glass and the tint layer, I can't see how it could possibly affect the reception. I've had metallic tint for years on cars with in-glass antennas and I've never noticed a drop in signal strength.

    If the tint went on the OUTSIDE of the glass (which it doesn't), then I can see how the metal particles in the film could cause some interferance.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    only thing I could think of is that it might short-out the antenna.

    However I found my windshield on my SVX to be great protection for Radar Detectors and EZ Pass (electronic toll collection)

    Apparently it has a metalic windshield.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Crew chat starts in ~ one hour. Link's on the left.

    Steve, Host
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Since window tint goes on the inside of the glass, and the imbedded antenna is between the inside of the glass and the tint layer, I can't see how it could possibly affect the reception.

    That's a common misunderstanding. For one thing, who says the radio waves would only come from outside the glass?? If a radio wave came at the antenna from inside the car, the tint film would most certainly be in front of the antenna. But even that is a very bad way to think about it. Truth is, the waves flow through and around the antenna. Anything that blocks the flow, from any side, is going to interfere with reception.

  • rsay777rsay777 Posts: 100
    After washing the winter grime off the engine on the 03X MT I now find the clutch mechanism is squeaking especially when engaging. Where is a good place to lubricate? Thanks, Bob L
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I have a 15% metallic film tint on the rear windows of my 2001 Forester, which has the antenna in the left rear window, and I never noticed any degradation of the radio reception after the tint was put on. Still no problems almost 3 years later.


    ltjoe: Don't worry, Lou. I got your back on the cop comments.
    Sgt. Len
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I don't know what I was thinking! Of course the tinting goes on the inside.

    In any case, the electromagnetic field environment around the antenna will be affected to some extent by the presence of an adjacent conducting plane.

    tidester, host
This discussion has been closed.