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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181

    I am about ready to buy a "hail damaged" (not much) pop up camper with a dry weight of 1335 lbs (4700K verses 6900K/Hey live in Kansas you can get lots of deals like this, but then again, ducks in shooting galleries have an easy life until hit). I have an 04 Forester X with a five speed. Yes, I know 2,400 towing capacity... (Oh, Used versions of this as a "used" camper are online at around 5,700K). It is a good deal but not if the vehicle towing it us not up to it.

    I have also told my girlfriend she cannot collect the rocks she wants to collect and I WANT to go over the "best" parts of the Rockies. That means some steep grades... Once a year...

    As a "normal" driver, I got 150K out of my last Subaru clutch and only one set of front brakes. I know how to milk em...

    Oh, the trailer has a 178 lb "(dry) front hitch weight" and am trying to determine if that is "tongue weight." I don't think so, having loaded trailers in the past... A little here a little there...

    OK, Am I going to rip the guts out of my Forester? The Brits say NO, (they have lots of websites gauging the towing capability of vehicles/More than the US) but then again, they don't have the rockies..

    Please, help me either spend or save my money.. soon. These hail damaged ones are not going to be around long...
  • Hi All,

    Just bought a 2005 Forester XS Premium, our 2nd Forester (had a 98 for about 2 years, loved it). Replacing an Audi A6 Wagon, if you can believe it.

    Anyway, here's my issue: I pick it up in a few days and of course the dealer (here in Canada) wants me to get this "Perma Plate" package (paintguard, fiberguard, soundguard and rustguard), as well as the extended warranty (though you can get this up to the 3 yr point). The charge is $799 (Canadian, about $600 or so US) for the former, and $1258 ($1000 US) for a Powertrain extension (to 7yrs, 140K kms) or $1847 ($1600 US) for the bumper to bumper version.

    Since I haven't bought a new car in 15 years, I've forgotten how to avoid the new car scams -- any advice on either of these options? My tendency is to avoid the warranty but go for the PermaPlate one -- however, a prelim google search shows a real mized bag of opinion, i.e. it's a scam, a rip-off, something worthwhile, etc.

    Any thoughts?

    Mike in Canada
  • I own an 04 Forester XS, which has the extended arm rest. The hinge screws on the extended box have come loose, and I lost one. My local dealer has informed me that he cannot get me another screw b/c it only comes with the entire storage assembly. The screw is plastic.

    I could comb the auto graveyards for an 03+, but it's not a likely find. The earlier design used a metal screw, which may not be the same.

    I could also take the remaining screw to a hardware store, which I can do, but that seems dicey as well.

    Any bright ideas?
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I think you've got it backwards.... there are varying opinions on whether extended warranties are a good investment or not but dealer provided protection packages like "Perma Plate" are almost guaranteed to be 95% dealer profit. That paint guard is nothing more than a coat of wax. The fiber guard is no doubt a can of Scotchgard. Sound/rust guard is probably something they spray on to the underbody and if improperly applied, can easily cause premature rusting. In short, save your money and do it yourself if you're interested in any of these.

  • Thanks, Frank, for the above on permaplate & warranty. Yeah, I think I'll take the new car and run with it at this point AS IS.

    Two questions for all:

    1) I got very used to my Audi's nicely tinted windows and from earlier comments here, there are more than a few people who think Subaru should get with the program and have them as standard, as many manufs do. Anyone tried any after-market tinted applications? I've seen a few on other cars around town and they generally look horrific.

    2) I haven't yet checked for other after-market accessories. Did get my dealer to put on the armrest extension. Is there a good place (website) that shows all the items for the Forester (by Subaru and otherwise)? Since I live in Canada, price & availability may be an issue but I'm open to any and all suggestions. Any favorite after-market items people swear by?

    Great forum, by the way ...

    Mike in Canada
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,716
    It's Thursday, so it's that time again. If we see as many new faces tonight as we saw at the Mazda chat on Tuesday, we'll have a chance to break our attendance record for the Crew chat! We may need to order more snacks! :)

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  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    I'm fortunate to live near a very good tinter in NJ that works for You can't really see the quality from this pic, - g , but it's very good.

    The shop foreman at my dealer even commented on how good it looked.

    My favorite aftermarket items that I have are by Subaru, but not designed for the XT. An STi sedan rear-swaybar that improves handling (bought from, and 17" Euro Forester wheels bought from (long wait for those).

    Oh, my other favorite are the Philips VisionPlus 50 headlight bulbs from the UK . . Better range and brighter, but not blue.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Mike- Not sure about Canada but in the US, manufacturuers can only offer tinted windows in vehicles classified as light trucks. Unfortunately, since the Forester is classified by the EPA as a car, Subaru isn't allowed to offer tinted windows. Of course having tinted windows is an ever bigger concern the further south you go so many of your southern neighbors have gone the aftermarket route. A professionally applied metalic based tint film definitely improves the overall vehicle appearance and more importantly from my perspective, it keeps the interior significantly cooler in the summer. I suspect those "horrific" tint jobs you've seen have been do-it-yourself ones using the cheap stuff you can buy at the local auto parts store. You've probably seen plenty of other cars with tinted windows but didn't realize since a good tint job looks just like it came from the factory that way :)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    06 was fun, though people were anxious to drive the nicer (and pricier) Tribeca, to be honest.

    Seats seemed wider, less intrusive lateral bolsters. That's one thing I did not like, but it might accomodate bigger folks better. Fabrics seemed softer, same materials used in the cloth Tribecas now that I think about it.

    Arm rest is nicer, and extends forward. Fit both Bob and me better.

    Overall comfort levels are higher - softer seats, quieter and smoother ride.

    About a month they'll be in dealers.

    Turbo would have been more fun but honestly I felt the new 173hp engine was more important than a turbo that was already too powerful anyway. :P

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, we walked up to the N/A model, and I swear I could hear the Sith Lord calling me towards the turbo...

  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    Did Subaru let you in on any specs for the new model other than HP? Any other new features? Particularly, are the wider heated mirrors available on the base model?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let me think, they had one X model with steel wheels, I think it had the same mirrors with the turn signals, so if I had to guess I'd say that was standard. Do you recall, Bob?

    I asked them to check on EPA mileage, I want to see if the 20/26 rumor for the turbo auto is true (if so, WOW).

    The new turbo engine is LEV2, so emissions are way down.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    I suppose no HID's like the Canadians are getting in the XT??

  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303
    Go to Subaru's media center webpage, fourth item down under "Latest News". All kinds of specs on the 06 Forester.

  • ezshift5ezshift5 West coastPosts: 857
    ......has it correct....... . (

    ..looks like the '06 has some good improvements.(..didn't see any EPA data tho).., ez.. :)
  • asaasa Posts: 359
    I'd go the hardware store route, but make it an Ace Hardware, True Value or other small local store. My Ace has hundreds of unique fasteners in bins and I can paw through them as much as I like. Home Depot and Lowes have nothing like what I can find at Ace. I'll bet you can find something.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    '06 X loses 1 mpg down to 29 on highway. XT auto makes huge improvement.


    PS thanks for the link
  • I like the small hardware store idea too; bring the other screw in with you if you have it. When I reach the depths of my local Ace, I go to a specialty screw place that sells fasteners to industry. If you don't live near a large city, you might not have one of these and can look on the web under "specialty fasteners."

    Buy a couple extra just in case.
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    Dang, I missed the chat (had even more important engagement - dinner with my son).

    I see that the EPA actually went down on 06 ( :(

    The peak HP & torque on 06 both occur at higher rpms that 03-05.

    05 HP 166 @ 5600 RPM; 06 HP 173 @ 6000 RPM (4% total increase).
    05 Torque 166 lbs @ 4000 RPM; 06 torque 166 lbs @4,400 rpm (no increase in torque, but it comes on a little later).

    So it appears that to feel the increased power need to be about 4,000 RPMs Would you say that is your impression in driving the 06?

    So seems for average driver or if pulling a trailer, the 06 MY has no advantage over 03-05 MY.

    If you were blindfolded and driven in an 06 or 03-05, do you believe you could tell the difference? If so, in what ways?

    If my above assumptions are accurate, the $5,000 saving of the 03 is starting to look better to me. :confuse:
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    1 more question (pretty soon I am going to hit my quota :blush:

    I love armrests. Do you think the improved 06 one could be easily mounted on an 03-05 model?

    Thanks for all your responses.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Good question, and I don't know. Perhaps if the lower part of the center are identical (where it attaches to), but I don't know that.

  • tomb2tomb2 Posts: 3
    My new 2005 Forester (6,200 miles) has suddenly developed a mysterious creak in the right rear part of the car. The creaking started when the weather turned warmer here in Connecticut a few weeks ago and has gotten more noticeable, especially in the morning when driving to work. Sitting overnight parked makes it worse? The noise is mostly noticeable when driving on a slightly rough surface at low speeds, even in a parking lot, and is inaudible when driving on the highway, even if the surface is rough. It seems more likely when driving straight, and is not always evident when turning. The noise itself sounds like two components are rubbing together.

    I have tried everything as far as the usual greasing of possible rubbing points, putting cloths between such potential rubbing points, etc. Yesterday I had it at the dealer and they spent about 6.5 hours trying to get rid of it, but with little success. They took the rear compartment apart, and drove it around without the various components, including even removing various components such as the rear light assembly, liftback strut, etc. They even put it up on a rig and flexed the frame, as well as checked the wheel strut assembly. The service manager himself was involved, and they thought they had got the problem licked, but when I took for a test drive it was still there. The manager is contacting Subaru to see if they have any such creaks that other Foresters may have manifested. This dealership is the largest Subaru dealership in New England and they have not had any such problems turn up.

    I thought that someone out there may have encountered something similar. I did a thorough general Web search and was unable to come up with much of anything similar being reported, even for Subarus in general. Any help would be much appreciated.
  • damish003damish003 Posts: 303
    Thanks for posting the link, ez. I just assumed everyone here knew where it was :blush:

  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    I had a mysterious creak in my '04 coming from the right rear of the car. I tried for weeks to pinpoint it and finally discovered that it was the plastic covered metal latch where the rear seats latch on when their in the upright position. Does that make any sense?? I lubed it up with silicon spray and it's been fine ever since.

    Another common squeak part could be the cargo cover or latch for the rear hatch. Also the swaybar bushings can dry out and squeak. Your car is pretty new so I doubt it would be the bushings, unless they didn't get lubed from the factory.

    Good luck!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bob called it more "eager". I felt it was a little peppier. A little, not a lot.

    Not sure why EPA highway dropped 1, my guess is it was more of a correction.

  • If you install the armrest yourself, keep an eye on the hinge screws. ;)
  • I've had that same creak on my '01. Same side too. My mechanic mentioned that he had once tracked down a similar noise to the car body rubbing against a plastic fuel tank. It wasn't a Subaru, but notice that we are all experiencing this on the same side as the gas tank.

    I am going to lube that seat latch. however.
  • Does your creak go away when you have been driving awhile? I had a theory that the sway bar was creaking until the friction heated them up and got the grease working.
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