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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    For a new car where you have control over the maintaince, the Advantage Warranty would duplicate most of your new car warranty & be overkill IMHO.

    That said, if you want prices, google Subaru Advantage & check out on line deals. Curry Subaru had the best prices I could find & listed all the coverages and option on their site (I cannot recall the site name, but it was not an offical Subaru site. I believe it had the word "products" in it -- was 2nd or 3rd site that came up on Google search).
  • nswartzbnswartzb Posts: 40
    any others?
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    I am reading lots of negative posts about the "auto climate control". Apparently many think it is "too hot, too cold, too erratic, blows too much...". Are these just fussy folks or is this a general truism? I know those descriptions fit the auto climate control system on our A4 and would like to not have a similar problme on my FXS.

    Has anyone tried this fix: ttp://

    If so, did it do the trick?
  • mckeownmckeown Posts: 165
    I have a 2004 XS. Overall, living in NJ with cold winters and warm to hot summers, The Auto Climate control works OK for us, NOT Perfect. but OK.
    In the winter, I find myself turning it up to 78-80. but then I no longer touch it. And I do travel alot between 5 states. When it's Cold outside and the vehicle has reached it's preset temp, I find the upper dash outlets blow cooler air than from the floor vents
    In the Summer I leave it about 68. A/C seems to work better at regulating the temp, .
    YES I Installed a small fan on the venturi inlet (similar to the fix described). What this does is allows faster response to changes in temp by keeping the airflow constant over the thermalcouple (interior temp sensor). The factory setup uses the blower to create a venturi effect sucking air in slowly at lower speeds thereby slowing the temperature change response. It's not an endall fix, but it does do away with some slow, wide temperature swings especially in the winter.
    My $.02
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    $530 for a Subaru warranty seems cheap to me. Do you get roadside assistance in the plan you were quoted? We do (for the full 7 years).

    neil: sounds like a plan. Synthetic should easily last that long given you're not under the extreme driving category.

    Those vents look good, by the way. I just open my door, and slam it once, then open it again. That shakes the water off.

    You can thank aerodynamics and fuel economy for the disappearance of rain gutters. Forester actually has them near the roof rails, but there are a couple of inches on the sides where rain accumulates, that'll drip down.

    HAL (Mr. Climate Control) can be tamed if you get a 2003, and 2004 and later models are tamer to begin with.

  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    Are these the ones from England?
    URL with a Picture......I Must add, I am impressed.

    Yeah they look good, but $200 is a bundle. Most of these in the US cost about $50-70 for all 4 windows. I would sure like to find some for less than $100.

    Do we have an entraprenuer in this crowd who wants to try and swing some sort of group buy to save on shipping?
  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    Thanks for all the advice, this site has been a tremendous help.
    AFTER the purchase :surprise: , I discovered that the Subie had been rigged for towing behind some sort of RV (had an electrical connection in the lower grill fascia). So now I wonder if the 23K miles are miles that it was actually driven or if that number includes the miles it was towed. Anyone know if towed miles would show on odometer? I cant think of any negatives to it being towed -- am I missing anything :confuse: I hope not cause it is a done deal now

    If interested in purchase details Forester buying experience forum
  • 98in_cuse98in_cuse Posts: 9
    Hi - I just found this forum. I have a '98 Forester (manual transmission) with approx. 112,000 miles, no serious problems until now. Just recently the check engine light came on and I had the spark plugs replaced as per Subaru service recommendation, then the light returned. Now I am told that the real problem is that a valve guide is pulling out of one of the cylinder heads. It can be re-machined as a "fix" or I can have two cylinders replaced as essentially a "top engine rebuild". Given that I have yet to replace the timing belt, and the clutch may need to be replaced (still on the original one), can members of the forum give me opinions? I've done all the recommended maintenance and had the brakes reworked not too long ago. Right now I am thinking about treating the valve guide problem conservatively (i.e. wait) as there have been symptoms of this problem for a while (principally rough idle). As long as the check engine light is off at my inspection (Nov.), I might be able to squeak out a few more thousand miles. I know the timing belt needs to be done - our service manager says people have made it to 120,000 though they have been bugging me since 105,000. I wanted to keep the car a couple more years until the possible hybrid/complete re-design comes out. If I can't keep this one going however, I may be looking at an end-of-the-year 2005 or the 2006. Any thoughts on a strategy or the cylinder/valve guide problem would be welcome.

    Thanks, Kathy
  • mckeownmckeown Posts: 165
    I would 2nd that. I would pay the $100 for them, but not the $100 to ship them. To bad my buddy doesn't travel to Australia/New Zealand anymore. They also have these listed. But I can't find an independent dealer site, Seems thay are all run by
  • bluesubiebluesubie Posts: 3,497
    IMHO, you should wait a little longer in switching to a synthetic if you're going to go the full 7,500 on your oil change intervals. Subaru's show high wear metals up until 20-25,000 miles. Those high wear metals will cause the oil's viscosity to shear down within 6,000 miles or so. Since you're naturally aspirated, it might be ok though. It also depends what oil and oil weight you're using.

    In my XT, I switched to a blend at 3,750 and Mobil1 5W30 at 7,500 miles. The M1 sheared down to a low 30 weight in under 6,000 miles (it's actually low to begin with). Since you have an XS, it's probably not quite as hard on the oil as a turbo.

    Run your synthetic for 6,000 miles and have it analyzed by . When I had the oil on my XT analyzed at 22,000 miles and the metals were just starting to come down to normal levels.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    112k miles is a lot, so do appriase it to determine its value, use Edmunds TMV tool.

    Still, they often age gracefully, we saw one that sold on E-bay with 278k miles, so yours is still young compared to that one.

    I would get the timing belt done because I believe your DOHC EJ25 is an interference engine, i.e. if the belt breaks the valves could hit the top of the pistons and that would likely be a total loss. (can others confirm that?)

    Did you get an estimate for the work?

  • barryobarryo Posts: 2
    Yes, the side visors in the picture are the same as the ones we got from England.
  • My mechanic took me for a ride to look for the whistle. As I explained previously, it only occured when moving and went away when the driver window was lowered at least 2 inches. No other window affected it.

    When we pulled back into the parking lot he noticed that his auto glass guy was there so we brought him into the discussion. He found a piece of the windshield trim that was loose. The frame around the windshield has studs that this trim clips onto but one of them was obstructed by an excess of glazing material.

    The trim looked perfect when the car was parked but lifted as the car accelerated causing the wind to flow under the strip and whistle. By lowering the driver window--only a couple inches away from this defect, I was able to change the air current around this area so as to stop the whistling.

    Since Forester windshields are rock magnets, this could have been sloppy glazing of a replacement windshield (I purchased the car "pre-driven").

    The glass guy didn't recommend trying to clean up the glazing compound because it might damage the glass. Instead, he told me to slide that bracket down to where it wasn't touching the clogged stud and glue the trim down with some (silicone) bathroom caulk.

    Whistling a happier tune now,
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    I just picked up a full set of BFG Traction TA/T's for about 60 per from Tire Rack. I went a bit wider with a lower aspect ratio (215/60/15 vs 205/70/15 stock) to get slightly better handling. Plus the stock tires were only a bit cheaper (<$3 per tire difference). Since these are a bit taller than the stock size, does anyone know of an online calculator to determine how much it will throw off my speedo? From most reviews I read, they seem to be a good buy. Im storing them in the garage until this fall. Then they will be installed in time for winter. I just cant wait to get rid of the cheapo Pep Boys whitewalls my inlaws put on the car before they sold it to us. Yes white side is out.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They are 10mm wider, but not taller. 60% of 215mm is less than 70% of 205mm.

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,552
    Since these are a bit taller than the stock size

    A 215/60-15 should be shorter, not taller, than a 205/70-15 so I would expect the speedometer to show faster than actual speed. The equivalent 60 series tire would be 225/60-15.

    does anyone know of an online calculator to determine how much it will throw off my speedo?

  • nswartzbnswartzb Posts: 40
    If i don't want to get my oil analyzed, but i want to be safe, could i just do the following:
    1. dino oil & filter change at 3.75K/3M, 7.5K/6M, and 12.25K/9M.
    2. synth oil & filter change at 15K/12M, and thereafter every 7.5K/6M
    thanks again-
  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    Im not sure why I thought taller. Maybe I thought they just looked larger overall.

  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    BF Goodrich Traction T/A-

    I see the Falkens are 75$?? I don't know about the Forester but like the TA's. I also hear I get to hydroplane at about 15 to 20,000 miles on the Yokohama's. I can't wait. But... I had BF Goodrich TA's on my 99 Outback Sport as original equipment and got 75,000 on em. I put another set on and when I traded in the 99 for my Forester I had 147K miles on two sets of tires and still had another 10K left. They only changed out two of em when they resold it...

    Now that is a good tire... ;)
  • 98in_cuse98in_cuse Posts: 9
    Juice wrote: Did you get an estimate for the work?

    Thanks for the advice - I tried to answer yesterday but the message didn't post:
    the timing belt is around $450, the "quick-fix" cylinder rebuild is $850 and the two new cylinders are $2500. If they find the clutch needs replacement it will be another $750. The timing belt would be no charge with either the cylinder rebuild or replacement.

    I'm still weighing my options and hope to look at the 2006 before deciding what to do. I know the timing belt needs to be done soon as I'm pushing my luck on that.

    The car may be worth about $4500 as a trade-in.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd pay the $850. That's about 2 car payments. Odds are pretty darn good that you will extend your ownership for 2 months, I'm sure you'll do much better than that actually.

    Given the included timing belt, that's what I would choose. It's only $400 extra, and that's just one single car payment!

    Given the mileage I wouldn't even object to a new clutch. But if it's not slipping I wouldn't change it.

    I'd do the $850 job even if you will trade it in - the buyer will want to see reciepts for the belt.

    Best of luck and please keep us posted, we'll try to help out in any way we can.

  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    Thanks for posting the info. I am also looking for a set for my wife's new Bean.

    Back in 01 I was looking for a set for my Forester because I always have my window open somewhat. I was running into the same problem with Subaru making them but not making them available on this side of the ocean. I asked Subaru why and they said they used to offer them but stopped.

    In this Forum lakepop found a dealer in N.H (Exeter) that had contact with a company that made a clone of the Subaru part. He would special order a bunch at a time and sell them for $125 plus shipping. Several of us bought some, me personally, 3 sets. My wife and I each have Foresters, my second (now her second too).

    My wife misses them on her new 05, as I would :cry: , so I contacted Exeter. Alas, they have no idea what I was talking about. "Mike" seems to have left with the info. :mad:

    I need to talk to a parts guy anyway, so I will ask if he has access to the Subaru part, since we now have the part number. That way it would be sort of a "group buy". I don't expect miracles but it is worth asking.

    Has anyone been keeping count on how many are interested? I would assume the price would be less than $150, if available.

    Somewhere I have the packaging for the clones. I remember searching for more info when I got them, to no avail. I do remember it was a Canadian company. Maybe someone up north has info, or could ask around.

  • 98in_cuse98in_cuse Posts: 9
    Thanks, Juice - I was leaning that way after looking around and considering the idea of getting back into car payments (4 years without them so far). I may wait just a bit more before doing this project, though, to accumulate more Subaru bucks!

    The body is still pretty good - remarkable for where I live in a winter salt-saturated zone...

    Thanks again for the help, Kathy
  • rdbandkabrdbandkab Posts: 17
    Looks like I can get a class 2 hitch with the 1 1/4" receiver for the Forester.....then I can get an adapter to get the receiver to a 2" opening. All with a tongue weight max of 300 lbs. Dirtbike and rack below 300 by 20-30 lbs. Will the Forester's suspension handle that kind of weight over the back? Or will I be popping wheelies?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Galvanized steel, Kathy. :)

    Don't wait too long, OK? That belt could snap.

    Rich: the tongue is rated for 200 lbs. So that's pushing it a little. You don't want to lift the front wheels and lose steering traction.

  • rdbandkabrdbandkab Posts: 17
    Thanks juice.

    I figured an aftermarket hitch could get me the tongue weight I required, but the suspension might not be up to it... :)
  • vtdogvtdog Posts: 163
    I work about 10 min from that dealer (didn't buy there for a number of reasons) I will check about the vents.
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    Don't be surprised if they stare at you blankly. Mike used to be in charge of parts, and was helpful AND a nice guy. The guy I exchanged messages with said that Subaru stopped making those a while ago, and we know that isn't true. He knew nothing about the clones, and didn't seem interested. He said IF they sold them he knew nothing about it. I told him there was no "if", I had bought 3 sets, 1 of which was still in the driveway on my 02.

    When I first got my 01 I hated that I had to wipe water off the door armrest switches while I was driving in rain, and on hot days I couldn't leave the windows open enough to vent when parked because of possible rain, and security. I really like my wife's 05 but I would not swap my Forester for a new one if I couldn't have the side visors. I am spoiled. She misses them more than she thought she would.

    Good luck.

  • 98in_cuse98in_cuse Posts: 9
    Juice - I forgot to mention that the estimated life of the $850 repair is 1 1/2 years, though it could be more. That's OK if I'm just trying to get it to last a couple more years for my use, but is it a liability on a trade-in if I decide to do that in the near future?

    What do you think? Thanks for the input and I'm thinking more about that timing belt! :)

This discussion has been closed.