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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    I got caught out on a road trip in New Jersey without having put on my Michelin Artic Alpin snow tires.
    The drive system on my 2001 Forester S did its thing, but the real revelation was how fantastic the relatively new Goodrich Traction T/A H's performed through the whole range of storm conditions (deep snow, hardpack, slush...)
    To my amazement, I didn't miss the snow tires at all.
  • 98 getting a slight rpm increase at idle,none when in gear,less in neutral.....whats up??by the way,replaced right side wheel bearings twice,once just out of warrenty,2nd time 2years later,no charge,could never get first replacement covered??,thanks for your help......
  • Me and my fiance are getting married this summer and we're considering starting our family later this year/the following spring with that comes of course a veichle. Currently I drive a '99 Ford Mustang Convertible GT. Not exactly your baby/family kind of veichle :) So naturally we've been considering a SUV (we can't stand Minivan's ;)) and we've been trying to gather as much information as possible in order to make a good choice what to buy. To me the Forrester seems like it's good bang for your bucks and that it could handle Winnipeg winter (-50F, tons of snow etc) but naturally we'd like to see what other people are experiencing with similar conditions (North dakota? Minnesota? Alaska :D ?).

    Another question I have is if anyone know if Subaru is going to be launching the 2.0X model of the Forrester in North America anytime soon? I know in Sweden it's made the model quite a bit more popular since it's more affordable.
  • gwendlygwendly Posts: 2
    noone drives a forester in extreme winter conditions here? That amazes me..... :/

    After getting stuck twice in the parking lot yesterday and while trying to get out of my own driveway I'm on the end of the line with my Mustang. I might wait to next season but research has begun ;) Right now the forester is in the lead but I'd like to be able to be 100% :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Check out last month's C&D (5Best Trucks) and the current Consumer Reports. That may push it up to 100% for you.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The cargo area is rubberized (or is it plasticized?) to make it more resistant.

    Funny thing is the passenger compartment is high class, with heated leather seats and enough real wood on the steering wheel to make a Jaguar blush.

  • I carried a water softener and leaked out water and salt but it stayed on my rubber liner. I don't use the Forester to make a manure run. They make pickup trucks for the kind of loads that you need to hose out afterwards.

    Which brings us to the question, "How do you know when a jaguar is blushing?"
  • goncst8goncst8 Posts: 3
    Hi all, I am considering purchasing a 2004 Forester 2.5X that has 79000+ miles on it. It would be from a Subaru dealer who sold the car originally and has performed all service on the car. I am a lifelong Toyota guy who has no firsthand experience with Subaru reliability or quirks, so I'm trying to get an idea of maybe some warning signs I should look for? Basically this will be my daily driver (~40 miles a day commuting), and in 3.5-4 years will probably go to my daughter when she reaches driving age. Any comments? The miles are supposedly "highway" miles and the dealer has offered to put me in contact with the original owner (he traded it in on a new Subaru from the same dealer). I appreciate any insight from current and previous Subaru owners!
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    It's exceptional that the dealer is willing to let you discuss anything with the original owner, and very nice of that person to allow it.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Plus... about the only way you're going to get over 79k miles on a 2004 is by racking up a lot of hwy miles. Yes talk to the previous owner but I'd still pay for an independent mechanic to give it the once over (an honest dealer shouldn't mind a 2nd opinion). There haven't been any reported problems with the 2004s (nary a recall) so you should be able to look forward to many more trouble free miles.

  • pertpert Posts: 19
    I would like to get my oil analyzed on my next oil change. How would I go about it. Thank you in advance
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Hi all! I've been seriously considering a new Forester but I just don't know about Subarus. I've been driving VW's for 12 years but am frustrated with VW. The closest dealer is about 45 minutes from my house. The Subaru dealer is less than 5 minutes from my house. Are they really as good as everyone says they are? In order to get my VW serviced, I have to take a day off, when I can get one. A Subaru would be much easier to get serviced. Any advice?
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    Read back in the forms and you will get some good feedback and some not so from a few. I can tell you I have owned many of Hondas and I still miss my 2000 Accord but for a all year round spunky nice car/suv you cant go wrong. Before I purchased my 2004 Forester I would see people at the gas station or store and i would go up to them and ask them on what they thought and not once did get a.. bad report....Good Luck .. Matt
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    I've been driving VW's for 12 years

    The key here is the plural, VW's, had you driven a Subaru it might have been the only one.
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    I am on my third Suby, an 04 Forester (Feb 05 purchase). That year has gotten great ratings on reliability and best small SUV for the year if I am not mistaken.

    My last Subaru a 99 Outback "Sport" went 147K miles before trading in. I put One set of front brakes on, one timing belt, maintenance and one set of replacement tires which they left two on when I got rid of it.

    I traded and got 2,500. But heck, I needed a new clutch, another timing belt, another set of tires, brakes and a body fix on the front right quarter panel. I was figuring around 2K for all of that over a six month period.

    I got a killer deal getting it in 05. They are selling used ones with 19K miles for almost what I paid new. I tow a pop up camper (1,800 lbs)like a dream.

    Oh and the dealer sold mine, I talked to the buyer before and I see his daughter tooling around in my old Suby occasionally with a big smile on her face.

    Yes, suby's are worth it, I've always gotten my money's worth...And even the looks of the Tribeca's are growing on me.
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    Oh, I forgot to mention, my girlfriend who was ambivalent about mine new, just bought a new 06 two weeks ago. The safety ratings are what got her and the 04's were at the top of small SUV safety in 04 and the only ones not needing a tip over label as I understand...
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    I have 50k on my '03 XS Forester, zero problems whatsoever. I still have 10k left on my OEM Geo tires even. Average tank mpg is about 27-27.5 (20% city).

    So is it worth it? So far it is a great car. I wish it was a bit quieter. Part of the noise is due to the OEM tires, the other part due to window sealing.

    Maybe the question to ask is would you buy another? Emphatically yes.

  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    I've had really good luck with VW's but I'm starting a new job April 1 and getting it to Greensboro will be even harder if I have any problems. Plus with the way my GTI likes to spin tires on wet pavement, if it snows I'd have a hard time getting home. That's 2 reasons right there why to get a Forester. I've looked back over previous posts and gotten good info and I've talked to people that have Outbacks. None had anything negative to say about Subaru or the dealer for that matter.

    I will say this though. I did a search on various websites for used Foresters and only found 4 within 100 miles of my house. I guess people hang on until the wheels fall of!

    I would like some real world data though. What kind of fuel economy do you see? Any problems with pinging or spark knock on regular unleaded? I've read about piston slap and engines that rev themselves up. Is that a common problem?

  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    03 Forester XS, manual, 28K; 23-24mpg 70% short city trips, 29-31 mpg highway (I drive with a light foot), regular fuel, no pinging, reasonable power, only 1 problem ("cold clutch judder" that affected a few 03, replaced entire clutch assembly under warranty), no complaints. Piston slap apparently a problem on pre 03 models. I got it for the AWD, towing 2,000 bass boat & felt it was the best combination of reliablity, overall low operational cost, and comfort. It is a great car for what I needed.
  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    I had a friend who had an early Subie, I think it was just called a Subaru GL sedan. That was back in the before they were AWD. Ed told me one time that all he'd ever done was brakes, water pump and thermostat, and spark plugs. Car had 100k+ on it when he was sideswiped on the highway and totaled it. He went out and found another just like it.

    Thanks for the info. The 06 Forester is sounding better and better!
  • growler5growler5 Posts: 67
    Fuel economy on '05 XS, manual , 26k miles: winter (Oct-Mar)is 28mpg, summer (Apr-Sep) is 30 mpg on regular, pings a bit once in a while (probably cheap gas), no slap. In 16 months, no unexpected service bills, just the usual ones for oil changes, tire rotation, etc.

    The only glitch that ever needed attention was the hill-holder (prevents car from rolling backwards when stopped on an uphill incline). Easily adjusted for once and for all in 10 minutes at the dealer, or by you with instructions available on the web.

    If you do buy a Forester, for essential amenities you'll want to add on the auto-dim mirror, arm rest, rubber mat for cargo area, and side cargo nets. And that moon roof is sooooo nice ....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Don't get one, they are too reliable. Mine is 9 years old now and I don't have any excuses to trade it in, so they get annoying in that way.

    It's true, though, I want a new one with heated seats and that giant moonroof, but I can't justify trading in my perfectly good '98.

    We seem to get a lot of ex-VW owners.

  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Well, I don't particularly want a new car but my new job will make it all but impossible to get the VW to the dealer because it's about a 45 min. drive from my house. From work it's over an hour. If I didn't think I would have any more trouble with the VW I'd keep it but I've lost confidence in it.

    That Subie is really looking good now! Especially if I won't lose much on fuel economy! You folks have been GREAT! When I get my Subie I know where to go for questions and suggestions.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, good luck shopping and drop back in to let us know when you get it, OK?

  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Thanks and will do! One last question. What oil does the Forester need? My VW takes synthetic 5W-30(required to keep warranty) and I have a bunch of quarts. Advance had it on sale last year and I bought like 10 cases with 6 in each case. I know I know, I shouldn't bought that much but I figured I'd have the car forever. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have bought all that Syntec. Most everything now takes 5-30, even for my big 4x4 pickup. Will this stuff work in the Subie?
  • I recently spoke with someone regarding a 86,000 miles 2002 Forester Model S (used). I am very interested in purchasing this car, but I am unsure about the quality and cost of repair that I might need to do for the car in the near future.

    So, could anyone who has owned a Forester 2002 model to share their advice with me?
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    yup, the standard (at least in '03) is 5W30.

    Its about $6 a quart here in CA now for Mobil 1, you probably got a spanking deal.

  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    It was like 3.49 a quart, so yeah I got a deal! Good to know I should still be able to use it. Don't know if they'd let me exchange it for another weight.

    Thanks John!
  • slazengerslazenger Posts: 99
    I am assuming that this is a private party deal. Try to get records for the following:

    * There was a recall to avoid head gasket problem. It involved adding Subaru coolant additive. Make sure that this has been taken care of.
    * Oil changes (every 7500miles).
    * Tire rotations (every 7500miles).
    * air filter replacement (every 15000 miles).
    * Spark plugs replacement, coolant flush and fill with special additive from Subaru at 60K.
    * When you get car inspected, pay special attention to
    - Timing belt (recommended replacement - 105000miles)
    - Wheel bearings
    - Cat converter (I don't know if it is possible to get this tested)

    Good Luck!
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