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)



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Use the power of The Force (TM).

    The 2.5T is more than just powerful, it actually has the ability to slow down time, freeze the universe around you, pass it by, you will.

    Go on, you must, young Jedi.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Hey I traded in a perfectly good 2001 Forester that was problem free and ran like a charm for an XT. I readily admit that the only reason was that I couldn't resist the siren song of the turbo :blush: In fact, I put off test driving the XT for almost a year because I strongly suspected that once I'd driven one, the perfectly adequate HP of the normally aspirated 2.5L engine would suddenly seem anemic. And guess what? I was right. One spin around the block in the XT and there was a new one sitting in my driveway less than a week later :shades: Even with gas at $3 a gal, I haven’t regretted my decision once :)


    P.S. Two Foresters, six years of ownership and over 100k miles and not a single cracked windshield :P
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    Indeed the turbo is addicting. I too was pleased with my '00 Outback AT. Driving the XT always brings a smile to my face, even if that particular day hasn't been the greatest. I have even seen my average MPG with the XT up 1 over my '00 Outback.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Really? It's better?

  • psfod3psfod3 Posts: 63
    Does anyone know if the 07 Forester is a new style and design and if so when is it due to come out and are there ant pictures or specs on it yet?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    06 was a face-lift, so 07 will likely soldier on with just minor changes like Sirius radio, aux input jack for iPods, and alloy rims on the base X models.

    Impreza gets redesigned first, and we haven't even heard about spy pics for that yet. Can they have a new Forester ready by summer, when the 07s come out? I say no way, impossible.

    Tires - it's not just a speed rating, it's a rating that measures resistance to heat.

    Just look at the UTGQ ratings, 460AA for instance means:

    460 - tread life compared to a base tire rated at 100
    A - traction rating (AA, A, B, C)
    A - heat resistance rating

    Just do not go with a tire with a heat rating of B or lower. The Firestones on the Explorers that blew up were rated poorly, for instance.

  • erikwierikwi Posts: 71
    Well, I got my Forester with the Premium package. That HUGE sunroof was just too irresistable! First fill up yielded 25 mpg average. I'm really hoping that will improve some. It drives almost as good as my GTI and really handles much better than I expected. Subaru did an excellent job on chassis tuning! I have experienced one minor problem in the first week. A strong thunderstorm set the alarm off. The dealer told me if need be the shock senser (which I didn't want) can be unplugged if it's a nuisance. Where is the shock sensor at and can it really be disconnected?
    Thanks for all the great feedback!
  • psfod3psfod3 Posts: 63
    Alloy wheels would really be a plus. The rims on the x model are terrible. I have had a constant problem with ice setteling in on a grove just inside the rim and throwing the wheels totally off balance in the snow. If it does not have stability control and side curtain air bags it will be way behind the Rav4, CR-V, and tuscan. in up to date safty features
  • nubenconubenco Posts: 1
    Hi everyone!

    I have a 1999 Forester L. I bought it new and have logged 155,000 miles on it. The only problems I've had is the Air Bag light coming on twice (fixed under warranty), and one replacement of the front right axle.

    Once the car gets warm, the temperature gauge had always stayed right in the middle. Lately, if I drive at or above 55 MPH the needle goes very close to the red zone. When it gets too close, I turn on the heat at the maximum fan speed and temparature, and after about 2 minutes the needle goes back to the middle.

    If I drive below 50 MPH, the needle stays in the middle.

    Has anyone experienced this problem?

    Any suggestions?

  • lfdallfdal Posts: 679
    It's probably time to check the head gaskets. Turning on the heat, as you did, is the classic way of getting more flow through the system and into the heater core (think heat exchanger - it takes the heat out of the system by exposing more of the fluid to a lower ambient air temperature)

    It could be minor, old coolant, possibly bad thermostat, possibly failing water pump, but there's been scads of failed head gaskets.

    Is you coolant maintaining the proper level? Is there any discoloration of the coolant? Any new odors?

    If you can still mitigate the problem by doing what you're doing with the heater, your engine may not be damaged yet if it is a head gasket issue.

    Just my 0.02

  • wbaslerwbasler Posts: 1
    Where can I rent or lease a Subaru Forester for my vacation to the mountains and seashore(wife's desire). I have been following ratings on them for several years now, and I am interested in purchasing one and thought I could best convince my wife during a combined venture of this sort. We live in wisconsin and figure easten seahore and Blueridge mountains would be perfect for putting vehicle to the test. Leaving end of June for couple of weeks, would consider leasing or renting for a month if possible.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd love to see VDC, I only hope it doesn't affect the price too much.

    psfod3: wax the rims, seriously.

    wbasler: I've only seen Subarus for rent in Colorado.

    I live not too far from the Blue Ridge Mountains, and haven't seen or heard of any places in the MD/DC/VA area that rent Subies. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

  • drwalesdrwales Posts: 18
    I rent regularly from the Hertz in Downtown Washington DC (11th & NY Ave). I've had an Outback a couple of times, and I've seen Tribecas there. I've also seen them at the Hertz depot at BWI airport. But its only Tribecas, Outbacks and Legacies; I've never seen a Forester there (other than my own!).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool! I did not know that, and I even work down town.

    My dad used to work on 13th and NY, but he retired a few years ago, so I haven't been in that area since.

  • bat1161bat1161 Posts: 1,784
    Check with a Subaru dealer to see if they rent any Foresters. I know I've gotten one as a loaner from Flemington Subaru.

  • magoosh1magoosh1 Posts: 13
    My wife and I will be driving away on Monday with our first Forester.

    Should she get her first oil change at 3K or later? I think I read that the first one is at 7,500 miles. Is that right? I have a 99 Civic I bought with 18K. This brand spanking new car thing is new to me. Help me please!

    Thanks! :)
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Posts: 1,640
    depends on how OCD you are...

    If it bugs you, change at 1,000 miles. I did that with my Forester and have been on a Mobil 1 diet every since, every 7,500 miles.

    It's cheap to change the oil, especially the first one. Do it early.

  • poodog13poodog13 Posts: 320
    Anyone know if you can use E-85 instead of regular gas in an 05 Forester?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No, absolutely not.

    Cars made to run on E85 are specialized, the ethanol is corrosive to some of the seals that regular gas-powered cars use.

    Keep in mind that while E85 is cheaper than gas, it also contains less energy, so your mileage drops by about the same amount. In the end, it costs you about the same per mile but you lose a lot of range. No real savings there until they can get the cost down a bit (this despite subsidies).

    In Brazil, they produce ethanol from sugar cane, and can do so at a competitive price. The US mostly uses surplus corn crops.

  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    I am looking for a site that showed factory Subaru Warranty costs from a dealer it was on a old post . I am thinking on getting a 06 to ad with our 04 Forester. I bargained on my 04 so i am just looking for a tool to use at the table

    Thanks Matt
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I never saw that, but just ask the dealer to show you his cost book and offer them $100 over their cost. It's worth it for them to write up the deal for that amount, because it only takes a few minutes.

  • joseph50joseph50 Posts: 235
    This category got a black ball in the Consumer Reports review. What's up with that? What is being referred to? I don't recall many complaints with that area here.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's when mine reached its peak. And mileage improved by a nice amount, +2 or 3 mpg.

    '01 - drive train probably includes the wheel bearings. We did see a lot of those failures, but they changed the design in '03, so if you're shopping used I'd suggest an '03 with more miles.

  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    Wheel bearings, and the clutch issues, are both drivetrain related. I know, I've experienced both on my '01 Forester.

  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    Although I do not subscribe to Consumer Reports and thus have not been involved in the survey, I would say the drivetrain report relates to wheel bearing problems. I have had to have the right rear wheel bearings AND axle shaft replaced TWICE - one under warranty, once not. Cost $723. CU's survey takes cost as well as frequency into account. Many others have reported similar problems.

    I have had repetitive problems with engine seal leaks, although all of these were under warranty.

    I have had repetitive problems with EGR system clogging. The dealer now has a fix for this, adding an aftermarket filter. Because of labor resulting from inaccessability, this cost nearly $180 each time. In my old car, the EGR valve was an $8 item replaceable in two minutes.

    The clutch was replaced under warranty after numerous trips to the dealer to complain about it not engaging properly (chattering) under cool, wet conditions. The problem started again within 10,000 miles and has been a constant annoyance since. This was reported by many Forester owners over 4 to 5 model years. The manual clutch is included under drivetrain at CU (no longer a separate item since manuals are so rare).

    What is truly annoying is that many of the problems experienced by early Forester owners were not corrected until 5 or more years later, resulting in multiple repairs for the same problem.

    I will be buying a new vehicle next year, and while I truly love many of the features of my Forester, especially its handling and performance, I have to consider overall cost of ownership, and that has been high. I had expected to pay part of the cost of the new vehicle with SubaruBucks certificates from the credit card program, but I have used up all of them on unexpected repairs and then paid even more out of pocket.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The clutch and bearings issues were common, but keep in mind there are plenty of us who had few/no problems as well, including me. Mine is 9 years old and has cost me zero in repairs, I've had to spend my Subaru Bucks on accessories. :D

    Still have $600 saved up, too.

    Ken traded his Forester in for a Legacy, Frank got a Forester XT, lark6 got a Forester XT. Kate's Forester has well over 100k miles and counting. Hutch trade in for a WRX, though he's traded that in now.

    Most of the regulars here had a good enough experience that they either own another Subaru or still have the original one.

    My sister's 03 Forester has been perfect. By then all the issues you bring up where pretty much ironed out.

    Any how, overall, Consumer Reports still recommends used Foresters as a Best Bet.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not sure if you saw this in another thread, but a chipmunk ate some of our wiring and it threw a check-engine light. New wires and it's resolved. :D

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Please check your email.

    tidester, host
  • rochcomrochcom Posts: 247
    It is true that many Foresters have had good repair records is shown by CU's surveys. And there have been good things with mine, for example, the original brakes lasted 80,000.

    But I did not report all of the problems. When the brakes were replaced, the rotors were too thin to turn and had to be replaced too, then a caliper problem wore the fronts out and damaged a rotor prematurely 20,000 miles later.

    Other problems included a failed speed sensor, failed airbag steering contact, both fairly expensive. Then there was the gas tank leak at the seam, the deteriorated flange on the exhaust system (the dealer wanted to replace the rear exhaust section at $500+ - I had a muffler shop weld a new flange for 1/10 of that,) the cracked front exhaust pipe, and the belt that cracked a few thousand miles after it was replaced. Granted it has 125,000 miles, but my 4 previous vehicles, Saabs, were more reliable and less expensive (even considering inflation) to drive similar mileages. Since the Forester was maintained by the book, never driven off road and about 80% of the driving was on expressways, I really expected better.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    YMMV applies to reliability, too. You just had an atypical ownership experience.

    Especially with that exhaust, we hear complaints about loose heat shields, but I've never heard of another complaint like yours.

This discussion has been closed.