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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Oops, you're right.

    You can get an X Limited, though. You give up the leather and the wood steering wheel, but it's still well equipped.

  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,271
    My new Forester is mostly in the garage, not being used much at this time (the old one is doing all the chores at the moment). It will be probably Jan or later when I actually start using it for a daily commute.

    I wonder what would be the best way to maintain it in a good shape? Take it out for a drive once per week? I've heard somewhere it's recommended to inflate tires to the max - is it true?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you're not going to drive it until January, you might put it up on jack stands to prevent the tires from flat-spotting and give the springs a break. But it's probably not worth it. And you would have to trickle-charge the battery if you don't drive it around at all.

    Nah, that's overkill, just use it once a week, and keep the pressure up a little (maybe 33-35psi or so).

  • The X Limited is the one we bought; it is very well equipped. The only thing I'd like to have is leather seats, otherwise it has some good stuff.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Frank put Katskins leather on his Forester XT. I've seen one in person and thought it looked nice - as good at stock (more wrinkles but also softer).

  • Couldn't find Katskins with a Google but did find Katzkins leathers. Is that the one? They don't seem to offer anything for Subaru.

    I'd like to know more about this product.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Google showed me several here

    Don't give up so easily in your searches! :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, that's it.

  • sricsric Posts: 4
    Thanks applejf ! That is some real world feedback. Nice to see there is another MT5 ( 5 speed manual transmission) officianado out there. My old RAV4 also has some jerkiness in re-acceleration of throttle in both first and second gear but I have adjusted to this. I found I became smoother on the accelerator in those gears over time and i don't consider this a fault any longer. The occilation and cold start-up " racing engine " thing is what concerns me as a possible design fault in the Forester ( if it is true ). I am also fairly pokey on the hyway, keep it between 60 and 65 mostly. Your engine is still pretty new. My guess is that that MPG is going to start getting better around 3000 or so. Keep us posted on this.

    Does any one else have experiance with the Forester with 5 speed manual drive train they'd like to share ?
  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    When I bought my Forester X about 11 months ago, the dealership had about 25 Foresters on the lot and not one of them was a manual. They had to get one for me from another dealership.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Certainly that is as God intended it to be, don't you think?

    If man was meant to drive a manual shift, we would not have invented the automatic...:P
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    If man were meant to drive an automatic, God would not have given him a left foot!

  • the dealership had about 25 Foresters on the lot and not one of them was a manual.

    Just goes to show you how popular the MT is, when a dealer is completely sold out :shades:

  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247

    Talk about spinning! :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I never, ever have problems finding 5 speeds. has 6 in stock right now, and that's just the X model. Add X Premium and XT and they probably have a dozen manuals.

    No problem with supply at all.

    The 06 MT5 models sold out. Plenty of 06 autos left. So John is right! :P

  • lakepoplakepop Posts: 221
    INFO........the Haynes repair manual is apparantly NOW available for our 2000-2006 Foresters.
  • I have a 2003 Forester X and I have never seen a car that goes so suddenly and dramatically out of tune before in my life. Is this just the norm for Subaru boxer engines? Do they need to be perfectly in tune to maintain a decent amount of horsepower?

    After tuning, my engine will be consistently powerful until suddenly, one day, it will start to grunt when going up hills. After about 5 seconds of climbing, the engine instantly loses 500 RPM and I have to firewall it to get power.

    My previous car was an '87 Acura Integra, and this car practically never needed tuning. Is my experience unique?
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I have 18,000 miles on 2006 X, and have never experienced such a problem, and it is yet to exhibit any need for a "tune-up".
  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,271
    My Forester 2001 has now 154K miles on it, engine never was tuned up (unless dealer did it and did not tell me for some reasons).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That happened to mine and I ended up finding out a chipmunk had chewed through my spark plug wires.

    Change the spark plugs and plug wires, and the fuel filter while you're at it. 30k miles or 3 years, so you're due anyway.

  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    With Platinum plugs? :surprise:
  • I have 3 Subaru's in the family, '99 Legacy Outback, '05 Imprezza RS sport and '06 Legacy Outback XT. My 99 does need fuel system cleaner from time to time. I also put in every 4th tank either mid grade or high test gas. This seems to keep in running well. After 8 years it's due to have the spark plugs replace as a preventative measure only. (50K miles)
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Yep I had Katzkins installed in my FXT. The advantage of after market is that you get to pick your colors. I chose a black with perforated leather inserts. You can see a photo here: Subaru Crew: Photo Gallery #1595 of 2530 Dec 31, 2003

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I couldn't remember how to post a link :blush:

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Show off. ;)

    Two-tone looks hot, I love it...

  • Hello all,

    I'm a proud papa of a 2 Subaru household. Our 02 Forester S (my wife's, almost 60k miles. All service performed on time at dealer) all of a sudden started running hot. Temp gauge never went into the red, but went over the middle mark where it should stay. Wife said
    'temperature spiked and would settle down'. I checked out the car at home, and this is what I found out (I'm a little handy with cars, but radiators confuse me):
    - Overflow reservoir is completely empty
    - When I removed the radiator cap, I see no fluid
    - In the 'tray' directly below the radiator I can see green liquid (radiator fluid)
    - I see a little bit of fluid seeping/dripping along a 'hook-eye' on the right front of the car.
    - Engine compartment smell like radiator fluid

    Doing a search on 'Forester', 'Coolant', etc. returns a lot of results (incl. info on recalls). We love this car and want it to get better. Some of you here must have gone through something similar and I would appreciate insight into your experience and what you learned.

    I live in the SF Bay Area (equal distance to Redwood City and Livermore dealerships). Any tips on where to get this fixed?


  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I am assuming you just didn't top off with only water, but kept the 50/50 mix of coolant and water...

    Ask around, call around....a radiator shop would usually be your best bet. I am almost certain, from experience, that its a leak. It is always a toss-up as to paying for a new/re conditioned one as opposed to the time and labor to repair. If you know a reputable mechanic/shop, ask them who they send their business to. ;)
  • it is most likely a leaky hose. They do crack and swell over time, especially if they get petroleum products spilled on them.

    It should be easy enough to find. For plain old diagnostics, don't hesitate to fill it up with water, including half the overflow container. Start the engine and use a good flash light to try and locate it. You may need to drop the plastic engine guard (the one with the oil filter door). It may not start leaking until it gets up to temperature. Watch out for the fans turning on automatically.

    It is a bit early to have to replace everything, just the bad hose should solve the problem.

    You will need to drain and replace with the correct fluid.

    The worst case is that it is a leaky water pump. About as bad would be a hole in the radiator.

    In any case if it is leaking a lot (more than a casual drip) you should probably have it towed to the shop rather than risk overheating.

    It sounds though like a job within a DIY category.

    Have fun,

  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Quite possibly a bad hose, John, but since he was so detailed about inspecting it, I assumed he would have caught that.

    The coolant/water in the tray is exactly what I encountered with the pinhole leaks......
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