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2009 Subaru Forester



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks, Frank.

    320 is decent, actually. The summer tires on my Miata are just 140.

    B is for dry traction. This is an all-season tire hence the compromise to gain a bit of grip in wet and snowy conditions. No one tire can do it all.

    A for heat resistance is the best rating, so that's good. Should hold up well at higher speeds and with heavy loads (such as when towing).
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    Yeah, summer tires are pretty low, but most of the rest of the all-seasons, including other Yokos, are higher than the Geos 320, some much higher. Several of the Bridgestones seem to be the only ones less than 320. My wife's Michelin Pilot Exaltos are 400 A A. I find them to ride harder than the Geos she replaced but they work very well and she likes them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Makes sense to me - probably a harder compound that last longer, hence the rougher ride.
  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    Could be but I expect it is sidewall flex differences. The Michelin are High Performance all-seasons so I expect stiffer sidewalls.

    The first letter in the UTQG is straight ahead wet traction, by the way, not dry.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Wet, eh? I stand corrected. It's been quite a long time since I've looked. I did that research when I got the first replacement tires for my previous Forester, so that was probably 8 years or so ago.

    Wow, time flies.
  • board_jayboard_jay Posts: 22
    So I took my 09 Forester in last week to have the puddle lights replaced as 1 was out and the other 3 were very dim. Then ended up needing to replace some central processing unit which required me to give them both sets of old keys & Fobs and they gave me new ones. Tonight is the 1st time I have driven it at night and the red ring light around the ignition where the key goes keeps flashing on/off about every 2-3 seconds. I thought this meant that the car was in Valet mode, but disabled and re-enabled the security system several times and it's still doing it. Does it with both sets of keys + valet key. Anyone know what this is? Tired of going back to Subaru, so far been there 7 times for 4 different things on a 10mo old car. Not impressed.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    While looking at the '09 Xt's manual, I ran across this on page 75:

    WARNING: Do not rest your arm on either front door or its internal trim. It could be injured in the event of SRS side air bag deployment.

    The illustration shows the passenger with his right arm resting on the passenger door armrest.

    the door rests are padded to suggest the driver and passenger can rest their arms there, and the Manual says it's dangerous to do so?

    This does NOT compute. "Warning, Warning, Will Robinson (or whoever rests their arms there)" :surprise:
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    The red ring is not supposed to flash at all. It's supposed to stay on for 20 seconds, unless before that time is up the driver door is closed , or the key is turned from OFF position.

    You might call SUBARU and ask them why the ring is flashing.

    Yes, going back to dealers for fixes is no fun. I've been back several times for various problems. However, the '09 Forester is a first year model, and every manufacturer always has glitches with first year models.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wouldn't worry - in situations where you're about to collide your elbows would not be at rest any how.

    I just saw a TiVo'd episode of MythBusters and they busted the myth that your thumbs could get ripped off if they are on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 o'clock.

    They did all sort of testing and the dummy's thumbs were fine, in fact the only time they were "injured" was when they were directly in the path of the exploding air bag. That would mean your elbow would have to be between the seats and the A-pillar to suffer any sort of damage.

    Having them on the elbow rest pretty much ensures that will *not* happen.

    How timely that I watched that last night, LOL. :D
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    Hello All,

    I have 09 Forester 2.5X AT PZEV with 4,000 miles.

    These last several days, the cold start in the morning has been very rough -- Temp about 60 deg F. All winter in cold temp there was no problem.

    On cold start the engine fires right away, but then revs and then almost dies a few times running very rough. It takes about 20 seconds for it to settle down. I expect some roughness on a cold start but this seems extreme -- sounds like a piece of junk. Seems fine once it is warmed up.

    Are others experiencing this? Any comments/thoughts?

    I wanted to ask for comments before contacting the dealer.


  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    It's all lawyer speak. I remember the same warning in one of our other vehicles. Any time you put a body part directly in the path of a deploying airbag you could be injured.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You may have to leave it overnight at the dealer for them to diagnose.

    No check-engine light? That surprises me.
  • PanosPanos Posts: 14
    Anyone experience a kick during downshifts from the 4AT? It seems my 09' 2.5X Premium with 9700 miles kicks once and awhile. A couple days ago, it was doing it constantly...everytime i would take my foot off the accelerator i could feel it kick when it downshifted. I turned the car off and took it for a ride 15 minutes later and it hasn't done it since. I'm going to take it in for an oil change and i need the windshield replaced so i'm going to have them take care of a few minor issues, so i'l have the dealer check it out. There is a rattle in the passengers door and a clicking noise from the sunroof when it's closed.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Yes, I have noticed an occasional kick from the '09 XT's 4sAT during downshifts.
    Not exactly sure what causes it but have noticed it usually happens when de-accelerating.
    I asked my dealer about it but drew a blank. Will keep an eye on it and see if it gets any worse.
  • debatingdebating Posts: 14
    I have a 2000 Maxima thats still in good condition, so I'm not in a rush to trade. But since we're getting older, looking at a smaller SUV for easier entry, etc.
    The '09 Forester impressed us. The Subaru's have a great reputation.
    I have a concern about maintenance costs however. I've read some posts comparing costs, but not actual prices. How much higher should your normal factory suggested maintenance costs and frequency be for the Forester, than say a RAV4, CRV for example.
    I'd appreciate any feedback.
    How about resale value, are all three brands comparable?
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    We have 3 subarus, my 09 Outback, my wife's 07 Forester, and my son's 94 Legacy (which used to be mine). My daughter is the only rebel - she has an 02 Chevy Prizm (=Corolla), which also used to be mine. I think I can be objective about maintenance frequency. The Subaru owner's manual calls for new plugs every 30K miles, along with brake fluid and coolant changes. That's a far greater frequency than other manufacturers - but we choose to buy them despite the increased frequency. Dealer prices for the service vary and the cars themselves are not difficult for independent mechanics to work on. I do the simple things (- which is everything on the 94). If I follow the recommended intervals for the 07 and 09 - I will change the plugs the 4th time when I change them for the first time on the Chevy Prizm (Corolla). I may stretch it out to 40K and examine the plugs closely. Despite the maintenance, I was convinced that the subaru AWD system's performance and driving experience (no torque steer, lower center of gravity) was superior to that of the RAV4 and CRV - both of which I considered. The one big advantage to the RAV4 is the v-6 option. Insurance savings for a subaru might be enough to partially offset increased maintence expenses.
  • debatingdebating Posts: 14
    Thanks for the response. It's kind of shocking to see 30K plugs, brake fluid and coolant change. And plugs when most today are 100K. Is that possibly due to the boxer engine design?
    I learned when we looked at cars last summer, and the reviews for the Forester caught our eye, did some research and Subie's have a loyal following. One of my son's has the Subaru with the bed, an '05 possibly.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Yes, I agree that it was a surprise to see a 30K change interval for a modern car and I also wondered if it was due to the boxer design (perhaps we should check Porsche's interval). I also don't intend to follow it. I'll probably change the plugs this summer on my son's 94 - they haven't been changed since 90K and it now has 150K and runs fine. My wife's Forester already has over 30K and I'll probably stretch it to 40-45k and then examine the plugs closely when I change them. I'll probably do the same with my Outback because both vehicles get almost all highway miles (mine 108 miles/day highway commute). If we drove city stop & go, and short trips, then I'd adhere to the Subaru recommendations. The complete 30K list includes a lot of "inspections" as well as oil change, tire rotation, and air filter - all of which I didn't mention originally because they are not out of the ordinary, although i usually get more than 30K on an engine air filter (but not the cabin filter!). I may have the dealer do the initial service only because things seem to be overtightened at the factory, in my experience. I look up the torque specs and ask that they tighten no more than specified. I have a Chase Subaru rewards card - and the rewards (3% rebates on all purchases,in the form of $100 subaru bucks certificates) can be used to pay for service in addition to parts, accessories, or can be applied toward a new or certified used subaru.
  • debatingdebating Posts: 14
    It helps in making an informed decision, since Subaru has a more limited customer base to ask for feedback. But since our initial interest last summer, I've kept an eye on Subaru's on the road, most appear to be long term owners. Thats always a good sign. Some cars age well, and have mostly satisfied owners. I know our local dealer has a very limited amount of used Subie's on his lot.
    It would also depend on the dealers service department. I've always went by the owners manual for maintenance schedules. And a lot of service departments want to throw everything but the kitchen sink into the mix.
    I'll have to check the Porsche recommendation for plug change for a comparison of the boxer engine. I spoke recently to a long time reputable garage owner in town, and he said the 100K plug change recommendation on most cars is a reliable indicator.
    I do know one thing, I've been very contented with my current Maxima, it has served us well.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    for those having rough transmission shifts in their '09 Foresters, this info I got from Subaru might help:

    there is a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) #16-72-07 for the Automatic Transmission Learning Control Procedure which may apply to your transmission concern.

    The dealer can apparently reset the transmission so it can relearn shift behavior.
  • PanosPanos Posts: 14
    Nice! I'll mention this to my dealer when i take it in for service. Thanks!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, the 4 cylinder boxer engine has 2 heads and 4 cams, which is twice as many as an in-line 4. AWD means you have a rear diff to maintain as well, but that's not just Subarus.

    And yes Porsches cost plenty to maintain, though I'm not sure if the boxer engine is the primary reason.

    But overall I agree with the suggestion to get a Chase Subaru credit card and get all your maintenance for free. BMW offers 4 free years, but whoop-de-doo, we've already accumulated $400 since we got our 2009. It caps out at $500/year, so in those 4 years I'll have $2000 worth of free service, more than I spent in 9 years maintaining my 1998 Forester.

    I do the easy stuff, like oil changes, but this is my wife's car so I'll probably let the dealer do the 30k, 60k, and 90k services. Even at full retail prices that would be completely free of charge for us.

    Funny thing is I own a Toyota as well (Sienna), so the question is, how am I going to pay for maintenance on that van, since they do not offer such a program? ;)

    PS Your son must have the Baja. The never sold well but owner's love them - it won the JD Power APEAL study among pickups.
  • debatingdebating Posts: 14
    Yeah, it is the Baja. Never can remember that name. He travels a lot, haven't asked how many miles it has now - but it must be considerable.
    That Chase Subaru card sounds like a worthwhile deal, and I'm gun shy about credit card companies now. I've had a Citi card for quite a few years, good credit. And the first thing they did after the bailout was to jack the interest up about 6 1/2%. An appreciative bunch of thieves aren't they? Off the subject.
    When do the new models come out? I would doubt there would be any discounts on the Forester though, as every time I drive thru the lot, they have fewer on hand. Three to be exact on Sunday. None our preferred color.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Like all rebate cards, the Chase Subaru card makes the most sense if you pay the balance in full each month - otherwise you're only fooling yourself about its value. You earn 3% on purchases, but if you're paying interest, then its self-defeating.

    If there are any changes to the 2010 Forester, they will be minor. If you're on the fence about 09 vs 10 models, I think you should wait for the 2010. The 09's have been around for nearly 1 1/2 years already. There were very few 08 Foresters - as the old style (same as 07s) were discounted to make room for the 09's in January of 08 - a full 1/2 year before normal model year introduction. With no incentives to buy a 09, I would wait for the 2010 when they arrive in July or August.

    The Outbacks are a different story. The 09's are being discounted with $2000 rebates combined with 2.9% financing (not as good as my wife got on her 07 Forester which was rebate + 1.9%). This is being done to make room for the all-new 2010 Outbacks. Generally, Subaru offers the best deals on the last of a generation before a new design is introduced. New ones should be at dealers by July.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Since 2005, during which time I have owned a 05 Outback, 06 Tribeca, 08 Nissan Altima Hybrid, and early March 09 Forester, I have "maxed out" three Subaru cards every year, entitling me to $1500 each year.

    I am not exaggerating here, I really have earned $6000 through end of 2008, and already $300 in bucks this year. In fact I applied for, and got a 4th Subaru card a few months ago as every year I maxed out all three.

    Now, I am not the weathiest person around, and I do pay my credit card bills always within the the grace period. I am proud to say I have never paid one ounce worth of finance charges on any credit cards my entire life (64 right now)

    I do a fair amount of travel for work, and many of my expenses are reimbursed. Think about it, at 3% you need to spend almost $17,000 per year to get back $500 in Subaru bucks.

    We have a few gasonine credit cards, like a Shell that always pay 5%. Had a Hess card that until recently also paid 5% but since they changed it to 3% I have closed that account. Have a Mobil Exxon card that they had a special on a few months ago, gives 15 cents a gallon with no time or amount limit. As long as gas remains below $3.00 per gallon, that is my best deal. Also have a Sears Master Card that gives 5% on supermarkets, drug stores and gas stations & can earn up to $300 per year rewards for those cards. Must difficut part is wifey remembering which card to use!

    Here in Massachusetts you can pay car insurance via credit card. Same for homeowners. Oil deliveries, propane, doctors, etc. My wife now on Medicare and any who knows when you are in the "bubble" expenses for drugs can easily come up to $5000 - $6000 a year. That's $200 in Subaru Bucks.

    The list goes on and one... When I got my Forester in March I had accumulated $1200 in bucks which I used at the time, already have $300 in bucks and next month should max out that card, then switch to another one.
  • morin2morin2 Posts: 399
    Wow - that's an impressive amount of subaru bucks. I had no idea that you could get more than one - but I barely reach the $500 limit annually, so one is fine for me. In addition to regular everyday purchases, we pay for cable,electric, and cell phones monthly service with the card. I'm 10 years younger than you - but like you, have never paid a cent of credit card interest. In fact, on large purchases, I offer to pay cash if there's a cash discount - otherwise its the subaru card. I don't know if I can pay my auto insurance by credit card, but I'll ask - with 2 teenage drivers, its substantial, even with liability only for them. I just sent in the homeowner's by check - darn it.

    We also use the ExxonMobil card strictly for gas, and the BP which, paying 5%, is better when gas gets over $3 (it also pays 2% for travel and restaurants). I find myself using BP gas more than Exxon because our BP has slightly lower ethanol content than our Exxon (I occasionally test the ethanol content).

    There's enough to worry about at the checkout line just making sure everything rings up correctly - so its understandable that your wife might not remember which card to use. My wife made a chart that she printed out & we put it in our wallets, so we can refer to it wherever we are to use the right card.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You're the Subaru Bucks champ for sure.

    We used $1400 worth for our Forester and have $400 already for service, though I'm sure the next $100 will come soon.

    For us it takes about 6 months to max out on the Chase Subaru card, and like you my wife puts her business expenses on there, and gets reimbursed.

    When we hit that limit we use our Shell card, which only gets 1%.

    I guess we're not maximizing our rebates for the whole year, but we don't want to have any more lines of credit open because we're in the process of re-financing the mortgage.
  • occkingoccking Posts: 346
    Sears had (we are "grandfathered" so not sure if still offer) a card that pays 5% for all supermarkets, drug stores and gas stations, limit up to $300 cash rewards.

    Shell did, at least until recently have cards that paid 5% for all gas purchases. Had a Hess as well but discontinued it because they dropped to 3%.

    I just hope the Subaru cards continue with all that is happening in the credit card industry a lot of these programs will probably be discontinued. Discover also has a card that pays 5%, but only on certain items that change every three months. Sometimes clothing, sometimes motels, sometimes restaurants, etc., but I have enough going on already that becomes too complicated.

    I open and close credit card accounts all the time. Go to a Penny's or Macy's or Kohls & they beg you to open a new account and get 10%, maybe 15% off entire purchase for that day. I use it once, then cancel it.

    I know for younger people, or those without the good credit I have that would cause a problem opening and shutting accounts like I do, as that would surely have a negative effect on their credit score, but at this stage of my life I am not worrying about being turned down for credit. Interesting, I just went on line last week to get "free credit reports" Of course once you sign up, if you do not cancel within a week or so they will automatically bill you every month for their services.
    I checked my credit scores & cancelled immediately. By the way, pretty proud of what I have, Trans Union 768, Experian 780, and Equifax 806. I really don't know why there is such a difference between all three, as they all show essentially the same info.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree about not wanting to keep track of what purchases to make and when, just keep it simple.

    To clarify - the Shell card gives 5% back on Shell gas purchases, not any gas purchases, AFAIK.

    Our credit score was quite good so the re-fi should go through without a hitch, hopefully.

    Yes Subaru PLEASE keep the deal alive with Chase, it's a sweet benefit for owners! :shades:
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 11,908
    Wow, great info! Thanks for chiming in, king!

    All those credit cards certainly sound too complicated to me. We use only our Subaru card, though we typically max out the rewards after five to six months. I *wish* it took us a whole year to do it, but I usually put all my expenses on there, and those can be substantial during the building season.

    I did not know you could have more than one Subaru card, but I may look into that in order to maximize my benefit. Once I hit the cap on the rewards, using the card provides no benefit other than the convenience of consolidating my month's expense under one account. A second card will come in real handy after we finish paying for our house in a few more years, since we will probably be tripling our building expenses for a year or two after that to finish construction.

    I'm almost embarrassed to say that I have no idea what my credit score is; I suspect it is decent enough. I do that free credit check once a year to verify the activity on my reports, but it does not provide a score.

    occking, do you simply submit another application for a Chase Subaru card?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
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