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2009 Subaru Forester



  • at end of 3000 mile oil change cycle:

    main things found were calcium, phosphorus, molybdenum, with small amounts of boron, silicon, sodium. soot was 0.1%, No water or coolant present.

    Engine seems to be ok at this point. :)
  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    My happiness with the forester thus far has been shadowed by a series of interior annoying rattles, tick, squeaks. This to me should be a red flag to Subaru to revisit their poor fit and finish and materials used in my car. In addition, I have found the doors to be paper thin and the paint as well. A good safe drive, good mileage is not enough for me to consider buying another subie unless the interior is upgraded. I hope that someone from Subaru is reading this post. I am pleased with my service team at Colonial Subaru in Kingston New Yorkl. They have eliminated the door rattles, trunk rattle, vibrating drivers mirror. They will address the sunroof wind deflector and headliner next as they also make noises. The center console can not be corrected. When my elbow is on it , it creaks often. I used foam to help soften the noises.
    While in service for most of the day, I looked at the 2010 redesigned Outback. Quite nice!. I hope that the fit in finish in the outback will be transferred to the Forester someday
  • Our 2009 also has minor rattles and groans. The groan from the rear was thought to be bushings but seemed come from the right rear seat latch. The service people at the dealers said we didn't close the seat securely enough after it was folded down. We have followed the instruction after putting the seat down and the groan continues. At very slow speeds, when going slowly over uneven surfaces, bumpy street or backing out of the driveway. Mystery.

    With sun roof open there is a rattle from the rear. Sometimes. And sometimes not. Annoying.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did you send it out to bobistheoilguy?

    I hear an occasional squeek from the back of the moonroof also, only when the cover is open and the moonroof itself is fully closed.

    Haven't looked at it yet, though.
  • No, it was done by LubeWatch.
    My dealer had to send the sample to another dealer with that test service.

    The oil used in the XT's a Chevron 5W30, fortified with ASL Camguard.

    Like others here, I've intermittant rattles in the rear doors, back hatch, possibly the rear of the roof. Fortunately they only occur on worn or rough roads.
  • Just a quick note about the factory all-weather mats:
    I recently put them in my 2010 Forester and had my first "get 'em wet" trial (wet shoes at boat launch)- the holes that the 2 pins insert into on the drivers side mat are slightly lower than the edges of the mats and let water seep down onto the carpet below. I had only a moderate amount of water on the mat when this occured.
    Anyone with these mats should be sure to leave the drivers side out for awhile when removing/dumping the water, as the carpet gets damp and could breed mildew.
  • Hi Kurt, I manufacture ASL CamGuard. We are happy to hear that you are using our product. You may see us at

    Randy B.
  • We have pretty well the same list of complaints about fit, finish and materials, including the vibrating driver's mirror -- didn't know anybody else suffered from that one. We are planning a trip to our dealer. By the way, if you send feedback to Subaru, they do respond. I have done so a couple of times. They say they forward customer input to their quality teams that meet monthly.
  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    In addition to many but not all the rattles and squeaks being fixed, my Forester is going to be in the body shop for 4 days having the rear fenders painted and a new larger protective fender film installed. This is part of a TSB issue. It affects the first set of 2009 Foresters produced. I am happy that Subaru is backing its customers, however all this should never have happened. Where is the quality review teams at Subaru doing during testing and design?
  • Hello, Randy. I have been using ASL Camguard for several years now and have exchanged a few pleasant emails with its Chemist/creator.
    Hopefully in future we will see a version of Camguard aimed more towards automobiles.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Can you share pics of the old vs. new film? I'm curious as to how much bigger it will be.

    Ours is OK, besides a couple of door dings, but it never hurts to be more careful.
  • The old film was around 3" x 5" and was sort of a patch in the center of the lower rear fender.
    The new one is roughly 4" x 8", and covers the bulge of the rear fender from the lower plastic trim to 8" up.
  • Sorry to hear that you are one of us "lucky ones" - ie early production Forester owners who need to have the larger rear fender protection film installed...
    Let me share with you my experience after having this work done.

    When I reluctantly turned in my Forester to the Subaru body shop for this work, I made certain to get assurances from the service manager that "absolutely the
    paint/body work would be done flawlessly", as I was very nervous having my brand new car in the shop getting repainted...

    My results wound up being mixed. The body work (sanding out the rock chips) and the new paint match were done well. It's pretty much unnoticable that the fenders were repainted. BUT - I have the black plastic wheel well mouldings, and these are primarily affixed to the vehicle with dbl-sided adhesive tape. Well, either the body shop tried to reuse the tape (which is a one-shot deal), or they used new tape which wasn't strong enough...because after about a week, the mouldings started coming loose from the car. So I brought it in. They apologized and said they would take care of it. 2 weeks later - same thing. Brought it in again. "Fixed" again. 2 days later - came loose again (in fact, the moulding half fell off the car, scraping the tire as I drove down the hiway). Brought it in again! And again!

    At this point, the service tech told me that Subaru was having "issues" with these mouldings falling off the Foresters, and were working on a solution. Finally, he called me in (for the 5th time!) and they reattached the moulding with some "super duper strong-as-heck" tape.

    The new tape has held up so far (about 6 weeks now)...but the tape appears to be slightly thicker than the OEM tape, and thus the edge of the moulding doesn't sit tightly flush to the body the way every other piece of moulding on the car does. Aaargh!

    My advice to you if you have the body moulding accessory is to absolutely insist that they order/install new mouldings when doing this work. I also suggest you take very detailed pictures of the car "before" the work, and inform the service manager that if the bodywork is not performed flawlessly, you'll expect payment for "diminished value" to the vehicle.

    It's great that Subaru is willing to step up and address an early production defect, but it's not worth much if they can't/don't perform a quality repair. And FYI - despite inconveniencing me with 5 return service visits, the dealer did not offer to compensate me in any way (how bout a tank of gas? a car wash? an oil change?) and they didn't do any paperwork each time back (I suspect to keep this from showing up on their Quality/Satisfaction reporting systems)...

    Good luck with your repair, and I hope this helps...
  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    Bikerguy, thank you so much for the detailed info regarding the mouldings. i will follow your suggestions.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I got fender flares for my 1998 Forester and it came with 3M two-side tape, already affixed to the fenders they came with, of course.

    I must have had them on there for 5+ years by the time I sold it, and they stayed in place.
  • I wish we had test driven our 09 Premium at night. My wife and I both dislike the pinkish red lights on the dash. Also the all weather heated wipers (main selling feature for us) don't work as hoped. Just past 15K and it has more rattles then our old '02 Outback had at 140k.

    Love the manual tranny, but wish it was available in all trim packages. Would have liked a Limited.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,859
    I have never found heated wipers to work very well, except for a very narrow band of temperatures around freezing. The AWP selling point for me is the heated mirrors - those are, as they have been for well over a decade, fantastic. I don't like that they are all tied together on a single defrost switch (not sure if that is the case on the '09s - I have a '10) because I nearly always use the mirror defrosters in the winter months (half the year), but it is cold enough that rear window defrosting only serves to create massive ice accumulation.

    As I expected, the heated seats just make me feel uncomfortable (even on the lowest setting). The cloth does a very good job of warming my body all by itself.

    Rattles.... that is par for the course in Subaru's, at least in all three that I have owned since 2005. My '10 is actually better than I expected. So far (2250 miles), only the driver and passenger doors have them.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    Not a fan of Subie's heated wipers either. I have a WRX but the design is the same. Actually they aren't heated wipers, rather it's a heated windshield where where the wipers rest. In some cases, they create problems. If find that in very cold weather if it's snowing, that the heaters melt the snow which collects at the bottom of the well and then the wet wiper smears a film of water which promptly freezes, obscuring vision. I never had those troubles with my older WRX which lacked this feature. Wonder if I could just pull a fuse to disable it?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I like the heated seats the most, then the heated mirrors.

    We're in a car port so we haven't really tested the wiper de-icers.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,859
    Oh, great! That is what I was hoping to avoid. I will probably have the same problem, then! Usually, once the weather gets cold (as in under 10-degrees F permanently, which is often achieved from November through February or March), we don't have to worry about ice scrapers, etc., because things are dry enough that snow just wipes right off in the mornings and it doesn't stick to the windows while driving. But, if I have to use all defrosters to clear the mirrors (which tend to fog even when the rest of the car does not), I will end up with icy spots any where the defrost elements heat. They just cannot get warm enough to counteract the extremely cold air temperatures.

    Of note, I am not sure how fast the road crews are completing that construction project in PG, Dave, but winter is fast approaching! I hope this is not something that is being put on hold until Spring!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Put Rain-X on the windshield, it makes it harder for snow and ice to "stick".
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,859
    Absolutely. I love Rain-X. I have not applied it on the Forester yet, but I should put it in my "winterization" kit for Saturday; I can apply it when I change fluids, etc.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • if you use rainX windshield washer fluid, you will eventually get build up where the wipers stop wiping (visible as grayish lines from inside the windshield). If the residue gets too high, it interferes with visibility and can make wipers chatter.

    Magic erasers or Glass strippers (cleaners that polish and remove gunk from glass)
    can help remove the excess residue
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    I also use RainX and love it, but there is one thing I hate about it. When the water beads up on the windshield, and it's nightime, if you drive under a street light it will blind your vision for a split second. Other than that, it is fantastic, driving on the highway you don't even need to use the wipers if you don't want, the water beads up and the wind pushes it away.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,859
    I hate street lights in general for that very reason, but I have not noticed that phenomenon specifically from using Rain-X. I don't use washer fluid, etc., that is Rain-X - only the glass wax that you apply with a towel and buff. But yes, when I keep it current (apply it about once a month or so), I never need to use the wipers. Even at low speeds, the water beads up and runs off so nicely that no wipers are necessary. In fact, using the wipers just means I have to apply it more frequently because the wipers wear off the wax quicker! :(
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't use washer fluid, etc., that is Rain-X - only the glass wax that you apply with a towel and buff

    Same here, and I've never had a problem with build up or anything like that.

    The glass even stays cleaner, because nothing (water, ice, dirt) sticks on it as easily.

    My tip - apply before you wash the car. Then wash, and use a squeegee to clean the glass. Mine is spotless.
  • Is there a brand name glass wax that you like? I would like to try it but could use a referral.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The stuff I use is the Rain X in the yellow bottle. It's a clear liquid, not a wax.

    I just don't use the stuff you put in your windshield washer reservoir. That would only really cover the swept area of the glass anyway, not to mention it would miss the side glass, the moonroof, mirrors, etc.

    I even do headlights and taillights.

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,859
    in my 2010 Forester X Premium w/ MT. Okay, so I was only traversing my yard, but I have a pretty significant ditch that runs around my house (it's built into a hill) to divert water around it. Really all I was aiming to do was to spray down the engine bay after doing some coolant adjustments, but I needed to turn the car around and had little room to do it. So, I decided to see if it was willing to do what none of my other cars ever could (including my previous three Outbacks, which couldn't deal with the approach angles).... drive perpendicularly over the ditch while going uphill! Haha; wow, did it ever! At one point, I had one tire dangling in the air (rear right) and the opposite corner's tire barely touching ground. The front left tire started spinning initially, then the traction control kicked in, stopped the spin, and the car jetted across the ravine and up the hill. It was pretty sweet, especially given the slippery surface (wet leaves on silt) and stock Yokohama Geolandar G95 tires. The approach/departure angles allowed me to then make the return trip, after having turned around, without any problems.

    I was very impressed; it was too bad I did not think about it ahead of time and ask my wife to get out the video camera.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, can I come over and test mine on your psuedo-off-road course as well? :D

    Party at wes' house. I'll bring a camera.


    Sounds like fun, though. And your report matches up with the videos we've seen of the Forester climbing up those off road ramps with its traction control system.
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