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2009 Subaru Forester



  • sgloon:

    thanks for the info. the car was towed by the city and I did not see how they towed it. the car seemed perfectly fine when I drove it so I am guessing that they have towed it correctly.

    I read the manual and wanted to know if there is a why I can tell after the fact if they towed it correctly or not.
  • I just went to my dealer's website (Chicago area) to check on service hours and decided to check their Forester inventory--wow! 32 '09's, all types and colors--X's, Limiteds, XT's, even 2 XT Limiteds. Quite a switch from when I bought mine in May. Is it because deliveries are now more regular or is the bloom coming off the rose somewhat (or is nobody buying cars because of the crappy economy)? Probably a little of each.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I've been seeing a lot of new Foresters on the road lately, so those sales figures we've been seeing from SOA aren't lying.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    First off, did they charge you for the 2nd alignment? If so and assuming the time frame between the two wasn't an inordinate amount of time, then I would definitely ask for a rebate. If they give you any trouble, that's when I would point out their error of using the wrong specs.

    As for it being a common mistake? I don't know. Obviously one of the big selling points for using a dealer's service dept is that they are supposed to have the best trained technicians and be the least likely to make a mistake. However, anyone can make a mistake; it's how they handle it and their willingness to make the situation right that would determine whether I would use them again or not.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would just start going to a different dealer, if you have more than one in your area. You could show them their mistake but they'll probably ignore it or come up with excuses.

    I had my 93 Miata serviced with a new timing belt, and I could tell the timing was off (it was way down on power). I got on the phone with the tech and he told me the timing was not adjustable. HA HA HA HA what a buffoon. I bought a timing gun for $20 and fixed it myself. I don't want any buffoons under my hood, thanks very much.

    Towed vehicle? I think you'd notice right away if they did it incorrectly. You'd have binding. Check the tires, if they're OK, you're fine.

    That bull bar looks neat, actually. Wonder if it affects air bag deployment? It's subtle, though, and I like that. I wouldn't want chrome, though, powder coated black would be better.

    As for demand, it was up more than 70% last month. So Subaru probably just increased supply to dealers. At some point they will find a balance.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    if there is a way I can tell after the fact if they towed it correctly or not

    You could hang out near the impound lot and see what types of wreckers go in and out. Or you could just ask them how they towed your car :)

    If your Forester WAS towed with two wheels off the ground and it's still driving fine then probably no damage was done. You might ask someone in your dealer's service dept if there are any telltale signs to look for.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think tire wear would be the obvious one. Then binding in the AWD system. Drive in a figure 8 slowly and turn off the radio, and open the windows. See if you observe any unusual tire squeel.
  • Subaru dealerships are not in a hurry to delete inventory from their websites as units sell. My hunch is that potential buyers are more likely to contact a particular dealership if their "dream car" is listed in inventory. My 2009 remained on the dealership website for a while after I bought it.
  • tkay2tkay2 Posts: 51
    I may have gotten a break. My comprehensive is $100.00 deductible, and I have a couple of $100.00 subie bucks that will take care of the $100. deductable.The i insurance company a comprehensive claim should not raise my rates (we will see!) As far as the 4700.00 bill I think is a complete rip-off.. know they farm out the Seat Cover job and jack up the bill,If I was to go to a seat cover place I know it would have been a lot cheaper. If this subie was a little older thats what I would have done. FYI. my dog had put her paws on the armrest and now i have a couple of nail marks on it. Dealer quote $ 110.00 went to seat repair specific business quote 45.00
  • I seem to be having trouble removing he gas cap. Has anyone else had this problem? I think pressure builds up in the tank and that makes it hard to remove.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    They did not charge me for a second alignment. I hadn't driven that far between the 1st and 3rd visits. So, I had been stumped at to why it took 3 visits to get the alignment done properly.

    And Juice, you were right...I went in and brought in the specs. They told me they knew they had aligned it to the wrong car. I was told that "Subaru hadn't come out with the alignment specs yet, so they were told (by Subaru) to align it to the 06/07 forester instead." Then, by the time I brought it in the 3rd time, "they had the Subaru specs so they were able to align it to the correct specs."

    He told me that if they hadn't done the "first" alignment, my tires would have worn really badly on the outside. This despite the fact that there was no "before" on the first alignment paperwork. When I asked him if he knew how much correction was needed, he said he had no idea. But he was obviously sure that it would wear my tires. My question, how much wear would be caused by aligning it to the wrong specs?

    What I am most concerned about is that they didn't tell me that it was aligned to the wrong car. And then after the second alignment told me "very strongly" that they would not align it again...when really it was the first alignment. :lemon:

    Would it have been better off to leave the donut on for a couple weeks until Subaru had the specs out? Does subaru and other car companies take this long to get out what appears to me to be basic tech specs? This just doesn't seem right...

    I was also told that anytime you have the wheels off the car you have to realign the vehicle on all AWD vehicles. Is this right? That would mean anytime the tires are rotated you need an alignment. Could the dealer have been saying something that I just didn't understand? That just doesn't sound right, especially as now, Subaru has not shared the alignment specs with any of the tires stores, so we hav to pay the mega bucks at the dealer for it.

    With me providing the tire, the dealer charged me $505 for the wheel ($347) mounting and alignment. The original quote was $460, and somehow they found an extra $25 bucks to charge under "misc charges", saying the $460 didn't include the taxes of ~$20. When I questioned the extra charges, they just say all the non-charges that they added are something that "dealers are allowed to do", and "all dealers do it" basically just tack on charges not having anything to do with the work. Sounds bogus. Do all dealers operate this way?

    Besides, they should have tacked on the charges before they gave me the quote.

    Any comments about this situation would be appreciated. Thanks.

    I will definitely try out the other dealer next time...
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Would it have been better off to leave the donut on for a couple weeks until Subaru had the specs out?

    No, you definitely don't want to drive around on a donut any longer than absolutely necessary.

    I was also told that anytime you have the wheels off the car you have to realign the vehicle on all AWD vehicles. Is this right?

    Nope. Totally false.

    My question, how much wear would be caused by aligning it to the wrong specs?

    It depends on how far out of alignment we're talking about and how far the vehicle is driven. It can take several thousand miles before tires start showing evidence of moderate alignment issues.

    You stated that it was vibrating and pulling to the right after the first alignement but not before? In which case it's possible that the vehicle wasn't out of alignment until the dealer's service tech tried to align it to the wrong specs :sick: Unfortunately you'll never be able to prove that.

    In any case, it sounds like your dealer's service dept is lacking in competence at best and at worst, downright dishonest. Personally I would steer clear of them in the future.

  • From Auto Observer regarding September '09 sales:

    "Subaru sold 143,789 vehicles in September, a 4-percent increase from September 2007. Strength came from Forester sales, which shot up 28 percent, and the Legacy, which posted its best September ever with an impressive 14-percent increase over last September."

    Looks like '09 Forester's a big hit for Subaru. :D
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Up only 28%?

    That's terrible. Worst month so far, actually.


  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    And they'd have sold many more if there were any supply.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Hey guess what? The Forester is now outselling the Ford Exploder (which saw a 67% decline in September) :surprise: Who'd have thought that would ever happen?

  • Your dogs are so adorable. I see that you live in Tampa. Can I ask where you got them. Our Aussie, Mimosa, which we had for almost 9 years, passed on two days ago. I'm thinking of getting a puppy.
  • roj2roj2 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 09 Forester 2.5X/Auto. The Forester is fantastic. It has exceeded all of my expectations. Your advice was very helpful as I made the decision to purchase the Forester. Thanks.

    Robert (ROJ1)
  • Given the din of automotive journalistic criticism over the Forester's 4-speed Auto, I really wonder if Subaru will give the 2010 version a 5-speed Autotrans?

    There are some reviewers, though (C&D, for one) that feel the current 4-speed is well matched and does the job. The sport shift does make it more responsive to "spirited" driving.

    My '09 XT seems to shift well (far less driveline lash than newer Outbacks!) and ratios seem fine for suburban / city driving. With cruise control, it lets the torque converter adjust to handle hills (a lot of cars simply shift back and forth).

    Note; For those driving over 75 on interstates, the engine will be turning over 2500 rpm, which does use more fuel and ups noise level. No problem in Oregon (65's our limit) but definitely so in speed-hungry Calif. ;)
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Not only is the 2009 Forester Consumer Reports top small SUV pick, it's featured on the cover of their 100 Top Pruducts issue :D The manual trans Forester also gets the nod for Best Fuel Economy in a small SUV :)

  • The Subaru service center I get my XT serviced at genuinely likes the '09 XT, but remarks how few of them they have seen. I've yet to see another one on the road (have seen several X's, though).

    Anyone have any idea how many of these Subaru has sold so far? claims only 6% or so Foresters are sold this way.
  • Looks like the WRG2's are still not in Portland., OR

    Dealers I've checked here report none in the warehouses, but several have them on order. Cost is from $222 to $260 depending on the dealer.

    I visited Tiresbyweb but their site did not stock the '09 Forester XT size ( has bigger tires than other Foresters; 225 x 55 x 17 ).

    Other options are Michelin Affinitity MXVR or simply Siping the current Geolanders.

    Anyone have any idea how these Nokians wear? One dealer said they'll wear considerably faster than the Geolanders, the latter of which I think are rated for 80K miles or so (if siped, they'll be rated 0 miles, as siping voids their warranty :cry: ).
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    Hey Totallypissed Jackalope, maybe you should've actually READ those Stop Sale Notices, it occurred back in APRIL!!!

    Turbo Engine Stop Sale checking Procedure
    On April 7, 2008 we informed you of a stop sale order on 2008 Impreza, STi and Legacy vehicles and 2009 Forester vehicles equipped with 2.5L Turbo Engines and produced with the beginning chassis number/production dates and later as shown below:

    Model Body Type Chassis Number Production Date
    Forester Wagon 701045 or later 2008/01/08 or later
    Legacy 2.5GT-LTD 222825 or later 2008/02/04 or later
    2.5GT-B 222958 or later
    OBK 2.5XT-LTD 353835 or later 2008/02/01 or later
    Impreza Sedan 523363 or later 2008/01/08 or later
    Wagon 825183 or later

    We took this action as a “Customer First” preventive action as we had confirmed, in other markets, that there was a small possibility of an “Engine Knocking Noise” caused by a contamination in the area of the connecting rod big end journal at very low mileage/time in service.

    The action was successful in preventing the potential of failures for our customers.

    Subaru has defined a screening process that you must perform to all of the affected vehicles in your inventory before delivery to a customer or putting in demonstrator service.

    The screening process consists of several steps to inspect the condition of the engine oil to determine if the engine is not affected by the contamination, is already damaged, or has a potential for damage.

    Both a flow chart and detailed instruction sheet of the process are included in this document. Each step must be followed exactly, no short cuts.

    As soon as the engine is determined to be in proper working condition, it can be sold or put into demo service.

    To perform the screening, you will need the following materials for each vehicle:
    • New magnetic Oil Pan Drain Plug (1) (32103KA000 - only this P/N is acceptable)
    • New Oil Drain Plug Gasket (1) (11126AA000)
    • New Oil Filter (1) (15208AA100)
    • Engine Oil 5w30
    • Filter paper (such as a standard automotive funnel type paint filter)
    • Clear plastic “wash bottle” 16oz (500ml), with angled flexible snorkel:

    Please order a plastic wash bottle, 16 ounce (500ml / 500cc), translucent color for observing the color of the oil. The cap and pick-up tube colors are not important for this test. We suggest using the following suppliers and supply houses to locate the plastic wash bottle or equivalent:
    • W.W. Grainger Supply, Inc. - Grainger Industrial Supply
    • Fisher Scientic, Inc. - Fisher Scientific - Welcome
    • Most Medical Supply Locations
    • Most Beauty Supply Locations

    Note: It is important that the opening at the tip of the flexible snorkel be at least 3mm inside diameter in order to properly allow any contamination that may be present in the bottom of the oil pan to pass through into the bottle. It may be necessary to trim the flexible snorkel to obtain the 3mm opening. See picture in flowchart on page 4.

    Detailed Instructions
    You will need to refer to the flow chart provided to follow this written procedure and refer to the photos and graphics for examples.

    Always follow all environmental and hazardous waste handling precautions to prevent any contamination or safety issues.

    Engine Screening Procedure One

    1) Drain the engine oil through the drain plug.

    2) Using the wash bottle, insert the tip of the snorkel through the drain hole, ensuring that the tip is between the bottom of the pick-up screen and the oil pan. Note: The wash bottle can be re-used, but it must be thoroughly cleaned with aqueous parts cleaner and dried. All residual oil, particles and cleaner must be removed to ensure that no false judgments are made.

    3) Siphon the remaining oil and residue from the oil pan as shown in the drawing (approximately 100cc).

    4) Observe the color and clarity of the oil in the wash bottle, and compare it to the examples in the photo found on the flowchart on page 4.
    NOTE: If the wash bottle is not clear, pour the oil and residue into a clear glass container to make a good judgment.

    5) If the oil is clear, the engine is okay.
    A) Replace the oil filter, install a new magnetic Oil Plug and new Oil Plug Gasket, and refill with fresh engine oil.

    Engine Screening Procedure Two

    6) If the oil clarity or color matches the “Needs Check” samples, strain the oil through the filter paper and capture the material residue.
    A)If there are copper particles larger that 1 mm in the material residue, the engine is damaged. Immediately submit an E-QMR and wait for further instructions.
    NOTE: It may be necessary to clean the particles to determine if they are copper. Copper is reddish in color. There may be very small particles of other materials that are typical of a new engine, such as silicon, aluminum and ferrous (steel or magnetic) content, that do not indicate any failure.
    B)If there are no copper particles, or they are smaller than 1 mm, proceed to step 7.

    7) Install a new magnetic Oil Drain Plug, reusing the original gasket and engine oil filter, and refill the engine with fresh oil.

    8)Start the engine and let it idle for five (5) minutes to flush any residue from the oil passages.
    A)Stop the engine, drain the oil, remove and replace the oil filter, clean and reinstall the magnetic drain pug, using the new gasket.
    B)Refill with fresh oil.

    9)Re-start the engine and let it idle for 5 minutes.
    Note: Be sure to allow the Air Pump operation to complete its cycle. It will be difficult to distinguish any engine noise while the pump is operating.
    A)Quickly rev and release the engine to 6,000 rpm at least 10 (ten) times. Caution: Do not exceed 6000 rpm or hold above the red line.
    Note: Be sure to follow the “Reving Procedure” found on the flow chart located on page 4.
    B)Let the engine idle for a few seconds; then increase and decrease the rpm slowly to 2500 rpm, while listening for abnormal lower end engine noise.

    10) If lower end engine noise is evident, immediately stop the engine and submit an E-QMR and wait for further instructions.

    11) If no noise, the engine is okay, and the vehicle can be released for retail sale.
  • Actually, there _is_ another impending Subaru recall (info from :

    9/18/08: From SoA, a voluntary Safety Recall to inspect, modify and possibly replace the turbo charger oil supply pipe on approximately 16,715 '07 & '08 Legacy GT, Outback 5XT, 2008 Impreza WRX (except STI) and a very small number of early production 2009 Forester XT models.

    My '09 XT was built in Jan. '08. - here we go again :surprise:
  • A local tire vendor I talked to months ago surprised me with a phone call today claiming that Nokian WRG2's have magically appeared in their warehouse, in a size that fits the '09 Forester XT.

    Ok... I am sticking my neck out a bit, as I've no idea how these will ride and handle compared to the Geolanders (car makers spend a loto money calibrating suspensions to specific tires).

    But, I __hate__ ice :mad: , and if those tires will help me manage ice this winter, and don't ruin the XT's ride/handling (I will ask about a return policy before putting 'em on) , that will be good. :)
  • Curious to know why you've decided against the WRs. Think they are still available.
  • Wrt WR's,
    Nokian claims WRG2 offers lower rolling resistance, newer tread design, revised tread compound (better in heat). Supposedly it's a third-gen design.

    Some other posters here (no time for name search - sorry !!) commented WR's impose a mileage penality .vs regular Geolanders, which made me hesitate on WR - the XT guzzles enough gas as it is.

    Hopefully Nokian knows what it's doing w/ the revision. I can only have one set of tires (no place to store others :( )

    BTW, Consumers Union rated the Yokohama Geolanders in a recent test. Geolanders only had fair rolling resistance and traction on ice. Otherwise they were decent. However, the last tires I had that they rated "fair" on ice (TripleTreads) were skidsville on Oregon ice.
  • I've commented on other Subaru threads about the WRs which I had on my former 02 Outback and also on my wife's 04 Outback. On their website, Nokian says both tires offer lower rolling resistance. I'm wondering whether the WRG2s will wear better than the WRs. The 225/60/16 tires on the older Outback had 11/32s of thread when new and are down to 7/32s after 20k miles. The WRs that fit the current Outback 225/55/17, the same size as is on your Forester have 14/32s of thread which may suggest they are longer wearing. The WRG2s are only 11/32s but are of a different compound so may or may not wear longer.

    I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts once you get the new tires as I am thinking of getting a set on my 07 Outback.

    I know you are trying to be safe and not sorry, but I've found that the Potenzas on my 02, my wifes's 04 and on my 07, were good enough for a serious winter when they were new.
  • Good info, thanks Snowbelter.
    CU's rating Yokohama Geolanders only fair on ice sort of "urged" me to make this move.
    Portland OR Ice is sneaky - it lurks in freeway tunnels, where irrigation systems spray the road, on hills, etc. My former Malibu Maxx and its GY TripleTreads (also "fair" on ice) kept trying to skid and gave me a lot of bad frights and almost one accident last year (I'm not an aggressive driver :) ). And even though Forester's AWD, those'll skid on ice as well as FWD/RWD unless its tires do their job. Everything I've read suggest the Geolanders are not up to ice.

    Every rating I can find about WRG2 suggests Nokian's improved the grip, but that the tread compound may wear faster.

    What I don't know is how the '09 Forester will get along with them. Reviews suggest the WRG2's are not harsh riding and make very little noise when accelerating or braking.
  • The WRG2's went on my XT yesterday (full story over on tires, tires, tires forum). They've not made huge difference in ride (possibly a little harsher). Freeway tracking seems ok, may be slightly noiser than Geolanders were.

    Whole point of these is winter grip, and given recent temperatures here in Portland, we may get winterized early. :surprise:
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