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2009 Subaru Forester



  • Thanks, I appreciate! I try to do my best. I am a Subaru fan!
  • The tire pressure monitor really works! My light came on this weekend and after eyeballing all of my tires, they all seem to be OK. However, after checking with a gauge, I found that my front passenger tire was down to 20 lbs, I inflated to 30 psi and the light went off. I just had my oil changed recently and am mad they missed this. I will check more often to insure I don't have a leak.
  • My tire pressure warning light illuminated a couple of weeks ago on the first cold night of the season. As noted in the owner's manual, inflating the tires to spec and driving over 20 MPH reset the light.
  • So far I have 2500 miles on my 2009 X-limited. In 100% city driving I have been averaging 16 mpg....and I have a light foot! :confuse:
  • capitanocapitano Posts: 509
    Are calculating this yourself or using the trip computer?

    My XT is averaging 21 mpg in mixed driving. It's got around 800 miles on it now. The other day after a fill up the computer shot up to 30mpg as I coasted around town. It didn't last of course, but it was interesting to see.
  • i have a limited x and am getting 27.9 in city/backroad hilly road driving. average 29/30 hwy driving from aspen to new york on i80
  • they also make light weight wheel chairs so unless you need the heavy duty standard, you might want to ck into it. i've seen them at walgreens. might save your back long term...
  • bikerguy- just wondering if you needed to add any amplifiers to run your system? You said you stayed with the stock head unit and I wasn't sure if it adequately powered the aftermarket speakers?
  • Cost aside, and little personal preference for auto over manual, what are the arguments pro and con for auto over manual (and I'm talking more in terms of performance than convenience), and vice versa?

    Haven't fully grasped the functional differences b/w the manual and auto AWD systems. Would the manual AWD system function "better" in snow than the auto?

    I'm considering leasing a 2.5 X Premium and wouldn't be opposed to a manual. Don't know how a manual will affect the residual, but it would save $1,000 on the cap cost.

    Any input appreciated. Thanks!
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I think the MT has noticeably better acceleration and gets somewhat better gas mileage. The AWD systems in the MT & AT function differently but both are effective. The extra cost of the AT pretty much cancels out the lower resale cost of the MT. The biggest downsides to getting a MT are if your daily commute consists of lots of stop & go driving or not all family members can drive a manual. If neither of those are an issue, then drive both and go with the one that you like the best.

  • The 4 6.5" in-door speakers & 2 tweeters seem to be powered just fine with the
    stock amplifier in the head unit. The subwoofer system I added is (just like with
    the Subaru factory subwoofer system) a powered unit - which means it has
    an additional amp to drive the subwoofer. The Infiniti system I installed is a
    combined package - ie the amp, subwoofer speaker, crossover circuitry, bass
    boost adjustment etc are all combined into one self contained "box", to which
    you must provide +/- V power, left & right speaker wiring, and a frame GND
    connection. Not very difficult.

    Most 6.5" speakers are pretty efficient and don't require a lot of power to drive
    them, so using the stock Subaru head should work just fine. But I believe there is no way to get good solid subwoofer level bass without adding a secondary amplifier.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,913
    How long are the trips you are taking? Short trips with constant stop-and-go driving will hammer fuel economy, regardless of what you drive. Also, the way you drive when doing that stop-and-go makes a big difference. The easier you are on the pedals, the easier it is on your wallet....
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • johnvjohnv Posts: 40
    I agree... excessive stop and go driving is annoying with the MT. My old sedan would put up with feathering some gas in 2nd gear to keep rolling but the Forester doesn't like that much. Its down to 1st and then back to 2nd. Repeat. That said, I'm not stuck in stop/go very often so I do like the manual.

    The other place I've wondered if the auto might be better was going up a very rutted firetrail with lots of loose soil. I felt like I needed to be somewhere between first and second and did a lot of shifting back and forth.

    The hill holder clutch is great. I drive in SF a lot and even after a year I still say "heyyy thats nice" every time I need to come to a stop on a steep hill.
  • My trips are short. about 8 miles per day. And it is a stop and go afair. I also have a light foot.
    Originaly I was going by the trip computer but when I saw 16mpg I thought something was wrong.
    I filled up the tank (16.9 gallons) and drove till the low gas light came on (2.7 gallons left). Then I subracted 2.7 from 16.9 and saw how many miles the car drove. The average came out to around the trip computer was correct.
  • gmginsfogmginsfo San Diego, CAPosts: 116
    Bikerguy, although I come pretty late to this discussion, I bought two sets of Polk speakers (6.5" for the front and 4" for the rear doors) for my 2003 Forester XS as soon as I bought it, along with the Subaru tweeters that pop easily into their pre-wired door mounts. The local stereo shop installed a new amp as well, but it wasn't needed and actually overpowered the speakers, so I returned it. I did keep the new wiring harness for the speakers, though, which the shop said would improve my sound and cut power loss. For me, who listens mostly to classical and Baby Boomer oldies, the setup is great and the only thing that disappoints is the continuing weak reception from the window antenna. But that's what CDs and tapes - I've got one of the last stock radio-CD-tape players Subaru installed - are for.

    Happy Thanksgiving to All!
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,913
    Unfortunately, the length of the trips you are taking has the most to do with the poor economy. At eight miles, the car is hardly even warmed up when you shut it down. Fuel economy is much better once the vehicle is up to operating temperature so, in effect, the ratio of "cold" to "hot" miles has much to do with the ultimate economy you achieve. If your trips were double the length, even under the same conditions, you would likely see your economy at least a mile or two higher per gallon.

    I am not sure what can be done to address the problem. Certainly, driving further just to achieve better economy is not going to do your pocket any favors. But, you might make a point to take a tank-full of longer city-only trips to see what effect it has on your economy. That could help narrow down the factors.

    To give you a comparison, my wife drives our 1998 Dodge Caravan a couple times a week, for about 12 miles each direction (it is cold each time she starts out). Her economy last month, with temperatures between freezing and zero F, was about 16.5. Each tank was fairly consistent, with all between 16 and 17. During the last tank, she used it for a couple of trips to a friend's house about 20 miles away, piggy-backed with the trip into town (which is the opposite direction). So, she was actually driving the van 30-40 miles or more while warm. The economy on that tank, with only those 60 or 70 extra miles mixed with the normally short trips (about 250 miles total on the tank), was 17.5 and the temperatures were between -15F and zero that whole tank. It does make a difference.
    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
    We have the same factors working against us : cold weather and short trips and mine are even shorter at only 5 miles to work. Other than when it's very cold (double digit sub-zero) I've always beaten EPA. I've even done it on the first 3 tanks of the new WRX and it isn't even close to broken in. Do check that your tires are properly inflated.
    One thing that can help is when making multiple stops, start with the farthest and come home. That way, when making the other stops and restarting the vehicle, it is already warm. I always did it the other way around and picked that tip up from a high-mileage site. Instead of hitting the Starbucks near my house, I stop at the last one before work now.
    Anticipate red lights and start coasting much earlier. Done perfectly you don't stop, but instead you blend into the speed of the traffic as it accelerates on the green light.
    Coast down any hill that is steep enough to maintain your speed. The instantaneous fuel consumption drops significantly if I coast instead of "driving" with only a light touch on the accelerator or even off the gas pedal entirely.
    I did see a definite improvement in overall economy doing these with the truck and WRX. They won't turn your vehicle into a Prius, but every bit helps and these are free.
    Old bit of Canadian mileage wisdom. If you are in anything close to cold weather, get a block heater and use it.
  • Now it makes sense that the short trips might be the cause. I drive 4 miles to work then 4 miles back home after work. I don't stop on the way for coffee or anything else, so its just a short ride from one stop light to the other.

    The pressure on my tires are good, so thats not the issue.

    When I take the car out for the weekend on a long highway ride the economy shoots up. At one point I was seeing 34mpg.

    On one particular day I filled out the tank and drove into manhattan. I drove around 40 miles and was getting about 23mpg.

    Right not my car reads an average o 15.6 mpg. The gas gauge needle drops quickly. I guess there is nothing that can be done in that respect. Its a good thing gas prices have gone down.

    Thank you for the valuable input....
  • volkovvolkov Posts: 1,306
    And don't let lower mileage numbers spoil the best part of a 4 mile commute: even though your fuel efficiency is in its weak spot, you aren't using very much.
    2000 miles a year at 16mpg means only 125 gallons a year consumed so if you achieved the advertised 20 mpg you'd save 2 gallons a month.
    Do you have a block heater? They can net 1-2 mpg improvement in average cold weather (much more for severe cold weather). All of the benefit comes at the beginning of the trip because the ECU will run rich until operating temps are hit. In New York and given such short trips, it might really help and the great thing is that block heaters for Subies are cheap like borscht, literally a tenth of what some other manufacturers charge.
  • Am noticing an oddity in my '09 XT that seems to be getting worse...

    When first put into drive, I hear a whizzing sound as if some screw mechanism or motor was engaging. When I then accelerate forward, and with a light foot, the front wheels lurch the car forward, sometimes with a chirp. It is as if the central clutch is not properly engaging or something.

    This behavour is recent (it did not occur after I changed my tires from Geolanders to Nokians around 1000 miles ago). The car did not do this when new nor up through 5400 miles. The roads are not wet or slippery.

    Is this a quirk of Foresters when they break in? Or am I facing real trouble here?
    Whatever it is, it's not very encouraging for a mostly new car using a "tried and true' carryover AWD system.
  • Thanks for the help with this bikerguy. Appreciate it.
  • I was noticing on the boards that people complain of the lower passenger seat. I can't tell on Subaru's website if the XT offers heigh adjustment for the passenger seat. My 01 Outback has the same problem with my passengers not sitting high enough for long drips.
  • Not for the 2009 Forester, as far as I know. Passenger seat height is fixed. However, dealers may be able to add approved adaptors to jack it up.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,913
    From my experience, no, Kurt, that is not normal (broken in or not!). I think you should get it checked out ASAP. Does it happen every time you put in drive, only when cold, only occasionally? I somewhat hope it is every time, as that will make the "could not replicate" excuse commonly encountered at dealerships a non-issue.

    Good luck.... :(
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • No, the front wheel surge definitely doesn't happen every time vehicle goes from neutral to drive, but it does seem to happen more often when it gets colder (40's or so).

    I'll ask my dealer about it when my XT (given the tentative name "White Fang") goes in for its next oil change (within a few weeks) or if it gets worse.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,913
    I am guessing you checked the ATF level and all was good? Low fluid can cause engagement delays, but it would not likely cause that noise you are hearing.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • Like many other cars these days, the Forester’s navigation has the annoying safety feature that disables many of the navigation functions once the car is moving. For example, one cannot search for an address or a point of interest while driving. I understand the safety concerns associated with operating the navigation while driving, but I think at least the passenger should be able to operate the navigation while the car is in motion. On a recent road trip, we had to exit the highway and stop the car before we could look up a nearby chain restaurant in the navigation which was several exits away. I almost wished I had stuck with my handheld navigation and had not forked up the extra money for the navigation in the Subie.

    My web search shows after market devices that disable the safety features of the navigation on different cars, but they seem to need elaborate installation and I don't know how they’d work with the Subaru. Any feedback in this area would be appreciated.
  • w8ifiw8ifi Posts: 78
    In reference to some poor mileage comments. I posted an item about a year ago on this. With the winter season here it might be timely to briefly summarize my previous post. I live in Michigan (Yooperland to Bob)about the same latitude as Duluth Minnesota. After about 50 years of winter driving here are my observations. It takes an immense amount of energy for an engine to bring the engine oil, transmission fluids, brake fluids, hydraulics, power steering pumps, air conditioning units, etc. up to operating temperature so they function freely. While this is occurring your ECU is helping the engine to feed the extra energy (gas) to the engine until normal operating temperatures are there. Of course the colder it is the longer this takes. Another caution...Never shut your engine off until the engine is at normal temperature if it is below freezing. The various resins, alkalies, carbon, and distillates will accumulate very quickly and given enough time ruin an engine. I've seen cases when the drain plug was pulled that the oil wouldn't even flow from not getting a chance to cook those residuals off. Many people attribute low mileage to "winter gas'. The effects of winter gas when measured are almost negligible. It's the energy used to heat fluids that causes the mileage difference.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,913
    I agree, Jim. I saw a noticeable jump in my fuel economy on a 2007 Outback w/ MT when I changed out the 5w-30 engine oil and 75w-90 gear lube (transmission & rear differential) with Amsoil 0w-30 engine oil and 75w-90 gear lube. Not only did the fuel economy instantly jump a little over 1 mpg in cold temps (they were about -25 at night up to around -10 during the day), but the car moved so much easier upon startup that it was as though temperatures were up around freezing! This car had a block heater and oil pan heater on the engine, but no heater(s) on anything else. With the previous fluids, there was significant rolling resistance for a few miles until the fluids heated up enough to lose much of that viscosity. With the Amsoil, the increased resistance due to cold temperatures was minimal.

    Currently, I am driving an old '98 Ford Escort w/ MT. I put Amsoil 0w-30 in this car as well, but the owner's manual states this car uses ATF in its manual transmission (?!).... seems odd, but I did not take the time to verify this and/or switch fluids. There is no heater on the transmission, and at temps as "warm" as -20F, the transmission is so gummy that it is difficult to maneuver the gear shifter. I went from an average economy of 35 this summer to as low as 24.5 (average for November) so far this winter.

    For my 1998 Dodge minivan, it was achieving mileage of about 15 mpg last winter with amsoil engine oil and Chrysler ATF+3 transmission fluid. This winter, with the same engine oil and Amsoil synthetic universal transmission fluid, it is running 16.5 to 17. What's more, that is with my wife driving it almost exclusively this winter, and she usually gets about 1 mpg less than I do as a result of driving habits. Last winter, I was the primary driver. ;)
    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
    Interesting post, thanks for sharing.

    For me, the first 2 miles are so are all about warm up, so on a 4 mile drive that means you're engine isn't being efficiently at least half the time.

    I drove our Forester last night, fully warmed up, and zero'd the trip meter to see how high I could get. I was going 55 or so, drafted a truck for a little bit, and coasted down hill when I could, and was able to hit 36.0mpg, my personal record.

    That's not practical all the time, plus it didn't include the warm up, but so far on that tank we're getting about 26 mpg or so, so it's the warm up and the less efficient driving techniques the rest of the time costing us that 10mpg.
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