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2009 Subaru Forester



  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    Hello everyone, I have an 09 LLBean AT Forrester. I truly love the car despite the usual posted complaints regarding the interior. I have put 10,000miles happy, trouble free on it within the 7 months that I have it. I recently was mailed an offering from Subaru of America for a 6 year 60,000 added security coverage for $564.00 which covers major mechanical components. I have never taken an extended warranty on a reliable car. Can you share your opinions on this with me and others. Thanks and Happy Holidays !
  • There is no hurry, you can get that warranty anytime before the factory one is up, with no price difference. You can also get it through any dealer, and the price seems to be negotiable.

    I have never taken an extended warranty on anything, so it is a roll the dice situation. With our Subarus we generally sell them to someone before the 5 years is up, and buy another. No one that has bought any of ours has had a problem with anything, so the odds seem pretty good.
  • At first, I wasn't all that thrilled by hot air pouring out the side vents, but have noticed that extra air flow helps melt ice on the side windows, and is cut back when heating is set to full defrost. The latter's an improvement over most of the Japanese heating systems I've had over many years..

    Yes, it get downright hot inside the Forester with the heat full up, even in 20 degree weather. The engine also starts producing usable heat within a few minutes of start-up.

    Wrt loosing some snow grip as tires age, my guess is by 30K the sipes are mostly worn off the tires, and the rubber (either by aging or being worn down) had become harder. That would improve the summer grip, but hurt winter performance.
    That's what everything I have read about tires suggested.
  • Hey Gang,

    My 09 Forester suffers from the door rattles that I have seen posted earlier. My problem is, this morning the damned thing was quiet as a church mouse - the car is scheduled to go in for service tomorrow to address the rattles.

    This will be the second time the car goes in for the door rattles (they couldn't find them the first time). It seems hit or miss, but when the doors rattle they really do rattle quite a bit.

    Any advice? I'd hate to send it back for them not to find anything again, and I'm really stumped as to why this morning there are no rattles. Its so cold out here in NE PA (11 degrees this AM) that I thought for sure I'd get MORE rattles ..... *shrug* ????

    Thanks in advance,
  • Mplsman: I keep a meat thermometer in the car to check on the a/c temps in the summer to make sure that it's operating at the right temp, I'm very picky about a/c. Well for $#!*$ and giggles I decided to throw it in the vent the other day and check the heat temp. 174 degrees!
  • yes those dumb rattles come and go.
    I've been seeing them reappear in my XT front doors after the fix, but now only if it's around 25 and the engine is idling when cold.
    The dealer improved them the first time, but may have to revisit the fix, which involves adding insulation between the door metal and plastic.

    you may have to leave the car overnight to let it get good and cold. Then when it's started up, hopefully the rattles will appear.
  • Snow continues in Portland OR. Most roads have 4" or more of packed snow and in many cases deep ruts lined with ice. The ruts are causing all kinds of problems for most vehicles.

    Today the XT met its match. Driving along around 20 mph, I needed to change lanes and waited until there was a good space between me and other vehicles.
    However, White Fang's (the XT's) wheels, when turned, attempted to climb the 4" deep icy ruts, failed to get traction, and let the vehicle lurch back into the ruts.

    Using more gas the next time I tried this, the XT simply lurched out of the ruts, lost all grip and spun 180 degrees to face traffic coming towards me. Fortunately they were quite a ways back and going slow, giving me time to back up 180 degrees and turn back to going the right direction. If they had been closer or going faster, I could have been broadsided. :surprise:

    This was the first demonstration of the Nokian's main weakness: they did not handle wet ice all that well when turning. It may be a particular part of the tire that is susceptible to this (the outer edges, perhaps).

    Anyway, I'm off the roads until they plow that mess or I can get to a place to buy cable chains (not sure the Auto Socks will be up to that sort of thing either, as they do not cover the sides of the tires, only the lower tread). Right now cable chains are a precious commodity in Portland - stores are virtually sold out of them.

  • robm2robm2 Posts: 53
    Ruts are always dangerous. Try not to get in them, in the first place. If you are in them, you need to be going slow to get out of them, or (as you saw for yourself) you will almost certainly lose control.

    Going down side-streets, I always stay out of the ruts. It's more fun, anyway, to blaze a new trail beside the ruts.
  • I dropped the appointment for the interim. I have to say, the cheaper interior becomes more noticeable as you drive it around.

    That being said, I do like everything else about the car.
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    Wet ice is the worst condition -- glad you did not have a serious mishap.

    In my 50 years of driving I have had 6 or seven 4WD/AWD vehicles, and have gotten every one of them stuck -- but, in some "very clever" ways!!

    In fact, I have been stuck more times in AWD than in 2WD vehicles -- the extra traction can cause overconfidence.

    Still not enough snow, here, to try out my 09 Forester, my first Subaru -- I bet I can get it stuck!

    Just kidding -- I hope I have enough sense to be over cautious.

  • They're baaaaaacccckkkkk.

    Damned rattles. My 05 was as solid as they come.
  • robm2robm2 Posts: 53
    I've gotten 2WD vehicles stuck several times, but always easy to get un-stuck with a couple people pushing.

    I've gotten 4WD vehicles stuck several times, but always so badly that it required a winch and/or tow vehicle to pull it out.

    The 4WD vehicles I've owned have never gotten stuck where the 2WD vehicles would have ... but I also would never have driven the 2WD vehicles where I was driving the 4WD vehicles.

    4WD can be a lot of fun.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, we're certainly enjoying the heck out of the seat heaters, but our Forester still hasn't seen any snow at all. It's been cold, just no precipitation.

    I'll make sure to get a feel for these OE tires before I do much with it.

    My 98 (5MT) was great in the snow, especially with snow tires. With all seasons I could break traction but still control it well - it would wag the tail but always seemed to pull itself out of the slide. Quite fun, to be honest.

    Our 09 is an auto so I'll report back any difference I note.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Kurt: I think the variation in handling reports has everything to do with expectations. People thinking "tall WRX" may feel disappointed, while people coming out of even softer crossovers will be thrilled.

    As for test drive variance, I bet tire pressure is also a big issue. Dealers usually do not air down until delivery.

    265hp Forester? I doubt it. Keep in mind the WRX only gets that engine with the manual tranny, and the Forester XT is auto only.

    Warranty? I had a Subaru Gold on the 2002 Legacy, and it helped me sell the car, plus we got roadside assistance for the full 7 years. I'd say it was worth it. We only had some minor issues that the warranty addressed, but it was a *major* selling point for the used car. I think we got a lot of the cost back, plus piece of mind because the seller can go to Subaru if they have a problem - I'm off the hook.
  • Portland is warming up and most of the main roads have been plowed. Parking lots and side streets remain a mess of half melted snow, ice and slush.

    The '09 XT I drive, christened White Fang, does not particularly care for wet ice. Although it has never gotten stuck (it promptly gets going and stops no matter what), it does not like driving along in rutted ice, which either make it hard to turn or provokes tail swing-outs when Fang finally lurches out of the ruts. Fortunately none of the swing-outs have been anything like earlier this week when Fang swapped ends, but I have learned to let up on power the minute I sense the tail breaking loose, at which point Fang falls back into line relatively quickly.

    By comparison, on snow, or sheet (not rutted) ice, Fang just goes and stops with little complaint.

    This is definitely not a front-biased car in winter weather, and I dread to think what driving a real tail-happy vehicle would be like, or if I were on the original Geolander tires.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    For those who have the auto dim mirror. I found out the hard way that you can't see yourself in the mirror when it is dark outside. (for those of us who have to primp occasionally. :blush: ) This flummoxed me for a while, until I found I could turn the power off to the mirror, and after waiting a few seconds, the mirror turned back into a regular mirror.

    Also regarding map lights: Myself and some others in the forum were concerned that you can't load up your car when traveling and leave doors open etc. without having the lights on all the time. I was concerned that I could discharge my least during the summer camping months.

    So, I went to the dealer and they disconnected a wire to allow the map light to shut off. (It only took them a couple of minutes.) It is now only on when you hit the button. But, in the winter, that wasn't good either. Until...I found I could put the middle dome light switch into a certain position and it behaved like the front map light had. Same dimming features, turning off when the key is turned in the ignition, etc.

    Optimum would be to have a switch, which I still think I may ask the dealer to put in, or to show me which wires so I can put in the switch myself. But, at least for now, I get some light when I need it and I don't have to worry about battery power come camping season. :shades:
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    Thanks for the update, Kurt.

    Regarding the snow & my car; we haven't had much more around here. I only had the VDC light come on once, and just for a couple seconds. Subie did get up and go great on the highway in a snowstorm. It went so well that I was mainly the only one in the passing lane, going at a reasonable speed, while most others were in a long line in the right lane going 20-30mph. The Subie just kept on going with no troubles, not even a hiccup. I haven't had any emergency stops yet.

    So, so far my only issue with the snow is the rear sliding out when cornering. Typically from a stop. I guess I haven't cornered enough while driving in the snow...or perhaps it only occurs, as someone previously suggested, while accelerating.

    Either way, I don't think it is worth the expense of changing out all 4 least not yet. I think I need to get more up in the mountains to do some additional testing in deeper snow! :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My Miata is a bit tail happy. I did a 180 in the rain, even, before I got better tires.

    When it snows it stays parked, period. Usually my wife can stay home on snow days so I take the Forester.

    We're still thoroughly enjoying the seat heaters. :shades:

    I want them on my next Miata, hopefully a PRHT.
  • nothing but rain in Portland for awhile...lots of left over gravel on the roads makes me very wary as the paint on XT's front bumper is really easy to chip. Hopefully the hood guard will do its job.

    Per sgloon's feedback, looks like two of us have tail-happy '09 Foresters. Is this typical of Foresters in winter, or is this something new for '09 (the transmission was supposedly tweaked for this year) ? I had expected more FWD-oriented behavior. In any event, I'll be careful if we get snow-buried again.

    I did see the VDC light come on but only when I got devious and stopped the XT so one side was on bare road and the other on ice/snow. The XT got going with little drama but the VDC light would come on if I accelerated vigorously (not ridiculously/flooring, though).

    In general, XT / WhiteFang , other than one icy rut spinout (mostly because I accidently pushed the XT too hard once it did get out of the ruts), did very well.
  • While driving several miles in heavy slush, ice and snow in Sisters Oregon, the VDC light came on frequently. When I reached bare pavement and accelerated up to 55, experienced strong front wheel vibration, steering wheel really shaking. Pulled over, left engine running while I checked the tires, wheel wells, wheel weights, found nothing. Vibration still there when I resumed speed. Pulled over again, turned off the engine while I re checked. Vibration totally gone when I resumed speed.

    Does heavy VDC use somehow cause the car to vibrate? Don't think that it was ice build up as everything looked ok. Did rebooting the engine clear a sensor error or something?
  • w8ifiw8ifi Posts: 78
    Most likely some ice had built up, turned to water or slush and centrifugal force of the spinning wheel trapped it in the wheel, when you stopped it had time to drain. It's happened to me.

  • w8ifiw8ifi Posts: 78
    A consumer magazine several years ago made a comment about the tendency to slide out on snow or ice. I have the same problem with my 97 impreza. I'm careful to not accelerate until I'm around the corner and going straight. City right angle streets have to be handled carefully. You have two "G' forces at right angles to each other on the rear wheels. So it's easy to break traction. I've never had a problem on wet pavement just snow or ice covered. Without extra weight it can fishtail easily. Any added weight over the rear wheels must be tied down securely because at 60 miles an hour a 200# weight equals many tons of moving force if it breaks loose in a collision. We've had some eggheads put concrete blocks in the back of their pickups, get in a collision and the blocks flew right through the cab taking the drivers head with it. Juice is a lot smarter than me, I bet he could figure out the force of a bag of concrete or solid in a sudden stop from 50 miles an hour.
    Also, for all cars,slush is completely unpredictable. Traction one minute and none the next. Ice is next for caution. Wouldn't trade my Subie for anything in winter driving.
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    Back in the '60's and 70's when most cars were still rear wheel drive, the first thing you learned when driving on ice or snow was not to accelerate on turns.

    I am not a physicist but it would seem to me that in a turn on a very slippery surface, power to the rear (even if there is more power to the front) could cause a spin out, especially if both front and back are slipping.

    Unless I have the road to myself, when slippery, I have learned to be extra cautous. There are so many "crazies" out there with gigantic pickups and SUV's that they think can do anything. I have yet to try my '09 in the snow, but I am sure it will do better than almost anything else out there. I would also bet that Subaru drivers drive better than most out there.

    Love this Forester.

  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    I had that vibration a couple of times this summer. It turned out it was mud &/or dirt on the tires. One time, it was dry dirt, or rocks in the tread, no water involved to help it stick. The car wheels are very susceptible to balance issues.

    When I had my car into the "new" dealer yesterday, he happened to mention about the tire balance issue... And the fact that the ice/dirt has a tendency to build up on the inside of the tire. He told me how another customer came in and he chipped the ice/snow buildup off the inside of the tire, and the customer drove away with no more issues.

    So, svskyus, I'm wondering if you may not have been able to see the buildup on your tire if it was on the inside...but, that after you stopped a second time, it had fallen off?

    On a similar line, I would love to hear from those with the 16" tires to see if they are having the same issues??? I'm curious whether this could all be a "clearance in the wheel well" problem that causes the build-up. (I have the 17" tires.)
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    OK, My car is hitting all the TSA's out there...or things subaru knows about and will fix. Here are 2 more:

    The "new dealer" will be repainting the area near the wheel wells where the GM material was too small on my car. (Any of the older 09 Foresters will probably have to do this eventually.) If you don't have the chips on your car in that area yet, they will just replace the GM material for you.

    There is also a greasy type of film that develops on the windshield and side windows that appears to come from the defroster. It was really bad while driving in a snowstorm, as you can't just wipe it off, you have to wash it off. :( Otherwise, it comes right back and it is like driving through a haze on the inside of your windshield.

    Turns out, so I was told, the dash is off-gassing with the heat from the defroster. It will take a while for this to go away. Until then, you have to wash your windshield (every day or so). Subaru does have some sort of wash that the dealer said worked no better than Windex. But, I may just have to try the wash, as I am tired of cleaning my windshield. I asked the dealer if the off-gassing in toxic. They said no, but I am skeptical.

    I will try to get Subaru to tell me what type of material is coming off the plastic. I don't want to be breathing it, no matter what it is. :sick: You can also smell this oily type smell on a regular basis with the defroster on. sometimes a gas smell. I don't know if these are related???
  • Meguiars makes a window cleaner that contains an anti-hazing compound. It's one of the few window cleaners out there that will remove oily haze.

    Vinyl is an excessive outgasser that can fog windows. I don't know f Subaru used vinyl-based tubing in the defroster system.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    I have another update on the Map Light issue. I talked to the "new dealer" about putting in a switch for the map light, so I could have it work normally in the winter months and not be on all the time in the summer months when the doors are open a lot (worried about losing the battery).

    It is just one wire that can be plugged or unplugged. This is located (generally) under the glove box by removing 2 panels. Well, he just untapped the wire, then moved it so the connectors are accessible with the plastic panels back in place! :shades:

    This is a great solution as the wires are out of the way and you don't really see them, yet, they are easily accessible to connect/disconnect whenever I want! Yeah! And I didn't have to pay to have a switch put in! :shades:
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323

    Perhaps that is what Subaru is using as their "solution". I might just go back to the dealer to get some...
  • Thanks sgloon for the ideas. It is very possible that it was ice buldup that I could not see. BTW I am running 16" wheels for the snow tires, instead of the normal 17" ones.

    The Hankook winter tires are fantastic, got my car out of a snow drift, when I left my car for 3 weeks while on a trip. Car was parked down a steep driveway, had to shovel my way to the door, then just backed up the driveway thru 10" of crusty snow and ice.. Thought that I would have to spend the day shoveling the drive. ;)
  • Serious bad luck...I bought and picked up my new 2009 Forester X Limited on Monday, stayed overnight at a hotel, and woke up to a huge shatter crack on my windshield on Tues morning. I just wanted to know if there's anything in particular I need to pay attention to when they replace it, since it's a heated windshield. Will I have warranty problems if there are problems with the heating mechanism later on because I'm not getting it done at a dealer? The quote from the dealer was $900 while the one from the glass guy through the insurance company was $350-$400. I stopped by the glass guy and he's one of those places that's been operating for over 50 years, and he seems very reliable. But he's not going to order the windshield from Subaru so I'm assuming it's an aftermarket part....
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