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2009 Subaru Forester



  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    Have you called the Subaru 800# for roadside assistance to see if they will take care of it? It is located on your driver side window. (Or in the manual) If they call someone, then any repair would definitely be covered under warranty.

    I think it would be worth a try to see if it would be covered. If not, the roadside service may cover it as well.

    Worth a shot?

    If you get the aftermarket window, another thing I would look at is if they have that black crisscross shading stuff on the window which is located up by the rearview mirror. It is a big help with the sun, and also, I'm not sure if it may have something to to with the XM radio antenna???
  • Does anybody know of a way to have power to the outlets while the car is parked, no key in the ignition? Our van has this and it is very handy to let phones charge and let our thermoelectric cooler do its job while we're traveling. We've never had battery problems using this feature.
  • if the glass shattered __by itself__ (no obvious impact on it) then it could be a warranty issue.
    I've heard some very loud "cracks" on occasion come from the windshield area. So far, no glass cracks have appeared as a result.

    BTW if anyone knows the TSB number for the rear side shields, I would appreciate knowing. I'm seeing rock damage on the clear bra material Subaru had put there, but the patches are very small and it's only a matter of time before the paint back there gets clobbered.
  • TSB for rear door chips is 13-87-08. My wife's car had some chipping issues on the rear door, but the dealer told me this TSB only applied to early 09s and that the TSB adds the clear material that comes on current 09s (going back several months) and which only cover a small area. The dealer wasn't eager to actually let me read the TSB. Good luck.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    Here is copy of the TSB verbatum:

    Service Bulletin #13-87-08
    Pages: 4
    Bulletin Description: Chipping of paint from road debris is inevitable and unavoidable. This is especially true in areas where heavy salt or cinders are used for traction and also areas where stones and other debris are present, such as construction zones, beach areas, etc.

    We have found some extreme cases of chipping on 2009 Forester rear door area that is beyond the protected film coverage installed at the factory. Therefore, the size and thickness of the protected film has been increased to provide a larger area of protection under normal driving conditions.

    The purpose of this bulletin is to describe the corrective action to be taken when encountering a vehicle that exhibits this paint chipping condition.
    Dealer #1 avoided the issue entirely with me. Dealer #2 has scheduled a new paint job and application of the protective film. He has also scheduled to give me a loaner car while the work is being done. No issues whatsoever with dealer #2, he just looked at it, said yep, that needs to be taken care of.

    Snowbelter, perhaps you have another dealer nearby? And yes, the "older" 09s are covered, but I think that matters whether you have the small or large piece of film on your car rather than when you actually purchased it.
  • orcorc Posts: 39
    I've put our 2009 Forester through the paces now. I've given this critter Hell and here's the results. We've had it in 120 temps and -15 temps. It's been subjected to sever winter snows. (see pic below). It's been in bad off road conditions and long hard highway trips. Here's my latest and honest opinion about the 2009 Forester.

    Paint and interior materials are garbage. Materials wear out fast and paint is thin and scratches easily. On even slightly rough roads anything anywhere inside that's not tightened down will rattle and drive you nuts.For a tall person entrance into the drivers seat seat is a pain.Exit is not so bad.

    Handling in snow and ice is good but not with the terrible stock Yokohama tires. Get rid of those if you can. Suspension is superb for a small car. Moon roof is fantastic - love it. Turning radius is the best - love it. Parke darn near anywhere you want to put it. Mileage is good but could be better.

    Would I buy it knowing what I know now? I don't know. Maybe not. I'm a Jeep guy so I'd probably get a another Wrangler now that the price of gas is lower - Not sure. It's a nice vehicle and different but it's not so great it's better than everything else. I'd say get a Jeep and pay for the extra gas but then if gas goes back up... well, I just dunno. LOL

    Our driveway on Saturday. SE Alaska

  • birdboybirdboy Posts: 158
    my windshield with the heated elements on my 09 Forester also cracked . I heard a loud bang I think from a rock in the road. My insurance Company relpaced it with a Subaru Windshield as no after market ones were available in July. The heated elements and all work fine.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    Burrr! Looks chilly in Alaska!

    Re:"Paint and interior materials are garbage. Materials wear out fast and paint is thin and scratches easily"

    I totally agree. This is the biggest disappointment of the car so far. I had my last Subaru for 22 years and it had less scratches/scrapes etc on the inside & out than this car has in less than 6 months. I doubt this one will last anywhere near the old one's life.

    I wish they had decided to build a quality car. Metal and paint are thin. Plastic is way to soft for everyday use. Just poor materials overall. :lemon: Unfortunately, this was the best car to suit my needs on the market today. And still is, so I still have to love it until someone else comes up with something better. At least the engine and drive train are the same as previous years...

    Than again, perhaps Subaru will recognize these issues and warranty them for us with a total recall to replace the plastic & other lacking materials. ;) Just hoping!!!
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    Its all about pricing versus the competition -- they have to cut somewhere.

    Its unfortunate, but, I still feel the pluses out number the minuses. No scratches, yet, but I am afraid to touch the mudguards -- they look like they could fall off at any time.

    Still no meaningful snow here to test what this car is made of!

  • Bill Visnics' comments about Subaru, posted in AutoObserver 12/31/08:

    "I'm missing something, because the herd press generally fawns about this tractor that looks cheap, drives cheap and has a brazenly cheap interior.

    Subaru's scamming and nobody's calling 'em on it. The opposed 4-cylinder engine is unusual, but it's a gas-sucker - the best a Forester does is 20/27 with a manual and it gets as crummy as 19/24 for the turbo/auto - and this subaru forester engine ain't all that refined, either. And speaking of the automatics, these guys are still out there in the year 2009 with a pre-Cambrian 4-speeder for the Forester, Motor Trend's SUV of the Year. "

    It seems people either like this car or hate it. I can agree with aspects of the interior - The arm rest and center console paint's easy to scratch and I suspect will wear off really easily. The mud flaps are wierd. But ok, while here's only 4 speeds in the AT, but they seem pretty darn well matched; I've driven 5-speed AT's that were far worse. And the engine generally idles smoother than my Camry or Malibu did.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The dash assembly on the Forester is the same as my WRX, and all Imprezas—which I like. I think makes good business sense. Why have two different dash assemblies for different model lines if one that's well designed can make do for both?

    Having said that, Subaru on these models unfortunately has reverted to using hard plastic for the dash, sun visors and door panels. That results in a distinctly low-rent feeling that runs counter to these car's outstanding mechanical quality. I really think Subaru shot themselves in the foot here by using all that hard (cheap feeling) plastic.

    This could easily be rectified by using a plastic that has a soft rubber-like give to it. I recently sat in a Toyota Venza, and it's got a soft rubber-like dash covering. That makes all the difference in the world as to the impression of quality, or lack-there-of.

  • nlbionlbio Posts: 1
    Hi - any one know why the subaru forester 2009 battery dies if you leave the car parked for 2.5 wks to 3 wks?

    seems like a bad flaw.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    It could have happened if any of the doors weren't fully closed. Or if any of the light switches were in the "on" position.

    I lost the battery after only 3 or 4 days. When unloading some stuff from the hatch area something must have inadvertently hit the switch (that sticks out rather than being recessed.) Don't know why they put that type of switch it. It is very easily moved as well. No resistance to help you know it was inadvertently hit.

    Don't know if either of these could have been your situation, but you can't always tell by looking at the outside of the car that one of the doors may not be fully latched. And, if it is daylight out, you typically won't notice one of the lights being on unless you are looking for it.

    Hope this helps.
  • pgb0517pgb0517 Posts: 84
    I guess I just don't put my hands on the dash all the time to feel the softness. Not sure what the fuss here is. It looks good. I think the armrests are comfortable. I suppose time will tell if the plastics wear well.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    It just feels cheap. Many Chrysler products (and others) have gotten hammered for this very reason—the hard cheap feeling plastic in the interior.

  • pgb0517pgb0517 Posts: 84
    Maybe the Forester doesn't bug me so much because our other car is a Focus. Talk about cheap interior (except for the leather-wrapped steering wheel). The thing on the Forester that does bother me is the sun visor. Since I have to touch it, I notice the cheapness, not to mention its lack of an extension. The cloth next to the door armrests is a nice touch. The leather on the steering wheel has a dry feel compared to the more supple-feeling leather on my Focus wheel. But I think the appearance of the colors and textures on the Forester is nice. Maybe they were trying to compensate by looks for the actual feel of the materials. We also have a Town & Country mini-van, again with leather wheel, and it is a mixed bag.
    But I've never had anything as bad as my early-80s Malibus. Talk about cheap. The plastics and vinyl seats all faded to different colors and pretty much disintegrated on contact after a few years.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I agree. I have no problems with the styling of the Forester (or Impreza) interior. It's when you happen to touch the visor, door panels or dashboard, that feeling of cheapness comes through.

    Now I drive an '09 WRX. I think the Forester may be a notch up on the Impreza when it comes to the door panels.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    If the windshield cracked while parked (and you're sure it wasn't vandalism), I'd definitely try and see if Subaru will cover it as a warranty issue. If you do end up going with an aftermarket windshield, make sure it has the heating elements ($350-400 sounds pretty low).

  • PanosPanos Posts: 14
    The windshield on the Forester seems weak and easily damaged! I've had the car for 5 months and it was fine right up until the first major snow storm and since it has a chip and a small crack along with a couple long scratch's from ice on by windshield wipers. So much for the windshield de-icer option..i have to have the blades adjusted since they don't sit on the windshield where it warms up, they sit on top of it...seems like most of the 09's have this issue with the wipers not aligned with the de-icer. I'll have this fixed next time i take it in for an oil change. Other then that, it unstoppable in the snow with winter tires! Perfect car for winter weather.

    My 05' Pathfinder also had a cheap windshield. That also got chipped and scratched very easily. Maybe i was used to my previous BMW's that seemed to have a much stronger windshield and never had one scratched from the wipers.
  • tinycadontinycadon Posts: 287
    CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) -- Subaru said Monday its U.S. sales crept higher in 2008, making the Japanese manufacturer poised to be the only major automaker to post a yearly sales increase.

    Subaru was the first automaker to report sales on Monday. Its December sales fell 7.7 percent to 17,287 units from 18,739 in December 2007, as a big increase in Forester sales failed to overcome declines in its remaining models.

    But Subaru sales for all of 2008 rose by 0.3 percent to 187,699 vehicles from 187,208 in 2007, as consumers snapped up its top-selling Forester and Impreza models. The company is set to be the only major automaker to report higher sales for 2008, as the troubled economy pummeled new car sales across the industry.

    Subaru said Forester sales surged 36.4 percent in 2008. The company's updated 2008 model-year Forester was named sport/utility of the year in December by Motor Trend magazine. The automaker also said sales of its Legacy and Impreza models climbed in 2008, offsetting double-digit sales declines of Outback wagons and Tribeca SUVs.

    "In a difficult market, we were able to establish new sales records for Forester, Impreza and Legacy sedan and also record our highest market share ever," said Tim Colbeck, vice president of sales for Subaru of America, said in a statement.

    The broader industry is set to post steep 2008 sales declines on Monday. For the first 11 months of 2008, every major automaker reported lower sales with the Detroit Three posting the biggest drops.

    A handful of smaller automakers -- including Mini and luxury names like Rolls Royce and Maserati -- posted higher sales as of November, though their volumes are significantly smaller.
  • Thanks all, for the input.
    Unfortunately Subaru would not include the windshield in the warranty. But my insurance company's glass repair company informed me that it's still not available as an aftermarket part, so I get the Subaru part. Maybe the windshield isn't that strong after is backordered for a month!!!! I just hope it stays in one piece until it can be replaced... Interesting fact: I bought the car in MD, so I took it to the MD dealer's service and they quoted me $1000 just for the part. They called my local dealer in NJ and they quoted me $700 just for the part. Wow!
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    offsetting double-digit sales declines of Outback wagons and

    The Forester should be taking Outback sales: Forester has 4" more front-to-back seat room and 2" more back seat width + more cargo room.

    And, of course, is about $2,000 cheaper and is shorter to park. If I were buying today it would be a Forester Limited instead of my Outback 3.0R.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,865
    The off-gassing is par for the course with new vehicles. Though I have read that Subaru is among the highest for off-gassing (read this years ago, would have to hunt for the source), the gasses themselves are only mildly toxic so you would need to be exposed to them in high doses/long periods to significantly increase your risk of health issues as a result. I have heard recommendations to limit use of recirculation mode on new cars to increase the exchange of air and keep gas levels low, etc.

    I noticed significant residue build up on my two new Outbacks, an 07 and 08. The buildup was quite troublesome, as glass cleaners were not usable for up to half of the year due to low temperatures. I would keep a good, dry rag handy to wipe down the inside surfaces of the glass. The residue was still there, but it would eliminate the haze if repeated regularly. On broken-in vehicles, Subaru included, I have not had a problem with a windshield haze, but I am not sure how long it takes for the the off-gassing to finally subside.
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • What a rattle trap!! I am having the same door rattles with my 09 forester. Have they come up with a solution yet. What has been done thus far. My dealer has pretty much blown me off. I am also having a lot of noise from the foam around the spare.
  • Someone wrote an entry in a Forester forum a few days ago stating that dealerships now have a service bulletin regarding door rattles. There is a white waffle-like piece of plastic in each front door that needs to be secured.
  • thanks!! I will see what the dealer will do.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    "I have heard recommendations to limit use of recirculation mode on new cars".

    Thanks for this recommendation, xwesx, sounds like a good idea, both for my health and not gassing up the windows too much.

    I have had other people in the car and they say they have never seen this amount on any car they have been in. It certainly didn't happen on my last new car. And you can see that whatever it is is getting on the plastic parts and even the rear side it is going everywhere.

    I have tried the rag, but it doesn't work as the film that develops is too "greasy" so it just smears it over the window...and actually can make it worse. Visibilty during snow storms/rain etc is compromised cuz of the smearing. I'm looking for the McGeiuars (sp?) that Kurt recommended to see if that works better than windex. Whatever the dealer used to get it off didn't work much better than windex, as when they were done, there were still smears. Subaru recommends Gunk window cleaner, but it is not sold in my area, so that doesn't do me any good.

    I have an appt scheduled on Wednesday, to have another look at it. this dealer, when he heard about the smells, though something else may be going on that could take some time to fix...So if he finds anything, I'll report back after my visit.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    Try Glass Plus and use black and white newspaper to wipe up instead of paper towels.

    Usually, outgassing of plasticizers happens only in warm/hot weather when the car sits out in the sun and the dashboard gets very hot. You may have a different issue of coolant seeping into your heater core and then vapors being blown into the passenger compartment by the fan.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,865
    I should note that I did have this problem with my '96 Outback, when I had a small coolant leak. The results were similar, though I found removing the residue was far easier than the new-car off-gas residue. I just used Windex, but I sure had to scrub it to get a good result!

    Regarding the hot weather, I purchased the '08 in Seattle October of 2007, and had it in some weather that was around 80 degrees several days, so it would get hot enough inside while sitting that I would open it up for a few seconds before entering. There was a slight film after three weeks, when I prepared to drive back up to Alaska, so I cleaned the inside of the windows. However, upon arrival in Fairbanks (after only five more days) and having to use the defroster constantly for about 1500 miles, it was hazing over and was far worse than the film that had formed over the previous three weeks being exposed to intermittently warm (hot for me!) weather.

    As was suspected by the original poster, I think that the HVAC materials are probably adding significantly to the haze - perhaps it is a lube being used on parts in there?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • My servicing dealer showed me the TSB for the rear fender protectors, and the new plastic strips are way bigger than what shipped on '09 XT. They've ordered those parts so hopefully this will get fixed before the paint in that area is damaged (one current guard strip is already dinged).

    As for door rattles, they are fixing them again (rattles came back in very cold weather). Turns out the '09 Loaner I have also has door rattles (I can here them buzzing from time to time) - looks like a weak spot in this car.

    As for annoying overhead creaks from around the light console, the loaner has that too (shows up when defroster is heating windshield or when roof warms up). In my '09, I ended up applying a "creeping" silicon adhesive to the black tang inside the opening where lights mount (just above the mirror, the tang's "secured" by a single gray plastic plug that allows plastic of headliner to creak against roof). The adhesive makes the creep gradual rather than sudden, and so far :blush: , I've not heard any more creaks.

    A pity there's way too much badly matched plastic in this car. Maybe Subaru will do better in '10.
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