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2009 Subaru Forester



  • An earlier poster said this is a FHI issue, not Subaru; FHI makes it very difficult for Subaru USA to mix and match options.

    Yes, it would make more sense to offer a tilt-and-telescope option across the line. The lack of telescoping steering was one reason I ignored Subaru for so long.
  • Houston, TX
    Dealer - Gillman Subaru
  • Good cars but they tend to get a little ratty with age. Good for local driving but I'm hesitant to take our 02 outback w 96k on a long trip.

    But they are the best of a lot of worlds: AWD, good crash test scores, reasonable fuel economy.
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    I agree, the options packages are too limited. Like you, there is no way I want a sunroof. I went for the base 2.5x 4AT-- I was able to get a good driving position without the telescoping wheel.

    The dealers like these packages because there tends to be more profit markup on them. The younger buyers, of course want all the stuff, and figure its just a little more payment each month.

    I would like to have had the heated mirrors and wiper area, but ain't no way I am paying $4,000 more for it.

    I am happy with my purchase, and I love the car.

  • bigfrank3bigfrank3 Posts: 426
    The problem with options and packages started years ago when the gov started with the fuel requirement certification. EVERY combination sold had to be tested and certified even if it made no sense. If a right side mirror were offered the vehicle had to be certified with the mirror, if a fancy stereo were offered it had to be done again. Then it had to be done with the combinations, mirror with stereo, etc. So if there were 20 separate options available it got quite costly for the manufacturer. The cost back then was something like $500 for each test and certification, I am sure it is more now.

    The manufacturers quickly realized that packages were the answer, so guessed on what most people would want and put them together. This has of course hurt the ability for us, the consumer, to get exactly the vehicle we want. They try to balance the certification cost with the option packages offered to appeal to what they think we will buy as it might be "close enough".

    I am sure the certification requirements have evolved to make more sense, since originally it was based on weight added, but manufacturers still want to limit choices for assembly line reasons.
  • jopopsyjopopsy Posts: 65
    Hey Gang,

    Just wanted to post my results from my trip to the dealer. Essentially they did nothing since no 'codes' were in the computer, not check engine light came on, and everything operates normally except the gauge. Is this hogwash? I know others have commented on this issue; I wonder if a TSB is forthcoming?

  • anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I remember the Forester gas tank is an unusual critter in that it is a "saddle" design, and uses a jet pump to move fuel from one side to another.
    Might this characteristic generate, on occasion, erroneous fuel readings?
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    Well, I finally have an answer for the chemical fogging of the windows/health problems from the Forester!!! It is not the plasticizer in the vinyl/plastic dash or other materials.

    Thx snowbelter for mentioning about contacting Subaru. I did.

    They knew all about it but wondered if all of the dealers did, however. They said it first started with the Impreza, so I assume it may have been around for a while.

    So, it turns out there is something with the rubber type gasket used around the heater box. As the car is in the shop for the rear door panel paint issues and a few other warranty items that are being cover, Subaru called the dealer to ask if they knew about the heater gasket issue. The dealer didn't know, so, Subaru told them what to do, and it will be done with all the rest of the stuff. Luckily, I have a loaner while all the work is being done.

    I just wish I had had the resolution before I got the continual sore throat and swollen lymphs. It is still not going away. Feels like the uvula is coated with sandpaper and that there is a sharp chunk of hard candy stuck in there, like all the time. :sick:

    Hope this helps others that find the same issue.

    I'll follow up after I get the car back to let you all know what happens...
  • If you can learn if there is a TSB associated with this issue, that could help others here.
    I think there are some fogging issues in my '09 but have not stressed the heater enough to really be sure.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    I don't have a TSB, and when I was on the subaru site about a week ago, I didn't see one for this.

    I can recommend that you don't wait too long to get the gasket replaced so you don't get "sick" like I did.

    I bought my car at the end of June. If I remember right, you bought your car before I did Kurt. If so, you may have the same issue???
  • mgagnemgagne Posts: 8
    Nice Job, I live in Montreal Canada and I think I have the same problem with my Forester (june 2008). What is the name and the city of your dealer that Subaru call?

    Thanks, and I hope that your health problem will stop.
  • I bought mine in mid-May, and live in Chicago so the heater's blasting constantly (man, that SOB gets hot)--had a little haze from time to time, but it wipes right off with a dry towel so it may not be the same thing. Unfortunately your situation may be extreme (unfortunate because it may be harder to get Subaru to fix it).
  • I live in Montreal also and am considering buying a 2009 Forester. Some of the owners are not happy with the interior being cheapish and the paINT chipping. What has your experience been? Do you like the car and would you buy it again?!

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    I'm in CO so that probably won't help you.

    Instead, if it is the same problem (read previous posts for further descriptions), go in and see if your local dealer knows about it. If not call Subaru to get more help with it.

    Subaru was GREAT!!! :D with me on the phone, knew exactly what I was talking about without looking anything up. They were very professional. They knew the fix right away. Subaru offered and did call my local dealer (they even asked for the name of the person I was dealing with). Then they called me back to verify what had been discussed, and what was going to happen.

    Just wish "all" the dealers would have gotten this info handed down. But, I don't know if any in my area got it. I had brought the car down to the dealer that sells the most Subies in the country (where I bought it) They knew nothing about it either.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Did they describe, specifically, the fix, or what exactly is the cause? Heater gasket, yes, but what about it? Is it the material? The fit?
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    It is the heater gasket material. They will be replacing it. (Hopefully with a different type of material as I don't know the chemical that I am having a reaction to.)

    I'm pretty sure it is the material and whatever chemicals it gives off when it is heated. I don't know what material it is. They mentioned the "rubber" gasket, but if it was just plain rubber, it would not have had this problem.

    So, I'm thinking there is something mixed in with the rubber. Perhaps next time I talk to SOA I will ask them.
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    This is probably not the best forum to post this, but it seems like the most frequently visited one.

    I have owned two Subies and, with the Chase credit card, have accumulated a TON of Subaru Bucks. However, lately, I'm leaning on not getting another Subaru in the future.

    Does anyone have any ideas what I can do with all these Subie bucks?

  • my only advice is to try to find things you can charge the "bucks" to that will be usable for your next vehicle, or otherwise.
    Clothing? Car covers? Luggage organizers?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 10,925
    Or, if you have time on your hands, you could exchange the vouchers for accessories, then re-sell the accessories on craigslist, etc., for a cut-rate deal. Or, perhaps, get accessories for your current vehicle(s) when you are ready to sell them. Maybe you could use it as a way to glean a few extra dollars out of the sale. When you have someone very interested in the car but a little hesitant on the price, you could offer to throw in a few acessories... their choice!
    2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2008 and 2013 Subaru Forester(s), 1969 Chevrolet C20 Pickup, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250 Pickup
  • I've had mine for 3 weeks, so I can't tell you about any paint chipping. But I have no problem whatsoever with the interior. I don't think it looks cheap, but then again, what trim level are you going for? I have the X Limited with leather seats and think it looks great. (Keep in mind that I had a 15 year old Honda before this car though!) Someone mentioned here that the dash feels cheapish when you run your fingers over it, but a reader responded that he very rarely runs his fingers over the dash so it doesn't bother him :)
  • This model has shown up at the Montreal Auto show. Discussion was very brief.
    The engine was a pzev 170 HP with either 5 speed manual or 4 speed auto.
    ...just as it is for 2009 in the USA.
    No mention of CVT or 5 speed auto.

    You can read about it at Perhaps later this week there will be more information.
  • Do you know when the 2010 Forester will be available in canada ? Also, would you mind informing us of the changes it will have when you know? Curious if it will have Bluetooth, electric passenger seat, etc!!!

    Thank you!
  • While getting the final fix for the rear gravel shields (dealer had to send vehicle to body shop for proper fit - work was well done this time), they loaned me an X-premium, the same one I had driven about 3 weeks earlier, and which was OK.
    The temperature was about 10 degrees lower than last loan (in the low thirties .vs. low 40's).

    This time, over every bump, the same X-premium squeaked and rattled inside as if it was falling apart. The loudest noise was coming from the central console just above the boot for the parking brake. Once that console got thoroughly warmed up, the squeaking calmed down.

    There were lots of other interior squeaks and rattles (center armrest, dash, some in doors, some in headliner); surprisingly bad compared to my XT.

    Other than temperature, I have no idea what else could have caused things to loosen up that much in three weeks.
  • For those who are curious about the new rear gravel shields, I've seen them applied two ways:

    1. starting just behind the large crease in the rear fender, so the plastic stops just at the point of the crease, remaining flat from there to the wheel well,

    2. starting so that an inch of the front of shield is formed to follow the contours of the fender crease, then become flat backwards to the wheelwell.

    Approach 2 protects more of the fender, but is much harder to apply (I've no idea how the body shop formed the plastic to fit the crease).

    How do other's shields fit on their Foresters? :confuse:
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    Re: The dash

    What owners are talking about regarding the dash and the other plastic parts in the car will not be apparent just driving the car around. I didn't think there was anything to complain about until I started really using the car. Putting things in it etc. After a couple of camping trips (and I tend to be pretty neat and careful, especially with the new car), There are all sorts of scratches and places where the plastic gray material has been removed by something hitting it. This is both in the rear cargo compartment and on the passenger side dash area. Even the glove box with the silvery gray color is scratched down to the next color (ie very thin coating on there),

    In comparison, my old subie, which was 27+ years old and lived a full life, had no marks on the vinyl dash/rear cargo compartment. The same gear was put in both cars with dramatically different results. And after 27 years, I just don't worry about that stuff as much as I do with a new car that I want to keep looking nice for quite a while.

    Somehow, this new plastic or vinyl, or whatever the material is, is a lot softer, so it scratches and peels up when just about anything touches it.
  • sgloonsgloon Posts: 323
    Still waiting to get mine back from the shop. It has been a week and a half, so far.
  • The door/window lock switches and mirror control don't light on the drivers side door of our 2.5x w/ premium all-weather pkg. All other doors have no window switch lighting at all. The only thing that lights on the driver's side door are the power window levers. Are the other switches/control levers suppose to light? Also no light in glovebox? What's up? I wish I had test driven this vehicle at night.
  • On '09 XT the window switches are lit irregardless of outside light settings (you can see them glow red in tunnels and other dark places).
    There are apparently no lights for other door switches, nor the glovebox.

    There's a new front footwell accessory kit that adds blue or red LED lighting to front foot-wells only. They're kinda bright but can be dimmed by panel control. Part cost's $40, but installation runs $140 or more (installation instructions were poor).
  • I have a 2009 Forester that's only a month old. The past few weeks I've been smelling some awful gas fumes when I start the car for the first time in the morning. I've seen posts from owners with older Subarus with fuel smell problems but none with 2009s. Plus, most others with fuel odor problems are complaining about the smell in the cab. I smelled it in the cab for about 3 days and since then haven't, but instead whenever I exit the car to let it warm up, it STINKS really badly of fumes outside the car. I've never smelled gas fumes so bad before, and I thought it was because I was warming it up in the garage, so I let it warm up outside and still smelled it all around the car. Anyone have an idea what I should be checking?
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    Are you getting just bad exhaust smell or is it a "rotten egg" smell, i.e. hydrogen sulfide?

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