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Subaru Forester (up to 2005)



  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Cool. The Forester crew keeps growing! Welcome, Susan.

    Len -- Wow, 15% Post some pictures!

  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,271
    I'm not an audiophile, but I am not 100% happy with my OEM 6-CD changer (in my Forester S+). Although I'm not changing mine any time soon, I'd recommend you to shop around and get a good aftermarket 6-CD in-dash... OEM audio in Subaru is not that good.

    Enjoy your Forester and post some pix when it arrives!


    P.S. Dave is the most common name among Subaru owners. True.
  • speterson1speterson1 Posts: 228
    I second Kate's motion in looking elsewhere for audio. I have a 2001 Forester L with the single-disc CD player and it's not very impressive; not very powerful and very bass-heavy. I would think that for $350 (or less) you could get a very nice sounding stereo + better speakers at Best Buy or Circuit City...


    p.s. You don't by any chance live in the Madison, WI area do you? I know my wife works with a Dave Peterson or Pederson, can't remember which spelling though.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Kate- I'm not sure that there's anything wrong with the OEM 6-CD changer. I think the problem lies with the OEM speakers. Even the upgraded ones only provide so-so sound. I would certainly upgrade them before I touched the in-dash portion. Besides, I really like the way the OEM radio/cassette/CD player operates and the layout of the controls.

    -Frank P.
  • naim110naim110 Posts: 2
    Just got a 2001 Forester L in pearl blue. Had it now for 2 days and just love it. Feel like I got a really good deal. Bought it at Roto Subaru in Arlington Heights, IL from Rodd Stein. He was great to deal with. Now it's time to start adding on some goodies (ie window tint, trailer hitch)
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Congratulations on your Foresters! Must resist...... must resist........must resist.

  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    Sadly, I have to part with my beloved 6-month old baby Forester S Premium. Pix and details at

    She's a beauty. Black, 5 speed, a blast to drive. We'll miss her, but we really can't afford her. I'd like to find her a good home, so please spread the word if you know anyone who will take good care of her...

  • kenskens Posts: 5,869

    Sorry to hear about your situation. That's gotta be tough parting with a brand new vehicle. I hope it finds a good home. I'd love to help spread the word, but I don't know too many Californians willing to go out East to buy a car.

  • kate5000kate5000 Posts: 1,271
    California DMV makes it difficult and expensive, to bring in an out-of-state car.
  • skipdskipd Posts: 97
    A few weeks back I posted a message about an incompetent Subaru sevice department. My Soob needed an alignment (the steering wheel was off center, drifting, etc.) so I brought it to the dealership that I bought it from to have it serviced for alignment, oil change, tire rotation, etc. To make a long story short, they had my Forester for two days and when I got it back it still wasn't aligned properly (steering wheel was off center in the other direction, and vibration in steering at highway speeds). I found out later that they don't even have an alignment rack at their dealership and had to send it to another shop!

    So I took it to another local Soob dealer to have them take a look. They were able to schedule me for the next day. guessed it....needed alignment and the wheels balanced. When I picked it up, it was perfect. The service at this dealership was wonderful, courteous, and hassle free....and they know what they are doing.

    What's my point? First, I'd like to thank those on the board for suggesting I take it someplace else, eventhough I didn't buy there. Second, the moral of the story is this....You can still get great service from a dealership that you didn't buy your Forester from. Buy your Forester at the dealership that gives you the best price, but take it for servicing to the dealership that is the most convenient, courteous, and competent.

    On to another topic....scratches. Several posts back some were complaining about scratches on their Forester's paint. I just wanted to pass on a little info. about a product I used recently that worked pretty good. It's called Color Magic and its made by Turtle Wax. It's a pigmented Wax which is sold in different colors to match your paint. I bought dark blue to match the Blue Ridge Pearl paint. I tried the stuff on a particularly nasty scratch (thanks to an open gate)and I was impressed with the results. Although it doesn't make the scratch disappear, it made it much less noticable. In fact I asked a friend to look for the scratch and he had a lot of difficulty finding it. The bottle states the wax job lasts 12 months. I'm skeptical, but I didn't wax the whole car with it anyway, just the scratch. I would imagine it would do an excellent job on small scratches. I'm wishing now that I would have taken a before and after photo to post for you all.

    One last thing, posted some pics of my Forester here

     if anyone is interested.

    By the way....congrats to all the new Forester owners.


  • maggiem1maggiem1 Posts: 1
    We will be moving to Maine in the next month. We need a new car. Are Foresters or AWD Subaru wagons less expensive in the Southern Ohio area or in Maine? Please advise.
  • cin4cin4 Posts: 30
    The mysterious Forester moonroof rattle has been fixed. I posted here a couple of months ago about a rattle that only occurred when the moonroof was fully open. If it was even partly closed, there was no rattle. Had it serviced today, and was told that the glass was hitting a cross bar in the roof. They shimmed the moonroof, and voila, no more rattle. (At least not on the drive home from the dealership. Let's hope it stays this way!) Everything seems to operate just fine. Just thought I'd let y'all know, in case anyone else has the same problem. Oops, probably should have posted this under maintenance & repair.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Skip- Glad to hear everything turned out okay. From what I've seen posted, Subaru service depts are hit and miss in terms of work performed so it's a good thing that you had another you could try. I like those pictures. Nice color :-)

    Maggie- Subaru's are far more popular in the NE so there should be a better selection there. I know we have a few owners who live in Mass and hopefully they will be able to steer you towards a good dealership. FYI: It is quite common to purchase a Forester for close to invoice. Good luck with the move and let us know what you end up buying.

    Cynthia- I know how annoying a rattle can be so I'm sure you're happy to get it fixed.

    -Frank P.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    "the single disc player alone will set me back $350!"

    If you could wait a little longer, those prices on the single disc players/CD changers would be coming down fast when the MP3 starts to flood the aftermarket (imagine, 10 CDs worth of songs into just 1).
  • punchbowlpunchbowl Posts: 6
    Does anyone know what might be the problem with my back tires? All of a sudden, the tires make this loud noise that I can best describe as "the sound that a small Dash-8 or Cessna airplane's propellers make at take off..." (revving, accelerating, propelling sound). If anyone has experienced this, please let me know. Any guidance will be much appreciated.
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Can you describe when the sound happens? All the time? At certain speeds?

  • armac13armac13 Posts: 1,129
    from your brief description it is possible that you are hear wheel bearing problems. This is a known problem with some Foresters.

  • Well after placing an order for an Escape then seeing the poor IIHS crash ratings, I came to my senses and cancelled that order. In it's place we drove home in a silver 2001 Forester L last week. Great car - sorry - SUV! No recalls, no shakes, no rattles, just great handling and ride.

    Has anyone else had problems installing their roof racks? I called the dealer and he said that the instructions were backwards(?) and the drill points weren't wide enough to get the end clamps to fit the roof rails. New one's are on the way so no problem really.

    Now to my question - I didn't upgrade the radio/cassette because I assumed that I could purchase and after market CD changer (I still wanted the cassette!). I haven't been able to find a changer that has a cabling harness to match the stock radio. I could still change everything out and come out ahead ($$) but has anyone else installed a CD changer with the stock radio/cassette?
  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    I wrote and sent a message on this topic last night, but somehow the E-gremlins must have eaten it, because it never showed up. Anyway, I had new speakers installed in my '01 S yesterday. The bottom-of-the-line factory speakers sounded horrible. I got MB Quart component midrange and tweeters in front, and coaxials in the rear. They make a huge difference with the stock 6 disc changer. I may still replace this unit with an aftermarket one since it would give me more power and fine tuning of the sound. I got a price on a Pioneer Premier model 430 CD receiver of $250 installed, and I'm still deciding. I'm also thinking about adding a Kenwood self-powered underseat subwoofer, but I can live with the sound for a while with the new speakers.

    I installed the interior air filters yesterday, and I'm happy to report they went right in with no problems at all. One word of advice: watch your eyes when you pop the retaining clips off the trap door; the first one shot under the seat and wound up on the rear floor. Just keep your hand in front of it to keep it from launching across the car!


    PS: Sorry, Frank P. and Ken, but posting photos is kind of over my low tech head at this time! How does one go about doing that?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Please see the Help files in the navigation sidebar--there's a section on posting pics. Thanks,

    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • punchbowlpunchbowl Posts: 6
    The noise seem to start all of a sudden a few weeks ago. Since then it's been constant: I can hear it at all times/speed. It does get way worse, though, at highway speed. Then, it really feels like we're in an airplane. The sound seem to go hand in had with speed (aka tire rotation speed.)

    [[Of course, I am going to check with the dealership (there's a little bit left on the warranty), but I wanted to arm myself w/ sound and expert advise to rebuttal the dealership's usual "there's nothing we found wrong with your car, Ma'am!" My bet is: they'll know exactly what's wrong the minute warranty is up.]]
  • rtc1135rtc1135 Posts: 1
    I've been shopping for a new Forester and would like some advice on the following issues:

    - Is a 2001 or a 2002 Premium S+ a better buy at the moment, taking into account that even a new 2001 has already lost some value and the 2002 will be last year before the model change in 2003?

    - My major complaint is the lack of rear leg room, I understand the 2003 will solve this problem, any idea how much more the 2003 will likely be than 2002?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Not sure how to answer your first question??

    We're "assuming" the '03 Forester will be larger. Nobody knows for sure yet. I think (actually assuming again) later this summer it will be released in Japan.

  • sweeneyjoesweeneyjoe Posts: 14
    To answer your question about the costs of 2001 S+ vs. 2002 S+, I just bought a 2001 S+ and got it for a few hundred under invoice. The best I saw for a 2002 S+ was a couple hundred dollars over invoice. Also you can get finacing deals from Subaru on the 2001s. While I guess the resale value of a 2001 is lower because of the "age", the cars are essentially identical, so the I think real value to the owner is the same.
    Good Luck.
  • jackleungjackleung Posts: 79

    Mine is also Aspen white too. I use Madico Autolux w/ 35% on the 5 back windows and something ligher (60%?) on the both side windows.

    It's cost me $250 (include tax)



  • dale41dale41 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Forester S w/premium package, only two days new to our household. Thing is, when I turn off ignition and exit the car, I get an electrical shock from driver door when closing the door. Anyone experience this before? I am not sure if it affects passenger side too, but will test this today.
  • rsunicorsunico Posts: 82
    Hello all,

    I purchased a new Subaru 6 CD player for my Forester L. How difficult is it to remove the radio and install the CD player to the factory radio? Or should I just take it to the dealer? I purchased the CD player (new) .. it was on ebay for 240... I figured the single CD player is roughly 350.. this was a deal..
  • bigabigdbigabigd Posts: 4
    I will be trading in my 1995 Legacy (sob) and purchasing a new Forester, 5-spd I in the next month. I have not seen any posting on the following two topics in this club:

    1) Anyone have experience with after market exhausts like the Stromung system? Cobb Tuning in Dallas installs them and also their "stage 1 kit" which adds a lighter engine pulley as well. The claimed power increase is 16-20HP for the kit. For about $650, this appears to be an excellent investment to take the Forester to about 185HP or so.

    2) Is there anyone knowledgeable on synthetic oils? I never ran them in my 1995 Legacy but have heard excellent things about them from other people. Supposedly, they will add a little power and gas mileage, while keeping engine wear to an extremely minimal amount. I read a test of a Triumph motorcycle recently where they ran 2 engines for 100,000 mi., one with regular oil and the other with Mobil 1. The engine with regular oil had a lost of wear, while the one running Mobil 1 appeared to be new after it was taken apart. What do you think??
  • vtwomanvtwoman Posts: 14
    I went through the same questions last week before I bought my 2002 S + Platinum Silver. What decided me was 1) no Silver 2001's left, 2) the leather seats (not available on 2001) which at first I didn't want but now I love, and 3) the fact that I got the car just at invoice, not a couple hundred higher. And I couldn't wait for 2003! Good luck. Susan
  • peterson10peterson10 Posts: 116
    Thanks to everyone for their input regarding the OEM CD player. Now on to something frivolous: yesterday I saw a Forester (L, green) with fender flares. I was surprised how dramatically they effected the overall appearance (for the better, I thought). What is the prevailing opinion out there; are they just a frivolous fashion accessory or is it possible to justify them, however twisted the logic, as additional body protection? If there latter, let me know so I can make the pitch to my wife before we pick up our new Sube on Friday.

    Thanks again,
    Ubiquitous Dave
This discussion has been closed.