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2009 Subaru Forester



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Time for a clay bar treatment? :shades:

    The guy who bought my 1998 drives it near where I work. I saw it on the street one time and it was filthy, I nearly cried. :cry:

    When I had it that thing was in great shape, the wheels were even waxed. At 9 years of age it looked like maybe a 2 year old car.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    I'm noticing the '09 XT has one odd quirk. It loves to slam its rear wheels back down after going over bumps. Examples are speed bumps; the front goes over fine but the back likes to "kick its heels" (jumps up and slams its suspension bottom limit).

    I suspect there isn't enough rebound damping. My brother's Lexus 400h goes over the same speed bumps without any kickback.

    Any suggestions for shocks that provide a little more rebound damping? I may change them over when the main vehicle warranty expires in another year and a half.
    I don't plan to change the springs as there's no interest in lowering the vehicle!
  • sd70sd70 Posts: 9
    Well. I was thinking clay bar or Meguiars Ultimate Compounnd, then polish, then wax. Then I'll hit the wheels with some Duplicolor wheel paint to bring them up to snuff.

    Anyway..... I'm getting a bit off topic so i'll stop hijacking the thread now.
  • I am giving serious thought to turning in my '98 Explorer under the C4C program and would likely look at smaller SUV's. There seem to be quite a few good vehicles in the category. 2009 Forester is one of my favorites, but I noticed in Consumer Reports that it didn't score too well on reliability- I think it was ranked as average. Does anyone know what is hurting the reliability score? I can't find any information on that. Maybe just typical first-year issues? To me dependability is big issue and if the Forester is just average that's a concern. Thanks!
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    2009 was a first year model. It suffered from rattles, various engine glitches, and other first year hiccups. Some XT owners had engine failure (you can read those reviews in Edmund's consumer reviews).

    Subaru is currently well below average for initial problems with cars. Still, "well below average" means they have 1 or 2 more problems per vehicle than the best cars.

    I'd suggest waiting for the '10's as they should have '09 TBS's addressed during assembly.

    CU ratings are sometimes hard to decipher (a car that does well in measurements may be rated lower in total, when compared to other brands) but in absolute terms, everything for '09 Forester appears to rate as "better" save fuel system and power equipment, which rate "better-average".

    I'd suggest researching your potential dealer to make sure they have a good service department and will fix whatever warranted problems you encounter.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    First year model, like Kurt said, so call it v1.0 Syndrome.

    Still, the average car today is very reliable, much more so than, say, in the 1980s.

    Having said that, we have all sort of conflicting early information:

    JD Powers says it's slightly below average in their IQS study.
    CR predicts "Average" reliability.
    TrueDelta recorded promising early numbers and the Forester stands out as one of the most reliable new cars for them.

    Hard to say what that means in the long-term.

    I had a 1998 Forester, which was the very first, and it gave me 9 great years of service and even sold for 40% of what I paid originally, so I'm not concerned.
  • billwvbillwv Posts: 48
    Hello iamrod,

    As a follow up in my situation, and information which may be useful to you:

    Is yours a PZEV?

    Talked with rep today after he experienced cold start:

    It is normal for PZEV which tries to throw exhaust back into catalitic converter. What convinced me, he explained it will stop the roughness if you hit the gas or if you shift to N -- both of these I have experienced. He said many complain.

    Only happens with PZEV 4AT.

    He also said impossible for engine to do anything abnormal without setting lights/codes.

    I am now convinced it is normal. Hope this helps you.

    Am interested in your experience with dealer.

  • bikerguy3bikerguy3 Posts: 43
    I concur with the other posted responses... most of the issues that are negatively
    impacting the '09 Forester reliability ratings are related to it being a new 1st-year

    I bought my '09 Forester X M/T w/ Premium Package when shipments first arrived
    (Feb 08). I now have about 15K miles on the vehicle.

    While I've been fortunate and not experienced most of the problems
    posted/reported, I've had one minor issue (rattle from inside door) which I fixed
    myself; and one major issue which was undersized plastic film rear fender
    protectors which required (under warranty) repainting and upgrading of the plastic
    film (which Subaru phased into all production vehicles by mid-2008). To their credit,
    Subaru did step up and repair my Forester under warranty with no hassle.

    I also upgraded the not-so-great (IMHO) stock stereo system.

    The only "nagging" concern I harbor is with the long-term durability of the
    body/paint. Only time will tell, but the exterior appears to be very thin and
    lightweight (compared to other vehicles I own/have owned)... hopefully there
    will be no issues down the road.

    Based on my ownership experience to date, I am confident the Forester will prove
    out to be a very reliable vehicle. And for me the feature mix is unbeatable - ie I
    wanted inclement weather performance (AWD), big sunroof, manual xmission, good fuel economy, SUV/wagon stowage capacity, and reasonable purchase price.
    The '09 Forester delivers on this and more!

    Good luck with your purchase decision...
  • Thanks all. I would not be looking at a turbo, so the engine problem doesn't bother me too much. I have heard concerns about the paint- not a big deal. Also not looking for a premium audio system. Glad to hear that most of the issues are minor and may get ironed out as they get into the 2010's.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Forester X cost for 10,000 miles of driving;
    $2.69 gal @ 22 mpg

    Forester XT cost for 10,000 miles driving;
    $2.99 gal @ 20 mpg

    Outback H6 cost for 10,000 miles driving:
    $2.69 gal @ 18 mpg

    These are all 2010 models being compared.
    Interesting that fuel expense for the Outback H6 is similar to the Forester XT.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The new 3.6l H6 runs on regular fuel. So it uses more fuel, but the fuel itself is cheaper than the premium the turbos want, so it balances out.

    The CVT Outback 2.5i is rated at 31mpg highway, mama-mia! Ultra-tall highway gearing gets the credit for that, it's chugging along at 2000rpm at 80mph.

    That makes me want to sample a Forester's lighter, maybe 32mpg? Sign me up!
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    That makes me want to sample a Forester's lighter, maybe 32mpg? Sign me up!

    But at what price? I would not be surprised at higher production cost for the CVT than the 4-speed's guts which is probably a high volume production JATCO unit.

    Does anyone know who actually builds the CVT belt assembly? It would be no surprise if it is JATCO with parts shared by Nissan and Toyota.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Does anyone know who actually builds the CVT belt assembly? It would be no surprise if it is JATCO with parts shared by Nissan and Toyota.

    Several articles said the Subaru CVT's chain is licensed and sourced from the same company building Audi's CVT's (it does not use a belt - the chain has much greater strength and wear resistance). The rest of the CVT is built by Subaru.

    The 5-speed auto is probably the same one Subaru has used in the past with a few updates. I've read it's sourced from Nissan and is in limited supply.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Those wanting to report their Forester's reliability, especially those with XT's, might want to visit the website and give them your service history.
    They ask very few "personal" questions.

    I don't work for them, BTW.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    The 5-speed auto is probably the same one Subaru has used in the past with a few updates. I've read it's sourced from Nissan and is in limited supply

    Subaru has previously stated that it is a JATCO 4 speed modified by Subaru to five speeds. I believe the modification process is the bottleneck.

    If the CVT chain and pulleys are common with Audi why the seemingly low torque capacity? Or is there a fore-and-aft dimension increase that is incompatible with the six cylinder in the chassis?
  • samiam_68samiam_68 Posts: 775
    The CVT Outback 2.5i is rated at 31mpg highway

    The '10 OB CVT is rated 29 MPG on the highway. Legacy CVT is 31.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    If you're asking why the H6 doesn't have the CVT, I suspect it has to do with Subaru wanting to prove the CVT in real-life conditions with a less powerful powerplant. I fully expect the H6 will get the CVT in a year or so. Keep in mind that Subaru is a very conservative company. They're just playing it safe.

  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    They're just playing it safe

    Or cheap. The cost of re-certifying a low volume product with the CVT could have been too much....and if fuel economy rules are tightened much more the 3.6 liter engine with either transmission may become history.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    Subaru still has not utilized Direct Injection.
    That should improve fuel economy and low end power for all their engines. :shades:

    They also should get rid of the series coolant flow of the H-4 engines and use the parallel flow scheme the H-6 gained when adapted for the Tribeca. That change in cooling was one reason the H-6 became able to use regular grade gasoline.
    ....and yeah, they'll have to redesign the H-4 engine block for that, which is a big expense. :surprise:
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 694
    That change in cooling was one reason the H-6 became able to use regular grade gasoline.
    ....and yeah, they'll have to redesign the H-4 engine block for that, which is a big expense

    I know they bored and stroked the 3.0 block and employed the odd assembly procedure for pistons and rods, but was not aware of new coolant passages other than in the head which they discussed publically. Are you sure the block got that change?

    Even with direct injection and CVT the fleet average fuel consumption might still be too high to keep the six unless they successfully introduce a small high mpg model. Perhaps the Toybaru roadster would help. :D
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