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#1 Canadian


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Posted 21 February 2004 - 08:17 PM

Hi to all the members of this forum. I'm new here. We're considering buying a 1999 Forester. We took it for a drive, and it drives quite nicely, but there's a lot we don't know about this vehicle.

First of all, there's 161,000kms on the engine -- I guess that's about 80,000 miles. I've never driven a car with such high mileage, and I'm wondering just how long these engines are good for.

Also, I haven't driven all AWD before -- only rear, 2, and 4 wheel drives. When the Forester corners, it seems to really grab the road -- in other words, I don't have to accelerate as much around the corners as I have had to in other vehicles. Can anyone tell me how AWD should feel when you drive it? The car does feel like I have to "handle" the steering a little more than a front wheel drive. The car just had a wheel alignment, and it seems pretty straight on the road.

It's got Michelen tires -- I think that's good -- any thoughts?

How about the tensioner and the belt? How often do these have to be changed?

The engine light came on when we were testing it. The dealership immediately took the car into the shop and changed an oxygen sensor, which resulted in the engine light going off. No other codes came up.

Any advice or information would be very much appreciated.

Also, what kind of oil do members here use. If we get the vehicle, we're going to have it serviced before it leaves the shop, so I'm wondering about dino versus synthetic.


#2 ferret


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Posted 21 February 2004 - 08:57 PM

Canadian, My $.02
The 99 has the phase 2 engine, pretty reliable. Cold start you will hear some piston slap until it's warm. Some develop external coolant leaks (head gasket), but Subaru has just released a coolant additive to help prevent that. (earlier DOHC's have a different head gasket failure. These tend to be internal to the cylinder).
If it's an Automatic, then it's pretty much in front wheel drive until you encounter slick conditions. The 5 speeds are in a 50/50 split all the time.
Timing belt. tensioner, pulleys, water pump pretty much are done at 105,000 miles on this engine. Also a good time to check and tighten the oil pump screws and replace the front crank seal whiule your in there.
I do prefer Michelins, I've gotten good use from them.
I also have had oxygen sensor problems . 4 replaced so far.(I have a 2002 now with 54K). All were repaired under warrenty. None since the last at 35K.
As far as dino vs synthetic's.......That's an ongoing discussion here. For my part, it's pretty much up to the owner and their wallet.
If you buy it, Good luck. Subaru's have been good to me. The 2002 Forester is my 5th starting with a plain 78DL.

#3 wirelessenabled


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Posted 22 February 2004 - 09:00 PM

161000 km is 100041 miles.

1 km is .62 mile

1 mile is 1.61 km

#4 Setright


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Posted 23 February 2004 - 01:04 AM

The engine should go double that mileage without bother. Provided of course you replace oil/oil filter and coolant at the required intervals :D

#5 ScoobySchmitty


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Posted 23 February 2004 - 09:13 AM

Originally posted by Canadian

The engine light came on when we were testing it. The dealership immediately took the car into the shop and changed an oxygen sensor, which resulted in the engine light going off. No other codes came up.

I would have hated to be the dealer on this one :D Oh well, S**t hapens, you just have to deal with it. From what I've seen on this board, it sounds like a good run of the mill Forester. ferret was right, if it is automatic, it puts 90% to the front, 10% to the rear, and will shift power to the gripping wheels when a wheel slips. The 5 speed is 50/50 all the time (why I like it in my Legacy), and as far as driving, I would say it's the best mix of front wheel drive stability and rear wheel drive predictability. In any case, hope you get it for a deal! I would work that dealer on the check engine light, see if you can have him drop a couple hundred, 1k maybe? :D Good Luck!

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