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I know of three forester 'issues' that seem to come up as major repairs. 1. Head Gasket (external in the SOHC) 2. Clutch judder 3. Wheel bearings. Any others I should know about?

 

I ask this becuase I was cruising carreview.com and some of the posts about the Forester are, well, very angry. I know that alot of the posts on such a forum are going to be 'worst case scenarios' and that the majority of people happy with their cars aren't going to post about it on the internet. But alot of the complaints had to do with:

The dealer charging way too much for 'routine maintenance', often that isn't on the maintenance schedule that comes with the car.

The dealer and SOA saying things like the clutch judder 'are normal'.

And my personal gripe: SOA making the clutch judder a TSB not a recall.

 

Just some thoughts this morning...

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hi.. i have an 03 forester... I did get the extended warrenty because of the things i hear going bad on the forester...

I am very happy with mine... had a few things go bad but that was all before 30,000 miles

ECM went awry but no one could figure out why... my dealership took care of me while I was without a car....

the clutch judder IS NOT normal... though it does happen alot... it was subarus attempt at going asbestos free clutch... they do have a fix for it and demand that it is taken care of...

there is a problem that arose with the side airbags in the 03s... the wires would get pinched under the seat as you slide it back and forth.... there is a fix for it... a wire separating kit... make sure the dealership knows and fixes it.. there is no danger of the airbags going off... just the codes and the light

Wheel bearings are something i figure i'll just wait for... dunno about how the new models will handle that.... No sign of head gasket trouble on my end yet... though I'm religious about oil changes and using mobil 1 synthetic...

and for regular service... don't go to the dealership... i saved 200$ on my 30k by going to a local foreign car place....

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I believe the difference between a TSB and a RECALL is a matter of safety. If a defect will cause harm and a company can be sued over it it will become a recall. If it's just an annoyance that it NOT normal operations then it will become a TSB. If I were you I would take a printed copy of the TSB to the dealership and tell them this is NOT normal operations if it is listed as a TSB. Good luck and let us know how it turns out for the rest of us that may follow. Setting a precedence can make a difference it getting SOA to take care of it.

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a lady that works across the hall from me bought an 02" forester brand new... its got about 36k on it now and she's been very happy.. nothing has gone wrong with it yet..

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"The dealer charging way too much for 'routine maintenance', often that isn't on the maintenance schedule that comes with the car."

 

If you walk into a dealer, you better have your checkbook handy.He probably has a boat payment due.

Look at the recent posts on trailer hitches. The friendly Subaru dealer wants twice as much as anyone else. Then you got to figure, the other guy isn't doing you any favors and is probably doubling his money at least.

Ya, I know there's overhead and labor, etc, but enough is enough.

Thank God for everyone here on this board that're willing to help out and teach you how to perform your own maintenance and repairs. Not only are you going to save money, but you'll probably do it right the first time.

Can you tell I'm not a big car dealer fan?

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I bought a 99 Forester a year ago from a dealership in Vancouver BC. It had 74000kms on it, fully loaded etc...really nice. We have since put 20000kms on it with nothing to speak of causing us problems. The LR wheel bearing is starting to get a bit noisy, but that's fine, easily dealt with.

As for the dealership, we don't have to take it to the dealership for it's routine maintance to maintain our warrenty, just as long as we have reciepts/proof of scheduled maintanence, everythings fine. Not sure if that works for you in your situation.

 

We are coming up on the end of our 5 year powertrain warrenty, and we are having an independant party do the inspection to make sure we have everything covered off. I suggest the same, as you have to believe that the dealership isn't to interested in "finding" the big problems for your safety at the end of 5 years...bah...

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I have a 99 that had every named issue except wheel bearings.

Lucky me. I got to experience them all first hand!

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Don't forget the oxy sensors! We had one go out on our MT 2002. The replacement is starting to go bad now. Our dealership has an awesome mechanic who always tells it like it is. He says the oxy sensors are too exposed in the Forester, get spashed with slush during the winter, and the thermal shock knocks them out. He also said it won't show up as a check engine light; you just gotta know what a bad one feels like. (lots of stalling, dying, fading, surging, etc.)

 

-Kaja

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Originally posted by subegrl

I know of three forester 'issues' that seem to come up as major repairs. 1. Head Gasket (external in the SOHC) 2. Clutch judder 3. Wheel bearings. Any others I should know about?

 

I ask this becuase I was cruising carreview.com and some of the posts about the Forester are, well, very angry. I know that alot of the posts on such a forum are going to be 'worst case scenarios' and that the majority of people happy with their cars aren't going to post about it on the internet. But alot of the complaints had to do with:

The dealer charging way too much for 'routine maintenance', often that isn't on the maintenance schedule that comes with the car.

The dealer and SOA saying things like the clutch judder 'are normal'.

And my personal gripe: SOA making the clutch judder a TSB not a recall.

 

Just some thoughts this morning...

 

Subegrl are you making this sweeping statement about ALL Foresters??

 

I have an MY03 XS and I have so far run up 26,000kms and it hasn't missed a beat.

I just did a 3451 mile (US Miles) round trip from Brisbane to Melbourne on Christmas Vacation and averaged 29.56 mpg (US mpg) and that included mainly Hwy & some City driving here in Australia.

The Forester even outpulled a Nissan X-Trail uphill where there were overtaking lanes and we were both loaded up.

 

I cannot speak highly enough of my Forester at the moment, I had an MY01 Liberty (Legacy) before the Forester and it had to have the clutch replaced as it got the dreaded clutch shudder after just 3 mths. The MY03 Forester clutch has not yet exhibited any signs of that happening to date.

 

There are lot of US & International Forester owners on another Forum where I'm member and they love their Foresters to bits and I haven't read of any of the things you mentioned above on that Forum.

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are related to cold weather.

The clutch shudder is far worse in cold weather, the piston slap was really loud on mine this AM as it is cold.

Many of the head gaskets on the latest ones start to leak when it is sub zero.

I am hoping that by the time your 03 came down the line they had addressed many of these issues as Subaru knew about them for several years.

A lot of these are not just Forester issues, but 2.5 issues.

I still envy the Kiwis and Aussies that had the good old reliable engines in thier foresters till just lately.

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My 01 is Great!

 

I have only replaced a water pump by-pass hose and that's it.

 

........and I did that on my test drive.........:eek:

 

Satisfied owner!

Glenn,

82 Hatch, well it started out that way.....

01 Forester, bent but not broken......

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Originally posted by cookie

are related to cold weather.

The clutch shudder is far worse in cold weather, the piston slap was really loud on mine this AM as it is cold.

Many of the head gaskets on the latest ones start to leak when it is sub zero.

I am hoping that by the time your 03 came down the line they had addressed many of these issues as Subaru knew about them for several years.

A lot of these are not just Forester issues, but 2.5 issues.

I still envy the Kiwis and Aussies that had the good old reliable engines in thier foresters till just lately.

 

Cookie I have still to hear of any of these issues with the MY03 Foresters down here.

Where have you read about these issues with the Aussie 03 Foresters, I would be interested in reading them matey, especially the bit about "I still envy the Kiwis and Aussies that had the good old reliable engines in thier foresters till just lately."

 

Thanks!

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We had the ej20 in all foresters until 2003, now they have the 2.5 litre.

I much prefer the older forester to the new one, both mechanically and aesthetically. But thats just an opinion.

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I have not heard from Aussie friends and Kiwi relatives about Forester, Outback, or legacy problems at all.

As I say I think you got the good ones with the reliable engines and I quite envy you.

My brothers inlaw have maybe seven Subarus between them. Jed owns two and Norm owns a rental outfit in Queens town and I am not sure how many he has today.

Since they are fine skiing cars he always has several.

Jeds legacy wagon has a bit less power with the smaller engine but it has been as solid as a rock and no unusual problems at all.

I would trade in a minute for the less power of the 2.2 for the fine reliability.

Hopefully by the time you folks got the 2.5 they got it ironed out.

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My apologies :o :o :o :o

 

I misunderstood your post.

 

We have had the dreaded "clutch shudder" problem down here with 2.5's but as yet it hasn't reared it's ugly head with the MY03 Foresters..........touch wood.

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did you see the post that Subaru is finally going to do something about our head gaskets?

It is a bit too late for me and a number of others but it looks like they had it fixed way before yours came out.

I don't think its fair that you get the best beer and the best Subarus!

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