Last post on Nov 02, 2006 at 6:19 AM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Wagon
#3841 of 18028 Subaru Forester Reliability
Jan 06, 2002 (3:05 pm)
The Forester is touted to be one of the most reliable mini SUVs, according to Consumer Reports, and I'm in the market for a used one. On the other hand, a personal friend bought one new in 1999, and had to have the engine replaced in the first year (manufacturing defect, he was told). I thought this was probably a fluke, given Subaru's good reputation. But just yesterday I found a used 1999 Forester at a car dealer lot, and called the original owner to get more information. I found he had the rear wheel bearings go out within the first year, and was told the wrong type had been installed at the factory. The car has 54,800 miles and he said he had the transmission replaced under warranty at around 49,000 miles, again, he was told it was a manufacturing defect. The dealer is asking $15,200 for the car. Now this doesn't seem like such a reliable vehicle, considering the only two people I know who owns one had serious problems. If this were an American made vehicle, I wouldn't give Subaru a second thought, but I really like the features and the way the Forester drives. Has anyone out there had bad experiences with their Foresters? ("Bad" includes problems even if they are fixed under warranty.)
Jan 06, 2002 (4:42 pm)
Sorry to get philosophical/psychological on you, but it is a fact of nature that people find what they look for. If you are looking for a string of bad experiences with any car, you will find them. If you are looking for recommendations about the same make, you will find them.
Still, best of luck in you endeavor.
#3843 of 18028 some forester info
Jan 06, 2002 (6:21 pm)
My sister in law has a 99 Forester. Over 60000 miles. She loves it. Lives in CT, loves the AWD. Says they've only done the basic maintenance on it. We drove it while we were back there because we're looking at the Forester and a CRV. Liked it a lot. Today we drove a 2002, a simple on/off the freeway, how does it feel, how's the visibility, etc. type of test drive. Really liked it. Subaru is supposedly coming out with a redesigned 2003 Forester in April, so maybe that will free up some 2001 and 2002's and maybe you can make a deal on a new(er) one?
Also have another friend with a 98 forester who likes it. He is ordering the STX so I guess he must like Subaru. I understand looking for a good used one, and I think you're going about it the right way, it just may take awhile to find a good one that someone sold for reasons other than problems....
Jan 06, 2002 (6:43 pm)
I'm up for my 15k maintenance on my forester. Does anyone here do this themselves?
How difficult is it with basic knowledge of car repair.
Also, can anyone suggest a good book on a '01 subaru forester?
Jan 06, 2002 (6:48 pm)
Maybe you misread my post about Forester's reliability. I was "looking for" (expecting)people to have good experiences with the Forester; it gets great reviews in most magazines. My question arose because I was suprised the only people I knew who owned Foresters had bad experiences. I would like to think Forester is still an above average car in terms of reliability, because I really like the way they drive and was set on buying one. So I'm looking to hear good experiences--what is your experience?
#3846 of 18028 clutch problem
Jan 06, 2002 (7:04 pm)
Has anyone had clutch problems with a 2001 forester s+. I had mine dealer replaced at 22000 due to "shimmying" when the car is cold. After the car warms up the problem tends to fade away.
Jan 07, 2002 (3:24 am)
I've had my Forester S for exactly one year, plainly long enough to react somewhat defensively when assuming that someone is attempting to use this board to fish for barbs. ("Has anyone out there had bad experiences....") I apologize for assuming incorrectly. What I appreciate most about the car is the sense of driving confidence it induces as a result of its terrific visibility and handling.
Again, best of luck in your decision process.
#3849 of 18028 Noise while driving in the snow
Jan 07, 2002 (3:52 am)
I drove my 2002 forester s last night for the first time in snow.
Handles great! One thing I noticed however on occasion was a thump sound in the rear when first accelerating. It almost sounded like something was trying to kick in? It happened 2 or three times. Just wondering if it was something activating when you are on snow?
Then of course I got paranoid and thought it was something that the people who installed my hitch may have done wrong. I has the hitch installed on Friday. Anyone out there shed some light on the thump sound when in snow? There was about 4-5 inches of fresh snow down.
#3850 of 18028 Reliability Factor, wbeachy
Jan 07, 2002 (4:06 am)
My '99 "S" bought new has 88K miles and has been the best car I've ever had. Including Toyotas, with their famous & deserved reliablity record. Reliability has been very good although not Toyota perfect. The cruise control failed at 54K; I got it fixed out of warranty for $100, with Subaru helping out the rest of the cost. The alignment was off, causing some early tire wear. I've had brakes & rotors done. BUT: No wheel bearing, drivetrain or other major problems. At 3 years old, the car is rock-solid.
That said, The Forester is a real pleasure to own and drive. It's comfortable, powerful, handles & brakes very well and has all sorts of thoughtful details including a flat cargo area, robust roof rack, heated mirrors etc. Great in snow & rain. Not too big or too small. Aside from its utility, the Forester has a certain cheerful, friendly character & personality - intangible things that are hard to pin down - real pleasure and value for that hard-earned money.
Bottom line? I'd buy a Forester again because of its combination of performance, design, personality and reliability. However, I look forward to keeping my '99 for well over 200,000 miles. If I were looking for a used Forester, I'd check its history and condition carefully to avoid the few problem units out there.