Last post on Nov 02, 2006 at 7:19 AM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Wagon
#4048 of 18028 Timing Belt Change Recommendation from SOA
Jan 16, 2002 (5:57 pm)
This e-mail exchange with Subaru should help explain the timing belt maintenance requirements and consequences of failing to make the change:
From Subaru of America:
Thank you for getting back to me with your VIN. Since your '98 Forester is
a Californian spec. vehicle, the timing belt is recommended to be replaced
at the 105,000 mile service interval. Please follow the schedule detailed
on page 44 of your "Warranty and Maintenance Schedule." Best wishes!!
John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.
Subject: Re: Product Recommendations (E-mail #493925)
Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000 3:04 PM
Thank you for visiting the Subaru Web site, and for your inquiries.
1. The engine in your '98 Forester is a an interference type engine. Damage
will occur to your engine if the timing belt breaks. 2. If you have a
Federal Spec. vehicle, we recommend that the timing belt be replaced at the
60,000 mile service interval. If you have a California Spec. vehicle, we
recommend that the timing belt be replaced at the 105,000 mile service
If you do not know what spec. your '98 Forester is, please contact us again with your VIN, and we will advise you. Best wishes!!
John J. Mergen
Subaru of America, Inc.
YOUR ORIGINAL MAIL:
1. Can you tell me if the 1998 Forester engine (Double Overhead Cam) is
an 'interference' type where the valves and piston tops can come in contact
if the timing belt breaks?
2. What is the current recommendation on changing the timing belt?
#4050 of 18028 Allhorizon
Jan 16, 2002 (9:33 pm)
The H6 is not significantly larger or heavier than the H4 2.5 those are facts from SOA. So you bring up the Audis which are totally different vehicles, so I don't buy your weight/space issues.
Also the target market for the Forester is as a primary vehicle, and a lot of those people will be using it to tow their jetskis, boats, etc. Audi buyers generally will own an Audi + larger SUV, meaning they wouldn't need to have as much towing capcity as the forester since it wouldn't have to do double duty.
Anyone who is buying a cute-ute as a "sporty" vehicle is in the wrong market, none of them are very sporty. Also we aren't talking about the Australian or European or Japanese market. In the US #s of Cylinders, Displacement, and non-turbo SUVs/Cute-utes are key to sales success. They may or may not be the actual best performers but it's all perception here in the US. How else could Ford have sold so many of the crappy Explorers other than percieved notions that were engrained in the minds of the buyers?
Jan 16, 2002 (9:34 pm)
Too many engine options/options in general will kill Subaru as a company since they are such a small producer.
#4052 of 18028 Forester's market
Jan 16, 2002 (11:17 pm)
>>The H6 is not significantly larger or heavier than the H4 2.5 those are facts from SOA.<< I am glad that you guys have enlightened me about this. I did not know that, since it is very different from other manufacturers' engines. My entire argument is about Subaru offering a turbo or H6 to expand the Forester's market, not to simply please its current market. If the H6 is as thrifty and small as you claim, all power to it (no pun intended). In my neighborhood almost everyone owns either a truck or an SUV, but I'd say fewer than 20% of the people ever tow anything. A peppier Forester might appeal both as a second car and as a first car to young buyers. I am not talking about the Explorer market - the Forester has no shot at that. I was talking about the Escape/CRV market (all miniSUVs combined sell about 10 times as much as the Forester - so there is plenty of room to grow). This could be achieved with either a turbo or an H6, in particular, if CAFE numbers are not a problem. Mini/Cute-Utes with sufficient torque/hp can be sporty if they have a good suspension and weight distribution compared to the alternative of (at least some) underpowered small station wagons. For most people, there are many dimensions to consider in making a purchasing decision. One of the problems in the US is that that you have to compare AWD with FWD vehicles, because there are too few AWDs to choose from. Else, you end up comparing Foresters with Passats and Audis, if you happen to like AWD. Mike: >>Too many engine options/options in general will kill Subaru as a company since they are such a small producer.<< I don't get this argument, since all three (H4, H4 turbo, H6) are already being sold in the US and parts and technician know-how are available. - D.
#4053 of 18028 Production
Jan 17, 2002 (4:09 am)
Subaru cranks out Foresters with 1 engine option before the orders roll in. If you offer multiple engine options then you have to more accuritely anticipate what customers will buy. The same reason that roll-up windows are not offered. Smaller companies like Isuzu and Subaru need to have less options (especially engine ones) so they can just produce the vehicles based on total sales, w/o splitting hairs of how many H6s v. H4s
Jan 17, 2002 (8:04 am)
I chimed in awhile back mentioning that my rear windshield washer wasn't working. First of all, let me thank those who responded with the tip to just check the washer fluid level since the intake line for the rear washer is mounted a little higher in the washer resevoir. I checked that, and it wasn't the problem, the washer fluid was full almost to the brim.
Just took the Subie in for the latest oil change and had them look at it, and they fixed it -- said it was clogged. The tech couldn't tell me with what or how it had gotten clogged in the first place, but at least they fixed it.
I also had them look at my outside temperature gauge, b/c it consistently reads about 6-8 degrees high. They were going to replace it but were out of the right sensor and had to order it. I'm surprised it's not adjustable, b/c it seemed systematically off. Perhaps it is and the techs here are lazy. At any rate, it's in the shop today getting that installed, I'll let you know if it works in a day or so. I remember having the discussions here awhile back about the road surfaces being a little warmer from traffic and that possibly nudging up the temperature reading, but I don't buy it for our car, especially since most of the driving we do is on pretty minimally traveled roads.
I love our Subie! Over 11,000 miles now and the most I can complain about is a clogged rear windshield washer and a slightly inaccurate outside temperature gauge, both fixed under warranty. Plus we've FINALLY gotten some snow in Wisconsin, and I am enjoying my first winter driving with AWD!
Jan 17, 2002 (9:15 am)
It depends on which variation of the 2.0l turbo they bring. Some make only 168hp (though torque is good). I was referring to the 227hp version from the WRX. Remember, they have to be tuned for US gas and emissions.
I don't think you can use prices from other markets to figure out what that model would cost here. A Blitzen costs $22k US per an Autoweek article. If so I'll take two, a sedan and a wagon!
A big issue we haven't brought up yet was that GM wanted Subaru to move Forester production to the USA, at least eventually. The H6 is US made, while no turbo is.
And that brings up an even bigger question - will they use a Legacy platform (making the H6 a shoe-in) or the Impreza's (keeping hope alive for turbo fans)?
Automotive News has said it will be a turbo, and in 2004. So then the question is, which one? 168hp from Latin America? 215hp from Europe? 227hp from US WRX? Or even an entirely new 2.5l turbo?
I don't know, but it'll be fun to find out.
#4056 of 18028 Paisan is right
Jan 17, 2002 (9:27 am)
When adding optional equipt., especially for the first time, you run the risk of getting your product mix wrong and costing sales/ and or profit. This has been a problem with the Jaguar X-type, which brought in too many high end models. Subaru has been able to sell their vehicles without resorting to large rebates or customer incentives. Though by the ease of getting them at or near invoice, there has to be dealer incentives on them. Holdback isn't enough to make it as easy as it is. Lack of customer incentives is one reason that Subaru's hold resale better. Every dollar you give away as an incentive will haunt the vehicle down the road at trade-in. Selling at invoice doesn't seem to have quite the same effect.
Jan 17, 2002 (9:33 am)
So true. Pity the Jeep Grand Cherokee owners that bought his two years ago. The prices are $2k lower now, so his resale has tanked.
Speaking of bad resale, a co-worker paid $42k for a C70 convertible, and the ride is so stiff she's trading it in 2 years later with close to 20k miles. She said private sale prices were around $22k. $20k depreciation in two years!
I paid $19,200 for my Forester, and 3.5 years later they still sell for $14k or so. That's 1/4 the depreciation in almost twice the time!