Last post on Feb 08, 2012 at 12:19 PM
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Subaru Forester, Subaru
#28 of 150 Has Subaru fixed these problems?
May 21, 2007 (11:23 am)
My 2000 Forester has had to have 3 O2 Sensors, 3 rear wheel bearings, and 2 head gaskets replaced. Does anyone know if these issues have been alleviated in the 2007 models? Any independent reviews I can read with proof in regards to these problems? I am trading in my 2000, and not sure if I want to deal with more potential problems, although I love other features about the car.
#29 of 150 Re: Subaru Coolant 'Conditioner' [xwesx]
May 21, 2007 (2:57 pm)
I had to have a couple of cylinders "machined" and the valve guides repaired a couple of years ago on my '98 Forester. Since then the check engine light keeps coming on with the same message about misfire on the cylinder, but the shop keeps changing the explanation. I replaced the spark plugs twice and the wires again, they then blew out the injector and switched the wires. Now they are saying that the injectors need to be replaced. I am taking it to another shop for a post mortem but it may be at the end of the road at 130,000 miles as I am afraid it may be endless. I would like to hold onto it for two more years but hearing some of these stories, I wonder. The afore-mentioned job cost $1900, not to mention the followups. I did complain to Subaru but got no response - there was also an issue with warranty on the spark plugs. I don't know if this is a different issue from the one you are discussing, but it's interesting...
#30 of 150 Re: Subaru Coolant 'Conditioner' [98in_cuse]
May 22, 2007 (10:40 am)
Might be the ignition coil, too, that would trigger a misfire CEL.
#31 of 150 Re: Has Subaru fixed these problems? [colosub]
May 22, 2007 (10:43 am)
Wheel bearing design changed significantly for MY2003. They now use sealed ones, completely different. We haven't observed nearly the same level of problems.
Head gasket materials were revised several times, and again, the frequency of complaints here on Edmunds is way down.
I didn't see a major pattern with 02 sensors before, so I cannot comment.
If you check Consumer Reports, you will see higher problem rates on engine (headgasket) and drivetrain (wheelbearings) on certain years in the ranges I describe, so yes, they seem to have improved measurably.
#32 of 150 Re: Has Subaru fixed these problems? [ateixeira]
May 25, 2007 (7:24 pm)
Thank-you very much for the quick reply.
#33 of 150 Which brand of Replacement Air Filter I should buy for Forester 99
May 26, 2007 (7:51 am)
Now it's time for me to change the air filter for my Forester '99 built in Jan'99. I am not sure which brand of the replacement air filter I should buy. I searched on http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/shop_parts/air_filter/subaru/forester.html
and found there are a few brands for Forester'99 such as K&N, Denso, NPN and unbranded OEM. The prices vary from $60 to $9.
Which brands do you guys recommend? I'm from PA.
#34 of 150 Re: Which brand of Replacement Air Filter I should buy for Forester 99 [jetfish]
May 26, 2007 (2:40 pm)
I'm not totally certain but I think Subaru uses Purolator filters. The oil filter for my '98 was Purolator, and I replaced the air filter with one and they looked the same IIRC.
#35 of 150 98 Forester blew head gasket -- is it worth it to rebuild engine?
Dec 09, 2007 (1:02 pm)
98 Forester, 104,500 miles. It seems worth it to rebuild engine but really would like opinions. I'm nervous about future breakdowns of other parts.
No major problems before this. Car runs tight, no weird shifts, clangs, wobbles, noises. Body in good shape. Been rearended 2x at low speed, but frame OK. Front windshield cracked 2x and replaced; power steering pump replaced. Preventative replacement of water pump and timing belt at 60K big service.
Head gasket blew 75 miles from home. Stopped as soon as temp rose and found ugly oily bubbly in coolant overflow. Local shop flushed radiator, new thermostat, etc. did not fix overheating. Pressure test showed head gasket problem. Towed car back home to my mechanic as I am AAA Plus member (100 miles free).
My trusted mechanic says rebuild your engine, oil and coolant mixed in engine so head gasket repair won't be enough. Rebuilding my engine costs $3100, includes 3 yr unlimited mileage guarantee. Labor $1400. Includes new water pump, new seals/gaskets, new oil pump, new timing belt, new rings, new cam bearings, regrind valves, recycle bloc and cylinder heads.
Tradein value seems low $3600, used car prices around $4500-5000. I bought Subaru expecting 200K so upset at this major engine flaw. Prefer not to buy new car, but am liking Honda Element.
Opinions/experiences on rebuilding your engines would be greatly appreciated!">
#36 of 150 Re: 98 Forester blew head gasket -- is it worth it to rebuild engine? [chien]
Dec 11, 2007 (7:08 am)
I had the same or a similar thing happen to my '98 - it didn't overheat and blow up but I had to have half of the engine rebuilt due to cylinder misfirings. That was at 113,000 and I'm now at 136,000. It seems to happen to most of the '98's and some of the later models and most say that if this is taken care of the cars can run forever. I had some problems last summer but these seemed to be cured by a coolant flush and conditioner, new filters, though I may have routine engine issues with summer heat. But it's running great now and I'm trying to go for 200,000 - waiting for a better alternative.
If the body is good, I would do the repair, especially with the waranty - you also seem to be getting more work done than I had to do, so I can't comment on the price. It may be a closer call with your costs and the value of the car. There are others in this forum that are better on the mechanical and cost issues!
#37 of 150 Re: 98 Forester blew head gasket -- is it worth it to rebuild engine? [chien]
Dec 11, 2007 (8:55 am)
I don't know, when the cost of the repair approaches the value of the vehicle most people will recommend you go the new car route. How much for a remanufactured engine?
It does seem a shame to give up on an otherwise good vehicle and unfortunate that the headgasket failed in the worse possible way. I had a Nissan that developed a head gasket leak but the leak was external so was cheaper to repair.
Unfortunately, headgasket failures is the biggest issue with your model year. By nay chance did you get the coolant conditioner added?
FYI, I believe that Juice sold his 98 Forester this past summer for $5k.