Last post on Oct 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
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Subaru Forester, Future Vehicle, Wagon
#1658 of 3748 Potential Head Gasket and Engine Issues
Jun 13, 2008 (4:48 pm)
I am considering purchasing a new 2009 Forester, but in reading the posts in various Subaru discussions, it appears that at one time Subaru had some real issues with head gasket failures leading to expensive repairs or engine replacements. From what I can tell (not having ever owned a Subaru) most of the failures mentioned in these discussions occurred on late 1990s to early 2000s model years.
I don't really see any discussion of issues for the most recent models. My question for someone with knowledge and experience with these engines is, did Subaru do something specific to improve head gasket durability, or is the reason that late model years aren't having failures is just due to a lack of time/mileage?
I really like the design and styling of the new Forester better than any comparable smaller SUV, but wouldn't want to be in the position of having to make a major engine repair after 6 to 8 years of ownership.
#1659 of 3748 Re: Questions about 2009 Forester [phdhusky]
Jun 13, 2008 (5:48 pm)
Thanks for your thoughts about the differences between these 2 vehicles.
Can you elaborate on what's better/different about Subaru's 4WD system compared to Honda's. I've never had a 4WD vehicle because it's not absolutely crucial to me living in Northern VA. However, I obviously can't buy a Subaru and not have it be 4WD.
#1660 of 3748 Re: Side Wind Deflectors for 2009 Forrester? [mwasnidge]
Jun 14, 2008 (4:00 pm)
Thanks! I went to Add-On and Yipes Stripes today (local add-on accessory shops) and the folks at both places told me that Weather Tech and Auto Vent Shade don't have them available for the 09 Forresters yet, but expects them to be out in 2-3months.
#1661 of 3748 coffe cup holder mishap
Jun 14, 2008 (4:29 pm)
This morning while trying to lift a small cup of coffee out of the deep square coffee holder the lid came off spilling hot coffee all over. This created a very unsafe situation in several ways. Has anyone out there found a remedy for this ? poor design in my opinion and I think Subaru should offer us an safe insert.
#1662 of 3748 Re: Potential Head Gasket and Engine Issues [johnc19]
Jun 14, 2008 (9:46 pm)
You might want to do a search on "head gasket" in the Subaru threads here. Your question comes up fairly often. There was a period when some head gasket problems were occurring but not on every engine. Still it was enough that Subaru worked on the problem quite aggressively. For the last six years or so it apparently hasn't been an issue, so whatever they did fixed it. It doesn't mean it can't happen but it is very unlikely. No manufacturer has a 100% perfect record on anything as complicated as a vehicle.
Subaru's are still noted for their excellent reliability. Their engines are certainly at the top for reliability and length of service. I've owned two Dodge Omni's, one "K" car, and a Neon ,all 4 cylinder, and every one had head gasket failure. Chrysler wouldn't provide financial assistance on any of them. Many Subaru's are on the road with over 200,000 miles with no engine issues.
#1663 of 3748 Re: coffe cup holder mishap [birdboy]
Jun 14, 2008 (9:58 pm)
Search for "cupholders" in this discussion and also for my name "pgb0517" -- I posted an update on my quest for the perfect cupholder insert not long ago.
#1664 of 3748 cup holder inserts
Jun 15, 2008 (3:58 am)
I just googled and found a black molded plastic insert www.boatmartusa.com. They come in 2 sizes and are inexpensive. They come in 2 sizes. Model ch-2b Standard 2-7/8"x2-3/4 diameter or 3-3/4" diameter. Any suggestions or thoughts on this product? Thanks.
#1665 of 3748 Re: cup holder inserts [birdboy]
Jun 15, 2008 (5:25 am)
I have found several products like these in the RV/boat accessory lines. Problem is, they are a single size. I prefer either the ones with graduated sizes (bigger at the top, getting down to soda-can size in one or two steps), or those that somehow adapt to different sizes. My post on cupholders from a few days ago has some options. I'm still researching. I've also e-mailed SOA telling them to come on fer cryin' out loud and make us an insert. It's 2008, manufacturers should have this nailed!
#1666 of 3748 Busy thread - 34 new posts
Jun 15, 2008 (6:11 am)
sgloon: on the 98, the fender flares covered part of the rear door, protecting then when you opened the door. I guess I'll have to take a closer look at the new wheel well covers to see if it's the same way - doesn't the rear door overlap a bit with the rear wheel well?
Plus is protects you from other cars opening their doors.
johnc19: our 2009 Forester actually shifts more smoothly than our minivan (2007 Sienna), even with fewer ratios.
birdboy: 29-31 mpg sounds great. Ours is already up to 22 mpg and we're still on our very first 1/4 tank.
redherring: thanks for checking the starting-in-2nd for the snow.
volkov: my Sienna nearly stalls up a snowy hill because the TRAC is so invasive. I think starting in 2nd will be more effective because there may be no slip to begin with. Either way, it's nice to have the choice and full control.
Jun 15, 2008 (6:21 am)
irollit: congrats, we have the same vehicle! Our is Newport Blue Pearl, what color did you get?
We also ordered. Get a VON from your dealer, then you can check your status by calling 800-SUBARU3. They were great, they told me when it was built, gave me the VIN, told me when it would arrive at the port, then when it actually arrived, they even predicted (accurately) the exact day it would arrive at my dealer. They said Monday or Tuesday last week, and sure enough, it arrived Monday and we took delivery on Tuesday.
Hang in there, it's worth the wait!
sylviecat: of course you can negotiate price. Demand is high so discounts may not be as plentiful, especially since those models are in demand.
johnc19: Subaru switched to a new head gasket material around 2002 or so. If you read Consumer Reports, you'll see the reliability ratings improve rather dramaticly right around that time, and for all models. That was enough for me - we traded our 2002 Legacy for a new 2009 Forester.
That 2002 Legacy went 62k miles with no problem, in fact we never once used the extended warranty.
Before that we owned a 98 Forester and it went 87k miles with no head gasket problems, either. Perhaps we were lucky. Any how, the new gaskets seem to be much better, plus CR's data confirms that.