Last post on Oct 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester
What is this discussion about?
Subaru Forester, Future Vehicle, Wagon
#3288 of 3748 normal maintenance costs
May 20, 2009 (12:35 pm)
I have a 2000 Maxima thats still in good condition, so I'm not in a rush to trade. But since we're getting older, looking at a smaller SUV for easier entry, etc.
The '09 Forester impressed us. The Subaru's have a great reputation.
I have a concern about maintenance costs however. I've read some posts comparing costs, but not actual prices. How much higher should your normal factory suggested maintenance costs and frequency be for the Forester, than say a RAV4, CRV for example.
I'd appreciate any feedback.
How about resale value, are all three brands comparable?
#3289 of 3748 Re: normal maintenance costs [debating]
May 20, 2009 (2:56 pm)
We have 3 subarus, my 09 Outback, my wife's 07 Forester, and my son's 94 Legacy (which used to be mine). My daughter is the only rebel - she has an 02 Chevy Prizm (=Corolla), which also used to be mine. I think I can be objective about maintenance frequency. The Subaru owner's manual calls for new plugs every 30K miles, along with brake fluid and coolant changes. That's a far greater frequency than other manufacturers - but we choose to buy them despite the increased frequency. Dealer prices for the service vary and the cars themselves are not difficult for independent mechanics to work on. I do the simple things (- which is everything on the 94). If I follow the recommended intervals for the 07 and 09 - I will change the plugs the 4th time when I change them for the first time on the Chevy Prizm (Corolla). I may stretch it out to 40K and examine the plugs closely. Despite the maintenance, I was convinced that the subaru AWD system's performance and driving experience (no torque steer, lower center of gravity) was superior to that of the RAV4 and CRV - both of which I considered. The one big advantage to the RAV4 is the v-6 option. Insurance savings for a subaru might be enough to partially offset increased maintence expenses.
#3290 of 3748 Re: normal maintenance costs [morin2]
May 20, 2009 (4:12 pm)
Thanks for the response. It's kind of shocking to see 30K plugs, brake fluid and coolant change. And plugs when most today are 100K. Is that possibly due to the boxer engine design?
I learned when we looked at cars last summer, and the reviews for the Forester caught our eye, did some research and Subie's have a loyal following. One of my son's has the Subaru with the bed, an '05 possibly.
#3291 of 3748 Re: normal maintenance costs [debating]
May 20, 2009 (5:21 pm)
Yes, I agree that it was a surprise to see a 30K change interval for a modern car and I also wondered if it was due to the boxer design (perhaps we should check Porsche's interval). I also don't intend to follow it. I'll probably change the plugs this summer on my son's 94 - they haven't been changed since 90K and it now has 150K and runs fine. My wife's Forester already has over 30K and I'll probably stretch it to 40-45k and then examine the plugs closely when I change them. I'll probably do the same with my Outback because both vehicles get almost all highway miles (mine 108 miles/day highway commute). If we drove city stop & go, and short trips, then I'd adhere to the Subaru recommendations. The complete 30K list includes a lot of "inspections" as well as oil change, tire rotation, and air filter - all of which I didn't mention originally because they are not out of the ordinary, although i usually get more than 30K on an engine air filter (but not the cabin filter!). I may have the dealer do the initial service only because things seem to be overtightened at the factory, in my experience. I look up the torque specs and ask that they tighten no more than specified. I have a Chase Subaru rewards card - and the rewards (3% rebates on all purchases,in the form of $100 subaru bucks certificates) can be used to pay for service in addition to parts, accessories, or can be applied toward a new or certified used subaru.
#3292 of 3748 Thanks again for the handy info
May 21, 2009 (5:14 am)
It helps in making an informed decision, since Subaru has a more limited customer base to ask for feedback. But since our initial interest last summer, I've kept an eye on Subaru's on the road, most appear to be long term owners. Thats always a good sign. Some cars age well, and have mostly satisfied owners. I know our local dealer has a very limited amount of used Subie's on his lot.
It would also depend on the dealers service department. I've always went by the owners manual for maintenance schedules. And a lot of service departments want to throw everything but the kitchen sink into the mix.
I'll have to check the Porsche recommendation for plug change for a comparison of the boxer engine. I spoke recently to a long time reputable garage owner in town, and he said the 100K plug change recommendation on most cars is a reliable indicator.
I do know one thing, I've been very contented with my current Maxima, it has served us well.
May 21, 2009 (7:35 am)
for those having rough transmission shifts in their '09 Foresters, this info I got from Subaru might help:
there is a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) #16-72-07 for the Automatic Transmission Learning Control Procedure which may apply to your transmission concern.
The dealer can apparently reset the transmission so it can relearn shift behavior.
#3294 of 3748 Re: auto trans TSB [kurtamaxxxguy]
May 21, 2009 (10:28 am)
Nice! I'll mention this to my dealer when i take it in for service. Thanks!
#3295 of 3748 Re: Thanks again for the handy info [debating]
May 21, 2009 (11:39 am)
Well, the 4 cylinder boxer engine has 2 heads and 4 cams, which is twice as many as an in-line 4. AWD means you have a rear diff to maintain as well, but that's not just Subarus.
And yes Porsches cost plenty to maintain, though I'm not sure if the boxer engine is the primary reason.
But overall I agree with the suggestion to get a Chase Subaru credit card and get all your maintenance for free. BMW offers 4 free years, but whoop-de-doo, we've already accumulated $400 since we got our 2009. It caps out at $500/year, so in those 4 years I'll have $2000 worth of free service, more than I spent in 9 years maintaining my 1998 Forester.
I do the easy stuff, like oil changes, but this is my wife's car so I'll probably let the dealer do the 30k, 60k, and 90k services. Even at full retail prices that would be completely free of charge for us.
Funny thing is I own a Toyota as well (Sienna), so the question is, how am I going to pay for maintenance on that van, since they do not offer such a program?
PS Your son must have the Baja. The never sold well but owner's love them - it won the JD Power APEAL study among pickups.
#3296 of 3748 Re: Thanks again for the handy info [ateixeira]
May 21, 2009 (2:23 pm)
Yeah, it is the Baja. Never can remember that name. He travels a lot, haven't asked how many miles it has now - but it must be considerable.
That Chase Subaru card sounds like a worthwhile deal, and I'm gun shy about credit card companies now. I've had a Citi card for quite a few years, good credit. And the first thing they did after the bailout was to jack the interest up about 6 1/2%. An appreciative bunch of thieves aren't they? Off the subject.
When do the new models come out? I would doubt there would be any discounts on the Forester though, as every time I drive thru the lot, they have fewer on hand. Three to be exact on Sunday. None our preferred color.
#3297 of 3748 Re: Thanks again for the handy info [debating]
May 21, 2009 (5:00 pm)
Like all rebate cards, the Chase Subaru card makes the most sense if you pay the balance in full each month - otherwise you're only fooling yourself about its value. You earn 3% on purchases, but if you're paying interest, then its self-defeating.
If there are any changes to the 2010 Forester, they will be minor. If you're on the fence about 09 vs 10 models, I think you should wait for the 2010. The 09's have been around for nearly 1 1/2 years already. There were very few 08 Foresters - as the old style (same as 07s) were discounted to make room for the 09's in January of 08 - a full 1/2 year before normal model year introduction. With no incentives to buy a 09, I would wait for the 2010 when they arrive in July or August.
The Outbacks are a different story. The 09's are being discounted with $2000 rebates combined with 2.9% financing (not as good as my wife got on her 07 Forester which was rebate + 1.9%). This is being done to make room for the all-new 2010 Outbacks. Generally, Subaru offers the best deals on the last of a generation before a new design is introduced. New ones should be at dealers by July.