2001 Subaru Forester S 2.5L EJ25 from North America


A seemingly nice car for features, but enthusiasm quickly wanes when mechanical problems show up


Driver's side head gasket blew at 137,000. Took to a dealer, they replaced both gaskets, clutch, timing belt idler pulleys, other repairs, total cost was a whopping $3400 (which took two weeks to complete; a rental cost me an additional $700 for that time). Engine continued to leak coolant and oil immediately after the repair.

Radiator sprung a leak at 125,000.

Air conditioner stopped working at 120,000.

Check engine light on most of time, code=P0420 (cat converter), I just ignore it.

Clock stopped working at 105,000 miles.

Clutch judder since I bought it (99,000 miles)

Clutch slave cylinder piston binds up when it is very hot outside (>90F), since I bought it (effect is that clutch pedal travels easily almost to the floor, though you can still disengage the clutch to shift)

Incessant coolant and oil leaks since I bought it (I have to continually top these off, once a week for coolant, once a month for oil) - even after costly repair after repair.

Spark plugs seem to wear out very quickly (6000 miles)

Air conditioner 'on' light burnt out since I bought it.

General Comments:

The car is 'average' in many respects. Average power, handling, mileage (21 mpg city, 25 mpg fwy), comfort, noise level on freeway, reliability.

I started out optimistic, but today I would not recommend the Subaru Forester.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th November, 2008

2001 Subaru Forester l from North America


So far this is the best car I have owned in 50 years, so knock on wood


Faulty engine check light is the only problem.

General Comments:

Front brakes pads replaced at 97,000 miles

Timing belt replaced at 95,000

Paint is thin.

Only regular maintenance done. Car has run flawlessly except for false engine check light.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2008

2001 Subaru Forester 2.5 L from North America


Worst car I've owned from a repair perspective


This car began having overheating problems as soon as I purchased it. The radiator was replaced; then I received a service bulletin about the temporary band-aid fix to the known problem with leaking head gaskets. I was always adding coolant.

In 2007, the 2001 Forester began smelling hot. $3,000 later, the head gaskets, oil cooler, timing belt, and various other repairs were made. Less than a year later, the coolant was leaking again, and during a three-hour drive, overheating led to a complete meltdown of the engine. Damages: $6,000-$7,000 and once again include new head gaskets.

I am a newspaper reporter investigating Subaru's inadequate response to the known head gasket problems with its 1999-2002 engines. If you've had similar problems, please write me at: subaruinquiry@sbcglobal.net, and include your e-mail and phone number. I am compiling information for a newspaper expose and class action suit.

General Comments:

I purchased this car due to its supposed low maintenance costs. What a joke! The public needs to know how irresponsible this company is. I was one of its biggest cheerleaders and have been disappointed beyond belief by the irresponsible actions of their customer service department.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th August, 2008

27th Dec 2009, 17:45

I understand. Will be sending a support email with info.

2001 Subaru Forester from North America


This car is a piece of junk: shame on you Subaru


Clock died at 40k.

First Catalytic converter blew at 30K.

Heated seats starting going when not turned on at 70K.

Axel rod ruptured at 60k.

First clutch went out at 28K.

Second Catalytic converter blew at 70K.

O2 sensors went out in the beginning at 23K, remaining O2 sensors (all 20 of them) replaced over the last 7 years.

Check engine light went on at 25K and has been on sporadically since (I begged my mechanic to cut the wiring)

Timing belt tension rod blew at 70k (exploded)

Third Catalytic converter blew at 120K.

Gas gage indicator went out at 60k.

Overall it is a piece of ^%&*

The windshield whipper arm pulled out at 100K.

General Comments:

The car overall is a piece of %^&*. If the car would not have been paid for outright, I would have dumped the thing years ago. It actually stopped accelerating two weeks ago as the clutch went out: again. My Honda Accord and my Integra had over 80K miles on them and no problems at all.

The heated seats work very well: too well in fact. They often come on when the buttons are not turned on. I can drive around in the winter with shorts on, because the stupid seats cook me like a chicken.

As for the check engine light: it appears to be my best friend. They can't get the thing off and can rarely find a problem with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th June, 2008

20th Jun 2008, 11:44

Very Funny. You have almost 200k on your Forester and you're complaining about a couple of parts that cost less than $50 each. (except maybe the cats)

I think your priorities are a little skewed.

23rd Dec 2008, 00:47

I disagree with the first commenter. Obviously this car had a lot of problems PRIOR to 200K; prior to 100K for that matter.

I also own a Subaru. I bought it new (I ordered it from the dealer) 2001. It is NOT worth the money I paid... crappy heater/air conditioner. I've had to major mechanical problems: 3 out of 4 rear axle bearings, head gasket, to name a few things... plus the car has NO power and slides around in the ice; even with studded snow tires. It's a gutless wonder. My Subaru has 112K miles.

Any car will keep driving if you keep fixing the problems and keep the maintenance servicing up. It doesn't mean it's a good car for the money.

6th Jan 2009, 03:51

All cars need regular maintenance no matter what they are.

The tensioner pulley should be replaced with every timing belt change, which should be done approx every 60 miles.

As for the most of the other things other than electrics, it sounds as if this is a case of excessive driving; when clutches wear it is 95% of the time the drivers fault.

A bad or abusive driving style may explain most of your other engine issues.

The only issues I see as being reputable are the heated seats, which are easily fixed by an auto electrician, and the engine light, which I've heard as being common.

You have kept the car for over 7 years, and it's over 200k. Whether you paid outright for it or not, I think you must have a soft spot for the car.

28th Jan 2014, 14:28

I've had most of the same issues with my 2001 Subaru Forester as the previous comments. Check engine light, catalytic converter, timing belt, bearings, etc.

My main concern at this time is the REMOTE CONTROL STARTER. My car has a manual transmission. I've always been mindful of making sure that it was out of gear (in neutral) with the emergency brake on when parked. Yesterday however, I used the remote control button to start it to warm up and my car decided to take off on its own. After taking out a corner of my house and nailing a tree, luckily it stopped 3 feet short of hitting a propane tank. Imagine if this had happened in a crowded parking lot with other vehicles and pedestrians, including children.

THESE REMOTE CONTROL STARTERS ARE A SAFETY THREAT! If anyone has had a similar situation, please respond.