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.

2001 Subaru Forester 2.5 from North America


Subaru needs to decide whether they want to be a real car company in the U. S. or not


Very poor mileage: 18-19 city.

Interior cheapness, broken items replaced:


Cup holder

Seat belt clip

Arm rest compartment latch

Cargo cover end clips

Mushy brakes, skidding on wet road stripes when braking

Sensors replaced:



Catalytic converter replaced

Spark plugs arcing in humid weather - all replaced

Warm-up time in cool weather excessive

20-30 pit marks on front hood from pebbles

Small round crack in windshield from a stone

Excessive wear on cloth seat covers

Despite the constant annoyances listed above, the handling and ride is smooth. It handles exceptionally in the snow. Good acceleration, even up long hills. I guess that's a trade-off for the atrocious mileage for a 4 cylinder.

General Comments:

I've been to 4 different service departments. 2 were a trial to deal with and all 4 were incompetent at least some of the time.

Buying the car was an experience. After the usual haggling & sale, I picked up the car. On the next day, I received a telephone call from what turned out to be the new manager of the dealership. He wanted to REDO the financing with a bank rather than with Subaru financing! He also went on to add that the entire sales force had been terminated! Three or four months later the dealership closed. Way to go, Subaru!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th May, 2008

16th Jun 2013, 01:57

Although I have never driven a Subaru, I can understand how it can be to have many issues with one's car. I have experienced frustration myself. Vowing never to buy another car from the relevant/ particular manufacturer.

After reading about pit marks on the paint work and windscreen chips, as faults, it makes me wonder about (some) of the rest of the details you supplied. The common ones like O2 sensors and clock are confirmed by other reviews, but;

"Spark plugs arcing in humid weather".

Are you serious?

If you have any mechanic you can trust, go and tell him about your so called spark plug fault. That makes me question if you are a real reviewer, or if perhaps you were lied to by whoever replaced your spark plugs.

Calling a windscreen chip a fault is incorrect, and does not sound like a fault of this particular car. It can happen to ANY car travelling the same path you have. Same goes for the paintwork at the front, caused by pebbles thrown up in the air by highway traffic. These are pebbles that the car ends up running into. It is an impact, and is bound to do some sort of damage a lot of the time. The only real question here is whether the chips are excessive compared to other cars travelling the same roads, speeds, etc. Perhaps there is a quality control / poor paint finish with this car, but it doesn't sound like it.

Before anyone wonders why I have bothered reading this far with the Forester reviews, I am deciding on a donor car for converting to electric, so the engine issues would not apply to me.