Two months after I purchased my 2002 Forester S+ series, I had an O2 sensor go bad.
I have had an engine RPM problem ever since day one, & it seems to happen more often when the outside temp. is below 50 degrees. Upon starting the RPM needle winds up to 2-2,500 Rpms & then drops almost to zero (car starts sputtering) and then climbs back up to above 2. The rpm needle then settles after giving it a bit of gas. The dealership has never fixed the problem & the vehicle only has "38,000" miles currently!
In addition I have had the R. front speaker blow twice, & then the CD player.
The clock & temp has stopped working (these are usually the last things to go), window seals warped on passenger door window & front window, motor on power windows is going bad (sounds like a creaky door opening when engaged, and the leather on the side of the drivers seat has been cracking since 15,000, even with regular moisturizing/cleaning. I only weigh 110 lbs, so it's not from body weight!!
It would seem that the car has a short somewhere, but of course they deny it & indicate they checked.
Unfortunately I'm not done yet; I don't want to forget about the bad charcoal cannister "they claim" was struck by some object, but were unable to show me an impact mark!. They actually pointed at a nut on a screw & said "see here on the nut where the silver is showing, something impacted it here". I replied "I see where some grease has been wiped off maybe by a wrench". I left & when I got home, I took a cloth with some degreaser and wiped it clean! There was absolutely NO evidence of impact on the "Plastic" Charcoal Cannister, & the nut they pointed to is just part of the mounting bracket. They wanted $365 to do the work (it's a 30 minute job).
I called another Subaru repair shop, & the owner advised me that they should have done a smoke detector test, & asked me if my check engine light was still on & I replied "yes". He advised to disconnect the battery cables on the car for 10 minutes & then reconnect to see if it came back on. I followed his instructions & 1,100 miles later still NO Check Engine Light!!!. I even told the headquarters office about the whole visit (4 hours wait with appointment & about the result of resetting/clearing the computer that I did on my own). I asked them to look at it again free of charge, since it seemed to me they didn't examine it good the first time, & I had already paid them $95 for their so called diagnosis. They actually denied my request, & said if I wanted it a new canister, they would take $60 off. They even admitted that I have had more problems than the average Forester owner.
I also notice after shifting gears, that the transmission seems to slip/jolt if you step on the gas too quickly. I unfortunately was in an accident the other day, which consisted of a T-bone impact into my front left fender & front bumper. The "Honda Pilot" only hit me going about 35mph, but according to the inspector for the Ins. Co. & Auto body shop, my axle was broke, hood bent & the front end was pushed 3 inches to the right!!! My car has been deemed a TOTAL LOSS!! (indicated $17,000 in damage). The air bags did not deploy, & for a Honda Pilot to do that kind of damage only going 35mph; all I can say is totally RIDICULOUS!!
I only have one positive comment, & that is I like the "full" moonroof, but they stopped putting those in after 2002!.
Thanks Subaru for making my "first" brand new car purchase so pleasant.