23rd May 2005, 09:09

I have a 2001 Forrester and have experienced mild to severe clutch shudder ever since purchase. The dealer pretended to know nothing about it the first 5 or 6 times I brought it in complaining. When I asked them about the tech memo from Subaru, they admitted to knowing about the problem, but claimed I was their only customer complaining about it. When I talked to 3 other owners who had bought their Subarus from the same dealer and were having the same experience and had complained to the dealer repeatedly, I knew they were lying to us all again. I have had the car in many times and they have never been able to reproduce the shudder so they won't do anything about it. I have decided just to grin and bear it. But I have certainly decided I won't ever buy another Subaru and I'll never have any dealings with that dealership again.

1st Jul 2005, 23:03

We also have had clutch problems with our 2001 Forrester. We got the "clutch judder" after about 20,000 miles. When we brought it in, the dealer claimed there was nothing wrong with the car. Then, at 50,000 miles (after the warranty had run out) they said we need a new clutch to the tune of $1200. Our car has also had a persistent backfire since the very beginning. After taking drives with the mechanic to let them hear it, they tell us is not a problem.

17th Aug 2006, 13:06

08/16/2006 - I just test drove a 2003 Forester 5-SPD with 57K. Immediately I noticed the clutch judder as I took off. Also I noticed the clutch pedal stayed way down by the floor and was stiff. I immediately suspected there is a clutch pressure plate issue.

Later as I researched forester reliability issues I found the following on consumerguide.com:

1. Clutch: The clutch pedal may stick or not come all the way back up, or it may feel spongy requiring replacement of the slave cylinder and hydraulic hose. (1998-03)

2. Clutch: If the clutch chatters during cold temperatures, but improves as the vehicle is driven, the clutch plate, pressure plate and flywheel need to be replaced. (2003) }

I later called a local dealer service department and asked about this. The service person said he had never seen this issue before, but is sounds like a clutch issue and would probably cost around $1500.00.


Dallas, TX.

28th Oct 2006, 17:41

What about rear wheel bearings going out repeatedly...4 times in 7 years. The guy at Suabru Hawaii said this was normal wear and tear. I don't think so. Can anyone help me? Has anyone had this problem as well. Diane.

30th Oct 2006, 09:19

I'm in the process of getting my left rear bearing replaced. The Subaru dealer told me they now replace the Forrester bearing with Legacy bearings. The Forrester bearings don't seem to hold up as well as the Legacy bearings. My Forrester is a 1999, this is the second time I have had to have the bearings replaced. I guess I'm lucky since I have 195k miles. Seems like the time to sell it and replace it with something a little more dependable.

10th Nov 2006, 10:43

My gf had a '99 Forester base model. She bought it used with about 20k miles on it. The first set of rear wheel bearings went out at about 35k. (It makes a terrible grating-type noise when this happens for anyone who's wondering.) The second set went out at 60k. With a little strong-arming, the dealer also agreed to replace those "under warranty" even though the warranty was up. She then sold the car, worried that it was a lemon. The dealer mechanic told us the wheel bearings on all these Forester models were a problem.

I am now researching '04 and above Foresters b/c my gf now says she wants another Forester. (Hopefully they have fixed these issues.) She has an '03 Suzuki XL-7 right now and wants something that gets better mileage... and despite the problems she had with her Forester, she wants another one. So I think that is a plus for this vehicle. It sounds like you have to be somewhat careful though, as getting a "good one" is not guaranteed to the extent it is with a Honda or Toyota.

7th Dec 2006, 08:14

I have a 2002 Forrester. Both rear bearings were replaced at 75k (no warranty). I have just replaced the passenger rear bearing again at 180k and the other side is starting to make noise (no warranty). I have been told by the dealer that there is nothing that can be done to correct this problem.

I also have been told that my all wheel drive is not working properly and that repairs have to be made to the transfer case. I am not sure how long it has not been working, but apparently this is a normal wear occurrence. Cost will be about $1500 Canadian (no warranty).

Generally I have been happy with the performance of the car, but these expensive repairs are disturbing.

Though I expect repairs at 180k, the bearings have been a constant irritant and I would have expected the drive train to last longer.

I won't be rushing to buy another Forrester.

27th Jan 2007, 09:11

I have a 1999 Subaru Forester S and the major issues I've had with the car are:

* Tire wear was ridiculous, had to replace after 1 year. I had the suspension checked and alignment and dealership keeps advising that there are no issues.

* Oxygen sensor had to be replaced - no warranty

* Wheel bearings had to be replaced 2x - no warranty. They blamed my winter tires that may be causing the failure. I wonder if Subaru should compensate us. They don't have any mileage warranty on these bearings.

* Radiator broke - no warranty.

It's disappointing that even when this car was built in Japan that all these problems arise. I've been waiting for the day I can afford to get a new replacement, but that'll be a few years. For now, I'll just have to save up for those rainy days.

1st Feb 2007, 00:30

Hello, I am considering purchasing a 01 Forester S, 125K miles, Going for $6900, blue book says it should go for $11,000 retail. It seems that there are plenty of things for me to spend the money I'd be saving on like the bearings and the clutch. Ya know that saying: "if it's too good to be true, it probably is", would this car fall into that category? I really like the looks of this car. I like the space in the back. I like the visibility. And I'd like the cheap payments on it. so if you have any advice for me Let me know. Thanks.

24th Mar 2007, 23:57

I own a 2001 Subaru Forester L, and it has 83,000 miles on it. I live in Alaska, so the winters are pretty hard on it. The only thing I've had to replace are valve cover gaskets at 75k, cost around &200 bucks. Not too bad. Compared to other vehicles, seems to me like people want everything. For instance, someone complained earlier about replacing wheel bearings at 135k miles. Most US cars aren't even on the road after 100k. Oh and forget about selling them with more than 50k on them. A Subaru is a good investment. In fact I just bought another Subaru Forester, brand new.