20th Jun 2007, 18:22

I have a 2000 Forester with 84K miles. Other than the wheel bearings, I haven't had any unexpected repairs. The first set of rear bearings went at 72K miles. ~ 12K later, though, the familiar "drone" started up again. I brought it back to the dealer and ran into a good technician who provided more info than just the Subaru party line.

Apparently, my year of Forester had ball bearing races for rear bearings. Subaru, and its customers, learned that these wouldn't hold up over the long run. The Legacy received tapered roller bearing races that happen to fit the Forester also. Now, savvy dealerships know to replace the ball bearing races with the Legacy roller bearing races.

But I still had a problem after 12K miles. It was diagnosed to be a bad seal that let water into the race and prematurely killed it (just one side). The dealer replaced it on warranty and the episode didn't cost me a dime more. So, we'll see what happens in a year or so...

21st Aug 2007, 14:38

My 99 Forester had just passed 100,000 miles when the left rear wheel bearings went bad. The mechanic suggested I have the right replaced soon since he could hear a slight noise. I cannot hear the noise yet, but have to make an 800 mile trip before I can get the car to a mechanic. That's scary - especially since before reading these comments today I had never been told by any mechanic that wheel bearings were a problem with the 99 Forester. Since this problem can lead to a dangerous driving situation, I'm surprised and angered that there are not warnings given by the Subaru Corporation, dealerships or mechanics. Other than this problem and the annoying "hot oil" smell mentioned by another poster, I have been very happy with the vehicle.

27th Sep 2007, 08:19

I have a 99 Legacy L that has 191,000 miles on it. I purchased it new in 99.

I haven't had much repair work done to the car. I had the O2 sensor replaced twice (which is very expensive) and I know need to have the wheel bearings replaced. This is the first time that I've had to have them replaced.

Subaru's are awesome cars and I would buy another in a minute. I'm very lucky to have purchased it and it has never let me sit.

Also, I have the original battery in the car yet (yes, the battery is over 8 years old) and I live in Pennsylvania and it can be very cold.

12th Oct 2007, 23:30

I own a 2004 Subaru Forester with only 16,800 miles on it. Until this past May it has been a trouble free car.

In May, while driving slowly my car made a loud banging sound as if I had just driven over a concrete curb, which I had not. The rear wheels appeared to lock and then release. The the car lost power.

I took it to the dealership, but they could find nothing wrong. This same thing happened again, still they could find nothing wrong. It happened again and the dealership replaced the battery. A week later, it happened again, and they replaced the alternator and put in another new battery.

A month or so later, it happened all over again. They kept the car 10 days and could find nothing wrong.

I contacted Subaru International for help and they asked me to resubmit my car for testing at the dealership. I did, and now I am told the power steering pump is locking up when I drive. The alternator and the new power steering pump costs were and are being covered by the dealership since I have brought the car into to them 6 times since May. I am hopeful this will solve the problem.

But I have a question: Is the power steering pump the cause of the problem - could it cause two batteries to drain and an alternator to malfunction, the wheels to squeal as I drive slowly around corners, loss of power and last and worst, the car rear wheels to lock and then jump again into action? I know little about cars and would appreciate anyone who knows or has had problems with a power steering pump to advise me.

21st Dec 2007, 18:11

I use to work at a Subaru dealer. It is very important to replace all 4 tires at the same time. If you blow a tire, unless you have a spare from the same set, made the same time as the rest of them, you must replace all four. Just matching brands and sizes won't do it. Even if they are a little off, it will be bad news down the road. Not doing so can cause some terrible problems that can be almost impossible to detect, so you keep throwing good money after bad.

7th Apr 2008, 01:42

Recently replaced my 1997 turbo Forester (99,000km) with a 1998 turbo Forester (38,000km). The older vehicle was making rumbling rear-bearing noises, gradually getting louder. Ran for some 10,000km with the bearing noise. Never gave up the Ghost, but it was on my mind. When you're going to be the last owner you can run it into the ground. Older (say 10 years old) Legacy Outback and Grand Wagon are discounted into the ground at the auctions here in Japan. Although Legacies don't seem to have the same rear wheel bearing problems. Even a low "mileage" could easily be under $2,000 to drive out of the auction gates. Foresters can be under $3,000, with an unpopular colour. Then throw in "accident/repair" and you are talking cheap. These are completely different parameters to US and UK. In Japan you assume you will be last owner, and will run the vehicle to 100,000km when the expensive servicing is due (cambelt). The cambelt will probably last for another 30,000km, but when that lets go it's "Game Over". So if it's a runner, you scrap it by sending it to UK or passing it on to your nere-do-well brother-in-law. Subaru really need to get their act together very soon, because the word is out there.

20th Jun 2008, 11:06

I have a 2000 Subaru Forester and I am about to replace the sixth wheel bearing. Four on the driver side and this will be the second for the passenger side. I like several things about the car, but the cons are getting expensive. The ONE cup holder up front is in a horrible place, too. Hopefully Subaru will take care of their customers and start replacing the bearings with a lifetime warranty. They must have some engineering problem with these cars. Maybe they have figured it out by now. For the early customers with the bearing problems though, they really should give them a better incentive or lifetime warranty on the bearings. It is not our fault if you can't build a car right. I will go back to Honda, they have good cars over all. I have heard too many complaints about Subaru lately. Plus the dealership here is rude.

30th Jun 2008, 10:18

I have a 2003 Subaru Forester. I bought it used when it had roughly 24,000 miles on it. The day I drove it home from the dealership on the interstate, I noticed that the temperature gauge was in the red. I got the car home and immediately called the dealership (which was a Toyota dealership). They said that the car is still under warranty so I should take it to a Subaru dealership to see if the problem is covered under the 30,000 mile warranty and if it wasn't, they would try to fix the problem for me for free depending on what it was. I took it to the Subaru dealership. I had a blown head gasket. They took care of it and it was covered under my warranty. Last year the shifter started sticking and I need to have some wire replaced to fix that. I had to have my entire brake system completely replaced last year also. Now, my car has started hesitating and the check engine light is coming on. It seems like there is always something going wrong with it.