16th Jul 2008, 20:34

I have a 2000 Forester, 78k miles, and it's been absolutely fabulous. Honestly, I don't think the reviews in this site are representative of the reliability of Foresters, because most owners are having too much fun driving theirs!

Sure, they aren't perfect. I'm going to have to replace my knock sensor one of these days. This is how all vehicles are, and most are worse. As for those who jump ship to Honda, sure they're nice, but you pay through the nose, and good luck if you want all wheel drive or a straight stick. My dad has a WRX, and it's been a great car too. For those who are considering buying one, don't read the rants on this forum--go read a credible source like Consumer Reports! They know the truth!

28th Jul 2008, 20:29

I have a 2001 Subaru Forester and I've had the right rear wheel bearing replaced five times and that one has now gone bad. The worst part of it is that the tire on that wheel also wears much more quickly. And when you have all wheel drive, you're supposed to have all the same tires with fairly similar wear. So it's very expensive when you have to buy new tires. If one is worn much more than the others, what do you do then? Subaru should solve the problem and recall all those wheel bearing issues.

15th Nov 2008, 14:40

I have a 2000 forester. All in all a great vehicle. Last year I dealt with the check engine light indicating a need to replace both catalytic converters to the tune of 1400. Now it seems I have a blown head gasket probably around 2,000. A bitter pill to swallow for a car with 132,000 miles on it. I probably will look into other 4wd since these problems are all to common in subbies.

20th Dec 2008, 20:36

I have a 2002 Forester with 109k miles. My issues since buying new have been a transmission timing issue, four rotors, eight sets of brake pads, heat shield removed, new tires every 20k miles, overhead clock has not worked for years and electrical lights that turn off and on at their own discretion.

Now the larger issues.

I'm fairly certain the head gasket needs replaced (I lose oil and you can smell it burning from time to time).

CV Boot and front axle are now in need of changing.

Plus, I can list several other small annoying issues.

Please listen to me, I think Subaru's are good cars for what they are designed to do and they perform when needed. Problem is that they are very expensive to maintain. I have had two Honda's that I drive the same and they never had problems like my Subaru. I like to drive cars until they die and unfortunately I just don't trust this car to take me there any longer.

4th Jan 2009, 11:41

I drive a 2002 Forrester that is driving me crazy. I haven't paid it off but the repair bills keep coming.

Now the power steering fluid is leaking onto the exhaust. That will be about $800. My girls were driving it to visit relatives over Christmas and it broke down on the highway... the ignition coil had gone which cost $800.00, with the tow.

My electronic compass has been broken since I bought it, the open door light indicator is constantly on... my mechanic says that's too expensive to fix and the back window washer has disconnected.

This car is a major UGH. I strongly disagree with the previous post, because after all of this I would NEVER say that Subarus are good cars, recommend one or buy another.

16th Feb 2009, 11:40

'97 Impreza - 95,000 miles replaced right rear bearing at Subaru dealer (because they are suppose to have the RIGHT equipment). 17 months later and only 17,000 miles the same bearing is bad. Went to dealer and all they would say is that they would have to replace at my expense. No offer to help defray the cost from dealership and they had the audacity to suggest that I accused them of putting it on incorrectly. I told them if they thought that this is normal wear and tear on a wheel bearing, and they would not help with any of the repair, I would NEVER buy another item from them for as long as I am alive.

3rd Apr 2009, 12:34

I have a '99 Subaru Forester with only 58,000 miles. I have replaced rear bearings 4 times. One repair at the dealer cost $1800 (part of which was for brake work) - they claimed they had to replace the axle too. I never went back there again. Subsequent repairs have been cheaper, but not permanent. The last one lasted only 9 months.

Most of my driving is over smooth paved roads, in residential areas, at speeds < 45 mph. The vehicle has never been off-road or in sand. The tires are correctly mounted and well balanced. The wheels are properly aligned. There is no usage conditions that would pre-dispose the car to these types of failures.

My Forester has also suffered the head-gasket failure that is so common in these vehicles. The repair cost $1740, which covered the gaskets, faulty timing belt tensioner, new timing belt (done pro-actively while the engine was all apart) and a host of other miscellaneous gaskets and seals.

The gas lines in my car rusted out after 9 years, which was another expensive repair. Apparently the lines run through the interior of the car, and you have to disassemble the interior to get at them.

I would not recommend a Subaru to anyone, and am puzzled how well they are ranked in Consumer Reports for reliability.

21st Jun 2009, 12:02

I bought my first Forester in 1998 and clocked 210000 Km on it with practically no problems (changed the clutch once, and a small oil leak after 180000 kms).

I now have a 2003 Forester with 42000 kms and it drives beautifully. Very sorry for the authors of the other posts on this Blog, but IMHO this is a GREAT CAR.

17th Jul 2009, 03:15

My girlfriend is looking to buy a used car. She had bought a 97 Stratus about 4 years ago that turned out to have a cracked head, which caused her to have to replace the whole engine only a couple of months after buying the darn thing.

Now she wants a reliable car, and she almost bought a 2000 Forester, because I told her Consumer Guide gives Suburu high ratings for reliability.

I am so glad I read the comments here first, because I would have felt awful if she had ended up with a nightmare car again!

I'm going to tell her to go with a Toyota. My 89 Camry has 215 thousand miles on it, and it looks awful, but it always starts and runs, and the most expensive thing I've ever had to replace was a CV joint that went bad due to a torn boot that let in dirt and moisture. It cost $140.00 to repair. That and an alternator is all I've ever had to fix in 215 thousand miles.

I too am disappointed that Consumer Guide gives Suburu high ratings with this problem so many have had.

28th Aug 2009, 00:11

2003 Subaru Forester - head gaskets are weeping coolant at 207000 km. $3500 repair. Car is in pristine condition. Great car to drive, very reliable, mom loves it. If we could find somebody to pay the lofty repair bills on it, it would be perfect. Mom babies her car and takes it in for every little thing as well as following the dealer's maintenance schedule precisely. It only takes a quick search of "2003 Subaru Forester Head Gasket" on the internet to see it is a very common problem. Certified Subaru technician told me it is a very common problem, he has done lots of them and can almost do it with his eyes closed. He described the repair process in detail, recited from memory. He also told me to "Google it, and see for yourself". So, here I am.