27th Feb 2010, 20:07

I bought a used 2002 Forester with a manual transmission in August of 2009.

When I test drove the car, it had a bad clutch, the clock didn't work, windscreen was cracked, brakes were spongy, etc. I purchased it after having them replace the clutch, windscreen, and put on new tires.

Since I've brought it home, I've had to tighten down the battery cables as the shop mechanics were either lazy or stupid (possibly both), my check engine light comes on for 'catalytic converter below threshold', and I am now replacing the right rear wheel bearing. While the wheel bearing issue is annoying at 131,000 miles, it is not all that terrible as far as cost goes.

The check engine code may mean I have a failing head gasket, but more likely refers to mis-aligned or bad exhaust manifold gaskets (probably were not replace when clutch was replaced... just re-used).

The brake issue appears to be that Subaru brakes just are not as good as the ones on my VW GTI, as they are relatively new and do stop the car. I fixed the clock my self.. $10 for a soldering iron and about 5 minutes to remove, re-solder the bad connection, and re-install.

Overall, the car is phenomenal in snow and bad weather, goes where I need it to, and is fun to drive.

As far as wheel bearing issues, it is very important to replace the bearings AND the knuckle and/or hub if required; also make sure the shop or yourself uses the proper method as hydraulic presses damage the bearings.

I would still buy another Subaru, but I'd make sure I knew what to look for in the older models, and avoid the 1996 to 2003 2.4 liter engine.

3rd Mar 2010, 09:27

Anyone know where the catalytic converter bank one sensor is on a 2000 Subaru Outback? Mike.

25th Mar 2010, 01:46

I might buy a 2000 Subaru Forester, 156k miles, 5 speed. It only needed a mirror, clean and in good shape. The price is 2000. Should I take the risk? Need useful input please...

18th Jun 2010, 09:21

Here in Japan a 2001 Forester is heading for the scrap yard at 100,000km. If the rear wheel bearings ($660 to change both sides) last that long, you're on borrowed time. The timing belt change is due and it's never worth throwing good money after bad. Far more satisfactory to pick another Forester at auction with less than 50,000km on the clock. A turbo at around $3,000 is favourite. Get into that last owner mind set.

5th Jul 2011, 20:58

2001 Forester L - Well-maintained, but it doesn't seem to matter. Rear wheel bearings last about a year, no matter what!