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2002 - New owner - common issues that need to be addressed?

277 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Black21Limited
My buddy just bought an '02 Forester, and I've offered to help him with some issues, namely the hood latch not doing it's job well, and some harshness in the rear suspension.
I already read that the hood latch can simply be cleaned and lubricated to solve the latching issue.
And we haven't even begun to diagnose the rear suspension.
Are there any other common issues with these cars we should be aware of? Critical maintenance intervals (ie timing belt)?
Any special tools these cars require that may be hard to find?
Is there a chart for figuring out vehicle configuration by VIN?

Appreciative y'all
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Timing Belt, water pump, idler and tensioner is every 105,000 miles or 8 years. If you DO NOT know when it was last done, it is critical you take care of that immediately.

If the suspension is from the factory, it's long over due for 4 new corners.
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Lubricate the hood latch mechanism with WD40 lubricant. That should take care of it.
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Hi, will be in a similar situation soon and it will be my daily driver plus hoping to drive through Europe this year. I'm looking at the top 5 being critical, but not sure on the priority of the remaining items which seem to be common problems (or need regular servicing to avoid problems)..

Timing Belt / water pump / thermostat (pulleys as needed)
Banjo connection turbo oil filter
PCV valve
Maf/map check and replace
IACV (idle air control valve)
Throttle body clean
Front & Rear Diff ATF
ATF Fluid (especially the auto)
Spark Plugs
Knock Sensor replace
O2 Sensors replace
Brake Fluid
Rust Proofing
+ check errors codes

Anything important missing? An oil air separator to help reduce detonation?

Found this in another thread :) Subaru Chassis Number or VIN Search
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@Mark101 yes check the timing belt and replace if needed. Assuming this is a turbo car and if you can get to the Banjo Filters check and see how new they are. If you can get to them yes replace them. Don't think the engine would have a IACV and MAF on the same engine just one or the other, but yes clean these if needed. Yes check and replace the spark plugs if needed. No need to replace the knock sensor or O2 sensors unless check engine light code for these problems.
Awesome thanks for the info How often do the O2 and knock sensors cause problems, is it generally by a given age they fail? Would be nice if clear metrics were available for all of the above
o2 sensors can become slow to respond after 60,000 miles. They may not throw a code, but it's hit and miss if a fresh one makes a difference. I waited until 170,000 to replace the one in my 2001 neon, and it made a very noticeable change in throttle response.

I then wished I changed it sooner. :ROFLMAO:

I don't think there is a time/mileage factor for knock sensors. Either they work or they don't.

If the engine knocks at every little blip of the throttle, and quiets down with 93 octane, it may be bad.

Without knock sensor input, the ecm is going to give it the max spark advance it has available for the given parameters.
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