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This is my first Subaru experience. My previous vehicles were Ford Expedition, Ford Taurus Wagon, and the Ford Freestyle. Our other vehicle: 2019 Jeep Wrangler. We live in Southern Wisconsin, a Midwest USA location. "Millie" a 2009 Forester 2.5x manual was a Southern California car before arriving in Wisconsin last year.

After purchasing I jumped on these forums and subsequently learned about the importance of replacing the timing belt and keeping an eye out for head gasket problems.

I didn't own this car even a week, and I got it into my mechanic who replaced a timing belt, a/c belt, and related components, in the nick of time. The belt had cracks and two of the inner nodules were cracking and the belt was in need of replacement. Total cost $741 but I get the cash discount price of $680. All that is cheaper in my mind than a replacement engine. So thank you to the forum members suggesting a replacement. I also put a new battery since I accidentally drained and deadlined the old one dated 2011, during an initial vacuuming when I must have clicked the rear hatch light into the on position.

The vehicle has new brake pads all around and tires. Next week, I plan to get an alignment done. Then fluids drained/replaced save the coolant which was just done when the timing belt was replaced.

Katzkin leather seat kit on order. My teen son and I will install this as a part of his homeschool shop class. Currently, Millie has factory cloth seats. The previous owner had dog/dogs and the middle front console is in need of replacing the vinyl material? as this looks like it had been scraped/chewed. My son and I will do some outside detailing too. The subie needs some serious cleaning, polish and wax attention.

I can't be playing Metallica through the current speakers, I cried a little on the way home today from the mechanic listening to music through the stock speakers. Next, currently shopping for double din head unit (probably with back up camera), speakers, Bluetooth, DVD and steering wheel interface. I'll probably call Crutchfield as my radio replacing experience is limited to changing out an 8 track for a cassette. My needs are decent sound, Bluetooth and maybe a backup camera.

I'll post photos as work is accomplished.
 

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Welcome to the forum and your new life as a Subaru owner. After buying their first Subaru, most people don’t go back to ordinary cars.

While it may seem like you are putting a lot into it just after getting it, the work you are doing is simply bringing it up to the standard you deserve or customizing it to make it your own.

As for the battery, I am surprised it lasted that long. They don’t last as long as they used to. Better to replace now then later.

Congratulations on your new addition.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
[QUOTE="SubaruSpouse, post: 7573777, member: 548575"
Congratulations on your new addition.
[/QUOTE]

Thank you for your encouragement! I am certainly going to have some fun driving it soon. I hope. Haha. The saga continues.
 

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As the Forester Turns.... upon getting the car back from the timing belt maintenance, I spy some microfractures in the plastic on the top of the radiator with coolant weeping. I buy a TYC rad off Rockauto only to find out it has an accessory nipple for a turbo engine(I think), why on earth it claims a direct fit for my 2.5x manual trans, I will never know but I experienced the joy of replacing two radiators in 5 days time along with new hose clamps and hoses. I hopefully burped the air out, my driveway is on a slope and I had the front end up. I ran the car with a funnel in the rad cap open for about 25 minutes with heaters on full blast, I didn't see any more air coming up.

I'm getting conflicting information on whether or not to add the Subie conditioner to the coolant as one dealership says that is for years 2008 and older.
 

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I'm getting conflicting information on whether or not to add the Subie conditioner to the coolant as one dealership says that is for years 2008 and older.
If you have the Warranty and Maintenance booklet for your 2009, it states: "To prevent cooling system leaks, always add Genuine SUBARU Cooling System Conditioner whenever the coolant is replaced." The conditioner was still recommend by the manufacturer as recently as 2018 (not sure about 2019). It's less than $5 a bottle at my local Subaru dealer parts counter.

My 2010 Forester 2.5X has racked up almost 215k miles. It's had several coolant changes and I always added the conditioner. It still has the original radiator and has never had a coolant leak or any signs of a head gasket leak either internally or externally. Last check for internal leak was Blackstone oil analysis at 190k miles.
 

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If you have the Warranty and Maintenance booklet for your 2009, it states: "To prevent cooling system leaks, always add Genuine SUBARU Cooling System Conditioner whenever the coolant is replaced." The conditioner was still recommend by the manufacturer.
I found it in the booklet, #12. Thank you.
 

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Remember to shake the conditioner well before pouring in the radiator.
10-4 on shaking well. I will have to order a Blackstone oil analysis too. I have been reading up on their site about the different tests they have. It appears that all the oil changes on this vehicle were done at the dealership except the last two so I will be doing my own oil changes but using the Subaru oil.
 
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