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I hate Subaru.
You're basing your opinion of a manufacture on bad advice, a used and possibly abused product with questionable history and some misinformation.

As for the AT tires, it's not the vehicle that is limiting you in your choices but the wheel size. ....and even then, I quickly looked up AT options and found these for 16x6.5 wheels (which are standard on the 2011 2.5x) on the America's Tire site:

BFGOODRICH
ALL TERRAIN T/A KO2
LT215 /65 R16 103S D1 BSW

NOKIAN TIRE
ROTIIVA AT
215 /65 R16 102T XL BSW


YOKOHAMA
GEOLANDAR A/T G015
215 /65 R16 98H SL BSW

GENERAL
GRABBER AT2
215 /65 R16 98T SL BSW


FALKEN
WILDPEAK A/T TRAIL
215 /65 R16 102H XL RBL

As for the fluids, there's where some of the misinformation comes in as pointed out. Personally, I do use the OEM coolant and conditioner. The coolant I can get for around $25 USD per gallon and the conditioner is only $5 USD. .....although about double the price of regular OTC coolant, hardly a huge ripoff IMO. $50 will get you two gallon bottles which enough for a full replacement with some left over for topping off from evaporation for many months or years to come. ....but again, if that's still stupid expensive, then you can use other popular brands as long as they meet the specs as mentioned.

Regarding parts, I haven't ever run into an issue where I couldn't source a part for my Subarus except perhaps the driver's side mirror matched in TGM paint on my wife's '08 Forester she broke when backing out of the garage. .....but thanks to the help of a Subaru parts vendor, she was able to locate one that was left in their network of sources which was great so I could just bolt it on rather than worrying about having it painted to match.

Also, just because your dealer you're interacting with is allegedly dishonest doesn't mean they all are. ....but even so, it pays to do your own research and find vendors, sources, etc. that you can use to check facts, gain knowledge, get advice from, etc. SF.org is really good start.

Two things I can agree with you on are the oil consumption (although your "gallons between changes" is grossly exaggerated) and the mileage (in my own experience). However, on the latter, I always get worse than advertised mileage in vehicles simply because of how I drive and in Subarus, I take into account the heavy, AWD drivetrain and full time engagement. In your case, your vehicle isn't anywhere close to an optimal state so there's that too.

As far as oil consumption, both my '03 WRX and my wife's '08 consumed oil. Her '99 Civic before it never ate a drop. Even my Challenger ate oil since new. .....not in "gallons" though. Just a quart or two between changes which for me are usually by the book (not every 3k miles). ....and btw, my wife's Forester has 253,000 miles on it currently as it slips into retirement as a "around town" vehicle for a family member. No more long commutes for this one.

Sorry you're having troubles with what is obviously a vehicle with a questionable history and sold to you by a deceptive previous owner. I'm also sorry about some of the misleading advice you've been getting from some of the mechanics you've dealt with. ......but I wouldn't judge a brand by this experience. In all honesty, this is why I always buy new and rarely buy used unless I am absolutely certain of the previous history which limits those purchases from friends, family or trusted sources where I have a trail. ....but that's just me. We keep our vehicles 10+ years usually.

In any case, I wish you luck and hope you can find a solution that works for you either to help you repair and keep the vehicle or get rid of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
In all honesty, this is why I always buy new and rarely buy used unless I am absolutely certain of the previous history which limits those purchases from friends, family or trusted sources where I have a trail. ....but that's just me.
Glad you're wealthy enough to be able to afford new cars when you want them. Not everyone is.

I'd love to see a picture of the Forester, no rust in the usual areas?
Not a spot of rust on the whole vehicle other than a few streaks on the underbody, I've honestly never seen a car anywhere near the mileage this has with so little visible wear and tear. Seems like someone stuck it on a treadmill and floored it. There are a couple of tiny paint chips, including two on the side that have been touched up, but other than not having been cleaned properly in a long time (grime around the window frames, engine bay is extremely dusty) the car could be cleaned up, have the odometer dropped by 150k and no one would know better. It's a gorgeous vehicle, it just runs as well as steak goes with mayonnaise.
 

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Look, there's no reason to be condescending to people because of your present situation with your vehicle. It's uncalled for. There are other places for that, like FaceBook, but not here. Take that somewhere else.
 
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Discussion Starter #45
Look, there's no reason to be condescending to people because of your present situation with your vehicle. It's uncalled for. There are other places for that, like FaceBook, but not here. Take that somewhere else.
Telling the average person to just go buy a new car... that seems pretty condescending to me. It added nothing to the discussion and was just a way of flaunting wealth.
 

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I stand by what I said.
 

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Telling the average person to just go buy a new car.
Kean did not tell you to go buy a new car:
but that's just me
Yep, understand you're having issues and I'm sure everyone here can empathize with you and the bad luck you're experiencing but let's not get oversensitive ;)
 

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Glad you're wealthy enough to be able to afford new cars when you want them. Not everyone is.
Telling the average person to just go buy a new car... that seems pretty condescending to me. It added nothing to the discussion and was just a way of flaunting wealth.
Yeah..... That wasn't what I was suggesting at all as others have said. You took that remark out of context and just glazed over the rest of my post.

Sorry you misunderstood that comment but that's all it was. ....a misunderstanding.
 
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Even a new car can be a gamble. There is no guarantee of a problem-free vehicle, you simply have a warranty to cover things for a certain period. Lemon laws exist for a reason. What is a shame here is that it appears Infiniti bought a car with covered up issues. If I understood correctly prior to his buying it someone removed the bulbs in the dash that light up the malfunction indicator lights and tried a chemical fix on the transmission. Maybe there is some recourse against the seller which I think is a dealer of some kind.
As for the coolant conditioner, I thought that was preventative for head gasket failures. My understanding was that with the new engine in 2011, the design was changed and eliminated the problem. If the coolant cannot leak into the oil due to gasket failure, I don't see any point in using radiator stop leak, and think it could cause issues.
 

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Of course there can be issues with a new vehicle but the OP is dealing with a used car with an unknown history, no warranty and perhaps no recourse unless someone knows of some consumer protection laws that would provide some recourse against the previous owner.

As for the coolant conditioner, I really don't know. The last time I researched it was years ago. I'm not sure if Subaru amended their service bulletin or recommendation to include later models or not. The reason it came up was because the OP brought it up about the price of these items, etc. I mentioned the price is only about $5 if he was going to buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
If I understood correctly prior to his buying it someone removed the bulbs in the dash that light up the malfunction indicator lights and tried a chemical fix on the transmission. Maybe there is some recourse against the seller which I think is a dealer of some kind.
No, nothing messed around with in the dash lights, my complaint was that several backlights were burned out and it's not easy to tell that in the daytime when you're checking a car before buying it... and not even the dealership caught that (they did catch that literally every exterior indicator light was burned out). That being said, the dealership also broke my glovebox, failed to even hand-tighten four of my lugs after a wheels-off, lied about differential fluid, and managed to miss tired delaminating. I suspect they previous owner dumped a bottle of that slip-reducer garbage in the transmission so it would survive a few test-drives before heading off. Really pisses me off because I just sold my old car with 100% honesty, I refused to lie about any problem in the car. Yes, it cost me a bit off the asking price but I'm not going to get a pitchfork-bearing mob coming after me.

As for the coolant conditioner, I thought that was preventative for head gasket failures. My understanding was that with the new engine in 2011, the design was changed and eliminated the problem. If the coolant cannot leak into the oil due to gasket failure, I don't see any point in using radiator stop leak, and think it could cause issues.
That's what I thought - I'm going to stick with generic coolant that specifies that it's for Subarus... Canadian Tire carries it.

Of course there can be issues with a new vehicle but the OP is dealing with a used car with an unknown history, no warranty and perhaps no recourse unless someone knows of some consumer protection laws that would provide some recourse against the previous owner.

As for the coolant conditioner, I really don't know. The last time I researched it was years ago. I'm not sure if Subaru amended their service bulletin or recommendation to include later models or not. The reason it came up was because the OP brought it up about the price of these items, etc. I mentioned the price is only about $5 if he was going to buy it.
Ain't consumer protection laws for idiots like me. That guy walked with my money and in ICBC's opinion (were they to be asked... thought they likely wouldn't answer) everything I find wrong with this car would be on me. The manual doesn't mention the conditioner, but then again you have to get a shop manual to even get a service schedule grid... I can't believe they didn't put one in the consumer manual. As mentioned, I'll stick with appropriate generic coolant. I'm also going to ask my transmission place about what kind of transmission fluid is appropriate as I can't imagine everyone on earth who owns a Subaru goes to the dealership to buy ATF every time they cycle the fluid. Even for me that's a one hour round-trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
BFGOODRICH
ALL TERRAIN T/A KO2
LT215 /65 R16 103S D1 BSW

NOKIAN TIRE
ROTIIVA AT
215 /65 R16 102T XL BSW


YOKOHAMA
GEOLANDAR A/T G015
215 /65 R16 98H SL BSW

GENERAL
GRABBER AT2
215 /65 R16 98T SL BSW


FALKEN
WILDPEAK A/T TRAIL
215 /65 R16 102H XL RBL
I'm genuinely interested to figure out what tires will work for me. Nothing you listed here will work on my Forester - my current tires are 225/55R17, I also have rims that are 16x6.5 that currently have junky cheapo 225/60R16 snows that I will probably toss if I can find a good all-weather heavier-duty tire. E

Everything you recommended is 215. To my understanding which for tires is limited at best, that is the width of the tire. I can't mount 215s on a 225 rim (both sets of rims I have at my disposal are 225), right? Or am I missing something big here - I know nothing. I also can't find anywhere in Canada that sells those tires that isn't a questionable online thing that looks like they'll steal my credit card. The only tires that even come close to my wishes are Nokian Nordmans... which I had on my previous car and wasn't horribly thrilled with in terms of soft-road performance. Great winters, not great for overlanding.

I would head to a relevant thread to see what others are saying about this... but I can't find any threads that are recent enough to have tires that are still in production, and those threads that do exist never talk about using the original size of tires. I do not want to have to spend another two grand just to put new tires on this, I'm happy to spend the $800 that new tires cost but I'm not buying new rims when I already have two different sizes available to me.
 

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Ain't consumer protection laws for idiots like me.
I have no idea what consumer protection laws are in Canada but I would imagine there must be some kind of website with FAQs or information on the subject regarding our rights in situations like this (e.g. buying a used vehicle).

As for the maintenance schedule, you can go to this website which has a lot of detailed information, Here's the general info /specifics on the 2011 Forester:


.....and your specific schedule:


I also didn't see any mention of the Coolant Conditioner in there so it may be that your generation wasn't recommended for it's use.

The transmission gearbox fluid is the same. You just need to find one that complies with what is specified by the factory. The answer to that may be in one of those links or at the very least, can be found somewhere on this site. When I did my wife's '08, I went with local, store-bought.

I'm genuinely interested to figure out what tires will work for me. Nothing you listed here will work on my Forester - my current tires are 225/55R17, I also have rims that are 16x6.5 that currently have junky cheapo 225/60R16 snows that I will probably toss if I can find a good all-weather heavier-duty tire.
Ah, ok. ....so it sounds like you have other wheels on your Forester and the stock ones have the winter tires? Do you know the wheel size on the car now? ....e.g. 17x7, 17x8, etc. 225 is the tire width (e.g. 225/60/17). The tires I listed are for the stock wheel size I thought you had.

Also, you can sometimes go with a "+1" size that will still fit and have a rolling diameter that is close enough to stock which will keep your speedometer accurate and so on. .....and perhaps will give you more options in tires. You just need to make sure the tires won't rub on the struts, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Sorry, the tires I listed are for the stock wheel size I thought you had.
Thanks for all the other pointers too - Stock rims on the 2011 are 17, not 16. The money pit is still at the garage getting its brand new transmission but they're the stock 2011 rims, 17x7 (Base model came with 16x6.5, which is what my awful snows are on but that' steel).

Even if you can just throw me at a website where I can learn more about what tires fit on which rim, I'd be super appreciative as I've read websites that say width can be off by 10mm and some say it can be off by 20mm and still be perfectly safe.
 

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For some reason I thought you had the base trim but I see now you said Premium.

I'm not sure what shops you have there in Canada but usually, they will have online shopping available where you can enter a tire size, wheel size and/or your make, model and trim to start shopping for tires that fit your application. That list I came up with was from America's Tire. You can also check other online retailers like Tire Rack which I'm sure can ship to Canada and has a similar UI I described.
 

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Discussion Starter #57 (Edited by Moderator)
The only reputable shop where I am is Kal Tire, and the only tires they have on 17s for the Forester are WRG3s and Nordmans. That's it. I might just go with Nordmans.
 

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RE the Coolant at Canadian Tire-- Yes you can use their OEM brand, and they sell the blue coolant in both concentrate and 50/50 mix. The blue Prestone for Asian cars including Subaru I used is available at Wal-Mart.

For your transmission fluid you can use this Castrol available at Canadian tire

( If you go to the Castrol website and look up the product sheet its specs are fine and Subaru is included in the application list-- it may be an upgrade on the OE fluid)

If you want to save a few bucks and have a bit more sidewall, an alternate 17'' OE size is 215 60 17

A bit narrower and taller, without affecting your speedometer. Would be better for winter and off road. Only difference is that size uses the same pressure front and back 30 or 31lbs rather than the staggered pressure of 32 front and 30 back with the 225 55 17s. With a load and Speed rating of 100H those tires will also have strong sidewalls. I have a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks I use in that size for winter.

As for the transmission that is just a drag. The 4EAT from what I can tell has been pretty bullet proof and there are not lots of reports of problems with them, but obviously you got a bad one. I hope the newer one does the trick.

Re tire width-- the rim you are using is 7'' wide by 17'' diameter. A 7'' inc rim can take 205, 215, or 225. If you want to go bigger still lets say 235 or 245 you would need a 7.5 or 8'' wide rim.
.
 

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Discussion Starter #59 (Edited)
If you want to save a few bucks and have a bit more sidewall, an alternate 17'' OE size is 215 60 17

A bit narrower and taller, without affecting your speedometer. Would be better for winter and off road. Only difference is that size uses the same pressure front and back 30 or 31lbs rather than the staggered pressure of 32 front and 30 back with the 225 55 17s. With a load and Speed rating of 100H those tires will also have strong sidewalls. I have a set of Bridgestone Blizzaks I use in that size for winter.

Re tire width-- the rim you are using is 7'' wide by 17'' diameter. A 7'' inc rim can take 205, 215, or 225. If you want to go bigger still lets say 235 or 245 you would need a 7.5 or 8'' wide rim.
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I will check those non-spec Nordman WRs. By my calculations the total diameter of the tires would be around 6cm larger - this would be okay?

edit - my calculations are whack, difference is about 0.6cm.

Thanks for that - everywhere else was saying I could safely run 235 on my rims. On my 16x6.5s I currently have 225s - which you say is the maximum width for 7 inch wide rims. Are those tires going to be a problem (if I ever use them)? Or is the width problem in relation to the suspension rubbing? Sorry that I'm really dragging this one out, I just want to understand this as best I can. I want to avoid any more mistakes and proboems with this car.
 

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I am not sure exactly what the basis is for that chart. There are people who run 225 on 6.5 inch rims . I don't think it causes a rubbing problem, just not optimal for the tire's performance..
 
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