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2012, Forester Premium 2.0x
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, had a couple questions as my 2012 Forester is my first Subaru. (Took a ride in one a couple years ago and fell in love!!)

a little background, I bought it used, one owner, clean carfax, 115k miles, drives great, runs great, had a Subaru mechanic comb it over and said it was in great shape minus needing a new serpentine belt, and the engine code says it is running lean? (not a car guy and not sure what running lean refers to?),

first day I had it I had the CEL, traction control, and blinking cruise control light came on after the second start of the engine. Doesn't drive any different, but tc button doesn't work neither does cc.,

I have noticed the gas mileage is not what i expected? Most of my drives are a 35 mile commute on the expressway at or around 70mph. I am averaging 21.3mpg reading on the dash. From what I have read and specs on the model I should be averaging around 25.,

my last question or point refers to the driving rpm's, I have never had a vehicle with a cvt transmission, at 70 mph on the expressway I am hovering around 2800 rpm's, that seems high to me. @ 50-55 its between 18-2200. It almost feels like the transmission needs one more gear? Is this normal?

Thanks for any information and I will say it is awesome that a forum like this exists!!!
 

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2022 Forester Limited 2018 Forester XT
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16,591 Posts
You need to get the codes checked out. The CVT is not "locking up" hence the higher rpms and low mpgs
 

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2011 Forester X
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282 Posts
first day I had it I had the CEL, traction control, and blinking cruise control light came on after the second start of the engine. Doesn't drive any different, but tc button doesn't work neither does cc.
I wouldn't worry about the TC and CC lights being on, the computer probably disabled those features when it read the code for the Check Engine Light. Running lean means the engine/cylinder is not getting enough gas. Running Rich would mean the opposite. This could be caused by a host of issues. It's best you get the exact code the computer is throwing to start and try to figure the issue out.
I have noticed the gas mileage is not what i expected? Most of my drives are a 35 mile commute on the expressway at or around 70mph. I am averaging 21.3mpg reading on the dash. From what I have read and specs on the model I should be averaging around 25.
Your gas mileage seems about correct for combined city/highway driving. My combined mpg is the same. These cars don't get great mpg. You can try and reset the trip odometer when you're on the highway to see what just the highway average mpg is. Also anything over 60mph and you're going to get reduced mpg.
my last question or point refers to the driving rpm's, I have never had a vehicle with a cvt transmission, at 70 mph on the expressway I am hovering around 2800 rpm's, that seems high to me. @ 50-55 its between 18-2200. It almost feels like the transmission needs one more gear? Is this normal?
The 2012 Forester has a 4-speed electronic automatic transmission (4EAT) not a CVT. Your RPM vs MPH seems within proper range. Yes the Forester needs another gear. I also wish it was a 5 speed.

Pro-Tip: Check your oil level regularly. The Subaru FB25 engine likes to burn and leak oil. Its not a huge issue until you run out of oil. ;)

Welcome to the club.
 

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2012 Subaru Forester X Limited 4spd Auto
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37 Posts
my last question or point refers to the driving rpm's, I have never had a vehicle with a cvt transmission, at 70 mph on the expressway I am hovering around 2800 rpm's, that seems high to me. @ 50-55 its between 18-2200. It almost feels like the transmission needs one more gear? Is this
2012 Foresters have a 4 spd automatic transmission, not a CVT.
 

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2012, Forester Premium 2.0x
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wouldn't worry about the TC and CC lights being on, the computer probably disabled those features when it read the code for the Check Engine Light. Running lean means the engine/cylinder is not getting enough gas. Running Rich would mean the opposite. This could be caused by a host of issues. It's best you get the exact code the computer is throwing to start and try to figure the issue out.

Your gas mileage seems about correct for combined city/highway driving. My combined mpg is the same. These cars don't get great mpg. You can try and reset the trip odometer when you're on the highway to see what just the highway average mpg is. Also anything over 60mph and you're going to get reduced mpg.

The 2012 Forester has a 4-speed electronic automatic transmission (4EAT) not a CVT. Your RPM vs MPH seems within proper range. Yes the Forester needs another gear. I also wish it was a 5 speed.

Pro-Tip: Check your oil level regularly. The Subaru FB25 engine likes to burn and leak oil. Its not a huge issue until you run out of oil. ;)

Welcome to the club.

Great info! I appreciate the insight!
In regards to the transmission i was going off of what the guy that sold me the car told me. Feel kinda silly for not looking into it more myself.

For sure checking the oil as this was one of the first "issues" with this model I had heard about.

The Subaru mechanic I went to wanted to charge me $100 and keep my car for a couple days to troubleshoot the CEL, seemed high considering I already paid them $115 to do a thorough inspection of the car. Thinking Im gonna take it to Auto Zone and get a code and go from there.

Despite the little issues I am in love with the car. I do a lot of camping and trail running and its been a perfect companion for that so far. Hoping to do some deep camping next season and sleep inside it. Love that idea. Its been cool watching all the youtube videos about people overlanding in them.

Thanks again for the insight.
 

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2011 Forester X
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Yes it's a perfect all round vehicle for all things from daily driving to overland camping. I haven't slept in the back yet but I bought it with that idea in mind.

I agree I would go to AutoZone and get the code read as well. It's free.

Also you can buy an ELM 327 OBD II Bluetooth scanner off eBay for less than $10. You can use the Torque app on your phone to read codes. It's not the most in-depth scanner buts it's good to have.
 

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2017 Forester
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I have a 2011 with a 5 speed manual transmission. I average 28-29 mpg. I get the CEL, traction control, and blinking cruise control light on my vehicle also. Mine is a code 455 Diagnostic trouble code:
(DTC) P0455 stands for evaporative emission system (EVAP) large leak detected. Your car's computer will set the code when it determines there's a significant leak in the EVAP system. ... A gas cap left open is one of the possible causes of P0455 Code.
Check your gas cap first. If that doesn't fix it replace the vent valve at the evap cannistor next. Two good starting points.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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3,516 Posts
G. Lawson
It all depends on the code. Always a good idea to find the problem before you start making repairs.

As far as mpgs, the reason the Foz has great visibility is all that vertical glass which comes at a cost to aerodynamics.
It's also got great ground clearance which means the car is farther off the ground which comes at a cost to aerodynamics.
The energy to overcome drag quadruples when you double your speed, so there's a big difference between 50 and 70 mph.

The car will get a lot better mileage under 60 mph.
Keeping your tires set to the proper pressure when COLD also can make a difference.
You can also make a big difference by not letting the car drop a gear and accelerate to maintain the set cruise speed when you are going up a hill.
My strategy is to cancel cruise and lose a few mph when going up relatively short hill runs and make it up on the other side.
At 75 mph, I'm lucky to get much above the very low 20's, while at 50-55 mph I get the high 20's/low 30's.
Big difference.
 
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