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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Just had a hitch installed on my Forester 2015 and they left out that heat shield that sits above the muffler. Is that normal or should I go back and push them to put it back?

Thank you
 

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2019 Forester Premium Lineartronic® CVT
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404 Posts
What brand of hitch? What type?
You could work backwards and look at the installation instructions for the hitch you had installed to check the install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a Curt and I installed it in a pro shop specialized in trailers and hitches. They said that in order to put it back they have to cut it on one side since the holes are covered by the hitch now and in time will start rattle. So they said that they never put it back and they never had any complains.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i 6MT
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478 Posts
If you live in the salt belt, the head shield would have rusted off in another year or two
 

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2016 Forester 2.5i Tour.. 6spd MT
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98 Posts
I installed a Draw-tite hitch on my wife's 2016 and you had to remove the heatshield to trim it a little for the hitch hardware to come through the frame and then reinstall it. I didn't trim it but just drilled holes in it where the trimming would have been involved and it reinstalled perfectly and without interfering with the hitch. I think the shop was being lazy. Take a look at the install video below and you can see what they do with the heatshield, the trimming involved and how it goes back in.

 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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93 Posts
If you go to the Curt site, you can check the directions for your model hitch and see if the heat shield needs to be trimmed or removed.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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114 Posts
I would have it put back on. The trimming is minimal and like was mentioned before, it was there for a reason.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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1,568 Posts
I would at least get the heat shield back. It’s your part. The shop should have returned it.
 

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2019 Forester Sport
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Same. When I have first service done will have it reinstalled. When having side molding put on, I had the dealer take a look at my bumper to see if it was put back correctly. Dealer had to fix bumper. Make sure if you have a third party hitch installer that the dealer makes sure your bumper is put back on correctly.
 

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2015 Forester - 6 speed manual
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9 Posts
Following up on this oldish thread since I came here looking for a few answers. I am currently nearing the finish line on my DIY Curt hitch install on my (new to me) 2015 Subaru Forester with 82,000 miles. I type with greasy hands with just the lifting and bolting (and muffler reattachment) ahead of me.

1- The instructions that came with the hitch list removing the heat shield but makes no mention of putting it back. Shortly after the hole cap and heat shield removal step it mentions giving things back to the owner.

2- I removed the first two bolts of the heat shield near the center of the car. When I moved my socket to remove the outer bolts the heat shield must have got scared because it basically fell off the car. The shield had essentially rotted around the bolts. So at 82,000 miles that heat shield was just BEGGING to start rattling. I'm so glad the b*tch is gone.....

3- Soapy water is a huge help in getting the muffler hangers off. Just be careful where you put the bottle down. Sliding your back into a puddle of water in the middle of February isn't much fun.

4- This is the third hitch I've installed on my third successive Forester. Enough time passes between each one that I always forget what a pain in the donkey it is. Not necessarily hard or complicated. It's rewarding even. But a real PITA.....
 

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2015 Forester - 6 speed manual
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Two more items that I read before I got started that proved to be VERY pertinent....

5- Leave the guide wires on the bolts and feed them through the hitch before you raise it into place. The bolts will pop straight through the holes making life very, very easy.

6- Wear glasses. Not just for all the crap that falls in your eyes while you're looking up at the bottom of your car, but because those guide wires tend to dance around your face and getting an end in the eye would suck. A lot.
 
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