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2020 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to Subaru and bought a 2020 Forester Premium a few weeks ago. I previously owned a Civic. The problem I have run into is that the steering wheel is not impossible to turn, but it just feels MUCH heavier than my Civic. It isn't too much trouble when I might be turning into a parking space, but on straight (or gently curving) roads, making minor adjustments is noticeably more difficult. With my previous car, I would just have to make a minor adjustment and there was negligible resistance to turning the steering wheel. The steering wheel does not feel out of alignment. This occurs when the lane centering is not turned on. For comparison, I drove a Crosstrek and that feels more like a car with power steering. It has much more responsive steering.

I noticed this recent thread of a poster who said the '19 had much more responsive steering than the previous generation. I can't link it because it's my first post. The thread was started a week ago.

I don't know whether this is a function of the vehicle being heavier? How do I know if there is a problem with the power steering? I am at the point that I am willing to cut my losses. I don't want to drive a car for years that has difficult steering.

Thanks in advance.
 

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2020 Forester
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for writing back! To clarify, my Forester's steering is reasonably easy (maybe not as easy as a lightweight car?) when making turns at more acute angles such as making a U-turn in a parking lot, or turning 90 degrees to go around the corner, etc. Actually the excellent turning radius (compared to my Civic) was one of the first things I noticed about the car.

The main issue is it feels ridiculously heavy making those tiny adjustments to stay in my lane when on a straight or gently curving highway (again, lane centering function is off...it's actually less work to drive down the freeway with lane centering turned on). Has anyone else had this problem or does anyone decidedly not have this problem?

I do plan to contact the dealership to try one of their new/loaner cars...
 

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2020 Forester, Crystal While Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather
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37 Posts
Do you have the Automatic Lane Keeping/Centering (forget the official name for it) turned on? Could it be correcting your steering inputs, which would make it seems like a stiff steering response?
 

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2020 Forester
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Discussion Starter #6
Do you have the Automatic Lane Keeping/Centering (forget the official name for it) turned on? Could it be correcting your steering inputs, which would make it seems like a stiff steering response?
Thanks, I definitely have the lane centering turned off. I have also tried to see how it drives with the lane centering on just to see...but it's stiffer when off.

I think what your experiencing is how an SUV drives. This isn't a civic.
I was wondering about this. I have driven the Impreza hundreds of miles as a rental car, and I did not experience the same issue (which is very similar to a Crosstrek, which I test drove maybe about 40-50 miles, and did not experience the issue....)
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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I would go back to the dealership and have either one of the sales people or a tech go for a drive with you. Let them drive it and experience it. They would be able to tell you if there's something wrong, or if this is "expected".

I don't remember what car it was (I used to work in a shop and I'd give customers a ride in their own vehicles) but I drove a car that had a resistance you had to overcome to get it away from of "driving in a straight line" position. I found it SUPER annoying... (I've never driven a newer forester, so I don't know if this is what you're experiencing)
 

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2020 Forester, Crystal While Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather
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Thanks, I definitely have the lane centering turned off. I have also tried to see how it drives with the lane centering on just to see...but it's stiffer when off.
I would definitely stop by the dealer's to have it checked or verified.

I was test driving a 2020 Touring model over the weekend. Our other vehicles are cars. And the Forester's steering was just as good or better than our cars (which, to be fair, are 14 and 21 years old).
 

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2020 Forester Touring (Blue EXT/ Black INT)
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I was wondering about this. I have driven the Impreza hundreds of miles as a rental car, and I did not experience the same issue (which is very similar to a Crosstrek, which I test drove maybe about 40-50 miles, and did not experience the issue....)
So, having test drove and bought a 2020 Forester Touring recently (within last week), I would say most of the answers above are in line.

#1/ Of course, please take to dealership to confirm if nothing is wrong, etc, etc
#2/ Driving a symmetrical AWD SUV/CUV is different coming from ANY other brand. I came from a different brand which was also a fully loaded AWD version, and I felt that the steering was a bit tight compared to my other vehicle as well.

I'm pretty sure #2 is the case of what you are feeling while driving, but again, will defer to the outcome from #1 above.

Good luck and please keep us posted. I will be looking for updates, as I wait for my car soon, and will let you know if I see the same behaviour in mine as well.
 

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2020 Forester
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks. It just was more stiff compared to what I was used to. Good points on the AWD. I hope you are enjoying your car!
 

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I also observed, if you have the AVH turned on the steering can get stiff compared to when it is turned off. Even though AVH is no where related to the steering control. Try disabling it and see if that helps !
 

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2020 Subaru Forester Sport - Ice Silver Metallic, Option pkg 24.
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245 Posts
I have noticed the steering wheel sort of sticking ( when turning left only ) at first I thought maybe the new tires need to be broken in. When turning the steering wheel to the left for left corners or turns and I release the steering wheel slightly to re-center I feel it catch slightly halfway and resumes. Going to keep paying attention to this and take it to the dealer if it continues. Other than that no issues with the steering wheel being too heavy to turn.
 

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Hi Sarah.. dont want to freak you out or Anything but my daughter purchased a 2020 Forester, and we suspect a serious flaw with the steering. She had the lane centering/assist on, was trying to correct for a slight curve in the road (entrance to a highway) when alot of beeping started. She assumed it was the lane correction (although she felt centered in the lane) but the beeping did not stop. She could not look at the dash as she was driving, when the steering wheel turned to the left (on its own). She thought it was the lane assist but could not turn the wheel. The steering wheel was locked/frozen. The brakes were frozen, as well and the car veered off to the left, and flipped over. Totaled the car. Thankfully she is ok. She is an experienced cautious driver of 16 years, not a kid. my u derstanding is that the data box recorder needs to be examined from the vehicle. I really wanted an independent auto mechanic to do it, but could not find anyone. They have been telling me only Subaru can retrive it. After much fighting with with Subaru, will do their inspection next week. Will keep you,posted.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester Sport - Ice Silver Metallic, Option pkg 24.
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Following up on my issue above, I have a defective steering column that needs to be replaced. Something in there is binding to make the steering "stick" at a certain position.
Part was ordered and should arrive next Monday. Will update after installation.
 

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Hi Sarah.. dont want to freak you out or Anything but my daughter purchased a 2020 Forester, and we suspect a serious flaw with the steering. She had the lane centering/assist on, was trying to correct for a slight curve in the road (entrance to a highway) when alot of beeping started. She assumed it was the lane correction (although she felt centered in the lane) but the beeping did not stop. She could not look at the dash as she was driving, when the steering wheel turned to the left (on its own). She thought it was the lane assist but could not turn the wheel. The steering wheel was locked/frozen. The brakes were frozen, as well and the car veered off to the left, and flipped over. Totaled the car. Thankfully she is ok. She is an experienced cautious driver of 16 years, not a kid. my u derstanding is that the data box recorder needs to be examined from the vehicle. I really wanted an independent auto mechanic to do it, but could not find anyone. They have been telling me only Subaru can retrive it. After much fighting with with Subaru, will do their inspection next week. Will keep you,posted.
If steering locked and brakes failed, that sounds like a power off condition. Power Steering and I would think Power Vacuum assist brake.

If the power on the CAN bus was intact, you need an inspector to pull all codes as well.

In the massive GM Ignition switch recall, that was how a third party inspector figured out the failure. Right before a Cobalt crash, the inspector found a power loss, locked the brakes and steering wheel and ended in crash.
 

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2015 OutBack Ltd
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Following up on my issue above, I have a defective steering column that needs to be replaced. Something in there is binding to make the steering "stick" at a certain position.
Part was ordered and should arrive next Monday. Will update after installation.
So::: what's the latest from your Forrie? I have a 2019 and have no issues with the steering, found it to be so much better than the constant wander that my 2015 Outback had over the 4 years of ownership.....

Has SOA responded to you with some thoughts as to what happened?

Hope that all is progressing towards a resolution......

Steve
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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So::: what's the latest from your Forrie? I have a 2019 and have no issues with the steering, found it to be so much better than the constant wander that my 2015 Outback had over the 4 years of ownership.....

Has SOA responded to you with some thoughts as to what happened?

Hope that all is progressing towards a resolution......

Steve
Note that you're replying to a response that was posted 4 hours before yours, on a Wednesday. So, the Monday Nam is referring to is still in the future. So an outcome is not known yet (beyond the fact that they found an issue and are going to replace the steering column)
 

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2020 Subaru Forester Sport - Ice Silver Metallic, Option pkg 24.
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So I dropped off my 2020 sport on Monday morning and received my car back that afternoon.
Subaru replaced the steering rack which solved my issues with the steering wheel being locked or being sticky when turning left. I asked my service advisor on why this has happened and there was no answer. She did tell me that about handful of other cars that were affected in N.A. so far according to their database and not enough for a recall campaign. So far, the car drives perfect now when no issues with my steering.

I am attaching my warranty work for more info.
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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138 Posts
(again, lane centering function is off...it's actually less work to drive down the freeway with lane centering turned on). Has anyone else had this problem or does anyone decidedly not have this problem?
I believe Lane Assist and Lane Centering are two different things. Lane Centering should only be active while in Cruise Control. Lane Assist is always active every time you start the car. You say you have Lane Centering turned off, but you might still have Lane Assist turned on. If so, while driving down the highway can result in the system gently nudging the steering wheel if it thinks you are getting too close to the painted lines. And it could slightly increase the turning resistance of the steering wheel. Lane Assist only works above a certain speed, so you would not notice any nudges or resistance while in a parking lot or driveway. Try tapping the Lane Assist button on the steering wheel to insure that Lane Assist is off. You have to turn it off every time you start the car if you don't like it.

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