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2009 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been having 3 issues with my 2009 Forester (22,000 miles). My dealer service department is terrible. Thinking of going elsewhere but wanted to check in here first.

1) I've had a "tweeting" noise in my engine since 15,000 miles. Every time I bring it to the dealer they say they can't hear anything. I notice it in park, drive, and neutral. Seems to happen between 1,500 and 3,000 RPM. It starts as a low pitch tweet at 1,500 and it speeds up to a higher pitch tweet at 3,000. After that it's too faint to hear. I notice it the most if I'm traveling down a hill without my foot on the accelerator so the engine is otherwise quiet. Sometimes I also notice the smell of burning metal coming from the engine when I exit the car.

2) The orange brake light is illuminated today. No other light is illuminated. The only thing I've noticed weird with the brakes is that when it snows the ABS seem to engage if I brake even moderately hard. I feel like in other ABS cars they would not engage unless at higher speeds. I'm nervous to travel at decent speeds in the snow because braking causes the ABS to engage and I can slide for quiet a distance. Related?

3) At colder temperatures the driver's window barely goes up. It's fine going down but incredibly slow going up. Every time I bring it in they relube it but won't replace the motor because they say it's fine. Suggestions?
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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1 .Not sure about the tweet sound, maybe a loose accessory belt

2. Not trying to be mean here but if your hitting the brakes hard enough for the ABS to continuously kick in, id say your driving too fast for road conditions. I feel you'd be in far worse shape without the ABS because then your tires would just lock up and you'd really slide. Possible solution would be to get better tires, preferably snow tires. As for the light being on is the emergency brake completely released?

3. Power window.. mine goes up slow too in the winter. Im pretty sure that's just the way they are.

What kind of car did you have before the Forester?
 

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2009 Forester
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Discussion Starter #3
Appreciate the help so far TC2000

1. I had the shop check the belts and they said all were fine.

2. I agree that if the ABS is kicking in it usually means too fast for the road conditions. However, unless I crawl to a stop sign or parking space, they kick in with snow on the ground. And if I'm over 15 mph and apply moderate brake pressure on snow I slide while the ABS is going crazy. Maybe the factory tires are just really terrible. The emergency brake is totally released. In the manual it says if it were the e-brake, that light would be on. This is an orange symbol; no text.

3. I heard this from one other person re the window. Kinda sucks. Between this, door rattle that had to be fixed, and fogging rear lights, it seems this car has too many "that's just the way it is."

I had a Passat before this and a Grand Cherokee before that.
 

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09 Forester XT
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I've been having 3 issues with my 2009 Forester (22,000 miles). My dealer service department is terrible. Thinking of going elsewhere but wanted to check in here first.
1. I had my service tech replace the belt. There was a Technical Bulliten on this. I am sorry I don't have the number.

2. Your brakes need a complete review by a qualified tech. Though I live in Arizona.., Flagstaff, Arizona has received over 117 inches of snow this year. And my Subaru's, both '09 XT's, have performed with no issues and the ABS did not kick in unless I was driving too fast.

I do have a question. Have you replaced the battery? Or have lose cables? You may want to try pulling off a battery cable, wait a few minutes and reconnect for a system reset.

3. Didn't really notice the window issue.
 

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2008 XS 4EAT
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0I also think there is a Service Bulletin on the Power Steering pump that might have a solution. If someone does not post a link, then contact Subaru Customer Relations and have someone check for you. Some dealers are better than others keeping abreast of TSB's and updates.

Couple of things you can check for the brake light. First check the fluid level in the master cylinder, since being low can trigger a light. If it is at the proper level it could even be a faulty sensor. Secondly what I think may be the culprit is the hand-brake. Not sure if the hand-brake is still cable operated on the SH model, but it triggers a switch when pulled. Try just as an exercise, pull up on the handle and gently force down when you release the hand-brake, if the light goes out then an adjustment of the cable may all that's necessary. I found after having my brakes serviced, my mechanic adjusted the brake cable, my hand-brake light came on sooner than before in the range of motion of the control arm.

As far as the window is concerned. Is your passenger side window any faster under the same conditions? If so, create a little log book and track the times of both windows, this will also provide your dealer with some hopefully useful information. It will also be a comparison as the temps rise to see if there is any difference in performance.

This is important. Any time you take your vehicle in for service and are having these items checked, have them write it on the work order and verify (!) it before signing. This will give Subaru (and dealer) a paper trail if you have related issues in the future, could aid in getting warranty when you run out.

You may want to improve on your location in your profile, and mention the dealer. You may get an opinion from someone local about your dealer, either good or bad.
Just go into your User CP. Edit Profile and add a proper location other than east, you can also add your vehicle info to a Signature while you're there. Just Edit Signature and add info like year/model/transmission then it will show up for all to see whenever you post.

Hope you are enjoying the Forester regardless, lot's of members have gone through similar situations with model changes and refreshes.

Just reread your up-date that it is an orange light that stays on so I'm not sure if that is the handbrake light or ABS light on an SH on that colourful dash display. When you turn the key on is the orange light on and a ABS text light illuminated? Both the low brake fluid and handbrake lights should be just one light. FYI
 

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2009 Forester (MT)
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I've been having 3 issues with my 2009 Forester (22,000 miles). My dealer service department is terrible. Thinking of going elsewhere but wanted to check in here first.

1) I've had a "tweeting" noise in my engine since 15,000 miles. Every time I bring it to the dealer they say they can't hear anything. I notice it in park, drive, and neutral. Seems to happen between 1,500 and 3,000 RPM. It starts as a low pitch tweet at 1,500 and it speeds up to a higher pitch tweet at 3,000. After that it's too faint to hear. I notice it the most if I'm traveling down a hill without my foot on the accelerator so the engine is otherwise quiet. Sometimes I also notice the smell of burning metal coming from the engine when I exit the car.

2) The orange brake light is illuminated today. No other light is illuminated. The only thing I've noticed weird with the brakes is that when it snows the ABS seem to engage if I brake even moderately hard. I feel like in other ABS cars they would not engage unless at higher speeds. I'm nervous to travel at decent speeds in the snow because braking causes the ABS to engage and I can slide for quiet a distance. Related?

3) At colder temperatures the driver's window barely goes up. It's fine going down but incredibly slow going up. Every time I bring it in they relube it but won't replace the motor because they say it's fine. Suggestions?
1. Sorry. I can't help you with the noise. I have no idea of what you are talking about.

2. The brake light illuminates to indicate two (maybe three) possible problems I know of:
a. Low brake fluid
b. Computer-indicated brake problem
c. Parking brake switch

The ABS engages at relatively low speeds. For example, you approach a stop sign and press the brake pedal to stop, but one of the tires loses traction because of ice on the road or any other reason. The ABS comes on to help you stop the car sooner than you can on slippery roads. The smoother the tire treads are (like bold tires), the more the ABS has to work trying to help you stop your car.

3. Yes, there is a problem with the driver's side window (and maybe with all the windows). The problem may be as follows:
a. The clearance between the weather seals and the glass may not be enough.
b. During cold weather this clearance is reduced to the point that it puts too much drag on the motor.

In my view it's a Subaru design flaw. My Forester's window works fine during the summer months, and also during mild temperatures (down to perhaps +20-degree F). But any colder than that put so much strain or drag on the motor that I am certain it will fail (burn) any day it's very cold and I leave the window down for an extended period. For example, while waiting at the drive-tru window of a local coffee stand when the temperature is around -20. When that cold, it takes nearly 20 seconds for the window to close. Since the driver's side window is the one we open and close the most, I am certain that this is the reason why we only notice the problem with this window and not the rest.

I would suggest that you make sure that the complain about the window is noted in the paperwork when you take your car to the dealer. Also, when cold outside open the other windows, leave them open for a few minutes, and see if the problem is there, too. If so, make the dealer take note and give you a copy.
 

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Appreciate the help so far TC2000

1. I had the shop check the belts and they said all were fine.

2. I agree that if the ABS is kicking in it usually means too fast for the road conditions. However, unless I crawl to a stop sign or parking space, they kick in with snow on the ground. And if I'm over 15 mph and apply moderate brake pressure on snow I slide while the ABS is going crazy. Maybe the factory tires are just really terrible. The emergency brake is totally released. In the manual it says if it were the e-brake, that light would be on. This is an orange symbol; no text.

3. I heard this from one other person re the window. Kinda sucks. Between this, door rattle that had to be fixed, and fogging rear lights, it seems this car has too many "that's just the way it is."

I had a Passat before this and a Grand Cherokee before that.
All depends on how you drive. For example, I usually coast to the stop sign or light by taking my foot off the accelerator and downshifting (MT), and finally by braking gently. When I drive an automobile with auto-transmission, I just remove my foot from the accelerator and coast to the stop sign, and finally braking gently.

Have you seeing how tractor trailer drivers approach a stop sign? That's what I am talking about. This practice is good not only to save your brake shoes and pads, but also saves fuel.

Some other people drive this way: when they approach a stop sign, they get there fast, and then stomp on the brake pedal to slow down. These drivers will have their ABS smoking trying to help them stop on slippery roads. I am not saying that you are one of these since it's possible that there is a problem with your brakes. All I am saying is that you have to determine how you drive. This will help you isolate a possible ABS malfunction.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x
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Concept: never had the brake light come on, but the 1st half of this winter driving in snow scared the hell out of me. Just a light touch on the brake pedal in snow (at low speed) and the abs kicked in. Slid right thru more than one stop sign (I go to work at 4 AM, hence no accidents). Bought a set of dedicated winter tires (Altimax Arctic non-studded) and problem solved. With winter tires, the Forester is a completely different animal in snow. In fact it's a snow-eating beast. Turns, stops, starts all feel great. Have to work to kick in the ABS now. My OEM tires are Bridgestone Duelers, and while i have no complaint about them otherwise, they absolutely suck in snow. They could get you killed.
STeve
09 2.5X AT
 

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I have the cold weather window problem, too. In the warm dealer garage they could not duplicate the problem and did not fix it. I also have the warped driver side mirror and balky tailgate problems in cold weather. Crappy cold weather mpg, too.
 

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I have the cold weather window problem, too. In the warm dealer garage they could not duplicate the problem and did not fix it. I also have the warped driver side mirror and balky tailgate problems in cold weather. Crappy cold weather mpg, too.
A lot of more gasoline is used by all automobiles when the temperature drops. Even my '87 Civic Si uses a lot of gasoline during the winter months. My Forester uses around 21 to 22.2 MPG during the winter, then goes up to around 26-30 MPG during the summer.

The problem with the windows can only be duplicated outside, because it only happens when you are driving when cold outdoors. What you have to do is to take your car to the dealer on the coldest day possible. Park it outside, open the window, and later bring the technician outside and ask him to close the window.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks a lot for the tips so far. This is my first Subaru (2009 2.5X) and my first new car. I'd like to remain a Subaru driver for awhile but have had more minor things to fix than I would expect with a brand new car.

I live in Albany, NY and take the car to Goldstein Subaru. I had a great experience buying the car. Normally I took my old cars to a local mechanic, but as this is my first new car, I wanted to keep it in great shape and don't mind spending extra for dealer service. The dealer also provides a liftime powertrain warranty if all service is done there.

Regarding some of the additional info some of you requested:

1) A chirping noise would be another way to describe it as some said they heard from a belt. To my limited car experience it either sounds like a belt or a ball bearing. The belts have been checked during my last 2 oil changes and said they were fine. Sometimes I notice the noise more after the car has warmed up and it isn't very loud. With the radio on it can't be heard. So it might be difficult to hear in the shop. It's not tire/axle rotation dependent because it can be heard in park and neutral.

2) The orange brake light that is illuminated is near the fuel gauge and looks like this (!). The traction light and the e-brake light are not illuminated. I'm dropping the car off tomorrow to have this checked. Regarding the snow skidding, it might be an issue with the factory tires as some noted. The ABS have only engaged once on dry pavement when another driver ran a stop sign and I had to slam on the brakes. However, when traveling down a hill in the snow I need to lay off the accelerator for quite a distance and brake gingerly (like a truck driver) or else I skid. I'm a cautious driver to begin with. I had pretty good tires on my Jeep and almost never skidded in the snow. The Forester seems great cornering and handling in the snow when the AWD kicks in, but the braking is bad.

3) The window probably has to do with the clearance. It generally only happens in cold weather and it only occurs on the driver door. The shop therefore can't replicate the issue and has re-lubed it a couple times. This allows the window to travel at normal speed for a few days, but then it crawls again soon thereafter. What is the solution to this? I like the tips of how to replicate it in the shop, but what should I ask the shop to do to fix it?

The dealer gives a print out with every complaint and how it was addressed, so I have a pretty solid paper trail of all complaints.
 

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Thanks for the updates. Personally I don't think anyone will be offended if you contact Subaru and open a file. They will probably contact the dealer to see if the dealer is aware of any TSB's or updates that Subaru may have concerning these complaints. This approach is two-fold, Subaru becomes aware of a potential problem that they themselves may need to look into and the dealer now gets brought up to speed with what Subaru would like them to do to rectify the problems. They may even send one of their regional techs out to have a look and diagnose the issues.

What ever you decide do, keep us up to date and we hope you come to be happy with your Subaru as many of us here have.

Cheers
 

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. Regarding the snow skidding, it might be an issue with the factory tires as some noted. The ABS have only engaged once on dry pavement when another driver ran a stop sign and I had to slam on the brakes. However, when traveling down a hill in the snow I need to lay off the accelerator for quite a distance and brake gingerly (like a truck driver) or else I skid. I'm a cautious driver to begin with. I had pretty good tires on my Jeep and almost never skidded in the snow. The Forester seems great cornering and handling in the snow when the AWD kicks in, but the braking is bad.

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Same here, only felt abs once on dry pave, a panic stop when someone jumped a light in front of me. But on snow it was kicking in all the time, no matter how gently I drove...until I bought the snow tires. Now it is a non-issue, I look forward to driving in snow. You live in the snow belt, treat your Foz to a set of snows. Winter is ending and you might find a good deal at Tirerack, a local dealer, or Craigslist. Good luck,
Steve
09 2.5X
 

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Thanks a lot for the tips so far. This is my first Subaru (2009 2.5X) and my first new car. I'd like to remain a Subaru driver for awhile but have had more minor things to fix than I would expect with a brand new car.

I live in Albany, NY and take the car to Goldstein Subaru. I had a great experience buying the car. Normally I took my old cars to a local mechanic, but as this is my first new car, I wanted to keep it in great shape and don't mind spending extra for dealer service. The dealer also provides a liftime powertrain warranty if all service is done there.

Regarding some of the additional info some of you requested:

2) The orange brake light that is illuminated is near the fuel gauge and looks like this (!). The traction light and the e-brake light are not illuminated. I'm dropping the car off tomorrow to have this checked. Regarding the snow skidding, it might be an issue with the factory tires as some noted. The ABS have only engaged once on dry pavement when another driver ran a stop sign and I had to slam on the brakes. However, when traveling down a hill in the snow I need to lay off the accelerator for quite a distance and brake gingerly (like a truck driver) or else I skid. I'm a cautious driver to begin with. I had pretty good tires on my Jeep and almost never skidded in the snow. The Forester seems great cornering and handling in the snow when the AWD kicks in, but the braking is bad.
Question on your second issue. Are you looking at the TPMS indicator? Your tire pressure drops when it get's colder and the TPMS amber indicator will illuminate. The location and color are wrong in the link below but the symbology is correct. Check your tire pressure when the tires are cold.

What’s Inside: Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
 

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2009 Forester
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Discussion Starter #19
Quick update. You were right FDX. Before seeing your message I noticed my rear passenger tire was low. Filled it back up and the indicator light went off. I'll have to bring it in to check for a slow leak.

I'll start looking at snow tires for next season Steve. Any particular brand that works well with this car?

Does anyone know of a source to find service bulletins? I noticed Subaru offers it for a $35 subscription. I've searched this message board but have been able to find bulletin numbers regarding the slow driver window and the fogging tail light. I thought it would be helpful to point out to the dealer the TSB numbers to show that I know they're common problems.

Regarding the engine tweet/chirp: I've noticed that the sound is more audible after the car has warmed and the blue temperature dash light has gone off. It's still present right when the car is started, but I can hear it more clearly after the engine is warm and has quieted down. Maybe this is why the dealer can't hear it in the shop. Does this help narrow down the possibilities of it being a belt, bearing, or something else?

Thanks again everyone!
 
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