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I have just discovered that my 2014 NA needs replacement head gaskets(112k miles), already replaced the lockup solenoid from the transmission valve box(100k miles). Also need new axles. I consider these major repairs, so I'll say no.
 

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2018 Forester XT Limited CVT
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@DragonSubie7 @Botnik - that's the exact reason I do not drive an XT and have not (will not?) make the change to a Forester Sport (SK gen).... even with AC.... I've found Japanese AC systems have a tough time dealing with 100-plus degree heat - something I live with 3 out of 12 months...
I did a quick calc and 100 F is 38 C. There are times where my area is 35 C or more, for 2-3 weeks at a time. There are people who love that, but I'm definitely not one of them. If you look at weather reports, the records say the temperatures in my area are in the 20s or low 30s (which is still too hot for me) but they measure it in some "standard" place that doesn't get that hot, so it's kind of pointless. Anyway the a/c in my cars is on permanently. In the winter it's on to clear the windows and dry out the passenger compartment, and in the summer it's to keep the passenger compartment tolerable. I can't even open the sunroof shade if it's not cloudy or raining, because the top of my head gets uncomfortable. In the summer my wife and kid actually crawl under blankets and put sweaters on when I'm in the car because I have the a/c cranked. My 2007 Forester, that I bought new, had the a/c on continuously, and after 11 years and something like 150,000 km, the clutch on the compressor started to slip, and I had planned on doing the shim thing to fix it, but I traded that car in before I got around to doing the compressor clutch adjustment. I keep the a/c on my 2018 XT on permanently as well. Hopefully it lasts at least 11 years.
 

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I replaced the clutch at just over 100,000 kms.

[...]

I babied the clutch. I wanted this one to last so no aggressive downshifting, keeping hands on the shifter, etc. I'm really disappointed, we are an all-manual car family and I had a KIA Sportage that got over 170,000 kms before the clutch had to be replaced.
My 2007 Forester clutch lasted 150,000 km, and the throwout bearing failed. My 1990 Civic throwout bearing lasted about the same. I don't drive aggressively.
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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I don't know how relevant it is, but I just had my passenger airbag recall done yesterday at the dealer, and asked them to do a full suspension inspection on my 2011 with 265,000 KM ( bought used privately over a year and a half ago with 247,000). I was a little blown away by the estimate but thrilled at the same time at the results. Basically, I have a slightly loose passenger side front ball joint, two worn rear end links, and two worn rear stabilizer bar bushings. This is on a high mileage 10+-year-old Forester that near as I can tell is all original. I think that is exceptional, and frankly no big deal.
I was planning on changing the front control arms as maintenance anyway and bought them last year, but realized the arms were still pretty good so had not bothered. As for the rear, considering all the parts to it, just end links and stabilizer bar bushings is nothing.
The sad part is that the dealer estimate for replacing the one front ball joint and the stuff on the rear was $ 681 with taxes ( 3 hrs total labour at 125 per hour + parts). I don't know what is in them but the Subaru end links are pushing $90 CAD each. Fortunetaly Rock Auto to the rescue-- they currently have Suspensia end links on sale which look to be OE quality. With delivery and taxes two rear end links and two front end links are costing me $53 CAD. I will be installing them as well as the Mevotech Supreme Front Control arms that I got last year for $120 CAD each with tax and delivery last year.
Anyway the point of this is that at 10 years of age the suspension and over all body of the Forester remains in great shape. I fully plan on keeping it past the 200,000 mile or 320,000 KM mark.
 

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I've found Japanese AC systems have a tough time dealing with 100-plus degree heat - something I live with 3 out of 12 months...
I had a 2003 Baja when I lived in Phoenix, and the AC performed quite admirably, without ever any problems, in PHOENIX, where people cook their burritos for lunch by putting them on the dash in the morning. Seriously. It's probably second only to Death Valley, although I never went there to test the AC effectiveness... :cool:
 

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I am looking to become a first time Subaru owner via purchasing a 2014 Forester. My bottom line question is: can I get 200k miles out of this car through regular maintenance? Buying and selling cars every five years isn't an option for me and making my dollar stretch through investing in a reliable vehicle is key.
Is there a 200k club thread on those forum for this generation of Foresters?
My'14 is at almost 145k and runs fine. I am, in all honesty, not perfect about recommended maintenance. Still, I'm expecting to reach 200k with no major problems. It does consume oil, but it always has.
 

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I had a 2003 Baja when I lived in Phoenix, and the AC performed quite admirably, without ever any problems, in PHOENIX, where people cook their burritos for lunch by putting them on the dash in the morning. Seriously. It's probably second only to Death Valley, although I never went there to test the AC effectiveness... :cool:
....yeah. I live in SoCal in the desert region and it gets pretty darn hot out here especially when the on shore breeze stops in the afternoon that helps cool things off. When that happens, it can get easily get in the low 100's during the hottest months of the Summer.

While not what I would consider "freeze you out of the car" performance like in some of my other vehicles, my '03 WRX did just fine even during those trips to Vegas even during those "Africa hot" periods that give even the Baker thermometer a workout.

Same in my wife's '08 Forester. ....perfectly adequate IMO although the tint helped. In my wife's 2020 the a/c is reallly great to be honest.

The only challenge I had in the '03 and the '08 was the fact that they didn't have a remote start feature like my Challenger does. My Dodge is black with black leather interior but small windows (no tint). However, it has remote start so it was easy enough to start up from the office window (prior to retiring) before walking out to the parking lot. ....plenty of time to cool down by the time I got there. With the '03 and '08, you had to sweat it out until the a/c could catch up.

I don't even want to imagine how hot the interiors were during those 100+ days of sitting out in the Sun all day.
 

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I am looking to become a first time Subaru owner via purchasing a 2014 Forester. My bottom line question is: can I get 200k miles out of this car through regular maintenance? Buying and selling cars every five years isn't an option for me and making my dollar stretch through investing in a reliable vehicle is key.
Is there a 200k club thread on those forum for this generation of Foresters?
There is a great deal of wisdom on this thread from many do it your self Subaru owners. Clearly, if you can do your own work, keeping a Subaru going longer, like to 200K, is going to be much more feasible than if you do not and you have to pay a Subaru dealer or other mechanic. Otherwise the harsh reality of paying for repairs is extremely relevant.

1) Case in point, Consumer Reports current issue, June 21 (p. 52-58) has exhaustive data showing the cost of repairs and maintenance on 2011 models and average yearly cost. Their findings are worth examining. They conclude that models from Toyota and Honda (cars with current retail value in the $5-10K range) had the lowest annual cost in the $245-300 range as compared to Subaru Forester & Outback (again under $10k in retail value), came in at $500 average annual cost, or double (p. 56).

I am not saying this is a perfect analysis but it is illustrative and of some value. One thing that should be noted (and I did not find this addressed in the article) and should be at least by footnote, is that it seems a bit unfair to not recognize that virtually all Subaru vehicles are all wheel drive and therefore necessarily have more drive parts to wear out than a two wheel drive. Surely this is helping to drive up Subaru repair costs--some or many of those Toyotas and Hondas are two wheel drive and helping to pull down the lifetime costs over the ten years of expenses. So is it a fair comparison to conclude Subaru vehicles cost much more than Toyotas and Hondas when you are getting the performance and safety of all wheel drive, compared to two wheel drive vehicles? This seems a significant factor to me in helping to explain some portion of the higher annual costs.

2) Service Contracts: Second point from this article: while Consumer Reports has historically taken the strong position that service contracts are a waste of money and that has contributed to the very common blanket opposition to all service contracts, this article, to me, admits to a change in thinking. Under its title "BUY IT WITH A WARRANTY", the article states "Although it usually isn't worth buying an extended warranty to cover a reliable car, a warranty plan for an unreliable vehicle may save you money if it costs less than a few fixes." [emphasis added].

To me, this suggests a reconsideration is warranted to the blind opposition to service contracts. Perhaps the addition of such high technology safety features is a factor-- that very likely can only be fixed by a Subaru Dealer.

As an example of the potential cost effectiveness of a bumper to bumper extended warranty on an older 2014 Crosstrek, for $385 per year ($100 deductible), after a 20% negotiated discount, five years or 60K of additional coverage is available. This is the company my Subaru dealer recommends and repairs its Subaru vehicles under. (Subaru will not extend warranty on a 2014 Crosstrek but my Subaru dealer has contracted to be an agent for an aftermarket service plan, that it has vetted for integrity of coverage.) Personally, I can justify an annual cost of under $400 to keep my Crosstrek for another 5 years or 60K, to carry me, mostly protected, from now until at least 12 years from my purchase date. Whether the Crosstrek will prove more or less costly than the Subaru Forester or Outback is unknown-- but their indicated average annual cost of $500 found by Consumer Reports would seem to suggest that extended service contracts are worth investigation, especially if you can get the cost below $400 per year as I did.

I believe this newest Consumer Reports breaks new ground in reporting long term costs of repairs and in specifically advocating for the serious consideration of service contracts and the reporting of average annual costs is something very worthwhile in evaluating the potential benefits, with Subaru apparently justifying more serious consideration for extended warranty coverage, as being cost justified, as compared to some other imported brands, namely Toyotas and Hondas.
 

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I am a bit confused. Are you talking maintenance costs, repair costs, or warranty costs?. I guess it's a wash if repair and warranty costs are similar. I thought just on a basic level that Subaru maintenance costs are higher than for a Corolla or Camry, but I suspect the AWD Rav 4 and other AWD vehicles in the Toyota or Honda lineup would also cost more compared to non-sport car 2wd vehicles.
Of course, if the goal is to reach 200,000 miles spending the least amount possible on servicing is probably ill-considered. Subaru does claim a higher percentage of its vehicles last 10+ years, maybe the servicing requirements are part of the reason why.
One thing we have not mentioned though is age and hitting 200,000. I think it helps if a car does lots of highway miles in its earlier years with lots of dealer service. A 2015 is far more likely to easily reach 200,000 if it currently has over 100,000 on it and is being driven regularly, than the same car with 35,000 miles on the odometer, one oil change per year, and lots of small trip city driving.
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A few things -

Most of the times when a magazine (or some other source) is breaking down costs of ownership (maintenance, repairs, whatever) it is generalized and it is usually for the make and model, regardless of trim, options, etc., unless they specifically break it down by powertrain (larger/smaller motors, auto vs manual, etc.). As the majority of Honda and Toyota models (whether SUV or passenger vehicle) are 2WD and not AWD, this would lend more credence and weight to the concepts that the maintenance on a Subaru is more because of the extra "stuff" involved in AWD vs 2WD. And a lot of these types of comparisons are more about maintenance and what could be termed "minor" repairs beyond regular maintenance.

When it comes to extended warranties, it's often best to view them more like an insurance policy... something you buy, hoping you'll never need it but glad that it's there when you do need it. When I'd purchased my 2014 Forester 7 1/2 years ago (Aug 2013), I got the top line warranty they had that year and never regretted the purchase. Why? Well, I DID use it for some repairs over the years and it IS beneficial to not have to shell out an extra 300, 500, 800, 1800 bucks when something does go wrong. It also included road side assistance and towing and (I think) trip reimbursement coverages.

When I had the cam carrier seals redone on my Forester last year (they were leaking/seeping a bit - not so much that I had drops in the driveway but...) the warranty covered it. If I'd not had that warranty, I would have been shelling out a lot of bucks for this - as they engine needs to be removed to replace those seals - think of the labor costs alone. That same warranty got me the newer/better AC compressor and condenser units, replaced rear shocks/struts, and other issues that I had that I would have had to pay out of pocket for. Given how much tech is now being put in newer cars, that extra coverage for those types of gizmos that can fail AND be expensive to replace...

When it comes to temps and my commentary on the efficiency (or lack of) on Japanese AC systems, it's based on real life and real world experiences. As some of you know - I live near Palm Springs in the SoCal deserts. Regularly see at least a third of the year with triple digit temps (last year we had over 150 days of 100-plus degree days). When I bought my Forester, I also looked at a 2014 XT in the Venetian Red pearl - a beauty - with the black/charcoal leather interior; late July 2013. The test drive route is a loop of about 1 1/2 to 2 miles. By the time we were back, the front seats were just feeling "not quite as hot as hell" and the sales guy in the back seat was still sweating .... Taking a Limited with the platinum interior out just after, the interior was feeling very cool front and back over the same loop.

I also had a 2008 Mazda 3 Sport hatch (Impreza competition) before the Forester and found the same thing - that the lighter colored interior (it was called black sand - beige seats, black carpets, dash, door panels) would take a bit of time to cool down. By comparison, the AC systems in my Chrysler PT Cruiser and Town & Country minivan would have it feeling cold in just a few minutes, where either the Mazda or the Subaru were merely feeling "cool". Going further back in time (to the 90s) my Dodge Raider (a Mitsubishi Montero clone) was also exceptional when it came to AC performance... I was living in Las Vegas - another area known for exceptionally hot summer days) and was almost as good as the truck I had just prior to the Raider - a Dodge RamCharnger 4x4 with the 360 V8...

As for the cooling abilities of the Baja - I don't doubt that. But it's also a much smaller interior to cool down vs the Forester or even the Outback the Baja was derived from.

To finalize this long post - let's just say this - by reading through this thread, our OP can see some that have had issues, some that have not had issues. The biggest and best takeaway from this is that nobody can guarantee X-miles from any car - no matter how well cared for - but you do stand a good chance of getting a lot of miles from a Forester - as long as you care for it and the previous owner cared for it. Know that you WILL have repair costs and you WILL have to get work done. So pad your budget and save 25 bucks a pay check (or whatever) to build up that repair fund.
 

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FWIW, I was also speaking from real life and real world experiences living, camping and traveling in and around SoCal deserts during the hottest times of the year in Subarus (among other cars).

Again, while I wouldn't necessarily consider the Subarus I've owned stellar performers in regard to cooling efficiency, they have all done fine once the vehicle is on the road and cooled off inside after sitting out in the hot Sun in 100+ temps for example. .....my wife's 2020 might be an exception however as it has been more effective than I thought it would be so far.
 

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Re short trips: You need to run the engine and get it to operating temperature and spend some time travelling at normal speeds and not stuck in traffic. In addition to evaporating and removing some of the contaminants in your engine oil, one of the products of combustion is water. When your exhaust is cold, this water will condense in your exhaust system, causing rust. If you make a lot of short trips, just driving your kid to school 5 minutes away, you are just coating your exhaust with this condensation, over and over.

My 2007 Forester had a few bulges in the exhaust system. I never looked up what was what, but there were catalytic converters and maybe resonators. The one under the centre of the car was two halves, top and bottom, and I think they were welded together around the edges. When the car was maybe 8-9 years old, the exhaust started getting louder. Troubleshooting consisted of putting the car on a hoist and leaving the engine running, and sticking my hand around the exhaust path. I found air puffing out of the side of this bulge. The repair consisted of drilling a hole through the flange every inch or so, and putting nuts and bolts all along the flange. It looked kind of hokey (we used long bolts we had on hand) but it was out of sight.

There are heat shields around some exhaust components too. These things rust and come loose and rattle, and repairs are simply putting metal hose clamps around them and holding them tight.

The bulge splitting could have been from water inside or from water splashed on the outside. The heat shields get wet from water splashed onto the outside. Heating the exhaust system up will help dry it, and doing short trips will leave condensation inside, and splash water onto it from outside that doesn't get dried off by heat.

While the exhaust is a more-accessible repair than stuff inside the engine, it's another thing that people might consider in the "longevity" of a vehicle, and another thing you can help last longer by trying to reduce the number of short trips you make in the car.
 

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The CR article, like much of their daily content, is not behind a paywall.

 

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The CR article, like much of their daily content, is not behind a paywall.

Thanks rdclark for posting. This data coupled with a re-thinking of the potential merits of extended service contracts could profoundly alter the decision making process of whether to get one, or not, at time of purchase, during the pendency of the factory warranty, and then again at time of first factory, or Subaru extended contract expiration, when the transition from contract to contract must occur.

There are still the challenges associated with selection of brand of service contracts, weeding out bad players (like the telephone boiler room callers) versus the legitimate companies, (such as the ones Subaru Dealers have vetted), and the complications of contract exclusions with the different plans-- but I believe it is all incrementally a step in the right direction to consider the implications. Also, cost negotiation is critical to economic feasibility: I asked for a 20% discount off of the quoted extended warranty to get it down to $1985, which they agreed to. Remember: the dealer gets the benefit of any and all work they do under the Contract-- and they keep you as a customer in the process, with full alignment of dealer and car owner incentive to keep the car operating in top performing condition. A lesson I learned from my Mazda Extended Warranty was they went over my Tribute with a fine tooth comb every time I came in there as they would be reimbursed for every repair.

I believe it to be a very challenging and personal decision where the relevant implications to be considered vary widely by auto brand; owner ability to maintain; owner access to competent Subaru service;, quality and integrity of service plan; and especially risk tolerance of the car owner. A lot of you guys have incredible mechanical skills and experience, that I simply do not, and therefor the decision for me is very different than the decision for many of you. I used to be able to do tune ups and minor repairs-- now checking oil level and filling the windshield washer reservoir are about the extent of my mechanical skills on cars today....
 

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The CR article, like much of their daily content, is not behind a paywall.

I would still like some breakdown of the expenses and what the actual difference is. For example all Outbacks and Foresters are AWD whereas most CRVs and Sportages are 2WD. A 200 dollar difference in annual servicing and repair costs is made up of what exactly? And why the big difference between CRV and RDX -- basically same car. Same for the Pilot and MDX. Reversing the question why are the Acuras 200 more a year than the Subarus? I would love the answers to this and other mysteries in life.
I will add that I don't even see how their amounts are possible given the avg dealer labor rate is pushing 125 an hour, small local garages are in the 90+ range, and part pricing from dealers or top-end NAPA stuff is expensive. Doing it myself I cannot do two oil changes a year for less than 100 using Subie oil filters and Pennzoil synthetic bought on sale at half price. ( not to mention the extra jug required for oil top offs lol).
Could the differences just be the difference with one or two owners reporting a fairly major repair such as redoing the seals on the engine, or replacing the transmission so that a few 4K repairs drive up the averages? And if that is so, it speaks to the value of the car in my mind if some owners are willing to spend more on upkeep and repairs to maintain it. ;)
 

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This is the company my Subaru dealer recommends and repairs its Subaru vehicles under. (Subaru will not extend warranty on a 2014 Crosstrek but my Subaru dealer has contracted to be an agent for an aftermarket service plan, that it has vetted for integrity of coverage.)
What is the name of the aftermarket service plan? Good non-SOA plans are hard to find.
 

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What is the name of the aftermarket service plan? Good non-SOA plans are hard to find.
/QUOTE]

The name of the service plan is Auto-Guard which is administered by DOWC, Ringwood NJ. My Subaru dealer tells me that DOWC is re-insured by Allstate, which I believe is A rated by AM Best.

I am having to trust that my Subaru dealer would only rely upon a reputable company that is going to stand behind the contract. They need to do this out of self-interest anyway as that is how they would get reimbursed for their labor and covered parts. Other factors entering into the decision was first, it is refundable on a pro-rata basis ($50 fee) if I decide to sell the car and secondly, it is transferable to a new owner ($100 fee) which should help increase marketability and value on a resale. The plan has a $100 deductible. While I would have preferred a Subaru extended contract, Subaru does not allow for coverage on an older Subaru, my 2014 Crosstrek, and so the Dealer offers Auto-Guard on older Subarus.

There are four levels of Plan, I bought Level 4, the highest level which the dealer refers to as "bumper to bumper", although there are always exclusions, and I was quoted for 3, 4, and 5 year plans. I took the five year plan, or 60K miles, quoted at $2395. I asked for a 20% discount, they said yes, and the cost came in at $1916.

Clearly, there is a level of trust that I have with my Subaru dealer-- and any favorable, or unfavorable, experience with Auto-Guard will be subject to sharing here!
 

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Your best bet would still be to go for the Subaru backed extended warranty/protection. Even if only just for the fact that EVERY and ANY Subaru dealer will accept this and do the work and all you have to pay is the deductible (if any). Even with other top-rated plans, at other dealers, you may have to pay out of pocket and then file for reimbursement - which can take weeks or months or longer...
 

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Your best bet would still be to go for the Subaru backed extended warranty/protection. Even if only just for the fact that EVERY and ANY Subaru dealer will accept this and do the work and all you have to pay is the deductible (if any). Even with other top-rated plans, at other dealers, you may have to pay out of pocket and then file for reimbursement - which can take weeks or months or longer...
Subaru will not extend beyond the extended warranty. They will not cover so Subaru dealers have no choice but to go to alternative carriers.

That is why it will be helpful for folks to find out what carriers their Subaru dealer has found to be reputable and willing to work effectively with. This is a 2014 Crosstrek whose Subaru Gold has expired and no longer coverable by Subaru. That is why Auto-Guard was selected.
 
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