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Is the forester an expensive vehicle to maintain?


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18' 2.5 Premium 6MT 6MT
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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a link

The gist is that the forester is listed as an expensive vehicle to maintain based upon (common dealer costs):
1. Oil Change and Filter - $161
2. Replace brake pads / rotors - $1010
3. Replace starter - $570

I always find these types of articles should be taken with a grain of salt but even so I find these numbers a bit much what do you think?
My thoughts are:
1. Consumables for an oil change are $35-$45 for genuine subaru fluid and filter. If you are a home gamer (especially if you put on a fumoto) this takes about 15 minutes with a warm engine, the shop might charge an hours labor which is the real cost and then some dealer markup on the consumables. Given the ground clearance and ease of filter access I don't even need to jack the car up if I put a short plastic tube on the fumoto.
2. $1000k for a brake job is also a bit much but I can't guess at what the shop time is. I owned a Jetta that I put 120k mi on and only had to change the rear pads and rotors - due to some terribly rusted bolts it took longer than necessary but even as a first time job for me it took about 3 1/2 hours, quality parts were $160-$200.
3. No idea about the starter this price sounds plausible though I would be disappointed to need to replace a starter within 10 years but who knows (not me).

What does the community think or feel about the cost to maintain our foresters?
 

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2010 Forester Premium X AT
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In my experience over the years (coming from Hondas, Toyotas, and Ford), service departments of Subaru dealerships are more likely to recommend un-needed repairs and at ridiculous prices. I think this article is a direct result of that and in my opinion, it would serve SOA well to hold some of their dealer service departments a little more accountable.

I like my subaru's but stay away from the dealerships if at all possible for service.
 

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2016 XT Premium
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I also saw this article recently and was surprised the Forester was on the list. Their 10-yr cost of $12,450 is crazy high unless you include short block replacements from the oil burning generations.

The source given on these costs is 'yourmechanic.com' which is hardly a reliable resource. Especially them giving the price for an oil change of $161... if you pay that much you are seriously getting ripped off, shop around.

After looking at the source of their numbers, and other cars on the list, its a total BS listicle to garner Motor1 some extra clicks. According to the article an AMG Mercedes only costs $350 more to maintain over 10 years than a Forester 😂🤣😂
 

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1999 "L" - 231,000 mi. AT
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I think Forester's expensive to operate / maintain even if you don't look at dealer only service rates. '99 A/T with 230,000 miles. That said it still works and styling still looks good after 20 yrs.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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I think Foresters and most Subarus are expensive to keep in general compared to a similar Toyota Rav 4 etc.
Consider simple jobs like sparkplug changes, headgasket changes, clutches, timing belts etc, all take longer and trickier on a Subaru but that is the nature of the boxer engine with a proper AWD system.
* Based on 10 year old models and older - Since the article is all about 10 year cost of ownership

If you want a cheap to run vehicle, get a Corolla or Camry
 

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2010 Forester Automatic 4sp
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I am not sure where they get the pricing. I am not sure about starter as I never change it. But, I am in northern New Jersey and I never paid more than 50$ for an oil change. Ever.
Breaks and rotors is about 500 -600$.
Yes sparkplugs and wires is about 400$ too but we'll it's life.
I own 2010 Forester. Original owner. It is now at 150k+
I would say in 10 years a spent no more than 6 or 7k on it.
 

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My dealerships charge half that for oil change but I started doing them myself. It's the easiest oil change ever. My Trailblazer is a serious pain.
 

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Amazon wants $58.40 for 6 qts of oil, filter and gasket. My dealership runs specials for oil change at $59.00
 

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I personally do not think Subarus are more expensive than equivalent other vehicles, exception being German vehicles, probably.
If you want a cheap to run vehicle, get a Corolla or Camry
According to my mechanic, newer Camrys will not be cheap to maintain and he is guessing that they will not last long like older Camrys.
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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Lets see my last oil change cost 26.99 for Penzoil full synthetic 5L jug on sale, 11.99 for a subaru oil filter and crush washer, and another 10 for an extra Litre of the Penzoil 0w-20. Frankly I find it easier to do it myself than to book an appointment or even horror of horrors using a quick lube place. Anyhow that list is a joke. Where the heck are the X3 and X5 on it because the people I know that have kept BMWs or bought them used may possibly save a bit on maintenance ( though I very much doubt it) but they sure spend a lot more on frequent repairs and tire replacements..
 

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Is anyone here actually paying anything close to $161 for an oil change? That's nuts. I'm guessing the $1k full brake job is probably pretty close to what my dealership would charge, though.
 

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I have seen people pay 1100 to have the brakes redone on a Corolla at a chain store. For the subaru, to change rotors and pads front and back, you can buy good quality parts for less than $250 for a Centric kit. Doing your own mechanical work, if you have the skills and tools, really changes the maintenance cost structure of car ownership.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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I personally do not think Subarus are more expensive than equivalent other vehicles, exception being German vehicles, probably.

According to my mechanic, newer Camrys will not be cheap to maintain and he is guessing that they will not last long like older Camrys.
That's probably true about newer Camrys not lasting as well. Like pretty much every new car on the market, there's more technology being added with more potential failure points where it will require trips to the dealer to read the codes on this new safety/driving aid tech. As far as I know, there is no way for a non Subaru dealer to read what the Eyesight codes are as an example, I'm sure the same is true for Toyota/Honda etc. It doesn't help that manufacturers are making everything to a set price and with a certain product life cycle period in mind. Parts are generally designed to until the warranty period expires, or if you're lucky, to last the life of the vehicle, which these days appears to be around 10-15 years.

How do you arrive at the idea that a 10 year old Forester is not more expensive/time consuming to maintain to a comparable vehicle, such as a Rav 4 or CRV ? (Sticking with gasoline/petrol engines) - Genuinely curious :)

I would expect a Rav4, CX5 and CRV to return better mpg in the real world vs a Forester too. (Excluding Turbo and V6 models)
 

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Lets see my last oil change cost 26.99 for Penzoil full synthetic 5L jug on sale, 11.99 for a subaru oil filter and crush washer, and another 10 for an extra Litre of the Penzoil 0w-20. Frankly I find it easier to do it myself than to book an appointment or even horror of horrors using a quick lube place.
Hope you kept your receipts, if so......you can let Pennzoil pay for your next oil filter and crush washer. There is a rebate of $10 for 5l jug, and $2 for the 1l , on right now. :D
 

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Subaru dealers definitely have pretty high costs, IMO. I go to an Indie Subaru shop and pay $100 for an oil change, and that's will higher quality Motul oil. The job is also going to be done better, I can't even count the amount of times the dealer overfilled, especially when they were doing the oil consumption tests... -_-.

The brake/rotor quote is definitely accurate, and way overpriced. They also recommend to replace or re-surface the rotors no matter what condition they are in. As mentioned above, quality brakes and rotors aren't expensive, and only takes an hour or so to do yourself. Spend your $750 savings on a jack and stands, mechanics gloves, a case of beer, and the rest towards go fast parts.
 

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For my 2014 Forester:

My oil change is $25 for Mobil1 synthetic oil and $5 for oil filter from rockauto.com, so $30 plus my labor.

Brake pads are $20 - $30 per axle from the same source - lasting several years - plus some silicon brake grease, and my labor.

Brake rotors - still original after 6 years / 35k miles.

Starter - no problems so far.

Battery is crap - but made it with regualar charging to 6 year mark, and I expect $100-$150 replacement cost.

Annual maintenance cost - negligible.

Just my experience, yours may vary.
 

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I think Foresters and most Subarus are expensive to keep in general compared to a similar Toyota Rav 4 etc.
Consider simple jobs like sparkplug changes, headgasket changes, clutches, timing belts etc, all take longer and trickier on a Subaru but that is the nature of the boxer engine with a proper AWD system.
* Based on 10 year old models and older - Since the article is all about 10 year cost of ownership

If you want a cheap to run vehicle, get a Corolla or Camry
You are right - I have a 1999 Rav 4 and it has cost 2 batteries and some tyres in 20 years and that’s it, apart from infrequent services. I even stopped servicing it at one point, as I figured it was worth so little. Took pity on it after a few more years service as “the dog car” and it is still going strong. Even has the original cam-belt 😎

Having said that, the quoted prices are barmy. Brakes would be in the region of 200-300 max.....and if I am not taking the dogs...the Foz gets picked every time. It is just so nice to drive.
 

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Not sure about the newer model years, but I can't imagine it actually costs that much. My closest dealer charges ~$85 for oil/filter change and tire rotation on both my 2011 and my 2018 Legacy. I didn't like the feel of the stock breaks on the Forester, so I upgraded high performance rotors and pads for around $800 in 2018. The cost at the dealer for the same service with OEM parts at the time was ~$900. I've never had to replace my starter, so no help there. The 30/60/90k maintenance costs are around $650 at the dealer and $450 at a nearby-ish independent Subie shop. Usually there is a coupon for those services at the dealer which makes it not worth the time to drive 45 minutes away (vs. 5 mins to the dealer) to save a few bucks. The other two dealers in the area, which I've used in the past when I worked closer to them, charge similar prices. I assume they make their money on volume, given how busy they all are. Perhaps smaller dealers can't do the same?
 

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We have owned Subarus' off and on since 1983. Along the way we've also had Toyotas', Hondas', a Hyundai and a Chevy Blazer. Our Subies have not been anymore expensive to maintain/repair. Oil changes for our 2018 Forester XT are $69 and sometimes less with a dealer coupon or the Costco Auto Program.
 
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