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I've been reading a lot of bad consumer reviews all over the internet about the 2001 Subaru Forester. Most people say it's just one thing after another starting with the wheel barings then the o2 sensor, then the catalyst converter and so on and so on. I was just wondering if these are actually manufacturer problems, or are they due to improper maintenance

Thanks
 

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2014 2.0XT CVT
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3,069 Posts
I had a 2001 Forester that went through 213K miles of pure abuse and I had no major problems with it. I did the oil change every 10K or so (was doing 4K a month) and did the timing belt at 180K and I think the cat went around 150K-ish but that was it.
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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8,294 Posts
Reviews are mostly completed by the disgruntled, not the happy folks.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
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2,000 Posts
Yeah man, happy folks drive around. Pissers sit and spew....
 

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01 Forester "S" (FS)
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2001 Forester S here. 147k Miles. Yes had a problem with wheel bearing. And the intermittent issue with the P0420 light, like so many other foresters, read the forum.

Cat problems: (read bellow)
The problem code P0420 that makes CEL go on, says: "Catalytic Converter Performs bellow threshold...balah blahha blaaahh" In most cases since dealers do not feel like dealing with this PITA little issue they push for O2 sensor and CAT replacement, and in 99% of the cases it is bull crap.

$5 Dollar Fix and the P0420 never shows up again. And car passes all inspections.
Wheel bearings happen on many cars not just 01 Foresters.
With good maintenance the car will last for a very long time.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
As one previous poster stated, there are a lot of opinions on the internet but there are a lot of facts as well, good luck knowing the difference although the more you search, the quicker you will learn to tell the difference and there is certainly lots of great information if one knows where to look and what to ignore.

Japanese vehicles in general tend to be more reliable in my experience and according to many different independant studies as well, so you already seem to be searching the proper area, and from what Warranty Direct said back in 06, the Forester rated number two for the last decade with regard to reliability, falling only to the venerable Honda Accord in that respect, with the rest of the top 20 slots being filled out by other Japanese autos save one.

All cars have issues and the Forester is certainly no exception but given the alternatives in mid sized, AWD vehicles, I don't believe there are much better choices out there and it comes down to roping the right horse in the herd now that you are in the Japanese valley.

If I were you I would be far more concerned with finding a good specimen as I would be with the overall health of this particular herd and I would focus your efforts on finding a Foz that has been well cared for rather than one that's been "rode hard and put away wet" and at the end of the day, all used vehicles are a crap shoot and we can only take our best shot at finding a good one of whatever breed we choose, good luck.

Here is what Warranty Direct had to say for what it's worth.

The 100 most reliable cars of the last decade (in order)

The 10 most reliable cars according to Warranty Direct:

1 - Honda Accord - A classy package, well put together and feels more special than the average family car. Superb engines and value for money.

2 - Subaru Forester - Not quite an off roader, much more than an estate with a sporty edge, making it the perfect combination. Great all round buy.

3 - Mazda MX-5 - Blueprint for the modern roadster with sweet handling and engines to match. Extremely easy to live with.

4 - Mitsubishi Carisma - Despite the name, not that interesting to look at or drive, but that’s not the point. Here is a no-nonsense hatchback that won’t let you down.

5 - Toyota Yaris - Superminis don’t come better. Bags of room and perky engines. Probably the best small car buy.

6 - Honda Civic - Solid build quality and good engines are just part of the appeal, the Civic is one of the most spacious small cars around. Great value.

7 - Nissan Almera - A dull package, but that’s no reason to dismiss the Almera which is practical and perfect for the smaller family who need a big boot and utter reliability.

8 - Honda CR-V - Proof that you don’t need an XXXL 4x4. Here is a four-wheel drive estate that is flexible, easy to drive and own.

9 - Toyota RAV4 - So few four-wheel drives are fun to drive. This car is suitably sporty, but very practical. Expensive used buy but worth it.

10 - Nissan Micra - The driving school favourite. Tough, fairly roomy, but with its light controls is easy to steer around town.
 

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2011 Forester X AT
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4,235 Posts
I've been reading a lot of bad consumer reviews all over the internet about the 2001 Subaru Forester. Most people say it's just one thing after another starting with the wheel barings then the o2 sensor, then the catalyst converter and so on and so on. I was just wondering if these are actually manufacturer problems, or are they due to improper maintenance

Thanks
They are manufacturer problems. I hear a lot of people saying the forester is expensive to maintain and I agree. Maybe those people also own hondas like me and expect more..who knows. My forester was babied by the inlaws, taken to every dealer maintenance interval $$$, and the cat still went bad early on, head gaskets still leaked, knock sensor went out, now bearings are going, etc.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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I've been reading a lot of bad consumer reviews all over the internet about the 2001 Subaru Forester. Most people say it's just one thing after another starting with the wheel barings then the o2 sensor, then the catalyst converter and so on and so on. I was just wondering if these are actually manufacturer problems, or are they due to improper maintenance

Thanks
It might be a good idea to check out truedelta.com for real world data on reliability... the internet is not the most unbiased source of information! Also have a look at this thread: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f62/seeking-info-forester-reliability-11691/
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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They are manufacturer problems. I hear a lot of people saying the forester is expensive to maintain and I agree. Maybe those people also own hondas like me and expect more..who knows. My forester was babied by the inlaws, taken to every dealer maintenance interval $$$, and the cat still went bad early on, head gaskets still leaked, knock sensor went out, now bearings are going, etc.
I can relate. I barely did anything to my Honda in its 220k miles.. when it FINALLY blew its HGs (16 years is not bad for such though!). But yeah, my 05 XS is having a bunch of issues (lots of minor ones, a few major ones) and it hasn't even passed 100k. Bah. If this is an indicator of reliability these days, I am sad.
 

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2001 Forester automatic
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P0420 Code

Cat problems: (read bellow)
The problem code P0420 that makes CEL go on, says: "Catalytic Converter Performs bellow threshold...balah blahha blaaahh" In most cases since dealers do not feel like dealing with this PITA little issue they push for O2 sensor and CAT replacement, and in 99% of the cases it is bull crap.

$5 Dollar Fix and the P0420 never shows up again. And car passes all inspections.
I bought the car Jan 2013, I replaced the Timing belt within 3 months, Also the Knock sensor and the Fuel Sensor and now the P0420 Code is Popping up with a Oil Burn smell. I'm wondering if this is going to be worth Saving. I bought it for 2750 and after the recent round of repairs came to another 1800. I think I am in too deep on this one.
But the question I asked Jim in a pm was "What $5 Fix he was talking about?"
 

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1999 L 4AT
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1,204 Posts
I've been reading a lot of bad consumer reviews all over the internet about the 2001 Subaru Forester. Most people say it's just one thing after another starting with the wheel bearings, then the o2 sensor, then the catalyst converter and so on and so on. I was just wondering if these are actually manufacturer problems, or are they due to improper maintenance?

Thanks
Rusty Fuel Filler Pipe. Half Axles. Split Radiator. Head Gaskets. Add those to your list.

If you are contemplating the purchase of this car, ...

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/spaceship-sound-75346/#post835894

... my advise to you would be to only purchase this car if you have either the time & tools to make repairs on your own or have bank to pay a independent shop to make the repairs.

Also, be aware the car you looked at may be in need of timing belt maintenance.
 

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2013 WRX Base 5-speed
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827 Posts
What cracks me up is that the OP was asking if a 10 year old car is gonna have a few problems or not....
 
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